July 2020

Page 1


Widow Von’Du’s Rise to Drag Stardom PG 54

Fast Food was Born in Kansas PG 96

Renaming of J.C. Nichols Fountain PG 20

Rare and Uncut One city’s epic LOVE AFFAIR with beef, from steak strips to sliders.

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Kathy Boos kathy@kansascitymag.com EDITOR IN CHIEF

Martin Cizmar martin@kansascitymag.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Nicole Bradley nicole@kansascitymag.com EDITORIAL INTERNS

Bryce Bailey Jordan Meier Paige Eichkorn


Katie Sloan katie@kansascitymag.com SENIOR DESIGN CONSULTANT

Julie Babcock julie@kansascitymag.com DESIGN INTERNS

Jack Raybuck Natalie Rice Jocelyn Sands


Kayla Szymanski COPY EDITOR

Kelsie Schrader SALES

Melanie Bremer melanie@kansascitymag.com AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT

Lio Chen lio@kansascitymag.com WRITERS

Michael Alberty Natalie Gallagher PHOTOGRAPHERS & ILLUSTRATORS

Zach Bauman, Caleb Condit, Amber Dawkins, Jeremey Theron Kirby, Samantha Levi, Chuck McClary, Rebecca Norden, Nate Sheets, Scott D. Weaver


We love Kansas City like family. We know what makes it great, we know how it struggles and we know its secrets. Through great storytelling, photography and design, we help our readers celebrate our city’s triumphs, tend to its faults and revel in the things that make it unique.


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Kansas City magazine is published monthly by 435 South, LLC. No part of this publication can be reprinted or reproduced without the publisher’s permission. Kansas City magazine assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Kansas City magazine adheres to American Society of Magazine Editors guidelines, which requires a clear distinction between editorial content and paid advertising or marketing messages.


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11775 W. 112th St., Ste 200 Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 469-6700


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@kansascitymag @kansascitymagazine @kansascitymag

Features 40

Here’s the Beef A look inside the city’s meaty history of burgers, brisket, steaks and more.




KC Royalty We interview drag superstar Widow Von’Du from this season of Ru Paul's Drag Race.



Monster Proportions

Top Dentists

Kansas has its own Loch Ness Monster.

Our annual list of the best dental professionals is here.

Photography by Samantha Levi



Departments 31







19 No Justice, No Peace housands gather to T

31 Good as Gold

87 Frozen Over

14 Editor’s Letter

protest police brutality.

20 More Than a Fountain Push to rename the

Nichols fountain and parkway picks up steam.

22 Fatal Encounters

A few stats regarding police-involved killings.

We're loving this statement necklace alternative.

88 Today’s Special

36 Refreshed An Overland Park home

92 Newsfeed

founder of a boutique pet sitting service.

gets an airy update.

Local USPS workers face pandemiccaused challenges.


Photographed by Caleb Condit and Rebecca Norden


A downtown daiquiri spot is quenching our thirst this summer.

32 Puppy Love We chat with the

24 Stamped


Local chefs share their best beef recipes.

The latest news in

the KC food world.

94 ’Cue Card

A local barbecue

favorite now sells in grocery stores.

27 Calendar 96 Backstory

SPECIAL SECTIONS 71 Dentist Profiles

34 Good Hair Day

Our editor tries the Curly Girl Method.

Far left and far right photo by Kayla Szymanski, center photo by Samantha Levi, illustration by Jocelyn Sands

From the Editor

World Turned Upside Down


he twenties turned out to be quite the decade, huh? We’re only six months in according to the calendar, sure, but it’s already been one of the most eventful periods in recent American history. Our city and country are changing at a pace we haven’t seen in quite some time, casting aside old ways and pushing hard toward the rectification of generations-old wrongs. Seven weeks ago, as we began reporting the news stories in this month’s issue, we never would have predicted an urgent push to rename J.C. Nichols Fountain or wrest control of the city’s police department from a board appointed by the governor in Jefferson City. A year ago, when we started planning this issue, we never could have imagined a global pandemic leading to beef shortages that caused brisket prices to triple. So it goes in an era where things only seem to grow more uncertain by the day. In this month’s issue, you’ll find a beefy cover feature we’ve been working on for the past year, with everything you need to know about picking the perfect steak along with the story behind a Weston ranch run by veterans which has won national fame with its American wagyu. My favorite parts of that package are actually the accoutrements—sidebars, we call them in the biz—including the growing preference for older cows among some elite chefs (page 42) and a local author who writes childrens’ books that tell the stories of Black cowboys (page 52). Following that, we’re proud to be the first local publication to publish a full profile of Widow Von’Du, a KC drag queen who has

been working on her craft on the local scene for a full decade before becoming an overnight star on the just-concluded season of RuPaul’s Drag Race (page 54). We’ve also got a fun little yarn about the Loch Ness Monster of Kansas, which allegedly made its home in The Big Sinkhole (yes, that’s its official government name) outside Inman (page 60). But, of course, we know that in times like these many readers are coming to Kansas City magazine looking for reliable, well-reported and measured information on the topic of police brutality. We’ve documented the city’s peaceful and productive Black Lives Matter protests online, and in our news section you’ll find a story that shares some surprising statistics about police-involved killings (page 22) and analyzes the push to rename the fountain which served as a focal point for many recent demonstrations, named for the father of the city’s redlining scheme (page 20). Decisions made a century ago by the fountain’s namesake, J.C. Nichols, still reverberate through our city, contributing to racial inequity and all of its attendant ills. In times like these, I think it’s important to be mindful of the fact that history has its eyes on us—most of us won’t get a fountain named for us, but the decisions we’re making right now will still be rippling through our society a century from now. Sincerely,

Martin Cizmar, Editor in Chief martin@kansascitymag.com





The year the traditional carnitas taco came to KC

The year Widow Von'Du won her first drag competition, Princess of Kansas City

The percentage of people killed by police using firearms

PA G E 8 8



PA G E 5 4

PA G E 2 2

Illustrations by Natalie Rice

Art and nature are always available At Crystal Bridges and the Momentary

Crystal Bridges | Five centuries of American art The Momentary | Contemporary visual & performing arts


S O C I A L C H AT T E R “They are only holding that sign because they are outnumbered and scared. If they aren’t scared why do they have pepper spray in their hands? Some of you just can’t handle the truth.” —Greg James “Gotta do more than just hold up a sign for a photo op!” —Michael Fabian “Don’t generalize all police officers to be bad!” —Rachel Wenther B L A C K L I V E S M AT T E R P R O T E S T S

The killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes spurred passionate protests across the country. In KC, Black Lives Matter activists gathered at the J.C. Nichols Fountain at Country Club Plaza to speak out against police violence, which led to city officials immediately signing on for reforms to the department. One photo in particular captured the spirit of the local protests, a shot from Twitter user @QuartzKoi that depicted two Kansas City Police Department officers holding a handwritten sign that said “END Police Brutality!!!” The photo, which we reposted on our social media channels, reached over sixty thousand people. With the photo came a number of comments—here’s what readers had to say. “Please stop sharing this picture. I was in attendance and literally MINUTES went by before these EXACT cops were threatening to spray. Enough is enough. Please don’t let these people off the hook for one ~nice~ picture.” — Dale Keith “This is why I love Kansas City! They know how not to act like damned fools.” —Laurie Hayes Caylor “Praying our great city stays peaceful!!” —Renae Fanara



“If cops wanna help bridge this gap, they should turn in their badge. The institution is corrupt.” —Nick Domoney “Way to show the rest just how a ‘protest’ is supposed to be!! That’s my KC!!” —Deborah Mosimann “Peacefully should be the way to protest instead of more violence—and where does standing in solidarity for what is right mean to burn down or trash property of others who did no harm to anyone? Good to see KC people were smarter.” —Lynn M. Rose-Thomson “We don’t need to burn down stores to protest police brutality.” —Kole Murphy “All police are not the one.” —Kim Lyon “And then Sunday and Monday happened.” —Mark Holthaus


Our writeup on Boulevard Drive-In’s opening weekend (read more on page 27). THEY SAID...

Let the grandchildren see what that’s like.... it’ll be fun in the summertime if they ever open up their snack bar but I hope they stay open for a long time.


YAY! A piece of nostalgia while we social distance. I love it! — GRANT ANTHONY

I love that place. Wish I was still living there so I can enjoy it again. — NITA JOHNSON

I haven’t been to the drive-in for years! — MATT FAIR


Kansas City

11775 W. 112th St., Suite 200 Overland Park, Kan. 66210 (913) 469-6700 EMAIL: editor@kansascitymag.com CORRECTIONS: In our June issue, we incorrectly spelled Patrick Klima’s name.

Protest photo by @QuartzKoi, Boulevard Drive-In photo by Zach Bauman

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The Loop L E A D I N G



Demand for Change The death of George Floyd sparked a worldwide outrage for change within the U.S. Justice System. Thousands gathered in June to protest police brutality. Among the biggest rallies was a June 5 rally held outside of Kansas City’s City Hall,

Photo by Paige Eichkorn




attended by U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids of Kansas and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. The crowd chanted “No justice, no peace” as protesters moved toward KCPD Headquarters, which was lined with members of the National Guard. The event culminated with Mayor Lucas signing a pledge to support a list of demands for change, including local control of the KCPD and funding body cameras for all officers. — K AYL A SZ YMANSKI



The Loop

Nichols No More The push to change the name of a fountain and park honoring the architect of the city’s red-lining scheme has reached a boiling point. BY J O R DA N M E I E R

S I N C E 1 9 6 0 , the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain and Parkway on the eastern edge of Country Club Plaza have been prominent features of the city. Last month, when protests broke out over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the fountain also became a gathering place for Black Lives Matter protests. It was ironic given that Nichols is implicated in the city’s deeply rooted structural racism. Jesse Clyde Nichols was a real estate developer in the early twentieth century. His philosophies about race and socioeconomic status led to a century of segregated housing. Nichols developed the Plaza and large swaths of the area surrounding it using restrictive deeds that banned Black people from buying houses. The push to rename the fountain, park and parkway dates back years, but it grew new urgency after June’s protests on the Plaza. Mayor Quinton Lucas tweeted in support of the idea and referred the matter to the parks board.



NE W MUR A L As statues across the country come down, new art goes up. In the Crossroads, a mural by artists Alex Eickhoff (Eye Cough) and Thomas Richmond (Sabertooth) makes a bold statement. The collaged mural shows a line of police in riot gear facing a portrait of civil rights activist James Baldwin and a script reading “Black Lives Matter.”

“I have always consistently disagreed with giving the name of one of Kansas City’s most beautiful fountains— and certainly one that is central to almost every mass civil demonstration that we’ve had for any number of years here—to a man who I don’t think represents what Kansas City is today and what it’s going to be in the future,” Lucas tells Kansas City. “I am a big fan of making sure we at least start a conversation.” The idea was picked up by Chris Goode, KCMO Parks and Recreation Board Commissioner, who released a memo urging the board to take action. Goode proposed renaming the parkway for Martin Luther King Jr. and dubbing the water feature the Dream Fountain. “It’s time for the glorification and celebration of [Nichols’] name to cease,” Goode says. “I think it makes a bold statement when you eradicate the name of an openly known racist individual to then celebrate the name of someone that paid the ultimate sacrifice for this very conversation of unity.” At least some of Nichols’ descendants see it differently. Kansas City attempted to reach four members of the family, with no response. Nichols’ grandson, J.C. Nichols III, who is eighty years old, told the Kansas City Star his grandfather was “doing what he had to do” and that referring to his grandfather as racist is “too simplistic.” “Because it was 1903, he had to have restrictive deeds. Plain and simple,” Nichols III said. “Unfortunately, in order to sell to contractors, you had to say no Black people. It was a fact of life. I don’t think he had any choice. It wasn’t a matter of feeling. He was a businessman and he had to do what he had to do to be successful.”’ The battle may now come down to political power inside the city. J.C. Nichols III—like most other members of his family with a public profile—lives in the suburb of Mission Hills. The Nichols family began divesting from Plaza real estate in 1998, and the Plaza was sold to outof-town real estate companies in 2016. Mayor Lucas told Kansas City that he couldn’t recall interacting with a member of the family. “Our goal is to make our city more reflective of the people that are paying tax dollars into everything that makes us great,” Goode says. Two parks board meetings have been scheduled to debate the topic. Goode is confident the change will happen. “What we know is that things of a long-standing nature can only be uprooted when there is massive unwavering support from those that are not afraid to be ostracized, not afraid to be threatened and not afraid to be pushed off the mark of our goal,” Goode says.



The Loop police have killed more than 860 people in Missouri since 2000.

Know The Numbers Eight surprising stats about police-involved killings that everyone should know. BY J O R DA N M E I E R


The number of documented police killings has doubled nationwide over the last two decades. The trend line has steadily ticked up since 2000, according to Fatal Encounters, a site that compiles data on police-involved deaths. There were just 800 police-involved killings in 2000 and more than 1,700 in 2014—though the oldest records may be less complete, according to Fatal Encounters founder D. Brian Burghart. He says the increase can be linked to police militarization in the wake of 9/11 and to a deteriorating relationship between the police and the public. The nation’s violent crime rate has dropped by about thirty percent over the same period, according to the FBI.




Percentage of people killed by police using firearms, according to Fatal Encounters. Of the remaining thirty-three percent, seventeen percent are killed in a policerelated vehicle accident. Burghart says that people are often surprised by the number of people killed by car accidents involving police. “In our society, with basically one hundred-percent surveillance, they don’t really need to chase anybody who’s not actively shooting out of their car,” he says. “The vast, vast majority of chase deaths don’t need to happen.”

No. 8

Missouri is ranked the eighth deadliest state in the U.S. for police killings. According to Fatal Encounters,


American children under the age of twelve killed during an interaction with law enforcement since 2000. Most are killed in police-involved car crashes. “In car chases, you got the cop, you got the guy who’s being pursued, and you’ve got anybody else on the street that could potentially get hit,” Burghart says.

Burghart says cops are not frequently charged because so many deaths are accidents or justified, but law enforcement agencies need to be more forthcoming. “The problem is that because police are police, they tend to not be transparent,” he says. “If our culture had a way to publicly examine these killings, I think we’d have a lot

the nonprofit Police Foundation. The same survey found that sixty-eight percent of police officers reported seeing physical force used in response to verbal abuse.

less anger about it. When you hide stuff, it makes people suspicious.”

allegations to the federal government. “The way our country’s set up, it’s hard for the federal government to mandate things of individual law enforcement agencies or even states,” he says. “Who’s going to tell stories on themselves that they believe are going to make them look bad? That’s not what people do.”


Percent of police departments nationwide that voluntarily track and report police misconduct


People killed by KCMO police since 2000—second highest of any department in either Kansas or Missouri. According to Fatal Encounters, St. Louis City police have killed 147. Burghart says Kansas City stats are harder to accurately track because police officers routinely cross borders during pursuits.


Percentage of policeinvolved killings that result in an arrest or indictment of the officer, according to Cop Crisis, a nonprofit that tracks police violence. Nationwide, only thirty-five officers have been convicted in an on-duty killing since 2000, according to the group.


Percent of police who reported they have witnessed fellow officers using more force than necessary, according to an anonymous survey conducted by

Photo Illustration by Jack Raybuck


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The Loop

“I generally work pretty close to around eleven hours [a day].”

Carried Away The coronavirus pandemic has increased pressure on the USPS and led to brutal conditions for local letter carriers. BY J O R DA N M E I E R

DID YOU K NOW ? USPS has around 500,000 employees nationwide and there are over 21,000 in Kansas and Missouri alone.


S O M E D AY S , I T ’ S T H R E E in the morning when Ron Ford, a United States Postal Service letter carrier, starts work in south Johnson County. Through winter snowdrifts and scorching summer temperatures he delivers mail and packages all over town, only stopping after his last priority package is delivered, sometimes at nine or ten at night. “I generally work pretty close to around eleven hours [a day],” he says. “At least ten.” Ford has worked for USPS for twenty-four years on various routes, and during that time he’s seen and learned a lot. “I’ve always said that if the general public knew what us, the letter carriers, know, they would be furious,” he says. “They would be outraged.”


Local letter carriers are currently caught in the middle of a bitter political squabble. The postal service was enshrined in our Constitution, but a 2006 law that forced the agency to prepay billions in retiree benefits has left it more than $160 billion in debt. The coronavirus crisis had led to a steep dropoff in traditional first-class mail deliveries but increased demand for unprofitable package delivery—Amazon, for example, enjoys a “confidential” arrangement with USPS thought to be very beneficial to the mega-retailer. With the USPS facing bankruptcy, there’s a hiring freeze in place, and local letter carriers have been working brutal hours to get mail delivered. Congress is split on the prospects of a bailout, with the money becoming a political football in tense negotiations. Without the bailout, hundreds of thousands of jobs are on the line, as well as a lifeline for some communities come September, when USPS would run out of money. “It’s frustrating,” says Antoinette Robinson, president of Kansas City’s postal workers union. “We are essential for the community. We deliver medicine, we deliver medical supplies, we deliver everything, anything. That’s what we do. So for us not to be included for funding during this time, it’s very frustrating. We’re coming to work, we’re doing our job, we’re in the Constitution. We’re a community service. That’s what we were put here for.” On the other hand, some workers do think a bailout would force USPS to face the fact that things need to change, namely that their package delivery rates need to increase to match UPS and FedEx. However, frontline workers like Ford also say that forgoing a bailout wouldn’t have as big an effect as people think. “They keep saying if they don’t give us the bailout that in October, we’ll be insolvent,” Ford says. “I’m here to tell you that it is the biggest lie. I mean, the checks, the titles, the birthday cards all still have to be delivered. What are they going to do—shut the post office down and let all that mail just sit there? The general public would not allow it.”

Illustration by Jocelyn Sands

Av i a t i o n






July WH ER E







Backup to the Future When Boulevard Drive-In opened in 1950, it was at the center of youth and family culture. Flocks of kids would come to the drive-in on the weekends. Even as drive-up culture faded over the decades—from four thousand theaters across the country in the late fifties to just three hundred today—Boulevard has remained open, screening first-run movies with a heavy dose of nostalgia. Owner Wes Neal is ninetytwo years old and started working at the drive-in in 1954 as a ramp boy. He worked his way up to manager before buying Boulevard in the 1980s. Wes Neal’s grandson Brian Neal and his family have taken over some day-to-day operations. Brian remembers growing up at the drive-in watching movies like Batman and Purple Rain in a crowded field on a summer night. “The atmosphere brings you back to a time to the ’50s and ’60s,” Brian says. “It’s about being social.” — J O RDAN M EI ER GO: Boulevard Drive-In, 1051 Merriam Lane, KCK. Movies show every Friday through Sunday.

Photo by Zach Bauman



July W H AT




D 0



Eyes on the Sky This month’s summer sky is a smorgasbord for stargazers. BY J O R DA N M E I E R


are typically filled with trips to the farmers market, weekends at the lake and Friday nights at the K. This summer is, of course, anything but typical. So instead, try looking up to the night sky, as people did in the days before on-demand streaming and video games. “Personally, summer is my favorite time to watch the skies,” says Chuck Leary, an educator at the Cosmosphere Planetarium in Hutchinson. “The big reason is the Milky Way core, which is visible toward the south during the summer.” For Kansas City stargazers, July 2020 happens to be particularly packed with notable astronomical events, including a partial lunar eclipse, a meteor shower and some top-notch constellations.



