Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Pryde's Old Westport

The newer awnings add a pop of color to the outside.

  We always enjoy shopping in the Westport area on town. It holds some one-of-a-kind shops and boutiques. Located in a nearly 100 year old building, Pryde's Old Westport is chocked full of items to hold your interest, and spark your creativity. On about any day, except Sundays, this place is packed with shoppers looking for a unique addition to a collection or an interesting gift idea. Now Pryde's hasn't always been the tenant in this building, but they have been since the late 1960's.

Many color options of Fiesta ware available.

  A rainy day is a great time to spend hours wandering the store perusing the inventory. If you are in search of cookware or dishes you will find an almost unending supply. Fiesta ware has seen a recent resurgence, and Pryde's carries more variety than about any place we can think of in the metro. If you are looking for bakeware they have just about any and every style of pan imaginable. They also carry a wide range of cutlery and utensils, some of which are hard to even imagine a use for, but clearly other more capable cooks are in the know.

More inventory options over here.

  While all of those items would fill most any kitchen supply store, Pryde's inventory doesn't stop there. As you wander the store you will also find aprons, pot holders, and linens. Coffee items, including presses, grinders, and makers are plentiful. You may also be in the mood for jams, jellies, spreads, and other food treats, and there are many types to be found. Some of these are local brands, which is great to see.

I'm always in the mood for a sweet treat.

  With all of this wandering it is easy to work up an appetite, but don't worry they have you covered. In the back of the shop you will find Ashleigh's Bake Shop. This little bakery serves up sweet treats to customers on Thursday, Friday, and Saturdays. Their pies are baked fresh daily, and their choice of quality ingredients are evident in the flavor.

The garden section has lots of items to add a special touch.

  While wandering the store you will certainly run across the semi-outdoor garden section. Here you will find a good assortment of baskets, vases, planters, and other outdoor accessories. As you can tell, Pryde's Old Westport attempts to satisfy all of your needs to plan a great party indoors or out. Make plans to stop by and be wowed by the amazing assortment of inventory. You can get a feel for it by visiting

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Sweet Treats: Nothing Bundt Cakes

One of the store fronts.

    A lot of our posts are focused on the fine eats that can be found around our region, but like most we also appreciate a good dessert now and then. In the past few years we have seen a resurgence in the popularity of cakes. A lot of this has been due to the pop-up bakeries focusing on specialty cupcakes. Recently a new twist has been added to the mix, bundt cakes. When we hear the term we immediately think about the delicious treat that our moms would create using that weird looking round pan.

Each shop is designed to be customer friendly.

   Nothing Bundt Cakes has decided to capitalize on this trend, and has spread throughout the nation, including three locations in the Kansas City metro. This sweet treat producer was started by two women in 1997 to produce cakes for their friends and family. As the popularity grew they realized that this hobby could become a successful business.

The display case is almost a work of art.
  The decision to use fresh eggs, as well as real butter and cream cheese has allowed them to offer a product with consistent taste. By choosing not to compromise on ingredients, they had found a recipe worth repeating. They offer bundt cakes in 8" or 10" sizes, and even have tiered cakes for serving larger numbers. They can be decorated in a wide range of themes, which should fit almost any occasion.

An assortment of sweet treats.
  Of course, some people may only want a small portion of cake, and Nothing Bundt Cakes has that taken care of, as well. They sell bundtlets, which are a cupcake size version of their cakes. They also have bundtinis, which are bite size portions, but with all of the flavor of the regular cakes. All of their cake sizes come in nine different flavors, so everyone can pick the one that they want. They also offer special designs during the holidays, so keep that in mind with Christmas looming in the near future. For more information, or just to drool over their offerings, visit

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Restaurant Review: Woodyard BBQ

Quirky signage marks the spot.
   Kansas City BBQ can be found almost everywhere in the metro. We've seen the small dive restaurants, the gas station stops, and now we will look at a house converted into a BBQ mecca. Located on the fringe between Johnson and Wyandotte counties you will find Woodyard BBQ. Heading east from Nigro's Western Store on Merriam Lane, you are surrounded by commercial businesses when suddenly a couple of residences appear. On closer inspection you realize that the house on the south side of the street is actually a BBQ joint.

