On the Road Eats: Kansas City

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I have been to Kansas City so many times for work and almost always have a great food experience.  And there is one restaurant that will remain on my favorites list!

Oklahoma Joe’s
My favorite spot – I can visit the original location at a gas station, eat great barbeque and be in and out within 30 minutes.  Pulled pork and coleslaw on a sandwich – AWESOME!!!

Gram & Dun
It’s been a few years since I have been here but the food is always good, it’s an easy walk from the hotels on the plaza and they are on OpenTable.  After a crazy rain storm that forced allowed me to get some work done at the hotel, I walked to the restaurant with iPad in hand and got a high top table in the bar.  A glass of wine with the double cut breaded pork chop, creamed brussels sprouts with house-smoked bacon – my happy dance took place on the way home!

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Tavernonna
I admit, I didn’t love this restaurant but I think they had an off day.  I had the lunch special – salad and pasta (and added a meatball ).  The caesar salad needed to be chilled – it was as if they plated it and left it sitting on the line while they waited for the hot items.  As for the pasta, should have been cooked a minute or so longer to be perfect.  The flavors were good and I would return but there are too many other great spots to try.

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Residence Inn Kansas City Country Club Plaza
I stay here quite often IF I cannot get a room at The Raphael Hotel.  It’s super convenient to walk to many of my appointments and a block off the plaza.  It’s quiet and clean and they have a good amount of parking.  One night, Marriott points…all is good.

 

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On the Road Eats: South Bend, Indiana

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Another trip to South Bend.  The fun thing for me about visiting this city is I see or experience something new each time.

Aloft South Bend
I stayed here again.  And no reason not to.  The service is great, the rooms are large and clean and I can walk everywhere.  Bonus when they make you a great breakfast!

Render Kitchen & Bar
I knew the spots downtown and the ones near the college. So I decided to Yelp! and came across something new, new to me, as this great restaurant I found has been around for a couple years.  I sat at the bar, had a very friendly bartender and got to listen to a group of college girls chat about what they are doing after school.  Add that to some great food and a lavender infused cocktail – I will be back next time I am in town!

South Bend River Lights
Since the weather was still warm, I was able to wait until the sun went down and walk over to the bridge and see the lights.  They are interactive based on motion, change colors and are a great way to spend a few minutes at the end of the evening.

Cafe Navarre
This is the restaurant that comes up most often in my searches.  I was there about 5 years ago and it was great.  So I knew I had to stop by for a quick lunch before I headed to the airport.  Small caesar salad and the french onion soup- perfect.  And my boss joined me for lunch and said the beet salad was excellent!

Cafe Navarre Lunch

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My Favorite Things: Houston’s

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If you have read my other posts, I think you know I am not really a fan of national chain restaurants.  The menu may be designed by chefs but on any given night, they do not have the freedom to create.  But there is one exception to my “national” chain rule and they have lots of options due to having many different restaurants in various parts of the country.  Houston’s is the exception.  I love that anytime I visit Houston’s, both the service and the food are consistently fantastic. I have my favorites when I visit, it just depends on the mood I am in.  Crab Cakes, the Ahi Tuna(either the entrée or the salad), the ribs, the grilled artichoke…….I could go on.  And my husband loves their food and he’s happy to sit at the bar and have a small bite at the end of a night if we are not ready to go home.  It’s even kid-friendly.

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I think to a recent visit for my husband’s birthday.  They brought out the apple dessert with one candle.  No singing(my husband is not a fan), no big group of people, just a candle and a quick Happy Birthday and we were left to enjoy.  I don’t think I have ever left this restaurant disappointed.  Now if only I could get a peek of their spinach dip recipe, I would be the happiest lady in town!

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Brunch on Mother’s Day 2015 in Dallas

I have something to share with you. I love Mother’s Day!  For me, there is no pressure to decorate the house, no need to plan for presents, and it can be as lazy or as active as we want.  Plus my daughter is usually on her best behavior since it is Mommy’s special day.  Instead of doing a big dinner out, we love to “brunch”! nasher2Over the years we have spent Mother’s Day at a lot of great restaurants in Dallas.  I remember a quiet meal at the Dallas Fish Market with my newborn daughter, a more casual meal with the whole family at The Grape, a southern meal at Hattie’s in Oak Cliff, and my absolute favorite, a special brunch at the Nasher Sculpture Center(brunch by Wolfgang Puck with special family activities and performances) that my husband reserved for the three of us as a surprise. Of course, as a mom, I always ask friends for recommendations on where they spend Mother’s day, whether it be brunch or dinner.  A few of their favorites:  brunch at Café on the Green at the Four Seasons in Irving(very family friendly), Al Biernats (for brunch or dinner) and Nick and Sam’s Grill(very energetic). This year I want to try something that is “new to me” but a place that I would be happy to go to on any given Sunday(with the hope that someone else is doing the food shopping and running errands while I am “brunching”).  I went to my two trusted “foodie” sources and not too many posts about Mother’s Day yet.  Then I pulled up OpenTable and started looking for the best brunch spots in North Dallas and their page specific for Mother’s Day brunch spots.  This is the EASIEST way to make reservations and it all syncs with my calendar!  So where might you find me on Mother’s Day?

  • SMOKE Plano – I have been to Smoke down in Oak Cliff and enjoyed both brunch and dinner. I think it is time to visit them again for some thick cut pork belly bacon!   Unfortunately, you cannot make reservations for brunch.
  • DISH Preston Hollow – I used to live near DISH on Cedar Springs and unfortunately never made it there for lunch, dinner or brunch. Now that there is one closer to me and they serve Fried Chicken and Waffles, this is definitely on my list.
  • Mexican Sugar – There is something for everyone here – Benedictos Rancheros, Chilaquiles or Egg White Migas. Plus I can spend some time shopping at Legacy after we eat!
  • Knife Dallas – The Short Rib Benedict and Pork Belly Hash are calling my name.  We have been for dinner and it may be time to visit for brunch!
  • Ivy Kitchen – I visited Ivy Kitchen right after it opened for a girls’ night out and enjoyed my meal. I have heard some mixed reviews but I have not been for brunch.  Depending on the weather, brunch and a movie may be a great way to spend the day!  I know my husband would be thrilled!

 Happy Mother’s Day!!!

 

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