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YOU’VE BEEN ROCKED

NOW LET’S ROLL With a concert and race every day, race weekend has something for everyone.

F R I :: 10.19.12… ARCA Night Race and 98.9 Low Dough Show with Theory of a Deadman, Adelita’s Way. Tickets start at $9.89. SAT :: 10.20.12… NASCAR Nationwide Series Race and Josh Thompson Concert. Tickets start at $40. SUN :: 10.21.12… 6th Race in the Chase for the NASCAR Sprint Cup and Candlebox Pre-race Concert. Tickets start at $64.

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lt weeklies can’t claim to have invented the list culture that’s now so dominant in media (the rankings of bands and athletes, the roundups of favorite restaurants and taverns, the empirical dissections of politicians and public figures). But long before the Web came along, the nation’s free papers did pretty much start the whole “favorite blank in your city here� concept. The Pitch is no different. Except that we are different — and our Best of Kansas City issue is different — because KC is unlike other places. Sometimes we don’t notice or remember just how different, and in what ways, until we once again attempt to list the specific things we love about it. That’s why we make this issue: to fall in love again with the place we call home. So day after day, we’re out there next to you, scribbling in notebooks and jotting on bar napkins and whispering into voice recorders whenever we realize we’ve just seen something or somebody really cool. When the notebooks and recorders are full and our pockets are jammed with

cocktail napkins, we writers and editors sit down and share our personal, idiosyncratic lists with one another. There’s a lot of nodding and seconding. There’s some argument and lobbying. Occasionally, there is sulking. By the time we’ve written and compiled the micro essays that make up the issue you’re about to read, though, we’ve all reached a happy consensus (and can’t wait to read and share the results of our readers’-choice poll, too). The people and places and athletes and teams and artists and musicians and actors and vendors and entrepreneurs and restaurants and chefs and bartenders and servers named here have given us reason to take pride in our city. And we think some of them are all-time classics. So you’ll see our trophy logo throughout the issue, a little extra anointment to recognize the entities that we seem to think of first every year. Welcome, readers and winners, to The Pitch’s Best of Kansas City 2012, the Hall of Fame issue.

ABOUT THE COVER OK, so The Pitch does not, in actual fact, have a basement rec room with oak paneling and trophies on the wall. (There is a basement, and we do have a few legitimate and nice-looking awards, but we prefer balsa wood because we can make planes out of it and fly them out the third-floor windows.) For the look we wanted for 2012’s Best of Kansas City issue — a little bit Fiona Apple’s “Criminal� video and a little bit cheer squad at King Louie league night, circa 1976 — Pitch art director Ashford Stamper turned to a crack team of local professionals. Kevin Moore (of Moore Remodeling) built the set, and Craig Berscheidt (of Built to Spec) fashioned the laser-cut version of our logo. Our model was Heather Offield (wittily channeling McKayla Maroney, U.S. Olympic medalist turned meme) of Seven Model Management, and Jamie Miller did her hair and makeup. Photographer Chris Mullins shot the images. Thanks, gang. You’re the best. 4

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.79,79 ART DIRECTOR: Ashford Stamper PHOTOGR APHER: Chris Mullins WRITERS: Berry Anderson, Theresa Bembnister, Jonathan Bender, Charles Ferruzza, Deborah Hirsch, David Hudnall, Justin Kendall, Ben Palosaari, Matt Pearce, Nancy Hull Rigdon, Abbie Stutzer, Scott Wilson PROOFR EADER : Brent Shepherd COPY EDITOR: Deborah Hirsch M A NAGING EDITOR: Justin Kendall EDITOR: Scott Wilson

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After months of teasing Google Fiber, the Internet monolith finally alerted Kansas City of an event scheduled for July 26 at its Westport Road office. Everyone knew the score: Google Fiber’s rollout would be announced. But, damn, Google pulled off the reveal in style. Google organized shuttle buses to ferry VIPs and members of the media from parking lots throughout the neighborhood to the invitation-only event. Classy hors d’oeuvres were served. The irrepressibly peppy, T-shirt-clad staff didn’t let persistent rain dent their smiles; they handed out umbrellas. Inside Google’s office building, the atmosphere was as close to an Apple keynote address as Kansas City will ever get. As Google officials announced the options — $70 a month for ultrafast Fiber, an impressive channel lineup for Fiber’s TV service — people in the VIP area cheered like the Chiefs were winning the Super Bowl. One-gigabite-per-second Internet could be one of most important innovations of our generation. And we’re giddy that it got its start in Kansas City.

BEST DRUMBEAT FOR THE FUTURE 6LOLFRQ3UDLULH1HZV siliconprairienews.com

Ryan from The Office may not know where Silicon Prairie is (it is absolutely not in southwest Ohio), but we do. And so do

the diligent writers and editors of Silicon Prairie News, the Omaha-headquartered wire that keeps tabs on the tech triangle of Omaha, Des Moines and Kansas City. SPN covers the startups in the heart of the Midwest. The reporting is sure and smart, delivered in a tone that’s supportive and optimistic, not cheerleader-ish. The news site has so far done without an entrenched presence in KC, but it’s coming. In September, the Kauffman Foundation announced a deal with SPN to sponsor its website, events (including Big Omaha and Thinc Iowa) and more. In that “more�: a Big Omaha-style confab for KC in 2013. That glow on the horizon is a Silicon Prairie fi re.

1 Million Cups as a way to engage Kansas City’s entrepreneurs on a weekly basis, educate the community about the great startups in Kansas City, and to accelerate the growth of these companies by doing so while building a dynamic and diverse entrepreneurial community,� Olson says. “As a team, I think we sensed an opportunity to fill a gap in the Kansas City startup community through weekly educational programming.� Listen in and you might just hear an opportunity to help someone realize his or her dream. And if you can’t get to Kauffman Labs, you can always watch the livestream.

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Kansas City is in the midst of a techindustry boom. You can’t throw an iPhone 5 downtown or even in the ’burbs without hitting an app developer — or nine. RareWire gives developers the platform to write an app in a single language that gets published in iOS and Android. The Crossroads company shined this year, making bold, easy-to-use apps for news media, including a signature app for The Atlantic magazine. Even if you don’t normally thumb through such sophisticated publications, The Atlantic’s free app is worth downloading to see how a tablet news-reading experience should be. This year, RareWire founders Kirk Hasenzahl and Matt Angell also showed just how

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The idea is simple: Bring Kansas City’s entrepreneurs together for a cup of coffee and get them talking. Each Wednesday at 9 a.m., builders, makers and doers gather for an open forum at Kauffman Labs. Two different startups get six minutes each to explain their concepts and then 20 minutes each to answer questions from a roomful of entrepreneurs, mentors, advisers and gawkers. Kauffman’s Nate Olson and Cameron Cushman host the names that could someday be household-recognizable: AgLocal, RareWire and many more. “The Kauffman Foundation’s Entrepreneurship Team developed

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user-friendly their apps can be with an app for world-news website Global Post. The Post’s app lets users customize their news feeds. It’s fair to expect more exciting things for your smartphones and tablets from RareWire.

BEST REPORTER (ODQD*RUGRQ .&85 Elana Gordon studied music and political science at Barnard College, but we say she found her true calling here, covering a major beat as KCUR 89.3’s health reporter. While working in the Kansas City Free Health Clinic’s HIV Prevention Department, she began volunteering at local community station KKFI 90.1. “It’s how I learned how radio worked,� she says. After that, she interned at KCUR, filling the position of health reporter for the NPR affiliate when it became open almost five years ago. Since then, she has crafted story after story around the sometimes deeply moving narratives of patients and health workers, all of whom she treats with sensitivity and dignity. And her work on covering a proposed federal physician database last winter was no less memorable, despite being about, well, a federal database. “These are very personal stories,� Gordon says. “I’m as affected by them as our listeners.�

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P E O P L E & P LAC E S BEST MEDIA PERSONALITY Nick Haines KCPT Channel 19

No one takes the local pulse better than Kansas City Week in Review host Nick Haines. What other TV head this year scored 25 minutes of on-air one-onone time with Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback? And once he got that get, Haines held nothing back. His U.K. accent keeps his delivery hypnotically polite, but the man doesn’t lob softballs. Whether the Port Talbot, Wales, native is conducting an interview or moderating the PBS station’s must-see Friday panel of newsies, he knows when to jump in and when to get out of the way. He’s an affable host and a pointed questioner, and anyone interested in the political lowdown in the city should be watching him.

BEST EXIT Kent Babb Leaves 7KH.DQVDV&LW\6WDU In the two weeks before he left his post as a Kansas City Star sports columnist, Kent Babb managed to undress Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli. He didn’t just take a few parting shots. He lined up devastatingly accurate bullet points in a pair of columns about Pioli’s failures. Together, they served as a neat bookend to “Arrowhead Anxiety,” Babb’s January 2012 investigation into alleged eavesdropping and a toxic culture at 1 Arrowhead Drive. Babb exited with his wit ablaze, referring to his Star-issue laptop as “Scott Pioli’s nightmare machine.” (As usual in sports, one writer’s nightmare machine makes for pretty entertaining reading.) Babb’s byline is about to start running in The Washington Post, but the Chiefs and Pioli probably won’t feel relief for a long time. Good luck, Dan Snyder.

BEST OUT-OF-TOWN GUEST A.G. Sulzberger A.G. Sulzberger’s 2010 placement as the Kansas City bureau chief for the Gray Lady drew some snark from us at the time, but he more than earned his keep as a serious, diligent reporter before he was summoned to the mothership this past spring. By the time he left KC (for an editing gig at The New York Times), Sulzberger had netted scoops from the Kansas plains and written absorbingly about rural Missouri. We liked the story about the long-lost British maybe-bank robber “Fast Eddie” Maher. Oh, and the one about the young doctors. And the one about the last Kodachrome 8

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lab. Yes, there was that much-discussed column last winter about the challenges of vegetarianism in the Midwest, but we gave up ribbing this guy a long time ago. He’s welcome back anytime.

BEST NEW PTACEK Ryan Kath KSHB Channel 41 When KSHB Channel 41 investigative ace Russ Ptacek packed his microphone for a job chasing ne’er-do-wells around the Beltway in Washington, D.C., we wondered who would fill his running shoes. Well, this one turned out to be simple. Ryan Kath, Ptacek’s understudy on the accountability beat, has emerged as a hound on the way to making his own big name. And he’s already making the city a better place to live in. In February, he broke open a shady Kansas City Public School District construction contract, resulting in the end of the $32 million deal and a school executive’s resignation. And for May sweeps, he tracked down some of the city’s biggest parking deadbeats, finding that at least 160 people and companies had 10 or more tickets. One guy had ignored more than 80. Doing what the cops hadn’t done, Kath caught up to him on his way to lunch, thereby putting scofflaws on notice that they’d better start brown-bagging it.

BEST MEDIA PROVOCATEUR Jim ““The Blind Guy”” Hoschek Before losing his eyesight in 1997, Hoschek wasn’t much of a radio listener. “I was a voracious reader,” he says. “But as a visually impaired man, I’ve come to love radio. It’s theater for the mind.” Hoschek is a frequent caller to local radio talk shows, nearly always introducing himself as “the Blind Guy.” He has many opinions on an equally diverse array of subjects, some more outrageous than others, and he’s most often audible on KCUR 89.3’s Up to Date and Central Standard and KKFI 90.1’s Urban Connections and Jaws of Justice programs. He even admits a grudging fondness for KMBZ 980’s mouthy Darla Jaye. But mostly he steers clear of AM radio. “I give them, maybe, five minutes a month just to keep up,” Hoschek says. “But the topics never change.”

BEST PR MOVE Kansas City Police Department’’s Tweet-Along This year, the KCPD moved Cops into the 21st century. The department’s PR team began holding regular tweet-along nights with officers on patrol to show residents


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P E O P L E & P LAC E S what a night on the beat is like. The subjects of the @KCPolice tweets run from the humorous to the dangerous. For example: “Suspected john said he was just giving her [suspected prostitute] a ride. Female now says she’s not working ‘tonight.’ #kctweetalong,” read a tweet from an August ride-along. Another charming example: “Dispute in 2500 block of Drury. Original call was person armed with a knife. Suspect is on something. He’s convinced guy on bicycle he fought with is the police. Now he’s showing us how he can do pushups.” Official tweeting doesn’t get any better than this.

BEST RUN-IN WITH THE MISSOURI HIGHWAY PATROL &03XQN Driving through Missouri isn’t easy for anyone. Just ask WWE Champion CM Punk. The Second City Saint told a Philadelphia Comic-Con crowd his story of getting harassed by a swarm of Missouri cops while passing through with his “road wife” and fellow pro wrestler, Kofi Kingston. “We have an out-of-state car driving through Missouri,” Punk told the crowd. “I have an Illinois state driver’s license. Kofi has a Tampa [Florida] state driver’s license. He is black. He has dreadlocks. I am covered in tattoos, and I look like I know how to make some pretty good meth. … You cannot tell that cop there is no weed in the car. He thinks he’s hit the mother lode.” The truth isn’t quite as sexy. Punk lives a straight-edge lifestyle, meaning no meth, no weed, no booze, probably not even a breath mint. The story holds up a fact that Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has called “disturbing”: Black drivers are stopped at a considerably higher rate than white drivers in the state. The good news for Punk and Kingston: They now have a tour bus.

BEST JOINT EFFORT 6KRZĦ0H&DQQDELV Show-Me Cannabis went all-in this year with its attempt to get a marijuana-legalization measure on the ballot for the fall election. Legalize medical marijuana? Pshaw, that’s a one-hitter for the statewide marijuana advocacy organization. The ballot initiative they pushed was full-bore pot legalization. “It’s going to have to be available to adults 21 and over, period,” Amber Langston, the group’s western regional director, told The Pitch in the spring. Missourians would even have been able to grow their own private pot garden in their backyards. Alas, it was all for naught. The group tallied 65,000 signatures, falling short of the number needed

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to get on the ballot. They’ve vowed to keep up the fight. Until then, smoke ’em if you’ve got ’em, you filthy criminals.

BEST TOURISM TREND 8)26LJKWLQJV Last November, travel-guide company Frommer’s named Kansas City one of 10 cities to visit around the globe in 2012. The Paris of the Plains was the only American city on the list. And, yeah, this past year, our schedule has been filled with tourismfriendly events. But humans weren’t the only ones answering the call to visit KC. Apparently, extraterrestrials had been hanging over Kansas City’s skyline. The local chapter of the Mutual UFO Network counted 87 sightings in the metro — more than anywhere else in the world last October. Metro spotters have recorded footage and photos and claim to have seen crafts with lights, giant triangle-shaped ships and your standard gray flying saucers fluttering around. Sure, one sighting ended up being an army skydiving team, and others are thought to be planes from Whitman Air Force Base. But most remain a mystery, and we welcome our little green tourists. Now if they’d just spend some green.

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“I was at the Kansas City airport looking for a place to eat,” comedian Todd Barry told a Late Show With David Letterman audience last summer. “Couldn’t find one, kept walking, couldn’t find one. So I went on Twitter and wrote, ‘New slogan for the Kansas City airport: Walk a mile and enjoy one of our two food options.’ ” We hate to admit it, but Barry was right. KCI’s dining options aren’t great, even with the newish Top of the Crown Grill in Terminal B. KCI officials did their best to appease Barry, tweeting him a map of the restaurants in the airport. Just one more reason to read up on the city’s plans to replace the aged complex and to yearn for a day when scarfing down ribs at a Chili’s Too, while waiting for a fl ight, is a possibility.

“...THE RESERVE IS AN EXCELLENT ASSET FOR DOWNTOWN DINING...” CHARLES FERRUZZA

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Comedian Louis C.K. really, really dislikes Kansas City. Last year, he earned this place in our Best Of issue for having ripped our city while appearing on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, calling KC “terrible,” “awful” and “a shithole.” He repeats this year for an episode of his FX series. On the show, Louis begs his manager to get him out of a radio interview promoting a KC gig. “They hate me there,” he complains. (Not so.) The manager wins, arguing that Louis stands to make a lot more money with the interview than without. Of course, Louis ends up doing a radio interview with an insufferable morning zoo crew (loosely based on Johnny Dare?). Louis shuts down the interview, calling Kansas City “the worst city in North America” and “a dump.” The only winner in this: Stanford and Sons Comedy Club, which gets repeated mentions during the episode. Thanks again, Louis.

BEST RUMOR %LOO0XUUD\ /RFDO3DUW\&UDVKHU Bill Murray crashing parties in random cities? Oddly believable! This particular urban legend was revived in July, when the Internet buzzed about a party-crashing tour that would carry Murray all over the United States through September. A website with a highly credible name — Super Official News — instructed: “To participate your party must have alcohol and karaoke available.” Check and check. “Any house or location interested must have a sheet or banner of some kind attached to their establishment the night of the party. It must say in big bold letter THE PITCH

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[sic], ‘BILL MURRAY CAN CRASH HERE.’ This will let Mr. Murray know where he is welcome.” Got it. But before the ink was dry, the story was debunked. Murray wasn’t coming to town. The biggest tell: The fl ier’s hotline number had a 785 area code. Uh oh, that’s Lawrence or Topeka. Sure enough, dialing the number put the Bill Murray hopeful in touch with the Westboro Baptist Church. In the words of Carl Spackler, “and that’s all she wrote.”

BEST GET

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For two days in March, Lando Calrissian was in the metro. We have the folks behind Planet Comicon to thank for it. Atlas Comics’ Christopher Jackson makes his annual celebration of all things super bigger and better every year, luring some of the biggest and cultiest names in the world of comics and sci-fi to the Overland Park International Trade Center. (This year, he didn’t stop at Williams; we also got Battlestar Galactica’s Edward James Olmos, another big name.) We can’t wait to see Jackson and Planet Comicon’s sequel next year. This deal’s getting better all the time.

BEST CONGRESSIONAL CINEMA CRITICISM 5HS(PDQXHO&OHDYHU RQ7ZLOLJKW We’ve always known that Congressman Emanuel Cleaver was crafty with words. Who could forget Cleaver calling the debtceiling deal a “sugarcoated Satan sandwich.” When Cleaver retires from Congress (or finally gets beat by perennial GOP alsoran Jacob Turk — we kid, we kid), here’s hoping that he gets into film criticism. In a letter to his U.S. House colleagues this summer, Cleaver shredded the Twilight films while


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P E O P L E & P LAC E S making a point about increasing bipartisanship among lawmakers. “As my family and congregation are well aware, I am a monster movie maestro,� Cleaver wrote. “In fact, I am protesting these new Twilight vampire movies. They are disgusting. After all, everyone knows that real vampires and real werewolves don’t date the same girl. This is a travesty that must be addressed by the horror scholars of this generation, otherwise millions of young kids will grow to adulthood thinking that Twilight movies are as accurate as Bram Stoker’s Dracula.� Two thumbs up, Rep. Cleaver.

BEST FUNNY TWITTER 0LFKDHO3LHUFH twitter.com/overlandparker

We can’t speak to Michael Pierce’s abilities as a seller of real estate, but we close the deal on his snappy, funny @overlandparker Twitter stream every day. “To celebrate National Cheeseburger Day,� he wrote one day, “I say 68% of us go out and remain obese.� Not sold? Example B: “I’m staying home, watching football & drinking beer; like a real man! Just kidding, I tried to leave 5 times but there’s a possum in my yard.� He’s even gotten Mac Lethal’s seal of approval, and that’s gotta be worth something.

BEST REUNION 'LHJRDQG/RJDQ%ODFN Everybody loves a good dog story. Local Army vet Logan Black spent 2006–07 serving in Fallujah, Iraq, with his trusty bombsniffing Labrador retriever, Diego. The two, he says, were inseparable during their time together. Unfortunately, the violence and explosions left both human and pup with post-traumatic stress disorder upon their return to the States. Logan’s time in the armed forces ended, but Diego was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in Texas to work with trainers. Black thought that Diego shouldn’t be forced to continue serving, and he launched a campaign to pressure the Air Force into discharging Diego. It took awhile for the Air Force to agree to retire the pooch, but in August it did, and Diego came home to Kansas City and was reunited with Black. Upon getting Diego, Black told a Texas TV news station that the 8-year-old Lab, who is sensitive to loud noises, will be treated to a life of luxury. Diego and Black deserve it.

BEST NOBLE EXPERIMENT 1HLJKERUO\ The most divisive municipal issue of 2012? Easy: the proposed two-mile downtown

streetcar. In August, downtown residents voted in favor of a special taxing district to pay for the line that Mayor Sly James had been pushing hard to get. Naysayers were abundant, calling it another downtown gimmick. Jase Wilson, founder of crowdsourcing website Neighbor.ly, sidestepped the debate. His idea was simple: Let streetcar supporters pony up for the train. Sort of a Kickstarter for civic causes. Wilson’s Crossroads-based company began collecting donations and offered (with the city’s permission) spaces to contributors for personal messages on the outside of the cars. Ultimately, the idea proved impractical. Fifty people kicked in a total of $3,775 of the ballsy $10 million goal. Neighbor.ly declared the campaign a success. Even if we disagree with that assessment, Wilson’s creativity in seeing a business opportunity and potential solution to a hole in the city’s budget is admirable.

BEST RADIO VOICE 5HQpH%ODQFKH 1LJKW7LGHV.&85 For 18 years, RenĂŠe Blanche has lulled radio listeners into a zen state (or sleep — her insomniac fans love her) on the Sunday-night FM staple Night Tides, on KCUR 89.3. The recordings on this locally produced show are “contemplative instrumental & electronic music,â€? according to the show’s website, which we hear as a pleasantly alien, post-New Age drone. But it’s Blanche’s soothing, seductive voice that we crave. Her training isn’t theatrical (“I was studying modern dance, not voice,â€? she says), but she was lured into radio after a college professor told the Detroit native, “You’re so intelligent. Why don’t you speak like Barbara Jordan?â€? Blanche got the hint and has never stopped talking — beautifully.

BEST AFTERNOON ESCAPE :HVWRQ We love our big river city, but every now and then we have to step outside it — for perspective, for an adventure, for a reminder of why we haven’t moved away. So one Saturday this autumn, we recommend that you do what we do: Hop over to Weston (population 1,641), a smaller river burg north of Kansas City that sits a little west of Interstate 29 and U.S. Highway 71. The community recently marked its 175th year in existence, and Weston’s downtown has been carefully pitch.com

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P E O P L E & P LAC E S groomed with boutiques to cater to the curious. Drink beers in the cellars of O’Malley’s 1842 Irish Pub or try some Missouri mead in the former church that now houses Pirtle’s Winery.

BEST INTERSECTION TO DRAG YOUR PARENTS TO 17th Street and Summit Parents: jealous and angry gods (when you ignore them for too long). Sure, you can appease them with a sacrificial dinner or brunch, but the Plaza seems too cliché. So take them to 17th and Summit. This leafy microdistrict is the quaint, folksy European arthouse fi lm to the Plaza’s Transformers 3. Buy your folks crepes at Chez Elle Creperie and Coffee House; make them taste the France they keep putting off visiting. Take them to Blue Bird Bistro, Westside Local and Füd to show them the joy of local food after too many nights at Applebee’s. Buy them bread at Fervere. Do this for them, because if they pick up the tab, you’ll also be doing this for yourself.  

BEST DOWNTOWN PARK Power & Light District Green Rooftop Nestled between the two tallest buildings in Missouri and hidden behind the bright neon of the Power & Light District sign at the corner of 13th Street and Main is a quiet (well, at least when the adjoining Jones Pool is closed), unassuming little rooftop park. A faux brick path circles a small patch of well-manicured grass. Trees line one side of the park, wooden benches the other. The east side of the roof is covered with tall native grasses. The park is always clean and usually close to empty. This is where we go to relax and watch the reflections of the top floors of Kansas City’s ornate art-deco façades in the glass walls of the city’s skyscrapers.

BEST KAUFFMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS VIEW Inside the Kauɲ man Center 1601 Broadway | 816-994-7200

Like new shoes, great buildings sometimes pinch a little at fi rst. But since it opened last fall, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has been an almost universally welcomed addition to our skyline, one that has widened the city’s sense of architecture rather than narrowed it. And among Instagrammers, 12

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there’s now a whole separate conversation taking place: What’s the best view of the place? Moshe Safdie’s design changes shape and character depending on your vantage point. From the Crossroads, its twin clamshells might be a throne sitting over the city. From up close, on the building’s north face, the layered carapace curves up and gracefully out of sight. But — fittingly for a concert hall — the best magic happens inside, starting with the heavenly fi shbowl and its south-facing look at the city. From in here, our town looks altogether different.

BEST BIG THINKER Peter Witte Dean of UMKC’’s Conservatory of Music and Dance Peter Witte knows how to blow hot air — through a French horn. The musician and conductor, named dean of the Conservatory of Music and Dance at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in 2008, has lately channeled his impressive wit and charisma into a visionary idea. He wants to move the conservatory and other UMKC arts programs to a downtown “Campus for the Arts,” adjacent to the Kauff man Center for the Performing Arts. The two-decade, $200 million project would start bringing hundreds of students downtown over the next few years while driving downtown development, housing, arts and culture (and lowering the median age of urban-core dwellers). An arts-minded person who gets stuff built because of his ideas, not because of his money? Sounds good to us.

BEST COMMON-SENSE DEFENDER OF ART Sean Reilly Public Information Oɼcer Overland Park

In our experience, spokesmen don’t talk much more plainly than Overland Park PIO Sean Reilly has this year. And that’s saying something because in two decades on the job, he probably hasn’t had to face down another juggernaut like the tempest in a C cup caused by a piece of public art in the OP. “Accept or Reject,” one of 11 sculptures donated to the city for a temporary exhibition at its arboretum, depicts a pair of exposed breasts being sexted by their headless owner. Artist Yu Chang’s think-about-your-actions-in-our-digitalage message was always going to be lost on some people, but the forehead slapping got loud when one local woman aligned her offended-mommy act with a petitionhappy religious group. (Please don’t make

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us repeat their names, lest we accidentally summon them, Beetlejuice-style, to our office.) Reilly was ready. But after a patiently administered public response citing the First Amendment, he went further: “The statue does exactly what art is supposed to do. It’s evoked a lot of emotion.” Totally! To another outlet, he added: “The piece is saying, ‘Focus on your mind, heart and soul. When we meet somebody, don’t focus on that other stuff.’” Yes! The controversy is absurd, but it has brought out the art-appreciating best in Reilly. Suburbs of America, watch how this nonbureaucrat does his job.