Above: Milky Way core. Right: Mushroom Rock. Photos by Chuck McClary, McClary Photography


PARTIAL LUNAR ECLIPSE On July 5 at approximately 11 pm, a partial lunar eclipse will be visible from Kansas City. A partial eclipse happens when the Earth comes between the sun and the moon but the three bodies do not make a straight line. DELTA AQUARIIDS METEOR SHOWER One of the biggest astronomical events of July is the Delta Aquariids Meteor Shower. The shower starts on July 12 and goes through August, with a peak on July 28 and 29, when you can expect about twenty bright meteors streaking across the sky every hour. The meteors will be concentrated in the south but will fall across the sky. SATURN AND JUPITER In mid-July, the two biggest planets in our solar system will be more visible from Earth as their orbits bring them closest to Earth. To find it: Look to the southeast for two bright lights that are not twinkling like stars. Saturn will appear very large and golden, and Jupiter should be easy to find, as it is the second brightest light in the sky. SCORPIUS If you or your kids love the Disney movie Moana, you may enjoy looking for the Scorpius constellation at its peak visibility. The shape of the constellation is a near-direct replica of Maui’s hook from the movie. To find

Illustration by Natalie Rice

it: Face south and look for a ‘J’ shape near the horizon. When you see a red star, you know you’ve found it.

To stargaze seriously, you want to get at least an hour away from any large city, half an hour from a mediumsized town and about fifteen minutes from a small town. A field that’s down a dirt road or the shores of a country fishing lake would be ideal. For stargazing in KC, astronomer Chuck Leary recommends driving south of the city instead of west or east. “This way when you look south toward the Milky Way core, KC’s light pollution will be behind you rather than blocking your view.” You need to give your eyes time to adapt to the dark, which can take a half hour. The best time to start stargazing is an hour or two after dark. The moon also produces its own light pollution, so your best views will come during the new moon.

HERCULES Named after the hero from Greek mythology, Hercules is another major constellation that becomes more visible during the summer. This constellation looks like a square with four legs coming off it, with the center square being the brightest part. To find it: Look straight up and locate a square of bright stars. This is the center of the constellation. From there you should be able to see the rest of it.

MILKY WAY The Milky Way isn’t just the caramelly, nuggety center of a candy bar. It’s the center of our galaxy where there’s a supermassive black hole. When you see something that looks like a cloud or fog amongst the stars, you’ve found it. To find it: The easiest way to see the Milky Way core in the summer is to face south and find the Scorpius constellation, then look to the left. SAGITTARIUS One of the most iconic constellations in a summer sky, this constellation is easily identified by its teapot shape. It’s located very close to the Scorpius constellation. To find it: Face south, locate the Scorpius constellation, and look for the teapot shape that’s right next to it.

FIRS T T IME S TA RG A ZING ? HERE ’ S W H AT TO BRING • A star chart, or apps like Starwalk and Google Sky Maps to help you decipher what you are seeing in the night sky • B inoculars. A telescope isn’t necessary but can be fun. • B lankets and a sweatshirt. Nights in the Midwest can be chilly, and you want to be able to enjoy the stars as long as possible. • A compass. A lot of directions to find constellations use north, south, east and west, so having a compass handy will make it easier to locate them. • A red-light flashlight. A normal flashlight will ruin your eyes’ adaptation to the dark. Use a red light or tape a red piece of paper over a normal flashlight to maintain your night vision. • B ug spray. It’s summer and you’re probably in a field… do the math.




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Sway C U R AT I N G




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A Dog’s Life


A boutique pet sitter builds a successful brand from scratch. BY N I C O L E B R A D L E Y


entrepreneur, Katie Kenton worked nine to five as a dental assistant. Today, she has what most would consider a dream job—she hangs out with dogs all day. Kenton’s inspiration for her aptly named at-home pet sitting and walking business, Katie’s Kennel, started when she’d watch her friends’ dogs when they were out of town. Her own German shepherd husky mix, Ghost, also played a huge factor in her decision to quit her job at a dentist’s office to start her dog sitting business. “When I’d travel, it would always break my heart to leave him somewhere or kennel him,” she says. Katie’s Kennel’s sunny branding, active social media presence and strong sense of community and relationships has brought in hundreds of clients in its two-year run so far, including high-profile furry friends (eagle eyes will note tags of @steel_ silver_mahomes on their Instagram). And with the influx of animals adopted during the coronavirus pandemic, her business is bound to bring in more furry clients in the near future.



What was the biggest struggle in getting your business off the ground? I think the hardest thing was just figuring out how to run a business. It’s very scary to quit your full-time job only to have the uncertainty of making any money. Figuring out how to build a clientele was probably the biggest hurdle I’ve had to overcome. I think what has made us so successful is having a big presence on social media.

What was it like building that social media following and brand distinction? The brand has definitely grown over time. When I first started, I knew I wanted to utilize Instagram. I always say that a picture’s worth a thousand words. And when owners can see their dogs going on walks or having fun on a house sit, it kind of gives them that special feeling like their dog’s a celebrity. Our Instagram story is something we really try to hype up. As far as my overall brand-

ing goes, it’s come a long way. When I first started, I had some business cards I made on Vistaprint that weren’t very pretty. I wanted to make my brand stand out. I would definitely recommend having someone in place to help with marketing and design—it’s definitely taken my brand to the next level.

What has been the biggest milestone of Katie’s Kennel so far? I think probably our one-year mark last year. We had a little get-together and had such a great turnout with all of our clients. It just felt so rewarding. I just felt like, “Wow, we really made it.”

What brings you joy in your work? It’s so fun to see a dog build confidence through a walk or a playdate. That’s the most rewarding thing to me. Everyone always says that I have the best job. I can’t lie, I really do. I get to hang out with dogs all day!

The Peanut I served there years back and it is still, to this day, one of my favorite restaurants in the Kansas City area. Of course the wings are wonderful, but you always see a friendly face when you’re there. Bar K I think Bar K has been so fun, especially for our little community. They have created something so very special and we’re lucky to be able to use their facility and work with them. Every Friday at Bar K is Frenchie Friday and a handful of our Frenchie clients show up. Kansas City Chiefs I mean, who doesn’t love the Chiefs? Especially after their Super Bowl win. That game was so, so exciting.

Photography by Samantha Levi

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Sway I Clarified

The only time you’re allowed to use products with sulfates in the CGM is when you clarify to get rid of scalp buildup. (Sulfates often found in shampoos are the same ones in dish detergents designed to lift grease from dirty dishes. They strip moisture out of hair.) I use a clarifying shampoo about once every two weeks, and I’ve found that it makes my hair feel lighter and my scalp less itchy.

I Evaluated My Products

Curly Cue My continuing journey with the Curly Girl Method BY N I C O L E B R A D L E Y

W H E N I WA S E I G H T E E N Y E A R S O L D , my

curly hair disappeared. Until that point, I’d had curly hair that many gushed over: It had just the right amount of coil and shine and would bounce up and down when I did. I don’t know if it was a change in water, but when I moved to another state for college, my Shirley Temple locks fell flat. And it wasn’t a shiny, waterfall W H AT I USE flow like that of a Pantene model— Keep in mind that it was more so alternating layers of everyone’s mane kinky curls and frizzy strands. In is different, response, I reached for hot tools. so my hair’s godsends could Even after I laid off the flat iron be your hair’s and gradually shifted to more natural kryptonite. hair products in recent years, my • Neutrogena curls never bounced back. So when T/Sal Therapeutic I heard about the Curly Girl Method Shampoo via a Facebook post a few months ago, • Kristin Ess I couldn’t help but dig in more. The Shine Enhancing CGM is a scientific approach to hair Shampoo and Conditioner care that swaps out damaging tools • As I Am Leave-in and harmful ingredients for proteins Conditioner and regimens to help enhance your hair’s natural curl pattern. • Curls Creme Brule Whipped After scouring countless articles, Curl Cream YouTube videos and Facebook groups • Eco Styler on the CGM, I decided to try it out Professional myself. Here are some steps that Styling Gel have worked for me—and made me • Tiri Pro learn my hair all over again. Hair Dryer



The CGM recommends cutting sulfates, parabens, silicones and alcohols out of your hair care routine. I use Curlsbot.com, an ingredients analysis engine where you type or paste in ingredients and the engine tells you whether or not they are CGM approved. This was a lifesaver—more than once, I’ve found myself standing in the hair care aisle at Target cross-checking ingredients on the back of shampoo bottles. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is that just because a product is labeled “natural” doesn’t mean it’s CGM-friendly. A so-called natural conditioner that I have sworn by

for months listed Amodimethicone as an ingredient, a silicone that can block the hair follicle from receiving nutrients, water and air, in turn stunting hair growth and contributing to hair loss. Along with a CGM-friendly shampoo and conditioner, I invested in a leave-in conditioner and a hair gel (which was a hard sell at first—my mind went to my eighth grade school picture, where you could practically hear my hair crunching through the yearbook page).

I Ditched My Brush

For non-curly heads, the thought of never brushing your hair might seem almost disgraceful. But brushes are not CGM-friendly, as the bristles separate bonds of hair and can damage hair cuticles holding curls together. I’ve been carefully brushing with my fingers while my hair is still wet in the shower so knots don’t get out of hand.

I Altered My Post-Shower Routine

Before my Curly Girl journey, I would simply get out of the shower, brush out my hair and call it good. But after studying the beautifully bouncy-haired CGM experts, I learned that what I was doing wasn’t enough. Once I get out of the shower, I spread gel flat onto my hair using my palms (a CGM YouTuber referred to this as “praying hands”) to evenly distribute it—this step will bond hair strands together to curl. Then, I rub a little bit of that same gel into my

hands and start scrunching my hair from the ends all the way up to my scalp. After all this, I “plop” my wet hair (a fancy word for gently wrapping it in a T-shirt instead of a towel because the harsh fibers in towels can make hair frizzy) for twenty minutes or so. I finish by gently blow drying my curls on low heat and with a diffuser until my hair is seventy percent dry.

Illustrations by Jocelyn Sands


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Hard Refresh How a designer flipped a moody Overland Park home into a bright and airy abode. BY N I C O L E B R A D L E Y | P H OTO S BY N AT E S H E E T S

W H E N S H E S TA R T E D her interior design business

twenty-five years ago, Mary Luther struggled to come up with a business name. The name of her favorite childhood book, Look Through My Window, stayed with her and was seemingly the perfect metaphor for her business. “I couldn’t come up with a good title and I thought, ‘Why does this keep sticking?’” Luther says. “So I went with it. I stayed with Look Through My Window Interiors for a long time.” Although she’s since shifted to Mary Luther Designs, the early days and continued growth of her business will always have a piece of her heart. Luther describes her design style as comfortable yet eclectic. Before she got her hands on this Overland Park home, it was packed with dark woods, moody colors, stucco walls and Gothic fixtures. See how she turned it into a bright space filled with character.



HEARTH “This room was kind of difficult because it’s small but it’s tall and it has that doorway in the back,” Luther says. “I had to figure out a way to get to that doorway and not block it off while maximizing seat capacity, which required working a lot with dimensions.” 1 Wall Art and Drapes:

“Art was tough in here because, although it was easy to do so, I didn’t want to go blacks and whites,” Luther says. Another challenge was the sheer amount of space to fill on this wall. These ethereal oceanic large-format color photographs did the trick. Instead of reaching for white drapes, Luther played off the water shore theme with sandtoned linens.

2 Pillows: Instead of relying

solely on colors and shapes in linens, Luther focuses on textural balance in her design. This diamond-printed velvet fabric was Luther’s starting point in this room. “I love it, but you don’t need a ton of it,” she says.

3 Settee and Bench:

The tufted settee in front of the windows fulfills the homeowners’ wishes of the room having a traditional feel, and the bench at the opening of the room is functional but short enough to keep the space airy.

4 Chandelier: Instead of

matching them to ones in other rooms, Luther likes to pick light fixtures that fit well and stand out in their designated space. “It’s also kind of like a sculpture,” Luther says of this old Hollywood glamour piece.



Lights and Wallpaper:

1 Chair: Luther’s

The curved shape of the bracelet lights hanging on either side of the sink match the wallpaper pattern, which is made with tiny pieces of sand and glass.

standby for every comfortable living space is a swivel chair. It can face the couches for conversation but also easily turn to face the television.


2 Windows: Before


the renovation, these windows had blinds, which obstructed the foresty backyard scenery. “It’s such a great view,” Luther says. “It’s like being in a tree house.” 3 Ottoman: The saddle


leather ottoman is a functional statement in the room and pairs well with the creamywhite couches.



1 Backsplash: Luther


was on the hunt for a backsplash tile that wasn’t stark monochrome white but at the same time wasn’t too busy. She found the perfect compromise in this shaded and shiny gray tile.

2 Dishes: The homeowner

has a collection of colorful Italian hand-painted Vietri dishes, which are on display in the glassfront cabinets.



1 Best Steakhouse VOTED


aged 21-days hand-cut daily grilled over charcoal




• l a c o L d e fi i Cert ince 1957 s



One city’s epic love affair with beef, from steak strips to sliders.

Photography By Caleb Condit & Rebecca Norden, Ryan Strong and Kayla Szymanski

Picking a Steak

Prime Territory You’re in the heart of the beef belt, surrounded by the world’s finest steaks. It’s time to eat like it. By Matthew Korfhage


steak is just a slab of meat. You cut it from the middle of a cow, you sear it over actual fire, and then you eat it with salt and pepper. You don’t dress it up in pigtails, and there’s no covering it over with sauce unless you’re French or ashamed. At its pinnacle, the all-American steak stands alone. It is almost foolish in its honesty. It is only what it is: naked, tender beef. Buy a flavor-free hunk of meat and there’s no real way to hide what you’ve done. In Kansas City, the crossroads of cattle-prodding America, you’ve got hundreds of years of beef-bred civilization on your side. To the untrained eye, a steak might appear primitive. But the lineage of each cut is vetted like English royalty. You want Angus, Wagyu and Hereford, easy-keeping cattle born to get fat. Each individual match between cow and bull has been fretted over by a breeder. And yet, that’s just the beginning. “Genetics alone don’t make a good steak,” says fifth-generation butcher Joe Bichelmeyer, who raises and slaughters beef at his seventy-four-year-old butcher shop, Bichelmeyer Meats, in KCK. “It matters how it’s fed from weaning, how much per day, how many days it’s fed.” It also matters how the beef is slaughtered and how it’s been aged. If you want to know how good a cut of steak will taste before you cook it, you might as well ask for its birth

certificate and seven references. Or you can ask your butcher. So that’s what we did. We asked a Missouri rancher and a pair of Kansas City’s most respected butchers what everybody’s getting wrong about how they pick out a good steak. All of them started with the same advice: Don’t buy from a supermarket if you’re out to impress anybody. Here’s the rest of what they said. STOP COOKING ALL YOUR STEAKS THE SAME WAY Grilling steak isn’t communism. You can’t treat all cuts the same. “Certain people, they say, ‘I gotta have my steak rare,’” says Stuart Aldridge, who spent years as a chef at The Rieger and other restaurants before taking over the lauded Broadway Butcher Shop in Westport. “OK, if you’re cooking a filet, you want it rare, but a strip steak, you want to cook it more midrare. And ribeye, more pushing medium.” A tender, lean cut like filet mignon wants to be rare. It is lazy muscle. You should leave it alone. But cuts with more fat and connective tissue do better when they’re cooked a little longer so you can properly render them out. God help you if you eat a skirt steak rare. A ribeye is a prince among steaks, but it is also complex—maybe even a little repressed. Your job, as a proper meat steward, is to release the delicious depth buried in all those collagens and lipids. Cook it close to medium and you’re not

ruining the meat: You’re trading one kind of succulence for another. “You have to break down those fibers a little, the connective tissue,” Aldridge says. “The ribeye, if you go from the chuck side, you have that nice kernel of fat. You gotta warm that up more. If I was gonna eat from the opposite end, the leaner side? I’ll take that more mid-rare.” Conversely, if you know you like steak rare, you might be the kind of person who likes filet. DON’T TRUST YOUR EYES “The wrong assumption people make?” Bichelmeyer says. “They look at a steak at a meat counter that meets their eye appeal and they think it will taste good. Then they take it home and they are disappointed in the flavor or the tenderness.” Marbling is richness and it is juiciness. The external layer of fat, on the other hand, you can mostly ignore. Bichelmeyer


Mature Meat

The newest trend in beef? Old cows. Most beef cattle are slaughtered within two years after fast fattening. Your beef is young and it is oh-so tender. Dairy cows, who gave their whole being to milk, are considered too tough for steak. Instead, they become burgers. Well, not anymore. Enter the “mature meat movement.” Inspired by the Spanish cider country tradition of “vaca vieja,” famed restaurants like Dan Barber’s Blue Hill and the Vegas steakhouse of celeb chef José Andrés have lately been touting

the clean, milky, balanced flavor of older beef. According to a 2019 article in Modern Farmer, a steak from a six-year-old, grass-fed Holstein dairy cow can now fetch $325 at Michelin-starred restaurants. Is the beef as tender as young, marbled, Prime Hereford? Probably not. Chefs say it’s all about the flavor: It’s more nuanced without the iron-y or oily off notes of some young beef. And the depth shows up in the meat’s luscious, burgundy color. Apparently, cattle age like wine. Illustration by Natalie Rice

advises you pay attention only to the fat on the interior of the muscle, the dabs of whiteness amid the meat fibers. Some say the real flavor comes from invisible phospholipids, micro-fat you can’t see. The most common sin among supermarket meat, Bicehlmeyer says, is how it’s been treated after it’s slaughtered. That’s something you can’t see in the packaging. “It might not be that it’s not good meat,” Bichelmeyer says. “It may not have been aged properly and been given the opportunity for the muscles to break down.” What you want is steak that’s been dry-aged for at least two weeks, drawing moisture out of the meat to condense flavor and make it beefier than beef, Bichelmeyer says. Dry-aging also allows the beef’s own enzymes to break down the muscle and connective tissues to tenderize the meat and develop a nutty flavor. OK, BUT SERIOUSLY: WHAT SHOULD A GOOD STEAK LOOK LIKE? “You want to make sure there are no rings around the meat, no discoloration anywhere,” Aldridge says. “You want the fat to be all one white uniform color—nice and white, not discolored or murky. And you want the color of the meat to be pretty vibrant.” If the steak is grass-finished, he notes, the fat will be a creamy yellow from the beta carotene found in grass. MARBLING ISN’T EVERYTHING Marbling is the most talked-about quality of a good steak—the intramuscular layerings of fat that denote an abundance of flavor and juice. But it’s not the only thing that matters. Aldridge doesn’t get too excited, for example, when someone shows him a picture of A5 Wagyu from Japan. That beef is famous for its fatty tenderness, with meat as





What do the pros eat? Here are the cuts local beef experts like to grill in their own backyards.

Stuart Aldridge: STRIP STEAK “I'm not a huge fan of the fat that comes with a ribeye. I really enjoy our dry-aged strip. Wonderful beefy flavor, not as tender as a filet but so much more flavor. I am a preacher of just salt, pepper and love as steak seasoning.”

Joe Bichelmeyer: RIBEYE “Most meat people would be prone to ribeye. It’s a better-marbled muscle, therefore more flavorful and tender. There’s more variation in tenderness for strip steak than ribeye for me. But I’m uniquely spoiled. I get the best.”