More signage.
   As you make your way through the property you find yourself reading the large assortment of hand made signs. There are signs about the hours of business, and signs giving directions, as well as signs about some of the celebrity guests that have visited the restaurant. It seems that Kansas City is as famous for BBQ outside of the region, as it is around the Midwest.

Fewer choices make for quicker decisions.
  The menu at Woodyard's is fairly straightforward. They offer up the usual BBQ items, as well as wings, and a killer burnt end chili. You can also purchase some of the items by the pound, if you want to have lunch for the week. Besides the standard sandwiches, they also have a few specialty handhelds worth noting. The Triple "P" will set you up with ham, pulled pork, bacon, and provolone cheese. The Carolina gives a nod to the East coast style BBQ served with pulled pork and topped with cole slaw.

Burnt ends plate with fries.
   Many patrons will gravitate towards the burnt ends, and Woodyard will give them a reason to keep coming back. Packed with smoked flavor, these delicious bites of meat are soaked with sauciness. The fries are thinner than the usual steak-cut you find at most BBQ joints, but the crispiness helps overcome that shortfall.

Ribs with cheesy corn and baked beans.
  As I've said on many occasions, we judge BBQ restaurants by their ribs. Woodyard has a decent smoke ring, and good flavor. The meat is not as tender as some places, but the ribs are meatier than a lot of the competition. The baked beans and cheesy corn are really good, so be sure to grab some. There is an assortment of seating options, indoors and out, and if you prefer you can watch the pit master at work while you eat. The smoke is thick in the yard, and adds to the down-home BBQ ambiance. This is certainly one of the top BBQ joints in the metro. Check them out at

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Restaurant Review: El Potro Mexican Cafe

  The other day I had just finished a round of golf at Sunflower Hills. I was talking with some of  the guys in the clubhouse, when the topic of good Mexican food restaurants came up. Without hesitation they both directed me to El Potro Mexican Cafe and Cantina. As I had never heard of it, their quick and certain response told me that I needed to add it to our wish list. Once on the wish list, we attempt to make an excuse to visit locations for a chance to see first hand what the buzz is about. I try to keep a wish list for restaurants, shops, festivals, and a general entertainment/fun stuff category.

  This Bonner Springs, Kansas eatery is a little out of the way, but that has not kept the public from finding them. Our visit was on a Sunday morning in between breakfast and lunch times. Yes, I said breakfast. On Saturdays and Sundays they serve breakfast options from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm. Of course, on our visit we were looking for lunch, but we did make note of this early meal option. My wife commented about the possibility of trying their breakfast burritos. With their close proximity to the golf course, I can probably talk her into joining me, if I tempt her with a promise of stopping by this restaurant afterwards.

  When we arrived we were the first to be seated in the front dining room. It looks like most of the breakfast crowd were seated in the area closer to the bar. It wasn't long before we were joined by more groups, and by the time we left the parking lot was getting active. The seating area is decent sized, and they have the tables spaced far enough apart to give patrons room to move without bumping chairs, This is a little thing, but one we truly appreciate. Staff was quick to attend to us, and actually very attentive. At one point I noticed our table wobbled a little, so I headed to the bar area to ask for a coaster. By the time I returned our server had already remedied the situation, and done so with a smile.

  One of the things my wife was wanting on this particular visit was some queso dip. Much to our surprise this is served along with the chips and salsa, which at most restaurants is an extra charge. The queso was warm and delicious, and was served with light and crispy chips. The chips were probably made in house, as they were too  thin to be easily transported. This style of chip is an added bonus, as it doesn't outweigh the dips. We were a little disappointed in the salsa, which was not at all spicy, and had an almost tomato paste taste. Still we give the pre-dinner offerings a thumbs up.

  For meal choices my wife selected the Chicken Ranchero Chimichanga. This chicken stuffed, deep fried rolled tortilla is served with a ranchero sauce. They offer beans and rice for sides, but she always forgoes the beans in favor of extra rice. She enjoyed the flavor of the main course, and found the ranchero sauce added extra flavor to the meal. I rely on her for an opinion of the rice, as it is not my favorite side. She found it very good, and gives it a positive review.

