It's time for the first installment of Local Love: A Kansas City Roundup. At the end of each month I'll be sharing new places and old favorites that I just adore in my hometown. I love it here in good 'ol KC and I hope to show it off! If you're local maybe you'll discover a new place to try, and if you're not maybe you'll be inspired to visit our lovely little city one day. Either way, KC is full of awesome things and I like to show them off. Heads up, there will be a lot of scrumptious food and beer in these posts because the food scene here is great...and also I really like to eat!
FIRST STOP: PIZZA
New on the route here is 1889 Pizza Napoletana off 47th Avenue. Guys, can we talk about the decor?! When I think pizza place I think of those cheap red plastic cups (doesn't fountain soda always taste better in those?), wood on the walls, cracker crumbs all over the floor and those scratched up plastic plates that cannot be destroyed. This is not that kind of place. Everything about the design here is brilliant. I mean, there is anaglypta on the walls in the bathroom, people...that's banana-pants! On top of the gorgeous look the place is full of yummy choices in the neapolitan style using fresh ingredients and craft beer options. I'm pretty sure I stopped in during their first week of business so there were still some kinks to work out but the experience was still great and I will go back. Pizza was delish—I had the Honey Bee with pear, gorgonzola, honey and arugula, plus they had some really decent beer choices. Nom-nom yum!!
NEXT STOP: BEER
Also relatively new in town is Calibration Brewery in Northtown (north of the river for those not familiar with the area). It is joining the ranks of many other craft brewers in town and boasts some good options like their All Day All Night Coconut Brown Ale and Some Kind of Wonderful Hefeweizen. The vibe is very comfortable and there are always a ton of places to sit including a little patio outside which is great in the summer months.
The second beverage is a beer cocktail called the Summer Breeze from a little spot called Beer Kitchen, a place that has become a KC staple for me. Delicious food—the beer cheese soup...oh my god...and I'm lactose intolerant if that says anything! Rocking a super extensive and very-well chosen beer list this place is perfect for lunch or a night out on the weekend. It's popular, though, so lines are long if you wait until prime time!
Third on the list is Stockyards Brewing Co. down in the historic Stockyards District. We went on a gloomy, rainy night (which is what gave me the opportunity to snap this handsome photo). Serving up "unpretentious beer" and promoting a social atmosphere is their thing and that's exactly what you get here. Taking up residence in the old Golden Ox restaurant, a serious iconic steakhouse as any KC native knows, and saving the landmark was a stroke of genius. It lends to the mellow vibe and enhances the super beer choices they carry. Recommend a trip down for sure!
NEXT STOP: GETTING ACTIVE
It may be hot but I'm still up for a challenge! My dear friend, Todd, and I took on the Insane Inflatable 5k and it was hilariously hard. It must have been 118 degrees outside so just walking in the field was difficult and it felt like it would never end, but we laughed a ton as we climbed and bounced our way along those giant inflatable obstacles. Check it out and see if there's an event coming to your area! It was a hoot! And speaking of hoot...afterward we were so parched and famished and in need of anything to recharge so we headed to the closest option. Hooters. Now, I know this isn't local, but I haven't been to a Hooters in ages and even though this is not the best recovery food, I gotta say it was friggin' delicious. Hooters did in fact, make me happy.
Also headed up to Parkville to enjoy the park trail that runs along the river. It was a muggy, humid night so my visions of running a couple miles as if I were an already established athlete were seriously dashed by the reality that running 300 feet in that heat made me wheeze but nonetheless, the view was beautiful as the sun went down.
NEXT STOP: COOLING OFF
It's July, folks. As I mentioned, it's hot outside. Like real hot. So the natural place to head is the water. Now with a full-time job I don't get there as often as I'd like but I make the time when I can. Prairie Village Pool is my absolute favorite public pool in the area (maybe I shouldn't be telling you that so I can keep it secret!!). It's great for little ones with a zero-entry pool and a couple slides, but the reason I love it so much is because it's divided up into sections. There is a pool in the back that's for adults only ALL THE TIME. I am not knocking children at the pool by any means...it's the best thing to do with them on a hot summer day and I know they have a blast every single time! But I can say as a non-kid-having pool-goer it is nice to pull out the raft and float in almost completely calm waters while listening to the moderate hum of adult chatter. So get out that dollar store raft and come hang with me at the pool to beat the heat!
Next stop, Longview Lake. This is where we keep the BF's jet-ski and it is a wonderful place to visit in the summer. Complete with a swimming beach, marina where the kids can feed the fish, plenty of docks, fishing and picnic areas so there's something for everyone. The lake is just big enough for taking that little thing out for a few rounds on the water but not so big that you're inundated with boat traffic like at the Ozarks. Jet-skiing at sunset on this baby is a sight, let me tell you. Just ten minutes outside of KC ain't a bad drive, either. Longview also hosts a big fireworks celebration on the Fourth of July. I've never made it out but it's packed every year!
NEXT STOP: TREAT YO-SELF
The BF and I stopped into Westport Ale House one afternoon to indulge in some beer and sweets. I like this place a lot. The beer list is good, the bartenders are always nice, there's a cool patio up on the top level with a second bar, and the food is tasty. This dessert dish, for example, the Tank 7 Donuts. Tank 7 is a beer from local and loved brewer Boulveard Brewing and these yummy little donuts are served up with vanilla ice cream, little sprinkles of bacon and caramel drizzle. Can we say DROOOOOOLLLL!!!!
And after a long, busy month I treated myself to breakfast at a cozy little spot called the Classic Cookie. Serving up breakfast and lunch it's got a warm, homey vibe to it that just makes me feel good. It's small so you take a gamble of having to wait but that homegrown feeling is worth it to me. The cinnamon rolls are ah-mazing and don't forget to get a few cookies on your way out.
Here's to KC!