Art Ozias: FILET MIGNON OR BONE-IN T-BONE “Filet is very tender, easy to eat. T-bone is rich with fat and the bone adds to umami.”



marbled as the Parthenon. The Kobe version has become mythical: Ranchers are falsely rumored to pamper their Wagyu cattle with back massages and feed them beer and sake. Aldridge doesn’t carry it at Broadway Butcher Shop. “We have access to the A5 Wagyu,” Aldridge says, “but I’d be hesitant to bring it in. If you cook that stuff wrong, it’s just greasy.” What Aldridge looks for instead is a divine balance among fattiness, firmness and flavor. He tastes all his meat blind and loved a batch of less-fatty Akaushi Wagyu from Texas. “I’d never brought it in. It’s expensive," he says. “And the one thing we noticed on these filets: They weren’t necessarily super marbled, but my God, were they really good. I preferred them at a lower temperature. The fat was actually more malleable and it rendered out at a lower temperature more easily.” USDA CHOICE BEEF IS OFTEN BETTER THAN PRIME BEEF Prime beef is the highest grade of beef granted by the USDA, the fattiest of the fatted cattle. But for his ribeyes, Aldridge sticks to Choice, the next grade down. “I like the marbling on my Choice,” Aldridge says. “I don’t feel the need to use a more expensive product when what I have might get better results.” The USDA has the approximate priorities of your grandmother: They’d like to see some fat on your ribs. Specifically, beef is graded according to the amount of marbling between the twelfth and thirteenth ribs. Breed and feed, on the other hand, don’t matter. And so young beef with less character can often get sold as expensive Prime just because it’s fatty, not because it’s better. The market has responded to the USDA’s love of the fatness. Even a decade ago, Prime meat was only around two percent of beef sold. Now, it’s nine percent. Choice beef, meanwhile, composes well over half the market and has a much bigger variance in quality. The worst is certainly worse. But the best Choice is often better than the Prime you could get at a meat market, especially after the well-connected steakhouses have taken first dibs on the prime Prime cuts. MORE TENDER DOESN’T NECESSARILY MEAN MORE FLAVORFUL “I think tenderness and flavor don’t always go hand in hand,” Aldridge says. “Filet mignon is very tender, but it’s not the most flavorful cut because that animal hasn’t used that muscle. Ribeye or striploin, those have good fat. They’re not as tender, but there’s a little more to them.” As a brief anatomy lesson, the filet is the little strip of muscle along a cow’s spine, charged only with maintaining posture. It is gentle

meat with excellent manners. And oh Lord, it has its merits. But it lacks the character built by hard work. Art Ozias, a former schoolteacher who raises grass-finished beef at Breezy Hill Farm in Centerville, Missouri, has a word for beef prized only for its tenderness: mushy. He spits out the word with distaste, eager to have it gone from his mouth. “People want to know how mushy it is, whether they can chew it up,” Ozias says. Ozias says his grass-finished steaks are leaner but contain more flavor. They just need some lower, slower cooking to render out the fat. “Feedlot cows are mushier, less textured protein,” Ozias says. “Some of that is the development of the muscle protein of an animal. Think of a weightlifter: Someone who hasn’t been exercising would be mushier.” GRASS-FINISHED BEEF HAS TERROIR Grass-finished beef is like the fine wine of steaks, Ozias says. It shows not just the breed of a cow but where it’s raised. “What you get at the grocery store, we call it McBeef,” Ozias says. “It’s the same in Warrensburg, Missouri, or Las Vegas. It’s the same Angus genetics, fed the same profile of corn and soybeans and other additives. The only difference between the steak in Warrensburg and the one from the supermarket is fifteen-hundred miles.” Grass-finished beef, Ozias says, is leaner and full of nutrients derived from grass and soil. What it lacks in the marbling gained from corn fattening, it gains in complex taste gained from the local landscape. A cut of grass-finished beef is thick with flavor compounds. “It’s based on what they eat,” Ozias says. “My soil profile is different from someone in Cole Camp or in Racine, Kansas. Those grasses are different from what I have. It’s called terroir in grapes and it’s based on where the grape is raised: the soil profile or the minerals. It’s the same with grass-finished beef.” Among beef, a low-and-slow-cooked grass-fed steak is as close as beef gets to fine art. Unfortunately, not everyone is an art lover. Grain-finished steaks are much more popular with customers, the butchers we’ve talked to say. Especially for steaks, customers tend to prefer the reliability, the familiar flavor and the husky marbling of grain-finished beef—though with ground beef and roasts, grass-finished often fares better among the masses. “Most commercial beef isn’t grass-finished, so people have no palate for it; it throws them for a loop,” Aldridge says. “Typically, grassfinished has a twang to it. It’ll be different from grain-finished. It’ll have a more strong beef flavor. Some people like it and some people don’t.”

Rawhide and Seek: Five great local beef jerkys By Bryce Bailey

CEDAR CREEK BEEF JERKY El Dorado Springs, $8 per bag Cedar Creek Beef Jerky comes from El Dorado Springs, about a hundred miles south of KC. The jerky comes in five flavors, but if you’re looking to try something outside of the box, check out the Hot-T-Yaki, which is a spicier teriyaki. Look for Cedar Creek jerky in Hy-Vee gas stations around Kansas City.

THE UPPER CUT KC KCMO, $9.25 per bag The Upper Cut KC is a high-end butcher shop in the far northwestern wilds of KCMO, north of Liberty. It’s definitely worth the trip (see our burger taste-off, page 51). The beef jerky is the perfect mix of toughness and tenderness, and it’s seasoned and smoked to create a flavor that sticks with you.

LOCAL PIG KCMO, $6 per bag The beef jerky at the Local Pig was meant to be a one-off batch, but it became a fixture at the River Market shop. The shop starts with the tougher hind legs of a cow, then puts the meat through a rigorous process that involves freezing, half-thawing, drying, a multi-day marinade and, finally, smoking in an extended low-temperature hot smoke until it’s packed with flavor.

BICHELMEYER MEATS KCK, $20 per half pound (or sold individually by weight) Bichelmeyer is a generations-old butcher shop in the Armourdale neighborhood of KCK that provides hand-cut meat from its own ranch. Bichelmeyer’s beef jerky is thick and tender, offering a satisfying chewability and just the right amount of smokiness.

CRAFT BEER JERKY KCMO, $7 per bag Craft Beer Jerky is what it sounds like: Makers Danny Kueser and Chase Schaffter marinate Midwest-grown Black Angus beef in local craft beers like Cinder Block’s Pavers Porter. The alcohol evaporates during the drying process, but the flavor remains.


Where Cows Come From

A Breed Apart A team of combat veterans in Weston ranch some of the nation’s most renowned beef. By Jordan Meier


n a cloudy day near the end of May, Patrick Montgomery, Kale Swing and Tyler Hines of KC Cattle Company traverse their hilly three-hundred-acre property on the edge of Weston, searching for one of their four newborn calves. “Why don’t you go check the tall grass over there?” says owner Patrick Montgomery, gesturing toward a fence on top of a hill. Apparently this mama cow isn’t very good at keeping track of her calf. So the whole team is out in the field armed with boots and two four-wheelers. “Mama, where’s your calf at?” Montgomery says to one of his cows, a crossbreed of American Angus and Japanese Wagyu. “Stop leaving her.” KC Cattle Company started in 2016 as an artisan beef company selling mouthwatering Wagyu beef. They’ve gotten national coverage from Forbes and the New York Times and won a nationwide hot dog taste-test conducted by Food & Wine. But more compelling than their burgers and steaks is the company’s story. Montgomery, like his other employees, is a veteran of the armed services. He served two tours of Afghanistan as part of the Army’s 1st Ranger Battalion. Like so many veterans, he says, he didn’t know what to do once he got out. “I think when it comes to the transition from military to civilian life, the government does a really good job of teaching us the logistics of doing that—like having a plan to go back to school or finding some type of other employment,” he says. “But what they don't prep you for is the fact that you're losing that fraternity, that brotherhood and sisterhood experience. That’s the part I really struggled with.”


Which is partly what led him to go back and get his degree in animal sciences from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He had planned to become a veterinarian. “I love large animal medicine, but there’s just not a ton of money in it,” he says. Luckily, he also studied entrepreneurship. An idea came to him. “One of the common themes I kept hearing while I was in ag school was that the consumer just doesn’t understand where their food comes from and the

“One of the common themes I kept hearing while I was in ag school was that the consumer just doesn’t understand where their food comes from and the processes that go into, you know, raising a good steak.” processes that go into raising a good steak,” he says. “So I kind of had this epiphany that I could start something that explains that process and shows people a palpable difference in their food.” That was the spark that grew into his Weston ranch. When Montgomery began his business, Wagyu beef wasn’t well-known in Kansas City. The first two years were rough, Montgomery says, as he learned from mistakes and slowly won customers with his premium product. “We were trying to sell to restaurants pretty heavily at that point, and it just wasn’t working out,” he says. “So in 2018, we kind of changed our whole business

model and really started focusing on the end consumer and dialing into mail order and our local delivery service, and that's where we found our niche.” As Montgomery started to shift his business, people were also starting to discover just how good his product was. KC Cattle Company sells American Wagyu beef products. “Wagyu” means black cow in Japanese and refers to a type of beef that has been bred for marbling to give it a unique taste and texture. Japanese Wagyu beef is at the tippy-top of the luxury market, and steaks often fetch more than one hundred dollars each. American Wagyu beef, like the cows raised by KC Cattle Company, is a hybrid of a Wagyu and an American Angus. The ranch started by buying calves from a breeder in western Kansas. As the company grows, it’s hoping to establish its own breeding program to keep the ranch stocked with sixty cows at a time. “We want to provide a top-quality protein product that gives us the opportunity to serve the communities around us,” says Kale Swing, the company’s spokesman. KC Cattle Company sells classic cuts like filet mignon, sirloin steak and ground beef, but it also sells more specialty products like bratwursts, flat iron steak, hanger steak and its most famous product—Wagyu beef hot dogs, which were blasted into stardom after they were named the best hot dog in the world by Food & Wine Magazine. In the article, they are described as basically “like eating a steak in a bun.” Before the article dropped, Montgomery says that people thought he was crazy for putting Wagyu beef in a hot dog. “It was actually our worst seller,” he says. “Before that article, we had done a test batch with about three hundred to four hundred pounds worth of hot dogs, and that lasted us three months. And then when the hot dog article hit, we allowed back-ordering at that point, and we sold around seventy-five hundred packages. It was cool, but it also almost




killed our business.” After that explosion in business, Montgomery had to bring in extra help just to package orders—fellow veterans Kale Swing and Tyler Hines. Swing, who is now a full-time employee, was first a customer of KC Cattle Company before he started working there. Swing served in the Navy doing small boat riverine warfare until 2013, when he got out. From 2014 until 2019 he worked in SWAT, but even before he started working with Montgomery, he knew he wanted to work with KC Cattle Company. “Ironically, six months earlier, I brought my boys out here to see the farm, and my wife and I are driving home with kids and I said, ‘You know, if the opportunity ever presented itself to work for KC Cattle Company, I think I would just drop everything that I'm doing and go do it,’” Swing says. That’s what he did. Tyler Hines, the third full-time employee, had just gotten out of the Army in June of 2019 and was waiting for his FBI start date. He was looking to kill time and make some money when he heard that Montgomery needed help packaging orders and would pay twelve bucks an hour. Hines started working there and liked it so much he never left. “I instantly fell in love with the company, the atmosphere,” Hines says. “I loved everything about it. Being from a military law enforcement style background, to kind of transition to this was just so freeing and relaxing and satisfying.” Montgomery says hiring veterans just made sense to him.

Cowtown: The Ultimate Compliment In the late 1870s, Kansas City was a cowtown. The West Bottoms were home to the second largest stockyard complex in the country. Kansas City sits in the center of the country but also on the edge of one of the largest grasslands of the planet, with cattle drives crossing the open range from Canada to Mexico.

“I loved the camaraderie and having a group of people that I was with every single day, and I missed that,” he says. “I saw the benefit of starting this company and the challenges it presented to me throughout the first two years, which was really just me, and so when we started bringing people on, I just thought it made sense to give other veterans that chance and help build something that's a legacy for Kansas City.” The three of them have leaned into their military experience and let it influence how they run the business. Montgomery says one of the biggest things they brought from their military experience that has made them successful is their ability to adapt. “In the military, they say ‘the best playbook in the world goes out the window when the first shot is fired,’” Montgomery says. The three of them do a daily workout together every morning at six-thirty, which they say they did while they were serving. They even have a gym in their office. “I always hated it in the military,” Hines says. “But now that nobody's telling me what to do, I do it voluntarily.” Their common experience serving the country has created a business that is built on something stronger than just a shared interest in high-quality meat. “It sounds really cliche,” Swing says, “but we’re a family here.”


Buy Direct The coronavirus hammered agricultural supply chains, leaving shoppers without their usual groceries and farmers without a way to sell their products. In Kansas, one man stepped up to solve this problem with a digital farmers market where local farmers sell everything from beef and eggs to asparagus and rhubarb. Rick McNary started a Facebook group called “Shop Kansas Farms” to connect farmers and ranchers in Kansas directly to the buyers. The page has grown incredibly fast, rising to 134,000 members. “People who have begun to fear where they will get their food from during the pandemic now have easy access to information regarding the locality of farms in their communities,” McNary says. Even after grocery stores return to normalcy, Rick feels confident that people will continue using the Facebook group to buy and sell produce. The group encourages farmers to tell their personal stories along with listing items. “There are 130,000 stories that have happened [on the page] as people are getting on,” McNary says. “We have people saying, ‘I read this post every morning because it’s so inspirational.’ There are stories now attached to the food, and those are personal stories.”

All that made this cowtown integral to the birth see where thousands of cattle would have been in of modern urban society. the late 1870s through 1991,” she says. “In a lot of ways, the stockyards made the modAs the prairie was settled at the turn of the ern world possible because it allowed people to twentieth century, more ranches and farmers leave farms and ranches and go into town and sold cattle to be slaughtered and shipped back get jobs like what you and I have now,” says Eric east. Business at KC’s stockyards peaked at Grant, whose St. Joseph-based marketing firm about two and a half million head of cattle in serves large agricultural companies including the the 1920s, Grant says. That’s enough beef to KC-based Holstein Association, famous among make more than two billion burgers—all from an city folk for the bull statue erected on Quality Hill. expanse of grasslands that was poorly suited to Kansas City grew along with the cattle industry. farming at the time. By 1899, ranchers had organized the American “Cows are kind of a magical animal,” Grant says. Royal cattle show in KC, which has spun off into “The bulk of the surface of the planet is either water barbecue and horse shows over the past century. or grass, and humans can't eat grass. What cows Kristie Larson, director of education at the Amer- do is, you give 'em a little sunlight, a little bit of ican Royal, appreciates the journey of the beef water to drink, and they go out and graze, and they industry in KC, which started with the stockyards. grow and they turn grass into something that's nu“Where we sit here at the American Royal in the trient dense and a really good product for people West Bottoms, I'm looking out my window and I to eat.” – Paige Eichkorn




Cocktail Pairings By Kenny Cohrs, director of guest experience and special projects at Hereford House and Pierpont’s at Union Station.

Filet Mignon Pair it with a smoked Old Fashioned: • 1 oz Four Roses Bourbon • 1 oz Rittenhouse Rye • 1/4 oz simple syrup • 2 dashes Angostura bitters • Orange peel, for garnish Combine all ingredients in a stirring vessel. Add ice, stir, and strain into a rocks glass filled with smoke from a piece of applewood, then garnish with an orange peel.

Ribeye Pair it with a Jungle Bird: • 1 1/2 oz dark rum • 3/4 oz Campari • 1 1/2 oz pineapple juice • 1/2 oz lime juice • 1/2 oz simple syrup • Pineapple wedge, for garnish Combine all ingredients in a shaking tin. Add ice, seal tin, and shake vigorously for approximately 30 seconds. Strain into rocks glass over fresh ice, then garnish with a pineapple wedge.

Burger Pair it with KC Cherry Limeade: • 1 oz Rieger vodka • 1 oz Builders Botanical Gin • 1 oz lime juice • 2 oz cherry cordial • Cherries, for garnish • Lime wedge, for garnish Fill a tall glass (Collins or pint) with ice. Build the ingredients over ice, top with soda water, gently stir with a straw, and garnish with two cherries and a lime wedge. PHOTOGRAPHY BY KAYLA SZYMANSKI


Patty Party N

othing says summer quite like a homegrilled burger. The smell of charcoal, the sizzle of a patty hitting a hot grill and the sight of your burger sandwiched between all of your favorite toppings are the embodiment of the outdoor season. But if you’re going to go through all that work, you want a satisfying result. Kansas City is crawling with artisan butcher shops and chain grocery stores all vying to sell you their patties. We wanted to know which one was the best. So we set up a blind tasting for nine local patties at our office, from the deli counters of Whole Foods and Hy-Vee to the Wagyu patties of KC Cattle Company (see page 47). Here are the top five patties and what our tasters had to say about them. Ultimately, we found that the quality of pricey butcher-blend patties shone through even in a blind tasting. HOW WE DID IT: To make sure our results were fair, we did a blind taste test. We got all nine patties—plain beef, no mix-ins—and thawed the frozen ones in the refrigerator. We sous vide-cooked the burgers in marked plastic bags at 130 degrees for one hour. We removed them from the bags and stuck them with lettered toothpicks while we cooked them on a Weber grill fueled by lump charcoal. For the tasting, each was dressed with the same toppings—cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion. We each tasted a quarter of the patty and then ranked them on a scale of one to ten.


THE UPPER CUT KC: Butcher’s Blend, $6 per patty

For the best burger in the city, you need to head toward the airport, where you’ll find the Upper Cut KC. This shop uses Akaushi cattle, a revered type of Japanese cow genetically predisposed to have more fat distributed throughout the muscle. “It’s the Lamborghini of beef,” owner Mariah Kinkade says. Those Akaushi cattle are raised in a grass pasture with no antibiotics or hormones and finished with a non-GMO corn. Kinkade and crew have thirty-five years of experience, and they dry-age all cuts for a minimum of three weeks. The Butcher Blend burger with a mixture of brisket, steak and short rib won our taste-off. This patty melts in your mouth, and unlike some of the others we tried, it also holds up really well on the grill to develop a nice char. Our staff was so in love that when we tried it, all we could say was “wow” and “yum.” This burger is worth the drive and the six dollars charge per patty.


FAREWAY: Ground beef patty, $2.50 per patty

If you’re looking for a thick burger (emphasis on thick), check out Fareway Meat Market, formerly home of McGonigle’s. This classic eighty-twenty beef patty hardly shrunk while cooking and got perfectly pink and juicy in the middle. Our tasters said eating it was like being transported to a Fourth of July cookout. This was also one of our cheaper burgers at only $2.50 a patty.


KC CATTLE COMPANY: Wagyu beef patty, $5 per patty

For a high-quality meat patty with big flavor, try KC Cattle Company’s Wagyu beef patty. It was definitely the juiciest we tried and had us licking our fingers for more when all was said and done. Our staff said this patty was beefy, fatty, thin and

We blind-tasted local burger patties to find the best picks for your summer cookout. By Jordan Meier

familiar. Keep in mind that these patties are only available online in packs of four for roughly twenty dollars through KC Cattle Company’s website, and supply is limited. We recommend reading the website for instructions on how to prepare them, as they come frozen and with so much fat that they need to be handled gingerly on the grill.


BICHELMEYER MEATS: Ground beef patty, $2.20 per patty


HEN HOUSE: Ground chuck beef patty, $3 per patty

KCK’s Bichelmeyer has been a Kansas City staple since 1946. It prides itself on being family owned and selling everything from snout to tail. The company’s classic ground beef patty impressed our staff with its immense fatty flavor and melt-in-yourmouth texture. One of our staffers even said it felt as if you were biting into whipped cream. This was also the cheapest patty we bought at $2.20 per patty. The quality far exceeded the cost. If you’re buying for a large group, this is where you’ll want to go.

