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TABLE OF CONTENTS

t is a common misconception that a dog ages seven years to our one. Science actually shows that one of the animals you see on the cover of our annual Best of Kansas City issue has caused every human here at 1701 Main to grow several years older just since adoption day. Dogs give off energy,

People & Places

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Sports & Recreation

15

Goods & Services

21

Arts & Entertainment

33

lounge in midtown that wants to lick your face. There’s a downtown coffeehouse

Food

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that knows how cute it is. There’s a shop out south that plays dead on Sundays.

BBQ

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Drink

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and they use up ours — and that’s as it should be. Ditto this city. Every restaurant and bar, every boutique and gallery, every artist

and performer, every hot startup and chilly winter patio radiates a unique energy. And the best of them do what they do as though by sure canine instinct. There’s a

When the transference of energy is right, when we give and get and give back, and loyalty ensues, we know we’ve made a best friend. (And we know you have your own, which you’ve backed with more votes than ever before in our readers’ poll. Thank you.) A trip around the sun in this city can pack a dog’s year of openings and closings and improvements and defections. A lot has changed in KC since we did this last October, and plenty won’t be the same 12 months from now. For now, though, these are our top dogs — the people and places and events we believe are 2013’s best. Woof.

SPECIAL THANKS: Kevin Moore, of Moore Remodeling, built the set. Models: Bendi, Buckley, Carl, Daisy, Dexter, Dusty, Hank, Macy, Mini, Ollie, Pendleton and Scooby

CONTRIBUTORS Art Director: Ashford Stamper Photographer: Chris Mullins Writers: Berry Anderson, Theresa Bembnister, Liz Cook, Charles Ferruzza, April Fleming, Deborah Hirsch, David Hudnall, Justin Kendall, Larry Kopitnik, Angela Lutz, Ben Palosaari, Nancy Hull Rigdon, Steve Vockrodt, Scott Wilson Proofreader: Brent Shepherd Copy Editor: Deborah Hirsch Managing Editor: Justin Kendall Editor: Scott Wilson pitch.com

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Thank you for voting me one of the BEST, again!

My

customers will tell you I never stop working. I take calls 24/7. I work for YOU, to find your dream home or sell your current home. I am available when you call, and if you leave a message, you will hear back from me quickly. At the office I have a team of experts who help with everything behind the scenes, so I have time to focus on finding or selling your home!

Sharon G. Aubuchon

cell: 816.863.3003 | office: 913.652.4378 email: SharonAubuchon@ReeceAndNichols.com www.sharonaubuchon.reeceandnichols.com How can I help you sell your home or find your dream home? #1 AGENT ON THE #1 TEAM IN KC

Congratulations Sharon, for being voted Top 3

Steve Tremaine

Senior Loan Originator NMLS 536569 Direct: 913.593.6961 Fax: 866.908.0960

10875 Benson Drive, Bldg. 11, Suite 200 O verland Park, KS 66210

www.stevetremaine.com

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Brent Meuke

Kansas South Escrow Manager Direct: 913.906.9845 Fax: 913.906.9854 7171 W. 95th Street, Suite 110 O verland Park, KS 66212

www.securedtitlekc.com


BEST STREET CORNER

14th Street and Main About a year ago, the corner of 14th Street and Main was perfectly solid: Drunken Fish; Fran’s Restaurant; Zafar Salon, Spa & Boutique; and an AMC movie theater. But over the past 12 months, it has become the coolest intersection in the city. AMC is out; Alamo Drafthouse, with its first-run indies, quotealongs and fine eats, is in. Fran’s has been replaced by the second location of Prairie Village burger hot spot BRGR. Up above BRGR is the Kill Devil Club, a swanky joint where you can sip good cocktails while boning up on the local jazz scene. And Zafar and Drunken Fish are still holding down the other two corners. If we could just find a cot to sleep on in the back of one of these joints, we’d hardly need to leave.  

BEST UP-AND-COMING NEIGHBORHOOD

Santa Fe Place Few people have heard of Santa Fe Place, so the lure of beautiful Edwardian-era homes, a vibrant neighborhood association, and easy access to downtown Kansas City and U.S. Highway 71 is lost on many potential homebuyers. “A house that costs a million bucks in Hyde Park is a fraction of that here because we’re east of Prospect,” says Santa

Fe Place resident Louis Price. “It’s a safe, solid community.” And one with a rich history: In the 1830s, this land held a mill and a distillery, which sold whiskey to wagons on the Santa Fe Trail. It was later the Lockridge family farm, and the area was built on the original farm’s outline, between 27th and 31st streets and Prospect and Indiana. The area was exclusively white until 1948, when an African-American physician sued to have the racist covenants nullified. “In the 1960s, this was where many of Kansas City’s civil rights leaders and movers and shakers lived,” says community activist and resident Durwin Rice, who bought his 104-year-old home several years ago. “Satchel Paige’s daughter still lives here. This neighborhood is one of Kansas City’s best-kept secrets.”

BEST REPORTER

Ryan Kath KSHB Channel 41

When $15,000 disappears from a $1 billion– plus municipal budget like Kansas City’s, it’s not a huge hit. But it rubs people the wrong way when a sitting councilman, Michael Brooks, hands over $15,000 to an outsider like Ossco Bolton to pay for a Floyd Mayweather Jr. speaking engagement that never happens. That story might have died as another example of low-rent City Hall skulduggery, but KSHB Channel 41

reporter Ryan Kath followed a trail of crumbs to a woman who was on the receiving end of sexts from Brooks, a married pastor. Those communiques compromised Brooks and led to allegations that the photos were used to leverage the politician into forking over money to his associates. It was a great find for Kath, who has more than a few good news scoops to his name.

BEST BULLSHIT CALLER

Ed Ford Politicians like to pat themselves on the back when they pass some legislation under the guise of “ethics reform.” It sounds good and makes it seem as though they’re holding their own feet to the fire while keeping the public kitty safe from abuse. Kansas City councilmembers are no different. Earlier this year, they passed their own measure of ethics reform, praising themselves for two years of work that culminated in new guidelines for how much they could accept in gifts from people who do business with the city. Northland Councilman Ed Ford wasn’t impressed, pointing out that the new law kept City Council members only from accepting more than $1,000 worth of gifts a day from outsiders with ties to City Hall. His protestations at a council meeting exasperated his colleagues, who managed to get the “tough” new law passed anyway.

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BEST FOIL FOR MAYOR SLY JAMES

John Sharp The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council was a fractured mess of petty disagreements and revolving political alliances when Mayor Mark Funkhouser was trying to run the show. Since Mayor Sly James took the buggy whips, the council has largely been a compliant body, perhaps sensing that James took to his first elected position with strong political tailwinds. Over time, however, John Sharp has cast himself apart from the mayor. Sharp split with James (and most of the rest of the council) on redistricting and cuts to the fire department’s budget. More recently, he was seen at a September 12 meeting furiously scratching down notes while two public-works bureaucrats discussed the bidding process for construction of the streetcar project. After James gave an emphatic statement about how the city couldn’t afford to rebid the project, lest it risk losing $20 million in federal funding, Sharp called out James for using “scare tactics” and claiming that the feds would withdraw if the city started over with a cleaner bidding process. Given that the political lifer is termed-out as a councilmember, the question has simmered: Will Sharp run against James for mayor? Sharp says he’s not running for public office again. We’ll see.

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PEOPLE _&_ PLACES BEST BLIGHT BUSTER

Judge used to do. The drawings themselves have a South Park–like quality, but the message is the appeal. Frequent targets of Stalder’s scorn include City Hall leaders, particularly those who championed the 2-mile streetcar line along Main from the River Market to Crown Center. Mayor Sly James, the chief advocate of what Stalder views as an impossibly wasteful transportation project, is often a piñata in the comic’s “Retorts Illustrated.”

Alan Ashurst

BEST BLOGGER

Kevin Koster Kevin Koster is a Northland marketing executive who often uses Kansas City International Airport for his business travels. Like many who use the three-terminal layout at KCI, he can’t figure out why City Hall wants to scrap the airport in favor of a $1.2 billion single-terminal design. With the majority of Kansas City’s City Council in favor of it and The Kansas City Star largely cheerleading the new airport proposal, Koster launched savekci.org, a website that questions the need for a new terminal and City Hall’s (and the Star’s) justifications for another pricey project. Koster isn’t a firebrand, and his reasoning is sound enough that Mayor Sly James asked him to sit on a task force to advise City Hall on what approach to take.

BEST TWITTER ACCOUNT

@notrusskc Kansas City, Missouri, City Councilman Russ Johnson’s Twitter bio reads: “If it’s possible and a good idea, I can get it built: streetcars, trails, software, streets, buildings, etc.” Johnson is one of the more unusual City Hall personalities. Where many local politicians insulate themselves from criticism, Johnson is not afraid to use Twitter (@russkc) and other means to strike out at critics, gadflies and the media. Johnson’s prickly nature led to the birth of a sly, funny parody account — @notrusskc — that mocks his condescension and his behavior, like his bolting from KMBC Channel 9 reporter Micheal Mahoney, who was armed with a camera and questions about the KCI proposal. “If it is possible and a bad idea, I will build it, regardless of what Kansas City wants,” @notrusskc’s bio reads. “Streetcars, single terminal airports, giant hotels, empty arenas, etc.”

BEST GOVERNMENT GADFLY S A B R I N A S TA I R E S

From court employees to firefighters and 311 operators, Kansas City employs thousands of people behind the scenes who make life in the city better for everyone. One of those unsung civic heroes is Alan Ashurst in codes enforcement. Ashurst is singularly focused on ending illegal trash dumping. Using motion-activated trail cameras and old-fashioned sleuthing, he tracks down the thoughtless criminals who leave piles of brush and garbage around the metro. And he gets results, which helps clean up the city.

Ken Dunwoody

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD ACTIVIST

Michael Bushnell Publisher, Northeast News

In 1998 — eight years after Michael Bushnell and his wife, Chris, bought their home in the Historic Northeast — the former executive director of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce and lifelong rabble-rouser realized that he wanted more of a voice in his culturally changing community. So he bought a newspaper, a weekly shopper called Northeast News, to advocate for the ethnically diverse area’s residents whom he feels are ignored by the city’s big media. He isn’t afraid of making enemies, mocking absentee landlords, publishing mug shots of the neighborhood’s “Most Wanted” criminals, and lavishing praise on the developers willing to invest in the Northeast. Not everyone likes Bushnell’s take-no-prisoners approach. “Yes, I get a lot of flack from some people, but I see flack as a positive thing,” he says. “We’re all about getting everything out in the open.”

BEST TECH EXPERT

Ramsey Mohsen Ramsey Mohsen has the kind of unflappable energy and enthusiasm typically reserved for over-caffeinated morning-talk-show hosts. With an ever-present smile and a day job at Digital Innovation Group, Mohsen tests new tech products for his blog (ramseymohsen .com) and KCTV Channel 5, and he offers his wisdom on all things social media. This year wasn’t all about tech for Ramsey, though. He was in Boston this spring to watch his fiancée, Ali Hatfield, run the marathon, and he

Ramsey Mohsen gets your tech. was less than a mile away from the bombing site when the blasts occurred. He covered their experiences via Twitter, Facebook and Vine, providing Kansas Citians with a hometown insight into the attack.

BEST REASON TO BE LATE FOR WORK

1 Million Cups 4801 Rockhill Road • 1millioncups.com

If you want to make an appearance at Kansas City’s pre-eminent see-and-be-seen weekly business event, you better wake up early. Every Wednesday morning at 9, the Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups lets area startups pitch their ideas to a room filled with a couple of hundred tech geeks, startup owners and established business folks. And each week, it’s a standing-room-only affair. The joy for 1 Million Cups’ audience is never knowing what kind of idea they’ll hear each week. It might be an app, a medical business, an e-commerce play. It’s a crapshoot, but it’s always sure to show off the city’s bright, active minds. Just tell your boss that if you get shit for showing up late on Wednesdays.

BEST COMIC

Bryan Stalder Northeast News

Lee Judge fell out of prominence after The Kansas City Star laid him off as a full-timer, relegating the daily’s chief cartoonist to freelance status. Thankfully, Northeast News still offers a news hole for editorial cartoons. Bryan Stalder’s illustrated commentaries pull few punches — just like

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Most Americans have dispensed with the lost art of writing to their politicians. More still probably can’t name their representatives on the local City Council. Ken Dunwoody is not one of these folks. It’s possible that the Johnson County commissioners have blocked Dunwoody’s e-mail address, given the frequency of his missives about their latest missteps. What has raised Dunwoody’s ire? The county’s purchase of the old King Louie building. This led the Olathe resident to frequent the Johnson County Administration Building to do research and confront commissioners about their investment in the bowling alley turned shanty in Overland Park. Dunwoody at times veers into the realm of unverified and unlikely conspiracy theories, but it’s nice to see that someone is still paying attention.

BEST MULTIPURPOSE BUILDING

City Ice Arts 2015 Campbell • 816-820-4105 • cityicearts.com

More than anywhere else in town, City Ice Arts blends art and commerce. In a long, narrow building that sits where Campbell Street dead-ends into railroad tracks just north of Truman Medical Center, it houses a gallery, artist studios, and offices for a cluster of small businesses. Where else can you get married, order letterpress business cards, buy locally grown produce, read zines and pick up some ice, all in the same building? The gallery, headed by artist Gehry Kohler, has put on solo and small-group exhibitions by both emerging and long-established local artists. It’s rarely dormant — Ashley Anders’ one-night-only, music-and-art-infused Gorilla Events fill the space between exhibitions. City Ice Arts’ combination of art and entrepreneurship makes sense; successful artists and businesspeople are both creative risk-takers. Here’s hoping other spaces in town follow this forward-thinking example.

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PEOPLE & PLACES

BEST SCREAM QUEEN

Jill Sixx slaughtermoviehouse.com

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

mdc.mo.gov/regions/kansas-city/discovery-center MISSOURI DEPARTMENT OF CONSERVATION

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Horror-movie hostess Jill Sixx (real name: Jill Gevargizian) believes that most modern films in the genre are wastes of time. “There’s no faith in an original idea anymore,” she tells us. As a youngster, Sixx started remaking slasher films with her dad’s VHS camera. Then after the release of Scream in 1996, she decided that blood, guts and decisively more stylish horror flicks would definitely be in her future. Today, the 29-year-old hairstylist (we all need day jobs, people) sets up shop on the first Monday of the month at Czar for Slaughter Movie House, an 18-and-older free-movie night that screens classics, new shorts and experimental pieces from all over the world. And when Sixx isn’t making special appearances at Screenland Armour or at local events like Horror on the Boulevard and Crypticon Kansas City, she’s working on her first cinematic feature, Call Girl, due out in February 2014.

BEST SPOKESPERSON FOR THE ARTS

Blair Schulman Blair Schulman is never at a lack for words. He publishes exhibition reviews and commentary on visual art on his website, Cupcakes in Regalia. (Don’t make the mistake of referring to Cupcakes as a blog — blogs aren’t edited, Schulman will tell you. He’s not exactly reticent in person, either.) At

Jill Sixx: thriller 7 p.m. the third Thursday of each month, Schulman and his co-host, poet Maria Vasquez Boyd, chat with local creatives on their KKFI 90.1 talk show, ArtSpeak Radio. A New York City native, Schulman moved here seeking the vibrant, DIY culture that he once found on the streets of his hometown. And we polite Midwesterners are the better for his westward migration. Who better to promote our city’s art scene than a brash, outspoken, hardworking New Yorker?

BEST RE-ENACTMENT

Quantrill’s Raid of Lawrence via Twitter This year marked the 150th anniversary of William Quantrill’s raid of Lawrence, Kansas, in which 164 civilians were killed, and nearly all of downtown Lawrence was burned to the ground. As part of the events commemorating the attack, dozens of Lawrencians participated in an unusual reenactment on Twitter. Citizens assumed historical identities and “live tweeted” the events of August 21, 1863, which began before sunrise that day, lasted four hours, and on into the night as the Jayhawkers and Union soldiers pursued Quantrill and his men. Twitter proved to be an impressive medium for staging a re-enactment, giving followers a sense of the timing and the places of that day, as well as insight into the individuals who experienced the raid. The result was strangely haunting and enlightening.


PEOPLE & PLACES BEST AIRBRUSH ARTIST

BEST TRANSPLANT

Alec Matlock, Envy Controllers

Folk Alliance International

envycontrollers.com

Pro gaming — with spectators and everything — is upon us. And no Kansas Citian is better poised to ride the wave to business success than University of Missouri– Kansas City student Alec Matlock and his company, Envy Controllers. Matlock creates custom paint jobs for Xbox and PlayStation controllers for his discerning customers. It’s an odd little biz niche he has found, but he’s selling loads of controllers and making bank while doing it. Matlock has earned his 1UP.

BEST REMODEL

Arabia Steamboat Museum 400 Grand • 816-471-1856 • 1856.com

First-time visitors to the Arabia Steamboat Museum might wait to peruse the gift shop until after exploring the truly wonderful finds lying below. The museum houses 200 tons of general cargo — ranging from shoe nails to gold-encrusted luxury goods — lost on the Arabia when it sank in the Missouri River in 1856. It was found and excavated more than 100 years later, and the exhibits provide a window into American life on the frontier, as the West was was being settled. This past January, the museum closed for the first time in its 21 years to perform repairs, reorganize its collection and open more displays. The result is a more comprehensive, organized and spruced-up local gem.