  I struggled picking just one meal, as the offerings can almost be overwhelming. There were so many good sounding dishes, but I finally settled upon the Faluta De Pollo Ranchero. The main dish is a flavored pork rolled inside corn tortillas, and served with sour cream and guacamole. For sides I went with the rice and refried beans. There are three different styles of beans to select from, so this place is all about giving options. The flautas were crunchy and delicious. The toppings were plentiful enough for all three of my rolls, and still allowed some to share. The beans were average, but do come with some melted cheese on top.

  Overall we were very pleased with our first, and certainly not the last visit. Of special note is that this place also has drive-thru option, which we found very interesting for a sit down restaurant. The prices are very appealing, and we were able to enjoy our lunch for less than $16.00 before tip. To find out more, and see their vast menu offerings check out

Monday, September 19, 2016

Restaurant Review: Roscoe's BBQ

For all of your fueling needs.

  We aren't sure what it is about BBQ and gas stations in Kansas City, Kansas, but it seems to be working out well for those looking for good eats. We all know of the one that gets national attention, but did you realize there is a second one that offers up its own variety of down home cooking? Just on the edge of Edwardsville, at 9711 Kaw Drive, sits Roscoe's BBQ.  

The inside looks like most any small restaurant.

  Roscoe's isn't much to see from the outside, and the inside is laid out like most any other small restaurant. Of course people don't come here for the ambiance, they are coming in search of great BBQ. Fortunately, they have picked a good location to end their search. Like many other BBQ restaurants, Roscoe's got their start by participating in cook-off contests. This seems to be the tried and true method to hone your skills. Now they spend their weekdays serving up their offerings to hungry customers.

Pulled pork sandwich with fries and cole slaw.
  You can almost judge a good BBQ joint by the smell when you get out of your vehicle. When you arrive at Roscoe's you know they have the makings for some high quality smoke. The food carries that smoky flavor throughout the menu. Their molasses based sauces give a little twang to the taste, which is a welcome change from the usual Kansas City style sauces. Their sandwiches are piled high with tender, delicious tasting meats. The fries are just standard frozen crinkle cuts, but they aren't any worse than most places. The Cole Slaw has a dill based taste, which is different that what you find in most KC restaurants.

Ribs with Cheesy Corn and Slow Cooked Beans.
  The ribs are how we judge a BBQ restaurant, and this place has certainly hit a home-run here. The meat is fall off the bone tender, and the flavor fills your mouth. They have the skill to make a good smoke flavor without drying out the meat, so every bite is juicy. The Slow Cooked Beans have chunks of burnt ends, which impart that smoky flavor to the dish, and help cut some of the sweetness of the sauce. The Cheesy Corn is not a side I am accustomed to, but it had good flavor.

Sometimes you just have to get an assortment to share.
  The overall experience was good, and the meats are over the top. The prices are in the normal BBQ range with a slab of ribs costing around $17.00. You can order meats by the pound or the have a couple of dinner specials. For the family plan they have some family platters that will run you about $10 to $12 per person, if their estimates are correct. We find that you can hunt and pick through the menu and build a good family dinner for about the same per person price. Be aware that their limited hours means that they are likely to run out of items by dinner time, so it's best to plan accordingly. You can find out more about them by visiting

Friday, September 16, 2016

Restaurant Review: Sabor Y Sol Mexican

It does look a little cheesy.

  Sometimes when you happen upon a place you make a quick judgement by the building facade. Near the crossroads of 7th Street and Southwest Boulevard in Rosedale you will find this uniquely designed eatery. When you first see Sabor Y Sol you would easily pass it off as a cheesy Mexican restaurant. You may question the quality of authenticity of the food, but you would be off target. This place has a look designed to attract attention, and a menu full of items designed to keep you coming back.

Great guacamole.

  Every Mexican restaurant starts you with chips and salsa, but why not kick it up a notch and have their Guacamole Ranchero. Made fresh with avocado, tomato, onion, and spices, this appetizer really hits the spot. If you prefer you could pick a cheese sauce to accompany your chips or just share one of the nacho offerings. There are also a few quesadilla and flauta offerings that could serve well as an appetizer.

Good size portions.

  If you are in the mood to stay toward the healthier side you can always order the Fajita Salad. Made with either chicken or beef this dish will serve as an entire meal. There are a handful of other salad options, and almost all of them come with a serving of meat. If salad isn't quite what you are looking for they also offer a couple of soup options.