BEST KANSAS CITY REP Rudy Gonzalez Cowtown Couriers cowtowncouriers.com

help you live a better, healthier, happier, more daring life. Surplus inspiration lingers in the air, as though you’re in one of those Charles Bukowski-quoting Levi’s “Go Forth” commercials. The place is electric with the potential for networking. You take a breath and step out of the sold-out Helzberg Hall, and collect yourself. You look around the still-dazzling Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Somewhere in this sliver of acreage is a future collaborator, a possible mentor, your next business partner. (Maybe your next boyfriend or girlfriend.) Embrace the moment before it passes. Get a drink and start talking.

BEST PLACE TO MEET YOUR NEXT GIRLFRIEND Cellar Rat 1701 Baltimore | 816-221-9463 | cellarratwine.com

Around 5 p.m., they flock to Cellar Rat. Car after car rolls up to the Crossroads wine store, and out of each seems to emerge one or two or three or four attractive women — women with a taste for something other than Bud Light and shots, shots, shots. They’re sophisticated. Ah, but so are you. Right? OK, so maybe you need a little help picking out a red. That’s perfect — ask the woman over here, looking at the Italian bottles. And don’t worry. If her boyfriend pops up, one of the attractive people on staff here can bail you out with good wine advice. Drop by on a Friday night after work and you’ll see what we’re talking about.

BEST PLACE TO MEET YOUR NEXT BOYFRIEND Need a burger but can’t get out of your office? Cowtown Couriers’ one-bicycle delivery service can fetch your food — and just about anything else — fast. Rudy Gonzalez delivers to downtown, midtown and the Plaza, and a basic run costs just $5. His standard food lines stop at Green Room Burgers, the Good You, Succotash and Pieroguys Pierogies, with the pedals cranking from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays. But he does more than bike delivery. Gonzalez repped KCMO in the Cycle Messenger World Championships in Chicago this past August. He finished 171 out of 243 racers in the qualifying round, a showing that made the 816 proud.

BEST PLACE TO MEET SMART PEOPLE TEDxKC A battery of the local TEDx franchise’s speakers has just given you new tools to

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’’s White Party 4525 Oak | 816-751-1278 | nelson-atkins.org

We’ve heard the complaint: It’s hard to meet good guys in Kansas City. Whatever. You just have to know when and where to look. And the best one-stop shopping for KC’s handsome, cultured men — decked out in their best threads — is the Nelson’s annual Young Friends of Art White Party. Every July, beautiful and/or beautifulminded men gather against a beautiful backdrop — the breezeway between the Bloch and Nelson-Atkins buildings. Start a conversation in the drink line, then take your talking to the trees lining the great lawn. The music isn’t overwhelming, the crowd is friendly, and the opportunities abound. And if you can’t wait nine months to meet the next Mr. Right, there’s always Party Arty in January.


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P E O P L E & P LAC E S

READERS' CHOICE BEST AFFORDABLE NEIGHBORHOOD 1. 17th and Summit 2. 39th Street 3. Raytown

BEST AM RADIO STATION 1. 610 Sports 2. KCMO 710 3. WHB 810

BEST ARCHITECTURAL STRUCTURE 1. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 2. Liberty Memorial 3. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

BEST AREA ATTRACTION 1. Sporting KC 2. The Sprint Center 3. Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet

BEST BATHROOM 1. Hall’s on the Plaza 2. Hangers Cleaners 3. Prospero’s Books

BEST BUILDING 1. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 2. H&R Block Building 3. Union Station

BEST CATEGORY WE FORGOT 1. Graphic Designer 2. Bar Theme Night 3. Barback

BEST DAY TRIP 1. Rocheport 2. Shatto Farm 3. Smithville Lake

BEST DOG PARK 1. Blackhoof Park 2. Happy Tails 3. Blue Springs Dog Park

BEST DRAG PERFORMER 1. Mario Singleman 2. Marty Serroque 3. Melinda Ryder

BEST FACEBOOK PAGE 1. Pop Culture Comix 2. Bruce Copeland 3. Quixotic

BEST FM RADIO STATION 1. KFKF 94.1 2. KCMO 94.9 3. KRBZ 96.5

BEST FOOD BLOG 1. Jeff Akin (feed me kc) 2. Karmic Kitchen 3. KC Beer Blog

BEST FOUNTAIN 1. J.C. Nichols Fountain (47th Street and Main) 2. Northland Fountain (North Oak and Vivion) 3. Bloch Fountain (Union Station, Pershing and Main)

BEST KANSAS POLITICIAN 1. Pat Colloton

2. Pat Roberts 3. Joe Reardon

BEST MISSOURI POLITICIAN 1. Claire McCaskill 2. Emanuel Cleaver 3. Todd Akin

BEST LOCAL BLOG 1. KC99 2. Kristendom 3. kclightrail.com

BEST LOCAL COLUMNIST 1. Timothy Finn 2. Tina Morrison 3. Yael Abouhalkah

BEST LOCAL COMIC 1. A.J. Finney 2. Bradley Meehan 3. Steve Kramer

BEST LOCAL FESTIVAL 1. Greek Festival 2. Heart of America Shakespeare Festival 3. Irish Fest

BEST LOCAL HERO 1. Craig Howard 2. Tie: Crystal Jones, Daisy Bucket 3. David Ford

BEST LOCAL LIBERAL 1. Lazlo (96.5) 2. Lisa Cordes 3. Marlys Shulda

BEST LOCAL TECH DEVELOPER 1. OneLouder Apps 2. Perceptive Software 3. Pete Lucas

BEST LOCAL TV NEWS PERSONALITY 1. Kelly Jones 2. Kerri Stowell 3. Kris Ketz

BEST LOCAL TV NEWS STATION 1. KSHB Channel 41 2. KCTV Channel 5 3. KMBZ Channel 9

BEST MUSIC BLOG 1. Wayward Blog 2. Dementia 3. Kansas City Techno

BEST PARK 1. Macken Park 2. Minor Park 3. Penn Valley Park

BEST PARTY 1. St. Patrick’s Day 2. Super Mega Rage Face Party Party Extravaganza at the Union 3. Arts Asylum Grand Opening

BEST PLACE FOR A CHEAP DATE 1. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. First Fridays 3. Grinders

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN 1. Missie B’s 2. Kansas City Juggling Club 3. Kanza Hall

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN 1. Buzzard Beach 2. Kanza Hall 3. Kansas City Roller Warriors matches

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS 1. Crossroads Arts District 2. Country Club Plaza 3. Corner Café

BEST POLITICAL BLOG 1. Tony’s Kansas City 2. WNBTv 3. Midwest Democracy Project

BEST RADIO PERSONALITY 1. Afentra 2. Chuck Haddix 3. Lazlo

BEST SEXY MUSICIAN 1. Michelle Bacon 2. Mike Walker 3. Samantha Fish

BEST SEXY TV PERSONALITY 1. Lauren Halifax 2. Shawnee Mission Kia Girl 3. Mark Alford

BEST SIGN 1. Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet 2. Anton’s Taproom 3. Western Auto

Check out P

BEST SMOKIN’ HOT KANSAS CITIAN 1. Abby Eden 2. Alicia Solombrino 3. Alan Dunham

BEST TECH STARTUP 1. American Performance Technologies 2. AgLocal 3. Tie: Front Flip, Liquid 9

BEST THING THAT’S CHANGED IN KC IN THE PAST YEAR 1. Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet 2. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 3. B-cycle bike share

BEST TWITTER PERSONALITY 1. mylatestexcuse 2. Penny Oak 3. Quinn Katherman

BEST VIEW 1. World War I Memorial 2. Strawberry Hill 3. Kessler Park

BEST WEATHERCASTER 1. Bryan Busby 2. Gary Lezak 3. George Waldenberger

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Billy Butler

while batting over .300. There may be a sandwich named for Billy Butler, but he’s really a big country breakfast of a player, not flashy or pretty but a full meal, always ready to satisfy this town’s undernourished baseball fans.

BEST WIN Sporting Kansas City U.S. Open Cup

As soon as Billy Butler got into a Royals uniform, he started delivering. Whether from disbelief or discontent, though, the team’s followers failed to realize what they had in Butler until this year. It took Robinson Cano’s decision to bypass the designated hitter for the All-Star Game Home Run Derby to awaken our civic pride. Hell, yeah: This is the best Royals hitter since Mike Sweeney. Meanwhile, Butler was just doing the work: reaching career highs in RBIs and home runs

How are Kansas City sports teams like Ikea furniture? They don’t come with much hardware! Seriously, folks, big wins and trophies are rare of late for our floundering teams. However, Sporting KC won the city a thrilling game over the Seattle Sounders August 8 — and the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The game ended with a 1-1 tie. Overtime couldn’t settle it. Seattle seemed to be closing in on the club’s fourth-straight U.S. Open Cup. Then the Sounders missed their final three penalty kick attempts. Sporting midfielder Paulo Nagamura, his face heavily bandaged after busting it open earlier in the game, took his shot, only to have Seattle keeper Michael Gspurning make an easy save. But the referee ruled that Gspurning had sprung from the goal line early and awarded Nagamura another kick. Nagamura nailed the shot to claim the cup, sending Livestrong Sporting Park into a frenzy.

BEST DEBUT SCORE Kyle Miller Sporting KC vs. Stoke City August 1 When European soccer clubs play MLS teams in friendly matches, both sides typically sit their stars and play with a little less intensity. No matter. Losing is never fun for fans of the home team. In an August friendly, Sporting Kansas City looked like it was headed for a 1-0 home loss to the English Premier League’s Stoke City FC. In the second minute of stoppage time, Stoke goalkeeper Asmir Begovic attempted to clear the ball from his penalty area. But Sporting defender Kyle Miller’s head got in the way. Barely moving, the Kansan’s noggin arced the ball over Begovic and into the net for a tie and his fi rst career goal for Sporting. The match ended in a tie, thanks to the Rockhurst University grad, whom Sporting had signed in May. The goal hasn’t earned Miller much more playing time in MLS action, but maybe it raised his profile among the coaches.

BEST SPORTING KANSAS CITY PLAYER Kei Kamara “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,” hockey great Wayne Gretzky is often credited as saying. It’s a philosophy that Sporting forward (and handspitch.com

K Y L E R I VA S / C A L S P O R T M E D I A / Z U M A P R E S S . C O M

BEST ROYAL

down fan favorite) Kei Kamara follows. Kamara leads Major League Soccer in both shots and shots on goal, and he’s Sporting KC’s top goal scorer. Kamara’s goal celebration is easy to love. After netting a shot, the Sierra Leone national player makes his trademark heart shape with his hands and runs around the field. Kamara has keyed Sporting to one of its most exciting seasons, winning the U.S. Open Cup and spending the bulk of the year near the top of the Eastern Conference standings.

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SPORTS & RECREATION those newer gambling palaces with higher overhead costs and expensive décor. The Isle of Capri staff is extremely nice, and the chatty and good-natured clientele is, too. It’s not unusual to be playing video poker with a Mission Hills matron on one side and a just-paroled bank robber on the other. Just don’t start talking politics.

BEST SNOOKER TABLE AMF Pro Bowl Lanes in North Kansas City 505 East 18th Avenue, North Kansas City 816-221-8844 | amf.com

BEST KUMBAYA MOMENT Major League Baseball’’s All-Star Game

Kansas City was on its best behavior when Major League Baseball’s Midsummer Classic came to town. We helped tourists get around the Plaza. We chatted them up in bars. We even high-fived them at the game. We made them feel welcome. Even though we’re still feeling a bit of All-Star Game fatigue, the event brought the locals together and gave us renewed pride in our city, even with all its problems. Sure, we might not have gotten the economic boost that the game promised, but being in the spotlight reminded us why we like it here.

BEST GIF Mizzou Jerk-Oɲ Kid Just before this year’s March Madness, a young University of Missouri fan rose to Internet infamy. During a game televised on ESPN, a kid in the front row behind analyst Doug Gottlieb began pantomiming self-stimulation on live television. A GIF of the brat ricocheted around sports blogs, and Mizzou Jerk-Off Kid was born. It’s crude. It’s crass. It’s undeniably odd. And funny. Why aren’t the adults sitting next to the kid stopping him? We don’t know. Why is the kid wearing Clarks Wallabees (aka Walter White shoes)? Again, we haven’t a clue. Why didn’t an ESPN producer cut away? Your guess is as good as ours. What we know is this: Mizzou is in the SEC now, and its fans are going to have to pick up their game if they’re going to compete with the Southern powerhouses’ fans. 16

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Mock masturbation isn’t going to cut it in the SEC. No, it’s going to take something on the scale of the Alabama hoops-loving ginger who took a massive photo of his face to games.

BEST 24-HOUR GYM theGYMkc Various locations | thegymkc.com

No one really squeals with joy upon arrival at the gym. Working out is, well, work. But at theGYMkc, members don’t have to contend with muscle-ridden showboats who hog the weight machines. Even with three locations (in the River Market, on the West Side and in midtown), it boasts fewer meatheads than just about any other sweat spot we can think of, and we dig that. The attendants are friendly and helpful, and the other members are there to actually work out, not pose. Oh, and this is the best part: no contracts and no sign-up or cancellation fees. Now that’ll make you squeal with joy.

BEST GYM WITH A VIEW The Club at the Marriott 200 West 12th Street | 816-421-6800

Why watch the Food Network while you’re on the treadmill when you can watch the setting sun gleam off the roof of the Kauffman Center? (For exercisers at other hours, the small flat-screen TVs, bolted onto each machine, get plenty of channels.) The downtown Marriott Hotel’s health club, on the 22nd floor, has everything you need for a good workout, including weight and cardio machines and a lap pool. It also offers little luxuries: free downtown parking, fluffy white towels, squeaky-clean locker rooms, a laundry service, friendly staff. You don’t have to be a Marriott guest to enjoy a workout here, but that woman sweating

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next to you is someone you probably won’t see again, in town for a convention (the Acoustical Society of America, maybe, or the American Meat Institute). So grunt away without performance anxiety, but do avoid the pool when SkillsUSA brings hundreds of teenagers to town.

BEST PUBLIC POOL The Bay Water Park 7101 Longview Road, 816-965-9218 thebaykc.com

Until this past summer, the residents of Hickman Mills would’ve agreed that their southeast KC neighborhood really wanted for something — something big, awesome and fun. Their patience paid off. The Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department completed Phase 3 of the Longview Tract Park Master Plan and opened the Bay, a $7.5 million aquatic facility complete with two tube slides, a swirl bowl slide and a lazy river with waves. The public water facility is the fi rst in the area since the YMCA closed a decade ago. Landscaped, privately staffed and clean, the Bay is a sparkling aqua gem that we hope spawns much-needed further development along Blue Ridge Boulevard.

BEST CASINO The Isle of Capri 1800 East Front Street | 816-855-7777

The Isle of Capri is one of the oldest casinos in the metro and — give or take the sometimes claustrophobic Seventh Street Casino in KCK — the least glamorous. But its fans come here for a single reason: to gamble. The casino floor reeks of cigarette smoke and hasn’t been redecorated for a while. But the regulars like it because the slots seem to pay off more frequently than in some of

A Saturday night at AMF Pro Bowl Lanes is a quintessentially American scene. Past the stained-glass lobby mural paying homage to local sports teams and unions, you see hundreds of people bowling and downing pitchers of domestic beer. The 10-pin lures parents, who leave their bored children unattended to run in wild packs. Norman Rockwell couldn’t resist painting it. Escape the alleys to the poolroom, and you’ll see something entirely British. There, anyone can break off (that’s what Brits call breaking) on two full-size snooker tables for a pond-hopping recreational experience. The pool game, played with 22 balls with different point values, never caught on in the States, but it’s popular and frequently televised in Britain. The huge table (12 by 6 feet) combined with the larger number of balls makes the game deceptively difficult, even for stateside pool sharks. The snooker experience at AMF isn’t perfect — a few ’Merican balls substitute in the snooker-ball set, and the tables’ felt sags. But, damn it, sometimes it’s fun to play something different. AMF proves that exotic gems are just waiting to be unearthed in this city.

BEST PARK FOR WALKING/RUNNING Loose Park 5200 Pennsylvania | 816-784-5300

It’s no wonder that 75-acre Loose Park is the city’s most popular park. It’s impossible to get bored when walking or running around the grounds nestled in the south Plaza area. Ducks and geese hang around the prominent pond, a cannon marks a Civil War battle site, and tennis courts and beautiful trees dot the landscape. Even parking is abundant. If your avocation is people-watching, ditch your ear buds and stroll around to eavesdrop on a woman walking laps while talking loudly into her phone in a foreign language, on a boisterous outdoor wedding, or on a serious Ultimate Frisbee match. If you’re feeling frisky, join in.


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SPORTS & RECREATION BEST SPORTS BLOG Paul Anderson’’s NFL Concussion Litigation nflconcussionlitigation.com

UMKC Law School grad Paul Anderson hasn’t been a lawyer for very long — he just passed the bar exam in September. But he’s been a national expert on concussion lawsuits against the NFL since January. Anderson updated his spartan, no-frills NFL Concussion Litigation blog between classes during his final year at UMKC. He was quickly recognized by members of the national media for his insight and the sheer legwork needed to maintain a comprehensive database of the lawsuits. In the year that he has been blogging, the number of players suing the league has gone from a few dozen to more than 2,000. His hard work was recognized in June, when a publishing company hired him to write about concussion litigation for a subscription news service.

BEST MMA PROMOTER Joe Kelly, Titan Fighting The success of KCK-based mixed-martialarts promotion Titan Fighting can be attributed to founder and CEO Joe Kelly’s strategy of aiming low. That might sound counterintuitive, but Kelly, a former boxing promoter, says he has grown Titan by not trying to take on MMA heavyweight UFC. “We consider ourselves the NCAA to the UFC’s NFL or NBA,� Kelly says. “We’re getting the highest-level, brightest prospects before they go on to the UFC.� So far, the 35-year-old’s plan has worked. Operating out of Memorial Hall, Titan has a TV deal with AXS TV (formerly HDNet), former UFC fighters regularly show up to fight in Kelly’s hexagon, and fans nearly fill the 3,300-seat arena. Kelly’s pluck and persistence are refreshing in a sport where promotions routinely fail and fold or get bought out by bigger ones.

BEST PRO WRESTLER A.C.H. What does A.C.H. stand for? Attitude, Charisma and Heart, when we’re talking about the 5-foot-9, 190-pound wrestler from Austin, Texas. The man exemplifies all three of those qualities inside a wrestling ring. He makes his entrance Risky Business-style, sliding from one side of the curtain to the other and clowning around with the crowd. But when the bell rings, he gets down to business. He debuted for Kansas City, Kansas’ Metro Pro Wrestling in February, and he’s been a fixture on cards since. The Last Hero (as he’s known) stole

the show in a high-flying, hard-hitting match with “the Rebel� Jeremy Wyatt (our 2011 Best Of winner) for the Central States Title. A.C.H. didn’t win, but his star was born. He won the Central States Title in a three-way match in June, and he finally defeated Wyatt in August. See him while you can. A.C.H. is already capturing the interest of the bigger independent wrestling organizations, and it might not be long before pro goliath WWE takes notice.

BEST MMA ANNOUNCER Sean Wheelock Bellator Fighting Championships

Shawnee is home to the voice of the Bellator Fighting Championships: Sean Wheelock. He grew up in the metro, attending Thursday-night wrestling matches at the legendary Memorial Hall. Wheelock dropped his knowledge of “Bulldog� Bob Brown, Rufus R. Jones and Central States Wrestling during an appearance on TNA Impact Wrestling on Spike TV, and now his smooth voice and knowledge of the fight game (he still refs occasional boxing matches) come across the Viacom network Friday nights on MTV2 as well as on Spike TV’s website. And he’s not content simply to provide commentary on the fights. He’s on a mission to teach MMA judges and referees. In August, he held his first training session in Overland Park, an admirable ambition from one of the rough sport’s good guys.

STALK US! WE DARE YOU

        

BEST SUPERFAN The K-State Mask youtube.com/user/kstatemask

Some superfans’ secret identities are best left a mystery. (Did we really need to know the intimate details of White Owl’s love life? No, no, no.) The K-State Mask — a purple-mask-wearing Kansas State fan who records pre- and postgame YouTube videos to pump up the Wildcats — is no exception. This guy vacillates from cool confidence to blazing madness. Exhibit A: the video before K-State’s game against North Texas. The Mask, wearing a tiara, a pink skirt and a feather boa, held a stuffed-animal tea party in a pink-colored room. The guest of honor: Mean Green mascot Scrappy the eagle. The Mask also adds quotably funny hashtags after some of his nonsensical rants. We especially liked #hurricanesarentevenreal and #dinosaurhearts and #gaylordstampede. Watch the videos (and thank Manhattan, Kansas, digital agency the 502 Media Group). You’ll understand.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buy from a nicer bunch of guys!â&#x20AC;? 13020 West 63rd Streed Shawnee KS 66216 (913) 631-1111 Located just 2.5 miles west of 1-35 or 3 miles east of I-435 on Shawnee Mission Parkway

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University of Kansas

In last year’s Best of Kansas City issue, we praised KU sprinter Diamond Dixon for conquering her Big 12 competition. This year, we recognize her for dominating the world in the London Olympics in August. Dixon raced in the 400-meter relay semifinals, which qualified her for a gold medal when the team won the next day’s event. The Texas native has a story worthy of NBC’s gauzy, heartwarming Olympic featurettes. Her mother was 16 when she gave birth to Dixon, who was raised by her grandmother’s sister. After she returned from London, stories explained that her past makes it hard for her to trust people and to open up. We doubt that this is the last award the 20-yearold athlete receives.

BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL PLAYER 7KRPDV5RELQVRQ .DQVDV-D\KDZNV The Morris twins: gone pro. The hole in the Kansas Jayhawks’ front court would belong to Thomas Robinson … if he didn’t join Markieff and Marcus in the NBA. Robinson’s potential to be a great college player was clear in his sophomore season (7.6 points and 6.4 rebounds in just under 15 minutes a game), and he was projected as a lottery talent. Now, in a year when he lost his mother and two grandparents in the same awful month, with a little sister to care for alone, T-Rob had a decision to make: Stay and own this team or leave and get paid. Robinson stayed for his junior year, and he dominated. The 6-foot10-inch forward averaged a double-double (17.7 points and 11.9 rebounds), led KU to a regular-season Big 12 crown and racked up a bunch of honors (Big 12 Conference Player of the Year, first-team All-Big 12 Conference and a consensus first-team All-American). Oh, and he damn near grabbed a National Championship, falling 67-59 to Kentucky. As T-Rob’s tat says, though, “Success is nothing without failure.” So with that, he goes forward with everyone’s blessing, snatched up by the Sacramento Kings with the fifth overall pick in the NBA Draft.

BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYER &ROOLQ.OHLQ .DQVDV6WDWH8QLYHUVLW\ The second coming is here: Collin Klein is football Jesus 2.0. His attributes before this season recalled original NCAA son of God Tim Tebow — not a great passer but a fast runner (and a serious Christian). But that was then. So far this fall, Klein is slinging 18

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the ball at a more efficient clip and scoring. He also has been plowing over nonconference foes for touchdowns. Better work on your end-zone pose, Collin.

BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH )UDQN+DLWK University of Missouri Tigers

The Missouri Tigers lost Laurence Bowers to a torn ACL before the season even started — not a good opening act for incoming head coach Frank Haith, whose record at the University of Miami was lackluster and whose exit from that program was tainted by scandal. But Haith’s Tigers delivered, thanks largely to a core of talented guards: Kim English, Marcus Denmon, Phil Pressey and Michael Dixon. A team pegged as one of the nation’s 25 best shot up the polls to No. 2, sealed with a win in the last Border War basketball game in Columbia. After winning its last-ever Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, Mizzou earned a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a first-round matchup with Norfolk State. Missouri’s big dance ended early, with Phil Pressey missing a 3-pointer at the buzzer to close a Spartans upset. The Tigers finished the year with a 30-5 record, and Haith put together a solid recruiting class, giving Mizzou hoops fans hope for future hardwood glory.

BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH %LOO6Q\GHU Kansas State University

Make your jokes — we have. Call him old. Say he looks like the Crypt Keeper. Bill Snyder doesn’t care. He’s untouchable in Manhattan, Kansas. Snyder mopped up the mess left by Ron Prince and restored purple pride to Bill Snyder Family Stadium. He didn’t waste time after his three-year absence. Last season, Snyder’s ’Cats rolled to a 10-2 record (with losses to Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) and an appearance in the Cotton Bowl against Arkansas. His team played salty, smash-mouth football, and Snyder returned swagger and tradition to EMAW nation. No laughing matter, indeed.

BEST SAVE 7KH6SULQW&HQWHU5HĦVLJQV WKH%LJ0HQ·V %DVNHWEDOO7RXUQDPHQW When Missouri left the Big 12 for the SEC, Kansas Citians feared that the city would lose one of its signature sporting events: the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament. In June, the Sprint Center and the Kansas City Sports Commission & Foundation laid those fears to rest by locking up the

tourney through 2016. And the conference also received first refusal on championship dates after 2016. “This agreement solidifies the fact that Kansas City is Big 12 country,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. The Big 12’s marquee event is staying in a state without a member institution? That’s some serious dealmaking voodoo, and we approve.

BEST KANSAS CITY CHIEF -DPDDO&KDUOHV

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Any question whether Jamaal Charles would return to form, after a season-ending ACL tear last year, vanished in Week 3 last month. The running back carried the ball a whopping 33 times, racking up 233 yards against the New Orleans Saints — including a 91-yard breakaway touchdown sprint. Charles led KC to its first win of the season and delivered the second-best single-game rushing performance in Chiefs history. The first: Charles’ 259-yard game on January 3, 2010. Now that’s a comeback.