A couple of years back, we caught word that Folk Alliance International — a nonprofit dedicated to promoting and celebrating folk music through education, networking and an annual three-day conference — planned to move its headquarters from Memphis to Kansas City. This summer, the organization completed that relocation. Led by Louis Jay Meyers, one of the original founders of Austin’s South by Southwest music festival, the FAI now operates the Folk Store, in the River Market, where you can purchase new and vintage music equipment. And for the next five Februaries, FAI’s annual conference will draw more than 2,000 musicians and industry types to town. At a time when folk music is more popular than it has been in decades, we’re flattered that Folk Alliance International chose us over dozens of other cities. “There really wasn’t even a close second,” Meyers says of the decision. Aww, stop it, we’re getting red over here.

BEST FROZEN MEME

Dustin Schirer’s Grumpy Cat snow art Of all the snow creations made from the latest round of snowpocalygeddon, Dustin Schirer’s won our icy hearts. Probably because Schirer’s Grumpy Cat, based on the meme, speaks to how we feel about losing power, digging out, and trudging through the mess of snow and ice. Not that Grumpy Cat would be sympathetic.

BEST PLACE TO MEET YOUR NEXT BOYFRIEND OR GIRLFRIEND

Penn Valley dog park Man’s best friend couldn’t be a better wingman. Load up Billy the beagle and Oscar the wiener dog and head to Penn Valley’s dog park. The 2.7-acre, fenced, off-leash park brings dog people together from across the city. If you’re lucky, your friendly mutts will break the ice, leading to an easy first date. Wanna meet at the dog park? Bonus: Billy and Oscar might find butts of their own to sniff.

BEST SIGHTSEER

Louis Jay Meyers came to play. in Kansas City, Kansas). Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne — in town last July for a show at Crossroads KC with St. Vincent — biked around KC and ended up at Okie Joe’s. Who could blame him? The restaurant, as it does when famous people pop in, posted a photo to its Facebook page. Thanks, KC, for hearing our plea: Please, please don't run him over.

BEST PLACE TO PRETEND YOU’RE NOT IN KANSAS CITY

Swope Park Trails

David Byrne biking KC The best place to run into celebrities in Kansas City is the Oklahoma Joe’s gasstation location (3002 West 47th Avenue,

“We may not have mountains, but we have [insert various local attractions here].” Kansas City politicians and boosters often utter this refrain as part of this city’s chronic

Johnson County Library Join us and other writers across the country for National Novel Writing Month.

PARTICIPATES IN

Visit

www.jocolibrary.org/nanowrimo for details on the kick-off event to be held

OCTOBER 12 FROM 1-3 at the

Your Story Starts Here...

CENTRAL RESOURCE LIBRARY

This event is generously sponsored by Johnson County Library Foundation and the Joan Berkley National Novel Writing Month Workshops

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Overland Park

farmers’ market Saturdays 6:30 AM - 1 PM

Through Nov. 23rd

PEOPLE inferiority complex. The only way to pretend that Kansas City does have mountains is to pay a visit to the expanding Swope Park trail system. A sprawling mountain bike path there rivals the difficulty of some of Colorado’s better-known single-track trails. And others are better suited to runners and dog-walkers. With the park’s dense foliage, rolling hills and rocky surfaces, its trails are reasonable substitutes for terrains that Kansas City naturally lacks.

READERS� CHOICE BEST APARTMENTS

1. Piper Lofts 2. MAC Apartments 3. Riverstone Presenting Sponsor

BEST AREA ATTRACTION

1. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. Country Club Plaza 3. WWI Museum - Liberty Memorial

opkansas.org

BEST BUILDING

1. Kauffman Center for the PerformingArts 2. Union Station 3. Western Auto Building BEST CATEGORY WE FORGOT

1. Best Chinese Restaurant 2. Best Photographer 3. Best Burlesque Group BEST CHURCH/HOUSE OF WORSHIP

1. Church of Lazlo 2. Unity Temple on the Plaza 3. Church of the Resurrection BEST CIVIC ACTIVIST

1. Lazlo of 96.5 the Buzz 2. Alvin Brooks 3. Danny Boi of 96.5 the Buzz BEST DAY TRIP

1. Lawrence, Kansas 2. Weston, Missouri 3. Hermann, Missouri BEST DOG PARK

1. Shawnee Mission Park 2. Penn Valley Dog Park 3. Swope Park BEST DRAG PERFORMER

1. Daisy Bucket 2. Heidi Banks 3. Melinda Ryder BEST FOOD BLOG

1. The Pitch Fat City 2. KC Beer Blog 3. Feed Me KC

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& PLACES BEST FOUNTAIN

1. J.C. Nichols Fountain 2. Meyer Circle Fountain 3. Henry Bloch Memorial Fountain BEST KANSAS POLITICIAN

1. No One 2. Sly James 3. Paul Davis BEST LANDMARK

1. Liberty Memorial 2. Union Station 3. The Scout BEST LGBT ACTIVIST

1. Afentra from 96.5 the Buzz 2. Jolie Justus 3. Wick Thomas BEST MISSOURI POLITICIAN

1. Claire McCaskill 2. Sly James 3. Jolie Justus BEST LOCAL BLOG

1. KC Beer Blog 2. The Fast Pitch 3. Tony’s Kansas City BEST LOCAL COLUMNIST

1. Steve Kraske 2. Sam Mellinger 3. Tim Finn BEST LOCAL CONSERVATIVE

1. Scott Parks 2. Kris Kobach 3. Mike Shanin BEST LOCAL GENIUS

1. Gyro 2. Lazlo 3. Deuce Sharbonda BEST LOCAL HERO

1. George Brett 2. Lazlo 3. Matt Besler BEST LOCAL LIBERAL

1. Lazlo 2. Afentra 3. Jolie Justus BEST LOCAL RADIO SHOW

1. The Church of Lazlo 2. Afentra’s Big Fat Morning Buzz 3. Johnny Dare Morning Show BEST LOCAL TV NEWS PERSONALITY

1. Gary Lezak, 41 Action News 2. Mark Alford, Fox 4 3. Amy Anderson, KCTV BEST LOCAL TV NEWS STATION

1. KMBC 2. Fox 4 3. KCTV


PEOPLE &

PLACES

BEST MUSIC BLOG

BEST SMOKIN’ HOT KANSAS CITIAN

1. The Pitch (David Hudnall) 2. Back to Rockville 3. The Deli Kansas City

1. Paul Rudd 2. Lazlo 3. Alicia Solombrino

BEST PARK

BEST STARTUP

stylish apartments in historical building on West 39th Studios, 1&2 Bedrooms • All Utilities Included Off Street Parking • Laundry Facilities Huge Windows • High Ceilings

1. Loose Park 2. Shawnee Mission Park 3. Swope Park

1. Think Big 2. Local Ruckus 3. Lantern Software

by appointment only

BEST PHILANTHROPIST

BEST THING THAT HAS CHANGED IN KC IN THE PAST YEAR

1. Julia Irene Kauffman 2. The Hall family 3. Shirley Helzberg BEST PLACE FOR A CHEAP DATE

1. Grinders 2. Westport Flea Market 3. Loose Park BEST PLACE TO FIND FAMOUS PEOPLE

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Country Club Plaza 3. Power & Light District BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE

1. Country Club Plaza 2. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 3. Extra Virgin BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN

1. Westport 2. Missie B’s 3. Power & Light District BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN

1. Westport 2. Power & Light District 3. Buzzard Beach BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Country Club Plaza 3. WWI Museum - Liberty Memorial BEST POLITICAL BLOG

1. Church of Lazlo 2. Tony’s Kansas City 3. Stand Up KC! BEST PUBLIC GARDEN

1. Powell Gardens 2. Loose Park Rose Garden 3. Kauffman Gardens BEST RADIO PERSONALITY

1. Lazlo 2. Afentra 3. Johnny Dare BEST SEXY MUSICIAN

1. Alicia Solombrino 2. Mark Lowrey 3. Nathan Bowman BEST SEXY TV PERSONALITY

1. Abby Eden 2. Erin Little 3. Kerri Stowell

816-531-3111 1111 W. 39th St. KCMO

1. Google Fiber 2. The Royals are winning/ suck less/aren’t terrible 3. The weather BEST TWITTER PERSONALITY

1. @lazlothebuzz 2. @PatsHoppedUp 3. @mickshaffer BEST VIEW

1. Liberty Memorial 2. Strawberry Hill 3. The Scout BEST WEATHERCASTER

1. Gary Lezak 2. Bryan Busby 3. Karli Ritter BEST AFFORDABLE NEIGHBORHOOD

1. Waldo 2. 39th Street West 3. Hyde Park BEST CULTURAL NEIGHBORHOOD

1. The Crossroads 2. Westport 3. West Side

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BEST NIGHTLIFE NEIGHBORHOOD

1. Westport 2. Power & Light District 3. Waldo BEST SCHOOL NEIGHBORHOOD

1. Blue Valley 2. Prairie Village 3. Leawood BEST OVERALL NEIGHBORHOOD

1. Brookside 2. Waldo 3. Hyde Park BEST SUBURB

1. Prairie Village 2. Overland Park 3. Lee’s Summit

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BEST STREET

1. Ward Parkway 2. 39th Street 3. Main Street

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Trim: 9.25x9.5 Bleed: None


BEST STEAL

Alcides Escobar steals home The most exciting moment of the Royals’ 2013 campaign came from a screw-up. In the fifth inning of the Royals’ September 18 game against the Cleveland Indians, Emilio Bonifacio missed a hit-and-run sign with runners on the corners. Bonifacio’s brain fart left Alex Gordon stranded between first and second bases. While Indians infielders chased after Gordon to tag him out, Alcides Escobar started inching from third base toward home plate. Suddenly, the Indians tried to pick off Escobar, hurling the ball toward catcher Yan Gomes. Escobar looked doomed, but as Gomes tried to tag him out, Escobar somehow slid out of the catcher’s path. Suddenly, it was Gomes who was stranded as Escobar reached home safely for a run. And for the moment keeping the Royals’ playoffs hopes intact.

BEST HAPPY ENDING

Justin Maxwell’s grand slam, clinching a winning season in the last Royals home game

The last homestand for the Kansas City Royals proved frustrating. In the heat of a playoff race in which the Royals were on the outside looking in, the club’s sloppy de-

fense cost it a September 17 contest against the Cleveland Indians. Four days later, the bats went silent in a critical tilt against the Texas Rangers. But those miscues were rendered minor details for a packed crowd at the Royals’ final home game on September 22. A pitchers’ duel with the Rangers led to a scoreless deadlock and extra innings. With two outs, a full count and the bases loaded in the bottom of the 10th inning, Justin Maxwell launched a belt-high fastball deep to left field and easily over the outfield wall, securing the troubled franchise’s second winning season in 20 years.

BEST TURNAROUND ARTIST

Dayton Moore, Kansas City Royals Dayton Moore came to Kansas City in 2006, replacing feckless general manager Allard Baird, caretaker of several lousy years of Royals baseball. Moore’s move was a puzzling one, given that he was seen as heir apparent to one of the more coveted jobs in baseball: general manager of the Atlanta Braves. Moore’s new job wasn’t an easy one, and it has looked at times to be a futile effort. But Moore has built a formidable farm system, the only way a small market team can succeed, and he appears to have developed enough talent to sustain a decent lineup —

one less susceptible to poaching by bigger market teams that have lured away up-andcomers Carlos Beltran and Johnny Damon in the Royals’ past. Still, Moore hasn’t been afraid to dispense with sacred cows such as Cy Young winner Zack Greinke or making big bets by dealing well-regarded prospect Wil Myers, who was sent to Tampa Bay for top pitcher James Shields. The result of Moore’s work is the unthinkable: relevant Royals baseball in late September.

BEST INTERIM EXPERT

George Brett, Royals hitting coach When the Royals’ hot start this year turned into a cold streak, manager Ned Yost and GM Dayton Moore pulled the George Brett ace out of their sleeve and hired him as the Royals’ interim hitting coach. Brett, who had not worn a Royals uniform in 20 years, somewhat reluctantly stepped up and performed coaching duties for the next 48 games before resigning to make way for Pedro Grifol. The Royals’ numbers actually regressed under Brett’s tutelage (pre-Brett: .261/.314/.375; post-Brett: .248/.309/.369). Yet Royals blogger Rany Jazayerli noted that key youngsters Eric Hosmer and Mike Moustakas did improve under No. 5. And the Royals eventually joined the wild-card hunt. Thanks, George.

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BEST DIP

Royals Fountain Lady Saying Royals Fountain Lady made a splash, when she decided to cool off in the K’s famed fountains during a late-August game, would be an understatement. Jessica McCoy, a 25-year-old Iowa woman, became an Internet sensation for her daring act, which other fans captured on cameraphone videos and pictures. To some, the woman was a folk hero who just wanted to enjoy the ballgame from a new perspective. That’s just Fountain Lady being Fountain Lady. To others, she was a drunken idiot. Regardless, Fountain Lady was an amusing distraction in this summer’s dog days.

BEST ATHLETE PERSONALITY

Jimmy Nielsen, Sporting Kansas City Professional athletes come and go in Kansas City, with few leaving a lasting impression in this Midwestern metro’s social fabric. But for the most part, high-paid pros leave Kansas City when their playing days or contracts expire. But Jimmy Nielsen is one who seems intent on making KC his home. Sporting Kansas City’s goalkeeper left behind a somewhat troubled past in his native Denmark to get playing time in the United

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SPORTS & RECREATION

BEST SPORTING KANSAS CITY PLAYER

Graham Zusi It has been a few years since Graham Zusi evolved from a basement dweller, living paycheck to paycheck, to one of the United States’ best soccer players — all during his time with Sporting KC. Zusi can ply his trade as either a midfielder or a winger, best known for his ability to plant the soccer ball into the perfect spot so another player can rocket the ball into the back of the net. But sometimes Zusi can chalk up his own goals. And sometimes Zusi scores when it doesn’t seem like he’s trying all that hard. Prime example: Sporting traveled to Chicago on July 7 to take on the Fire for what at the time was a crucial match against a surging rival. Already up 1–0, Zusi found himself unmarked on the right side of the 18-yard box and lobbed a slow ball toward the goal. It looked to be a trademark cross to oncoming striker Kei Kamara for a headed effort on goal. Chicago’s goalkeeper, at least, seemed to think it was and reacted late as the ball suddenly trailed away from him and Kamara toward the net for the game’s second goal. Zusi also played a significant role in getting the U.S. national team qualified for next year’s World Cup in Brazil. Look for him on the field then.

BEST FRONT-OFFICE MANEUVER

Sporting Kansas City dumps Kei Kamara Kei Kamara has been one of Sporting KC’s top goal scorers in recent years, resurrecting his career after unsuccessful stints with other Major League Soccer squads. Kamara’s rising star in the powder-blue kit was enough to catch the attention of top-tier English squad Norwich City, which rented Kamara for a handful of games in the English Premier League at the outset of Sporting’s 2013 season. His departure was a sad one for local 16

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sides. But we salute Sporting’s ballsy decision to rip the Livestrong sign off its glamorous stadium and kill the relationship. The charity was being petulant in the press, and the team looked like the mature side by walking away.

BEST GET

Andrew Wiggins chooses Kansas JEFF MOFFETT/ICON SMI/NEWSCOM

States. He has been the best net minder in Kansas City since Tony Meola. And unlike George Brett, who lives in tony Mission Hills, largely removed from the Kansas City commoner, Nielsen has taken up residence in a modest Brookside home where he isn’t shy about striking up conversations with neighbors and fans. Joggers and dog walkers on the Trolley Track Trail can often spot Nielsen walking his well-behaved dog. Chances are, he’ll strike up a conversation with a stranger, and not the other way around.

fans who appreciated Kamara’s goals and his exuberance. After about three months, Norwich sent Kamara back to KC, and he returned a somewhat changed player. During a game in Chicago, cameras caught Sporting coach Peter Vermes laying into his striker, who seemed to look as though he’d rather be anywhere else. Sporting KC took a deal to have Kamara go to Middlesborough, a middling British squad, in return for a rumored $600,000 or so. The move was a shrewd one for Sporting, given Kamara’s popularity, but it was the right one.

BEST MOMENT OF SPORTING KC’S SEASON

Benny Feilhaber’s long-distance goal against Colorado Entering the 2013 Major League Soccer season, Sporting KC was regarded by many as a favorite to win the championship. The team hasn’t always played like a contender, though. During an August 23 road trip to Chicago, the players looked like a band of 11 sloths on the field en route to their third loss in four games. The next week, they had to face a Colorado Rapids team that was unbeaten in its last nine games at Sporting Park. Sporting KC had Colorado on its heels for most of the game. Midfielder Benny Feilhaber, a hyped-up signing from New England who hadn’t impressed early in the season, took a brilliant shot from 30 yards out that sailed past Colorado goalie Clint Irwin into the net. It was a spectacular strike that lathered restless Sporting fans into a frenzy and seemed to put some confidence back in the team on its way to a victory.

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Justin Maxwell delivered. BEST AMERICAN HERO

Matt Besler There’s no denying that 2013 was the year that barges of local media ink were devoted to how Kansas City is, like, seriously and breathlessly in love with soccer. We were guilty of it, too, when we profiled Matt Besler, local boy turned Sporting KC star. But more than just a local phenomenon, Besler joined the U.S. Men’s National Team, which demanded to be taken seriously this year by reeling off a record 12 straight wins. After debuting in January with the United States against Canada, Besler played against Mexico, Germany, Jamaica, Honduras, Costa Rica and Panama. The New York Times even profiled him with the headline, “Besler Elbows His Way Onto U.S. Team.” He also elbowed his way into our hearts.