Tacos street style.

Nice flavorful tacos.

  We are partial to tacos, and Sabor has a good variety. You can get the more traditional style served with pork, beef or chicken. Maybe you will want to sample the "street taco" version, which is becoming more popular around this region. Whichever style you pick, you will find them well proportioned, and not too salty. 

Carnitas De Res dinner.

  If you are like us you prefer to order an entire meal, and then try your best to see how much you can finish. The prices at Sabor will allow for this without breaking the bank. Many of the dishes, like the Carnitas De Res, come with sides and condiments. It is clear that they do not want you to leave hungry. The service can be a little slow at times, but for the price it is easy to overlook. You won't find a packed house like they have in the Crossroads, but that makes it that much easier to find a table. This place doesn't have a website that I could find, but you seek out more information by looking them up on Yelp or Tripadviser. They do have a Facebook page if you want to do a search. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Restaurant Review: R.J.'s Bob-Be-Que Shack

Looks pretty normal from the outside.
   As we continue our BBQ tour, our next stop is R.J's Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, Kansas. This place gets a nod for being featured on Kansas City's Check Please! and on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. Of course being on TV doesn't mean your are good, just that you are known. The food is the tell, and this place serves up pretty good meals.

They have Carry-Out as well as Dine-In.
  The restaurant is not large, but it does have a decent amount of indoor seating, as well as a small patio area. Most times it should be easy enough to find a spot, but do take note that they will often have a musical guest on Saturday evenings, so the patio may get a little crowded at those times.

2 Meat Plate with Ribs and Burnt Ends.
   Of course, we don't go to a BBQ joint for the ambiance, we come for the food. Our signature way of determining the quality of any BBQ is to try the ribs. Of course, it also helps to test the burnt ends, so you can see how well the do other cuts. The meats have a good smoke, and are plenty tender. The smoking is obvious, as you can smell it as soon as you enter the restaurant.

3 Meat Plate with Chicken, Ribs, and Pulled Pork.
   They offer plenty of other meal options including the rarely found lamb ribs and fish. The menu lists appetizers and sides separately, but we often use them all for sides. There are a couple of salads and soups available, but we have never tried those. After all, we are talking about BBQ here. R.J.'s does offer sweet potato fries, which is something we have come to like better than standard ones, so that is a bonus.

Farm Hand Breakfast with Smoked Bacon. 
  Another bonus is that they offer breakfast on Saturday and Sundays. The menu actually is pretty robust for this meal, and offers a couple of dishes that include chorizo. Once again, not something found in most BBQ joints. I guess a lot of these menu anomalies can be traced back to the owners roots as a chef in the fine dining industry. The quality and consistency certainly are on the forefront at R.J.'s. This place is definitely worth adding to your BBQ Trail list, so make plans to give them a try. For more information, and a peek at the menu check out

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Sweet Life

   Many people around the metro enjoy the First Friday events in the Crossroads District. Here you can find almost every kind of entertainment and artistic venue possible. For us it also gives the opportunity to partake in foods and treats not usually in our weekly menu. The problem can actually be determining which treat we want to savor on a particular month. Fortunately, we can always fall back on a tried-and-true delight by visiting Christopher Elbow Chocolates. In a non-distinct building the staff churn out some of the most delectable treats.

  Upon entering the store one faces a bounty of treats that are as pleasing to the eyes as they are to the palate. Here you will be tempted by truffles with many flavor combinations, as well as chocolate bars, nuts, and my favorite, toffee. Now as we said, this is not a regular occurrence for us, so we feel safe partaking on the times we do get to stop by. The best part of First Fridays is that they run a special on their truffles.

   It is normal to see the line start small early in the evening, but once dinner time has passed the crowds descend upon this place. Soon the small building is overflowing with customers, who all are clamoring for a better view of the evening's availability.