Hen House was the only major grocery chain to crack our top five. The patty from the butcher counter at the College and Quivira location was an eighty-twenty ground chuck patty. Chuck is a cut from the shoulder of the cow and is said to be fattier and juicier—perfect for burgers. Our staff agreed that it was definitely juicy, but the biggest thing we took away from this patty was that it tasted just like a hamburger. No surprises, no fancy flourishes. That means you are starting with a blank canvas on which to build your perfect burger.

ALSO TASTED: Price Chopper, Local Pig, Hy-Vee and Whole Foods



Where to Eat

conducted business. Today, the basement contains the Majestic Jazz Club while the top floor houses the members-only Pendergast Club, a luxurious cigar and cocktail lounge. 931 Broadway Blvd., KCMO

Knives Out

Pierpont’s at Union Station

Eight essential KC steakhouses. By Natalie Gallagher HIGH-END STEAKHOUSES

Capital Grille Capital Grille has been a fixture on the Plaza since its opening in 2001. It’s part of a national chain, but Kansas Citians hold a special place in their hearts for this longstanding paragon of excellence. Almost a year ago, Capital Grille moved to a larger location a couple blocks down on the Plaza, inside the former Williams-Sonoma. The new digs include a handsome horseshoe bar, patio seating and six private dining rooms. You can still find those top-notch dryaged steaks and addictive Stoli Dolis. 4760 Broadway Blvd., KCMO

Stock Hill Gatsby vibes abound at Stock Hill, a steakhouse designed for boozy business dinners and special occasion meals. The bar and lounge area features an attractive assembly of white marble, plush emerald green couches and gold accents while the dining rooms boast white tablecloths tucked into cozy alcoves. It’s the perfect place to slice into an exceptional cut, from local beef to Wagyu and Akaushi from Texas. 4800 Main St., KCMO

Eddie V’s Eddie V’s on the Plaza has an interior as sleek and modern as its menu. There is a stunning lump crab cake with just a whisper of breadcrumbs to

hold the thing together, and the steaks can be ordered wrapped in bacon or with a number of “indulgences” in the way of scallops, crab-stuffed shrimp, king crab legs or lobster tail. Polish off your meal with the bananas foster butter cake, which your server will set aflame tableside with a flourish. 700 W. 47th St., KCMO

801 Chophouse There’s a certain old-school charm to 801 Chophouse, which has local locations in Leawood and the Power & Light District. It’s something to do with the hardwood floors, tufted leather barstools and chairs, and warm redwood accents—and, of course, a rustic menu filled to bursting with heavy cuts (eight ounces is as small as it gets here). Pile on the decadence with a helping of foie gras, bearnaise or black truffle butter. 71 E. 14th St., KCMO and 11616 Ash St., Leawood KC CLASSIC STEAKHOUSES

The Majestic Restaurant & Jazz Club Of course, the steaks at Majestic are excellent. But what draws most people into the Majestic is the history of the place: The three-story building, built in 1911, began as Fitzpatrick’s Saloon, with a public room on the main floor and a bawdy house on the top. During Prohibition, the basement was a speakeasy where boss Tom Pendergast

Every Kansas Citian should, at some point in their residence, enjoy a steak and a martini at the long mahogany and marble bar at Pierpont’s. When Union Station opened in 1914, these dining rooms were originally a set of ladies’ waiting rooms. The restaurant opened as Pierpont’s in 1996, named for railroad baron John Pierpont Morgan, and today, the ornate ceilings and sumptuous art deco details are enough to make you feel like you’re eating in a palace, not a train station. 30 W. Pershing Road, KCMO

Hereford House This KC classic has stood the test of time with sixty years of experience and five locations. They still slice the meat by hand and age every cut for three weeks before grilling it on charcoal. Various locations

Golden Ox One of Kansas City’s most beloved steakhouses is built into the historic Livestock Exchange Building. The restaurant closed in 2014 and was later purchased, renovated and reopened by restaurateurs Wes Gartner and Jill Myers, who also own and operate Voltaire across the street. Dining at Golden Ox is like taking a step back in time to its mid-century heyday, down to the glow of the brass light fixtures stamped with cattle brands. 600 Genessee St., KCMO

Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse Jess and Jim’s opened in 1938, and the Martin City steakhouse hasn’t changed much since then. It’s still operated by relatives of founder Jim Wright, and many of the staff have been working there for decades. It doesn’t take long for new guests to feel like at home, and if the hand-cut steaks don’t win your loyalty, a pile of hand-battered onion rings will. 517 E. 135th St., Martin City


Cowboy Stories

When you think of the old West, actors like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood may come to mind. But Hollywood’s portrayal is a whitewashed version of reality. Olathe-based children's book author Trae Venerable is looking to change that narrative by casting light on the generations of Black cowboys who worked the open range, building the early beef industry. Historians estimate about one in four cowboys was Black. Venerable, a fourth-generation cowboy, shares their stories. “That representation is huge for me because growing up I didn't really read a lot of books by Black authors and I didn't see a lot of Black characters, so I just wanted to give that

representation,” he says. A lot of his readers tell him that they want to be a cowboy or a cowgirl, but for Venerable, that has a deeper meaning. “Being a cowboy—he's not listening to anybody, you know, kind of going through your own life and being wild, being free,” Venerable says. “To chase your dreams and not let anybody tell you what you can do, what you can't do.” Venerable sees the importance of delivering this message to his young audiences. “There are a lot of people that allowed me to be in this position today, so I never take that for granted.” You can purchase his books from his website at traevenerable.com. – Paige Eichkorn




K ANS AS C I T Y | J ULY 2020

RuPaul’s Drag Race made Kansas City’s own Widow Von’Du an overnight star after a decade in the local scene— now she plans to stay on top.




town in the middle of the day in drag. When she shows up to our photographer's studio in broad daylight, the standout competitor from the just-ended season of RuPaul’s Drag Race has a full face of makeup on, and her waist is cinched. “What’s weird for me is not having a wig on while I’m driving,” she jokes, rubbing her hands through her hair. Von’Du has had plenty of time to get used to the idea of driving in drag and she’s been a staple in the KC drag scene for over a decade. She hosts shows and performs weekly at Hamburger Mary’s in Midtown, bringing raunchy humor, an infectious laugh and impressive lip-sync numbers. Von’Du—outside of drag, she goes by Ray Fry—has lived in Kansas City her entire life. She grew up near Independence and attended Van Horn High School. Everything in her life was flipped upside down, though, when she was seventeen and a series of life-changing events happened. As revealed in a tearful and memorable scene in Drag Race, her mom passed away in a car accident, leaving Von’Du feeling guilty over a fight they had shared mere hours before.


K ANS AS C I T Y | J ULY 2020

Shortly after, she was publicly outed to her entire school as gay. “A friend of mine, who I dated for maybe a couple of seconds, got very upset with me and decided to post [about me] on MySpace,” Von’Du says. “He had everybody from our school on his friends list. After that, it just spread like wildfire.” “If it’s any consolation, he and I haven’t talked since,” she says with a laugh. Von’Du started doing drag due to the insistence of a close friend who begged her to be a dancer. “It was during Pride Month, so he was trying to raise money,” she says. “His entertainers started dropping out on him because they were getting paid to perform at bars versus doing some charity event.” Her friend eventually convinced her to perform in drag. Von’Du had fun, though, which led to her agreeing to more shows as time went on. “I’m sure I looked like a hot, hot mess, but I thought I was the prettiest b---- alive,” she says. It wasn’t until 2008 when Von’Du won her first competition, Princess of Kansas City Pridefest, that she started to realize drag was not only something she was good at but also something she could pursue as a career. “It was my first time doing a cartwheel, first time doing a full split and all this was

the first time I was wearing heels!” she says. “After winning, it was like, ‘Maybe I do have something to offer in this community.’” Von’Du continued performing, building her resume and becoming a local star. Still, she never thought about taking things further until Monique Heart, fellow Kansas City queen and one of Von’Du’s dear friends, made it onto Season 10 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The show that started as a parody of other reality shows, like America's Next Top Model, has since become a national phenomenon, winning Emmy Awards and bringing drag back into mainstream media for the first time since RuPaul’s initial success in the nineties with hit single, “Supermodel.” The show has paved the way for contestants to appear in blockbuster movies like A Star is Born and even walk the carpet at the Met Gala. For any drag queen to make it onto the show, it means they will suddenly be pushed into a national spotlight, which makes it all the more important. Von’Du applied unsuccessfully for Season 11 and decided to change things up for her audition tape for Season 12. “In my audition tape, I stopped showing them what I thought they wanted to see, and I showed them what I would want to see,” she says. “And what I wanted to see on the show was myself.”

KC FAVORITES GB Couture: “Gabby, or Mulan, made about ninety-five percent of all my runway looks for the show in a little under three weeks. She had to stop working to help me get ready for everything. I guarantee you none of this would be possible without her.”

Mission Taco Joint: “I always go there. If you haven’t been, you definitely should go.”

Hamburger Mary’s KC: “Cause that’s where I work at! They do pour a really good drink. I should know. They actually paid my rent while I was away filming for the show.”

Mystical Dreams Productions: “They’re who actually put together all the stuff for my digital show, Drag Survivor. He also made my audition tape for Season 12.”


K ANS AS C I T Y | J ULY 2020

When she arrived on the Drag Race set in Los Angeles, Von’Du entered the backstage area, known as the Werk Room, full of confidence and with a burning desire to win. “It was a moment I’ve always waited for,” she says. “The only thing I was nervous about was missing my mark. I was like, ‘Don’t fumble your words, don’t stumble.’” Watching the show back and seeing the reaction on her fellow competitors’ face, one of genuine fear, it’s safe to say she got the reaction she wanted. The premiere episode of the season saw Von’Du slaying the entire multi-phase challenge. She got glowing critiques from the judges and beat eventual finalist Gigi Goode in a lip-sync to guest judge Nicki Minaj’s “Starships.” Although this was a day of celebration for Von’Du and Kansas City, not every fan was as thrilled about her success. “I got so many hateful messages because I beat Gigi in that first lip-sync. It’s not my fault I out-danced her,” Von’Du says. “I was the last queen in the entire season to reach over one hundred thousand followers on Instagram.” The show started right before the global pandemic, but even after the first episode, Von’Du wasn’t sparking the attention of venues. “To be quite honest, I wasn’t getting any bookings at the beginning, at all,” she says. “I got maybe a little bit to go out to LA. It was still along the lines of, ‘She’s not skinny, she’s not white, and she doesn’t have a lot of followers.’” That’s a contentious discussion point within the Drag Race community—most of the fans aren’t showing up to support Black queens in the same way that they are for the skinny, white queens. Out of the thirty Drag Race competitors with over one million followers on Instagram, only

four of them are Black. A vast majority of the rest are white. This disparity goes beyond just the drag scene, though. It mirrors the entertainment industry as a whole. Von’Du has an emotional moment on the show where she opens about her experience of being Black and gay in Kansas City. “Like I said on the show, it’s literally a fear of mine to drive my own car up and down the street because I’m afraid that someone is gonna be pissed off someday, and that’s the last time anyone will ever see me,” she says. Von’Du finished in seventh place—an impressive placement for a season with one of the most remarkable casts in recent memory. She finished one spot higher than her KC sister Monique Heart on Season 10. When she came back home from filming the show, Von’Du jumped back into work as soon as she could, waiting until the show would finally air and she could reveal her big secret. “I just wanted to keep my mind off of it until it was announced,” she says. “I was ready to hit the ground running as soon as the cast was revealed.” However, shortly after the show started airing, both the world at large and the Drag Race fandom were shocked by a pair of unforeseeable circumstances. In mid-March, after only a few episodes of the season had aired, a global pandemic shut down the nation. This prevented people from leaving their homes, which in turn shut down the bars, clubs and tours the queens would have performed in, leaving them essentially jobless. The global pandemic wasn’t the only dampener on the season: Contestant Sherry Pie, who did well in challenges all season, was disqualified after filming when she admitted to catfishing young men by

pretending to be a TV casting agent. The show had already finished filming each competition, so although producers were able to edit out all interviews, fans saw Sherry on screen in every single episode until the finale. “This is a very interesting season of Punk’d,” Von’Du says of the series of events. “I’m just waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out. The disqualification is something that’s gonna follow the season no matter what. I stopped going on [Instagram] live to paint my face because that’s all anyone would ask about.” Despite the ongoing developments of the Sherry Pie situation and global pandemic, the pre-filmed show continued to air as planned, and Von’Du continued to excel. She performed well in almost every challenge but was not able to snag another win over the next six episodes and eventually went home after ending up being one of the bottom two contestants two episodes in a row. Even though Von’Du didn’t win the crown or the cash prize that came along with it, she got to meet two of her idols, Nicki Minaj and Chaka Khan, while also showcasing her amazing talents as a performer to the world. Now that the show has aired and the venues where she performs are slowly re-opening, Von’Du plans to take full advantage of her time on the show, with plans to release her debut album, titled THE, later this year. After over a decade of working to turn her one-time hobby into a professional career, Von’Du has finally made her way into the room, taken a seat at the table and is ready for the world to hear her voice. “It’s not always about winning,” she says. “It’s about getting into the room and how long you stay in the room.”

K ANS AS C I T Y | J U LY 2 0 2 0




Snake OnA Plain In a tiny Kansas town, the legend of a monstrous worm creature called Sinkhole Sam lives on.

Written by Michael Alberty Illustrations by Martha Brohammer and Jack Raybuck KANSAS CITY | JULY 2020



ixty - seven years ago , an eighteen-year-old Mennonite farm boy from a tiny Kansas town had a lake monster in his sights. Albert “Bert” Neufeld fired two shots from his hunting rifle in a vain attempt to bag Sinkhole Sam, the greatest monster legend Kansas has ever known. There are multiple reports of a massive, snakelike creature swimming in the Big Sinkhole—that’s the official name according to the Kansas State Department of Transportation—a few miles outside of Inman, a tiny town northwest of Wichita. The legend began surfacing in the summer of 1952, the year before Neufeld took his shot. The creature was described as being between fifteen and thirty feet long, a wormy beast as big around as the tire from a 1951 REO Speedwagon. At the time, Inman was home to approximately five hundred hard-working farmers, tradespeople and shop owners. Not a single one of them was quite sure what to make of the monster. In 1952, a veteran Kansas newspaper columnist named Ernest Alva Dewey traveled to Inman to sort it all out. Dewey, whose writing career began as a publicist for a traveling circus, had a reputation for poking fun at local legends. He once attributed UFO sightings to an airborne Kansas dragon known as the “ball-tailed snickelhoopus.” Dewey’s article was published by the Salina Journal the Sunday before Thanksgiving. In it, he claimed he brought along a scientific sidekick by the name of Dr. Erasmus P. Quattlebaum. Don’t bother looking up Quattlebaum’s credentials. I assure you they are as real as Professor Marvel’s diploma in the Wizard of Oz. Quattlebaum determined the sinkhole inhabitant was a “foopengerkle,” a critter known to inhabit subterranean Kansas caverns. That “fact” explains why such a large animal could exist in a body of water that only gets fifteen feet deep in the middle after a hard rain. The Big Sinkhole was merely Sam’s above-ground swimming pool. Dewey concluded that fishermen and swimmers had nothing to worry about because Quattlelbaum’s research indicated foopengerkles were “terribly dumb” and very vegetarian. Dewey’s spoof brought hordes of monster hunters to Section 27, a square mile of land just southeast of Inman. The northeast corner of Section 27 is where you will find the Big Sinkhole and, possibly, a vegetarian lake monster. The Penner family has farmed this plot of land since 1874. In the late Mil Penner’s book Section 27: A Century on a Family Farm, he describes coming home from church one Sunday afternoon to a startling sight. Dozens of Desotos, Chevys and Nash Ramblers were parked at the edge of the Big Sinkhole. Penner says folks were hoping to catch a glimpse of the thirty-foot foopengerkle spotted earlier in the week by a neighboring farmer. Penner noticed every single car window was rolled up just in case they got their wish. By this time, the locals had started calling Inman’s new roadside attraction Sinkhole Sam. In 1953, when news of the prairie-locked sea serpent reached Kansas City, the Newspaper Enterprise Association dispatched reporter Mary Kay Flynn to the scene. Flynn found numerous “responsible citizens” who described Sinkhole Sam as fifteen feet long with a fluted tail and a long fin on its back. Eyewitnesses also mentioned Sam’s big “non-snakelike” grin. Flynn hailed Sinkhole Sam as “Kansas’ answer to the Loch Ness Monster.” Flynn’s article also includes the first account of Neufeld using Sinkhole Sam for target practice. Neufeld was sure

“The legend is real.” 62


he hit him, but another witness named George Regehr thought Sinkhole Sam evaded serious damage. On October 12, 1953, newspapers from Eugene, Oregon, to Panama City, Florida, picked up Flynn’s sensational story.


Was it all a hoax to boost tourism? Or were the locals merely having some fun with the city slickers? The only witnesses named in Flynn’s newspaper account were Neufeld and Regehr. Both men are dead. “Mennonites are not exactly prone to exaggeration,” says Marci Penner, Mil’s daughter and the executive director of the Kansas Sampler Foundation in Inman. Even though George Regehr’s daughter, Connie Newcome, says her father had the reputation of “town rogue,” the Neufeld family was not eager to promote the story. Dr. Edward Neufeld, a retired psychologist, was sixteen years old when his older brother’s Sinkhole Sam story became public. “Our family was embarrassed by the whole thing,” says Edward Neufeld, a retired psychologist living in the Kansas City area. Bert Neufeld instead enriched himself over the years by sharing the story of Sinkhole Sam at bedtime and around campfires with younger members of his family. “Sinkhole Sam was always described as being longer than a man is tall, but my dad liked to say ‘the more people who saw Sinkhole Sam, the bigger he would get,’” says Brian Neufeld, Bert’s son. I’m convinced Neufeld and Regehr stumbled upon something unusually large and saurian that day at the Big Sinkhole. To get a better idea of what they saw, I needed to consult an expert in cryptozoology, which is the study of unknown animals referred to as cryptids. So I called Loren Coleman, the world’s most respected cryptozoologist. Coleman is the author of approximately forty books and thousands of

articles on cryptids, ranging from the elusive Bigfoot to the wily chupacabra. Coleman is also the director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. Right off the bat, Coleman thought the description of Sinkhole Sam sounded similar to another cryptid: the Mongolian Death Worm. I was relieved when Coleman said he was only referring to Sinkhole’s Sam’s snake-like dimensions—the thought of an acid-spitting worm from the Gobi Desert roaming around Kansas was a bit much. Besides, everybody knows Mongolian Death Worms top out at five feet long. Next, we discussed the rich tradition of large, unknown animals swimming in Midwest waters from West Okoboji Lake in Iowa to the Missouri River. In the Inman area alone, I could find newspaper reports from 1912 and 1913 telling of Lake Inman bathers fearful of a turtle-like creature as big as a clawfooted bathtub. In 2003, Coleman co-authored a book with Patrick Huyghe titled Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Denizens of the Deep. Although Sinkhole Sam didn’t make the book, there is an appendix entry for Kingman, Kansas, which is fifty miles south of Inman. That steered the discussion toward freakishly large snakes on the plains. In the late 1960s, the citizens of Kingman organized a hunting party to track down a twenty-foot animal that was as big around as a man. The animal had reportedly devoured a calf it dragged into the Kingman County State Lake. Did Sinkhole Sam tire of being shot at in Inman? Was vegetarianism just a phase? The Kingmanites suspected they were dealing with a giant snake. There’s only

one problem: The longest snake native to Kansas is half the size of Sinkhole Sam and the State Lake snake. According to Travis Taggart, the president and executive director of the Center for North American Herpetology, the gopher snake is common in the Inman area. It is the longest native Kansas snake, reaching lengths of approximately eighty-nine inches. Taggart says the gopher snake is a likely candidate for Sinkhole Sam because it doesn’t mind getting into the water. “Snakes are difficult enough to size-up when they’re coiled, but even more so when they are moving or swimming. And of course, the bigger the snake, the better the story,” Taggart says. Or, Taggart says, people in Inman could have encountered a boa constrictor or python released into the wild by an exotic pet owner. It’s difficult to imagine an exotic pet owner living anywhere near Inman in the early 1950s, but anything is possible. Even so, a Mennonite farm boy lighting up a fifteen-foot python in a Kansas sinkhole is still a hell of a good monster story.