BEST PR MOVE

Sporting Kansas City vs. Livestrong Lance Armstrong was already tainted when he appeared at a 2010 press conference to announce that his cancer charity’s name would grace Kansas City’s new soccer stadium: Livestrong Sporting Park. Allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win seven Tours de France had dogged him for years. Then, as Armstrong’s life imploded in the early part of this year, a feud broke out between the charity and Sporting Kansas City. Livestrong publicly claimed that the team hadn’t made promised donations; the team called bullshit. It was a PR mess for both

We know that University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self is good at his job, and we hear that he is a good recruiter. But no one anticipated that Andrew Wiggins, the No. 1 high school prospect, hailed as “the best since LeBron,” would choose KU over Florida State, Kentucky and North Carolina. Whatever convinced Wiggins, KU fans are happy. There was also a nice bonus of beating out UNC’s Roy Williams and Kentucky’s John Calipari (whose tweets prior to Wiggins’ announcement about Kentucky’s academic prowess are still a bit mystifying) for the 6-foot-8-inch, 197-pound freshman, also projected to be the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA Draft.

BEST STRETCH OF ROAD FOR CYCLING

Lee Boulevard, Leawood Kansas City isn’t the most hospitable metro for cyclists. Most have learned to find their ways to county roads outside town for peaceful, traffic-free sojourns on the bike saddle. But rural roads aren’t always practical for bicyclists. The best stretch for a ride is Lee Boulevard in Leawood, extending from Somerset Drive to Leawood Park just south of Interstate 435. It’s only about 4 miles, but this bucolic trip past some of the nicer homes in old Leawood features gentle hills and, better yet, a relative lack of traffic along a lengthy, uninterrupted street. The drivers who travel the boulevard seem to expect and accept that they have to share the road with cyclists. Lee Boulevard isn’t just for recreational cyclists but also for commuters. It’s the best north-south road to connect northeast Johnson County or Waldo to south Johnson County outside the 435 loop.

BEST RECREATIONAL-SPORTS VENUE

Volleyball Beach 13105 Holmes • 816-942-2820 • volleyballbeach.com

Volleyball Beach has its share of quirks. It serves Beach Beer on tap for cheap, which is some kind of light keg beer that bartenders refuse to identify. (We’re guessing Icehouse or Busch.) The expanse of 12 sand volley-


SPORTS & RECREATION ball courts off Holmes Road and Blue Ridge Boulevard is within a watermelon’s throw of a busy railroad line to the east that causes the ground to shake slightly when a train plows by. But it’s a welcome destination for experienced volleyball players, newcomers and those in between.

BEST REC-CENTER INVESTMENT

Wyandotte County pays to keep the Eighth Street YMCA open Earlier this year, the YMCA of Greater Kansas City announced plans to shutter its Eighth Street location. “Hell to the no,” said the Wyandotte County Board of Commissioners. In April, WyCo’s leaders offered the Y $10,000 a month to keep the treadmills on. Worth it. Yeah, the building is old and has a unique odor that doesn’t help your bench press. But the Y is a rare workout joint near downtown, and the place is usually hopping on weekend afternoons. Plus, it’s the last Y location to offer racquetball. We really need our damn racquetball, you guys.

BEST FAST-PLAYING PUBLIC GOLF COURSE

Heart of America Golf Academy 7501 Blue River Road • 816-513-8940 hoagolfacademy.com

One of the most appealing things about the Heart of America Golf Academy’s public course is that it’s one-stop golfing for anybody who plays the game. If you’re just learning, sign up for lessons or whack a bucket on the driving range. Hacks with a little more experience can knock out a round on the par-3 course called “The Rock,” which works water hazards and tricky trees into the game. Already got skills? The “River Course” is the one for you: Water factors into more than half the holes, the greens are challenging to read, and the landscaping is relatively fresh. If you’re looking for a quick round that won’t suck up your whole day, HOA is your place.

BEST SHRED OF HOPE FOR UMKC SPORTS

UMKC hires basketball coach Kareem Richardson “Kansas City’s university.” So say the most recent advertisements from the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Let’s face it: If the school really wants to whip up a local frenzy of support, it’s going to need more than de-

cent medical and law schools and a worldrenowned conservatory. It’s going to need an exciting (read: winning) sports team. The school could be moving that way with its men’s basketball program. The school hired coach Kareem Richardson to lead the Roos into their first season in the Western Athletic Conference. Richardson is hot off winning the 2013 NCAA Championship as an assistant coach with Louisville. The Roos will be his first turn as a head coach (his résumé includes assistant stints at Xavier, Drake and Indiana State), and we’re hopeful that he can turn around a program that has languished for years. If Richardson can reverse the Roos’ fortunes, the team’s new home at Municipal Auditorium will easily be able to handle larger crowds.

BEST ATHLETE WHO MAKES US FEEL LAZY

Kelly Dippold Most days, we’re pleased if we get out of bed on time, do a decent job at work and clock out in time to flail on the treadmill for a halfhour — all the while hoping that the attractive, fit people surrounding us don’t notice as we gradually decrease the speed setting. So we’re hella impressed with Overland Park triathlete Kelly Dippold. The 50-year-old not only qualified for the Triathlon World Championships in New Zealand last October but also went and won her age bracket. Dippold, who works for Lockton Companies, claimed the title (and the envy of everyone who dons old 5k T-shirts for their jogs) with a time of 2 hours, 28 minutes, 21 seconds. Yeah, that’s a pretty impressive time to complete a 1,500-meter swim, a 40-kilometer bicycle ride and a 10-kilometer run. She makes us all look like slow-moving bums.

THANKS KARNBESSTASBOCWLIITNGYALLEY &

FOR VOTING US TOP 3 FOR FAMILY FOR 55 YEARS! FOR BEING PART OF OU - MISSION BOWL

BEST SURPRISE

The Kansas City Chiefs' defense Last year, we called Chiefs defenders Justin Houston and Tamba Hali the "Best Hope for the Chiefs' Future." We were onto something. As of press time, Kansas City is undefeated, and a big reason is the defense. Houston is the NFL's sack leader, and he's the league's third-fastest pass rusher to record 20 sacks. The only guys better: Chiefs legend Derrick Thomas and ex-KC mullet king Jared Allen. Add a ball-hawking secondary of Sean Smith, Eric Berry and Brandon Flowers; imposing linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali; and a barbecue-free Dontari Poe, and the Chiefs' D is looking stronger than ever.

AY 5399 MARTW 205 6 6 S MISSION, K 000 .7 913.432

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ST. 1020 S. WEAV6ER 6 0 6 OLATHE, KS 79 1 913.782.02 MISSIONB

OWL.COM

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SPORTS _&_ RECREATION BEST COLLEGE ATHLETE

BEST CHIEF

1. Ben McLemore 2. Collin Klein 3. Andrew Wiggins

Alex Smith Former San Francisco 49er Alex Smith is a winner. Yeah, he's as risk-averse as your grandma who plays the penny slots and possesses an arm that's just about as as strong as Nanna’s, but neither of those things matters as long as he keeps piling up W’s. In his last eight games as a starter, Smith has won seven games and improbably tied one. A concussion and the rise of Colin Kaepernick led to Smith's demotion in the Bay Area as SF went on to the Super Bowl. The Chiefs jumped at the chance to add Smith — and move on from years of mediocre signal callers (Matt Cassel, Brady Quinn, Brodie Croyle, Tyler Thigpen, Damon Huard, Tyler Palko, Kyle Orton). It has paid off. After week four, the Chiefs were undefeated.

BEST COLLEGE BASKETBALL COACH

1. Bill Self 2. Frank Haith 3. Bruce Weber BEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL COACH

1. Bill Snyder 2. Charlie Weis 3. Gary Pinkel BEST FITNESS BOOT CAMP

1. CrossFit 2. Crossroads Bootcamp 3. Fusion Fitness BEST FITNESS CLASS

1. Title Boxing Club 2. Zumba 3. CrossFit

BEST HIRE The Kansas City Chiefs haven't had a good leader since Dick Vermeil cried his way out of this cowtown. Herm Edwards may have played to win the game, but his record showed more L’s than W’s. Todd Haley wouldn't shave, made the playoffs in 2010 (getting bounced by Baltimore), but he couldn't produce a consistent winner. Romeo Crennel may have been a players' coach, but he couldn't win either. Enter a new regime and ex-Philadelphia Eagles coach Andy Reid (and new general manager John Dorsey). So far, so good for the walrus-mustached mastermind. His defense has played scrappy. His offense is efficient enough to win. And Chiefs fans are dreaming of the postseason.

BEST FIGHT CARD

Invicta Fighting Championships 5 Shannon Knapp promotes the best MMA fights in Kansas City. In April, Knapp’s women-only MMA fight group, Invicta Fighting Championships, hosted the return to the cage of Cristiane "Cyborg" Justino, who had served a yearlong steroid-related suspension. Cyborg mauled opponent Fiona Muxlow on the way to a first-round TKO. The brutal fight wasn’t even the best of the night. Invicta FC 5 was fi lled with GIF-worthy highlights: Rose Namajunas submitted Kathina Catron in 12 seconds with a flying armbar (submission of the night); Miriam Nakamoto knocked out Jessamyn Duke with a pair of knee strikes 18

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BEST GOLF COURSE

1. The National 2. Swope Memorial 3. Falcon Ridge

JOHN SLEEZER/MCT/NEWSCOM

Andy Reid

BEST HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETE

1. Miranda Jamison 2. Braxton McCluskey 3. Noah Knight BEST JAYHAWKS BASKETBALL PLAYER

Andy Reid and Justin Houston start big. (KO of the night); and Leslie Smith and the UFC's Sarah Kaufman slugged it out (fight of the night). Knapp’s cards give new meaning to fighting like a girl.

BEST CASINO

Harrah’s North Kansas City 1 Riverboat Drive, North Kansas City • 816-472-7777

READERS� CHOICE

1. Ben McLemore 2. Jeff Withey 3. Andrew Wiggins

BEST BASKETBALL COURT

BEST LOCAL GYM/FITNESS CLUB

1. Allen Fieldhouse 2. Sprint Center 3. Mizzou Arena

1. 24 Hour Fitness 2. The GymKC 3. HealthRidge Fitness

BEST BIKE TRAIL

BEST LOCAL KICKBALL LEAGUE

1. Shawnee Mission Park 2. Indian Creek 3. Trolley Track Trail

1. KC Sport & Social Club 2. Kaw Valley Kickball 3. WAKA

BEST BOWLING ALLEY

BEST LOCAL KICKBALL TEAM NAME

harrahsnkc.com

With a generation raised on TV and video games running most things these days, the North Kansas City outpost of Nevadabased Caesars Entertainment Corporation (which operates 50 casinos under several brand names, including Caesars and Bally’s) understands that slot machines are way too old-school. Harrah’s North Kansas City frequently has the newest and the liveliest slots, machines that do more than just swallow your money. A new Dolly Parton machine, for example, allows you to choose your favorite Parton song while hitting the “Repeat Bet” button. This casino also boasts a hotel, several appealing restaurants and a smiling staff.

best of kansas city 2013

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1. Mission Bowl 2. Ward Parkway Lanes 3. Z Strike BEST CAMPSITE

1. Smithville Lake 2. Longview Lake 3. Watkins Mill BEST CASINO

1. Ameristar 2. Argosy 3. Hollywood BEST CHIEFS PLAYER

1. Jamaal Charles 2. Derrick Johnson 3. Alex Smith

1. Amazeballs 2. Big Balls BEST LOCAL MMA FIGHTER

1. Adam Vega 2. Bobby Voelker 3. James Krause BEST LOCAL PRO WRESTLER

1. Harley Race 2. Jeremy Wyatt BEST MAVERICKS PLAYER

1. Dave Pszenyczny 2. Ryan Jardine 3. Sébastien Thinel


SPORTS &

RECREATION

BEST ORGANIZED BIKE RIDE

BEST SPORTS BLOGGER

1. Tour de Brew 2. Bike MS 3. Spin Pizza Bike Rides

1. Sam Mellinger 2. Greg Hall 3. Rany Jazayerli

BEST ORGANIZED FOOT RACE/RUN

BEST SPORTSCASTER

1. Trolley Run 2. Color Run 3. Komen Race for the Cure

1. Len Dawson 2. Ryan Lefebvre 3. Jack Harry

BEST PERSONAL TRAINER

BEST SPORTS RADIO BROADCASTER

1. Sadie Durbin 2. Matt Terry 3. Trevor Christensen

1. Danny Parkins 2. Soren Petro 3. Steven St. John

BEST PLACE TO SHOOT POOL

BEST SPORTSWRITER

1. Side Pockets 2. Sharks Billiards 3. Brass Rail

1. Joe Posnanski 2. Sam Mellinger 3. Bob Dutton

BEST PLACE TO THROW DARTS

BEST SPRINT CENTER SPORTING EVENT

1. Side Pockets 2. Chez Charlie’s 3. Sharks

1. Big 12 Tournament 2. NCAA Tournament 3. NHL exhibition game

BEST PLACE TO WATCH COLLEGE SPORTS

BEST STADIUM

1. Allen Fieldhouse 2. Johnny’s Tavern 3. Tanner’s

1. Sporting Park 2. Kauffman Stadium 3. Arrowhead Stadium

BEST PLACE TO WATCH KC PRO SPORTS

BEST T-BONES PLAYER

1. Sporting Park 2. Kauffman Stadium 3. 810 Zone

1. Frank White 2. Matt Padgett 3. Joey Gathright

BEST PUBLIC POOL

BEST TENNIS COURT

1. Prairie Village 2. The Jones 3. Black Bob Bay

1. The Plaza 2. Woodside 3. Loose Park

BEST RECREATIONAL SPORTS LEAGUE

BEST TIGERS BASKETBALL PLAYER

1. Volleyball Beach 2. Brookside Soccer Club 3. All-American Indoor Sports

1. Laurence Bowers 2. Jabari Brown 3. Stefan Jankovic

BEST RECRUIT

BEST TIGERS FOOTBALL PLAYER

1. Alex Smith 2. Andrew Wiggins 3. Dorial Green-Beckham

1. Henry Josey 2. Dorial Green-Beckham 3. E.J. Gaines

BEST ROLLER WARRIOR

BEST WILDCATS BASKETBALL PLAYER

1. Annie Maul 2. JamaLamaDingDong 3. Maus Trap

1. Rodney McGruder 2. Angel Rodriguez 3. Will Spradling

BEST ROYALS PLAYER

BEST WILDCATS FOOTBALL PLAYER

1. Alex Gordon 2. Eric Hosmer 3. Billy Butler

1. Collin Klein 2. Ty Zimmerman 3. Tyler Lockett

BEST SOCCER FIELD

BEST YOGA INSTRUCTOR

1. Sporting Park 2. Overland Park Soccer Complex 3. Swope Park

1. Angela Schaffer 2. Laura Frank 3. Susan Rodriguez

BEST SPORTING KC PLAYER

BEST YOGA STUDIO

1. Jimmy Nielsen 2. Graham Zusi 3. Kei Kamara

1. Maya Yoga 2. Darling Yoga 3. Core Energy Yoga

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“You can’t buy from a nicer bunch of guys!” 13020 West 63rd St. Shawnee KS 66216

(913) 631-1111 Located just 2.5 miles west of I-35 or 3 miles east of I-435 Shawnee Mission Parkway

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BEST MENSWEAR

The Bunker 4056 Broadway • 816-561-7407 • bunkeronline.com

A recent quest took a happy turn when we discovered a solid and well-priced shoe collection in the Bunker’s cavelike basement. We were even more stoked about the kicks when we learned that the storage area was once a speakeasy. This funky Westport shop has offered a one-of-a-kind selection of men’s, women’s and children’s clothing, accessories and gifts since 1999, and we consider it the go-to spot for guy stuff that’s chill yet fashionable. The store carries a mix of national and regional brands, and designs its own vintage KC tees. Need more bait? We once spotted the staff handing out Miller High Life cans to preferred customers before noon.

BEST WOMEN’S BOUTIQUE

Donna’s Dress Shop 1410 West 39th Street • 816-931-0022 donnasdressshop.com

Donna’s Dress Shop takes you to a carefree 1950s party. The bright, open space on 39th Street is modern with a hint of the past, thanks to a splash of paisley wallpaper and a turquoise couch. Perpetually happy staff members greet you with spunky attitudes, cat-eye glasses, bouffant hair and retro garb.

If you time it right, you may even score a cold drink with a toothpick umbrella. The boutique carries a mix of true vintage pieces and vintage-inspired new clothing and accessories from national brands. Shop owner Donna Foulk remains selective at market, picking merchandise that reflects trends as well as pieces with timeless flair. And we can’t forget the pets. Inside an antique birdcage, parakeets chatter the day away and provide a charming soundtrack.

BEST ALTERNATIVE SPA EXPERIENCE

The Spa at Briarcliff 4133 North Mulberry Drive • 816-746-5333 thespaatbriarcliff.com

Getting naked and floating in a 12-inch-deep tub of mineral-dense, 94-degree–Fahrenheit water in a dark, silent room is far from your bachelorette-day spa experience — and that's the point. The true value of the posh Spa at Briarcliff's “float experience,” also known as a sensory-deprivation float, is to shut out the world for 60 minutes and exist without texts, Facebook or “urgent” meeting requests. In this water, you float without any effort, and you can doze off without drowning. Music and lights can be adjusted to your taste. And trust us — just when you think your brain isn't going to shut down and you won’t be able to

relax, a psychic change occurs. You lose track of time and space. But when the time is up, one of the spa's friendly attendants runs a hot shower for you, and you feel weightless — gelatinous, even. A little peace and quiet can take you a long way.

BEST LOT SHOP

West Bottoms’ top resale shops. No easy feat amid more than two dozen options. Owners Chrysalyn and Jeff Huff found success by combining strong furniture building and restoring with creative home-décor design. As a result, fans of their urban-farmhouse style crowd the shop the first weekend of each month.