BEST SPORTS ARTWORK 5RE6FKDPEHUJHU robschamberger.com

NWA champ “Scrap Iron” Adam Pearce is no art connoisseur, especially when the art depicts one of his rivals. At a June Metro Pro Wrestling show, as Rob Schamberger was presenting his painting of retiring local pro Michael Strider to the grappler, Pearce crashed the party, smashing the painting over a blindsided Strider’s skull. OK, so Pearce doesn’t appreciate Schamberger’s art. We do, though. With assistance from a successful Kickstarter campaign last May, the painter is working on portraits of every world heavyweight champion in pro-wrestling history. He’s off to a great start, with impressive studies of the Ultimate Warrior, Ric Flair, Harley Race, Hulk Hogan and many more. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to see that Schamberger is some kind of visionary who oughta have a big championship belt of his own.


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BEST HOPE FOR THE CHIEFS’ FUTURE -XVWLQ+RXVWRQ DQG7DPED+DOL Justin Houston is a demon on defense. The second-year outside linebacker from Georgia has terrorized opposing quarterbacks. Ask Drew Brees, who became intimately acquainted with Houston by getting sacked three times during the Chiefs’ first win of the 2012 season. Houston and Tamba Hali add up to a truly intimidating pass-rushing duo, something the Chiefs really need. Double-team Hali all you want — Houston is going to break through the line and bust up your quarterback. Hali, in his seventh year, may not have a sack yet, but it’s only a matter of time. Together, they’re among the league’s best packages — and reason for us to hope that the Chiefs faithful may yet see some reward.

BEST HOPE FOR THE ROYALS’ FUTURE :LO0\HUV We know, we know, 2012 turned out not to be “Our Time.” But before we make another joke about the team’s advertising slogans

2. Norm Stewart 3. Bill Self

BEST BASKETBALL COURT 1. Allen Fieldhouse 2. Blue Springs Park 3. Bramlage Coliseum

BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH 1. Greg Nesbitt 2. Keith Ross 3. Bill Snyder

BEST BOWLING ALLEY 1. AMF Northland Lanes 2. Mission Bowl 3. Incredabowl

(next year: “Someday?”), we’ll say this: The Royals’ roster already includes some enviable young talent. We’re looking at you, Eric Hosmer. And you, Mike Moustakas. But the guy we really can’t wait to see at the K is Wil Myers. Major League Baseball’s Futures Game, during All-Star Week, gave us just a taste, but he didn’t disappoint, going 2-for-4 with three RBIs. Oh, and a smashed camera. A ball Myers fouled off in the sixth inning shattered a camera. It was a perfect shot — and the kind of thing baseball writers notice. Baseball America named Myers the 2012 Minor League Player of the Year for tearing up Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha, including 37 home runs. How many months till he sends some into the fountains at the K? We’re counting.

BEST FITNESS BOOT CAMP 1. Kri Chay Urban HIIT FITT 2. Lifetime Fitness 3. Lift Above

BEST CAMPSITE 1. Smithville Lake 2. Clinton State Park 3. Tuttle Creek

BEST FITNESS CLASS 1. PiYo with Janine at 24 Hour Fitness 2. City Gym 3. Jazzercise

BEST CASINO 1. Argosy 2. Ameristar 3. Harrah’s

BEST CHIEFS PLAYER 1. Dustin Farr Colquitt 2. Tamba Hali 3. Jamaal Charles

BEST FREE FUN 1. Geocaching 2. Heart of America Shakespeare Festival 3. Hello Art

BEST GOLF COURSE 1. Creekmoor 2. Deer Creek 3. Drumm Farm

BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE 1. Kim English 2. Laurence Bowers 3. Erik Kynard

BEST HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE 1. Nick Ramirez 2. Trent Hosick 3. Clayton Custer

BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH 1. Matt Brown

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FROM FUN TO HIGH PERFORMANCE YOUR JOURNEY IS YOUR OWN WE’LL HELP YOU GET THERE

10415 BLUE RIDGE 816.761.3233 WWW.BICYCLESHACK.COM

BEST JAYHAWKS BASKETBALL PLAYER

BEST SOCCER FIELD

1. Danny Manning 2. Jeff Withey 3. Wilt Chamberlain

1. Livestrong Park 2. Overland Park Soccer Complex 3. Legacy Park

BEST JAYHAWKS FOOTBALL PLAYER

BEST SPORTING KC PLAYER

1. Dayne Crist 2. Toben Opurum 3. Gale Sayers

1. Aurelien Collin 2. Kei Kamara 3. Chance Myers

BEST LOCAL GYM/FITNESS CLUB

BEST SPORTS BLOGGER

1. Westwood Tennis Club 2. Lit Fitness 3. Woodside

1. Ralph Corse 2. Rany Jazayerli 3. Russ Dugan

BEST LOCAL KICKBALL LEAGUE

BEST SPORTSCASTER

1. Big Balls 2. Gladstone Parks and Recreation 3. Tie: Kaw Valley Kickball League, MUSA

1. Ryan Lefebvre 2. Steven St. John 3. Mitch Holthus

BEST LOCAL KICKBALL TEAM NAME

BEST SPORTS RADIO BROADCASTER

1. Amazeballs 2. Roundhouse Kick for the Base 3. Rubberballs

1. Bob Fescoe 2. Carrington Harrison 3. Callum Williams

BEST LOCAL MMA FIGHTER

BEST SPORTSWRITER

1. Alyssa Ott 2. Blake Pool 3. Bobby Voelker

1. Danny Parkins 2. Charles Gooch 3. Jason Whitlock

BEST LOCAL PRO WRESTLER

BEST SPRINT CENTER SPORTING EVENT

1. Tyler Cook 2. Mark Sterling 3. A.C.H.

1. Big 12 Basketball Tournament 2. WWE 3. NBA exhibition game

BEST MAVERICKS PLAYER

BEST STADIUM

1. Brandon Smith 2. Carlyle Lewis 3. Charlie Effinger

1. Kauffman Stadium 2. Kansas Speedway 3. Livestrong

BEST ORGANIZED FOOT RACE/RUN

BEST T-BONES PLAYER

1. Brew to Brew 2. Tie: Bringing Up the Rear, Hospital Hill 3. Tie: Color Run, Broadway Bridge Half-Marathon and Corporate Challenge

1. Trevor Coleman 2. Justin Bass 3. Kyle Dahman

BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL 1. Side Pockets 2. 403 Club 3. The Union

BEST PLACE TO THROW DARTS 1. 403 Club 2. Chez Charlie’s 3. Clarette Club

BEST PERSONAL TRAINER

Now you can flip though the pages of P on p

BEST RECREATIONAL SPORTS LEAGUE

Our entire issue is there for when the racks are empty, you need to check out an old issue, or just because you want to...

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1. Chris Roberson 2. Chris Spears 3. Tie: Chris Termini, Chris White

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1. Blue Springs Gators 2. Cowtown Butchers 3. Tie: Dead Girl Derby, Roller Warriors

BEST ROLLER WARRIOR 1. Tie: Ann Vinegar, Rachel Herring 2. Ruth Canal

BEST TENNIS COURT 1. Overland Park Sports Complex 2. Plaza Tennis Center 3. Woodside

BEST TIGERS BASKETBALL PLAYER 1. Phil Pressey 2. Laurence Bowers 3. Michael Dixon

BEST TIGERS FOOTBALL PLAYER 1. T.J. Moe 2. Dorial Green-Beckham 3. James Franklin

BEST WILDCATS BASKETBALL PLAYER 1. Rodney McGruder 2. Jordan Henriquez 3. Shane Southwell

BEST WILDCATS FOOTBALL PLAYER 1. Collin Klein 2. Jarell Childs 3. Travis Tannahill

BEST ROYALS PLAYER

BEST YOGA STUDIO

1. Mike Moustakas 2. Alex Gordon 3. Billy Butler

1. Sage Center for Yoga and Healing Arts 2. Matt Ross Community Center 3. Maya Yoga


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S E RVICE S BEST REBRANDING Stockyards District On a sign at the corner of 16th Street and Genessee, the disembodied heads of an angry-looking steer, a jaded sheep and a sullen pig float against a green background above the words “Stockyards District.” That sign sums up the new visual identity for what everyone knows as the West Bottoms, the neighborhood between Interstate 670 and Kemper Arena. This historic agribusiness flood plain is now being repopulated with a growing number of restaurants, galleries and offices for creative startups. The effort to reimagine a wide swath of old rail-and-cattle turf —spearheaded by the father-son development team of Bill Haw and Bill Haw Jr., along with Dolphin Gallery owner John O’Brien — reminds us of the Crossroads District’s transformation into an arts hub. It’s not there yet, but the additional white gallery walls and white tablecloths are exciting to see. Pretty soon, there’ll be no more looking down on the Bottoms.

BEST TAKEOVER Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet 1400 Main | drafthouse.com/kansas_city

The year it opened, the AMC six-plex at the southwestern edge of the Power & Light District was an easy choice for us when it came time to name the city’s best movie theater. It was a hometown com-

pany’s deluxe restoration of a classic old building, and it signaled an encouraging move away from behemoth suburban multiplexes in favor of urban boutique cinema. Also: crazy comfortable. Three years later, AMC’s HQ is on its way across the state line, and the whole chain has been sold to a megalithic Chinese corporation. But 1400 Main is still a digital-projecting, deep-chaired, liquor-serving oasis, thanks to the most beloved name in fan-centric moviegoing: Alamo Drafthouse. When AMC pulled out of its partnership with Cordish last summer, the Texas company swept in, keeping everything smart about Mainstreet while dosing the place on cult movies and cool. The food and drink are better, and the programming finds room for high-test nostalgia alongside The Dark Knight and The Master. There’s free bicycle valet parking, the policy outlawing cellphone use during a movie is thrillingly severe, and there is no … fucking … talking … allowed. We’ve never been happier to have a neighbor.

BEST SHOWROOM OF THE FUTURE Google Fiber Space 1814 Westport Road | 866-777-7550

For a year, Google has claimed that its Fiber Internet will be 100 times faster than the current average speed. That’s a nice round number, but it’s hard to imagine what 1-gigabit-per-second Internet service looks like. So when Google made its

splashy July announcement that it was beginning to sign up homeowners for Fiber, it did a smart thing: It let potential subscribers test it out. The Web giant’s Fiber Space office resembles a living-room showroom at Nebraska Furniture Mart. But it’s more. To demonstrate exactly how fast Fiber is, visitors can fiddle with Netflix on a TV (pick a movie, push Play and — boom! — it’s straight to the opening credits); play around with a laptop; and witness sites loading so fast, they’ll loathe their homeconnection speeds. Drag Fiber skeptics to the space. It will change their minds — and leave buffering a distant memory.

machine purrs, and the warmth is spread around the back of your neck for a shave along the hairline with a straight razor. A feeling of sophisticated nostalgia washes over you with each razor stroke. To the city’s credit, the gimmick-free shop still thrives. Bring cash and call ahead. As the business cards gently urge: “Appointments preferred.”

BEST OLD-SCHOOL BARBERSHOP

Hey, man, that woman you’re thinking of messing with might be packin’. If she’s not carrying a (licensed and registered) gun, she may have a stun gun or some pepper spray. Women these days — they’re on alert. And when they’re ready to educate and arm themselves, plenty of them make their way to She’s A Pistol, a shop specializing in personal protection and self-defense training, services and supplies. Alongside the swimsuits and the jewelry: targets with creepy, mustachioed men on them, and concealedcarry purses. (We like the hairbrush that pulls apart to reveal a sharp, pointed shank.) Owners Becky and Jon Bieker also provide practical services, including courses covering self-defense and basic pistol shooting. And, of course, you can totally buy guns and bullets here (and do the proper paperwork).

Gillis Barber Shop 506 Walnut | 816-421-5795

The haircut chains catering to men’s desires — beer and buxom young stylists — aren’t for every dude. Those who value a classic cut over gimmicks go to Gillis Barber Shop. The pink-and-gray linoleum floor and cylindrical ashtrays in the waiting area hint that the two-chair River Market operation hasn’t been updated since 1972. When one of the shop’s proprietors, John or Vince, gets you in one of the electrically powered chairs, you’re in the hands of a master. But the clipping and snipping isn’t the best part of a Gillis cut. The hot-lather pitch.com

BEST PLACE TO ARM YOUR CHARM She’’s A Pistol 5725 Nieman, Shawnee | 913-248-3288

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When you are ready to learn to protect yourself and those you care about, She’s A Pistol, LLC is here to help!

TRAINING CLASSES: NRA FIRST Steps Pistol Orientaion Course dhW Xw‰y f‰Š…‚ i~……Š„} Y…‹ˆ‰{ © dhW h{|‹‰{ j… X{ W lyŠƒØ i~{=‰ W f‰Š…‚ i‚‚‰ h{„|…ˆy{ƒ{„Š [Ž{ˆy‰{‰ i~{=‰ W f‰Š…‚ Xw‰y Ywˆ{ w„z \{{z„} …| o…‹ˆ \ˆ{wˆƒ © She’s A Pistol training courses One-on-one or Private Sessions

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www.daliassilver.com 400 Grand Suite 416 W KCMO 64106 | 816.651.1538 (Espanol) - 913.406.4503 (English)

Bon Ami Cleanser Long before there was Ajax (1947) or Comet Cleanser (1956), there was Bon Ami, a cleaning product made from soap and feldspar, and less gritty than the other powdered cleansers on the market. It was created in 1886 by the J.T. Robinson Co. in Connecticut. An effective marketing campaign in women’s magazines made the scouring powder a national best-seller, until its rivals used radio and TV more aggressively in the 1960s, making Ajax and Comet more familiar household names. In 1971, the Beaham family of Kansas City, manufacturers of Faultless Starch, bought the brand and have revived its cachet by using recycled packaging for its Bon Ami line, which has long been a safe, biodegradable way to clean kitchens and bathrooms — and just about everything else.

BEST LOCALLY MADE BODY-CARE PRODUCTS Nutressant facebook.com/nutressant

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Submit by email to rsk@kerleycopycenter. com 1 photo & reason you are KC’s Hottest Model to win a Deem Dead American Wear prize pack & a chance to win a 2013 exclusive Deem Dead photo shoot with YOU appearing in our new marketing campaign. CONTEST RULES:

Must be 21 years of age or older to participate. Rules & regulations are subject to change. Contest ends Saturday March 16th, 2013. For more information email: rsk@kerleycopycenter.com DeemDead.com

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GOODS & SERVICES BEST HOMETOWN PRODUCT

Woman-owned personal protection and self-defense training, services and supplies company. 1/2 block north of Johnson Dr.

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Want to know how we keep our faces fresh, smiles healthy, bodies clean, heels smooth and hair lustrous with completely local natural means? We go to BadSeed or the farmers markets in Brookside and Waldo in search of John and Sandy Francis, the organic masterminds behind Nutressant, a vegan-based body-care line produced in Mission. “We’re constantly re-evaluating our formulas and coming out with new products,” John says. A former engineer, John blends local ingredients of comfrey, beeswax and herbs into creams, soaps, scrubs, shampoos, balms, body butters, bath salts, and additional products that are safe for the planet, the drain and you. “It’s like food for your skin,” Sandy says. She’s serious. A scrub bar made with Oddly Correct coffee and paired with a lemongrass body butter left our epidermis feeling refreshed and natural. That’s KC clean, y’all.

BEST CANDLES 5B & Company Candlemakers 6231 Brookside Plaza | 816-361-6393 | 5bandco.com

When the wax drips off a votive candle from 5B & Company, the only thing left to do is wait for it to harden, scrape it up and remelt it. You save every bit of the soy-and-wax blend because — let’s be honest — these candles transport you to happy places. A scent like I’m the Boss

Applesauce is a cinnamon reminder of Grandma’s house. Brookside Bungalow’s light fragrance gives your mind a rest. Flower Shop smells like a bouquet at a wedding. Clean Undies takes you away like a laundry-soap commercial — a fresh, crisp and unblemished spot where lint and cat hair don’t exist. These aren’t the kinds of candles that go on the back of the toilet bowl. They’re for your nightstand, burned as a reward and not an offering. You deserve a mental escape. A 5B candle will help get you there.

BEST $29 ADDICTION Imperial Foot Care 4120 Pennsylvania | 816-216-1702

If you’re a frequent customer of Murray’s Ice Creams & Cookies in Westport, you may have noticed the mysterious-looking business next door: Imperial Foot Care. Allow us to advise: What Murray’s does for your sweet tooth, Imperial does for your aching feet and weary body. Our favorite treatment splits the hourlong session evenly between the feet and the upper body. A masseuse deftly works the tissues in your bad back, your strained neck and your slumped shoulders, and there’s an intense reflexology session for those sad slabs you walked in on. It’s all done in a large, darkened, private space — think of it as a screening room with a massage table instead of a seat.

BEST COOL STUFF Made 737 Massachusetts, Lawrence | madeonmass.com

Buying jewelry and homeware from Target is so 1998. The trendy — and communityminded — thing to do? Buy scrupulously designed trinkets, forged by local artists, from a local merchant. That’s hip. Matt and Jennifer Richards’ Made (On Mass) has become our go-to store for gifts created by local, regional and national artists. Seriously, where else are you going to find a dinosaur-shaped planter? An affordable dinosaur-shaped planter! Did we say “gifts”? We are so keeping that planter — and going back to Made for more surprises.

BEST WOMEN’S CLOTHING STORE Miriam Garvey 2710 West 53rd Street, Fairway 913-722-2101 | miriamgarvey.com

Some days we get wild. Some days we’re feeling goddesslike. Some days we go bohemian or maybe country. Whatever the guiding impulse, though, we simply want to look damn good. So we shop at


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GOODS & SERVICES Miriam Garvey in Fairway (next to Rainy Day Books). From tees to cocktail dresses, the boutique focuses on classic, feminine styles and emphasizes color. A bright-red door greets customers, and the royal treatment continues with a red-carpet runway entrance against the black-and-whitetiled floor. The mother-daughter owners, Miriam and Leslie, make even the fashionawkward feel comfortable. And though we typically donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t find an outfit for less than $100, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve scored great deals at seasonal sales and from the discount rack in the back. Besides, some days we wanna brag and say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We got this from the store that tells you: â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;We dress the most beautiful women in Kansas City.â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;?

BEST THRIFT STORE 5HG5DFNV 8026 Wornall | 816-444-5823

For most of the past decade, this well-managed thrift store, operated by the nonprofit Disabled American Veterans, has been known among its loyal constituents as the DAV Thrift Store. Two years ago, though, its operators changed the name to Red Racks. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re creating a brand-specific store,â&#x20AC;? says Doug DePew, its president. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still raising funds for disabled veterans.â&#x20AC;? Regulars swear by the place. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s super-organized,â&#x20AC;? one shopper tells us. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lot of junk, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good junk.â&#x20AC;? And its fast-moving good, uh, junk. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We rotate everything out of the store in a four-week period,â&#x20AC;? DePew confirms. To do that, Red Racks puts up some alluring sales. Go on a Sunday, for instance, to pick up specially marked items at four for 25 cents. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I bought an antique Jenny Lind bed for a quarter,â&#x20AC;? that shopper tells us. Nothing junky about that.

BEST COMIC-BOOK SHOP (OLWH&RPLFV 11842 Quivira, Overland Park 913-345-9910 | elitecomics.wordpress.com

Need a one-sixth-scale version of Batmanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Tumbler? How about a life-size Silver Surfer? Just want to see the Simpsons family? Then hit up Elite Comics. The OP comics shop has all that, plus a serious selection of the latest books. Want to make sure you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t miss the latest issue of The Walking Dead? Eliteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s subscription service has your back. Missed a trade paperback? There are walls of â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em here. And there are free-comics days to remember, too â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the next is October 27, a â&#x20AC;&#x153;free comic book day of the deadâ&#x20AC;? that hands out free comics and candy to kids.

BEST PLACE TO MEET THE PEOPLE WHO GROW YOUR FOOD %DG6HHG

TUE-SAT 10am-6pm | SUN 12-6pm

1909 McGee | 816-472-0027 | badseedkc.com

5330 Martway , Mission, KS

With all the recent hoopla over the whole â&#x20AC;&#x153;is organic really healthierâ&#x20AC;? debate, and the â&#x20AC;&#x153;will this GMO soy give me cancerâ&#x20AC;? study, this is the time to get to know the people who grow and sell your food. At BadSeed, you can do just that. Co-owners Brooke Salvaggio and Daniel Heryer grow bountiful crops that arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sprayed, and they do it in untilled, sustainable, Kansas City soil. When we want great local produce, free-range eggs and other not-afraid-to-be-called-artisan goodies, we head for the BadSeed summer farmers market (4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;9 p.m. every Friday through November 16). After that? We hit the winter market (4â&#x20AC;&#x201C;8 p.m. Fridays from November 20 through the end of February), of course. We like their how-to classes and special events, too.

Off Johnson Drive & Nall in the Mission Mart Shopping Center 913.722.7788 | afabfind.com

BEST MOBILE VET %LOO.QDSSHU'90 816-753-9993 | lolabull.com/mobilevet

Everyone with a pet agrees: Going to the vet sucks. From the car ride and its soundtrack of pitiful yowling to the paying of the what-just-happened bill, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no way to spend a Saturday morning. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re glad we have Bill Knapperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s number tattooed on our SIM card. He hooks dogs and cats up with preventive care (teeth cleaning, vaccinations) and can treat wounds affordably, all in your â&#x20AC;&#x201D; we mean your petâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x201D; home. Kind and gentle, Knapper is our go-to doc when something seems off. Pukey kitty? Scooting beagle? Call Dr. Knapper! As good with owners as he is with pets, heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s KCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own Francis of Assisi.

209 westport road kansas city, mo 736 massachusetts st. lawrence, ks

BEST WAY TO TAME YOUR WILD-ASS DOG .&3LWWLH3DFN meetup.com/kcpittiepack

KC P it t ie Pac k co -fou nders E m i ly Hawkins and Crystal Wiebe founded their community dog-walking group with a simple mission: Everybody gets along. Every other Saturday morning, before the KCPP holds its structured two- to four-mile walks around the metro (frequently in Penn Valley Park, along the Indian Creek Trail or in Berkley Riverfront Park), everyone meets up and introduces their dogs. Treats are welcome, and poop pitch.com

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GOODS & SERVICES bags are required. “We’re not trainers, just animal lovers interested in creating a safe space to socialize our dogs,” Wiebe adds. The walks are brisk but not superfast, so just about any dog-human pair can manage. Because, as any trainer will tell you, a tired dog is a good dog.

BEST MASS-TRANSIT ASSET The MAX Line on Troost In the years preceding Troost Avenue’s redefi nition as the city’s racial dividing line in the late 1960s, it was a busy streetcar thoroughfare, dotted with second-run movie theaters and, later, a bus route that drew the highest ridership in the city. Last year, a second Metro Express Line, the MAX, was completed on the Troost route — called the Green Line — that runs south from 11th Street and Grand to Bannister Road and Drury Avenue. If you’re an East Sider, the access to relatively swift, inexpensive passage through the heart of the metro has become an unexpected pleasure.

BEST AUTO SERVICE Northtown Auto Service 1341 Burlington, North Kansas City 816-221-4433 | northtownautoservice.net

The damn thing won’t start. Now a quick trip into CVS for a new toothbrush has turned into a two-hour wait for a tow. If you have any luck left today, Tim from Recovery Tow will roll up, drag your broke-ass car onto his wrecker, and whisk you across the Heart of America Bridge to Northtown Auto Service, where since 1975, Ted and Russell Phillips have been fi xing what ails your ride. If it’s a Sunday, drop a note and your key in the box and you’ll get a call the next day with an update. Of course, they explain what they’re doing — and how much it’s gonna cost — before they start cranking. But they work fast. In less than 24 hours, they’ll crack the mystery of the nonstarting car and have it back to you at a fair price.

BEST DIRTY DEED DONE DIRT-CHEAP Line Snaking Floyd & Sons 13754 Highway U, Odessa | 816-483-4614

The two things bound to make you afraid of the water: sharks and homeownership. And for our money — so much money — the blood-hungriest great white ain’t got nothin’ on the horrifying black maw of a plumbing problem. (Besides, if you see the 26

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former anywhere other than in a saltwater tank, you’ve got bigger problems than your line.) The morning that our kitchen sink turned into a stanky murk, we worked the problem — no coffee grounds, no potato peels, no missing fingers. Uh oh. Our first call was to a friend’s usual plumber, who explained that this calamity called for a snake team. (“Why do you own a house again?” the friend asked, not for the first time.) Then he gave us the number for Floyd & Sons, and now we’re giving it to you. Because these guys swoop in like Robert De Niro in Brazil, all filthy jumpsuits (think about it) and whirring motors, and they make something bad go away, and this is all they do. For about $75 American, they don’t just retake your pipes for you. They give you your life back.

BEST DENTIST Samuel L. Gutovitz, DDS 13470 South Arapaho Drive, Olathe | 913-780-0888

“How’s everything going?” When a dentist asks you that, it’s usually a coded message: Are you f lossing? But when your dentist is Samuel L. Gutovitz, he really wants to know how your life is going. The doc’s chair-side manner is just another facet of his superior attention to detail, a little thoughtful conversation to help you relax your guard. He remembers what you tell him, though, and that’s why it’s so easy to keep going to this modest suburban practice. Gutovitz and his wife, Sharon, run their tidy, superclean space in an Olathe office tucked inside a strip-mall-style business park. We work downtown, so trust us when we say that the trip south is worth the time. Whether you need a root canal, a routine cleaning or some orthodontic work, your teeth get treated like family here.

