I not to compare the state of the art of food in Kansas City eateries (well maybe except BBQ)and try to tell how better other states and cities are to Kansas City's food and restaurants. I love the food in Kansas City and think the restaurants and the food are just fine. Sampling from other places around the country helps me appreciate many times what we have in Kansas City. But I do like to broaden my horizons.
Having just returned from RI, Connecticut and New York City ( reviews coming), I am even more reminded that I love to eat at other places outside of Kansas City. Scoffing at our restaurants, how they don't measure up to other gastronomes is not my style. There are similarities and contrasts and finding more eateries outside of Kansas City. Analyzing other places outside of Kansas, "picking on" how they don't meet the standards of other cities' cuisines is not my style. However as I perused the Kansas City Star article " Area chefs stir up National Known" (3/21/2009), I noticed that I am 0 for 9 for eating at several of the award winning restaurants noted in the article.
The first two are being considered for the prestigious James Beard Award ( coming up in a couple of days). These are Colby Garrett's Bluestem and The American (with Debbie Gold). The other establishments are fine restaurants in their own right and have garnered considerable notice as : Room 39 (my wife has and liked it), Michael's Smith's Extra Virgin, Krauses Dining in Lawrence, Lidia's (Lidia Bastinanich) and Jonathan Justice's Justice Drugstore (noted for its ongoing litigation to keep the name Drug Store in its title) , Lawrence's Local Burger (Hilary Brown). So have I not attended these places? It's not because I don't know about these places, because I do. I know where they are (I was near Justice Drugstore for a party nearby!) but its money that the factor.
The main factor for me not entering the fray is $$$. Eating at most of these places (well Local Burger is one I can make in the future) requires serious amounts of change. In this economy in particular, I don't have it. I really look for the "hidden jewels", the restaurants in Kansas City and on my travels, that have food with reasonable prices but yet are a level above the normal fare either with ambiance, quality, service, differences in menus and more.
Possibly the first one I will try will be Local Burger and then Bluesteam (I've been dying to at least try happy hour there). The others will have to wait. I hope that our local chefs get the James Beard award. It's another feather in their cap and may inspire Kansas City eateries. I don't have to be inspired as I liked what I see already and what is happening. But if more people know about our (fine) dining and other eateries all the better. That is on the reasons why I started this blog and others write theirs. To spread the word what we liked about Kansas City and how our foods' fare.