Gypsy Market Royale

BEST SECONDHAND CLOTHING

gypsykc.blogspot.com

The first Saturday of even-numbered months, you’ll find 20 or so local up-andcoming makers gathered in the West Bottoms parking lot between Genessee Royale Bistro and Amigoni Urban Winery for the Gypsy Market Royale. The eclectic creations for sale include fair-trade handbags, herbal potions, sculptural ironwork, archival prints and swoodies — what you get when you upcycle old sweaters into a hooded coat of sorts. Cartwheel, a blue bus retrofitted into a boutique, and jeweler Scarlett Garnet sponsor the event. Sometimes, a DJ or band plays. Always, expect a party.

BEST FURNITURE

Restoration Emporium 1300 West 13th Street • 913-915-2124

Restoration Emporium opened in early 2012 and quickly gained a reputation as one of the

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Fashionista Exchange 8777 West 95th Street, Overland Park • 913-341-2537 fashionistakc.com

When we buy clothes at Fashionista Exchange, we tend to forget that our finds had a past life doing who knows what on someone else’s body. We chalk this up to the Overland Park resale shop’s high standards for clothing and accessories, chic store design and displays, and emphasis on customer service. In 2011, Danielle Nelsen opened the shop, which promotes itself as a destination for upscale and unique secondhand fashion. The store prefers to buy items in good shape with well-known labels, such as Free People, Coach, Ugg, Joe’s Jeans, 7 for All Mankind denim, and Anthropologie brands. Not everything is used here, though. The shop partners with several local jewelry designers to sell their creations. The reasonable prices make the place even more attractive.

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KC Pet Project thanks you for your vote in the “Best of Kansas City” competition.

GOODS � SERVICES

Dogs and Cats $25 Oct. 18-20 Main Shelter 4400 Raytown Road 816-513-9821

BEST INDULGENCE

For Strange Women perfume forstrangewomen.com

Jill McKeever doesn’t sell scents in a bottle. She sells memories — the smell of your dad’s workbench, your senior trip to Ireland, the air at the Oregon coast that day your husband proposed. Scents such as Decadence and Debauchery (notes of ripe blood orange and golden, wet tobacco), Violin in the Attic (think antique amber, rose and cocoa) or the top-selling Winter Kitty (aromas of vetiver, Moroccan rose and Douglas fir) aren’t something to spritz across your bod on your way out the door. They’re meant to be remembered, savored and filed away in your mind.

BEST ILLUMINATI

Jim Ligon’s Vintage Edison 816-686-3571 • edison.40nightscreative.com

Former JJ’s bartender Jim Ligon builds gorgeous lamps by shrouding bulbs in glass bottles (sometimes Shatto Milk bottles, sometimes oddly shaped whiskey bottles), then mounting them in wooden boxes, which are missing one side. The resulting lamps radiate warmth, and the slightly dim light makes any corner of your home or local bar feel like an intimate hideaway. Go to MiniBar to see Ligon’s hanging lamps, made inside vintage suitcases and bisected globes, and feel transported to another place.

BEST PLACE TO BE A KID

Brookside Toy & Science 330 West 63rd Street • 816-523-4501 brooksidetoyandscience.com

Brookside Toy & Science restores our faith in play. The shop, which has been going strong since 1964, stays away from trends and sticks with classics, quirky items, toys that emphasize creativity, and collectibles.

Zona Rosa 7351 NW 87th Terrace 816-587-0224

www.kcpetproject.org

Mills: Records are back in Westport. This means pogo sticks, a doll selection that includes a hedgehog family, a sock-monkey jack-in-the-box, a duct-tape jewelry-making kit and plenty of high-quality wooden toys. The fun isn’t just for kids. Buy something humorous for a friend, like a slinky dog or a hand puppet of lifelike mice.

BEST DIAPER DUDE

Justin Quick, Diaper Daisy 6114 Johnson Drive, Mission • 913-236-2528 diaperdaisy.com

Buying cloth diapers can seem unnecessarily overwhelming. Do you want prefolds, flats, contour, fitted, all-in-one, all-in-two, hybrid or pocket diapers? The daunting number of options is enough to make any parent ditch his or her good and green intentions. Talk to Diaper Daisy’s Justin Quick before you go adding heaps of nasty plastic to landfills. This dad knows the ins and outs of the cloth-diapering business and gives honest, straightforward advice that simplifies the task. Justin and his wife, Jess, opened the Mission boutique in 2012 to serve the growing natural-parenting movement. They don’t stop at diapers. You’ll find a slew of green products, including baby carriers, feeding supplies and skin-care products.

BEST NEW STORE

Mills Record Co. 314 Westport Road • 816-960-3775 millsrecordcompany.com

We initially reacted to word of a new record store in Westport the way we might on hearing about a teenage cousin’s new punk band: We applauded the effort and enthusiasm while quietly assuming it wouldn’t be long for this world. But when we stopped into Judy Mills and Chris

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Call for your appointment today! WE’RE YOUR

QUICKIE

913.345.1400 www.ppkm.org

Fast, convenient and confidential sexual health appointments.

WE’RE YOUR

MORNING AFTER An open-minded environment for pregnancy testing, emergency contraception and conversation.

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WE’RE YOUR

SEXUAL EXPERIENCE STD testing and treatment for men and women. You’ve got questions; we’ve got answers.

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WE’RE YOUR

Planned Parenthood of Kansas and Mid-Missouri


GOODS � SERVICES

BEST GIFT SHOP

Stuff 316 West 63rd Street • 816-361-8222

ANGELA C. BOND

DeLine’s Mills Record Co. on its opening weekend this past spring, we dialed back our skepticism. The space was clean and minimalist, the prices were more than reasonable, and the staff was exceptionally friendly. It has since become a community-oriented spot, hosting in-stores for local acts, while selling local vinyl, tapes and CDs. If a record store this sharp can’t survive the digitalmusic revolution, we’re pretty sure none can.

pursuegoodstuff.com

Here’s the problem with Stuff: We want everything in the shop. While this gives us anxiety, it also means happy birthdays and merry Christmases for our friends and family. Two sisters, Sloane and Casey Simmons, opened the busy shop in 1997 with a mission to make art accessible to all in a nonstuffy way. Through the years, they’ve teamed up with talented artists, local and international, to stock the store, which has a vibrant and inviting mix of items, including handbags, stationery, jewelry, body products, paintings and various home-décor items. Some of our favorite finds: dustpans made from license plates; magnets with quirky animal sketches; and coasters with quips, including “One should always use protection (for the coffee table’s sake).” Now that’s good stuff.

BEST BED

Burlington Mattress Co. 1800 Burlington, North Kansas City • 816-914-0088

Our mattress-shopping desires are pretty straightforward: great deals and no hovering salespeople as we sprawl out to test the goods. Burlington Mattress Co. passes the test. When retailers receive imperfect mattresses — details that most would consider insignificant in the quest for a good night’s sleep, like a small scuff or a rip in the plastic that covers the mattress — they often send them back to the manufacturer. Burlington buys those mattresses and offers deep discounts on top brands, such as Sealy and Stearns & Foster. Edward Collins, a retired Kansas City Fire Department battalion chief, opened the original store in 2010 on Burlington in North Kansas City. He has since expanded into four other metro locations and an Illinois store. A bonus: You don’t have to deal with the life-paralyzing, multi-hour delivery window. Name a time, and they’ll show up with your mattress.

Yeah, we’d hit that. BEST LOCAL ALTERNATIVE TO NETFLIX

Videomania 208 Westport Road • 816-561-6397 videomaniakc.com

We all know that Netflix did to independent video stores (and Blockbuster, for that matter) what Wal-Mart did to countless momand-pop businesses. But Videomania on Westport Road continues to hang tough in the streaming-video age. The shop, with its ubiquitous yellow awning, has survived since 1981, at least in part by focusing on a few niches. Sure, film nerds can watch many Criterion Collection titles on Hulu, but those don’t come with the special features. Videomania has a wall of Criterion titles, ranging from the obscure to, sigh, Armageddon. Similarly, the shop has staked a claim on LGBT movies and offers a large selection of hard-to-find titles. It also has Netflix beat in one genre: porn. We’re not canceling Netflix, but we’re still Videomania members.

BEST PIÑATAS

Los Alamos Market y Cocina 1667 Summit • 816-471-0450

Props to the person who shows up to a party with a piñata. Be the cool kid by snagging one from Los Alamos Market y Cocina, the authentic Mexican restaurant and market on the West Side. The bamboo piñatas are made in Mexico and feature beloved children’s characters, such as Batman, Mickey Mouse, Cookie Monster, Hello Kitty and Buzz Lightyear. For those wanting to wail away on an enemy of America, there’s an Osama bin Laden piñata. The store used to sell Saddam Hussein, but he wasn’t as popular as the al-Qaida founder.

BEST MONOPOLY BUSTER

Google Fiber fiber.google.com

Local cable and Internet companies (cough, Time Warner) frequently become the object of scorn and derision by their customers. A lack of competition leaves customers frustrated by billing and service issues, and feeling like their cable provider has no reason to rectify their concerns. Enter Google Fiber. Since the Internet search-engine giant moved into the fiber-optic business and made Kansas City its test market, companies like Time Warner seem to be caught after years of near-monopoly business conditions. And the reason is clear: Google is a vast upgrade in television-picture quality, Internet speeds and customer service. Google is the Cadillac of local cable service, but the price is more like a Buick and undercuts similar plans offered by competitors — like Time Warner.

BEST PLACE TO TREAT YOUR BODY

T. Loft

Gifts with a Mission

SHOPPING THAT MAKES A DIFFERENCE

FAIR TRADE & EQUAL EXCHANGE ECONOMIC JUSTICE SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL

8025 State Line Road • 816-267-1991 • tloft.net

If every café could be like T. Loft, maybe the world would have happier people inhabiting it. Loose-leaf teas, detox juices and grab-andgo items like sweet-potato brownies, warm quinoa bowls and kale salads are served by attractive people who are always patient and willing to explain the products’ virtues. The extremely tasteful décor — think big throw pillows and a plush shag rug in front of the counter — has a calming effect that will most likely inspire you to order another cup of hot passion-fruit jasmine green tea or a blend of strawberry, hibiscus and rose hips called “Happy Tea.” Here’s the first stop on your way to cleaner living.

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7 1 4 0 W 8 0T H ST REET

OVERL AND PARK , KS 66204

91 3.6 42.24 6 8 U NI Q U EF I ND SG I F T S .C O M

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Alexis T G S 

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is celebrating 43 years! with a fantastic October special...

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NEW LOCATION! CALL FOR APPOINTMENT

913-940-8874 • 913-400-3515


READERS� CHOICE BEST ADVERTISING AGENCY

1. VML 2. Barkley 3. Bernstein-Rein BEST ADULT STORE

1. Cirilla’s 2. 7th Heaven 3. Ray’s Over 21 BEST ANTIQUE STORE

1. River Market Antiques 2. Good Ju Ju 3. Mission Road Antique Mall BEST ARCHITECT

1. 360 Architecture 2. Populous 3. David Dowell BEST ATTORNEY

1. Mark Epstein 2. Don Simon 3. Kirk Holman BEST AUTO DEALERSHIP

1. Baron BMW 2. Jay Wolfe Toyota 3. Hendrick Toyota BEST AUTO MECHANIC

1. Hank’s Auto Repair 2. Northtown Auto Service 3. Autoworld BEST BANK

1. Commerce Bank 2. Community America Credit Union 3. UMB BEST BARBER

1. Chop Tops 2. Brookside Barber Shop 3. Sole Patch BEST BED AND BREAKFAST

1. Southmoreland on the Plaza 2. Casa Somerset Bed & Breakfast 3. Inn on Crescent Lake BEST BICYCLE SHOP

1. Volker Bicycles 2. Bike Stop 3. Family Bicycles BEST BODY PIERCING

1. Freaks on Broadway 2. Freaks on 39th 3. Irezumi Body Art BEST CAR WASH/AUTO DETAILER

1. Waterway Gas & Wash 2. Rainbow Car Wash 3. Green Lantern

SERVICES BEST CHILDREN’S BOUTIQUE

1. Once Upon a Child 2. Lauren Alexandra Bebe Boutique 3. Children’s Orchard

We are honored to be voted one of the best by Kansas City We promise to take good care of you at The Promise

BEST CHIROPRACTOR

1. Dr. Amanda Dunn 2. Dr. Michelle Robin 3. Dr. Rich King BEST COLLEGE

1. University of Kansas 2. University of Missouri–Kansas City 3. University of Missouri–Columbia BEST COMIC BOOK STORE

1. Vintage Stock 2. Clint’s Comics 3. Elite Comics BEST CONSIGNMENT STORE

1. Arizona Trading Co. 2. Pete ‘n’ Repeat 3. Clothz Minded Revision 1

Revision 2

BEST DENTIST

Creative Proofer 1: 1. Westwood Dental 2. Creative Dr. Katie Watson Proofer 2: (Stone Post Family Dental) 3. The Smile Salon

Revision 3

Revision 4

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Insertion Date: Client: Job Number: Product/Pub: Size: Production: Work Date:

10/9 Marinello

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BEST DOCTOR

1. Dr. Darren Killen 2. Dr. Robert Stokes 3. Dr. Brandon Day BEST DOG TRAINER

1. Sit Means Sit 2. Mike Deathe (K.I.S.S. Dog Training) 3. Daiger Dog Training BEST DRY CLEANER

1. Pride Cleaners 2. Hangers Cleaners 3. Tide Dry Cleaners BEST EYE DOCTOR

1. Sabates Eye Center 2. Dr. Jill Smith 3. Dr. Nicci Noyce BEST FARMERS MARKET

1. City Market 2. Overland Park Farmers Market 3. Brookside Farmers Market

Style

your new career.

BEST FLORIST

1. Studio Dan Meiners 2. The Fiddly Fig 3. Trapp and Co. BEST GROCERY STORE

1. Trader Joe’s 2. Hy-Vee 3. Hen House BEST HAIR REMOVAL

1. Ideal Image 2. European Wax Center 3. Summer Ambroz

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GOODS &

beautyofschool.com

Defining Beauty Education Since 1905

LAWRENCE • OVERLAND PARK pitch.com

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NOW HIRING

Fast • Friendly • Family FAMILY OWNED FOR 37 YEARS

COMPLETE AUTO SERVICE

THANK YOU KANSAS CITY! WE ARE NOW HIRING IN THE FOOD, BEVERAGE & HOUSEKEEPING DEPARTMENTS. Hotel Phillips Benefits*

As a memeber of the hotel phillips team, our associates can earn eligibility for: • various discounts on hotel amenities • medical, dental and life insurance coverage • 401 (k) retirement plan • travel benefits at other marcus hotels

• tuition reimbursement • performance based incentives • flexible spending account • competitive wages

*eligible benefits vary by position

apply in person at 12th & baltimore or at www.hotelphillips.com

$45-$50 thousand the 1st year, great benefits, call SMTDS, Financial assistance available if you qualify. Free living quarters. 6 students max per class. 4 wks. 192 hours. (More driving time than any other school in the state)

IF YOU DESIRE TO MAKE MORE MONEY AND NEED A NEW JOB EARNING

IS YOUR CAREER UPSIDE DOWN? 28

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CALL FOR AN APPOINTMENT

816.221.4433 14th & BURLINGTON, NKC NorthtownAutoSer vice.net


GOODS & BEST HAIR SALON

BEST LOCAL HOME FURNISHINGS STORE

1. Skyline Downtown Salon 2. Chop Tops 3. Voga Salon

1. Nebraska Furniture Mart 2. Black Bamboo 3. Restoration Emporium

BEST HAIRSTYLIST

BEST LOCAL JEWELRY MAKER

1. Nicholas Jenkins at Skyline 2. Ashlee Laya at Voga Salon 3. Kimberly Stogner at Lady Luck

1. Scarlett Garnet 2. Abby McCaffree (Edie Couture) 3. Sara Cramer

BEST HANDYMAN/WOMAN

BEST LOCAL JEWELRY STORE

1. Handyman Express 2. Kip Stamper 3. Odell Hill

1. Tivol 2. Meierotto Jewelers 3. Joslin’s Jewelry

BEST HARDWARE STORE

BEST LOCALLY DESIGNED APP

1. Westlake Ace Hardware 2. Strasser Hardware 3. Euston’s Hardware

1. Front Flip 2. Zaarly 3. Lantern

BEST HOSPITAL

BEST LOCAL MAKER

1. St. Luke’s Hospital 2. University of Kansas Medical Center 3. North Kansas City Hospital

1. Boulevard Brewing Co. 2. Hammerpress 3. KC CO.

BEST HOTEL

BEST LOCAL MEN’S CLOTHING STORE

1. The Raphael Hotel 2. Hotel Phillips 3. The Ambassador Hotel

1. Halls 2. The Bunker 3. Baldwin

BEST INDIE CRAFTER

BEST LOCAL NURSERY AND GARDEN CENTER

1. Hadley Johnson 2. Farmers Apothecary 3. Tara Tonsor

1. Family Tree Nursery 2. Suburban Lawn & Garden 3. Soil Service Garden Center Nursery

BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER

BEST LOCAL PET GROOMING

1. Madden-McFarland Interiors 2. Karen Mills 3. Nichole Loiacono Design

Thank

SERVICES

1. Brookside Barkery & Bath 2. Doggie Style Bowtique er. Dog Groomery . Volun3.tePicasso

te Adopt. Dona

BEST LANDSCAPER

BEST LOCAL PRODUCT

1. Rosehill Gardens 2. The Greensman 3. Bryan Hobby

1. Boulevard Brewing Co. 2. Shatto Milk 3. Indigo Wild

BEST LIQUOR STORE

BEST LOCAL SHOE STORE

1. Gomer’s Fine Wine and Spirits 2. Lukas Liquor Superstore 3. Mike’s Wine and Spirits

1. Bob Jones Shoes 2. Nordstorm 3. The Bunker

BEST LOCAL ACCESSORIES DESIGNER

BEST LOCAL WOMEN’S CLOTHING BOUTIQUE

1. Courtney Perry 2. Jennifer Janesko 3. Mandy Stos

1. Donna’s Dress Shop 2. Standard Style 3. Retro Vixen

BEST LOCAL BOOKSTORE

BEST MANICURE/PEDICURE

1. Rainy Day Books 2. Half Price Books 3. Prospero’s Books

1. Oak Nails 2. West Plaza Nails, Salon & Spa 3. Polished Nail Salon

BEST LOCAL CLOTHING DESIGNER

BEST MASSAGE

1. Baldwin 2. Monkey Wrench Clothing 3. Peggy Noland

1. Massage Envy 2. Bijin Salon and Spa 3. Par Exsalonce

BEST LOCAL EYEWEAR STORE

BEST MOTORCYCLE DEALER

1. Brookside Optical 2. The Bunker 3. Gerry Optical

1. Gail’s Harley-Davidson 2. Worth Harley-Davidson 3. Engle Motors

You

We appreciate you supporting a locally owned and family run business for 35 years!