Until some lucky shot bags a body, we may never know whether Sinkhole Sam was a giant snake or something more akin to the Loch Ness monster. But that might not matter. “Whether the story of Sinkhole Sam is true or not, I know one thing for certain,” Penner says. “The legend is real.”




TOP DENTISTS We reveal our annual list of the best oral health in the Kansas City metro area.



HOW IT'S DONE This list is excerpted from the 2020 topDentists™ list, a database that includes listings for dentists and specialists in the Kansas City metro area. The Kansas City list is based on thousands of detailed evaluations of dentists and professionals by their peers. The complete database is available at usatopdentists.com.

SELECTION PROCESS “If you had a patient in need of a dentist, which dentist would you refer them to?”

The following 188 listings of the area’s best dentists are divided into seven specialties. The information was compiled by topDentists™ for Kansas City magazine. The professionals listed here were selected via peerreview process.

DISCLAIMER This list is excerpted from the 2019 topDentists™ list, which includes listings for more than 170 dentists and specialists in the Kansas City Metro area. TopDentists has used its best efforts in assembling material for this list but does not warrant that the information contained herein is complete or accurate, and does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. Copyright 2012-2019 by topDentists, LLC of Augusta, GA. All rights reserved. This list, or parts thereof, must not be reproduced in any form without permission. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without permission of topDentists. No fees may be charged, directly or indirectly, for the use of the information in this list without permission.

This is the question we’ve asked thousands of dentists to help us determine who the topDentists should be. Dentists and specialists are asked to take into consideration years of experience, continuing education, manner with patients, use of new techniques and technologies and, of course, physical results. The nomination pool of dentists consists of dentists listed online with the American Dental Association, as well as all dentists listed online with their local dental societies, thus allowing virtually every dentist the opportunity to participate. Dentists are also given the opportunity to nominate other dentists that they feel should be included in our list. Respondents are asked to put aside any personal bias or political motivations and to use only their knowledge of their peer’s work when evaluating the other nominees. Of course, there are many fine dentists who are not included in this representative list. It is intended as a sampling of the great body of talent in the field of dentistry in the United States. A dentist’s inclusion on our list is based on the subjective judgments of his or her fellow dentists. While it is true that the lists may at times disproportionately reward visibility or popularity, we remain confident that our polling methodology largely corrects for any biases and that these lists continue to represent the most reliable, accurate, and useful list of dentists available anywhere.






ENDODONTICS Anthony Altomare Leawood Commons Endodontics 11409 Ash Street, Suite A, Leawood 913-491-5552 Robert H. Altomare Leawood Commons Endodontics 11409 Ash Street, Suite A, Leawood 913-491-5552 Christopher G. Budig Apex Endodontics 13364 Metcalf Avenue Overland Park 913-851-2739 Jeffrey R. Burroughs Burroughs Endodontics 5525 West 119th Street, Suite 215 Overland Park 913-270-3496 Kevin P. Cunningham 11900 West 87th Street Parkway, Suite 160, Lenexa 913-599-0888 Steven P. Gish Leawood Commons Endodontics 11409 Ash Street, Suite A, Leawood 913-491-5552 Mark A. Holman Cornerstone Endodontics 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 250 Overland Park 913-498-3636 Joon W. Kim Cornerstone Endodontics 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 250 Overland Park 913-498-3636

Norman A. Smith, Jr. Endodontic Specialists 6008 North State Route 9, Suite C, Parkville 816-741-5480 Daniel G. Stamos Creekwood Endodontics 5400 North Oak Trafficway, Suite 201, KCMO 816-452-0900 David E. Stamos Endodontic Care 4731 South Cochise Drive, Suite 221 Independence 816-478-8895 Sara H. Wilhite University Park Endodontics 11201 Nall Avenue, Suite 130 Leawood 913-491-0056

GENERAL DENTISTRY Nancy L. Addy S & G Family Dentistry 11313 Ash Street, Leawood 913-945-1612 Greg M. Alton Phye Family Dentistry 401 South Clairborne Road, Suite A Olathe 913-782-2231 DeeAnn R. Behrens I Smile KCK 6420 Parallel Parkway, KCK 913-299-6699 Andrew S. Beyer 315 Nichols Road, Suite 201, KCMO 816-753-1788

Tae S. Kong University Park Endodontics 11201 Nall Avenue, Suite 130 Leawood 913-491-0056

Firoozeh Biria Biria Dentistry 14364 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park 913-499-1111

James E. Moore 3700 West 83rd Street, Suite 106 Prairie Village 913-642-3636

Chad A. Bowles Bowles Dental Center 6811 West 121st Street Overland Park 913-491-6663

J. Mike Randall Cornerstone Endodontics 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 250 Overland Park 913-498-3636


Brenton A. Reavley Briarcliff Endodontics 4137 North Mulberry Drive, KCMO 816-326-8204


Bernard G. Bruns Tremont Dental 5501 Northwest 62nd Terrace, Suite 101, KCMO 816-741-6960

Ronald J. Burgmeier 13025 South Mur-Len Road, Suite 250, Olathe 913-764-1169 Michael C. Byars 9051 North East 81st Terrace, Suite 210, KCMO 816-336-2439 Holli D. Careswell Kallsnick & Careswell 300 Southeast 2nd Street, Suite 200, Lee’s Summit 816-524-6300 Lauren L. Carr Dental Excellence 19501 East US-40, Independence 816-795-9500 Aaron M. Craig 13650 Roe Avenue Overland Park 913-491-5040 Scott B. Craven Turner Dental Group 2933 South 47th Street, KCK 913-677-1004 Richard D. Crowder Crowder Family Dentistry 14922 West 87th Street, Lenexa 913-322-2222 Gregory W. Dale Gladstone Family Dental Group 2109 Northeast 72nd Street, Suite 101, Gladstone 816-559-7943 James J. Dixson Liberty Park Dental 1508 Northeast 96th Street, Suite A, Liberty 816-415-8080 Rachel E. Driscoll Rhoades Family Dentistry 13400 South Blackbob Road Olathe 913-782-8900 William M. Duensing Duensing Family Dentistry 101 East 23rd Avenue, Suite A North KCMO 816-842-3314 G. Brent Evers Evers & Gardner Dental 5815 Northwest Barry Road, KCMO 816-741-2333 Hollie E. Pfeffer Flack The Brookside Dentist 6247 Brookside Boulevard, Suite 207, KCMO 816-523-1444 Erin P. Flood 7301 Mission Road, Suite 203 Prairie Village 913-362-7320 John C. Flucke Flucke & Associates Dentistry 209 Northwest Blue Parkway Lee’s Summit 816-209-6675

James D. Gentry 4861 West 134th Street, Leawood 913-341-0018 Mark D. Gilroy Gilroy Dental Care 11826 West 135th Street Overland Park 913-681-1900 Eric Gottman University of Missouri-KCMO School of Dentistry 650 East 25th Street, Room 130 KCMO 816-235-2146 Dallan E. Greenhalgh Greenhalgh Family Dental 5636 Nieman Road, Shawnee 913-631-2400 Jarrett S. Grosdidier S & G Family Dentistry 11313 Ash Street, Leawood 913-945-1612 Stephen Haake Haake Cosmetic and Family Dental 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 222 Overland Park 913-381-6644 Amy R. Hahn Rhoades Family Dentistry 13400 South Blackbob Road Olathe 913-782-8900 Tricia C. Halford Corinth Dental Care 3700 West 83rd Street, Suite 108 Prairie Village 913-341-9600 Sarina M. Harman-Tinnel HT Complete Family Dentistry 11644 75th Street, Suite 101 Overland Park 913-962-0036 Ross S. Headley KC Smile 12850 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 200 Overland Park 913-491-6874 Craig W. Herre Dental Health By Herre 11201 Nall Avenue, Suite 120 Leawood 913-491-4466 Scott B. Herre 11237 Nall Avenue, Suite 140 Leawood 913-912-7341 Timothy R. Herre Dental Health By Herre 11201 Nall Avenue, Suite 120 Leawood 913-491-4466 Andrew Herwig 11900 West 87th Street Parkway, Suite 260, Lenexa 913-492-8884 Stephen J. Huber 13400 Roe Avenue, Leawood 913-543-3751

Ryan W. Johnson Dwight D. Eisenhower Veterans Administration Medical Center 4101 South 4th Street Leavenworth 913-682-2000 Alison M. Jones 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 110, Overland Park 913-491-0077 Charles R. Kimes Overland Park Dentistry 8100 Marty Street, Suite 111 Overland Park 913-341-2380 Jennifer A. Kirwan The Smile Centre 309 South 2nd Street, Leavenworth 913-651-9800 Ashley E. Knight Pierce & Knight Family Dentistry 8615 Rosehill Road, Suite 101 Lenexa 913-251-9930 Ian J. Krusich Krusich Dental 11111 Nall Avenue, Suite 106 Leawood 913-383-2600 John C. LaBarca Dental Excellence 19501 East US-40, Independence 816-795-9500 Jacob A. Laudie Summit Dental 622 South West 3rd Street, Suite M, Lee’s Summit 816-524-3535 William D. Ledford 1236 West 103rd Street, KCMO 816-941-0980 Joel D. LeMense 8012 State Line Road, Suite 100, Prairie Village 913-341-3415 Steven B. Lemieux 211 East 63rd Street, KCMO 816-333-3711 Anthony Marengo, Jr. Esthetic Enhancement 16103 West 135th Street, Olathe 913-829-9222 Michael D. McCunniff University of Missouri-KCMO School of Dentistry 650 East 25th Street, Room 396, KCMO 816-235-2185

Abbie S. McKnight McKnight Signature Dental 3400 College Boulevard, Suite 203, Leawood 913-948-9710

Christopher H. Shultz Seaport Family Dentistry 2 Westwoods Drive Liberty 816-781-1430

Jacob W. Meggison Dental Elements 11912 West Shawnee Mission Parkway, Shawnee 913-383-0440

Jamie Smiley Smiley Dental 13430 Briar Street, Leawood 913-402-8888

Andrew S. Moore 5367 Roberts Street, Shawnee 913-422-0007 Gregory J. Peppes Peppes Dental 11551 Granada Lane, Suite 200, Leawood 913-642-3939 Bryant E. Phye Phye Family Dentistry 401 South Clairborne Road, Suite A, Olathe 913-782-2231 Vanessa C. Phye Phye Family Dentistry 401 South Clairborne Road, Suite A, Olathe 913-782-2231 Robert A. Pierce Pierce & Knight Family Dentistry 8615 Rosehill Road, Suite 101 Lenexa 913-251-9930 Jennifer L. Pottinger 6885 West 151st Street, Suite 202, Overland Park 913-897-4300 Robert W. Rechtien, Jr. Rechtien Dental 231 Northwest 72nd Street Gladstone 816-436-5900 Lawson S. Rener 4320 Wornall Road, Suite 402, KCMO 816-561-8050 Kami L. Ross Overland Park Smiles 6007 West 121 Street, Suite 104, Overland Park 913-871-9781 Stephen K. Russell Dental Designs 9501 North Oak Trafficway, Suite 205, KCMO 816-436-2242 Kristen K. Schreiner 701 Northwest Commerce Drive, Suite 101, Lee’s Summit 816-525-4848

Gregory A. Stiver Dental Care Center 325 East 135th Street, KCMO 816-941-7788 Brian S. Sutton Family Dentistry 4546 Main Street, KCMO 816-931-2342 J. Brad Tally 13650 Roe Avenue Leawood 913-491-5040 Lisa A. Thurlow Johnson County Dental Care 7299 West 98th Terrace Overland Park 913-341-7440 Todd M. Thurlow Johnson County Dental Care 7299 West 98th Terrace Overland Park 913-341-7440 Jamie L. Thurman-Taylor TLC Family Dentistry 3568 Southwest Market Street, Lee’s Summit 816-537-6161 David L. Tuttle Tuttle Family Dentistry 8631 West 150th Street, Suite 103, Overland Park 913-681-2893 Julie A. Tuttle Tuttle Family Dentistry 8631 West 150th Street, Suite 103 Overland Park 913-681-2893 Stephanie M. Warden 2200 West 75th Street, Suite 101, Prairie Village 913-825-2500 D. Douglas Watts II Watts Family Dental 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 240, Overland Park 913-338-3384 Luke Wolniak Prairie Fields Dentistry 16072 Metcalf Avenue Overland Park 913-871-5360

4 THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN CHOOSING A DENTIST We use our teeth every day when we speak to our family and friends, drink an ice-cold glass of lemonade or bite into a slice of pizza. To keep your teeth in good working order, choosing a trusted dentist is crucial. If you’ve recently moved or are looking to change dentists, here are some things to consider.

AGE Children and adults have different dental needs.

Small humans have small teeth, and a pediatric dentist specializes in making sure kids get proper care as they age and begin to lose their baby teeth. Pediatric dentists also make it a priority to create a kid-friendly environment with toys, books, brightly colored walls and rewards programs.

YOUR DENTAL NEEDS Before you commit to a

dentist, consider what kinds of dental issues you may have and look for dentists who specialize in those areas. Patients with crooked teeth may want to visit an orthodontist for braces or Invisalign while patients who need dentures or veneers may want to visit a specialized cosmetic dentist.

INSURANCE Not all insurance policies are created equal. Before you decide on a dentist, call ahead or check their website to see if they accept your insurance or take patients without insurance. DISTANCE Although you only have to go to the dentist

biannually, a dentist too far away can be a tedious drive and make you even more likely to cancel or push off appointments due to time constraints or weather conditions. Most dental insurance providers allow you to look up covered dentists by zip code.

5 REASONS YOUR GUMS MIGHT BE BLEEDING GINGIVITIS Unbrushed gums can become bacteria ridden, leaving them red and puffy. Left alone for too long, this can cause bleeding while brushing. BRUSHING TOO HARD Using a hard-bristled

toothbrush or a too-strong hand while brushing can tear open your gums if you’re not careful.

INCONSISTENT FLOSSING Food gets lodged in your gums, which can cause gum inflammation and gum disease if you don’t floss daily to get it out. If you’re consistently flossing and your gums bleed for more than two weeks, make an appointment with your dentist. PREGNANCY Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy can cause sensitivity in the gums, making them more susceptible to bleeding while brushing. UNFITTED DENTURES Dentures that are fitted too

tightly or loosely can rub up on your gums and cause irritation. J ULY 2020 K ANSASCITYMAG.COM



Dave B. Woltkamp Overland Park Smiles 6700 West 121 Street, Suite 104, Overland Park 913-871-9781


Christopher J. Haggerty Lakewood Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Specialists 3600 Northeast Ralph Powell Road, Suite D, Lee’s Summit 816-554-8300

Gary W. Hansen Northland Oral & Michael Barber Maxillofacial Surgery Oral & Facial Surgery 6301 North Oak Trafficway, Associates Suite 101, KCMO 3700 West 83rd Street, 816-452-0300 Suite 103, Prairie Village Matthew R. Hlavacek 913-381-5194 KC Surgical Arts 8080 North Flintlock Road, Kasey L. Call KCMO Facial Surgery Group 816-286-4126 4700 Belleview, Suite L-10 KCMO Michael W. Lowe 816-561-1115 1524 Northeast 96th Street Liberty Joseph C. Camarata 816-792-1022 ClearChoice Overland Park Tyson E. Marrs 10777 Nall Avenue, Suite 100 Oral & Facial Surgery Overland Park Associates 913-871-1527 3700 West 83rd Street, Suite 103, Prairie Village Kirk C. Collier 913-381-5194 Oral & Facial Surgery Associates Patrick B. Moore 3700 West 83rd Street, Parkville Modern Suite 103, Dentistry and Prairie Village Orthodontics 913-381-5194 6340 North Chatham Avenue, KCMO Thomas H. Faerber 816-746-1171 Faerber Surgical Arts 4601 West 109th Street, Gary L. Nesslein Suite 118, Northland Oral & Overland Park Maxillofacial Surgery 913-469-8895 6301 North Oak Trafficway, Suite 101, KCMO Douglas W. Fain 816-452-0300 Fain Oral Surgery 20168 West 153rd Street, Daniel C. Nielson Olathe Great Plains Oral & 913-839-9709 Maxillofacial Surgery 965 North Mur-Len Road Brett L. Ferguson Olathe University of 913-780-3100 Missouri-KCMO School of Dentistry Richard M. Oakley 650 East 25th Street, Oakley Oral Surgery Room 304, KCMO 5811 Nall Avenue 816-235-2073 Mission 913-722-3253 Adam Flack Flack and Stone Brian E. Pannell 300 Northwest R D Mize Road, Oral and Maxillofacial Suite 100 Surgery Associates Blue Springs of KCMO 816-229-3737 8748 West 151st Street Overland Park 913-897-3400 Mark E. Flack Lee’s Summit Medical Center Steven J. Prstojevich 600 North East R D Mize Road, Facial Spectrum Blue Springs 1208 North East Windsor Drive 816-229-3737 Lee’s Summit 816-524-4334 Steven D. Green Midwest Oral and John P. Tanner Maxillofacial Surgery Facial Surgery Group 11551 Granada Lane, 4700 Belleview, Suite L-10 Suite 100, Leawood KCMO 913-491-4488 816-561-1115



Steven L. Thomas Saint Luke’s 12800 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 2, Overland Park 913-451-7680 Steven L. Thomas Deer Creek Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery 12800 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 2, Overland Park 913-451-7680 Harold D. Wallin, Jr. Heartland Dental Group 3507 South 4th Street Leavenworth 913-682-1000 Jerald O. Katz University of Missouri-KCMO School of Dentistry 650 East 25th Street, Room 163, KCMO 816-235-2138


J. Joseph Hannah Hannah Orthodontics 1441 East 151st Street, Olathe 913-829-2244 Richard D. Hannah Hannah Orthodontics 1441 East 151st Street Olathe 913-829-2244 Steven L. Hechler Hechler Orthodontics 12800 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 1 Overland Park 913-469-6086 Kurt W. Hoffman Hoffman Orthodontics 11213 Nall Avenue, Suite 130 Leawood 913-649-8890 Jerry W. Huerter, Jr. Huerter Orthodontics 8919 Parallel Parkway, Suite 450, KCK 913-334-3055

Neil C. Kanning Kanning Orthodontics David P. Blackburn 9101 North East 82nd Terrace Blackburn & Elrod KCMO Orthodontics 816-781-8585 3131 South State Route 291 Independence Kurt E. Kavanaugh 816-373-6006 8407 North Main Street, KCMO Chad Bulleigh Bulleigh Orthodontics 8600 West 95th Street Overland Park 913-441-7321 Dustin S. Burleson Burleson Orthodontics 4135 North Mulberry Drive KCMO 816-384-0801 David M. Christensen KC Braces + Kids 7111 Northwest 86th Street KCMO 816-741-1155 John A. Dorsch Creekwood Orthodontics 5400 North Oak Trafficway, Suite 123, KCMO 816-454-6800 David E. Dykhouse Dykhouse Orthodontics 1300 Northest South Outer Road, Blue Springs 816-229-0444 Jerald E. Elrod Blackburn & Elrod Orthodontics 3131 South State Route 291 Independence 816-373-6006 Jeremy R. Fry Fry Orthodontic Specialists 11940 Quivira Road Overland Park 913-469-9191