BEST GREEN FEELING One More Cup 7408 Wornall | 816-994-3644

There are places that feel as though they’ve never not been around. The chairs emit the reassuring creaks of the ones around your childhood kitchen table. The light is always like late afternoon. And there’s coffee. At some such places, of course, you have to pay for the coffee. Because you’re in a business, and the business is a coffeehouse, and the house part of that word is in full and proper effect because you feel at home. We’re talking here about One More Cup, which makes good coffee and serves satisfying baked goods and gently reminds us that


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GOODS & SERVICES we’re not just coffee-shop patrons but also, you know, citizens of the planet. How? By using compostable cups and other materials, rather than the cheaper stuff we’re used to throwing away, and then suggesting that we return them not to the trash but to the compost bin next to it. Suggesting with a sign rather than a lecture or a stern look, which earns extra points because if this were really our house, we’d just yell at you if we saw you trash something meant to be recycled.

BEST FLORIST 7UDSSDQG&RPSDQ\ 4110 Main | 816-931-6940 | trappandcompany.com

For more than four decades, Robert Trapp has been the f irst name in f lowers for Kansas City’s society set (he designed a party in London for the late Princess Diana, hosted by then ambassador to the Court of St. James, KC’s Charles Price) as well as anyone simply wanting to make a serious impression on a boss, a girlfriend or a funeral party. The floral department at his Main Street store,

Trapp and Company, is now overseen by Betsy Ford, but Trapp keeps his hand in the designing. “When I first started in the business,” he says, “I had a request for a funeral floral arrangement that looked like a telephone pole with wires that went to a telephone. And the flowers spelled out ‘Jesus is calling. Calling today.’ Never had another order quite like that.” We never have that much on the line when we come here for flowers, but it’s comforting to know that our florist can pretty much make anything.

BEST GARDEN CENTER )DPLO\7UHH1XUVHU\ 8424 Farley, Overland Park 913-642-6503 | familytreenursery.com

Family Tree Nursery has been in business for 48 years, growing from a stand-alone storefront to a four-location company that maintains greenhouses and a 6-acre growing area. It grows nearly all of its bedding plants, supplies a wide array of edible plant seeds, and keeps horticulturists on staff. We’re still partial to the first Family

Tree, on Farley, with its yearly events and landscape design-and-installation team.

up the opportunity to buy one or 12 or 20 essentials here.

BEST SUPERMARKET

BEST NEW BUSINESS

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14 West 62nd Terrace | 816-523-3700

913-385-0231 | generalstorekc.com

cosentinos.com/brookside

As a name, the General Store & Co. is almost suspiciously generic, like a front for something nefarious. Venture inside the downtown Overland Park shop, and confusion mounts. Where is the toilet paper? Where are the Slim Jims? Why does it smell so … so nice in here? Is that a wallet made from a necktie? Wait, what is this place? The General Store & Co. is not general at all. It’s hyper-curated. Owner Michael Cole stocks the place with whatever he thinks is cool. Much is local: postcards from Hammerpress, Tallgrass Toffee, a throw pillow emblazoned with the names of Kansas City neighborhoods. The rest is tasteful and boutiquelike: Malin + Goetz beauty products, Graf & Lantz handbags, Stonewall Kitchen marmalades and salsas. Oh, you realize as you tote your charming new purchases from the shop, that’s actually kind of a clever name.

7922 Santa Fe Drive, Overland Park

The Pitch loves the Cosentino family for opening a sophisticated downtown grocery store when no one else would take the gamble. We’re there all the time, of course, but our favorite among this family-owned local chain’s stores remains the one in Brookside. It’s a beautifully maintained operation — manager Charles Larson is a stickler for detail — with an onthe-premises bakery (with its own pastry chef), a first-class meat-and-seafood department, and a deli counter that serves a variety of delicious hot meals every night. Customer service here is legendary. It’s one of the last local markets that delivers groceries to your door (Tuesdays and Fridays, for a $10 fee.) We’ve done that when we’re sick, but otherwise we never pass

n

Daily adoptio specials

A is the Kansas Great Plaosint scomSprPehCensive no kill animal

,000 needy City Metro’s m rve more than 20 se e W n. tio za ni re welfare orga her animal welfa ot y an an th e or m pets every year – munity. m co agency in our nary Care eunions | Veteri R et P st Lo | ns Adoptio e! aining | And Mor Tr og D | r te eu N y/ High Volume Spa

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PET ADOPTION CENTER 9800 West 67th Street Merriam, KS 66203 (913) 742-7355

Volunteer.

Hours: Monday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Tuesday: Closed Wednesday - Friday: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday: 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. pitch.com

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READERS' CHOICE BEST ADULT STORE

BEST CONSIGNMENT STORE

1. Cirillaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2. Tie: 7th Heaven, After Dark

1. Arizona Trading Company 2. Tie: Clothz Minded, Donnaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Dress Shop 3. Her Majestyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Closet

BEST ANTIQUE STORE 1. Good JuJu 2. A Fabulous Find 3. Mission Road Antique Mall

BEST APP

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1. Hangers 2. Tie: Pride, Ross Miller

BEST ARCHITECT

BEST FLORIST

1. BNIM 2. Bob Berkebile (BNIM) 3. Brian McDaniel (MOD)

1. Daltonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2. The Fiddly Fig 3. Studio Dan Meiners

BEST ATTORNEY

BEST HAIR REMOVAL

1. Nimrod Chapel 2. Thomas Hammond 3. Thomas Hankin

1. Summer Ambroz (Beauty Brands) 2. Hollyday Aesthetics

BEST AUCTION HOUSE

1. J.P. Hair Salon 2. JCPenney Salon 3. Salon Mir

BEST AUTO DEALERSHIP 1. Tie: Superior Acura, Baron BMW 2. Tie: Jay Wolfe Honda, Bob Sight (tie) 3. Adams in Belton

BEST BANK 1. Mazuma Credit Union 2. Commerce Bank 3. CommunityAmerica

BEST BARBER

1400 W 39th St, KCMO | 816.960.1618

Hookah Haven LIVE  DJâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S  SPINNING  INTERNATIONAL  ELECTRO COFFEE  -­  TEA  -­  SMOOTHIES ALL  IN  A  SEXY  LOUNGE  ATMOSPHERE SPECIALS  DAILY  FROM  5-­9PM

1. Brookside Barber Shop 2. Chop Tops 3. Byron at Jackâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Barber Shop

BEST BED AND BREAKFAST

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BEST HARDWARE STORE 1. Eustonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2. Harry Epsteinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3. Hartman

BEST HOSPITAL 1. Shawnee Mission Medical Center 2. St. Lukeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3. St. Joseph

BEST HOTEL

BEST BICYCLE SHOP

BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER

1. 1018 Kustoms 2. Bike America 3. Bicycle Shack

1. A.J. Miller 2. Tie: Alan Karlin, Ami Garrison 3. Anna Fitzwater

BEST BODY PIERCING

BEST LANDSCAPER

1. Freaks 2. Mercy Seat 3. Dark Lotus Tattoos

1. Natural Creations 2. All Around Green 3. Natureâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Touch

BEST CAR WASH/AUTO DETAILER

BEST LASIK

1. Tie: Grandview Auto Wash, Simoniz, Waterway

1. Moyes Eye Center 2. Sabates Eye Center 3. Durrie Vision

BEST COMIC BOOK STORE

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BEST HANDYMAN/WOMAN 1. Fire Designs: Scenic Arts 2. Four Aces 3. Tie: Galen Spong, Greg Flemington

1. Tie: Romantic Getaway Today, Southmoreland on the Plaza

1. KC Chiropractic 2. Joel Terry 3. Justin Hildebrand

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BEST HAIR SALON

1. The President 2. Courtyard by Marriott 3. The Rafael

BEST CHIROPRACTOR

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BEST DRY CLEANER

1. Front Flip (frontflip.com) 2. KRBZ 96.5 (965thebuzz.com) 3. B-cycle (kansascity.bcycle.com)

1. Adkins Auction Service 2. Andrew Turner Auctions 3. Tie: Equip-Bid Auctions, Mayo Auction and Realty

LOCATED IN THE HEART OF THIRTY NINTH STREET AT:

BEST DENTIST 1. Kelly Toombs 2. John Bahr 3. Kurt Aarons

1. Clintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2. B-Bop 3. Elite

BEST LOCAL JEWELRY STORE 1. Meierotto Midwest Jewelers 2. The Mojo Collection 3. Tie: Montanari, Moshiri Jewelry

BEST LOCAL MENâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S CLOTHING STORE 1. Wonderland 2. Hallâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 3. Standard Style


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READERS' CHOICE BEST LOCAL PET GROOMING

BEST PLACE TO BUY RECORDS

1. Brookside Barkery and Bath 2. Blue Valley Animal Hospital 3. Tie: City Pets and Ponds, Paws at Play

1. Love Garden 2. Prospero’s 3. Vinyl Renaissance

BEST LOCAL PRODUCT

BEST PLACE TO SHOP GREEN

1. Boulevard Beer 2. Christopher Elbow Chocolate 3. Cowtown Cheesecake

1. 10,000 Villages 2. BadSeed 3. City Market

BEST LOCAL SHOESTORE

BEST PLUMBER

1. Garry Gribble’s Running Sports 2. Bob Jones 3. Goodhart Shoes

BEST LOCAL WOMEN’S CLOTHING BOUTIQUE 1. Tie: Shop Girl, Donna’s Dress Shop 2. Tie: Hall’s, MoVi, Colfax

BEST MANICURE/PEDICURE 1. Tie: Beauty Brands, Foxy Nails 2. Tie: Nail Perfection, Soho Nail Salon

BEST MASSAGE 1. Natalie Hoskins (Imagine Wholeness) 2. Natural Body Spa 3. Rejuvenate

BEST MOTORCYCLE DEALER 1. Tie: Engle Motors, Gail’s Harley-Davidson 2. Tie: Blue Springs Harley-Davidson, Worth Harley-Davidson

BEST NEW RETAIL STORE 1. Lulu’s North 2. MoVi 3. Outside the Box

BEST NONPROFIT 1. Cave Spring 2. Tie: Pipeline, Rubies Inc. 3. Charlotte Street Foundation

BEST PET BOARDING/PET DAYCARE 1. Pete & Mac’s 2. Woof’s Play & Stay

BEST PLACE FOR CONTINUING EDUCATION 1. Tie: Johnson County Community College, the University of Kansas 2. University of Missouri-Kansas City

BEST PLACE TO BUY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT 1. Meyer Music 2. Tie: Big Dude’s, Blues to Bach, Guitar Center

BEST PLACE TO ADOPT A PET

1. Craig Geary 2. Dalton Plumbing Company 3. Four Aces

BEST PR FIRM 1. Page Communications 2. O’Neill Marketing 3. Meers

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT 1. Shane Boutz 2. Sharon Aubuchon 3. Sheldon Oots

BEST SHOPPING MALL 1. Legends 2. Oak Park Mall 3. Country Club Plaza

BEST SMOKE SHOP 1. Outlaw 2. Fidel’s 3. 7th Heaven

BEST SPA 1. Roca Salon 2. Double Take 3. Hollyday Aesthetics

BEST SWEET SHOP 1. Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott 2. Bloom Bakery 3. Boulevard Bakery

BEST TATTOO STUDIO 1. Done Right 2. Freaks 3. Exile

BEST VETERINARIAN 1. Barry Road Animal Hospital 2. Chris Pickett, Overland Park Veterinary Center 3. Eagle Animal Hospital

BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE

1. Great Plains SPCA 2. Erin’s Midwest Animal ResQ 3. Wayside Waifs

1. Boomerang 2. Donna’s Dress Shop 3. MoVi

BEST PLACE TO BUY A SCOOTER

BEST WESTERN WEAR

1. Scooter World 2. The Scooter Store

BEST PLACE TO BUY AN ENGAGEMENT RING 1. Tie: Jared, Meierotto Midwest Jewelers 2. Joslin’s Jewelry

BEST PLACE TO BUY FURNITURE

1. Nigro’s 2. Claudia’s Western Shoppe 3. Kleinschmidt’s Western Store

BEST WINDOW DISPLAY 1. Halls 2. Hammerpress 3. Imagery

1. Nebraska Furniture Mart 2. Crowley 3. River Market Antique Mall

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Kansas City Museum and the Consulate of Mexico in Kansas City present

SEPTEMBER 15 NOVEMBER 11, 2012

at Union Station Paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings, including Rivera, Tamayo and Iturbide, from the Collection of the Government of Mexico Free Admission with Suggested Donation

EXHIBITION HOURS

Tuesday – Friday 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open Late Friday – until 9 p.m. Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spanish Language Tour – 10 a.m Sunday Noon to 5 p.m. Monday Closed kansascitymuseum.org

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BEST COLLABORATOR +HUPRQ0HKDUL Many fine musicians around town are involved with a number of bands. What makes Hermon Mehari different is the way he jumps seamlessly among genres (and the cliques and scenes that arise around what he does). Letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s set aside his annual tribute to Michael Jackson, which sold out RecordBar in August. At The Pitchâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Music Showcase this year, rapper Reach performed with Mehariâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jazz trio Diverse, and the result was like something youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hear on an old A Tribe Called Quest record. A few hours later, Mehari was playing his trumpet at McCoyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s with John Velghe and the Prodigal Sons, an Americana act. And was that Mehari we spied through the thicket of bodies onstage at the midnight Hearts of Darkness set? Mehari again! Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s some serious love of the game, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re damn proud that heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s out there hustling, connecting and quietly making Kansas City a livelier place for music.

BEST OVERDUE REWARD 9LUJLO7KRPVRQ &RPPHPRUDWLYH&RQFHUW Poor Virgil Thomson. Over his long life (1896-1989), the KC native found the musical success he sought when he left home in 1920. Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the only composer to have won a Pulitzer Prize for a film score, Louisiana Story (1949), yet he remains little remem-

bered here. (His family home still stands, without so much as a plaque, at 2629 Wabash.) But Thomsonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s legacy as a critic and musical force finally got its local due last fall at one of the inaugural events for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The commemorative concert featured several chamber groups as well as soloists Nathan Granner, Ben Gulley, Elizabeth Suh Lane, Shay Estes, Kyle Dahlquist, Barclay Martin, Karen Engebretson and Mark Lowrey. The performances, which KCPT Channel 19 taped for a future PBS documentary, did justice to Thomson and reclaimed him as one of our most gifted offspring.

BEST NEW VENUE )2./ 556 Central Avenue | Kansas City, Kansas | foklcenter.com

On the southern tip of Strawberry Hill, in Kansas City, Kansas, a small old Central Avenue grocery has been converted into â&#x20AC;Ś well, what is FOKL? Art gallery? All-purpose hangout spot? Performance space? It is, essentially, whatever its founders and organizers â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a handful of enthusiastic young creatives who run it in their spare time â&#x20AC;&#x201D; decide it is on any given night. Most notably, though, it is a sanctuary for the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s avant-garde music acts, a place where long drones of guitars and synthesizers are not just tolerated but also encouraged, where an insane-looking man wielding a theremin is afforded center stage. In May, FOKL hosted KC Psychfest, a three-day gather-

ing of 30 or so out-there local acts. We hope they do it again next year. The weirder the better, as far as weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re concerned.

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK .QXFNOHKHDGV/LYLQJ5RRP 2715 Rochester | 816-483-1456 | knuckleheadskc.com

People often ask us what our favorite music venue is in the city, and we always stutter and murmur unintelligibly. There are so many great places to see live music here, and choosing one feels like a slight to the others. But East Bottoms roots-and-blues joint Knuckleheads is always a part of that conversation. We love the honky-tonk roadhouse vibe, and few places capture a Kansas City summer like the sights, sounds and smells experienced at the venueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s outdoor shows. But a smaller stage on the east side of the sprawling property â&#x20AC;&#x201D; owner Frank Hicks calls it the Living Room â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has emerged of late as the site of Knuckleheadsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; best shows. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the idea: Hicks books a bigtime performer, puts him or her in the 50-seat Living Room, and makes up for the loss of seating by increasing the price of the tickets. Casual fans might not put up the extra dough, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a superfanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream come true. Where else can you see David Lindley or Marshall Crenshaw in a room the size of a boxing ring? Nowhere that weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re aware of. pitch.com

BEST LOCAL ALBUM *KRVW\E\*KRVW\ Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not much of a barrier to making albums these days. You can record songs on your computer, make a Bandcamp page and, voilĂ , album. Of course, great albums are still rare, and great albums recorded with careful attention to detail and fidelity are rarer still. Which is why, when Ghosty released its self-titled third record this past spring, we put the trio on the cover of The Pitch and proclaimed that the album â&#x20AC;&#x153;might just be 2012â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best.â&#x20AC;? Guess what? We still think it is. Six months later, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s getting hella spins on our turntables. Ghosty works so well because at its core are two guys â&#x20AC;&#x201D; frontman and songwriter Andrew Connor and bassist and recording engineer Mike Nolte â&#x20AC;&#x201D; at the top of their game. (Drummer Bill Belzer ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t no slouch behind the kit, either.) The result is exactly the kind of indie-rock record we crave: wild but precise, soulful but complex. It is, in other words, the best of both worlds, and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the type of thing we go for around here.

BEST LOCAL SONG ´/LDUVÂľWKH&DYHV We wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t pretend that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tremendous amount of arithmetic involved in the selection of Best Local Song. Many excellent songs were recorded and released in the Kansas City area over the past year, across a wide array of hard-to-compare genres.

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BEST CHANGE OF PACE Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 4525 Oak | 816-751-1278 | nelson-atkins.org

Just a few years ago, the galleries at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art felt as formal and stuffy as a parlor. Now they seem more like rec rooms. Wander into the Bloch Building during one of the Young Friends of Art happy hours, and you may hear the strains of a Katy Perry song echoing off the lobby’s high ceiling. Free family-friendly festivals — we liked Dia de los Muertos and the American Indian Cultural Celebration — fill the marblewalled Kirkwood Hall with music, dancing and food. Golf carts (artist-designed, of course) zip up and down the hallway ramps. And recurring series such as “Art Tasting with Julián” (Zugazagoitia, the museum’s director) suffuse the Atkins Auditorium with high-spirited discussion tuned to dinner-party informality. The NelsonAtkins remains a place to practice intense observation, but now it’s also the kind of place that encourages group conversation over beers afterward.

BEST PROGRAMMING Plug Projects 1613 Genessee | 646-535-7584 | plugprojects.com

Plug Projects occupies a pint-sized, plywood-f loored storefront on Genessee Street, in the West Bottoms. The five artists who run the gallery (Cory Imig, Nicole Mauser, Caleb Taylor, and Misha and Amy Kligman) program a dynamic schedule of events to keep the 350-square-foot space full of art and culture and appreciators of same. In addition to the Critique Night Series, for which artists tack their work onto the walls between exhibitions, inviting comments from anyone curious enough to show up, Plug’s projects include the Frames Per Second film series; the Art Writing = Critical initiative (supporting writing workshops and a fledgling critical publication); and Conduit, a multidisciplinary series of events, such as poetry readings and musical 32

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performances, tied to themes in the art on exhibit. In just over a year, the artists behind Plug have figured out how to electrify their community. Here’s hoping that they can keep up the pace going forward.

BEST ALTERNATIVE FUNDING SOURCE FOR THE ARTS Bread KC breadkc.wordpress.com

Even Mitt Romney might like a model like Bread KC’s, which applies a certain votefor-me fundraising savvy to microfunding the arts. Pay your $10, share a meal with fellow would-be supporters, and listen to the artists vying for your money tell you how they’d like to spend it. Then vote. The winner takes all of the dinner’s proceeds, with no layers of bureaucracy to trudge through, no grant proposals to compose and no strings attached. Sean Starowitz and Andrew Erdrich started Bread two years ago as part of the Soup Network, a loosely affiliated international group of food-based microgrant projects, and it’s still going strong. Part of the reason for its success might be its lack of partisanship. The dinners, held at different venues each month (recent hosts have included the Local Pig, RecordBar and the Reading Reptile), encourage conversation and help build community, with no sour grapes when someone else wins.

BEST ARTIST Garry Noland

THERESA BEMBNISTER

Lacking a strict objective framework, we go instead with our gut favorite: “Liars” by the Caves. It’s an unassuming track, strummy and midtempo, a soundtrack for a gray autumn afternoon. We keep returning to its moments of brooding beauty, like the way the voices of Andrew Ashby and Elizabeth Bohannon collide on lines I keep forgetting to play guitar and I don’t believe in protecting liars. At two and a half minutes, “Liars” is almost too short, but isn’t that always the case with your favorite songs?

This has been a banner year for Garry Noland. He simultaneously exhibited work in group shows at Studios Inc. and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art while his solo show was up at City Arts Project. He won a juror’s award at Omaha, Nebraska’s Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts’ 2012 Regional Juried Exhibition, which entitles him to an exhibition in the center’s UNDERGROUND next year. Lisa Freiman, senior curator and chairwoman of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, selected him for the publication New American Paintings, and his work is set to be featured in the book PatternBase: A Survey of Surface Design and Textile Artists. All of


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT which is impressive, but what we like about him is the pure visual enjoyment that radiates from his abstractions, large tapestrylike wall-hanging works made of strips and strips of colored duct tape. Mixing complicated patterns isn’t easy, but Noland balances stripes, checks and camouflage-like shapes in riveting, organic combinations. Noland earned some impressive accolades over the past 12 months, but viewers of his art are the real winners.

BEST CHANCE TO SEE A HALF-CENTURY OF KANSAS CITY ART IN ONE PLACE Abstract Kansas City The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art Johnson County Community College 12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park | nermanmuseum.org

Drawing only from the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art’s permanent collection, museum director Bruce Hartman selected works by 32 artists with local ties to line the first-floor gallery walls for Abstract Kansas City. The result: a half-century-spanning who’s who of KC painters (the oldest painting was Wilbur Niewald’s “Mountains II” watercolor, from 1961), gathered in a show that demanded multiple visits. It’s rare enough to see so many pieces of locally produced art on the walls of a major KC institution, but the real power of the show was in its wide scope. The artwork on display reflected the varying styles and mediums of Kansas City art production, finding room for Anne Lindberg’s quiet graphite lines, Lauren Mabry’s color-saturated ceramic cylinder and Sharon Patten’s flurried gestural canvas. Our only complaint: The history on display here was history too soon.

BEST USE OF KICKSTARTER FUNDS Hot Tub Dialogues at Subterranean Gallery subterraneangallery.com

With the help of 58 Kickstarter backers, Ayla Rexroth and Clayton Skidmore raised $2,773 to cover the installation of a hot tub in their basement apartment, which doubles as an art gallery. The Jacuzzi, which was donated by an exhibiting artist’s parents, served as a wet, hot podium for a series of three discussions that included regional curators, artists and an architect. An audience of 30 (mostly Kickstarter backers; $25 donations earned two tickets) squeezed into tiny plastic folding chairs to eavesdrop on a brilliant mix of high- and lowbrow art talk. The Hot Tub Dialogues encouraged speakers to reveal a little more (skin and theory) than usual, when discussing art, life and their careers. File under Best Talent Pool. pitch.com

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T HE WRITERS P L ACE Fall 2012 Workshop Schedule Enroll Now! @ www.writersplace.org You Had Me at Hello, fiction writing with Michael Pritchett Thursdays, Oct. 18 & 25 | 6 PM - 9 PM | $120 nonmembers/$90 members Vision & Revision: Seeing into the heart of the poem, with Neil Shepard Saturday, Oct. 20 |10 AM - Noon | $30 nonmembers/$20 members The Self & the World: Oppositional energies inside a poem, with Neil Shepard Saturday, Oct. 20 | 1 PM - 3 PM | $30 nonmembers/$20 members Playwriting/Screenwriting, with Philip blue owl Hooser Saturday, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17 | 10 AM - 1 PM | $240 nonmembers/$180 members Precision & the Poet, with Trish Reeves Saturday, Oct. 27, Nov. 3, 10, 17 | 2 PM - 4 PM | $160 nonmembers/$120 members Sit, Walk, Write: Laying a foundation for a writing practice, with Bob Chrisman Tuesdays, Oct. 30, Nov. 6, 13 & 20 | 10 AM - Noon | $120 nonmembers/$80 members Writing Persuasive Essays, with Bill Tammeus Thursdays, Nov. 1 & 8 | 7 PM - 9 PM | $60 nonmembers/$40 members Finding the Sound of My Own Voice: Writing poetry for young writers (7th-12th grades), with Judith Towse Roberts Saturdays, Dec. 1 & 8 | 9 AM - Noon | $90 nonmembers/$60 members The Art of Bookbinding, with Megan Mantia Saturday, Dec. 15 | 10 AM - 3 PM | $63 nonmembers/$43 members

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT BEST RECOVERY 7KH)DQWDVWLFNV Vigthor Zophoniasson Spinning Tree Theatre spinningtreetheatre.com

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It’s opening night of The Fantasticks. Intermission has just ended. Audience members are back in their seats, poised for Act 2. So why are Spinning Tree directors Michael Grayman and Andy Parkhurst taking to the stage in an appearance that doesn’t look scripted? With a mix of disappointment and gravity, they announce that tonight’s show will not go on. What? The narrator, the swashbuckling bandit El Gallo — known in real life as Vigthor Zophoniasson — hurt his leg during a fight scene in Act 1. He was heading, as they spoke, to the emergency room. His suspected injury was later confirmed: a torn Achilles tendon. But the show did go on, just a few days later, after Zophoniasson (a native of Iceland) underwent surgery. On crutches or sitting in a wheelchair, he was a less agile if no-less-dashing El Gallo, and the restaging included some humorous asides on the earlier mishap while incorporating Grayman as an as-needed shadow. The show must go on — no mere catchphrase at Spinning Tree.

BEST BLUE CHRISTMAS 7KH6DOYDWLRQRI,JJ\6FURRJH Unicorn Theatre unicorntheatre.org

The Unicorn’s Christmas offering last December wasn’t a typical Dickens rendition. Scrooge, in this case, was a burned-out rock star (Matthew Rapport), visited by a joyful Buddy Holly Ghost of Christmas Past (Matthew McAndrews, resembling the musician in both sight and sound). But it was Ron Megee’s Ghost of Christmas Present that really turned up the volume. His charismatic Elvis didn’t just break the fourth wall — he blew it down like an old chimney. He was also in fine form in the supporting role of a sadistic nun, but his electrifying, hilarious Elvis stopped the show. It was a gift we’d happily take again.

