Tuesday, May 21, 2013
OUT AND ABOUT IN KANSAS CITY: WESTSIDE AND THE CROSSROADS
This weekend we celebrated our 5 year wedding anniversary. 5 years?! Crazy how time flies. On our honeymoon in Jamaica we had visions of going back there to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. Well, that didn’t quite work out, but we did have a great time exploring parts of Kansas City that we haven’t been to before as well as some old favorites that bring back a lot of memories. First things first, though, time to enjoy delicious margaritas in our backyard.
There is a cool new district in Kansas City called Westside. Our friends just bought a house over there, and I’m so glad they did because it made us aware of this up and coming neighborhood. I’d dare to say that it is the new hipster gathering place. It’s on the west side of downtown KC, and I’d add it to your list of places to go if you’re ever in the area. While the neighborhood is cute, the real reason I was drawn to the area was to visit a shop called Little Freshie. The lady who owns it used to travel around KC in the summer in a renovated airstream serving hand crafted snow cones. The flavors always sounded so interesting, but I never made it to buy one last summer. So when I looked her up I found out that she had opened her own little shop. It’s adorable inside and delicious! We tried the lemon prickly pear snow cone and a macaron. (Ok…I have to digress from the story for a minute. Is it macaroon or macaron? The store had them labeled macarons, but every time I write that spell check pops up and says it should be macaroon. Never mind, just looked it up in Google, and macaroon is something completely different. We had a macaron. Either way, it was delicious.) This was my first macaron. I felt that it was a right of passage, because I have seen them all over the blogosphere.
The next place we went was in the Crossroads area of KC. It’s just down from Union Station amongst all the train tracks. It’s called The Manifesto and is modeled after a Prohibition-era speakeasy in the basement of an old hotel. It only has one entrance, which is through the back alley via a call button. When we went to the back of the hotel, we thought we were in the wrong place. There was a cook from the bar and grill in the upstairs part of the hotel that was enjoying his cigarette break. He was not very helpful, and we almost turned to leave until another couple walked up behind us and buzzed the back door. I’ve read online that this place is really difficult to get into, but we happened to squeeze into two seats at the bar. It only seats about 40 people! When the hostess led us down the steep stairs to the underground bar, I couldn’t believe how dark it was. They really took the atmosphere seriously, because there were no electric lights anywhere. They depended only on candle light. It took forever for our eyes to adjust, but this was a truly unique experience. The drinks are very interesting. Not a flavor I’d crave regularly, but the experience could not be beat.
After our drinks, we walked across the street to the old freight building that has been renovated into restaurants. We actually had our rehearsal dinner at Lydia’s. We really wanted to go there, but it was all booked up for the night. We hadn’t counted on it being that popular. So we went next door to Jack Stack, one of the more upscale barbecue dining options in Kansas City. Kansas City is known for its barbecue, and there are many options to try if you ever visit. Jack Stack has a few locations around the city, and is really good if you want more of a sit down nicer dining experience with a good drink menu. However, my favorite barbecue place in KC would have to be Oklahoma Joe's. The original restaurant is in a gas station, but it is so good you won’t notice the ambience.
It was a great night. We had a lot of fun just exploring our city and visiting old haunts and new to us places. Maybe next year we’ll head to Jamaica…