816-420-8100 Michael Klein Klein & Walker Orthodontics 975 North Mur-Len Road, Suite C, Olathe 913-829-4466 Joe Moon Moon Orthodontics 14247 Metcalf Avenue Overland Park 913-782-7223 Eric S. Neuer Prairie Pointe Orthodontics 10044 Woodland Road, Lenexa 913-393-9911 Elizabeth B. Nill Drs. Blackwell, Nill and Francois 10 Northwest Chipman Road Lee’s Summit 816-524-6525 Jay M. Oltjen Oltjen Orthodontics 15159 South Blackbob Road Olathe 913-829-8855 Clarence E. Simmons Smile Doctors 315 Nichols Road, Suite 208 KCMO 816-753-0377 Bradley N. Smith Dyer and Smith Orthodontics 11244 West 135th Street Overland Park 913-897-6950

Jeffrey J. Thompson Jeff Thompson Orthodontics 4851 West 134th Street, Suite A, Leawood 913-681-8300 Kelly H. Toombs Toombs Orthodontics 3700 West 83rd Street, Suite 215, Prairie Village 913-381-5292 Cameron Walker Klein & Walker Orthodontics 975 North Mur-Len, Olathe 913-829-4466 Ashlee Weber Weber Orthodontics 7577 Northwest Barry Road, Suite A, KCMO 816-746-1200 Donald B. Wilcoxon Wilcoxon Orthodontics 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 310, Overland Park 913-661-9901 Angela Williams Parkville Modern Dentistry and Orthodontics 6340 North Chatham Avenue, KCMO 816-746-1171 Zachary T. Williams Thomas E. Moore Orthodontics 3553 NE Ralph Powell Rd Lee’s Summit 816-524-7091

PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY Kurt A. Aarons Kurt Aarons Pediatric Dentistry 4411 Belleview Avenue, KCMO 816-531-2070 Vanessa R. Axelsen Blue Valley Pediatric Dentistry 7560 West 160th Street Overland Park 913-232-2708 Brenda S. Bohaty University of Missouri-KCMO School of Dentistry 650 East 25th Street, Room 393, KCMO 816-235-2036 Amy E. Burleson Children’s Mercy Hospital Adele Hall Campus 2401 Gillham Road, KCMO 816-234-3257 David J. Cobb Axelsen & Cobb 975 North Mur-Len Road, Suite A, Olathe 913-829-0981

Eileen L. Cocjin University of Missouri-KCMO School of Dentistry 650 East 25th Street, Room 115-B, KCMO 816-235-2145 Emily C. Day Health Partnership Clinic 407 South Clairborne Road, Suite 104, Olathe 913-648-2266

CREATING A DENTAL ROUTINE YOU CAN KEEP UP WITH Life changes, like moving to a new place or starting fresh at a new job, can mess with your dental routine. Neglected teeth can lead to problems such as gum disease, gingivitis, cavities and tooth decay. If you’re looking to nail down a healthy dental routine, here are some ways to help you stick with it.


Brushing your teeth at the same time every day will put you into a routine: Once in the morning and once at night are good places to start. If you’re having a hard time remembering to brush, set an alarm on your phone to hold yourself accountable.


The more you like your dental equipment, the more likely you are to use it. Take a trip to your local pharmacy or department store and browse the aisles for dental hygiene products that catch your eye or have a component you’d like to use or try. Consider buying a new toothbrush in a fun color or trying a techy dental gadget you’ve had your eye on.


Consistency in your dental habits is key for you—and your dentist—to see progress in your teeth. Keep track of how many days you go without sugary foods or sodas, and reward yourself when you’ve brushed and flossed at the same time for a week straight.

John T. Fales, Jr. Fales Pediatric Dentistry 13496 South Arapaho Drive Olathe 913-782-2207 Rachael L. Graue Parkville Pediatric Dentistry 6004 Northwest 9 Highway, Parkville 816-234-3257 Matthew W. Hillman Smiles Dentistry for Kids 14700 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 110 Overland Park 913-685-9990 Jill C. Jenkins Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry for Children 8226 Mission Road Prairie Village 913-378-9610 Michael A. LeBlanc Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry for Children 8226 Mission Road Prairie Village 913-378-9610 Claudia Z. Lopez Pediatric Dental Specialists 11401 Nall Avenue Leawood 913-649-5437 Conrad Parks Parks Children’s Dentistry 4601 West 109th Street, Suite 217, Overland Park 913-491-5044 Louis A. Pollina Dentistry for Children 7001 North Cherry Street, Suite 100, Gladstone 816-548-3400 Brandi K. Roeber Dentistry for Children 7001 North Cherry Street, Suite 100, Gladstone 816-548-3400

Ginelle A. Sakima-Roberts Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry for Children 8226 Mission Road Prairie Village 913-378-9610 Glynn Spencer Spencer & Spencer Pediatric Dentistry 301 Northeast Mulberry Street, Suite 201, Lee’s Summit 816-607-6000 Jodie L. Spencer Spencer & Spencer Pediatric Dentistry 301 North East Mulberry Street, Suite 201, Lee’s Summit 816-607-6000 Kathryn N. Stanley Stanley Pediatric Dentistry 8575 West 110th Street, Suite 310, Overland Park 913-345-0331 Jaime Stinnett Drs. Parrish & Stinnett Pinnacle Pediatric Dentistry 6500 West 95th Street, Suite 102, Overland Park 913-649-0166

Catherine A. Mowry Foundation Periodontics 8704 Bourgade Street, Suite 100, Lenexa 913-894-9962 Kevin Mowry Foundation Periodontics 8704 Bourgade Street, Suite 100, Lenexa 913-894-9962 Nancy L. Newhouse Newhouse Periodontics 4731 South Cochise Drive, Suite 200, Independence 816-373-6800 N. Randolph Oliver McKnight & Oliver Periodontics and Implants 2200 West 75th Street, Suite A, Prairie Village 913-649-4978 Tanu Satheesh 10870 Benson Building 21, Suite 2100, Overland Park 913-451-6158 Audra Ward Ward Periodontics Implant Dentistry 12701 Metcalf Avenue, Suite 200, Overland Park 913-563-7400

D. Scott Thomas Brent A. Wenzel Shoal Creek Pediatric Wenzel Periodontics Dentistry and Dental Implants 9051 Northeast 81st Terrace, 153 West 151st Street, Suite 220, KCMO Suite 130, Olathe 816-781-5437 913-764-8883


Stanley L. Wint 10870 Benson Building 21, Suite 2100, Overland Park Amy L. Gillihan 913-451-6158 Gillihan Periodontics 3151 South 291 Highway, Jeremy Youngblood Suite B, Independence Youngblood 816-373-5400 Periodontics 6301 North Oak Trafficway, Adam C. McClellan Suite 102, KCMO Periodontal Care 816-453-2323 5000 West 95th Street, Suite 270, PROSTHODONTICS Prairie Village 913-341-4141 Sidney A. McKnight III McKnight & Oliver Periodontics and Implants 2200 West 75th Street, Suite A, Prairie Village 913-649-4978

Bruce C. Cummings Reconstructive Dental Care 4151 North Mulberry Drive, Suite 260, KCMO 816-454-9090

John M. Morales 4429 South River Boulevard, Suite D, Independence 816-373-0200

W. Stuart Dexter Prairie Village Prosthodontics 7301 Mission Road, Suite 206 Prairie Village 913-362-8200

Patrick J. Morris 613 South East 5th Street Lee’s Summit 816-554-2663

Brandon A. James 12541 Foster Street, Suite 330, Overland Park 913-642-0000



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If it’s time for a checkup and you don’t know where to go, you’re in luck. Our annual list of the best oral health professionals in the Kansas City area will help you out. ULY 2020 2020 KKANSASCITYMAG.COM ANSASCITYMAG.COM JJULY

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LUKE WOLNIAK, D.D.S. Just south of 159th street, days are busy for Dr. Luke Wolniak, and Prairie Fields Dentistry. Because new homes and neighborhoods seem to be popping up by the dozen, Dr. Wolniak and his team work very hard to provide families in the area with a top quality, comfortable home for your comprehensive dental care. Once destined to practice alongside his parents in Chicago, Dr. Wolniak and his wife moved to Overland Park shortly after he earned his degree from the University of Illinois - Chicago. “It was a difficult choice, for sure,” Dr. Wolniak states. “I had my future planned out. A family business to cultivate. But at the end of the day, my wife was right—I can’t imagine a better community to live in.” Shortly after moving to the Kansas City area, Dr. Wolniak worked with Heartland Dental Care, the largest dental service organization in the U.S. “I learned a lot during my time with HDC. We did very well—we grew very fast. But I knew that the corporate model didn’t mesh with how I felt patients deserved to be treated.”



Prairie Fields Dentistry opened its doors in August 2015, with the core values of “Treat patients, not Teeth” and “Do the Right Thing, For the Right Reason” as the team’s mantra. “We will never be a mill. Our patients will never be just a number. We’re not just going to look at your teeth and tell you what needs to be fixed,” Dr. Wolniak explains. “We listen to your concerns. We allocate significant time for educating and coaching our patients about their oral health and how to maintain it. Ultimately, our goal is for you to need as little treatment as possible. In our opinion, that is the new standard of care.“ For these reasons, Prairie Fields Dentistry invests heavily in technology and education. “Our treatment can only be as good as the quality of information and materials we use. Technology and information go hand in hand. Knowing how to apply that information is what really makes a difference for our patients. For example, for implant cases, we use CBCT to obtain very precise 3D images of our patient’s anatomy. Using this data, we plan the entire surgical procedure virtually, and have surgical guides fabricated to

ensure implant placement is accurate, precise and safe.” “Patient comfort and safety have always been top priortities for the team... even prior to COVID-19. Air purifiers, hand sanitizer stations, HEPA filters and OSHA sanitization protocols have been in place since the day we opened. Our patients and our team deserve to be in a clean, safe place...so we make sure they are.” Prairie Fields Dentistry is grateful to provide top quality, comprehensive dental care to the families of southern Johnson County and its neighboring towns. Services include implants, cosmetic, and general family dentistry with morning and evening hours available. For patients without insurance benefits, we are proud to offer our Prairie Care Advantage Plan. To learn more about Prairie Fields Dentistry and their services, please visit their website at prairiefieldsdentistry.com.

PRAIRIE FIELDS DENTISTRY 16072 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 913.871.5360 | prairiefieldsdentistry.com



NANCY NEWHOUSE, D.D.S, M.S. “Beautiful, healthy smiles start, here!” This is not just a catchphrase to Dr. Nancy Newhouse. It embodies what Newhouse Periodontics is all about as well as the art and science of what great periodontal care can achieve. “I can’t think of anyone that doesn’t want to look good,” says Dr. Newhouse. The smile is one of the first things that people notice. Having a great smile boosts self-confidence and improves overall well-being. It’s why Newhouse Periodontics provides state of the art services that will have you looking and feeling your best. That said, if the underlying foundation on which that smile is built is not healthy, then that beautiful smile will not be sustainable. Think of a picture frame. That frame should enhance the painting it surrounds. The same can be said of the gums around teeth or implants. If the gums are red and swollen, if there is too much or too little gum, or if there has been loss of bone, then no matter how pretty the teeth are, the smile will not be as good. Because Newhouse Periodontics provides personalized care, listening from the very beginning about what a person wants is essential to the outcome. By fully understanding the goals, a individualized plan is established to address those specific health and cosmetic needs and wants to get that great long-lasting smile.

DID YOU KNOW? In 2012, Dr. Newhouse became the 99th President of the American Academy of Periodontology. At that time, she was only the fourth woman to serve in that capacity during the AAP’s nearly 100 year history.

Sometimes, there is great confusion about what great periodontal care entails. At its most basic, periodontists SAVE TEETH! Dr. Newhouse certainly has the expertise to place implants, but if a tooth can be healthy, function well and look good, it’s always best to keep it. If for some reason a tooth cannot be kept, then implant placement may be appropriate. Dr. Newhouse also has skillsets to regenerate soft tissue and bone, lengthen short-looking teeth, treat infections around implants (peri-implantitis) and shorten long-looking teeth. As an internationally recognized leader in periodontology and an Independence native, Dr. Newhouse is honored to be recognized as a Top Dentist for the thirteenth year in a row. She is a full-time periodontal specialist, an ADA recognized dental specialty, a Diplomate of the American Board of Periodontology, and an assistant clinical professor at the UMKC School of Dentistry. Make an appointment today to discover how Newhouse Periodontics can be your way to a beautiful, healthy smile.

NEWHOUSE PERIODONTICS 4731 S. Cochise Drive, Suite 200, Independence, MO 816.373.6800 | newhouseperio.com




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JILL C. JENKINS, D.D.S. & MICHAEL A. LEBLANC, D.D.S. Dr. Jill C. Jenkins, D.D.S., and Dr. Michael A. LeBlanc, D.D.S., formed Jenkins & LeBlanc Dentistry for Children to create the ultimate dental experience for children. From the exciting and purely kid-friendly office experience to thorough education from their expert team of hygienists, assistants and doctors, Jenkins & LeBlanc offers excellent care and an amazing experience your family will love! Dr. Jenkins and Dr. LeBlanc graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry and met while completing their pediatric dental residency at Children’s Mercy Hospital. Both received the prestigious Arthur lwersen award for excellence in pediatric dentistry and participated in many youth outreach programs during their school years. The doctors are involved with local, state and national dental societies and are active members of the ADA and AAPD. Drs. Jenkins and LeBlanc are fortunate to be



DID YOU KNOW? Pediatric dentistry also involves the study of developmental psychology. This helps a pediatric dentist understand how children think and make the dental experience as positive and rewarding as possible. From the setting of their offices to the tones of their voice, pediatric dentists fine-tune everything in their practice for children. This helps them feel comfortable and relaxed during their dental visits. Pediatric dentists also receive special training in dealing with dental patients with special needs.

joined by an amazing staff of board-certified pediatric dentists. Along with Drs. Jenkins and LeBlanc, associates Dr. Ginelle Roberts, Dr. Casey Rhoads, Dr. Brent Church and Dr. Adela Casa strive to make a positive impact on the oral health and lives of their young patients every day in a fun and inviting atmosphere. With five offices conveniently located around the KC metro and Johnson County area, Jenkins & LeBlanc has many options to make your child’s next visit to the dentist a fun and positive experience.

JENKINS AND LEBLANC DENTISTRY FOR CHILDREN 913.764.5600 | Olathe 913.387.3500 | Overland Park 913.745.2500 | Shawnee 913.378.9610 | Prairie Village 913.299.3300 | Kansas City kidsmilekc.com



ADAM C. MCCLELLAN, D.D.S. Dr. Adam C. McClellan and his team at Periodontal Care P.A. are your trusted source for exceptional periodontal and dental implant therapies. “We pride ourselves on a commitment to excellence,” Dr. McClellan says. “We utilize 3D imaging, guided implant surgeries, and laser therapy to provide our patients with state-of-the-art surgical options, treating to the highest standards of care.” What is a periodontist? Dr. McClellan defines a periodontist as a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of all forms of gum disease and dental implant disease, as well as the placement of dental implants. Gum disease is a chronic bacterial infection often caused by build-up of plaque and has several risk factors including genetics, age, smoking, gender and ethnicity. “The increasing connection between oral health and systemic health is driving more and more patients to our periodontal office,” Dr. McClellan says. Dr. McClellan is also trained to perform cosmetic gum surgery. According to Dr. McClellan, “This is a

DID YOU KNOW? Dr. McClellan completed an extensive 3-year periodontal residency beyond dental school where he acquired deeper knowledge of the latest techniques for diagnosing and treating periodontal disease. Periodontists usually treat more problematic periodontal cases, including severe gum disease or patients with a complex medical history.

very simple procedure that can have lifechanging effects on a patient’s smile.” With two locations in the Kansas City metro, Dr. McClellan and his team strive to work collaboratively with patients and referring doctors for all of their periodontal and implant needs. With over 74% of all Americans experiencing some form of gum disease, seeing a periodontist might be exactly what you need to create a more beautiful and healthy smile!

PERIODONTAL CARE, P.A. South Office: 5000 W. 95th Street, Suite 270, Prairie Village, KS 913.341.4141 North Office: 5707 NW 64th Terrace Kansas City, MO | 816.741.3830 periodontalcarepa.com




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CHRISTOPHER G. BUDIG, D.D.S. When a patient visits Apex Endodontics, they can rest assured that they will receive the best possible endodontic care possible and that Dr. Budig and his team will strive to create an overall pain-free, stressfree and comfortable dental experience. At Apex Endodontics, the patient’s comfort, health and wellbeing comes first. “Root canal treatment has come a long way,” Dr. Budig says. “Typically, we can assure patients a pain-free experience and expect very little posttreatment discomfort.” Dr. Budig believes knowing what to expect while having a root canal can help ease a lot of anxiety. he believes that properly educating his patients prior to treatment significantly improves



DID YOU KNOW? Dr. Budig is a Diplomate with the American Board of Endodontics. Less than 20% of all U.S. endodontists are board certified, and Dr. Budig is one of only five BoardCertified Endodontist in the state of Kansas. Becoming a BoardCertified Diplomate is a voluntary process and is the highest status an endodontist can achieve. Dr. Budig is a past President of the Fifth District Dental Society, a past President of the Greater Kansas City Endodontic Society, and serves on the endodontic specialty committee for the Kansas Dental Board.

their overall experience. Dr. Budig uses only the best instruments available to provide the highest-quality root canal possible. Because of Dr. Budig’s commitment to excellence, he uses only the most current concepts, techniques and materials. His philosophy is to “make no compromises” when it comes to a patient’s dental health. He says that the Zeiss operating microscope and the 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography are the two biggest advancements in modern endodontics, and are both essential parts of his daily practice. The Carestream 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography system features one of the highest 3D image resolutions available and

delivers accurate views of patient anatomy for improved diagnoses, treatment planning and surgical predictability. Although traditional 2D periapical radiographs are sufficient in many cases, focus field 3D images provide significantly greater amounts of diagnostic data. Dr. Budig uses the Zeiss operating microscopes in all phases of every patient’s procedure. “The precise instruments allow us to visualize fine details, up to 20x the magnification of the naked eye, inside the tooth,” Dr. Budig says. “If you can see better, you can do better, and the microscope helps us do just that.”

APEX ENDODONTICS 13364 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 913.851.2739 | drbudig.com



KEVIN CUNNINGHAM, D.D.S. Choosing a root canal specialist should depend on clinical experience, cutting-edge technology and patient satisfaction. Throughout the past 17 years, Dr. Kevin Cunningham has performed more than 20,000 successful and pain-free root canal procedures in Kansas City. Dr. Cunningham’s practice philosophy is to provide his patients with the highest quality root canal treatments in a friendly, comfortable environment. “I incorporate the most advanced technology into my practice and surround myself with compassionate, hardworking employees. We care for our patients as we would members of our own family. Our online reviews are a testament to the way patients feel after being seen in our office. I strongly encourage patients to read our reviews so they will have a better understanding of how they will be treated when they come to our office for root canal treatment.” Dr. Cunningham’s commitment to excellence starts with using the most innovative technology in his practice. He utilizes Zeiss operating microscopes, digital radiography, and most importantly, 3-D imaging (CBCT). 3-D imaging provides a quicker and more accurate diagnosis and drastically improves treatment strategies. “I have been using 3-D technology over the past seven

BEST ADVICE When to see an endodontist: If you are experiencing tooth pain or sensitivity, suspect a cracked tooth or suffered dental trauma, or your dentist recommended root canal treatment, you should see an endodontist who specializes in diagnosing and treating tooth pain. You do not need a referral from your dentist to see Dr. Cunningham.

years. I can honestly say that I would be doing my patients a disservice if I didn’t utilize 3-D treatment planning in most of their cases. CBCT provides too much additional information that cannot be seen in 2-D dental X-rays. 3-D technology has changed my treatment planning philosophy, improved treatment success and is the future of endodontics. I feel that 3-D imaging will soon be the standard of care for root canal dentistry.” To learn more about Dr. Cunningham’s endodontic practice, please visit his website at CunninghamEndo.com. Dr. Cunningham is a contracted provider with almost every dental insurance company.