9529 Antioch Overland Park, KS 913. 341.2021 joslinsjewelry.com

Bring this coupon in for

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Pet Adoption Centers in Merriam, KS and Independence, MO

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SPCA.org

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Kansas City’s PREMIER Pet Salon

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

1713 Westport Rd. KCMO 816.561.DOGS www.doggiestylebowtique.com

THANK YOU KC FOR VOTING US TOP 3 BEST ANTIQUE STORE!

1 1 5 W 5 T H S T. KCMO 64105 816.221.0220

Rusty Gunner

&

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The Future

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Best of Kansas City Winner

Cafe Racer Exceptional Motorcycle & Scooter Service 1301 Union Ave. KCMO | 816-221-0711 30

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GOODS &

SERVICES

BEST NEW RETAIL STORE

BEST RECORD STORE

1. Mills Record Co. 2. Broadway & Penn 3. Flatiron District

1. Vinyl Renaissance 2. Mills Record Co. 3. Zebedee’s RPM

BEST NONPROFIT

BEST SHOPPING MALL

1. Harvesters 2. Wayside Waifs 3. KC Pet Project

1. Oak Park Mall 2. Zona Rosa 3. Independence Center

BEST PET BOARDING/PET DAYCARE

BEST SMOKE SHOP

1. Pete & Mac’s Pet Resorts 2. Pooches’ Paradise Day Spa and Resort 3. Woof’s Play & Stay

1. The Outlaw Cigar Co. 2. Diebel’s 3. Cooper’s Broadway Tobacco

BEST PLACE TO BUY A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT

1. Big Dude’s Music City 2. Meyer Music 3. Midwestern Musical Co. BEST PLACE TO ADOPT A PET

1. Wayside Waifs 2. KC Pet Project 3. Great Plains SPCA BEST PLACE TO BUY A SCOOTER

1. Craigslist 2. Scooter World 3. Shawnee Cycle Plaza BEST PLACE TO BUY AN ENGAGEMENT RING

1. Tivol 2. Meierotto Jewelers 3. Shane Co. BEST PLACE TO SHOP GREEN

1. Trader Joe’s 2. Whole Foods 3. iamthemandy.com BEST PLACE YOU WISH WERE STILL IN BUSINESS

1. JJ’s Restaurant 2. Borders Books & Music 3. The Boot BEST PLASTIC SURGEON

1. Dr. John Michael Quinn 2. Dr. Daniel Bortnick 3. Dr. Jeff Dillow BEST PLUMBER

1. Bob Hamilton 2. Roger the Plumber 3. Spencer Numer BEST POP-UP STORE

1. Gypsy Market Royale 2. Bogatte 3. MoVi BEST REAL-ESTATE AGENT

1. Sharon Aubuchon (Reece & Nichols) 2. Dee Dee Warner (BHG Kansas City Homes) 3. Martin Taggart (Keller Williams Realty Diamond)

BEST SPA

1. The Elms Hotel and Spa 2. Bijin Salon & Day Spa 3. The Spa at Briarcliff BEST TATTOO ARTIST

1. Whispering Danny K (Exile Tattoo) 2. Deuce Sharbonda (West Bottoms Art Society) 3. Jimmy Kuder III (Glory Bound Tattoo) BEST TATTOO SHOP

1. The Mercy Seat 2. Exile Tattoo 3. Irezumi Body Art

Mom,

Can we go? Please!

D’Agee & Co.

A Florist Who Cares!

Dogs World

of FUN

18 E. Franklin St.

DAYCARE $12/Day, BOARDING $17/Night & GROOMING MON–FRI: 6:30am–5:45pm • SAT–SUN: 9:30am–3pm

1220 W. 31st Street, Kansas City, MO 64108 816.931.5822 • dogsworldoffun.com

HISTORIC LIBERTY SQUARE

Liberty, MO

816.781.4707

dageeflorist.com

BEST VETERINARIAN

1. Westwood Animal Hospital — Dr. Wayne Hunthausen 2. Fairway Animal Hospital 3. Kansas City Veterinary Clinic — Dr. Paul Diehl BEST VINTAGE CLOTHING STORE

1. Boomerang 2. Donna’s Dress Shop 3. Arizona Trading Co. BEST WEDDING PLANNER

1. Jessica Corbett — Hitched Planning + Floral 2. Abigail Sander — A Wedding Come True 3. Jillian Murphy, Emily Ferguson — Berg Event Space BEST WEDDING VENUE

1. Dark Horse Distillery 2. Berg Event Space 3. The Promise

Almonds, Cashews, and Pecans! Oh My! Enjoy a delicious, heart healthy snack of our nuts or decadent treats. Follow the yellow brick road to our KC store or shop online. Individual, Group, or Fundraising orders welcome!

Define Y ur Style

BEST WINDOW DISPLAY

1. Anthropologie 2. Halls 3. Wonderland

2920 Merriam Lane Kansas City, KS 66106

913.432.3638

farmsteadnutsandtreats.com

farmstead@farmsteadnutsandtreats.com OPEN UNTIL DECEMBER 23RD

7917 SANTA FE DRIVE

O V E R L A N D PA R K , K S 6 6 2 0 4

RUBYROUGEKC.COM | 913.400.2096

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ST

TM

FIR T EA

E ME

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Y IDA R F


BEST BRUSH WITH FAME

Gee Watts, with Kendrick Lamar, on “Watts R.I.O.T.” “This next song I did with Kendrick Lamar,” Gee Watts said onstage at the Riot Room, during The Pitch Music Showcase back in August. “Truth be told, it’s the only reason The Pitch is fucking around with a youngass dude like me.” We’d dispute that — the track, “Watts R.I.O.T.,” isn’t even our favorite from the 22-year-old East Side rapper’s debut, Watts Up. But the Lamar collaboration — born out of some Twitter back-andforths and consummated during a tour-bus recording session on the red-hot Compton rapper’s stop at the Sprint Center last year — definitely boosted Watts’ profile, both in KC and across the country. “Watts R.I.O.T.” didn’t make it onto Lamar’s acclaimed debut, but at least Watts can say he held his own alongside the rapper whom MTV recently crowned “Hottest MC in the Game.”

BEST RENAISSANCE

Zines Last fall, Front/Space gallery brought us Zine Dream, a reading room, workshop and independent-publication exchange. In July, Plug

Projects put on its first-ever Art Book Fair. The KC Zine Collective placed a library inside the Walnut Place Laundromat and a DIY distro box on the corner of 39th Street and Troost. Double Rainbow Publications peddles zines out of its City Ice Arts storefront. The writers and designers behind The Bohemian and Undercurrent are chugging out eye-catching, intelligent, community-focused 5.5-inchby-8.5-inch publications. And, yes, this corporate-owned alternative newsweekly just glaringly (but inadvertently) omitted some other underground periodical that started, like, last night. All of them are contributing to a zine renaissance. Wordpress and Tumblr are great, but nothing captures the feeling of turning the pages of a lovingly handcrafted zine. Keep photocopying and stapling, Kansas City.

BEST ONE-UPPING OF JAY-Z

Performance Now

Jay-Z’s brand of art focuses on themes of celebrity and the transference of energy from audience to performer, concepts that typical consumers of American pop culture already know well. Deeper stuff was on the way, though, thanks to Performance Now, a traveling exhibition curated by RoseLee Goldberg, who appears in Jay-Z’s video. The works at Artspace demonstrated a broader spectrum of ideas and emotions, conveyed by artists performing with their own bodies or directing others. These pieces, most of which appeared as video documentation, ranged from lighthearted and fun (Christian Jankowski’s video of his neighbor hulahooping on her roof) to hard-hitting, graphic and political (Regina José Galindo’s protest walk to Guatemala’s National Palace with her feet dipped in blood). Jay-Z whetted our appetite. This was the meal.

constructed 3-D models of cardboard and wood. His ambiguous structures, complex combinations of lines, planes and forms, seemed neither functional nor inhabitable. Baab photographed the structures and further modified them as digital images, adding surface textures and layering inkjet prints. The result was a series of elegant and uncanny works. And there was still more: Our favorite part was a live black-and-white video feed of cats climbing one of Baab’s models in an undisclosed, underground location. This feline twist added an element of chance and whimsy to an already deeply fascinating exhibition.

BEST SOLO EXHIBITION

Ann Hamilton and Cynthia Schira launched a two-woman takeover of the ground-floor galleries of the University of Kansas’ Spencer Museum of Art this past spring. The former student-teacher duo (Hamilton, a professor at Ohio State University, studied fiber art with Schira at KU in the late 1970s) found inspiration in the collection, practices and architecture of the museum itself.

H&R Block Artspace, at the Kansas City Art Institute

Anthony Baab

16 East 43rd Street • 816-561-5563

A Strenuous Nonbeing • Grand Arts

Sure, Jay-Z brought performance art to the masses with an HBO special (and subsequent YouTube video with nearly 3 million views) documenting his six-hour performance of “Picasso Baby” at New York’s Pace Gallery.

Kansas City artist Anthony Baab managed to collapse time and space in the nine largescale, black-and-white inkjet photographs on display at Grand Arts last winter. Inspired by an old architecture textbook, Baab

pitch.com

BEST HOMECOMING

An Errant Line: Ann Hamilton/Cynthia Schira Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence

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Join us for a dynamic prism concert – a 60-minute, uninterrupted performance including dance, jazz, opera, choral, orchestra and more. You won’t want to miss this exciting evening showcasing the talented students and faculty of the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance – hailed as “one of the country’s liveliest academies” by The New York Times.

FRIDAY|, November 8 Performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $30| ||

| Students: $15

FOR TICKETS: Umkc.edu/crescendo or 816-994-7222 Creative BY VEDROS PHOToGRAPHY and UMKC

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ARTS �

ENTERTAINMENT BEST OUTDOOR THEATER

Hamilton covered the Spencer’s central court with rose-colored fabric banners bearing haunting photographs of 18th-century Italian nativity figures, rarely seen objects owned by the museum. Schira’s black-andwhite woven cloth used words and images to refer to the Spencer’s role in collecting and caring for objects. The artists’ installation was self-referential yet appealed simultaneously to the intellect and the senses.

Starlight Theatre 4600 Starlight Road • 816-363-7827 • kcstarlight.com

BEST NEW VENUE

Balanca’s, the club that until last year inhabited 1809 Grand, was once a hub of downtown cool: friendly to artists and the LGBT set and maybe a handful of harmless smalltime criminals. Our kind of crowd. But over time, the scene there became too sketchy — two homicides in two years — and no tears were shed when it finally closed its doors. The Green Lady Lounge, the jazz club that moved in last winter, has retained a small trace of the urban sex appeal (red walls and booths, dark lighting) that made Balanca’s seductive. But owner John Scott (formerly of Scott Fitness) has classed up the space considerably, with a good-looking staff, tasty drinks, a vintage Wm. Knabe & Co. baby grand, and regular gigs by some of the finest jazz musicians in town. (Bonus: There’s rarely a cover.) If you ever fantasize about the jazz hangouts of the 1940s or you simply want to drop by the best place to see jazz in Kansas City, this is the place.

BEST 7-INCH

Replay Records’ Hips/ Hospital Ships split In addition to cheap beer and live music, Lawrence’s Replay Lounge has been serving up occasional 7-inch singles for the past two years through its in-house label, Replay Records. Most cleave to a garage and punk aesthetic (Up the Academy, Mouthbreathers, Radkey), but our favorite from the past year falls more in the indie-rock mold: a split release shared by the Hips and Hospital Ships. We totally dig the funky keyboard riff on the Hips’ “Yoo Hoo’s Binoculars,” which lends the song a friendly indie-soul groove. And we prefer the ramshackle, more acoustic version of Hospital Ships’ “Come Back to Life” to the one that appeared on the band’s excellent album from this year, Destruction in Yr Soul. Hospital Ships recently packed up and moved to Austin, but at least the Replay gave

ANGELA C. BOND

Green Lady Lounge 1809 Grand • 816-215-2954 • greenladylounge.com

us a time capsule to remember this moment in the Lawrence scene.

BEST FORWARD-INKING ORGANIZATION

Kansas City Center for the Ink & Paper Arts 1427 West Ninth Street • inkknifestudio.org

Before retiring after 30 years as a designer and hand letterer for Hallmark, Calvert Guthrie founded the Kansas City Center for the Ink and Paper Arts, a membership-based community printmaking studio. With his long, gray hair and goatee, Guthrie looks a little like a wizard. And he has created a bit of magic in the nearly 5,000-square-foot basement of the Hobbs Building in the West Bottoms. Though the KCCIPA has occupied the space just seven years, it seems as though it has been there forever, with dozens of sturdy printmaking presses ready for intaglio, lithography, relief, screen-printing and letterpress processes, spread out among paper cutters, shelves of reference books, prints hanging from lines or drying on racks, jars of ink and drawers full of old letterpress type. The center hosts workshops on letterpress, calligraphy, monoprinting and etching led by local artists, and builds community among its members with potlucks and regular Saturday-night printing sessions.

BEST ADVENTURE

Shipwrecked! An Entertainment Spinning Tree Theatre • spinningtreetheatre.com

The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont As Told By Himself engulfed us in the

We’d get Shipwrecked again. tall tales — and the published accounts — of a bona fide late-19th-century celebrity. The small, talented cast — Charles Fugate (as de Rougemont), Bob Linebarger and Jennie Greenberry — captivated us with yarns of 30 years’ shipwrecked and, under the direction of Michael Grayman, brought the adventures to big, believable life. In the intimate space of the Paul Mesner Puppet Studio, we came to imagine a ship at sea, a giant octopus, typhoon winds, and a deserted Australian Outback. Were de Rougemont’s colorful descriptions rugged truth or fanciful make-believe? Ultimately, there was a different exploration under way: that of the human mind. Donald Margulies’ script then asked if this man believed his alternate reality. Thanks to this show’s magic, we’re left to wonder still.

BEST COMMENCEMENT

Shakespeare in the Park When winter lingers as long as this year’s did, the thing that finally banishes it from memory is taking a blanket out to Southmoreland Park, stretching out under a summer moon, and listening to actors immerse themselves anew in Shakespeare’s stories. City buildings and noise hang on the periphery and then fade as the stage, the scenery and the play’s setting blend into the intimate tree-filled surroundings and enfold you. You could be watching a traveling troupe of old. This summer’s As You Like It was pure, warm merriment, and a perfect reacquaintance with the carefreeness of summer.

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The updated Starlight is like a boutique baseball stadium for thespians and theater lovers. Expansive seating, updated stage and sound, restaurants, fountains, concessions, patios — even a gift shop. No Cracker Jack, but popcorn and lemonade if you prefer game-time munchies over sitdown service. The moon dances overhead as players traverse the stage, and the occasional breeze brings to mind Swope Park’s earlier use, way back in the mid-1930s, as a refuge from the heat when Kansas Citians fled here to find cooler sleeping environs than their un-air-conditioned homes. A decade or so later, the large park proved a logical location for the perfectly named Starlight, and here the stars still shine from both stage and sky.

BEST COLLABORATION

Carousel The Living Room and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre • thelivingroomkc.com, kcrep.org

UMKC’s Spencer Theatre metamorphosed into a theater-in-the-round for its re-creation of the Living Room’s earlier 2011 Carousel. Stepping inside the Spencer, you immediately entered a drastically changed world of stadium-style bleachers strategically constructed over the hall’s orchestra pit — theatergoers navigated the stage to take their seats — and first-row couches and lamps mimicked the casual, intimate ambience of the Living Room’s downtown space. Putting together shared resources and a talent bank of actors, designers, directors and musicians — director Kyle Hatley, actor Rusty Sneary and musician Eryn Bates among them — the two companies redefined collaboration and turned a well-known musical into a newly meaningful, innovative and dynamic show.

BEST SEASON

The Unicorn Theatre 3828 Main • 816-531-7529 • unicorntheatre.org

The Unicorn Theatre, starting its 40th season, hasn’t grown complacent with middle age but just keeps trying harder, not just reinventing itself but also introducing us to new and experimental works. Last year, an onslaught of vibrant plays, many appearing in New York (and many Tony-nominated) as recently as 2011, made their KC premieres at the Unicorn. The explosive and excellent

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Journeyman Theatre Company The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Comedy for Serious People written by Oscar Wilde | February 12-16, 19-23 Of Mice and Men

written by John Steinbeck | June 12-15, 19-22 Yippee Ki Yay Mother F***ker

written by Chris Rudy & Gregory Chafin | December 9-14, 17-21

MeltingPot KC The Frowning Vajayjays of Shady Pines

written by Vickie Vodrey

March 20-23, 27-30, April 3-6 White Sangria

written by Arika Larson |May 1-4, 8-11, 15-18 written by Michelle T. Johnson | August 7-10, 14-17, 21-24

Journeyman Theatre Company & Melting Pot KC Joint Production Behind the Veil Next to the Watercooler

written by Kerry Austin | September 4-8, 11-14, 17-21 Tickets available through Box Office Tickets

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best of kansas city 2013

The Motherf**ker With the Hat kicked off the year and jolted us to attention. Next, early American history crashed into the 21st century in the comedic, sometimes surreal rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Inspecting Carol was a laugh-out-loud Christmas show, after which we dried our eyes and waited for the season to resume. We then eavesdropped on, and came to care about, a South Boston community’s Good People. We felt a family’s pain and transformation in My Name Is Asher Lev. And we witnessed a transformative figure in The Mountaintop. The Unicorn’s version of 40 is the hungriest we’ve seen.