BEST SURPRISE 6OHHSLQJ:LWK-HQQL by Natalie Liccardello InTENsity Go  to  www.bestofkansascitychefs.com  to  purchase  tickets.

Produced by Frank Higgins, Joseph Concha and Pete Bakely At Fishtank Performance Studio

The event was billed as “ten bitesized plays,” an evening of 10-minute one-acts by local playwrights. The short-form script 34

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is a tough format — some one-acts feel interminable. (A playwright must accomplish a lot in that abbreviated span, and it’s harder than it looks.) But Natalie Liccardello’s twoperson scenario went by too quickly. Actors Pete Bakely and J. Will Fritz were just two guys arguing over who would sleep with a girl named Jenni. Right? Wrong! A twist halfway through let the audience share a collective “Oh, of course!” The moment brought laughter, proving the performers’ full-on ownership of their characters. Actress-writer Liccardello’s skillful comedy reached its natural denouement, but we wanted more. Encore!

BEST SEASON OF REVIVALS Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre metkc.org

From January through June, MET took on an all-oldies slate that turned out to be all goodies. The Seagull, by Anton Chekhov, driven less by action than by drama emanating from conversations and emotions, was intense. The actors were up-close and personal in the intimate theater, their performances so riveting, you could’ve heard a pin drop. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Dale Wasserman’s adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel, remains best-known as the 1975 movie. In this version, Scott Cordes was a perfectly cast Randle McMurphy, exuberant and sensitive, and we feared Jan Chapman’s Nurse Ratched along with her patients and aides. The absorbing show found a fast-moving counterpoint in the Pride and Prejudice that followed. The Jane Austen favorite here became a condensed version that kept all the important parts. Most notable in the large cast (19 actors) were Robert Gibby Brand as Mr. Bennet, Emily Peterson as Elizabeth, and Marilyn Lynch as Lady Catherine de Bourgh. The perfect season ended with A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, in which a large cast tapped into a current-feeling zaniness. Truly, it was a funny thing, though nothing was funnier than star Jerry Jay Cranford’s giggled ad-lib recovery after a forgotten line one night.

BEST WILDE NIGHT 7KH,PSRUWDQFHRI%HLQJ(DUQHVW

American Heartland Theatre ahtkc.com

“Never speak disrespectively of society,” says Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s stillvital classic. “Only people who can’t get into it do that.” The opening lines set the tone of this laugh-a-minute mimicry of upper-crust Victorian society and the marriage state. But


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without expert delivery, the dialogue is just funny words. The convoluted plot operates from a twisted logic, and Wilde’s famous British wit is meant to flow off the tongue. At American Heartland Theatre, it did, thanks to a pitch-perfect cast. (The tightly directed farce was further helped by costumes that were not only beautiful to behold but also period-correct from hat to shoe.) We still recall Rusty Sneary, Todd Carlton Lanker, Jim Korinke, Emily Peterson, Natalie Liccardello, John Rensenhouse and Cathy Wood in character. We’re still smiling.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer .DQVDV&LW\5HSHUWRU\7KHDWUH kcrep.org

This KC Rep staging of the Mark Twain staple benefited from swiftly shifting scenes on a fluid, minimal set, which took as its central focus that famous, due-fora-whitewash fence. Here, the massive set piece worked both to separate action and to symbolically divide the worlds of children and adults. We wondered, though: How would that dominating piece of scenery get its notorious painting? Robert Wierzel had the answer. His mood-setting, attentiondirecting lights were inventively incorporated in a big video display. Before our eyes, the slats changed color as Tom’s friends did the dirty work — or appeared to — in a virtual picket-fence makeover. It was an inventive technological flourish that added to the show’s sense of wonderment — and impressed us nontechies.

BEST TIMELY SUBJECT Time Stands Still 8QLFRUQ7KHDWUH

kcrep.org

DON IPOCK

BEST LIGHTING DESIGN

Little Shop of Horrors .DQVDV&LW\5HSHUWRU\7KHDWUH

The special effects and sheer visual spectacle made this production of Little Shop of Horrors a big, memorable piece of eye candy. KC Rep’s entertaining musical was stimulating and eye-catching on many levels — literally so in the case of its multitiered stage. It was like watching a 24-hour TV news channel, full of split screens and scrolling type, or watching a video online while perusing other sites simultaneously, but on a much larger scale. Add the colorful lighting and costumes (including some sparkly nightclub dresses for the three-woman chorus), and the two hours left our eyes giddy. And then there’s Audrey, the exotic talking plant (engineered by Grace Hudson) that feeds on human blood and grows bigger and bigger and bigger. How did they do that? Operated by a hidden puppeteer, the giant, scary mouth opened wide, the better to eat the characters. Cool.

BEST MUSIC IN A THEATER PRODUCTION

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As the latest celebrity divorce, nude royal, violence-inciting video or eruption of war invades our attention, we labor to sort through it all, obsessing over this or ignoring that. For the luxury of that choice, we can thank the journalists who cover the world’s hot spots and share with us the troubling images and information they uncover, often at great risk to themselves. The Tony-nominated play Time Stands Still probes this topic via the lives of four people, who are also navigating that issue while dealing with some very real consequences — one has survived a roadside bomb in Iraq. And they don’t all take the same approach. The intelligent dialogue (by Donald Margulies) and sensitive performances (David Fritts, Carla Noack, Mark Robbins and Ashlee LaPine) helped us explore our thoughts and feelings, too, in one of the year’s outstanding plays.

The Outsiders, at the Coterie Theatre

When experimental music wizard Brodie Rush started writing the score for the Coterie Theatre’s production of S.E. Hinton’s coming-of-age classic last fall, he went back to the novel’s setting: 1965. “I felt the music needed to be period rock, 1960s, so I went with a mix of surf and rockabilly, with slight Twin Peaks tendencies,” Rush tells us. Armed with his Epiphone Firebird and Danelectro baritone guitars, effects pedals and a kick drum, he also played the music live, matching his original licks to the action. When we watched the play, Rush’s music got to us as much as the script did. And for all of the story’s deadly drama, the musician was having a blast. “I was free to experiment with any and all things musical,” he says. “It was a very open situation for me musically.” Is it too much to hope for a Rush-scored Rumblefish next year? pitch.com

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The horror story set to song got what felt like the full treatment at Musical Theater Heritage, even though the production was more expanded reading than staged production. (Singers sat upstage until their cues called them to a row of standing mics at the front of stage, where they lined up to play out scenes and rousing anthems.) Don Richard lent the monstrous protagonist — a murderous barber taking his revenge — flickers of redeeming traits. We felt his pain, even kind of understood his misguided point of view. As Sweeney Todd’s accomplice, the baker Mrs. Lovett, Cathy Barnett played crazy so well that her performance still gives us the creeps. A supporting cast was strong as well, making for a suspenseful and thrilling reading of Stephen Sondheim’s powerful work.

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It’s no small feat carrying a full-length show by yourself. Grant Fletcher Prewitt did it in Billy Bishop Goes to War. The central character, based on a real person, came to fullfledged life: a Canadian who matured into an ace fighter pilot in World War I. Prewitt, at the time a third-year graduate student, with some real acting cred, played the famous flier in monologue, in dialogue — he also enacted the too-numerous-to-count supporting players in Bishop’s life, sometimes in the same scene and often speaking in Australian, German and French accents — and in song. (For the musical moments, he had assistance from pianist Cary Mock, who shared the stage.) It was an affecting performance that revealed this historical figure, from naïve soldier to disillusioned survivor, and the time in which he lived. The co-production of UMKC Theatre, Kansas City Actors Theatre and the National WWI Museum demonstrated the transcendence that sometimes happens when talent and know-how gracefully merge.

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It isn’t just the handsome factor, though of course John Rensenhouse is plenty goodlooking. He also suggests the world’s favorite silver-haired, middle-aged celebrity idol in talent and ability. This year, he directed

Billy Bishop Goes to War (another Best Of winner). He was on-the-floor funny in three supporting roles in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest: the dignified, dry-witted manservant Lane; the sexually repressed Chasuble; and the elderly, creaky, nearly deaf and ever-so-slow-moving country-estate butler, Merriman. He did Shakespeare, too, playing Oberon, king of the faeries, in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and then starring as Antony in Antony and Cleopatra. His deep voice resonated across Southmoreland Park, and his magnetic presence emanated from the stage. Unlike George Clooney, though, Rensenhouse sometimes offers you a moment of face time just taking tickets at the door at the Kansas City Actors Theatre. Behind the scenes or in front of the lights, he’s a true leading man.

BEST INSPIRATIONAL PERFORMANCE %REE\:DWVRQ Celebration at the Station

Celebration at the Station — KC’s free, communitywide, symphony-and-fireworks picnic — celebrated its 10th year this past Memorial Day. It also drew its biggest crowd to date, an estimated 30,000 people. Early in the program, while the sun was still setting on Union Station, local hero Bobby Watson came onstage and started playing “America the Beautiful” on his alto sax. No one introduced him, and he played without sheet music, one man and one horn. His improvised variations rang clear and beautiful around the melody, reminding us for a few minutes that maybe God had some grace left to shed. The flawless performance lasted a little less than three minutes, and it left the crowd stunned. As people first applauded and then stood up, he took a few humble bows and left the stage. With no fanfare and no pretension, Watson had just held what would become a hot, violent, politically bitter summer at bay for a moment — a moment we remember whenever we wonder whether everyday ugliness can give way to transcendent pulchritude.

BEST IMPROV WINNERS %DEHO)LVK&RPHG\ babelfishcomedy.com

Good improvisational comedy often has more in common with jazz than it does with stand-up. A troupe of players hops onstage and begins creating whole new realities by piling their imaginations atop a single contribution from the audience. We’ve all seen that — and we’ve all seen what happens when it doesn’t work. But we said it’s


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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT the good stuff that’s like jazz, notes played within subtle structures, harmonizing and snapping in a syncopation that casual viewers won’t even notice. So it is for Babel Fish, which has won five recent Underground Throwdowns at the Westport Coffeehouse. The group often features KC improv veterans Patrick Craft, Joe Henley, Nathan Stewart and Jim Sturgill, who know how to tinker with form just so. It’s impossible for improv to be perfect because there’s no script. But that’s the entire appeal, and Babel Fish always keeps the form interesting — and almost always keeps it hilarious, too.

BEST BREAKING OF THE FOURTH WALL Renée Cinderhouse’’s 0DQLIHVW'HVWLQ\

S A B R I N A S TA I R E S

La Esquina

Artist Renée Cinderhouse transformed La Esquina into a live-history theater this year. Black cloth and banners printed with old-timey botanical illustrations hung from the gallery’s ceiling, while leaf-shaped cutouts from vintage encyclopedias littered the floor. Ron Megee led visitors through the installation while playing well-meaning docent Veronica, all the while dryly dropping not so politically correct jokes at the expense of Kansas City history. In three life-size dioramas, elaborate sets scattered with Cinderhouse’s symbol-ridden ceramic works, visitors could converse with actors portraying characters from local history (Mormon faithful, Kaw Indians, victims of serial killer Bob Berdella). In this realm, Cinderhouse thrillingly eliminated the distinction between performance and audience.

Cabezas Contemporary stands out. This past year, the gallery hosted exhibitions using video, performance, sculpture and two-dimensional media to delve into issues of identity, exploring often controversial and highly personal topics such as sexuality and nationality. Cara and Cabezas Contemporary’s mission is to display work by contemporary artists from Central and South America alongside that of Kansas City artists. The gallery’s broad scope helps remind local boosters that the best way to advocate for your community is not to focus inward but rather to look outward, claiming your own place in a global context.

BEST PLACE TO BUY ART Kansas City Art Institute End-of-Semester Shows Buying artwork is cheaper — excuse us, more budgetfriendly — at an early point in the artist’s career. And it’s hard to discover a promising artist much earlier than when that person is still in art school. Each May and December, Kansas City Art Institute students turn their classrooms and studios into gallery spaces, displaying their handiwork from the past semester and selling it at very reasonable prices. Whipping out your checkbook here is a win-win: You get something you want to display, and a young artist gets a little something to help pay the rent or buy supplies for the next project. And who knows? If the artist you’ve just patronized turns out to be the next big thing, there may be a big score ahead for you on the secondary auction market.

BEST GALLERY TOURS Charlotte Street Artist Fellows Gallery Tours The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

As part of its 15th-anniversary celebration, the Charlotte Street Foundation arranged for five of its visual-artist fellowship award winners — Mark Southerland, Peregrine Honig, Anne Lindberg, Tom Gregg and David Ford — to give talks about their own art as well as their favorite works on display in the Nelson-Atkins’ galleries. This series made a concrete link between artists living and working in Kansas City and the inspiration they find in the collections of local art institutions. Plus, the talks and tours provided a rare opportunity to consider the work of locals in the context of the museum’s masterpieces. (Of course the soft washes of Mark Rothko’s “Untitled No. 11” have the same quality of light as Anne Lindberg’s thread installations.) Hey, Nelson and Charlotte Street, how about more in 2013?

Fri & Sat, October 19, 20, 26 & 27 $18 adults, $12 child 2-11

Sponsored by Midland Railway & Baldwin City Community Theater

BEST SEXY MUSICIANS The Cave Girls We like it raw here at The Pitch. That’s why we’re so taken by the Cave Girls, the allwoman garage-rock trio that took home Best Emerging Act at The Pitch Music Awards in August. They favor leopard-print outfits, they pummel their instruments, and they always look super-hot — like Joan Jett on The Flintstones. (What, you don’t think that sounds sexy? Trust us, it would be.) Entertainment this primal really gets our juices flowing. We know there’s no getting away with clubbing the Girls and dragging them back to our cave. But we maintain the Stone Age hope that if we just keep showing up at their shows, they’ll do that to us.

We love the Cave Girls.

BEST GALLERY Cara and Cabezas Contemporary 1714 Holmes, 816-332-6239 | caraandcabezas.com

In an art scene that champions colorful abstraction and social practice, Cara and pitch.com

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READERS' CHOICE BEST ART GALLERY

BEST COUNTRY ARTIST

1. Leedy-Voulkos Art Center 2. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 3. Slap-n-Tickle

1. Kristie Stremel 2. Rex Hobart 3. Samantha Fish

BEST FASHION EVENT

BEST ART SHOW 1. Westport Art Fair 2. Brookside Art Annual 3. First Friday in the Crossroads

1. 18th Street Fashion Show 2. Fashions Night Out 3. Fashion for a Cause KC

BEST AUTHOR/WRITING EVENT

BEST JUKEBOX

1. Lyric Xpressions (pinkkisspublishing.com) 2. Literary Death Match 3. Rainy Day Books (various signings)

1. 403 Club 2. Dave’s Stagecoach Inn 3. Harry’s Country Club

BEST CHARITY EVENT

1. Hamburger Mary’s 2. The Indie on Main 3. Missie B’s

BEST KARAOKE

1. Haute Flash (homeless-pet fundraiser) 2. Holiday Mart 3. AIDS Walk

BEST CLUB/PARTY DJ 1. Todd Howard 2. Glenn Two-Heavy Jefferson 3. Chef Nguyen (Missie B’s)

BEST LOCAL ACTOR 1. Matt Weiss 2. Matt Anderson 3. Ron Megee

BEST COMEDY CLUB 1. Stanford & Sons 2. Kansas City Improv 3. ComedyCity

BEST LOCAL ACTRESS 1. Kelsea Victoria McLean 2. Kimberly Queen 3. Melinda McCrary

BEST CONCERT 1. Foo Fighters 2. Fun 3. Global Dance Festival

BEST LOCAL ALBUM Tie: Amy Farrand, Antennas Up, Attic Wolves

BEST CONVENTION 1. All-Star FanFest 2. Spectrum Art Live 3. KC Comic Con

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BEST LOCAL BAND 1. Kristie Stremel

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2. Tech N9ne 3. The ACBs

BEST LOCAL FILM FESTIVAL 1. Kansas International Film Festival 2. KC Gay and Lesbian Film Festival 3. KC Fringe Fest

BEST LOCAL FILMMAKER 1. Ben Mead 2. Tony Ladesich 3. MK12

BEST LOCAL SONG 1. “Swing and Sway,” Amy Farrand 2. “Blue Light,” the Quivers 3. “The Tease,” the Latenight Callers

BEST LOCAL THEATER COMPANY 1. Egads 2. The Kansas City Rep 3. ComedyCity

BEST LOCAL THEATER PERFORMER 1. Vanessa Severo 2. Heidi Van 3. David Wayne Reed

BEST LOCAL VISUAL ARTIST 1. Angelica Sandoval 2. Anne Austin Pearce 3. Cory Imig

BEST LOCAL WRITER 1. Brandon Tietz 2. Candice Millard 3. Timothy Finn

BEST MOVIE THEATER 1. Screenland 2. Tivoli Cinemas 3. Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet

BEST MUSEUM 1. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art 3. Kansas City Jazz and Negro Leagues Museums

BEST OPEN MIC 1. Kansas City Blues & Jazz Juke House 2. Brodioke 3. Stanford & Sons

BEST PERFORMING ARTS GROUP 1. ComedyCity 2. Egads 3. The Living Room

BEST PLACE TO DANCE 1. Touche 2. Whiskey Tango 3. Yard House

BEST PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC 1. Crossroads KC at Grinders 2. Aftershock 3. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club

BEST PUBLIC ART 1. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art 3. Overland Park Arboretum

BEST RAPPER/HIP-HOP ARTIST 1. B Double E 2. Tech N9ne 3. Ces Cru

BEST SINGER-SONGWRITER 1. Drew Six 2. Dustin Blakeman 3. Elaine McMilian


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INSPECTION TIMES:Friday, October 12th, 2012 from 2 pm to 4 pm. AUCTION END DATE: Sunday, October 14th, 2012 starting to end at 7:00pm. (CST) REMOVAL: Monday, October 15th And Tuesday, October 16th 2012 from 9 am to 4 pm. BUYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REMOVAL OF ALL ITEMS. THERE WILL NOT BE ANY EXCEPTIONS MADE FOR THE REMOVAL TIMES. FREIGHT SHIPPING ONLY WILL BE AVAILABLE. AUCTION QUESTIONS: For information related to auction specific issues such as terms, shipping, payment or Internet bidding, please contact Equip-Bid Auction at admin@equip-bid.com or 913.961.9396. LOCATION: All Items located at 3701 East 14th Street, Kansas City, MO 64127

INSPECTION TIMES:Monday, October 15th, 2012 from 2 pm to 4 pm. AUCTION END DATE: Tuesday, October 16th, 2012 starting to end at 7:00pm. (CST) REMOVAL: Wednesday, October 17th, 2012 from 9 am to 4 pm. BUYERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR REMOVAL OF ALL ITEMS. THERE WILL NOT BE ANY EXCEPTIONS MADE FOR THE REMOVAL TIMES. FREIGHT SHIPPING ONLY WILL BE AVAILABLE. AUCTION QUESTIONS: For information related to auction specific issues such as terms, shipping, payment or Internet bidding, please contact Equip-Bid Auction at admin@equip-bid.com or 913.961.9396. LOCATION: All Items located at 2200 Delaware, Lawrence,KS 66046

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11920 Metcalf, Overland Park | joywokkc.com

Some view dining solo as akin to having sex alone: shameful and best done quickly, furtively and in a dark place. These same uptight people prefer devouring their drivethru burgers in cars rather than at tables in real restaurants. But there’s nothing embarrassing about wanting to enjoy the luxury of a restaurant experience without a dining companion. Free of boring conversation, you can indulge in a good book or daydream while eating. At restaurateur Spike Nguyen’s Pho Hoa, a casual Vietnamese joint on Independence Avenue, tables for one are treated as warmly as big parties. The Wi-Fi is free, and the music is unobtrusive for those who want to read or eavesdrop on adjoining tables while leisurely lunching on wonderful banh mi sandwiches or pho bowls.

More is more at the Joy Wok, a giant suburban dining room decked out with every possible design element: faux-crystal chandeliers, etched-glass panels, mounted fish, silk-flower arrangements, hanging banners, and miles of polished brass tubing. The lavishly set buffet tables take the same cues from the interior design: lots of color, texture and cultural references. If you need to eat again three days after completing a meal at Joy Wok, it’s your own damn fault. There are more than a dozen different kinds of sushi, two kinds of soup, pot stickers, egg rolls and crab Rangoon, and all of the top-40 Chinese-buffet hits, including General Tso’s chicken, Mongolian beef, clams in black-bean sauce, “Hawaii” chicken, twice-cooked pork. Nowhere in sight are the more trashy choices filling up some rival buffets (pizza, taquitos, Jell-O cubes). The dessert bar has an array of lovely fresh fruit, but most patrons prefer the soft-serve ice cream.

BEST GLUTEN-FREE MENU 0LFKDHO)RUEHV%DU *ULOOH 128 West 63rd Street | michaelforbesgrille.com

Living a gluten-free life is not a draconian punishment, but it requires some advance planning because the protein is found in

many grains, including wheat, barley, rye, triticale and other wheat products (bulgur, farina, graham flour, semolina, spelt, to name a few). Almost every local restaurant offers a steak and a baked potato — an obvious gluten-free meal. But more restaurants are making it easier for customers by highlighting menu items that are free of the offending grains of ingredients. Brookside’s Michael Forbes Grille posts a tiny “GF” by the menu choices that are assuredly safe for gluten-wary diners, including a garlic filet with … fettuccine Alfredo? “We substitute a gluten-free penne for the fettuccine,” says manager Lisa Clinton. “But we have gluten-free garlic bread, buns and bread for our sandwiches.”

BEST MEXICAN BAKERY (OYLUD·V3DQDGHULD 3838 Independence Avenue | 816-231-3524

Among the several Mexican bakeries along Independence Avenue, in the historic Northeast, Elvira’s (also known simply as “Elvira’s Cakes”) has been a fixture for years in the neighborhood east of Benton Boulevard. Best known for its selection of iced layer cakes, Elvira’s keeps a refrigerated case almost always full of rainbow-colored flan custards (plum, banana, rum with walnuts), and fresh yellow mangos carved into floral shapes and sold on a wooden skewer, and pretty fruit tarts. A refrigerator is heaped with frozen paletas, and a wall of illuminated pastry cases is stacked with trays of pitch.com

sugared doughnuts, horn-shaped pastries called cuernos, fruit- and cheese-filled empañadas, and flaky croissants. The nonedible wares include festive paper piñatas, locally made salsas — and rosaries, should one care to say a prayer to Saint Honore, the patron saint of bakers.

BEST BAKERY /H0RQGH%DNHU\ 308 Armour Road, North Kansas City | 816-474-0055

For 11 years, Le Monde Bakery owner Jef Dover has operated a French-style boulangerie on the main drag of North Kansas City, selling snappy, crusty baguettes — as many as 800 loaves a day — and delicate, flaky croissants, buttery pastries and pan au chocolate, and light lunches. The seating area in his unprepossessing storefront holds only a handful of tables, and the shop closes promptly at 2 p.m. every day except Saturday, when it closes at noon. (Le Monde is closed Sunday.) One of Dover’s staff makes fabulous Vietnamese spring rolls Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and the most popular potage is a chicken curry soup that customers stand in line to order. “Customers ask if we put crack on it,” says Dover’s sister, Connie, who works in the bakery when she’s not singing Celtic tunes all over town. No drugs in the soup or the pastries, although the almond croissants are ruinously addictive.

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SUNDAY BRUNCH 10 a.m. โ€“ 2 p.m.

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FOOD BEST NEW RESTAURANT Aɲ äre 1911 Main | 816-298-6182 | affarekc.com

are real pommes frites with garlic aïoli, so it’s no ordinary spuds-and-sandwich deal but rather a French connection.

Beans&Greens makes  local  produce  

BEST LIFE-AFFIRMING RESTAURANT Café Gratitude 333 Southwest Boulevard 816-474-5683 | cafegratitudekc.com

Nourishing  Neighborhoods    with  local  produce

more  accessible  and  affordable  – DOUBLING the    value  of SNAP dollars & KS Senior Coupons

at  local  farmers  markets  and  the Beans&Greens Mobile Market.

Local farmers and ANGELA C. BOND

low income area residents benefit  from  this  program!

Beans&Greens,   a   nonprofit,    

BEST BURGER

depends on donations to  continue   this  successful  program.    Please  give  today   to  ensure  lower  income  families  can  afford   healthier  foods  grown  by  local  farmers.

ANGELA C. BOND

German-born chef Martin Heuser was close to signing a lease for a space on 135th Street when he had an epiphany: The sophisticated, elegant and romantic restaurant he envisioned simply couldn’t be in the suburbs. He felt that the Crossroads District, now dominated by the soaring Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, was a better fit. It was a gamble to take over the venue at 1911 Main (three cabarets had failed in the vast space, which is nearly as big as a roller rink) and re-create it as a dining room that gives the impression of being intimate and ever so slightly dramatic. Heuser calls his cuisine German, but his collection of beautifully presented small plates really falls into the category once called — in a more formal era — cosmopolitan. No other restaurant in town is quite like Affäre, where patrons are cosseted and comforted by a marvelous, well-trained staff that is as enthusiastic about Heuser’s decadently rich signature dishes (a perfectly seared scallop draped in a creamy, head-whirling hollandaise, or succulent Geschmorte bison short rib topped with a thick sliver of foie gras) as Heuser is. Going before a concert or show? Affäre is one of those rare dining rooms where a meal is a theatrical experience.

What’s that? You’re depressed? blue? bloated with self-doubt? Say no more. Here is a restaurant that not only fills your stomach but also illuminates your earthly existence in a “celebration of aliveness.” As soon as your server brings you a dairy-free mocha milkshake and tells you that you’re eternally blessed — that’s the name of the shake: “I Am Eternally Blessed” — you’ll feel as lovable and extraordinary as Puff the Magic Dragon. Café Gratitude is a locally owned outpost of a successful California restaurant operation serving vegan, raw and organic food where the dishes have no names, just affirmations. Why settle for just any corn tamale when you can eat “I Am Trusting”? It’s clearly no place for cynical types, but after a sip or two of the “consciousness expanding” beverage “I Am Immortal,” negativity and anger simply vanish in a haze of positive ions.