KEVIN CUNNINGHAM, D.D.S. ENDODONTICS-ROOT CANAL SPECIALIST 11900 W 87th Street Parkway Lenexa, KS | 913.599.0888 cunninghamendo.com



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CRAIG W. HERRE, D.D.S. TIMOTHY R. HERRE, D.D.S. Dental Health by Herre is a health-centered, three-generation family dental practice that has served Johnson County since 1953. Their mission is to build upon and strengthen their multi-generational tradition of providing superior, personalized dental health care services, to nurture genuine, caring relationships with patients, and to offer a broad range of progressive treatment options that will promote enduring health, confidence and beauty. Dental Health by Herre is a leading provider of progressive dental services. They practice biological dentistry, which is aimed at using the safest, least toxic materials that are the most compatible with your own body and health. They also practice rejuvenation dentistry which is conservative, age reversing dentistry. Instead of just managing the disease, their mission is to get you back to health by rejuvenating the entire



system so the body can thrive. Other treatments they provide are Cerec one-visit crowns, Invisalign orthodontic treatment, and cosmetic and holistic, mercury-safe dentistry. Another area of focus is treating TMJ/ jaw pain and bite issues to address how your teeth fit together. Clenching or grinding your teeth and jaw misalignment are signs you may have an airway issue. The team at Dental Health by Herre believes the airway is the most vital nutrient for your body to function in a healthy way. With on-site 3D X-ray technology, the area can be scanned for a more accurate diagnosis. Dr. Tim Herre is a graduate of UMKC dental school and a life-long resident of the Kansas City area. He is proud to be the first third-generation dentist in Kansas. As someone who is passionate about living a healthy life himself, his philosophy is to treat people the way he

would want to be treated. During the past three decades, Dr. Craig Herre has given his patients a lot to smile about. He is passionate about being active and giving back to the community. This translates into his motto of listening first and then providing compassionate care to each person he treats. Both Dr. Craig and Dr. Tim are inspired by the legacy and tradition of excellence established by C. William Herre, DDS. They continually strive to learn and optimize their treatment in ways that surpass traditional dentistry. Dental Health by Herre is proud to be your local dental team.

DENTAL HEALTH BY HERRE 11201 Nall Ave., Suite 120 Leawood, KS | 913.491.4466 dentalhealthbyherre.com



AMY RHOADES HAHN, D.D.S. RACHEL PITTS DRISCOLL, D.D.S. There is no doubt modern dentistry is in a state of change… and Rhoades Family Dentistry is embracing the new era and leading the way! This amazing all-female dental crew of 14 is led by two dynamic female doctors that believe in constantly evolving and adapting to those changes for the good of their patients. They stay at the forward edge of the dental trends by offering affordable modern dental treatments, using advanced equipment, providing impeccable conciergelevel service, and offering a truly welcoming atmosphere. Changing the way people feel about dentistry is the vital mission of Rhoades Family Dentistry. Every day they meet patients that are anxious from prior dental experiences that left them feeling fearful. Turning that around and sending them off with a positive dental experience is essential. How do they do it? They simply treat people the way they themselves would want to be treated! With ease,

they provide first-class customer service, utilize advanced equipment that enhances comfort and speeds up treatment times, employ modern dental treatments patients can see the benefits of, and create a safe, caring environment to assure you have the best dental experience. This practice is the perfect solution for busy families! They understand that you don’t have time to visit multiple offices for treatment and are equipped to provide for your entire family’s dental needs, all in one place! They offer the full range of all dental services, and both doctors are Invisalign Gold level providers. They have made scheduling a breeze by offering scheduling online, by text, by email, or keeping it “retro” and calling the office. They are here to make your life simpler! Dr. Hahn and Dr. Driscoll have more than 20 years of combined dental experience. You can expect these two to show off their super powers of being time-efficient, amazingly gentle and

calming your fears with ease. Their passion for providing the best care available is evident in their use of the most advanced technology that allows them to create beautiful smiles and keep dental costs down. They won’t bore you and go into detail about all the services they offer that help with anti-aging, sleep disorders, correcting bites and profiles, saving teeth, faster and more comfortable advanced 3-D imaging and never having a goopy impression taken again, but it is all really cool! They provide exceptional, pain-free dentistry to patients from infancy until retirement and beyond. We’ve got you for life! Looking for a long list of nerdy credentials? We got ‘em. Check it all out at www.rhoadesdds.com/staff!

RHOADES FAMILY DENTISTRY 13400 S Blackbob Road, Olathe, KS 913.782.8900 | rhoadesdds.com




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JAKE MEGGISON, D.D.S. If you’re looking for painless, stress-free dentistry and the most caring team of professionals out there, you need to visit Dr. Meggison at Dental Elements of Leawood and Shawnee. He and his staff are able to meet the needs of their patients in a way that many other family practitioners cannot. Dr. Meggison is able to do “shot free” dentistry for a lot of his procedures. He started using a laser at the Shawnee office over a year ago. Now, his patients can’t believe how easy it is to have a filling done. And say goodbye to temporary crowns! In most cases, Dr. Meggison can prepare and place a crown on the same day. He also uses a CBCT scanner. This is a type of dental imaging that generates a 3-D picture that allows him to visualize even the smallest dental structures such as nerve canals, sinuses, bone levels, pathology, and soft tissues,



which reduces the need for invasive procedures, shortens treatment time and offers a chance for a better outcome in treatments like implant placement and root canal therapy. And yes, Dental Elements does in office implants now, making “one stop shopping” possible! Through his one-of-a-kind all inclusive membership plan, Dr. Meggison has guided hundreds of patients through what seemed like impossible and unaffordable journeys, to a happier and healthier smile. The Dental Elements Freedom Plan takes away the financial barriers that normally prevent people from getting the care they need. Dr. Meggison and the team at Dental Elements value patient relationships and from the moment you walk through the door, your care and comfort are a priority. You will have the

option to watch television during your appointment, there are massage chairs in the dental hygiene operatories, and headphones to drown out the noise. The music isn’t the typical elevator music either, it is fun and entertaining. Dr. Meggison is committed to improving his patient’s lives through the use of technology, making dentistry affordable, and creating the most painless and relaxing environment possible. Check him out at DentalElementsKC.com!

DENTAL ELEMENTS 11912 W. Shawnee Mission Pkwy Shawnee, KS 913.383.0440 | DentalElementsKC.com 13018 State Line Road, Leawood, KS 913-498-8899 | DentalElementsKC.com



CONRAD PARKS, D.D.S. As a board-certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Parks has specialized training to treat the unique needs of children and young adults. As a father, he also realizes there is far more to your child than just their teeth. “I try to connect with each patient, find what makes them comfortable and how to make them smile,” he says. “It is so important to build a trusting relationship with each patient and their parents.” At Parks Children’s Dentistry, we value the importance of including parents in each visit. Because children typically visit the dentist two times a year and the remainder of that year, parents are responsible for their children’s dental care, “I give parents the tools to care for their children’s teeth at home, including them in the exam and preventive care teaching.” It is never too early to schedule your child’s first dental visit. “I recommend children have their first visit by the age of one,” Dr. Parks says. “Think of it as a checkup for their teeth!” Starting dental visits young helps children build a trusting relationship with the dental environment and instills a positive memory. Visiting the dentist shouldn’t be scary. Start young and make it fun!

PARKS CHILDREN’S DENTISTRY 4601 W. 109th Street, Suite 217 Overland Park, KS 913.491.5044 | parkschildrensdentistry.com

TALENCE KASIYAMHURU, D.D.S. Every good relationship begins with a smile and Kasiya Dental is proud to give you the healthiest and brightest one. Dr. Kasiya provides comprehensive curative and preventive dental services across all age groups. She encourages patients to keep regular dental appointments rather than waiting until dental complications arise. At Kasiya Dental, the well-being of our patients is of utmost importance. Our friendly, compassionate and well-trained team comprised of registered dental hygienists and assistants will create a luxurious, personal and pleasant experience for you and your family. We strive to maintain long-lasting and trusting relationships with all our patients. Our dental office has up-to-date technology and is designed for your comfort with an ambiance that’s both calm and relaxing. Dr. Kasiya earned her DDS at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry, Iowa City, IA; CLS (Clinical Lab Scientist), IMMC, Des Moines, IA; BA Medical Technology, Wartburg College, Waverly, IA. New patients, including children, are always welcome. Weekend, early morning and evening appointments available. In-network dental insurance is accepted. Kasiya Dental is an Invisalign provider. Like us on Facebook @KasiyaDental. Every good relationship begins with a smile.

KASIYA FAMILY & COSMETIC DENTISTRY 11538 W. 119th Street, Overland Park, KS | 913.940.3585 | KasiyaDental.com



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ANDREW V. HERWIG, D.D.S. At Herwig DDS, we believe a true smile radiates from the inside out, which is why we are so passionate about delivering an exceptional dental experience that makes you not only look great, but makes you feel great, too! Our highly trained staff of professionals offer a full spectrum of services within the fields of preventative, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. We are a family-owned family and cosmetic dental practice proudly serving the Greater Kansas City area since 1981. We have always prided ourselves on providing first-class dental care with exceptional professionalism and are committed to helping you maintain a healthy and beautiful smile that you can be proud of. A native of Overland Park, KS, Dr. Andrew V. Herwig earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) degree in 2015 from UMKC School of Dentistry. He customizes his dental approach based on your long-term needs. It is an approach based on trust, comfort, necessity and expertise, with the end result being your ultimate satisfaction. Dr. Herwig is a member of the Fifth District Dental Society, Kansas Dental Association and American Dental Association. With offices located in both Johnson and Miami counties, we are excited to become your local family dentist. We always welcome new patients and hope to make you a part of our dental family!

HERWIG DDS Lenexa: 11900 W. 87th Street Pkwy., Suite 260, Lenexa, KS | 913.492.8884 Paola: 24 S Silver St. Paola, KS | 913.294.4321 | herwigdds.com

JEREMY FRY, D.D.S., M.S. Fry Orthodontic Specialists has been your hometown orthodontist for over 40 years! With locations throughout Kansas and Missouri, we are committed to providing superior service for patients of all ages while helping them achieve a healthy and beautiful smile. Dr. Jeremy Fry, CEO of Fry Orthodontics, is a Kansas City native and enjoys providing smiles for children and adults in our community. “I am so grateful for what Kansas City has provided me both as a young kid and now as an adult,” Dr. Fry says. “My family has been in the community for over 40 years honoring this great place, and I’m proud that Fry Orthodontics continues to serve patients in my hometown!” Fry Orthodontics is a leading provider of Invisalign and utilizes the most up-todate technologies, including the iTero Element Scanner and self-ligating braces. Whether you’re interested in Invisalign or braces, Fry Orthodontics offers free initial exams. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your individual goals with the doctor and to figure out the best treatment options for your smile. We’re now offering free video exams that can be completed from the comfort of your own home! Call today to schedule an appointment for you or your child at 913-469-9191.

FRY ORTHODONTIC SPECIALISTS Locations in Kansas and Missouri 913.469.9191 | 816.877.0050 | info@fryorthodontics.com | fryorthodontics.com





JAMIE SMILEY, D.D.S. Dr. Jamie Smiley has been voted a Top Dentist for the past five years in a row and has been providing quality dental care in Johnson County for over 15 years. Dr. Smiley offers comprehensive dental care for your entire family. At Smiley Dental, we are genuinely concerned about our patients, and our highly skilled, professional team is here to make your dental visit comfortable while addressing your needs. Dr. Smiley is a member of the KDA, the ADA, the 5th District Dental Society and Spear Dental Study Club. We enjoy seeing new patients and earning your trust. Education: B.S. Science, Kansas State University; D.D.S., UMKC School of Dentistry. Same Day Crowns: Smiley Dental has an in-house CEREC machine. This means patients receive their crowns in one visit. The CEREC uses an intraoral camera to scan the prepared tooth and create the perfect crown milled from a ceramic block that can be prepared within 10 minutes. While we are still experiencing effects of the COVID pandemic, we closely follow CDC and ADA guidelines, prioritizing our patients’ health and safety.

SMILEY DENTAL 13430 Briar Drive, Leawood, KS 913.402.8888| smileydentaloffice.com

DOUGLAS WATTS, D.D.S. Dr. Douglas Watts of Watts Family Dental has been helping Overland Park, Kansas, families smile for more than 30 years. Dr. Watts is a graduate of Rockhurst College and received his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Following graduation he served as a dentist for the U.S. Navy. He has received special training in restorative, implant and cosmetic dentistry. At Watts Family Dental, Dr. Watts and his staff believe in the benefits of forming relationships of trust with patients and their families. “From the start, it has always been our goal to become a complete dental health care resource for the surrounding areas,” Dr. Watts says. “Over the years, our professionalism and our commitment to understanding the needs of our patients have allowed us to build a strong and enduring relationship with families in the community.” Dr. Watts is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association.

WATTS FAMILY DENTAL 4601 W. 109th St., Suite 240 Overland Park, KS 913.338.3384 | wattsfamilydental.com



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CLARENCE SIMMONS, D.D.S., GRETTER HANNAH, D.D.S., PAIGE C. RIDDLE, D.D.S. Smile Doctors Braces offers orthodontic services for all ages with affordable payment options, free consultations, and same day braces in a celebratory atmosphere. We offer remote monitoring which allows you to virtually see your orthodontist between visits. Smile Doctors prides itself on being active in the local community, area schools and community partnerships. Dr. Simmons, a Kansas City native, is passionate about practicing in our community. He received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry where he completed a post-graduate Certification in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics. Dr. Hannah loves seeing the positive impact orthodontics has on her patients’ confidence. She attended college at the University of Florida and received her Doctorate of Dental Surgery degree from Howard University College of Dentistry. She completed her orthodontic training and earned a Master of Science at Indiana University. Dr. Riddle enjoys enriching people’s lives by creating beautiful, confident smiles. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Central Arkansas and Doctorate of Dental Surgery from the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Dentistry. She earned her Master of Science degree in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics along with her Certificate in Orthodontics from the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. To learn more, please visit us at www.smiledoctors.com.

SMILE DOCTORS BRACES Plaza | Brookside | Raymore | Raytown | Lee’s Summit | Harrisonville smiledoctors.com

KATE STANLEY D.D.S. At Stanley Pediatric Dentistry we are committed to creating a positive dental experience for your child. Dr. Kate Stanley is a pediatric specialist, board certified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry and mother of three. She is supported by an experienced team of registered dental hygienists and professional staff members who are committed to a high standard of care while providing personal attention to our patients. We believe the key to excellent dental health is starting early and therefore recommend an initial dental exam by your child’s first birthday. Dr. Stanley and her team strive to provide a caring, comfortable, and FUN environment for your child from their toddler through college years. We offer a variety of dental services for infants, children and young adults, including those who are anxious or have special needs. Nitrous oxide and sedation are available.

STANLEY PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY 8575 W 110th Street Suite 310, Overland Park, KS 913.345.0331 | opkidsdentist.com







Dr. Joel LeMense has been helping patients of all ages in the Kansas City area for 25 years. Dr. LeMense believes in the importance of staying up to date with the many advances in dentistry, including intraoral photography, digital radiography and 3D scanning technology. He is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, the Great Plains Study Club and others. He was awarded the prestigious Fellowship Award from the Academy of General Dentistry in 2003. Dr. LeMense takes into consideration all viable options available to patients and uses them to customize a plan that best suits the patient.

The Brookside Dentist has been providing dental care in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City since 1934. Dr. Flack takes great pride in continuing the legacy of patientcentered, compassionate dental care and enjoys building relationships with people of all ages and backgrounds to make Brookside’s smile brighter. During this coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Flack and the team at The Brookside Dentist are taking all necessary steps to continue providing a comfortable and safe dental environment. Schedule online at thebrooksidedentist.com. We look forward to meeting you!



8012 State Line Road, Suite 100, Leawood, KS 913.341.3415 | lemensedental.com

6247 Brookside Blvd., Kansas City, MO 816.523.1444 | thebrooksidedentist.com



At Burroughs Endodontics, our vision is to provide the highest, quality-centered root canal therapies to the Kansas City community. While the thought of a root canal can be daunting, our compassionate staff will put you at ease from the time you schedule your appointment until your specialized care is complete. As one of only a few boardcertified endodontists in Kansas, Dr. Jeffrey Burroughs expertly combines state-of-the-art technology with a commitment to maintain the highest standards of endodontic excellence. Simply put, Dr. Burroughs and his staff are focused on providing Kansas City with quality care. Schedule your next root canal with us to experience the difference.

Dr. Stephanie Warden practices general dentistry in Prairie Village, Kansas. She graduated from the University of MissouriKansas City School of Dentistry in 1998. Dr. Warden is a member of the prestigious Greater Kansas City Seattle Study Club. Her other professional memberships include the Academy of General Dentistry, the American Dental Association and the Fifth District Dental Society of the Kansas Dental Association, of which she is a past president. Continuing education and community service are a passion of Dr. Warden. She participates in the Kansas Mission of Mercy and has donated to dental services organizations.

BURROUGHS ENDODONTICS 5525 W. 119th Street, Suite 215 Overland Park, KS | 913.258.5696 BurroughsEndo.com

STEPHANIE M. WARDEN, DDS 2200 W 75th Street, Prairie Village, KS 913.825.2500 | wardendds.com



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Dish E AT I N G


Daq Attack





To-go daiquiris by the gallon from this Power & Light bar are our summer obsession. a half gallon of cold, colorful, quenching tropical slushy on a hot summer day? The same thing, but boozy. If you’re looking for a half gallon—or, hey, a full gallon—of a smooth-drinking and flavorful frozen daiquiri, you’ll find it in the Power & Light District. KC Daiquiri Shop (“Sho’Me DAQ!!!” is what the oversize sign says) was inspired by a popular Dallas spot called The Daiquiri Shoppe. Unlike the Dallas location, the KC branch has no drive-thru and uses rum liquor and vodka instead of the

W H AT ’ S B E T T E R T H A N

Photo by Zach Bauman


wine-based alcohol developed to comply with Texas law. Inside, you’ll find a wall of spinning drink dispensers all refilled daily with a fresh batch of icy drinks in flavors like Pina Colada, Georgia Peach and Strawberry. You’re free to mix as many as you want in each cup—we recommend a Triple H of Hulk, Hypnotic and Hurricane. Because of the pandemic, you can get these tasty concoctions to go with the purchase of a food item. The $1.50 bags of potato chips come highly recommended. Drinks are made to order in frosted milk jugs of various sizes—a normal person should be good after the squat quarter gallon. — MARTI N CIZMAR GO: 1116 Grand Blvd., KCMO. Open 11 am-9 pm Monday-Thursday, 11 am-12 am Friday-Saturday, 12-8 pm Sunday. 816-974-3275, kcdaiquirishop.com







Beyond the Burger Looking to try something new? From sous vide brisket to classic taquitos, here are three great beefy recipes that go beyond roasts, burgers and steaks. BY M A R T I N C I Z M A R A N D N ATA L I E G A L L AG H E R


H AV E Y O U E X H A U S T E D every beef recipe in your files? After months of social

isolation, that’s understandable. In conjunction with our celebration of all things beefy, we now present three recipes that go beyond our standbys. That starts with our editor’s take on smoked and sous vide brisket and continues with a taquito recipe that’s been a staple of the local Mexican food scene for fifty years and bulgogi from one of the first Korean restaurants in the area.