BEST REASON TO RISE EARLY ON A WEEKEND

The Knights, June 29–30 Gorilla Theatre Productions • gorillatheatre.org

We just set our alarm for 6 a.m. — on a weekend. Really? Yes! Gorilla Theatre Productions has been waking up audiences with starting-at-sunrise Greek plays for 22 years, and we were ready to pull ourselves out of bed for one summer morning. Good call. And we were far from alone. By 7:15, some choice spots on the Nelson-Atkins’ south lawn had been staked, but there was room for the groggy and the inexperienced as well. We donned hats and sunglasses, set down our lawn chairs and read through the program’s plot of The Knights, a comedy by Aristophanes (adapted and directed by James Dean Carter and David Brisco Luby). The two-hour show had no intermission, but none among the 75–100 audience members looked restless. The ancient story and Gorilla’s accompanying music — experimental, jazzy, circusy melodies performed by Brad Cox, Mark Southerland and Pat Conway, who composed it — are still going ’round in our heads.

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Together at last: Ron Megee, Mark Robbins sendup, easily the loosest thing we’ve seen at the Rep. By the time the show was done, both performers had bent genders, switching roles and costumes so fast as to defy physics (Robbins even portrayed two roles at once), all with perfect comedic timing.

BEST DO-OVER

Blackbird The Living Room • thelivingroomkc.com

BEST THEATER HOOKUP

The Living Room again took on a difficult topic, and two actors again explored difficult roles in a reprise of the emotionally absorbing Blackbird. First produced at the Living Room two years back, this 2005 play by David Harrower was inspired by an actual English case involving a U.S. Marine and a 12-year-old girl. Here, Vanessa Severo portrayed the now grown 27-year-old Una confronting Scott Cordes’ 55-year-old Ray, 15 years after their forbidden courtship and liaison. Again under the direction of Bryan Moses, these talented performers navigated the roller coaster of this forceful and intimate play. Cordes and Severo delved into their characters to reveal complicated, layered people. And they did it twice.

Ron Megee and Mark Robbins

BEST SCENIC DESIGN

The Mystery of Irma Vep

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DON IPOCK

Readers’ Choice

Kansas City Repertory Theatre • 816-235-2700

American Buffalo

kcrep.org

Kansas City Repertory Theatre • kcrep.org

Pairings aren’t just for restaurants — actors complement, too. And here’s a duo who satisfied a range of tastes with a first-time pairing in The Mystery of Irma Vep, at KC Rep. Ron Megee, a familiar presence in KC theater, made his first stage crossing at the Spencer, while Mark Robbins, a veteran of the venue, staged his first cross-dressing in the silly, topsy-turvy and hugely entertaining

Techies tend to get overshadowed in theater coverage, but scenic design can make or break a production. We’re happy to shine a spotlight on Donald Eastman’s dynamic and hyper-detailed set for the Kansas City Rep’s powerful American Buffalo revival. Eastman’s junk-shop set was visually stunning: high shelves and display cases crammed with coins, glassware and broken


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appliances. But its depth and sharp angles and platforms also kept the blocking interesting and provided the actors and the director with multiple playing areas. Historical accuracy? Eastman had that nailed, too. From the furniture to the shop’s neon signage, everything felt period-appropriate. Even the scenic painting was meticulous and metaphorically rich. Act 2’s lighting revealed an iridescence to the sets’ shabby browns and grays, evoking the play’s central image: a tarnished buffalo nickel.

BEST MOOD LIGHTING

The Lady From the Sea UMKC Theatre • umkctheatre.org

Modern design elements tend to skew toward subtlety, but sometimes we just crave good old-fashioned spectacle. In lighting design, that means bold palettes, color scrollers and enough rotating gobos to throw a post-production disco. UMKC Theatre’s The Lady From the Sea gave us our fix without sacrificing theatrical integrity. Henrik Ibsen’s brooding, symbolism-drenched play allows designers ample room to play, and Brandon J. Clark’s inventive lighting design did just that, catching our eye with evocative use of shadows and high-saturation colors. We were even more impressed by the dazzling water effects, which dappled the stage in mottled blues and sea greens to bring Ellida’s ocean to life in lights. Who said Ibsen couldn’t be sexy?

BEST SPOKEN-WORD ACT

Mz Angela Roux The spoken-word scene is blowing up in Kansas City. (And with Chicago slam

Walter Coppage took us higher. standby Louder Than a Bomb coming to KC next spring, the explosion couldn’t be better timed.) We chalk some of that up to Mz Angela Roux, the occasional host of Poetic Underground, the Uptown Arts Bar’s openmic series. She does more than flow, as she demonstrated in her standing-room-only show at this summer’s KC Fringe Festival. Girl can belt. We’re still reeling from her mash-ups of fast rhymes and her stunning voice, especially in “Trayvon’s Blues,” a hardedged, Skittles-inspired slam that brought a roomful of white suburbanites to their feet.

BEST PORTRAYAL OF AN ICON

Walter Coppage in The Mountaintop Unicorn Theatre • 3828 Main • 816-531-7529 unicorntheatre.org

If it takes courage to portray one of history’s greats, it takes still more to play them as real, flawed human beings. We’re grateful, then, to Walter Coppage, who bewitched us with a gracious and playful portrayal of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Unicorn Theatre’s June production of The Mountaintop. The play’s version of King packed plenty of charisma and iconic solemnity, but we also witnessed a man’s vulnerability and vices (cigarettes, spunky hotel maids). As King, Coppage got to flirt, fight and pad around the room in smelly, holey socks. The actor’s intrepid probe into King’s humanity was fascinating and emotionally complex, and his delivery of a final monologue on the eve of King’s assassination was breathtaking.

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT BEST FRINGE BAIT-AND-SWITCH Fringe Fest is, by design, a mixed bag. With unjuried selections and limited rehearsal time, a few duds await you on your hunt for indie theatrical bliss. We admit, that’s what we thought was going to happen with An Evening of Alli Jordan, the young playwright’s late entry to the festival. At the top of the show, Jordan stepped onto the Fishtank’s stage to deliver an announcement: Forrest Attaway, one of the night’s big draws, was running behind, and she had to make a last-minute switch to the program. We were going to see something new and unrehearsed. Groan. What we got was “For the Women,” a meta-theater tension headache so raw and uncomfortable that a few audience members walked out each night. As Jordan and her scene partner, Bryan Moses, appeared to break character and spar over the script and their working relationship, we were implicated as voyeurs watching an emotional train wreck. When Jordan revealed that the brawl was scripted, we breathed a sigh of relief and loosened our white-knuckle grip on the Fishtank’s seats. Did we feel cheated? Not at all. Jordan’s piece was one of the most memorable, volatile moments at this year’s Fringe.

BEST ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE

Jessica Brandl Red Star Studios

We’re already suckers for art that’s given a Midwestern slant, even when the Midwest depicted is a little blighted. Which means we utterly fell for Jessica Brandl’s selftitled exhibition this past summer: ceramic depictions of tornadoes and mobile homes as infusions of Wizard of Oz Technicolor in dreary black-and-white landscapes. The pieces staged agitprop scenes of Manifest Destiny in dilapidated buildings, and every one of them was created during her residency at Red Star Studios. Even better? It was all functional, embodying the kind of practicality the artist attributes to the heartland. You won’t lose any style points for using one of Brandl’s TV trays or ornate jars for its intended purpose. In fact, that’s the point. “You have a piece of art, but you may need to put snacks in it,” she assures us. A TV tray might seem like a strange artistic canvas, but there’s no condescension here. These are the objects she found while exploring abandoned buildings, 38

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C O U R T E S Y O F T H E B E L G E R A R TS C E N T E R

An Evening of Alli Jordan

Jessica Brandl: Red Star superstar artifacts she knew and loved. But don’t count on scoring a decorative snack urn anytime soon. The show sold out fast.

BEST PLACE TO GET A THEATRICAL CONTACT HIGH

The Living Room 1818 McGee • 816-533-5857 thelivingroomkc.com

The Living Room had a hell of a season this year, and we’re still waiting for the coke dust to settle. Three of the theater’s selections — Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll; Burn This; and Hurlyburly — spotlighted joint rollers or nose-candy enthusiasts. We got a little lightheaded watching Kyle Hatley snort line after line in Hurlyburly, which proved every bit as furious and frenzied as the drug. Sam Shepard’s Fool for Love was soaked with whiskey and fraught with emotional extremes, and — lest you worry about plummeting shock value — incest! In the Living Room’s intimate space, it’s hard not to get a contact high from the energy and raw frustration on display. You might just get addicted.

BEST DINNER THEATER

Eat This! By Stephanie Roberts • UMKC Theatre umkctheatre.org

We’re consumed with the food we eat, from its origins to its preparation to its presentation. And all of the food issues we pile high on our plates — additives, pesticides, biotech, local and organic versus factory


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT farmed, to name just a few — became part of the recipe in Stephanie Roberts’ Eat This! KC Chews on the Politics of Food. Roberts, a member of the UMKC Theatre faculty (she also appeared in two productions of Mask of the Broken Heart, a clever one-woman show that she also wrote), along with her team, thought about “What’s for dinner” as they interviewed local farmers, chefs, foodies, producers, doctors and parents. The result: a UMKC Theatre show that was entertaining, thought-provoking and relevant. (It was also tasty: Soup was prepared onstage and served after.) “We are what we eat,” Roberts agrees in her production notes. “It is true on a molecular level but also on a cultural and societal level as we look to the people who bring us our food.” We look to Roberts to reprise Eat This and dish us up some seconds.

2011 with Make Me a Song. The company continued to flower with a two-show season in 2011–12 (see “Best Recovery,” Best of KC 2012), and co-founders Andy Parkhurst and Michael Grayman have been growing Spinning Tree into a three-show season with professionally mounted and well-pruned productions. Last year, we got into a famous diva’s head in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning Master Class; we were swept up in award–winning playwright Donald Margulies’ Shipwrecked! An Entertainment; and we explored sexuality in Michael John LaChiusa’s musical Hello Again. And all we had to do was get there.

BEST COMMITMENT

Summer is perfect for a Picnic — especially one that puts all the heat onstage. William Inge’s 1953 play transports you to an earlier time, but his golden oldie isn’t a nostalgia trip. And in the KCAT’s production this past summer, it became a powerfully resonant story, told with humor, emotion and intelligence. The Pulitzer Prize–winning play made a winning start to the company’s “Classic American Summer.” We found ourselves attached to the small-town Kansans portrayed by an expert group of actors, who connected to one another and to us, and who may have resembled folks from some Labor Day from Inge’s own past. We felt their longings, understood their hopes, worried over their dilemmas and, ultimately, accepted their choices. We met them briefly, spent just one night with them, but we remember them still.

The Kentucky Cycle Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre 3614 Main • 816-569-3226 • metkc.org

Cycling through the two-part, nearly sevenhour The Kentucky Cycle is no small undertaking — especially for a small, scrappy theater company like Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre. The Pulitzer Prize–winning drama, composed of nine one-acts, covers 200 years (1775–1975) and demands a committed audience. At the MET, director Karen Paisley (who also appeared in it) staged it in repertory: Part One and Part Two at different times. With the stage and set built just inches from the first row of seats, we were this close to the story’s three fictional interwoven Kentucky families. (The crew and cast even took up drills to make a major scene change.) The drama’s sometimes hardto-take mirror of our culture was rendered here as a vividly portrayed tableau — 30 actors, many in multiple roles (including Scott Cordes, Matt Leonard, Manon Halliburton, Chris Roady, Bob Paisley and Jessica Franz), tramping across the stage and history.

BEST GROWTH

Spinning Tree Theatre 816-569-5277 • spinningtreetheatre.com

Local theater is a fertile field of dreams — if they build it, we will go. Around here, more and more new players have been doing just that and, in the process, also drafting teams of local designers and actors (the better to see both new and familiar faces) and giving us more shows. The nonprofit Spinning Tree Theatre first sprouted on the scene in April

BEST REVIVAL

TRU HERO. TRU HISTORY. TRU FAMILY EXPERIENCE.

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The Prodigal

BEST HAUNTED HOUSE

Daughter

3rd Street Asylum Third and Cedar Streets, Bonner Springs 3rdstreetasylum.com

Legend tells us that, in the 1880s, when Bonner Springs was a busy trading post called Tiblow, a large cemetery took up what’s now Third Street and Cedar. Years later, when the headstones and the bodies belonging to wealthy families were moved to make way for construction, some 150 sets of remains went unclaimed and were left behind, under a school. In 1983, the school closed permanently and sat empty, gutted and untouched for years — just right to eventually house a four-story, 15,000-square-foot spook factory. The 3rd Street Asylum is filled with elements essential to primal fear: clowns, a blood-

The Prodigal Daughter October 18-19, 2013

8:00pm YARDLEY HALL at JCCC

12345 College Blvd. | Overland Park, KS | 66210

Tickets: 913.469.4445 $50, $30, $20

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT spattered dentist’s office, pig parts, drills, chainsaw-wielding maniacs, a set of twins. In the 20 minutes it takes to make it through the place and get past about 35 local actors, you learn a little about your psychological limits. “Fear involves all of the senses,” says Steve Hoffine of JMS Entertainment, the local production company that runs the venue for Bonner Springs Parks and Recreation. “We leave none of them untouched.”

BEST ALL-AGES VENUE

Art Closet Studios 3951 Broadway • facebook.com/artclosetstudios

Launched last summer in a back room of Open Fire Pizza in midtown, Art Closet Studios was designed to be a free art-workshop space for underprivileged kids. But its founders, artists Dakota Walz and Mike Moreno, soon found that booking all-ages rock shows and charging a few bucks at the door could help pay for those workshops. So now, in addition to its nonprofit endeavors, Art Closet has become a great place for teenagers to play their first gigs and get exposure to local or, in the case of July’s Emo Fest, national acts. Grander plans are in the works, including a community garden. Those pizzas out front need fresh toppings, after all.

BEST MUSIC VIDEO

“Party City” Lazy

With Ssion, former Kansas Citian Cody Critcheloe has conceptualized some of the smartest, funniest and most delightfully strange music videos of the past decade — anywhere. His genius seems to have rubbed off on his friends in Lazy, whose video for garage-punk stomp “Party City” (from this year’s Obsession) also inhabits a Ssion-like intersection of extremely progressive fashion and absurdist humor. Directed by Kevin Schowengerdt, it includes cameos by Critcheloe and other faces you know from cool art parties in KC. It also features bros at a pool party, at least one Capri Sun, a shirtless man on a horse, and cocaine (or is it candy?) being chopped up with a Taco Bell gift card. Party City, indeed.

BEST BAND EVERYONE CAN AGREE ON

Shy Boys Very few bands we’re enthusiastic about — local or national — make music that we feel good about foisting upon our parents. But we’re fairly confident that Mom and 40

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Dad — hell, maybe even Grandma — could get down with Shy Boys. The trio of roommates (brothers Kyle and Collin Rausch, with Konnor Ervin) originally planned to be a cover band, specializing in hits from the late 1950s and early ’60s: “Cathy’s Clown,” “Never My Love,” “At the Hop.” Instead, they started writing original songs informed by that era. The result is gentle, harmony-rich pop — kind of like surf music on Xanax. Shy Boys’ sets are almost too quiet for a noisy club, which is why the band plays a lot of house shows and DIY venues — typically the province of edgier crowds. But such are this act’s charms that its golden-oldies aesthetic is as beloved among the art-school crowd as it would be in your dad’s Dodge Stratus.

BEST LOCAL MUSICIAN

Jeff Harshbarger Jeff Harshbarger has traveled the world playing bass with the acclaimed modernjazz ensemble Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. But he calls Kansas City home, and it’s here that he shows his range. He’s a founding member of the People’s Liberation Big Band, driving its eclectic music each first Sunday (part of his twice-monthly Jeff Harshbarger Presents jazz series at RecordBar). He plays Turkish jazz in Alaturka and Portuguese music with Fado Novato. He has backed ultra-weird Snuff Jazz and sat in with Bach Aria Soloists. His ensemble Sequel reimagines the jazz of Medeski Martin & Wood. Or you might find him with Bobby Watson swinging the blues with legendary singer Ernie Andrews. Whenever Harshbarger solos, we’re treated to intricacies and enchantments. In a city full of outstanding jazz musicians, Harshbarger’s talent — like his big, burly, bearded presence — stands out on any stage.

BEST SUBURBAN OASIS

Take Five Coffee + Bar 5336 West 151st Street, Leawood • 913-948-5550 takefivecoffeebar.com

Every seat is filled, and people are leaning against counters and walls. Up front, framed by floor-to-ceiling strip-center windows, three of Kansas City’s most respected jazz players — Mike Metheny, Hermon Mehari and Stan Kessler — are leading their outstanding Trumpet Summit through a CD-release party. Under the room’s wide wooden beams, the sound is nearly perfect, and the audience follows every run. This is how a jazz club is supposed to feel. Except Take Five isn’t a jazz club. No, it’s an


ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT ambitious coffeehouse and bar, nestled deep in southern Leawood. And every weekend night (before a modest 11 p.m. closing time), audiences pack inside to hear jazz — sublime jazz. This coming January marks four years since owners Lori and Doug Chandler took over a former Caribou Coffee and remade it around their own passion for this music. Word of their vision has spread. Saxophonist Rob Scheps plays here when visiting from New York (including an upcoming October gig), and L.A. sax man Bob Sheppard stopped by last fall. Take Five isn’t some suburban wannabe. It’s a serious destination in an unlikely zip code, and we’ll take it.