   We have developed a routine that helps insure our success at this location, but I'm afraid I cannot share it with you without compromising our victory. I mean we have to keep some secrets as closely guarded as the recipe for Coca-Cola or KFC chicken. I will hint at the need to alter your dining time to earlier in the evening, which should put you in line with plenty of time to find all of the best flavors still in stock. We hope you get a chance to indulge in these fantastic treats in the very near future. To find out more visit

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Restaurant Review: Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que

  I will say something that may not be well taken, but not all BBQ is created equally. We have tried a wide range of places, and always look for that special dish that each one holds up above the others. At some locations it may be the ribs, while others may have awesome brisket. Quite a few have exceptional burnt ends, but almost all have one thing in common, they are not corporate barbecue.

  Famous Dave's has a huge following, which is obvious from the fact that they have multiple locations in 32 states, as well as Canada and Puerto Rico. Now you must be doing something right to create a BBQ empire that large. The food they serve is very reminiscent of good barbecue, but somewhere along the way they have become the epitome of big business barbecue.

6 Bones Meal
   The menu offers a wide variety of options from appetizers to full-on feasts. The side choices are abundant, and they even have a kid's meals section. Most of the selections have names that evoke a down-home feeling, and may even spark some nostalgic memories. Everything is well honed in a way that is meant to be marketable to the masses. 

Feast for One

  This is the perfect recipe to sell barbecue to folks in Washington or Maine, but what about here in the BBQ capitol of the world. Our general take on the food is that it is what you would expect from a regular restaurant trying to up-sell barbecue menu items. While the food has decent flavor, and the menu is teeming with unique items, the prices are high even for the costly BBQ category. Of course, a keen eye will pick out a decent deal at most any location. The 6 Bones Meal will set you back about $17.00, while the Feast for One pictured above sells for about $19.00, but is enough food for two. 

 One area we find appealing is the variety of sauces they offer. With a range from sweet to spicy most anyone can find a flavor that fits the bill. Feel free to kick your meal up a notch with the Devil Spit sauce. All in all we find Famous Dave's to be an okay experience, but not one we would drive out of our way to enjoy. It's more the kind of place that is convenient when you are in the area and need a barbecue food fix. For more info about them check out

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Restaurant Review: Stone Canyon Pizza

  We enjoy quiet afternoons in Parkville, Mo. The downtown area is quaint, and the shops are meant to be viewed at a leisurely pace. We seem attracted to the small business atmosphere that envelopes these couple of blocks. Of course after some retail therapy we have worked up an appetite. No problem, as we can just duck into Stone Canyon Pizza for a bite to eat.

 Any place that includes pizza in their name better have their best game on when they make it. Stone Canyon does just that. The freshness of the ingredients comes though in every bite. Whether you order their South of the Border pizza or one of the other 15 specialty pies, you are sure to get a great tasting meal.

  Of course the offerings don't end at pizza. They also have a menu full of pastas, salads, and sandwiches. They run specials on certain days of the week, as well as hosting a Happy Hour on Monday through Friday from 3:00 to 6:00. If you are in the area during the week you can also catch a lunch special. To see their menu or find out more visit

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Restaurant Review: Raising Cane's

  It has been said that the secret to success is doing one thing, and doing it right. At Raising Cane's the one thing is chicken strips, and this chain restaurant seems to be wildly successful. Now when we left on our recent adventure through the metro we had no idea this place even existed, let alone that there were three locations in our city. We chose to head to Blue Springs, since it is not usually on our target list of areas to visit. Being a holiday weekend, we found ourselves with some spare time, and decided to venture out. When it came time for lunch we were faced with the standard fast food type offerings. Since Raising Cane's was unfamiliar to us, it obviously got the nod.

  The store is set up like most any other fast food restaurant, but this one was teeming with customers. I consider this a positive, since it means that some of the people are probably return customers. The menu is very simple. They serve chicken strips. Of course nothing is that simple. You have to choose either a 3, 4 or 6 strip meal or you could opt for a chicken strip sandwich.

  The meals come with crinkle cut fries, a slice of Texas toast, and some of their signature dipping sauce. The fries are fries, so enough said. The toast has a garlic undertone, which I found to be good without being overwhelming. The dipping sauce has decent flavor, but I am not one to regularly use a sauce. The chicken strip were all white meat, and had good flavor. The crust on the strips was not spicy, and stayed with the strip. Overall the food was pretty good for a fast food joint. Being a southern style food place I was hoping that they would offer sweet tea, and I was not disappointed. It was certainly a refreshing way to wash down my meal. For more information or to find a store near you, check out