For   a   schedule   of   “participating”   markets  or  to  make  a  donation  please   visit beansandgreens.org

BEST SEXY FOOD Sweet Siam

Aixois Brasserie

7809 Quivira, Lenexa

1006 Walnut | 816-474-0000 | aixois.com/brasserie

913-322-7285 | sweetsiam.com

A glorious hamburger should be made from good beef, cooked to order and served on a fresh bakery bun. If there’s a classy piece of fromage (not that waxy, processed “American” cheese) and caramelized onion, all the better. Chef Emmanuel Langlade creates an 8-ounce patty from ground chuck and brisket, grills it exactly to the customer’s request, tops it with a slice of Gruyere or crumbles of tart Roquefort and a jumble of grilled onions, and tucks the whole thing into a fluffy Farm to Market egg bun. The fries at this downtown boîte

Go ahead, think of all the potent culinary aphrodisiacs you can. The list must include garlic, basil, chiles, asparagus, black mushrooms, bananas, and vanilla — all ingredients used in the seductive cuisine at Sweet Siam. Restaurateur Michael Brillhart took over the old Mezzaluna location, painted the interior a cool lime green and installed a bar with flashing colored lights that evokes a slightly sordid Bangkok nightclub. The dishes served here are all discreetly seasoned but arrive with a tray of temperatureraising condiments (marinated jalapeño pitch.com

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FRANK JAMES

SALOON

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PARKVILLE’S BEST NEW SALOON! KARAOKE 6-10 eVERY SUNDAY

10919 NW 45 Hwy. Parkville, MO

Lunch Buffet, Salad Bar Daily Food & Drink Specials

“Friend us”

on Facebook to get updates on our live 3.5 miles West of I-29 music schedule! Schedule subject to change Bands: Call for booking information 816.505.0800

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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ABC Café 10001 West 87th Street, Overland Park | 913-859-0089

BEST COMEBACK STORY Café Italia 160 English Landing Drive, Parkville 816-584-0607 | cafeitalia2.com

For nearly two decades, childhood friends Guy Tamburello and Paul Anselmo operated an Italian restaurant, Café Italia, on North Oak Trafficway. It wasn’t a fancy trattoria but an unassuming, family-style dining room serving generous dinners of pasta, veal, chicken and seafood with hot bread and cold salads. The surrounding neighbors loved the place, but the area changed. Metro North Mall closed. Longtime residents moved. Tamburello and Anselmo received an offer to sell the building in 2010, and they closed shop and took different career paths. But this year, the business partners were encouraged to take over a vacant Japanese steakhouse in Parkville. Believing that Parkville was ready for their kind of Italian — rich Northern Italian dishes, hearty Sicilian meals — the two entrepreneurs opened a new Café Italia, a vast improvement on the original in every way, including an exhibition kitchenette in the dining room where miniature loaves of bread are baked, fresh pasta is prepared, and Tamburello’s gelato machine seems in perpetual motion. Sometimes the second act is better.

Queen Lizzy’’s Fish and Chips

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slices, a Thai chili paste and dried red-chili flakes) virtually guaranteed to get you hot and bothered. For dessert, there’s the best coconut cake in the city. Coconut water is a proven aphrodisiac, so the milk and flakes used in this moist, heavenly layer cake should logically lead to a stimulating finale.

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OF

The staples of late-night dining in the metro — we’re talking about a sit-down meal after 11 p.m. — have never been exotic. Diners serve breakfasts and burgers. A few family-owned taquerias serve post-prime-time tacos and burritos. But at ABC Café, a tiny dining room in a forgettable suburban strip center, husbandand-wife restaurateurs Cindy Cheung and Jackie Lee offer Cantonese cuisine from noon until midnight Wednesday through Monday. Customers are seated right up until midnight and can order inexpensive dim-sum plates (curried beef puffs, vegetable spring rolls and many other delicacies), fragrant soups and bubbling hot pots, cold Cantonese favorites (the hot and spicy beef tendon is delicious) and steamed pigs feet. The clientele is mostly Chinese after 10 p.m., so you’ll feel as if you’ve stumbled into something so special, you won’t want to tell anyone about it.

BEST EXPENSE-ACCOUNT DINNER

125 East 10th Street, Lawrence

The Majestic Restaurant

785-856-5570 | queenlizzys.com

931 Broadway | 816-221-1888 | majestickc.com

Battered, fried fish and deep-fried potatoes are traditional English eats, so it makes sense that a British-born restaurateur would know the secret to the very best fish and chips in the Midwest. Not long after Surrey native Matt Poulton moved to Lawrence, he decided that the college town simply had to have “a proper fish-and-chip shop.” A year ago, he launched Queen Lizzy’s, just off Massachusetts. Poulton batters his generous hunks of cod in a mixture of egg, flour and Foster’s Southwick Ale and hand-cuts and brines his potatoes before frying. “It’s not a real fish-and-chip shop,” KCUR 89.3’s Kim Noble says, “unless there are mushy peas.” Well, Poulton does have mushy peas (as well as sausage rolls, sliders and battered chicken strips). Case closed.

Frank Sebree’s historic and haunted downtown steakhouse (built as a Pendergastera saloon in 1911) isn’t in the same price point as Capital Grille or the American Restaurant, but it’s not the Golden Corral, either. The dry-aged steaks range from $29 for 8 ounces of prime rib to $62 for the 14-ounce Beefeater filet. (Unlike many of its competitors, the Majestic serves meals that include soup or salad and two side dishes.) When someone else is paying the tab, you might feel emboldened enough to order crab cakes or a charcuterie plate before dinner and, afterward, English-toffee bread pudding, a small glass of 20-year-old Taylor Fladgate tawny port, and an espresso. You should.


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Classic, Affordable, Exceptional

FOOD BEST CHEF Patrick Ryan Port Fonda 4141 Pennsylvania, 816-216-6462 | portfondakc.com

Patrick Ryan, who trained under several excellent chefs in Chicago during his six-year residency in the Windy City, was considered a creative wunderkind long before the 37-year-old Overland Park native stepped out from his popular food truck and opened the wildly successful Port Fonda restaurant in June. It was a bold move. There are few jobs more difficult than chef-owner, and Ryan isn’t just wearing two hats but about a dozen as he juggles all of the hiring responsibilities, bills, marketing and finances, in addition to working one of the fastest-paced kitchen lines in the city. Ryan says the extra duties haven’t stifled his creativity but have fired them up. In September, he was itching to start working on the venue’s fall menu (to be introduced in mid-October). “Every day I wake up with ideas for new things to try,” he says. Has success gone to his head? “When your ass is on the line every day,” he says, “who in the hell has time for that?”

BEST SEE-AND-BE-SEEN LUNCH PandolÀ’’s Deli 538 Campbell | 816-569-3663 | pandolfisdeli.com

There’s no shortage of power-lunch destinations around town, but the intimate and casual Pandolfi’s Deli, in Columbus Park, is the place to rub peppers with people you’d actually wanna hang out with when you don’t have to rush back to the office. Boyishly tousled P. Allen Smith, host of two popular PBS gardening shows, recently ate in the bright, tiled dining room, and the local clientele ranges from Sporting Kansas City players to local musicians, such as Mark Lowrey and the beautiful Erin McGrane. It’s even one of legendary businessman’s James B. Nutter’s favorite places for an afternoon meal. “There are a lot of deals done here over a sandwich,” owner Jake Hendershot says. “Some days, the dining room is suits galore.” On those days, let the big shots envy you as you put a napkin across your faded jeans and tear into a sandwich (all of them are among the city’s very best). The denim-clad diner at the next table might even be about to quietly ink a deal.

BEST DATE-NIGHT RESTAURANT

dients: marinated mixed olives with herbes de Provence, medjool dates, steamed mussels in Pernod cream sauce, snails in garlic butter, and anything in bordelaise sauce. The music here is low-key, allowing for private conversation — even naughty talk. Don’t let the location, Prairie Village Shopping Center, throw you off. Once you open the door and take a seat, you’re in Provence.

BEST KID-FRIENDLY DINING Niecie’’s Restaurant 6441 Troost | 816-444-6006 nieciesrestaurant.com

All too many restaurants share a policy with Arrested Development’s Milford Academy: Children are neither seen nor heard. But the reality is that your sweet-potato-smeared toddler has all the impulse control of Billy Butler at a backyard barbecue. Niecie’s Restaurant is the sweet exception for harried parents. At this soul-food take on a classic diner, the servers are as warm as the plate of spaghetti and meatballs, which arrives not long after you’re seated in a booth. Your child is as likely as you are to hear “How’s your meal?” At Niecie’s, children are not just tolerated but welcomed. Truly kid-friendly restaurants like this one understand a simple truth: You still want that pie. You just need it in a to-go box.

This intimate, sexy bistro has all of the prerequisites for romantic ambience, boasting an excellent wine list, thoughtful service, and a menu loaded with aphrodisiac ingre-

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BEST PLACE TO EAT YOUR VEGETABLES Remedy Food + Drink 500 West 75th Street | whatsyourremedykc.com

When this smart bar and restaurant opened last summer, chef Max Watson was so impressed by the bounty of fresh produce that local farmers were supplying him with, he had a chalkboard installed in the dining room. Under the heading “Fresh From the Farm,” Watson began listing that week’s fresh fruits and vegetables without naming the dishes created from them. Now it’s a list of vegetable dishes reflecting the seasonal produce on hand. (One recent night, the list included fried okra, fried green tomatoes and grilled eggplant.) “The intention,” Watson says, “is to always have at least one dish made from local fruits and vegetables.” He knows that this will be harder during the winter months, but if anyplace in town has positioned itself to keep the veggies coming through the cold, it’s Remedy.

BEST VEGETARIAN SANDWICHES

Café Provence 3936 West 69th Terrace, Prairie Village, 913-384-5998

Top 3 Reader Choice for Best Wedding Cake!

Bread for All

4800 W 135th Street Leawood, KS 913-685-9646 Reservation Reccommended Lunch 11:00 - 2:00 p.m. Monday - Saturday Dinner 5:30 - 9:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday Dinner 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. Friday - Saturday

536 Westport Road | 816-753-5650

The soft, fresh-baked naan at Bread for All, the casual Middle Eastern café and pitch.com

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bakery in Westport, could make any sandwich better. But why try it at home when the vegetarian sandwiches here are wonderful? The one we crave most is the Kurdish falafel. “We put a little bit of chili paste in the batter, just enough to give it a kick,” a cook here tells us. The meatless patties are then folded into a circle of spongy naan with onions, tomatoes and a light parsley-flecked tahini. The eggplant and the cauliflower spend a hot minute in the deep fryer before they hit the griddle, a touch that eliminates excess oil and ensures that the veggies are soft, with just a slightly crispy exterior. You may not think you like cauliflower, but this sandwich really is for all.

r e s t a u r a n t

Award Winning Authentic Thai Cuisine Serving Kansas City Since 1991

BEST HAPPY-HOUR FOOD %OXHVWHP

Buy one Pad Thai, Get One Pad Thai Free on Tue & Thu from 5 to 7 p.m. Dine-in Only Expires November 10th, 2012

900 Westport Road | 816-561-1101 | bluestemkc.com

Lunch: Mon - Sat 11am to 2:30 pm Dinner: Mon-Thu 5 pm to 9 pm Fri & Sat 5 pm to 10 pm Closed Sundays

6504 Martway St. Mission West Shopping Center http://thaiorchidks.com | 913-384-2800

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When is a happy hour convivial for both imbibers and nondrinkers? When there are tempting things to eat at special prices. Chef-owner Colby Garrelts’ lounge menu at the sexy, hip Bluestem is the ne plus ultra of bar food. Among our favorites: a beautiful plate of cured meats, wagyu beef tartare, shrimp and grits, a sly 8-ounce hamburger, and a tender hanger steak with crispy fries. From 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, and from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, many of these choices can be had at seriously reduced prices — if you can get in. Garrelts says it’s the busiest shift in his restaurant, especially Friday nights. It’s worth leaving work early, though, to sample, at a modest price, the cuisine that has earned Garrelts five James Beard Award nominations.

BEST BARGAIN DINNER +DOIĦ2ɲ*ULOOHG'LVKHV 6DPD=DPD 425 Westport Road | 816-756-3600 | samakc.com

Restaurateur Erika Koike’s Sama Zama is a kind of snack shop for grown-ups. The menu is an array of small plates inspired by the food served in a Japanese izakaya, a casual-drinking establishment. There are dumplings, of course, and the fat, savory pancake called okonomi yaki. Also, a number of alluring grilled delicacies are discounted 50 percent from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. Vegetarian choices include garlic-infused sautéed asparagus, green beans, teriyaki vegetables with tofu. Meat eaters get a bargain with the small shared plates of grilled, plum-wine-marinated steak, a jalapeño-teriyaki steak, cha shu spare ribs, and shrimp and calamari in 46

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Koike’s mogu mogu sauce. With the cash you save on the food, indulge in a potent saketini or the shell-pink Tipsy Geisha.

BEST BRUNCH 7KH%RRW 415 Westport Road | 816-931-4868

American men in the mid-1950s dreamed of sultry Sophia Loren more than they did homegrown Debbie Reynolds. And all these decades later, it’s still more exciting to roll out of bed and feast on a plate of lemon-ricotta pancakes than a short stack of buttermilk flapjacks dripping with melted margarine — a preference that isn’t just metaphorical at the Boot. Aaron Confessori and Richard Wiles’ intimate Italian bistro in Westport transcends the usual greasy eggs and bacon with a serious Florentine kick. For the more diner-inclined, there’s still “hash,” made of shredded browned potatoes, roasted tomatoes and slow-braised shortrib meat. The breakfast sandwich cleaves a fried egg to a smashed pork meatball, an addictive twist. Want fruit? Start with the grapefruit: roasted and served with a caramelized crust dripping with Campari syrup. It’s also the city’s most generous morning-into-afternoon meal. The dishes come with a drink, giving the option of abandoning coffee for a good mimosa, but the generosity is in this brunch’s big, wide time window: from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. If you do it right, you can eat two brunches in one day.

BEST HAIR-OF-THE-DOG BRUNCH 1LHFLH·V5HVWDXUDQW 6441 Troost | 816-444-6006 nieciesrestaurant.com

Yeah, you’re screwed. You’re not sure what you did last night after the fi fth (or was it the sixth?) vodka and soda, but through the fog you can make out angry words, public vomiting, and a walk home with less clothing than you’d left the house wearing. You’ve tried burying your throbbing head in your pillow, but in the shaming daylight, you’re now not only hurting but also starving. Better get to a quiet, comfortable place where no one knows your name or your sins: the soothing Niecie’s, where the coffee is always strong and hot and the waffleand-fried-chicken breakfast cures anything. Not brave enough to take on a big plate? Order the Sunrise Special: coffee, one egg, toast or a biscuit, and a choice of bacon or sausage, all for $3.25. But do stop at home fi rst and put some pants on. Church people dine here after Sunday services.


KC’s Premier Steakhouse & Jazz Club Featuring Prime Dry-Aged Steaks & Live Jazz Nightly in KC’s Historic Downtown Saloon! 931 Broadway KCMO | 816-221-1888 | majestickc.com

Thanks for voting for us! Check out our live jazz 7 nights/week including our Open Jam Session Sundays from 6-10pm with The Mark Lowrey Trio! AS ALWAYS, NO COVER!

“...everything tastes as wonderful as it looks...”

Charles Ferruzza, July ‘12

Artistic and thoughtfully prepared modern German cuisine. fresh, local & seasonal small plates and appetizers working original art gallery …>««ÞʅœÕÀÊUʓ‡Ì…Ê·ǫÊUÊvÀˆÊEÊÃ>Ìʙ‡££« £™££Ê“>ˆ˜ÊÃÌÀiiÌÊÊÊÊʎ>˜Ã>ÃÊVˆÌÞÊÊÊÊʓˆÃÜÕÀˆÊÊÊÊÊÈ{£än >vv>ÀiŽV°Vœ“ v>ViLœœŽ°Vœ“É>vv>ÀiŽV pitch.com pitch.com

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FOOD BEST PANCAKES

BEST CHILI

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2601 Holmes | 816-421-2807 | succotashkc.com

2900 Southwest Boulevard | 816-283-0880

So youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re picky about your pancakes. You used to like â&#x20AC;&#x2122;em doughy, then you preferred them a tad scorched, and now you know you need something down the middle but with a bit of art in them. Beth Barden, quick-witted proprietor of Succotash, the eclectic bruncheonette in Dutch Hill, is the Picasso of the pancake. Each spoonful of batter on the grill here morphs into a unique creation â&#x20AC;&#x201D; light and fluffy originals one day, buttery and crepelike for Swedish pancakes another, tightly folded around a mound of ruby-red lingonberries when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s color that you want. And thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s more: a deliciously light gluten-free version and a vegan flapjack made with soy milk and seasoned with a touch of fennel and cinnamon. Bardenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s biggest seller, though, remains the monster that she has been serving from the start, a golden, platter-sized disc that hangs over the side of the plate and requires a cookie sheet to flip. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have to be eaten the second they come off the grill,â&#x20AC;? she says.

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When God takes away the ice cream at Murrayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s every December, He also opens up the chili at Danny Edwards. The authentic Mexican chili, a winter seasonal dish, is as bold as the brisket here is thick. It teems with tender, smoky pork, competing for space with the flavorful beans bobbing in the burnt-umber broth. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s available by cup, bowl or pint. But letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s be honest, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re getting the pint. Warm flour tortillas come standard with this chili, for the moment when you forsake your spoon and decide to go at it like itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s gravy.

BEST FRENCH FRIES 7KH)DUPKRXVH 300 Delaware | 816-569-6032 | eatatthefarmhouse.com

Try the Farmhouseâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fries once and youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll crave them until you can eat them again. Even when thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tender hanger steak or a bulging burger on the plate, we fi nd ourselves shoveling in the fries first, until weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re left with a hunk of meat that sud-

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denly doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t seem as exciting. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s in these things, anyway? We werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t sure, so we e-mailed the Farmhouse. While we were waiting for a reply, we got hungry. So we went back to the River Market restaurant and ordered more of the crisp, salty spuds. We chomped them down, and our sunny server explained that the fries are house-cut and slow-cooked and â&#x20AC;Ś something. We failed to catch the rest above the sound of our own chewing and the rush of fry-fueled endorphins.

wet-aged for at least 20 days to achieve an impressive fl avor and an unrivaled tenderness. They come with a choice of three sauces â&#x20AC;&#x201D; diable, bĂŠarnaise or beef pan gravy â&#x20AC;&#x201D; but all you really need is a baked potato and a good cabernet.

BEST STEAK

When a restaurant puts the word bakery in its name, you know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serious about its sweets. Owners Robyn Graves Altoom and Taleb Altoom had the last laugh when naysayers dismissed their cozy, home-style cafĂŠ (a former Minskyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Pizza location) in Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Summit. Some called it unsophisticated, artless. But two years later, the small space, which serves American and Middle Eastern comfort food, is a popular East Side destination, particularly for the house-made pastries: peanut-butter brownies, lemon bars, butterscotch blondies, and the triple-chocolate bread pudding (served with ice cream). Fancy desserts these ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t, but how often do you really want a delicate crème brĂťlĂŠe anyway?

3OD]D,,,WKH6WHDNKRXVH 4749 Pennsylvania | 816-753-0000 plazaiiikcsteakhouse.com

Yes, Ka nsas Cit y ca n lay claim to a barbecue legacy, but ever since the stockyards opened, in 1870, a thick, juicy KC strip has been this townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s signature dish. And that cut remains the main draw for Plaza III, the beloved Plaza venue thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been grilling succulent beef since 1963. The strips here â&#x20AC;&#x201D; thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a regular and a large cut â&#x20AC;&#x201D; are USDA Prime,

BEST DESSERTS )LJ7UHH&DIp %DNHU\ 817 Northeast Rice Road, Leeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Summit | 816-347-0442 figtreecafels.com


WHY YES, WE ARE GETTING FRESH WITH YOU. RA SUSHI’S FALL PAIRING. AVAILABLE OCT. 1–NOV. 30, 2012.

$

18 Kiwi Scallops Just about the most refreshing sashimi plate you’ll ever eat. Sliced, premium Hokkaido Scallops layered with freshly-sliced kiwi fruit, served with peppery arugula tossed in a citrus dressing with sautéed cashews, garnished with an orange tobiko vinaigrette. It’s a light dish that’s heavy on flavor.

Dough Kneaded By Hand Locally Owned and Operated 1713 Village West Parkway Kansas City, Kansas

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Kiwi Kismet Freshly-muddled kiwi mixed with Kai Lemongrass Vodka, sweet sparkling sake, and fresh lime and pineapple juices. It’s crisp, refreshing and bursting with exotic flavor.

LEAWOOD t PARK PLACE t 913.850.6260

Mongolian Grill & Chinese Cuisine

Kansas City’s choice for Mongolian BBQ for over 18 years Westport 3906 Bell | 753-3600 Northland 8634 N. Boardwalk 587-8883

s e n s e . t a s t e . s a vo r. w w w. p a c h a m a m a s . c o m 800 NEW HAMPSHIRE LAWRENCE, KS 66044 tele 785.841.0990 fax 785.841.9997 hours TU-SA 11A-2P, 5P-9:30P, FRI & SAT, OPEN UNTIL 10P

www.gkbbq.com pitch.com

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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BEST

34th & Gibbs Rd 2422 S. 34th St, Kansas City, KS

ay 3-5pm Everyd Happy Hour ts in mestic P $1 Wells & Do ecials D & inner Sp Daily Lunch

913-677-1844

Sun-Thurs 11:00am - 9pm Fri- Sat 11:00am - 10:00pm

Live Music in the OSP Saloon Every Thurs & Friday 61 st & Nieman Rd 6000 Rogers Dr, Shawnee, KS

913-631-5716

Sun-Wed 11:00am - 10pm Thur- Sat 11:00am - 11:00pm

facebook.com/ ShawneePizza | Menu & online ordering at ShawneePizza.com

Café Italia Charles l o v e s   o  uF e r r u z z We  mak r   f o o d ! a e  e v

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BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

FOOD BEST SERVER David Hayden Majestic Steakhouse

When ABC’s 20/20 produced a recent segment on restaurants, its people called Kansas City’s David Hayden, a man who claims to have waited on more tables in his 20-year career than McDonald’s has sold Big Macs. Of course, with Hayden, it’s not about volume. He seems able to remember all those tables. Service isn’t a job for him but a faith, so to say he’s polished and professional hardly tells the story. Hayden tells his own stories anyway — he’s an engaging storyteller and has written and published a training manual for service-industry employees. He also consults on training and builds websites for restaurants, making him a triple threat, the server of yesterday, today and tomorrow.

BEST SERVICE IN A RESTAURANT Seasons 52 340 Ward Parkway | 816-531-0052 seasons52.com

OK, so it’s a chain operation (owned by the monolithic Darden Restaurants Inc., the corporation that owns Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Capital Grille). But Seasons 52, which serves almost excessively pretty, deeply tasty little meals (all less than 476 calories — that’s the gimmick), feels local. One reason: The sleek space was once the Woolf Brothers department store. Another: the attentive, warmly Midwestern servers. (Also, visual appeal being a big deal here, they’re very good-looking.) The front-of-the-house crew have all been expertly trained, and their skillful style is nearly flawless without succumbing to blandness, the Stepford Wives cut with William Powell in My Man Godfrey.

BEST NEW CLASSIC The Reserve at the Ambassador Hotel 1111 Grand | 816-298-7700

160 English Landing Dr. Parkville, MO 816-584-0607 CafeItalia2.com pitch.com

KC 201 2

Let’s get real. There will never again be a great old-fashioned hotel coffee shop in Kansas City like the long-gone Alameda Plaza’s Pam Pam Room. There will never be a supper club like the old Muehlebach Hotel’s Terrace Grill. Gone, like Tom Pendergast or Count Basie. But the combination cocktail lounge and dining room in the new Ambassador Hotel evokes not only a different time and place but also

ANGELA C. BOND

e Top 3 Pitch’s Readers Choic r Ba Best Neighbourhood Come find out why!

OF

a different style of dining. Chef Geoff rey van Glabeek’s menus — the room serves three meals as well as a limited latenight selection — convey a sense of fun and style rarely seen in modern hotels. There’s something old-school decadent and 21st-century outrageous about eating sliders and lobster corn dogs in such a cool, dimly lighted, sophisticated setting.