BEST LOCAL DOCUMENTARY

Civil War on Wheels Back in 2004, local garage monkey Patrick Sumner filmed about 12 hours of footage at demolition derbies in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Today, due to a lack of older cars, that subculture’s popularity is waning. Sumner pieced together the footage with the help of producer Chris Snipes and dropped Civil War on Wheels on us in April. The 57-minute retrospective documents the Border War nature of the crashing cars at county fairs. Set to a muddy, chugging soundtrack of some of KC’s most beloved bands — Sin City Disciples, Split Lip Rayfield and Snuff Jazz — the film took us back to a time when summer pleasures were as simple as corn dogs, cold PBR and hot women in tube tops. The doc also answered a lot of questions that we had about the beginnings of the Crossroads Arts District. The only things missing? The smell of gas and mud splatters.

BEST REASON TO LISTEN LONGER

96.5 the Buzz broadcasts soldout Mumford & Sons show live Mumford & Sons sold out a Cricket Wireless Amphitheater show scheduled for June 17. But the biggest band in the world had to postpone when member Ted Dwane underwent emergency surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain. Dwane recovered, and Mumford rescheduled for September 20. And ticketless Mumford fans weren’t left out, thanks to KRBZ 96.5. The Buzz broadcast the show live in its entirety, all 20 songs, from opener “Lover’s Eyes” to closer “The Cave.” All was loud and clear on the FM dial, even Mumford’s cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City.” Just another reason to listen longer.

READERS� CHOICE BEST ART GALLERY

1. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. Kemper Museum 3. Leedy-Voulkos BEST ART SHOW

1. First Friday 2. Plaza Art Fair 3. Brookside Art Annual BEST AUTHOR/WRITING EVENT

1. David Sedaris 2. David Wayne Reed 3. DNA Lit Fest at Reading Reptile BEST BLUES VENUE

1. Knuckleheads 2. BB’s Lawnside BBQ 3. Phoenix Jazz Club BEST CHARITY EVENT

1. Jazzoo 2. Wayside Waifs Fur Ball 3. Bloom BEST CHOREOGRAPHER

1. Tiffany Powell 2. Ann McCroskey 3. Kenny Personette

Proud to be a part of the

Best of KC

BEST CLASSICAL MUSIC ENSEMBLE

1. Kansas City Symphony 2. Kansas City Chorale 3. Bach Aria Soloists BEST CLUB/PARTY DJ

1. Ashton Martin 2. Mike Scott 3. Sheppa BEST COMEDY CLUB

1. Stanford’s Comedy Club 2. The Improv 3. Comedy City BEST CONCERT

1. Buzz Beach Ball 2. Buzz Under the Stars 3. Postal Service at the Midland BEST CONVENTION

1. Planet Comicon 2. Real Deal Tattoo Convention 3. Crypticon BEST DANCE TROUPE

1. Quixotic 2. KC Ballet 3. Alvin Ailey

LIVE MUSIC 7 DAYS A WEEK HAPPY HOUR MON-FRI • 5-8PM • OUTDOOR PATIO FEATURING NATIONAL DJ RESIDENCYS • 50+ TAPS

FULL BEER CELLAR OF RARE, AGED & SPECIAL RELEASE BEERS

BEST FASHION EVENT

1. West 18th Street Fashion Show 2. KC Fashion Week 3. Fashion for a Cause

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825 Mulberry St. KCMO 64101 816.588.6082

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FOR RESERVATIONS CALL

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816-737-FUNK(3865) UNK(3865)

West Bottoms Street Party FREHEeBoBffQy! OCTOBER 12 there will be BEER, BANDS & BBQ Starting @12pm:

Federation of Horsepower

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Band 13 • Billy Beale and the Blues Preservationist • Levee Town • White Lions

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8pm :: Euphoric Booking presents:

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COSTUME CONTEST ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 26TH NOW SERVING

FULL MENU

Booking ~ Upcoming Events ~ Information visit: blacklabelcycleskc.com or call: 816.588.6082

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SHOWS EVERY FRI & SAT THROUGH OCT 26TH

best of kansas city 2013

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8300 E. BLUE PKWY KANSAS CITY, MO


ARTS &

ENTERTAINMENT

BEST FIREWORKS DISPLAY

BEST LOCAL POET

BEST PARTY

1. Celebration at the Station 2. Kauffman Stadium 3. Corporate Woods

1. Barbara Varanka 2. Jordan Stempleman 3. Glenn North

1. Party Arty 2. Bloom 3. Hoodstock

THE LIVING ROOM 2013/2014 SEASON

BEST IMPROV/SKETCH TROUPE

BEST LOCAL SONG

1. “Invincible” by Beautiful Bodies 2. “Cat & Mouse” by Radkey 3. “Lonesome Lullabye” by the Bryant Carter Band

BEST PERFORMING ARTS GROUP

OCTOBER | by Elizabeth Meriwether

1. KC Improv 2. Comedy City 3. Bottom’s Up Comedy

1. Quixotic 2. ComedyCity 3. Mystery Train

THE WRITER’S DEN

BEST JAZZ VENUE

1. The Phoenix 2. The Blue Room 3. The Green Lady Lounge BEST JUKEBOX

1. Chez Charlie’s 2. 403 Club 3. Gilhouly’s BEST KARAOKE

1. Hamburger Mary’s 2. The Brick 3. The Red Balloon BEST LIVE THEATER

1. Starlight Theatre 2. Kansas City Repertory Theatre 3. The Unicorn Theatre BEST LOCAL ACTOR

1. Paul Rudd 2. Jason Sudeikis 3. Ron Megee BEST LOCAL ACTRESS

1. Katie Gilchrist 2. Vanessa Severo 3. Missy Koonce BEST LOCAL ALBUM

1. Cat & Mouse, Radkey 2. Little Leaves, the ACBs 3. The Devil’s Washpan, the Bryant Carter Band

BEST LOCAL THEATER COMPANY

1. KC Repertory Theatre 2. The Unicorn Theatre 3. The Living Room Theatre BEST LOCAL THEATER PERFORMER

1. Ashley Otis 2. Vanessa Severo 3. Rusty Sneary BEST LOCAL VISUAL ARTIST

1. Peregrine Honig 2. Mike Savage 3. Tyler Coey BEST LOCAL WRITER

1. Whitney Terrell 2. Jim Butcher 3. Brandon Tietz BEST MOVIE THEATER

1. Alamo Drafthouse 2. AMC Ward Parkway 3. Screenland Armour

THE MISTAKES MADELINE MADE

NOVEMBER - DECEMBER by TLR’s Local Playwrights Series

BEST PERFORMING ARTS SPACE

1. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 2. The Living Room 3. The Fishtank

RACE

MARCH - APRIL | by David Mamet

THE TWO FRIDAS

MAY | by Alex Espy & Vanessa Severo

BEST PLACE TO DANCE

MASTER OF THE UNIVERSE

1. Missie B’s 2. The Union 3. Gusto

JUNE | by Kyle Hatley

CONGRATS TO THIS YEARS NOMINEES

BEST PLACE TO HEAR LIVE MUSIC

1. Crossroads at Grinders 2. RecordBar 3. Knuckleheads BEST PLAY

1. An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein 2. The Motherf**ker with the Hat 3. Carousel

BEST MUSICAL

BEST MUSIC FESTIVAL

1. KRBZ 96.5 (the Buzz) 2. KCUR 89.3 3. KKFI 90.1

1. Middle of the Map 2. Buzz Beach Ball 3. Buzz Under the Stars

BEST LOCAL BAND

BEST MUSEUM

1. Beautiful Bodies 2. Trampled Under Foot 3. Radkey

1. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. National World War I Museum 3. Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

BEST LOCAL COMEDIAN

BEST NEW ART SPACE

1. Jason Sudeikis 2. Mike Baldwin 3. Michael Gomez

1. West Bottoms Art Society 2. Plug Projects 3. Haw Contemporary

BEST LOCAL FESTIVAL

BEST NEW MUSIC VENUE

1. Renaissance Festival 2. Irish Festival 3. Middle of the Map

1. Green Lady Lounge 2. Kill Devil Club 3. Art Closet Studios

BEST LOCAL FILM FESTIVAL

BEST OPEN MIC

1. Kansas City FilmFest 2. Middle of the Map Film Festival 3. LGBT Film Festival

1. Uptown Arts Bar 2. Californos 3. Jerry’s Bait Shop

BEST LOCAL FILMMAKER

BEST OUTDOOR VENUE

1. Anthony Ladesich 2. David Berry 3. Judith Levy

1. Starlight Theatre 2. Crossroads KC at Grinders 3. Cricket Wireless Amphitheater

The Living Room for Best Theatre Company Carousel for Best Musical and Best Live Theatre Production Rusty Sneary for Best Actor Katie Gilchrist and Vanessa Severo for Best Local Actresses

1818 MCGEE KCMO 64108

816.533.5857 | THELIVINGROOMKC.COM

BEST PUBLIC ART

1. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 2. Crossroads Arts District 3. Bison Memorial

1. Wicked 2. Hairspray 3. Carousel

FAT PIG

FEBRUARY | By Neil LaBute

BEST RADIO STATION

BEST RAPPER/HIP-HOP ARTIST

1. Tech N9ne 2. Mac Lethal 3. Les Izmore BEST SINGER-SONGWRITER

1. Alicia Solombrino 2. Erik Voeks 3. Bryant Carter

TICKETS $55, $65

RICKIE LEE JONES SAT, NOVEMBER 9, 8PM TICKETS $38

BEST STRIP CLUB

1. Bazooka’s 2. The Outhouse 3. Bonita Flats

ROBERT EARL KEEN FRI, DECEMBER 6, 8PM TICKETS

BEST TRIVIA NIGHT

MICHAEL W. SMITH FRI, DECEMBER 13, 8PM

1. Westport Flea 2. Geeks Who Drink 3. Flying Saucer

TICKETS $45, $55, $62

BEST UNDERGROUND CLUB

1. Manifesto 2. The Union 3. Mustache Club

GABRIEL IGLESIAS THUR, OCTOBER 24, 8PM

151 S. SANTE FE SALINA KS, 67401 WWW.STIEFELTHEATRE.ORG

TICKETS ON SALE NOW THROUGH ALL TICKET MASTER OUTLETS!

WWW.TICKETMASTER.COM

OR BUY DIRECT AND SAVE AT 785.827.1998 FIND US ON FACEBOOK

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OR D F 00 L 0 SO $5

R FO LD 450 O S $4

Restaurant Equipment • Business Liquidation • Cars and Heavy Equipment Lawrence Premier restaurant and seating auction!

All Items located at 2200 Delaware St, Lawrence, KS 66046 - Wednesday, October 9, 2013 at 7pm

ranges • Ovens • charbrOilers • fryers • PreP • ice • slicers • shelves • racks • seating • mOre!

Large equiP-Bid man cave & coLLectiBLes auction!

all items located at 1501 W 12th st, kc, mO 64101 - Wednesday, October 9th, 2013 at 7pm

signs • nOvelties • DecOrative items • art • tOys • cOmics • games • barbies • sPOrts items • mOre!

ink cycLe Business moving Liquidation saLe!

All Items located at 17501 West 98th St, Lenexa, KS 66219 - Sunday, October 20, 2013 @ 7pm

Office chairs • Desks • filing • lights • racks • Dust filters • centrifuges • Plastic WelDers • mOre!

Equip-Bid was a fantastic asset during the construction of our restaurant - Bryan Merker - Nica’s 320 Had my equipment on Craigslist for month’s and couldn’t give it away. Put it on Equip-Bid and sold it in one day for more than I’d ever dreamed. Mike Silvio - D&M Vending

For Information & Auction Times & Locations

Visit www.equip-bid.com or Call (913) 709-7248 44

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BEST NEW RESTAURANT

Novel 815 West 17th Street • 816-221-0785 • novelkc.com

It’s a novel venue, all right: a creaky, somewhat claustrophobic Victorian two-story with small dining rooms on both floors and a spacious kitchen overseen by the impressively creative chef-owner Ryan Brazeal, formerly of New York’s Momofuku. Brazeal composes the meals in this dinneronly restaurant with a fresh artistic vision and a daring modernity. The small menu changes frequently, but whatever is on it any given night proves anew that Brazeal isn’t shy about taking complicated (sometimes labor-intensive) steps to achieve the look and flavors he seeks. His cleverly conceived dishes are as enticing to the intellect as they are to the senses.

BEST REINCARNATED RESTAURANT

The Corner Restaurant 4059 Broadway • 816-931-4401 • thecornerkc.com

For three years, the space occupied for more than two decades by the Corner Restaurant sat empty. The dinginess and disarray of the place’s fi nal years stayed in the memory, sadder still for anyone who could recall the Corner’s once glorious past:

patrons waiting in long lines for a table, the friendly hubbub of conversation and flirtations in a crowded dining room, the certainty that you’d see at least one person you knew. Before the space could be turned into a chain sandwich shop, restaurant veterans Dawn Slaughter and Michael Pfeifer gave it a deep cleaning, a fashionable face-lift, and a pricier but mostly appealing menu designed by chef Natasha Sears. And this Corner has a bar for cocktail service. Because in the past three years, we’ve figured out something we didn’t know back then: Biscuits and gravy first, then French-press coffee, then a little whiskey.

BEST NEW BAKERY

Metuka: The Pastry House 1614 West 39th Street • 816-561-1560

The owner of the new Metuka pastry shop along West 39th Street’s restaurant row, Brazilian-born Ellen Hume, isn’t a novice to these awards. Her previous bakeshop, KCK’s Jay WaLe’s Bakery-Bistro, took our Best Bakery prize in 2009. The tastes that made Jay WaLe’s so special — elegant frosted cakes, teacups filled with creamy tiramisu, shiny fruit tarts, an array of pretty cookies — are all here in this narrow storefront space, named for the Hebrew word describing a sweetheart. Sweets are the sole selling point

in Hume’s shop. She doesn’t serve brunch or lunch here, and there are only two tables. Hume observes the Sabbath, so don’t stop by on Saturday. But the other six days of the week, she serves a damn good cup of coffee right up until 7 p.m.

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

BEST WEEKEND BRUNCH

Rye 10551 Mission, Leawood • 913-642-5800 • ryekc.com

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

Over the past two decades, Chinese restaurants have gotten more Americanized than ever. The décor is often inspired by Las Vegas, the cuisine by Disneyland. But for those of us who want authentic Cantonese cuisine, the tiny ABC Café in Overland Park is the real thing. Fast-paced servers don’t waste a minute bringing out white-hot ceramic pots fi lled with unexpected treasures: fatty pork with preserved vegetables, perhaps, or bubbling mahogany gravy, and within its curry-scented depths, fork-tender beef and long-braised swaths of beef tendon. A plate of moist steamed chicken, blanketed in a unique oily sauce of preserved ginger and onion, can be eaten with rice or, for the more adventurous, deep-fried intestines. The 19 small dim sum choices — each less than $3 — range from the familiar (shrimp-fried wontons)

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to the deliciously exotic (fish-stuffed beancurd skin, chicken feet in black-bean sauce) and are a terrific way to expand your palate without flattening your wallet.

It’s not just that Rye co-owner and chef Colby Garrelts won a James Beard Award this year. It’s that Garrelts (whose Bluestem won our “Best Sunday Brunch” honor in 2010) knows the secret of a great brunch. “It’s the one meal where a chef has to give people what they want and to give it to them the way they — not you — want it.” If Bluestem’s morning meal is unabashedly sophisticated and served in a soothing, chic environment, the Rye experience is way at the other end of the spectrum: vibrant, lively, noisy, with a lot of families with youngsters. The menu pays homage to farm food, so things tend to be big, like the handball-sized fried ricottapeach fritters or the even bigger buttermilk biscuits piled with fried eggs and smothered in a thick gravy generously peppered with Ozark-made Burgers’ country sausage. It may be the only brunch in town where you can mix and match fried chicken livers, fried doughnuts, fried spuds and smoked salmon with a bagel on one plate.

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FOOD BEST FANCY BURGER

Lean meatballs loll in herby tomato sauce, with mozzarella and romano adding exactly the right salty sharpness. The bread is crusty on the surface, chewy and absorbent in the middle. We’d say you should order just half a sandwich for lunch, but no. When life lets you hold triumph in your hands, you fill your hands with the whole damn sandwich.

The Jacobson 2050 Central • 816-423-2888 • thejacobsonkc.com

BEST FRIED CHICKEN

Rye 10551 Mission, Leawood • 913-642-5800 • ryekc.com

It’s practically heresy to serve deep-fried chicken in a town devoted to the glory of the pan-fried fowl, particularly that of the iconic Stroud’s. Anyway, it used to be — before Colby Garrelts’ 10-month-old Rye restaurant saw its exquisite bird featured on the cover of Saveur magazine. The crispy friedchicken pieces are more than photogenic, with a crust that’s golden and feathery light and meat that’s moist and flavorful. Garrelts’ laborious preparation process includes brining in sugar, salt and molasses; seasoning with parsley, bay leaves, lemon and oregano; then drying the pieces overnight before frying them to order (not in lard). OK, the pieces are smaller than those bodacious Stroud’s breasts. That’s because Garrelts uses only free-range Amish, hormone- and antibioticfree poultry. Giving someone the bird at Rye isn’t a chicken-feed gesture — this is the costliest fried chicken in town — but it’s worth it.

