Last weekend we were headed to North Kansas City to listen to the Ronni Ward Band (http://ronniwardmusic.com/) play at Christine's Firehouse. (I will have to remember to write a post about that place.) We were coming from another event, so we hoped to pop in and have some dinner while enjoying the tunes. When we got there we found standing room only, so it was time for an alternate plan. After a short search we found a spot just a couple of blocks away, and made a quick dash over. Located at 323 Armour Road, Chappell's Restaurant & Sports Museum sounded like an interesting place to visit.
One of our favorite things about seeking out new settings is finding an iconic location you never knew existed. Now this doesn't happen everyday, so when it does happen it is special occasion. The outside reminded us more of an old hotel entrance, but once we entered we realized this place had history. Now when I hear museum associated with a restaurant, I expect that there will be a few showcases scattered about, which highlight the specific interest of the owner. That was probably the case about 20 years ago at Chappell's.
Jim Chappell, the owner, has amassed an overwhelming collection of sports memorabilia, and put it on display for all to see. There are over 10,000 pieces of sports history adorning every nook and cranny of the restaurant and bar areas, and the collection spills over to the washrooms. The ceiling in the dining room is covered with football helmets from just about every professional and college team in America.
The collection is not limited to football, where we were seated a pair of boxing gloves, signed by Mohammed Ali, hung enshrined in a display case. In another area the 1974 Oakland A's World Series trophy holds a place of honor. This place has so much history within its walls that Northwest Missouri University holds a memorabilia class at the bar. It is easy to get so caught up in the atmosphere that you forget the original purpose for the visit. But soon our hunger brought reality crashing back down, so we ordered our meals.
Crystal chose the Chicken Strips dinner, which comes with Honey Mustard dipping sauce, and curly fries. The chicken was crispy, and the honey mustard was creamy and tasted homemade. The curly fries were standard fare, but good. The overall presentation was lackluster, but the portion was generous.
The menu lists a few of Jim's Picks, so I opted to try the London Broil, which comes with a vegetable and choice of potato side. The steak was cooked perfectly and included some of the au jus sauce for added flavor. Flank steak can be a challenge to serve tender and flavorful, but this place does it right. An added surprise was the sweet potato fries. Fried up crispy, they are served with a sweet and spicy chili dipping sauce that keeps you coming back for more. Needless to say we left without doggie bags, and headed off back to the live music event. By the way, we were able to finally snag a couple of seats when we returned, and the band was awesome. for more info, and to review the menu visit http://www.chappellsrestaurant.com/.