READERS' CHOICE BEST BAKERY 1. Napoleon 2. Muncher’s Bakery (Lawrence) 3. Nancy’s Bakery

BEST BAR FOOD 1. Bluestem 2. RecordBar 3. The Landing

BEST BARBECUE 1. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ 2. Arthur Bryant’s 3. Oklahoma Joe’s

BEST BREAKFAST 1. Poco’s on the Boulevard 2. Queen Lizzy’s Fish and Chips 3. Pizza 51

BEST BURGER 1. Blanc Burgers + Bottles 2. Mission Bowl 3. Mucked Bar

BEST BURRITO 1. Freebirds 2. Pancho’s 3. Los Corrals


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NICA’S 320 NOW SERVING BRUNCH DAILY

OPEN   TUES  -  THURS  @  10  AM &   FRI  -  SUN  @  8  AM

WHERE TRADITION MEETS FUSION ˆ‡…¨¤ª©¬š¨©—¡«™ƒ ˜¢¤‹‰†…ù†‹‚‰Œ†‚‡Ž……ù¬¬¬ƒ£ž˜–¨ˆ‡…ƒ˜¤¢

Indian Cuisine

METCALF 103 CENTER 6860 W. 105TH STREET OP, KS 913-648-9700

419 Westport Road Kansas City, MO 816-931-4740

415 WESTPORT ROAD KC,MO 816.931.4868

Delivery available ALL YOU CAN EAT

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3951 BROADWAY, KCMO 816.605.1644

OPENFIREPIZZA.COM

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FOOD

READERS' CHOICE BEST CATERER

BEST FRENCH FRIES

1. Jack Stack 2. Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen 3. Joe Joe’s Catering

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Nica’s 320 3. Queen Lizzy’s Fish and Chips

BEST CHEAP EATS

BEST FRIED CHICKEN

1. Helen’s JAD Bar & Grill 2. HiBoy Drive-In 3. The Majestic (happy hour)

1. Niecie’s 2. Stroud’s 3. Nara

BEST CHEF

BEST HOT DOG/BRATWURST

1. Howard Hanna (the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange) 2. Heidi VanPelt-Belle (Füd) 3. Jennifer Maloney (Café Sebastienne)

1. 403 Club 2. BRGR 3. Big City Hot Dog and Gyros

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

BEST HOTEL RESTAURANT

1. East China 2. Encore Café (Lawrence) 3. Evergreen

1. Nikko’s Japanese Steakhouse 2. Chaz at the Raphael 3. The Brasserie Bar & Café

BEST CHOCOLATE SHOP

BEST ICE CREAM

1. Annedore’s Fine Chocolates 2. Christopher Elbow 3. Russell Stover

1. Murray’s Ice Creams & Cookies 2. Poppy’s Ice Cream 3. Tie: Miami Ice, Michael Smith

BEST COFFEEHOUSE

BEST ICED COFFEE

1. Starbucks 2. Foo’s Fabulous Frozen Custard (Leawood) 3. Scooter’s

1. Glacé 2. Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse 3. Broadway Café

BEST CUPCAKES

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

1. Mud Pie Vegan Bakery and Coffeehouse 2. In the Middle 3. 3 Girls Cupcakes

1. Korma Sutra 2. Kababesh Grill 3. Ruchi Indian Cuisine

BEST DELICATESSEN

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1. D’Bronx 2. Adrian’s 3. Accurso’s

1. Garozzo’s 2. Figlio 3. Extra Virgin

BEST DESSERT

BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT

1. Gram & Dun 2. McCormick and Schmick’s 3. Dean & DeLuca

1. Sobahn 2. Choga 3. Kokoro Maki House

BEST DOUGHNUTS

BEST LATE-NIGHT EATS

1. LaMar’s Donuts 2. Daylight Donuts 3. Tie: Dunkin’ Donuts, Fluffy Fresh, John’s Space Age

1. Fred P. Ott’s 2. Pancho’s 3. Old Chicago

BEST FARM TO TABLE 1. Renée Kelly’s at Caenen Castle 2. Michael Smith 3. Nara

BEST FARMERS MARKET 1. City Market 2. Downtown Overland Park 3. Brookside

BEST FOOD TRUCK 1. Westport Street Fare 2. Funnel Cake Truck 3. 3 Girls Cupcakes

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BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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BEST LUNCH SPECIALS 1. Story 2. Sushi Mido 3. Tanner’s Bar and Grill

BEST MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT 1. Aladdin Café 2. Jerusalem Café 3. Café Cedar

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT 1. Rancho Grande Cantina 2. Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria 3. Ponak’s


BEST

OF

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Readers Choice Top 3 Best Vietnamese!

FOOD

READERS' CHOICE BEST NEW RESTAURANT

BEST SERVER

1. Affäre 2. Queen Lizzy’s Fish and Chips 3. Gram & Dun

1. Kate O’Neil (the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange)) 2. Kathy Thomas (Inspired Occasions catering) 3. Adam Cerulo (Blue Grotto)

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

BEST SERVICE

1. Aixois 2. Café Trio 3. Gram & Dun

1. Room 39 2. The Rieger 3. Freebirds

BEST PATIO

BEST SERVICE INDUSTRY HANGOUT

1. Gram & Dun 2. Green Room Burgers & Beer 3. Riot Room

1. Broadway Café 2. Buzzard Beach 3. Caddy Shack

BEST PIZZA

BEST SPECIALTY/GOURMET STORE

1. Minsky’s 2. Next Door Pizza 3. Papa Keno’s

1. Tie: Cosentino’s, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Better Cheddar

BEST PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH

1. Sullivan’s 2. Texas Roadhouse 3. The Majestic

1. Blue Bird Bistro 2. The Bristol 3. Aixois

BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE 1. Café Gratitude 2. Boulevard Drive-In 3. Magnolia’s Contemporary Southern Bistro

BEST PLACE FOR A ROMANTIC DINNER 1. The Farmhouse 2. Pandolfi’s 3. Pierpont’s

BEST RESTAURANT 1. Guadalajara Café 2. Houston’s 3. Zócalo

BEST RESTAURANT AMBIENCE 1. Grinders 2. 801 Chophouse 3. Tie: Grünauer, Tannin

BEST RESTAURANT THAT DELIVERS 1. Marco’s Pizza 2. Minsky’s Pizza 3. Marrakech Café

BEST SUSHI 1. Ra 2. Sushi House (Leawood) 3. Blue Koi

11

BEST TACO 1. Tortilleria San Antonio 2. Rancho Grande 3. La Fonda El Taquito

BEST TAKEOUT 1. Queen Lizzy’s Fish and Chips 2. Ingredient 3. Tie: Chai Shai, Po’s

BEST THAI RESTAURANT 1. Thai Place (Westport) 2. Red Snapper 3. Sweet Siam

Thanks for naming us one of your favorite sandwiches & delicatessen

BEST URBAN GARDEN BEST VEGETARIAN MENU

1. RecordBar 2. Remedy 3. The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange

1806 1/2 W. 39TH ST KCMO (816)531-4447

1. Figlio’s 2. Zócalo 3. The Farmhouse

1. Piropo’s 2. Café Des Amis 3. The American

BEST SANDWICH

LUNCH:    MON-­FRI  11-­2    SAT  12-­3 DINNER:    MON-­TH  5-­9    FRI/SAT  5-­10

BEST SUNDAY BRUNCH

1. Tie: 18th and Broadway, Kauffman Memorial Garden

BEST RIBS

Serving the Best Vietnamese Dishes for 20 Years

BEST STEAKHOUSE

BEST RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW

1. Arthur Bryant’s 2. Wabash BBQ and Blues Garden 3. Applewood

MIMI’S VIETNAMESE CAFE

1. Eden Alley 2. Seasons 52 3. Remedy

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT 1. Vietnam Café 2. Hien Vuong 3. Saigon 39

BEST WEDDING CAKE 1. Aces Cake Shop 2. Dolce Bakery 3. Andre’s

Kansas City 3904 Bell St. Kansas City, MO 816-531-0550

Crown Center 2450 Grand St. Kansas City, MO 816-842-2211

Overland Park 7070 W. 105th St. Overland Park, KS 913-649-9000

Mission 6846 Johnson Dr. Mission, KS 913-432-0101

www.dbronxkc.com pitch.com

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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BBQ BEST

PLATE

BEST PORK

BEST BOTTLED SAUCE

Oklahoma Joe’’s

Three Little Pigs Competition BBQ Sauce

CHRIS MULLINS

Multiple locations | oklahomajoesbbq.com

Oklahoma Joe’s is your first love on four legs: pork that’s never stringy or dry. Handpulled pieces of tender pig meat that you want to drag lazily through a bed of sauce before letting them slowly melt in your mouth like M&M’s. Fuck bacon — this is what America needs. Owner Jeff Stehney flat-out knows what to do with pork. He smokes it over white oak for 17 hours, to the tune of 12,000 pounds daily. And while Kansas City barbecue joints have spent the past 15 years trying to narrow the gap, nobody has yet figured out how to turn out a better piece of pork. 54

THE PITCH

THE PITCH

The secret to making good barbecue at home is to dab (or, if you’re struggling, varnish) what you cook with someone else’s brilliant sauce. As long as you’re not cranking out hockey pucks, you can rest on the shoulders of Three Little Pigs Competition BBQ Sauce. Recipe wiz Chris Marks has parlayed a victory at the Jack Daniel’s World Championship barbecue sauce contest into a franchise restaurant in Crown Center and a line of sauces and rubs. It’s his 20 years of tweaks on a family recipe that make this sauce sing. The sweetness of molasses and dark-brown sugar are rounded out by garlic, white vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. There’s heat from a cayenne mash in the fi nish, along with smoke flavoring. The result is a well-balanced sauce that’s the rarest of breeds: a silky red blanket that sweet- and heat-heads alike can appreciate.

BEST BURNT ENDS L.C.’’s Bar-B-Q 5800 Blue Parkway | 816-923-4484

The white bread at L.C.’s Bar-B-Q is a poorly designed dam about to be overrun by a cascade of burnt ends and tart sauce. To put it plainly, L.C.’s doesn’t cheat you on the burnt ends. They’re cut to order from a brisket that has been rubbed with

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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garlic and salt and then smoked on hickory. They are, like the America that made them, unabashedly fatty. But this is the fat that gives your mouth a beautiful meat kiss, and in the moment after you take that fi rst bite, the game trophies and the small television in the dining room fade from your vision. You have eyes only for the meat. If a few tears of ecstasy leak from your eyes, just tell people it’s the smoke. They’ll understand because, from time to time, it has gotten smoky for them, too.

BEST BEEF Arthur Bryant’’s 1727 Brooklyn | 816-231-1123 arthurbryantsbbq.com

You cook ba rbec ue long enough and you end up competing with your own legend. You hear people talk about the time they got a rough cut, the time the brisket was stringy. You hear someone say Arthur Bryant’s isn’t what it once was. But that kind of passion can be stoked only by a hickory- and oak-fueled fi re — a fi re that has for so long given so many a glimpse into the true essence of brisket. It’s beef with a perfect, peppery edge, meat with a tensile strength that seems to require just your breath to break it apart. The squeeze bottles of barbecue sauce provide a pickling vinegar punch

that knocks you out of your reverie long enough to grab a sip of ice-cold beer from a frosty mug. We’ll brook no more smack talk. At Bryant’s, when you order the beef, just mutter a short word of thanks to Prometheus.

BEST RIBS Brobecks Barbeque 4615 Indian Creek Parkway, Overland Park | 913-901-9700

The best way to find Brobecks Barbeque is to stick your head out the window of your moving car, like a dog enjoying the simple life, and sniff for the hickory smoke. The intoxicating smell is coming from the smoker in the parking lot, and your mouth will be watering by the time you push through the front door. Brobecks is owned by Doug Brobeck, the man behind the Stilwell Smokehouse, and it offers table service — a smart safety feature, because his baby back ribs will knock you on your seat. The ribs are served dry, one at a time or by the slab. The meat pulls off the bone with the touch of your fi ngers, and the spicy dry rub keeps you licking your lips after you leave. You can (you should) douse the meat in the Carolinastyle, mustard-based sauce on every table — a fi ne, subversive departure from the coterie of local, tomato-based sauces available from the dining room’s condiment station. That’s assuming you can put the ribs down long enough to reach for the squeeze bottle.


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11610 Kaw Dr. Bonner Springs, KS 913-422-4210 papabobsbbq.com

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BEST BEANS Applewood BBQ 1003 East 23rd Street, Independence 816-252-7753

Hunks of crackly burnt ends nestle together under the tawny surface of Applewood BBQ’s beans. At most barbecue joints, sweet is a dirty word, sugar a camouflage. But at Applewood, where the meat is smoked on apple wood and a touch of hickory, sweetness balances heat to deliver good, meat-enhancing flavor. (And the place’s raspberry-and-chipotle barbecue sauce provides unexpected insight into why your sweet tooth activates your carnivore urges.) The rich sweetness of molasses in Applewood’s beans yields to an easy, smoky finish. Forget the spoon — bring a pail and a shovel to the red and white booths. These beans are best eaten by the scoopful.

BEST NEW BARBECUE Hawg Jaw Fritz 4403 Northwest Gateway Avenue, Riverside 816-741-4294 | hjfbbq.com

It’s hogs inside and hogs outside at Hawg Jaw Fritz. Big bikes line the parking lot of the Riverside barbecue joint that’s done up in Harley orange and gleams with chrome. The year-old place was takeoutonly when it started but has added indoor seating and a patio for the working folks who come for the “Working Folks Spe-

cial” (a sandwich, a side, a drink). Peggy Wiggs oversees the smoker, packed with apple and cherry wood, while her daughters take care of the sides and beans. Go on a Thursday or Friday for the special sweet-potato sticks, dusted with nutmeg and served with a sweet vanilla dipping sauce. While you’re waiting on your order, look at the trophies lining the counter, reminders that the team behind this restaurant has racked up plenty of kudos in its half-decade of competition cooking. Take a bite of the food and you’ll understand why.

BEST BARBECUED SALMON Woodyard Bar-B-Que 3001 Merriam Lane, KCK | 913-362-8000

In finding a parking spot near the old house occupied by Woodyard Bar-B-Que, you traverse a bumpy gravel drive, past neat stacks of split logs. The logs are labeled: oak, cherry, pecan, hickory. It’s the wood that gives this Kansas barbecue shack its distinctive flavors, and the pecan here is primarily reserved for smoking delicious hunks of pale-pink salmon. The cooked meat gets tucked into a fi ne ciabatta bun, lightly coated with a lemoninfused dill sauce, and served with two side dishes and lots of really sour pickles. You don’t need sauce, but you may want seconds. The flavor is light but also smoky and nutty enough to give red meat a swim for its money.

THANKS for the

LOVE! WE LOVE YOU BACK! Original “Gas Station” Location 3002 West 47th Ave. Kansas City, Kansas 66103 913-722-3366

Leawood 11723 Roe Avenue Leawood, Kansas 66211 (913) 338-5151

Olathe 11950 S.Strang Line Road Olathe, Kansas 66062 913-782-6858

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DRINK BEST BARTENDER 7UDYLV6WHZDUW 3RUW)RQGD 4141 Pennsylvania | 816-216-6462 portfondakc.com

There was no question who would be the leading man behind the bar at the new Port Fonda in Westport. “He’s a real mescaland-tequila junkie,” says Patrick Ryan, the restaurant’s chef-owner. “He knew exactly what our cocktail list needed to be.” Ryan met his future mixmaster when Stewart was barbacking for the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange. Stewart’s bartending career had begun at 4 Olives Restaurant and Wine Bar in Manhattan, Kansas, where he earned his BFA at Kansas State University. “I paint and draw,” the 29-year-old Stewart says. “I see mixing drinks as another palette for creativity.” Ryan took note of Stewart’s knowledge of liquors and passion for the job. “Travis is what you want in a bartender,” Ryan says. “He’s a professional. He looks good and is really nice with customers and the staff. He’s perfect.”

BEST SPORTS BAR 5LYDOV6SRUWV%DU .DXɲ PDQ6WDGLXP 1 Royal Way | 800-676-9257

Kauffman Stadium is home to the granddaddy of all Kansas City sports bars: Rivals. Located in right field, Rivals covers all of the

bases for a winning game-day experience: a 360-degree bar that serves margaritas on tap and premium cocktails, a 103-inch flat-screen TV, and a speedy staff on deck to bring mini chili-cheese dogs and beerbattered fried pickles to your table. It’s definitely not “the cheap seats,” but you’ll feel like royalty while you watch the game, even if the Royals are down on their luck. And when the sun goes down, the retractable windows come up and reveal a view that’s breathtaking view, no matter what’s happening on the field.

BEST FRIENDLY BAR *RYHUQRU6WXPS\·V%DU *ULOO 321 East Gregory Boulevard 816-444-2252 | governorstumpys.com

When we could use a few unsolicited smiles with our beers and pizza, we head to Governor Stumpy’s, where everyone is so damned nice. Neighborhood folks shake hands with newbies at the bar, regulars ask the servers about their children, and some employees show up just to hang out with their regulars. The Gov is familyowned, and everyone pitches in (we’ve seen owner Kevin Ryan running food), so the vibe is kid-friendly and fuss-free. The Irish joint recently emerged from some remodeling and freshening up, and at more than 15 years old, it’s even more inviting than before. “The people who work here are lifers,” a bartender once told us. So are we.

BEST BAR TO HIDE OUT '%&RRSHU·V 1804 West 39th Street | 816-753-9800

Sometimes you want to go where nobody knows your name. Except for the bartenders, of course, who are always glad you came. D.B. Cooper’s is that happy, dark place where you’re free to be yourself and forget the day’s troubles. It’s a safe place, with booze — the cubbyhole to take a break from everything and everyone. There are no castes at Cooper’s, and no expectations. You want to play Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself” on the jukebox and sing along from your booth? Do it. Want to sit in solitude and drink through your problems? Grab a swivel chair, friend. Care to dance wildly during Wednesday-night karaoke? You’re not alone. Old men with gin-soaked mustaches, professional guys in ties, and doctors and nurses from nearby KU Medical Center all revel in this atmosphere and the $5 pitchers of PBR and Schlitz. At 1:30 a.m., you have to say goodbye to your new friends. Don’t fret. The respite reopens at 6 a.m.

Botswana — past the elephants, over the river and into Africa — deep inside Swope Park. The modest bar (open on weekends from March through October) serves no tiki drinks, whips up no fruity concoctions with umbrellas in them, offers no imports on draft. It’s a simple, open-air watering hole with a modest beer cooler perpetually half-fi lled with a random selection of canned cocktails, aluminum-bottled beers and 187 ml wine bottles. But the beauty of this drinking experience lies not in its options or its aesthetics but in its remoteness. On the bank of Lake Nakuru, the Boathouse Bar’s spacious upper deck stays miraculously low-head-count. It’s perfect for a quiet, sunny drink on a spring or fall day, and even in the summer, you can close your eyes and pretend that the children’s voices echoing close by are those of wildebeests. There — you’re on the savanna!

BEST BAR TO BLOW THROUGH A ROLL OF QUARTERS

BEST BAR YOU DIDN’T KNOW EXISTED %RDWKRXVH%DU DWWKH.DQVDV&LW\=RR 6800 Zoo Drive | 816-513-5800 | kansascityzoo.org

To get to the Boathouse Bar at the Kansas City Zoo, you have to walk through pitch.com

&ODUHWWH&OXE 5400 Martway, Mission | 913-384-0986

To properly prepare for a Clarette Club adventure, you’ll need a roll of quarters. The large bar, hidden away on Martway Street in Mission, is stuffed with coin-operated pool tables. Make friends with a $7 pitcher of PBR, acclimate

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DRINK yourself to the bar’s signature aroma, and enjoy the hours spent sliding quarters into the tables and shooting stick. After a few games and conversations with the Clarette clientele, you might just forget that you’re in a suburban strip mall. Whether you’re a hustler or a newbie, no one will utter a disparaging word. The Clarette is free of the Los Angeles level of smog that it was once known for — smokers are now relegated to a patio, but that’s OK. The clean air just means we can spend more time in this boozy pool hall.

Unanimous Double Gold Winner!!! World Spirits Competition

“America’s first craft sippin’ vodka” Wall Street Journal

BEST METAPHOR FOR GRADUATING FROM MIZZOU 6QRZ &R

“ ” Spirit Journal

1815 Wyandotte | 816-214-8921 snowandcompany.com

If you’ve been an undergrad at Mizzou, you’ve been to Trops, the alcoholic-frozenslushie joint famous for fake trees and Styrofoam cups, which routinely make it outside as open-container citations waiting to happen. Snow & Co., in KC’s Crossroads Arts District, is like Trops all graduated and moved to the city and grown-up. The booze in the concoctions here is all topshelf, the fruit all fresh (bartender Kelsey Griffith says she squeezes about 600 lemons, oranges and limes a day), the flavors well to the left of Animal House. We like the one called Purple Rain, which Griffith accurately explains as “a boozy blueberry muffin but liquefied.” Trops is jeans; Snow & Co. is trousers. Trops is past; Snow & Co. is future. Welcome to adulthood, graduates. It tastes better out here.

“Smooth, I mean really smooth!” CNN

BEST UNDERGRADUATE FLASHBACK (UQLH%LJJV'XHOLQJ3LDQR%DU 4115 Mill Street | 816-561-2444 | erniebiggs.com

TITOSVODKA.COM Handcrafted to be savored responsibly. As a distilled spirit, Tito’s is GLUTEN-FREE.

Distilled and bottled by Fifth Generations, INC. Austin, Texas. 40% alcohol by volume ©2012 Tito’s Handmade Vodka. 58

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UMKC keeps expanding. So where does this influx of college kids go when they want to get wasted in the middle of the week? A great many of them swarm to Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar in Westport. (You might remember it as the old Have a Nice Day Café.) Why there and not, say, a dubstep party? Because it is extremely prudent from a financial perspective. On Wednesdays, a $5 cover gets you $1 domestic drafts and $1 well drinks until the place closes at 1:30 a.m. The pianists play today’s hits: Cee Lo Green’s “Fuck You,” then Fun’s “We Are Young.” A girl in a very short dress throws her hands in the air — she wants to dance to this one. Boys in pastel-colored khakis talk loudly. In the corner, a barback scoops ice into clear-plastic cups, over and over and over, like an assembly-line worker. “Five vodka tonics,” somebody shouts at

the bartender. “Five dollars,” he replies. If only life after college were so simple.

BEST SURVIVOR +DUOLQJ·V8SVWDLUV%DU *ULOO 3941 Main | 816-531-0303

The most New York spot in Kansas City is the stretch of Main Street between Westport Road and 39th Street. Buses hiss, bums huddle, buildings announce themselves with silver art-deco lettering. It’s a real-deal, big-city type of grit — not dangerous but not exactly safe, either. Lately, gentrification is seeping in. MainCor has installed solar beacons on the light poles, red-and-white crosswalks, customdesigned street signs. A violently hip coffee shop, Oddly Correct, is open for business. We applaud these changes, with one caveat: They must in no way affect Harling’s, the million-years-old upstairs saloon perched above all this civic progress. Harling’s, where everything costs about $2. Harling’s, where the UMKC Conservatory Jazz Band practices on Tuesdays, a pingpong league holds court on Wednesdays, and a scuzzy punk band sets up on Thursdays. Harling’s, where black iron bars shield the windows like crosses. Harling’s, where you are as likely to encounter a divorced, middleaged lawyer as you are a Kansas City Art Institute design student. Yes, bring on the new development. But leave us our city’s finest drinking institution.

BEST COMEBACK STORY *XVWR/RXQJH 504 Westport Road | thegustolounge.com

We admit that we did our share of picking on the Gusto Lounge during its stay at 38th Street and Broadway. We thought it was a shady, hipster magnet. And when we heard that the bar was moving into the seemingly cursed location between Kelly’s and America’s Pub (R.I.P. Karma, Hell Bar, Johnny Dare’s, et al.), we were all ginned up to take another round of shots. Then we dropped by the new Gusto, and we kind of dug the vibe. We especially liked the layout. People dance to DJs up in front, on the dark, intimate dance floor. But if you’re not in the mood, you can head to the back bar — a cool, rustic room so far removed from the industrial brick of the main room that you feel like you’re entering a new dimension. The Westport faithful appear to share our conclusions: Young, wild crowds teem out of the place every weekend. We underestimated you, Gusto. Please forgive us. And please continue serving $1 Pabsts on Sundays.


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DRINK BEST BAR MAKEOVER One Block South 7300 West 119th Street, Overland Park 913-451-0444 | oneblocksouthkc.com

Late last year, JoCo nightlife baron Shawn McClenney announced that he would be closing Raoul’s Velvet Room in the Rosana Square Shopping Center. The decision was a long time coming. “I opened Raoul’s in 1999, and it should have been reconcepted in 2006,” McClenney explains. “But at the time, nightlife on the Plaza was booming. Whatever you did in Johnson County, you weren’t going to be able to pull from that momentum.” So he waited. Finally, this year, he made his move. He bought the Schmitt Music space and opened Kanza Hall, a live-music venue and two-step hall that holds 1,000 people. Then he downsized Fuel — his “American Made Bar and Grill” — and opened Red 8, an upscale pool hall in the center space. Another location, Milieu, will open in the complex by year’s end. He christened the whole shebang One Block South. “My gamble was that nightlife was going to come back south,” McClenney says. Repackaged in the southern hub of Overland Park, One Block South proves that you don’t have to go downtown for a something-for-everyone party.  

BEST WHISKEY DRINK The Feisty Irishman Remedy Food + Drink 500 West 75th Street | 816-361-9788 whatsyourremedykc.com

Once in a while, we miss the Eire on the corner of 75th Street and Washington that was home to Kennedy’s. But when our nostalgia creeps up, we go to Remedy, the fresh upstart that this year took over the beloved Waldo bar’s final resting place. And we order the Feisty Irishman. It’s a sweet, sour, spicy cocktail, made with Tullamore Dew and jalapeño-honey syrup and finished with lemon, then served with a jalapeño garnish. Yeah, it’s for mature taste buds — much as Remedy is. Fiery but smooth, bitter but sweet. We drink it alone after a long day while catching replays of a KU football game on a TV behind the bar. For a second, it’s a throwback to Kennedy’s. A few sips, a fond remembrance, then back to being grown-ups.

BEST GIN DRINK The Aviation Harry’’s Bar & Tables 501 Westport Road | 816-561-3950

The Aviation cocktail has been around for almost 100 years. Its ingredients are simple: gin, lemon juice, maraschino liqueur and —

if you can find it — crème de violette. Harry’s version is served without the last ingredient, replaced with a splash of Gruet Brut, a full-bodied sparkling wine. This gives the cloudy drink, served in a martini glass with a lemon twist, a crisp complexity best enjoyed slowly. These babies are smooth and solid. Order one while watching the unruliness at the intersection of Westport Road and Pennsylvania Avenue, and know you’re in control. Go easy, though. Don’t let your ego write checks that your tolerance for gin mixed with wine can’t cash.

No one should ever get that late-night phone call from the police telling you your loved one has died due to an impaired driver.