The KC Crutch In the Lone Star State, they use crutches made of aluminum. Or so they say, since wrapping beef brisket in foil while you smoke it to speed up the cooking process while keeping the meat moist is known as the Texas Crutch. And around these parts? Well, I have a technique for moist, smokey, punctual brisket. The secret is to both smoke and sous vide. The KC Crutch, I call it. Yes, it’s possible to have a brisket that’s not only smokey and tender but also actually done when it’s supposed to be. If you’ve ever smoked a brisket in your backyard, you likely understand that it can be a complex, expensive and time-consuming process that often frustrates. Unlike a big ol’ pork shoulder, which is basically indestructible, a brisket needs careful attention and won’t always turn out the same, even if you duplicate the process exactly. Too many backyard barbecuers have carefully planned a meal around a brisket that just won’t hit finishing temperature. Lots of others have unceremoniously pulled the meat out of a cooler a few hours after it finished, only to have a guest ask if they were being served leftovers. So I solved the problem using both a traditional smoker (Big Green Egg) and a sous vide cooker (Anova). I adapted my brisket technique from Aaron Franklin’s Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto—not so much because I think the famed Austin pitmaster makes the best brisket (I wouldn’t put him in my Texas top five) but because he’s the guy who bothered to write down a bunch of ancient Hill Country wisdom. Instead of smoking my brisket for eight or more hours and fussing about the “stall,” I created a recipe for sous vide cooking—you put the meat in an airtight bag and slow-cook it at low temperature for a long time to gently break down the muscle. Is it cheating? Well, if you’re otherwise going to wrap the brisket in foil and stab it with syringes to inject marinade, does it really matter? Let the purists and the competition cooks fret all that.

T H E KC C R U T C H B R I S K E T Prep time: 30 minutes Cook time: 30 hours

1. Buy a brisket and ribs and/or sausages. The brisket will take about thirty hours, but the ribs and sausages will be ready to eat the first day of the smoke. If you’re going through all this trouble, you want something to show for it the first day. I really like baby back ribs and Scimeca’s Italian sausages, which will finish in the four hours you’ve got the brisket on the smoker.

2. I’ve made this recipe with both a whole packer brisket and brisket flats, and both turned out well. The packer brisket will include a fatty point, which is what you want if you’re looking to make burnt ends. The brisket flat will be ready to neatly slice up. If you’re doing a whole packer, cut it into two pieces before you start smoking it. 3. Before you start the fire, take your brisket and other meats out of the fridge and set them on the counter to bring the meat close to room temperature.

4. Don’t worry too much about setting up your smoker for a long cook, as the meat will only be on for four hours to start. Get lots of wood in there— you want plenty of smoke. I use a blend with tons of cherry and a little mesquite. Use about one log’s worth, cut into chunks. That’s about double what I use if I’m only slow-smoking the brisket. 5. You don’t want the smoker to get too hot during this cook, as it will dry out the meat. Instead, you’re looking to keep the smoker at about 250 degrees to develop a nice crust and imbue the meat with lots of smoke. Don’t worry about doneness or the internal temperature of the meat—a full day in the sous vide bath will see to that.

6. Rub the brisket down. For my rub on the brisket, I use equal parts salt, pepper and Arthur Bryant’s Meat & Rib Seasoning Rub. (For the ribs, I use mostly salt and pepper with a dash of Arthur Bryant’s rub for color.) 7. Put the brisket and other meats on the smoker with plenty of wood at about 250 degrees. If you

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can’t hit an exact temperature, aim low. The real cooking will happen in the sous vide.

8. Spritz the brisket with apple cider vinegar every hour or so. That moisture helps the smoke stick to the meat and develop a nice, flavorful bark. Keep a close eye on the other meats, as they’ll be done sometime between three and four hours. (I consider ribs done when they’ll break off the bone without due care and sausages done when they’re threatening to break out of their casings.) 9. After four hours at 250 degrees, your brisket should be ready to remove from the smoker and your baby back ribs/and or sausages

should be done. Wrap those ribs in foil—they’ll be ready to eat as soon as you finish the rest of the brisket prep.

10. Now it’s time to slow-cook that big hunk of beef. Take the brisket out of the smoker and allow it to cool enough that it’s comfortable to touch. Fill your sink with cold water. Place the brisket into the bag you’ll be cooking in (I use a twogallon freezer bag) and submerge the protected brisket into the cold water while forcing the air out to vacuum-seal the meat. 11. Once the brisket is safely into its plastic sheath, it’s time to submerge it for a full day of slowcooking. Set the sous vide cooker

to 150 degrees and let it go for twenty-four hours.

12. After a full day in the sous vide bath at 150 degrees, the brisket is ready to finish. Fire the smoker back up to 250 degrees. It’s fully cooked at this point, so there’s no need to put wood in with the charcoal, though smoke rolling off the grill does provide a better effect for your guests. 13. The brisket is done when the bark has hardened into a delicious crust. This should be about an hour. At that point, you can take it off the smoker and wrap in foil for a bit before slicing and serving. I like to take it off the grill when my guests arrive and slice it after they’ve had their hors d'oeuvres.

La Fonda El Taquito

DID YOU KNOW? Depending on where you are in the world, taquitos may also be called flautas (Spanish for “flute”) or tacos dorados (“golden tacos”). There are variations on how they’re served depending on their provenance.



In 1972, retired couple Agustin and Teresa Medina opened La Fonda El Taquito—a little hole in the wall at 17th and Summit with a counter and five tables. It was the first time soft shell tacos filled with carnitas (slow-braised spiced pork) had been served in Kansas City. The tiny shop had a tortilla machine, and tortillas would come hot off the press before they were packed with carnitas and splashed with homemade salsa. Fifty years later, the Medinas’ daughters, Sandra Medina and Maria Chaurand, are running the restaurant, now boasting a larger location at 800 Southwest Boulevard. The carnitas are as popular as ever, but the Medina family has another claim to fame: Their taquitos—a deep-fried rolled taco—are a signature dish. “We have family in Monterrey, and what happens with these recipes is they come down from our grandmothers or tias,” Chaurand says. “Machaca is made in many regions of Mexico, and everyone has their own version, but it’s mostly seen in Sonora and Monterrey.” When Chaurand’s grandmothers and aunts emigrated to Kansas City, they had to make substitutions for some of the taquito toppings they normally would have found in Mexico. Instead of cabbage, they used shredded lettuce; with no queso fresco available, they used parmesan cheese. For the home cook, Chaurand says, substitutions like this work just fine.

TA Q U I T O S W I T H B E E F M AC H ACA Prep time: 10-15 min Cook time: 55 min Servings: 6-8 Ingredients: 2 lbs. beef chuck roast 8 cloves garlic 1 yellow onion, roughly chopped 6-8 tbsp. vegetable oil 2-3 fresh tomatoes, diced (or about 1 can diced tomatoes) 3 chiles de arbol (or 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper) 3-4 eggs Salt and pepper to taste 1 package corn tortillas Toothpicks Toppings (optional): Shredded lettuce Parmesan cheese or queso fresco Sliced avocado 1. Place the beef, garlic cloves and half of the chopped onion in a pot with enough water to cover the meat and heat to boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the beef is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Take the meat out of the pot and let cool, then shred. 2. In a large sauté pan, cook the rest of the onion over medium heat until translucent, then add 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil, tomatoes, chiles de arbol (or crushed red pepper) and beef. Stir together until thoroughly mixed.

3. Add eggs to the beef mixture and stir quickly so that the eggs are thoroughly integrated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

4. Heat tortillas on a griddle or in a pan to make them easier to roll, then put a couple tablespoons of the mixture on the edge of a corn tortilla. Roll it tightly, but avoid squeezing the mixture out of the roll. Place one or two toothpicks through the center to hold the roll in place. 5. While you’re rolling the taquitos, heat 4-5 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan on high heat. (You may need to use more vegetable oil as you continue frying.)

6. Fry the taquitos in the heated oil, turning once, until golden and crisp. Remove the taquitos and place on a plate layered with paper towels to dry. 7. Before serving, remove the toothpicks and add toppings of your choice.

B U LG O G I Prep time: 15 minutes, plus 6 hours for marinating

Cook time: 10 minutes Servings: 2

Ingredients: 1 tbsp. minced garlic 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger

2 tbsp. chopped white onion 1 ½ cup water

6 tbsp. soy sauce 4 tbsp. sugar

2 tbsp. honey

½ tsp. ground black pepper

1 tbsp. sesame oil 1 tsp. plum sauce 1 ½ lbs. thinly sliced ribeye

Bulgogi from Sobahn Bulgogi is a classic Korean dish where thin slices of beef are marinated in a combination of Korean pear juice, sesame oil and spices and usually served with white rice or lettuce wraps. For Sharon Kwon, co-owner of Sobahn in Overland Park, the aromatic scent of bulgogi is more than a little nostalgic. “It’s one of the most kid-favorite dishes,” she says. “Growing up, every kid had it at their birthday party, and it was served at any major event with family and friends. It’s a comfort food and something you can count on everyone to like.” Part of the appeal of the dish, says Kwon, is that it doesn’t push flavors to the extreme: It’s not overpowering or spicy, the way fermented kimchi can be, but DID YOU KNOW? it has a pleasant sweet- savory profile thanks to the play of garlic, ginger, The literal honey and soy sauce. translation of "bulgogi" “To me, it’s the flavors of my is "fire meat" childhood and every element of because it what Korean food embodies,” Kwon was usually cooked on says. “My mom grew up in Korea a griddle after the Korean War without a or grill. lot of resources, but sugar and soy sauce were accessible, so it brings back a lot of memories. For my mom, bulgogi is something we get here in the States that brings her back to her childhood.” Sharon’s mother, Susana Kwon, is the chef at

Toppings (optional):

Sobahn, and has dedicated the last eleven years to sharing her childhood favorites and the beloved traditional dishes of her home country. Sadly, at the end of June, the Kwons closed Sobahn permanently. “It’s a really weird time right now, not just with COVID, and it was a hard decision for us, because my mom and I have shared this business for over a decade,” Sharon says. “It’s one of those things where inside, you don’t want to give up, but sometimes you just have to stop and rest—and maybe regroup. It’s not to say that we won’t ever do anything in food again, and who knows what this next year will bring. What’s important to me now is that I honor my mom and we take this time together to figure out what might be next.” Susana has offered a simplified bulgogi recipe for home chefs. Most of the ingredients are common pantry items. The Kwon family has always used thinly sliced ribeye for bulgogi, which is found in most oriental markets, but short rib, hangar steak or your favorite beef cut will also work with this recipe.

Thinly sliced green onion

Toasted sesame seeds 1. Using a food processor, blend garlic, ginger, onion and water into a puree, then empty mixture into a mediumsized mixing bowl. 2. Add soy sauce, sugar, honey, black pepper, sesame oil and plum sauce. Mix well. 3. Add beef to sauce and mix well. 4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator to marinate for six hours. 5. Empty beef and sauce mixture into a skillet and cook over medium-high heat until cooked through. Serve over white rice or with romaine lettuce wraps and top with sliced green onion and sesame seeds.





Buy Black Fannie's African & Tropical Cuisine

Black-owned restaurants, new openings and other happenings from the KC food scene this month.

King’s Table Soul Food

Some Old, Some New

As Black Lives Matter protests surge throughout the country, many are showing their support by putting their dollars into Black-owned businesses. COVID-19 did a number on the restaurant industry, and the pandemic has disproportionately affected African Americans. So it follows that Black-owned restaurants, in particular, could use some extra love—now and always. Fortunately, we have an abundance of Black-owned restaurants offering delicious food. Soul food fans should seek out King’s Table Soul Food (5932 Prospect Ave., KCMO) or Niecie’s Restaurant (6441 Troost Ave., KCMO). Blue Nile Cafe (20 E. Fifth St., KCMO) has some of the best Ethiopian in town, and G’s Jamaican Cuisine (7940 Troost Ave., KCMO) does a mean Carribean jerk chicken. Fannie’s African & Tropical Cuisine (4105 Troost Ave., Kansas City, KCMO) serves up traditional food from all parts of Africa. Vegans can get their fix at Happy Apple Cafe (5536 Troost Ave., KCMO). For a gutbusting breakfast, get Blue Nile the fried chicken, egg, bacon and donut sandwich at Brown Sugar Chicken & Donuts (3708 State Ave., KCK). This is just a sampling of the Blackowned restaurants that deserve your attention. There are also several great lists of local Black-owned restaurants circulating online, including from monthly tabloids Feast and The Pitch.



After weeks of quarantine, Kansas City restaurants are slowly reopening their dining rooms and patios for dine-in service. While some restaurants cautiously opened their doors midMay, June saw a greater influx of reopenings as the citywide restrictions on businesses gradually relaxed. In Missouri, restaurants must space tables six feet apart and servers must wear face masks. In Kansas, restrictions vary by county. Last month, we saw a number of fine dining restaurants—Capital Grille, Farina, Story and more— welcoming guests back. Shortly thereafter, a handful of new places opened their doors for the first time ever: On the Plaza, Chinese restaurant Duck & Roll; in Overland Park, NKC favorite Tay’s Burger Shack opened a second location; Verdigris, an upscale cocktail lounge from the team at Monarch, debuted in Johnson County;

Photo of Fannie's by Zach Bauman. Other photos from respective venues Facebook pages

and Blackhole Bakery on Troost is offering up classic French pastries and homemade bagels.

A Permanent Farewell Unfortunately, a few businesses are not returning post-quarantine. In the Crossroads, we said goodbye to long-standing sushi joint Nara, as well as seasonal fine dining restaurant Webster House, which opened in 2002. On the Plaza, Parkway Social shuttered, and south of the Plaza, Nick and Jake’s on Main closed. Sobahn, one of the first Korean restaurants in the metro, ended its eleven-year run in Overland Park. Blackhole Bakery


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Think carefully about the proposed terms of a divorce settlement

The process of divorcing is often complex and difficult. There are a few things that make this even more challenging. Having numerous assets or having an ex who is not willing to work to come to mutually agreeable terms are two of these. Individuals might not want to think about having to battle things out in court, but it may be necessary if the settlement negotiations are not successful. Negotiating the terms of the divorce requires that both parties in the matter be willing to compromise. In most cases, neither party is going to get everything they want. Being able to think clearly about how various arrangements impact them may help as they evaluate the

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The choice of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Kirk Stange is responsible for the content. Principal place of business 120 South Central Ave, Suite 450, Clayton, MO 63105. Neither the Supreme Court of Missouri/Kansas nor The Missouri/Kansas Bar reviews or approves certifying organizations or specialist designations. Court rules do not permit us to advertise that we specialize in a particular field or area of law. The areas of law mentioned in this advertisement are our areas of interest and generally are the types of cases which we are involved. It is not intended to suggest specialization in any areas of law which are mentioned The information you obtain in this advertisement is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Past results afford no guarantee of future results and every case is different and must be judged on its merits.

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Super Smoke How Jack Stack quickly pivoted to survive the coronavirus crisis. BY M A R T I N C I Z M A R

I N T H E E A R L I E S T D AY S of the coronavirus pandemic, when the closures and cancelations were coming fast and furious, there was very little good news to be had. Every new development in the world seemed to be for the worse. Well, except for cheesy corn in the grocery store. The sudden and unexpected emergence of the classic side invented by Jack Fiorella for his namesake Stack was one—modest, granted, given all the illness, death and economic doom— silver lining of the Lost Spring.



When the pandemic hit, it only took a week for Jack Stack to roll out burnt ends and cheesy corn. “We went from the dining room shutting down on Monday to being in grocery stores by Friday,” says Keaton Dorman, one of the main drivers of the project. “We got really lucky—we had someone on our team who knew everybody and could broker those deals as quickly and efficiently as possible. And the grocery stores have been unbelievable partners every step of the way.” The multigenerational family barbecue chain (we ranked them number two in town in our survey of the best last October) had never before sold its goods in grocery stores. But it had the capability, thanks to a mail-order business that’s been shipping KC ’cue all over the country for twenty years. Jack Stack has a USDA-approved production facility in Alma, Missouri, which is halfway to Columbia. The company simply geared up the volume and switched from shipping direct to dropping off at grocery stores, where they were given prominent placement by managers who could hardly keep up with the demand for protein. “It was our way of trying to meet our guests where they were going,” Dorman says. “We’ve been very blessed by some good decisions that we made before any of this, and it just ended up flowing as ideally as you could imagine.” Because Jack Stack delivered directly to grocery stores, they bypassed the bottlenecks that were leaving the stores struggling to keep shelves stocked. Jack Stack sent not only packaged food into the stores but also employees. “The grocers started hiring a lot of our employees who we didn’t have hours because our dining rooms were shut down,” Dorman says. “It started as a hiring spree with us trying to live our values and keep our employees with hours, with money coming in, and shortly thereafter we just went to full retail.” Jack Stack, like most other restaurants, is now slowly inching back toward normal. But while the dining rooms might be back open, don’t expect the cheesy corn to disappear from stores—in fact, Dorman says, they might just be getting started.

Photo by Kayla Szymanski

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Backstory I M P O R TA N T






2011 “



The heirs of the White Castle burger chain come home to Kansas to celebrate the birth of the fast food industry—and learn the secret history of why the chain disappeared there.

e first opened our doors in Wichita, Kansas, in March of 1921. Our founder, Billy Ingram—Billy was an entrepreneurial kind of person—struck up a great friendship with restaurateur Walt Anderson. Billy became really intrigued by this idea of the hamburger sandwich. He came up with the name: White for cleanliness and Castle for permanence and strength. They opened the first one in Wichita on Main Street, where the Sunflower Bank is today. Those early years were beyond their wildest dreams in terms of success. Billy looked around and saw where we were growing. At that point we had Castles in Detroit, Chicago, Columbus, Cincinnati, New York, Minneapolis. He wanted to be more centrally located, so he moved the business to Columbus, Ohio, in 1934. We were always mystified as to why, as a family-owned business, we didn’t maintain a presence in Wichita. Well, about ten years ago, we decided it’d be great to go back to where it all began and serve sliders to our fans. We were able to partner with a great local grocery chain, Dillons, to do an event where we served up thousands of burgers. A number of family members had the opportunity to go. While we were there, someone came up to us and shared the story.


Well, Billy had a loyal employee and good friend, Jimmie King. After we moved to Columbus, Jimmie didn’t love Ohio and was hankering to get back to Kansas. So Billy said, ‘You know what, Jimmie? If you want to move back and start something on your own, we don’t have to keep the White Castles going there.’ So Billy sold Jimmie the White Castle locations and he opened his own place, Kings-X. It was one of Jimmie’s descendants who came in and told us that story. So that’s why there are no White Castles there. We went into Kansas City as an expansion market in the mid-eighties using the same model that had served us well in cities we had been in since the twenties and thirties. To be really candid about it, we invested in having a big local warehouse and distribution center, and in hindsight we might not have picked the best locations. We did it kind of quick. We opened up big but we didn’t have the same loyal following we did in other cities. And it was right about the same time we launched our frozen grocery store line, and that really took off, so that’s where we decided to focus our resources.” — Jamie Richardson, vice president of White Castle, as told to Kansas City

Photo of the original restaurant courtesy of White Castle

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