BEST VODKA DRINK Asian Pear The Bristol 51 East 14th Street | 816-448-6007 bristolseafoodgrill.com

The best vodka drink in the city is palepink, fragrant and unabashedly feminine. The Bristol’s complex Asian Pear martini starts with a floral nose that camouflages a welcome, boozy punch. Using Square One organic rye vodka, pear sake, jasmine flavoring and fresh-squeezed lemon, the mixologists here have dreamed up a perfumey cocktail that leads with a ginger flavor before showing its grown-up-andsexy bite. And we love the surprise at the bottom: an edible hibiscus flower, thick and chewy and blood-red. It’s like eating the heart out of your martini, in the classiest possible way.

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BEST TEQUILA DRINK Writing on the Wall The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange 1924 Main | 816-471-2177 | theriegerkc.com

“That’s my favorite drink,” said the bartender, young and bright-faced and as vest-wearing as any of the other cheerful experts at the Rieger. And he meant it. We could tell by the way he described the cocktail, the way he explained how the Galliano pricks the Milagro Silver tequila just so while the green Chartreuse dances with the lime. And the Tiki bitters … what was he saying about the Tiki bitters? Because we’d already knocked back a pelirrojo (Milagro Silver, sparkling wine, berry agave syrup, lemon — delicious), and when we drink the good stuff even our favorite men in vests start sounding a little blah blah blah, and we were watching the sunset crowd arrive and making eye contact now and then. So there was a little guilt in the “Oh, yes, it’s our favorite drink now, too” as we gave him leave to tend to someone else at the bar. Nothing was going to come of that eye contact. But now we really did have a new favorite drink.

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WIN A TRIP TO VEGAS Friday: 80s Cheap Date Night No Cover For Party Buses CHEAP DRINKS AND CHEAP COVERS

1802 Clay St North Kansas City, MO 64116 (816) 421-6366 Hours: Thu-Sat 8 pm - 3 am Like us on Facebook pitch.com

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The meeting place in Mission!

BEST PITCHER Pimm's Sparkling Sangria Westport CafĂŠ and Bar 419 Westport Road | 816-931-4740

Â&#x2021; Visit our large shaded patio! Â&#x2021; Join Us For Our New Happy Hour... Food & Drink Specials! Â&#x2021; Live Jazz Friday Nights 6-9pm with the Ron Carlson Jazz Trio COFFEE SHOP Opens at 7am Breakfast Sandwiches

Open 7 Days a Week

11am to 10pm Now Open 9am on Sundays

BRUNCH SERVED Saturday 11am to 2pm Sunday 9am to 2pm

rXXXMVDLZCSFXHSJMMFDPN +PIOTPO%SJWFr.JTTJPO ,4

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James Pimm was a Jeffersonian-coifed Englishman of the early 1800s who liked to improve on the already good. His fi rst eponymous liqueur, or "fruit cup," was the No. 1 â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a gin-based concoction tasting of citrus and lowdown, funky herbs â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that Pimm served to patrons of his London oyster bar to aid their digestion (blef). What happened to Pimm's 2-6, each based on a different liquor â&#x20AC;&#x201D; scotch or vodka or maybe rum, with weird shit thrown in â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is lost to the annals of alcoholic history. But we know that the Pimm's No. 1 is alive and well and awaiting your sweet little face in Westport. The secret to Westport CafĂŠ's version of the classic Pimm's â&#x20AC;&#x201D; served by the cost-effective, easily drained $24 pitcher â&#x20AC;&#x201D; is its princely combination of fresh mint and ginger simple syrup. The ingredients slide into bed with Pimm's original freak recipe like courtesans into Ben Franklin's boom-boom room.

BEST LOCAL WINE Aphrodite by Somerset Ridge 29725 Somerset Road, Somerset, Kansas somersetridge.com

This summer, a surprisingly divine wine came from grapes grown on stony limestone hills south of the metro, in way-west-of-Europe Miami County. Aphrodite, the dry rosĂŠ from the Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery, offered an elegant balance of acidity and sweetness, with a tart nose and a gentle, summerpears-and-melons finish. No, maâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;am, this wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t your typical pink wine. Our dude friends called it â&#x20AC;&#x153;a cross between pinot noir and a savignon blanc.â&#x20AC;? Our lady friends said something like, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re paraphrasing, â&#x20AC;&#x153;This makes us feel like

a goddess on our own deck or porch.â&#x20AC;? At $13 a bottle, Aphrodite was probably something between those descriptions, but we know homegrown luxury when we taste it, and weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll remember this stuff all winter.

BEST SHOPAHOLIC DRINKING The Garment District 1350 Main | 816-221-4387 | garmentdistrictkc.com

Having a few happy-hour gin and tonics before you further reward yourself at T.J. Maxx? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s OK, but sometimes you deserve better. Go downtown. Have a martini. Shop. At the same time! With its smart list of fashion-themed martinis and its whereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d-she-get-that wares (seven local and two regional designers rep here), the airy, modern Garment District is where we go when weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve had enough of picked-over sale bins. The Power & Light District space expanded this year, allowing us plenty of personal space to peruse, say, the mulberries and chartreuses of the fall collection â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and plenty of elbow room to throw back that fruity Alexander McQueen martini (Three Olives Bubble, Chambord). We admit that we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have extra scarf money lying around the last time we were here, but we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go away with nothing. The bartenderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tip that day was valuable and good for both sexes: Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to ditch that bling.

BEST HAPPY HOUR ZĂłcalo 620 West 48th Street | 816-756-5555 | zocalokc.com

When we leave the office, we desperately need sanctuary. By â&#x20AC;&#x153;sanctuary,â&#x20AC;? we mean a pretty place where anonymity is a premium, the tequila flows at a low price and patio seating is an option. ZĂłcalo on the Plaza buzzes hard on weekdays between 3 and 7 p.m., but youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hardly notice. The waitstaff and bartenders keep the margaritas and Mexican drafts coming at a steady pace. The mini tacos are delivered hot and spicy. And the trendy folks? They

LAUREN PHILIPS

ZĂłcaloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s margaritas â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough.

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Join some of the best wine producers from California to support a cause close to home. )LYH DZDUGÄ¥ZLQQLQJ ZLQHULHV DQG 0DMRU %UDQGV ,QF XUJH \RX WR YLVLW \RXU ORFDO UHWDLOHU RU UHVWDXUDQWDQGSXUFKDVHDERWWOHRI&DEHUQHW6DXYLJQRQIURP7KH'UHDPLQJ7UHH&ORV'X%RLV (VWDQFLD6LPLRU:LOG+RUVH7KHVHZLQHULHVLQFRQMXQFWLRQZLWK0DMRU%UDQGV,QFZLOOGRQDWH DSRUWLRQRIWKHLUSURILWVIURP6HSWHPEHUDQG2FWREHUZLQHVDOHVWR7KH9)RXQGDWLRQLQVXSSRUW RIFDQFHUUHVHDUFK Please enjoy our wines responsibly. Â&#x2039; Å&#x2021;Å&#x2026;Å&#x2020;Å&#x2021; 7KH 'UHDPLQJ 7UHH *H\VHUYLOOH &$ Â&#x2039; Å&#x2021;Å&#x2026;Å&#x2020;Å&#x2021; &ORV GX %RLV *H\VHUYLOOH &$ Â&#x2039; Å&#x2021;Å&#x2026;Å&#x2020;Å&#x2021; (VWDQFLD :LQHU\ $FDPSR &$ Â&#x2039;Å&#x2021;Å&#x2026;Å&#x2020;Å&#x2021;6LPL:LQHU\6RQRPD&$Â&#x2039;Å&#x2021;Å&#x2026;Å&#x2020;Å&#x2021;:LOG+RUVH:LQHU\DQG9LQH\DUGV7HPSOHWRQ&$

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Now open 7 days a week with drink specials nightly: WEDNESDAY:

KANSAS CITY'S BIGGEST $1 HUMPDAY PARTY

THURSDAY-SATURDAY: KANSAS CITY'S ORIGINAL DUELING PIANO SHOW

SUNDAY:

SINGER-SONGWRITER SUNDAY AND KANSAS CITY'S ONLY ADULTS ONLY, DRINK ALONG SPELLING BEE FROM 8-10

TUESDAY:

PINT NIGHT WITH DJ HIGHNOONE AND ASHTON MARTIN

Visit www.erniebiggs.com for specials and line up. Like us on Facebook for upcoming promotions and special offers.

For a quick lunch or an evening with friends!

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BEST REASON TO CLOCK OUT AT 4:59 %DOWLPRUH¡VSP Č0LQXWH6SHFLDO The Hotel Phillips | 106 West 12th Street | hotelphillips.com

When does happy hour end at 12 Baltimore, the dark-wood and marble bar at the foot of the Hotel Phillips? No idea. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not going to lie to you: Most of the days that we drink here after work, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re either gindizzy and unable to read by 5:15 or weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out the door at 5:20. See, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s all in the arrival, which must be timed to the second in order to take advantage of 12 Baltimoreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happy-hour-within-a-happy-hour special, a 15-minute block when this model of Art Deco sexiness (we like to watch the hotelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s artist in residence, Trey Bryan, do his thing) blows its prices down to sports-bar-shooters territory. So, at 5 on the nose, sit down; 5:02, order a dollar draw; 5:05, trade the empty glass (one drink at a time, the house says) for a $2 well. Urp. Tick, tick, tick. Hereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s your bourbon â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 5:07. Why are you sipping? Go! Now itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 5:11, and the whole night depends on how much of that five-spot you commit in the next â&#x20AC;Ś three and a half minutes. Tick, tick, tick. Aw, hell, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s stick around and put the rest of the hour on the debit card.

BEST DANCE PARTY

d n a d o o T f S t E a B e Gr F THE OF O ONE ECTIONS R!! EE SEL

B T F A

CR

LUNCH AND DINNER SPECIALS EVERY DAY MON - Burger Night 5pm-close TUE - Homemade Chicken Pot Pies WED - Chicken Fried Steak THUR - Homemade Lasagna Dinner FRI - Pot Pies & Fish nâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Chips

KCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Original Neighborhood Bar & Grill 12 W. 63rd St. in Brookside 816.361.8841 | charliehoopers.com 62

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7KH3DWLRDWWKH 8QLRQRI:HVWSRUW 421 Westport Road

The Unionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s patio is hidden but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no secret. To reach it, you enter the bar at street level, then descend a fl ight of stairs, then cross the whole of the clubâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cavernous basement. The space is unremarkable, just a rectangular slab of concrete sunk below neighboring Westport businesses. But on prime nights, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s electric out there. One way to tell is the extra doorman sitting just inside the patio â&#x20AC;&#x201D; itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a breeze to get inside the Union, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s one in, one out if you want to dance on the patio. Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going on out there? Electronic music, bass drops, taut bodies, cigarette smoking. The tattoos-and-tanktops crowd intersecting with some Greek Life types. A sweaty gathering of young people, in other words â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and a growing allegiance to locally thrown parties like Body2Body, MVMNT and the Bassment. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be a cold winter without it, but come spring, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll be back in the groove.

BEST BREAK FROM YOUR BENDER <-¡V6QDFN%DU 128 West 18th Street | 816-472-5533

Nothing about the name â&#x20AC;&#x153;Y.J.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Snack Barâ&#x20AC;? sounds quite right. The initials feel odd rolling off the tongue. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Snackâ&#x20AC;? suggests a lack of seriousness. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Barâ&#x20AC;? suggests that this little coffee cove serves booze, which it doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t. Yet the place is perfect. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s some kind of shrine, with Mardi Gras beads, Kanye glasses and crumpled singles mounted on the wall, a syncretic messiah for whatever god of debauchery a hungoverbound reveler might pray to while taking weekend refuge here. See, Y.J.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has, for some time, now stayed open continuously from 7:30 a.m. Thursday through midnight Sunday â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an experiment in niche coddling that has become a trusted staple. Because we all need a place where rough is always all right and no oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s judging.

BEST MORNING-AFTER POTION /LYHU&OHDQVH7RQLF)Â G 813 West 17th Street | 816-785-3454 | eatfud.com

The ancient Egyptians used garlic as a seasoning and as medicine. (Cloves of the fragrant herb reportedly were given to the slaves laboring on the great pyramids to increase stamina and strength.) Restaurateur Heidi VanPelt-Belle uses garlic as a powerful ingredient in an oddly refreshing beverage, which she sells as Liver Cleanse Tonic. The drink looks like a fruit smoothie and is â&#x20AC;&#x201D; sort of. Orange and lemon juices are blended with garlic, olive oil and cayenne for a tart, slightly spicy and seriously garlicky detoxifying potion. After a night of heavy boozing, a glass of this concoction leaves you smelling like Hippocrates (he loved garlic â&#x20AC;&#x201D; who knew?) but relatively clearheaded and animated, practically ready to start stacking 33,000-pound stones.

BEST LEMONADE /LWWOH)UHVKLH 811 West 17th Street | 816-287-1444 | littlefreshie.com

West Side snow-cone guru Lindsay Laricks opened a brick-and-mortar operation last summer, and the sweet little combination espresso bar and soda shop won us over immediately with its lemonades. Our favorite is what you might call an alt-lemonade, a fizzy, hot-pink, prickly-pear-and-lemon soda. (It also can be ordered flat.) But some days, we go for a refreshing rosewater-andlemon version. And the current best-seller is Laricksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Spicy Ginger Fizz, a lemon-based soda made with a lot of fresh ginger and a bit of crushed red pepper.


NEW â&#x20AC;&#x2122;S BESDT BAR E E N W A SH HBORHOO NEIG

Bar

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Where somebody might know your nameâ&#x20AC;?

Shuffleboard! Watch your favorite teams on our HUGE 10â&#x20AC;&#x2122; TV! Happy Hour daily til 6pm! [$2 wells, dom. longnecks & dom.pints] Daily Food Special [Sun & Wed Steak Night] Pool Tournament Tuesdays with Paul Gerni. Karaoke Friday night.

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MON-THU: 3:00PM - 1:30AM | FRI-SUN: 11:00AM - 1:30AM /garrettsbar 6505 Nieman Rd in Shawnee |913.608.5995 Top Notch _____4PM - 7PM EVERYDAY_____

$1 PBR $2 WELLS

403 CLUB

403 N. 5TH STREET KANSAS CITY, KS 0- !- %6%29$!9 s /0%. 3!452$!9 !.$ 35.$!9 !913.499.8392 #,5"#/-

WESTPORT 1106 WESTPORT RD KC, MO 816-561-3500

WALDO 8447 WORNALL RD KC, MO 816-363-3984

Pitch best KC 4.776 x 3.464_Layout 1 9/27/12 2:19 PM Page 1

Downtown KCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S Newest Bar! Great beer and cocktail selections. Great Atmosphere. Looking forward to winning Best of KC Bars in 2013 ...so come try us out soon!

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200 West 12th Street pitch.com

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MO 64105

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READERS' CHOICE

FRANKENSTEIN

BEST BAR FOR PEOPLE WATCHING

BEST LOCAL BEER

1. Caddy Shack 2. Fric & Frac 3. Kelly’s Westport Inn (rooftop)

1. Boulevard Amber Ale 2. Boulevard 80-Acre Hoppy Wheat 3. Boulevard Boss Tom’s

BEST BAR TO MEET PEOPLE

BEST MARGARITA

1. Whiskey Tango 2. Yia Yia’s 3. Arthur’s Lounge

1. Rudy’s Tenampa Taqueria 2. Port Fonda 3. Rancho Grande Cantina

BEST BARTENDER

BEST MARTINI

1. Marcy Etter (Fred P. Ott’s) 2. Mark Church (Grünauer) 3. Van Zarr (Bluestem)

1. Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant 2. J. Alexander’s 3. J. Gilbert’s

BEST BEER CRAWL

BEST MIXOLOGIST

1. Faldo Waldo Crawldo 2. Westport 3. Pub n Pedal

1. Dylan Sly (Manifesto) 2. David Smuckler (Tavern in the Village) 3. Dawn Watson (Saints Pub + Patio)

BEST BEER SELECTION

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR

1. Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet 2. Blanc Burgers + Bottles 3. The Foundry

1. Tommy Farha Café & Bar 2. Tower Tavern 3. Old Shawnee Pizza

BEST BLOODY MARY

BEST NEW BAR OR CLUB

1. Saints Pub + Patio 2. Room 39 3. Tie: Salty Iguana, Michael Forbes Bar & Grille

1. Gram & Dun 2. One Block South 3. Garment House

BEST BREWHOUSE

BEST PLACE FOR CRAFT COCKTAILS

1. Barley’s Brewhouse 2. Amerisports 3. McCoy’s Public House

1. Manifesto 2. Mestizo 3. The Melting Pot

BEST COCKTAIL MENU

BEST PLACE FOR WINE BY THE GLASS

1. Café Trio 2. The Cashew 3. Chaz on the Plaza

1. Tie: Il Centro, Jack Stack, Jasper’s

BEST COLLEGE BAR 1. Johnny’s Tavern 2. Granfalloon Bar and Grill 3. Harpo’s

BEST DIVE BAR 1. Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar 2. The Point 3. The Quaff

BEST GAY BAR 1. Tie: Sidekick’s Saloon, Social, the Fox

BEST GERMAN BAR

SHOWS EVERY FRIDAY THROUGH OCTOBER FOR RESERVATIONS CALL 816-737-FUNK(3865) ... STILL FUNKY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS...

’T YOU TAKE ME T N O O ... W

Y K TOWN N U F

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1. Grünauer 2. Germania Club 3. Rheinland Restaurant

BEST HAPPY HOUR 1. Houlihan’s 2. Willie’s 3. Yard House

BEST HOTEL BAR 1. The Drum Room 2. The Brasserie Bar & Café 3. The Elms Resort and Spa

BEST LIQUOR STORE 1. Hy-Vee 2. Lukas Liquor Superstore 3. Mike’s Wine and Liquors

BEST SEASONAL BEER 1. Tie: Boulevard Bob’s 47, Boulevard Chocolate Ale, O’Fallon Pumpkin

BEST SPORTS BAR 1. Tie: Johnny’s Tavern, Flying Saucer 2. Willie’s 3. Tanner’s

BEST STRIP CLUB 1. The Outhouse 2. The Shady Lady 3. Totally Nude Temptations

BEST TRIVIA NIGHT 1. Alamo Drafthouse 2. Geeks Who Drink 3. Buzzard Beach

WINE BAR 1. Bottle 12 2. BRGR 3 Café Trio, Cellar Rat (tie)

BEST WINE LIST IN A RESTAURANT 1. J.J.’s 2. The Classic Cup 3. The Majestic

BEST WINE RECOMMENDATIONS (STORE) 1. Hy-Vee 2. Gomer’s 3. Lukas Liquor Superstore, Red X (tie)


mes! t a G 1 $ ght dies Nigh i N y a Mond y Night La a every Tuesd Thursday Night Quartermania! Sunday Night $5 All You Can Bowl Offering D Bowling aily Special s o , Food & Drinks! n ., Liberty MO r D y t r e ib L . W 6 90 816.781.1998

Club

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9

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906 W. Liberty Dr. Liberty, MO

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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$24.99

LIMITED EARLY BIRD WEEKEND PASSES NOW ON SALE! 80% OFF

DFT 2013 RICHARD L. BERKLEY RIVERFRONT PARK

SEPTEMBER 13 & 14, 2013

DANCEFESTOPIA.COM | FOR TICKETS AND INFO 66

THE PITCH

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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KANSAS CITY STRIP SHOT SHUFFLE !!!

“Experience Kansas City’s Nightlife”

PRESENTS:

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THE

THE

HOW MANY SHOTS CAN YOU SHUFFLE IN 1 NIGHT? SAT, OCTOBER 20TH FROM 7PM TO MIDNIGHT

LINE

WHEN YOU PURCHASE OUR $10.00 KC STRIP WRISTBAND AND MAKE A DONATION TO BIG BROTHERS AND BIG SISTERS OF GREATER KANSAS CITY, YOU WILL GET A BG@FK:A?<=;C “SHOT CARD” FROM A KC STRIP AMBASSADOR. BLUE LINE PRESENT YOUR CARD AT ANY ONE OF OUR PARTICIPATING PUBS FOR A $1 SIGNATURE DARK HORSE @A;CGCK SHOT AND GET YOUR RAFFLE TICKET TO ENTER THE DRAWING! =JFA=:A??K IMAFLGFK THE DRAWING WILL TAKE PLACE AT THE BLUE LINE, AT THE END OF THE :G::Q:9C=JKDGMF?= VELVET DOG PUB CRAWL, MIDNIGHT. THE MORE TICKETS YOU COLLECT, THE BETTER SOL CANTINA TOMFOOLERIES YOUR CHANCES TO WIN GREAT PRIZES INCLUDING AN BROOKSIDER G<GO<K GREAT DRINK SPECIALS AT PARTICIPATING VENUES! CHARLIE HOOPER FOR DETAILS AND FULL LIST OF PRIZES VISIT INDIE BAR MICHAEL FORBES HTTP://WWW.KCTROLLEYTOURS.COM/EVENTS.HTML. DRUNKEN FISH

PARTICIPATING CLUBS :

IPAD 2!

18th & Vine Danny's Big Easy Get Your Wristbands here!

38th & Main Aura No Cover Ladies

P&L

Westport

Dark Horse $2 Wells $2 domestic draws $12 Recieve VIP Late Night Pass access granting free admittance all night into Power Hours 8pm-10pm Fri & Sat KC Live! entrance. Dave's Stagecoach Inn $3 Jameson Shots and $2 16oz Angels Rock Bar Cans of PBR No Cover on Friday KC Live!

Downtown

John's Big Deck (Upper) $3 Wells $4 Bombs and No Cover

Anthony’s

2 for 1 Any item from Late Night Menu with Purchase of Two Beverages

River Market

Hickok's $5 Mojito $6 Black Margaritas Fidels' Cigar Shop $3 Draws and Free Queso with 2 Brooksider The Only Cigar Shop on the Strip. Late Night Happy Hour-10PM to Food Purchases Close 10% Off Purchase of Cigars Brooksider Sports Bar & Grill Minsky's Pizza Fran's Restaurant $3 Corona Bottles FireFly $1 off Apps $2.50 Domestic Draws $5.99 Premium Breakfast on Fridays, $4 Charlie Hooper's Bar & Grille Bacardi & 360 Vodka Bombs after 10pm, $4 Wells, No Cover All Night with $3 Wells $12 Bucket of Beers and Wristband Fridays- $1 Off Boulevard, 50 Cents Open 24 Hours Green Room Burgers and Beer off Martinis Saturdays $1 off Domestic Bottles Howl At The Moon Free Fry with Purchase of an Entrée The Blue Line Michael Forbes Grille 2 for 1 cover Gusto $2 Blue Line Beers $2 Blue Line Reverse Happy 930pm-1am. Maker's Mark Bourbon $2 Yard Beers and $5 Grape Bombs Shots $3 Wells 2 for 1 Wells $3 Margaritas House & Lounge Harpo's Restaurant Bar Winslow's BBQ $5 Maker's Mark Cocktails $2 Selected Shots Martini Corner $5 off Lunch or Dinner for Two Mc Fadden's Sports Saloon Jersey Dog, Hot Dog Cart Haus $4 UV Vodka Cocktails 2 Jumbo Dogs for $5 and $1 Off Waldo $3 Goose Island Kolsch Bobby Baker's Lounge Any Sandwich Sol Cantina Mosaic Lounge $2 Domestic Bottles Jerusalem Cafe No Cover $4 Trolley Margaritas & Lew's Grill & Bar $5 off Hooka $2.75 Pacifico Bottle PBR Big Sky Bar $2.50 Budlight Draws Joe's Pizza Buy the Slice $5 Jack Daniel’s Drinks The Drop Quinton's 2 Slices for $5 $6 Specialty Martinis & Cocktails Pizza Bar $3 Domestic Pints $3 Wells and a $3 Boulevard Wheat Pints Kelly's Westport Inn Complimentary Shot with Purchase of a Tower Tavern Shark Bar $1 off Cover Beverage $3.50 Wells and $4 Malibu Cocktails McCoy's Public House Remedy Food + Drink $10 Pizza 7pm-12 $4.00 McCoy's Pints Tengo Sed Cantina 10% off with Wristband Velvet DOG Missie B's $3 El Jimador Margaritas The Well Bar-Grill and Rooftop $1 off all Sky Drinks Free Cover The Dubliner Free Spinach Dip w/any Purchase Monaco $3.50 Boulevard Wheat on Fridays and Riot Room No Cover $5 Jameson $3 Wells after Midnight Free cover with Wrist Band Plaza Tea Drops Z-Strike Bowling Blanc Burgers + Bottles $1.00 Off a Cupcake or Regular Tea 2 for 1 games, No cover on Fridays Reverse Happy Tacos,Calimari, The Foundry and Great Drink Specials! Westport $4.00 McCoy's Pints Torre's Pizzeria Figlio, The Italian Beer Kitchen Any Specialty Pizza for $10 and 2 $5 off Any Purchace 7-10pm Late Night Happy Hour Friday & Slices for $4 O'Dowds Saturday 11pm-1am Westport Cafe and Bar Free Cover & $5 Boru Irish Vodka Buzzard Beach Tomfooleries $1.25 Domestic Drafts $2.50 Wells Shot and a Beer for $5 Fri - Sat 9pm-Close $2.50 Westport Coffee House Californos Domestic Draws $2.75 Wells 15% Off Any Coffee Drink $5 off $12 purchase $4.50 Cuervo Margaritas Drunken Fish

www.thekansascitystrip.com

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BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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67


GETAWAYS                  best  of  kc  2012                  GETAWAYS

CIDER MILL

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SINCE 1977

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STORE OPEN 7-DAYS-A-WEEK

Kauffman Legacy Park 4750 Troost Ave. Kansas City, MO 64110 (816) 759-7300

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Store hours, shop online, more information:

www.louisburgcidermill.com 913-837-5202 AMAZING 10-ACRE

WITCH CORN MAZE BEWITCHED FULL MOON NIGHT ! ! $ 1.00 OFF ! ! per person with this coupon

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MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION

MAZE OPEN THROUGH OCTOBER 31

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THE PITCH

BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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BEST OF KANSAS CITY 2012

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6000 College Boulevard Overland Park, KS

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The Pitch: Best of Kansas City 2012