BEST BRATWURST

Affäre 1911 Main • 816-298-6182 • affarekc.com

When German-born chef Martin Heuser opened his cosmopolitan bistro last year, there were almost no traditional German dishes on the menu. A few, like Wiener schnitzel, have crept in lately, though, and six months ago, Heuser started making venison bratwurst from deer he had hunted himself.

BEST RHINELAND LITE EXPERIENCE

Haus 3044 Gillham Road • 816-931-8500 • hauskc.com ANGELA C. BOND

When Michael Werner, the general manager of the Jacobson — the snazzy saloon and restaurant that opened behind Lulu’s Noodle Shop in the Crossroads late last year — and chef John Smith sat down to discuss a signature burger, they agreed it had to have a definite wow factor. “A little decadent,” Werner says. The result was the $13 Jacobson burger: 10 ounces of locally raised Simply Omega beef (“It’s got all the good stuff we should be eating in it,” Werner says) mixed with bone-marrow butter, pan-seared with more marrow butter, topped with short-rib marmalade and crispy onion straws, and tucked into a buttery toasted brioche. “It’s not for the faint of heart,” Werner says, “but we sell a hell of a lot more of them than the more traditional burger.”

“They were a huge success,” Heuser says. “I have so many original recipes for bratwurst that I want to make all of them.” Heuser has been using more familiar meats for his current bratwurst offerings, including pork, beef and turkey. Big sellers are the moist, juicy turkey-and-cranberry brats that he serves with malty Dusseldorf mustard and delicately flavored currywurst, particularly good with his herb aioli made with chervil, chives and basil. “Sometimes I offer the brats as a main course with sauerkraut and cabbage, sometimes as an appetizer,” Heuser says. “I can barely keep up with the demand.”

BEST SERVER

Shayla King Lidia’s • 101 West 22nd Street • 816-221-3722 lidias-kc.com

It’s not unusual to hear about an actress still performing after three decades or a writer or a surgeon. But a restaurant server usually leaves the business long before the 30-year mark. It is, after all, a very physical profession in addition to requiring dozens of other equally important skills (including the patience of Job). But the secret of being a successful server, Shayla King says, is “the ability to genuinely like other people.” If you don’t, she says, “you’re in the wrong business.” For 32 years, King has been in the right business — for her. King’s résumé includes long runs at the Bristol, Houlihan’s, J. Gilbert’s and, for the past 15 years, Lidia’s Kansas City. “I always told myself I’d get out of restaurant work when it stopped being fun,” King says. “But it never has. I mean, it’s not a grown-up job — it’s a fun job. And I still like it.”

Yes, Rye is good for you. BEST SERVICE IN A RESTAURANT

Novel 815 West 17th Street • 816-221-0785 • novelkc.com

Federico Fellini said it was easier to be faithful to a restaurant than to a woman. If only every restaurant manager understood the brilliant truth of that statement. A great server is more than a well-groomed automaton carrying food from the kitchen to the table. Rather, excellence requires an encyclopedic knowledge about the venue, from the ingredients in every dish to the résumé of the chef. Very few local restaurants carry training that far, but Richard Garcia, who was at the stylish Pachamama’s in Lawrence before taking the manager’s position at Novel, has forged an eclectic, smoothly operating team that never misses a beat on any detail, from wine vintages to the provenance of the translucent trout roe on the sautéed char. It’s the kind of service that inspires not merely faith but devotion.

It’s safe to say German cuisine is not for everybody. What the hell goes into sauerbraten? (OK, we just looked it up, and it’s animal blood.) So why are we high on Haus? Because it focuses all of its Teutonic energy on the German dish with the most appeal: bratwurst. The little brick bar serves sausages from Local Pig on Farm to Market pretzel rolls with house-made mustards. There’s something for every fan of tubular meats, including wild boar and pork porcini. (There’s plain-old American bar fare, too.) After a brat or two eaten on the welcoming covered patio, with a few pints of Warsteiner Premium, you might feel like shopping for an Audi. Well, maybe a used VW.

BEST FOOD TREND WE ADMIT LIKING

Invasion of the Good Chains

BEST MEATBALL SUB

Freebirds, Potbelly, Fresh Market — the upscale chains are here, you guys. And don’t hate us, but we think it’s kind of cool. Why, filling the long-vacant Westport Chili’s building alone endears Freebirds to us. And Huddle House bringing its 24-hour dining to Broadway? Sure! That’s not even counting breast-centric lumberjack sports bar Twin Peaks in Olathe. Basically, this kind of attention just makes us feel loved, not to mention bullish about how many dining and shopping options there are in the metro.

Pandolfi’s Deli

BEST CHEFS

538 Campbell • 816-569-3663 • pandolfisdeli.com

The meatball sub is pretty simple: bread, red sauce, a white cheese and, of course, meatballs. It is so simple, in fact, that no one thinks twice before ordering one from a dingy Subway or some airport vendor. We’ve let our expectations fall too low, is what we’re saying. Here’s how we raised them again: We ate a meatball sub at Pandolfi’s. At this great Columbus Park deli, the sandwich is tight, layered, perfectly proportioned.

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Ted Habiger and Andrew Sloan Room 39 • 1719 West 39th Street • 816-753-3939 10561 Mission, Leawood • 913-648-7639 rm39.com

“It takes a solid 10 years of being a cook — not a chef — to develop a personal style,” says Ted Habiger, who opened the original midtown Room 39 with another local chef, Andrew Sloan, in 2004. Habiger and Sloan first worked together

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Introducing...

FARM TO BAR

D R I N K LO CA L . D R I N K F R E S H . D R I N K I N S P I R E D. F R E S H LY I N S P I R E D A N D H A N D C R A F T E D

10681 Misison Rd | Leawood, KS | 66206 | Located in Mission Farms Phone: (913) 213-6588 | www.tavernatmissionfarms.com

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3901 Prairie Lane | Prairie Village, KS | 66208 | Located in the Prairie Village Shopping Center Phone: (913) 529-2229 | www.taverninthevillage.com


at the 75th Street Brewery in 1994, before Habiger moved to New York City to hone his culinary skills (having already worked as executive chef at the iconic Café Allegro). Habiger says he and Sloan have very different culinary styles, but the Room 39 menus served at both locations reflect their unique collaboration, which focuses on delicious, imaginative dishes prepared with regionally produced products (Green Dirt Farm cheeses, Thane Palmberg swiss chard, nettles, potatoes). The vegetarian dishes, like this summer’s stuffed squash filled with a cheesy bread pudding, are as extraordinary as the meaty innovations, including a Honey Del Farm duck breast on a potato-and-leek cake drizzled with a supple fresh-blackberry gastrique. Habiger tells it true: “The ideas still flow.”

BEST PAIN-IN-THE-ASS RESTAURANT

Peanches 900 West 39th Street • 816-709-1032 • peanches.com

ANGELA C. BOND

FOOD

Accurso’s still makes family cheesecake. sweet lemon bars, beautifully iced cakes, caramel-pecan rolls and chocolate-chunk cookies. Of course, the bigger dining room is also great news for those who simply can’t wait to drive home before biting into a thick, yeasty cinnamon roll or a flaky croissant.

BEST CHEESECAKE

If the food is good enough, a restaurant patron is often willing to overlook a bad location, unattractive décor, even mediocre service. Iconoclastic chef Pete Peterman’s Peanches restaurant isn’t in a bad location, is appealingly decorated, and has a perfectly charming staff. It’s Peterman — notoriously brusque when he wants to be and downright rude when he’s feeling cranky — who drives some patrons away. That said, he’s a gifted chef, and his Peanches menu, with its regional meats and produce, boasts truly outstanding dishes. (And the prix fixe collection here is one of the best deals in town.) The menu changes frequently, but when he’s offering his rack of lamb, pork loin with sweet-potato-maple puree, or warm applecornmeal crisp, you’re in for a hell of a meal. And as long as you aren’t the object of his scorn, dinner here can be a hell of a show, too.

Not long after young restaurateur Anthony Accurso purchased his cousin Joe’s trattoria on the south side of the Country Club Plaza, he enlisted his grandmother Mimi to start baking her distinctive cheesecake — a light, exquisitely fluffy creation — for his restaurant. Not realizing how popular the dessert would become, Anthony and Mimi agreed that she would make two cakes a week. Anthony was soon selling out of the made-from-scratch dolce faster than his grandmother could keep up with the demand, so she trained his kitchen staff. “It’s a secret family recipe,” Accurso says, “but if my customers want it, I make sure we have it, whether my grandmother makes it or not.”

BEST CLASSIC BAKERY

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

Dolce Bakery

Seva Cuisine of India

3930 West 69th Terrace, Prairie Village

8674 Northeast Flintlock Road • 816-407-9700

Accurso’s Italian Restaurant 4980 Main • 816-753-0810 • accursos.com

913-236-4411 • dolcebakingcompany.com

sevacuisineofindia.com

By the time you read this, Dolce diva Erin Brown, who opened her suburban pastry shop six years ago, will be operating her new bakery — note the new name — in a new location. It’s still in the Prairie Village Shopping Center but in a storefront twice the size of the old place, enabling Brown to add Christopher Elbow ice creams, savory soups, and Oddly Correct coffee to her fresh scones, tart and

Seva Cuisine of India owner Gurdev Deol was once a restaurant health inspector for Kansas City, and it shows. He’s so exacting that he doesn’t serve samosas because he can’t find a product that meets his rigid food-safety requirements. What Deol does offer, in addition to many shiny, spotless surfaces, is an array of outstanding vegetable, chicken and lamb dishes, including excel-

lent representations of the greatest hits of the conventional Indian culinary repertoire: curries, kormas, butter chicken, a kick-ass vindaloo or two. The spicy dishes call for more than iced tea or soda, so Deol offers wine and beer, including a German riesling that works nicely with tandoori chicken.

BEST PHO

Pho KC 315 Cherry • 816-471-2224

The bland name of this River Market restaurant heightens the feeling that it’s almost purposely camouflaged. At Third Street and Cherry, almost under the Heart of America Bridge, far enough east in the River Market that the neighborhood’s industrial roots show, it’s a windowless, not especially inviting façade. Go inside, and mere straightforwardness becomes something else. Pho is a simple dish, but Pho KC’s ample menu and plenitude of sauces, spices and other add-ons make this place an exceptionally fine (and always inexpensive) Asian-food destination.

BEST SEE-AND-BE-SEEN BRUNCH

Port Fonda 4141 Pennsylvania • 816-216-6462 • portfondakc.com

Not everyone is going to be perky and cleareyed enough for the intense noise level at Port Fonda at 10 a.m. on a Saturday or a Sunday, especially after a night of heavy drinking. But chef Patrick Ryan’s hot, spicy menudo is a known cure for even the most head-pounding hangover (especially alongside something from the restaurant’s bloody-mary bar), and as your head clears, you notice again just how sexy this room is. The place has been a magnet for musicians and artists from its first day, but those types tend to sleep in (knowing that this brunch is

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FORMERLY KNOWN AS LASALA’S DELI

$3 WELLS | $5 CALLS $10 BUCKET SPECIALS HOURS: MON-THURS 10A-4P FRI & SAT 10A-10P

ALSO SERVING BREAKFAST ON SAT AT 7AM!

BEST ITALIAN STEAKS IN KC!

910 E. 5TH ST

KANSAS CITY, MO 64106

816.421.2189

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KANSAS BEEF COUNCIL

785-273-5225 ďƒ¨ www.kansasbeef.org @KansasBeef

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16-8205-KSPitch-AD.indd 1

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ANGELA C. BOND

FOOD

served until 4 p.m.), so at an earlier hour, the place takes on a different kind of cool. Arrive before noon and you may witness demureseeming people — bankers, lawyers, young executives here for ricotta doughnuts and mugs of strong Oddly Correct coffee — who regard themselves and one another as the hipsters of their secret hearts.

BEST HAPPY-HOUR DINING

Voltaire 1617 Genessee • 816-472-1200 • voltairekc.com

Only the happy-hour menu is available from 4 to 6 p.m. at this stylish West Bottoms bistro. “It gives the kitchen time to prep for dinner,” says server Carly Swensen. But those small plates, priced from $3 to $7, have enough delicious things from chef and coowner Wes Gartner’s kitchen to qualify as one of the best bargains in town. Gartner changes the menu based on the fresh produce he gets that week. When a local farmer recently dropped off a bushel of fresh okra, he created a starter of fried okra under a spicy, crispy cornmeal crust and served it with rémoulade. There are constants, too. Vietnamese chicken wings and fat sticks of fried yuca root go down easy, and you can feel good about that extra drink when you’re also eating root-vegetable chips with a roasted-shallot-and-gorgonzola dip.

BEST LATE-NIGHT DINING

Harry’s Bar & Tables 501 Westport Road • 816-561-3950

Some of the best eavesdropping in town plus very fine flatbread pizza or New Orleansstyle sautéed shrimp? Sold. That’s our late night at Harry’s Bar & Tables, where a place at the long bar (or at one of the tables in the old-school tiled dining room) means an open channel to a kitchen that keeps running un-

Night is right at Harry’s Bar & Tables. til at least 2 a.m. No drive-thru tonight, no fluorescent-lighted diner. Things stay raucous here right up to the 3 a.m. closing, but the vivacity is welcome and sexy. The menu tightens a bit after midnight, but anyplace that turns out Cajun soft tacos and a really terrific duet of chickpea and red-pepper hummus can’t really be said to have limited your options. And aren’t options the whole reason you’re in Westport at this hour?

BEST PLACE FOR A ROMANTIC DINNER

Café Provence 3936 West 69th Terrace, Prairie Village 913-384-5998 • cafeprovencekc.com

If a romantic dinner means holding hands at the table and gazing wordlessly into each other’s eyes, then this French bistro’s dim, intimate dining room is the perfect place. If you plan to read each other poetry or open up about your sexual fantasies, maybe just stay home. See, this handsome boîte foments its intimate quality by shoving a lot of tables into a petite space. Even the octogenarian lovebirds sitting at the next two-top don’t have to turn up their hearing aids to transcribe your conversation. Still, for a simple yet gloriously erotic meal à deux (the menu runs heavy on reputed aphrodisiacs), there’s nothing like the combination of French cooking (especially chef Philip Quillec’s), French music, discreet lighting and bombe au chocolat.

BEST DOLLAR DEAL

Taqueria El Torito 6126 Independence Avenue • 816-231-5830

Call it street food if you must, but the simple, meaty $1 taco at this tidy East Side space elevates a food-truck staple to another level.

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Voted Top 3 Best Lunch Special! Quick lunches, fabulous dinners, extended wine list and happy hour. A Kansas City local neighborhood favorite for over 25 years.

A Streetcar Named Desire 1 9 6 4

E S T .

GREAT ATMOSPHERE, POPULAR DRINKS, & FAMOUS, CHARBROILED BURGERS!

4890 MAIN ST. KCMO

2450 GRAND BLVD, CROWN CENTER • 816.472.5959

816.753.0810

www.accursos.com

Winner 2011 Pitch Best of Kansas City Best Rendezvous Bar!

JOIN US

HEALTH

in a fundraiser for Harvesters,

Best of Kansas City

Chef’s Benefit

featuring over 35 tables of signature food and drink by an array of Kansas City’s best chefs and venues. There will be live and silent auctions emceed by Tanna Guthrie, as well as the opportunity to purchase a personalized, autographed copy of Own Your Own Kitchen from host on the Food Network, celebrity chef

Harvest for Harvesters ANNE W. BURRELL.

Oct. 24 Thursday 6-9 PM

NEW LOCATION! Sheraton Kansas City Crown Center | Exhibit Hall 2346 McGee, Kansas City, MO 64108

Also, meet LANCE NITAHARA, star of Food Network’s Chopped and Iron Chef America and KELLI DANIELS from Chef Wanted.

Tickets in advance at

2 75 1 TICKET FOR $50 at the door $50 each the day of the event TICKETS FOR $

Sponsored by: the American Culinary Federation Greater Kansas City Chef’s Association 52

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ECONOMY

Become a member, give a donation, or volunteer at BikeWalkKC.org today.

Thanks for nominating Tour de Brew as the year’s Best Bike Ride!

Handlebar H app y H o ur

CHEF CARL THORNE-THOMSEN

from Story Restaurant.

best of kansas city 2013

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CONGESTION

Simple solutions to complex problems.

The opening event will be a bragging rights “Throwdown” between KARLI RITTER of Fox 4 News vs. KC Live personality MICHAEL MACKIE of 41 Action News with

bestofkansascitychefs.com All proceeds benefit Harvesters in KC & support the Hospitality Program at JCCC.

ENVIRONMENT

Ride with us May 18, 2014. TourdeBrewKC.com

BikeWalkK

C

Join cyclists and non-cyclists alike at a different bar or restaurant each month.

BE A MEMBER

KansasCity.Bcycle.com


FOOD These are tacos worth sitting down to eat. The meat in Taqueria El Torito’s dishes (burritos, tortas, platters) comes right from the carniceria next door, so it’s fresh. Whether you go for asada, pollo, carnitas, chorizo, cabeza or lengua (or, for 50 cents more, tripe), it’s delicately seasoned and tucked into a flour or corn tortilla with chopped onion and fresh cilantro. The food looks as delicious as it tastes, and the aroma alone ensures that your takeout bag stands a slim chance of making it all the way home with the same contents.

BEST REGULAR BURGER

Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen 1526 Walnut • 816-842-2660 • tanninwinebar.com

Don’t believe every menu you read. There’s not much honest, beautifully marbled Kobe beef in this country because the USDA relaxed its longtime ban on Japanese beef just last year and now permits limited importation. The wagyu beef that chef Brian Aaron uses for his hamburgers is often called “American Kobe” because the domestic wagyu cattle are usually (but not always) from the same breed of cattle as the sought-after Japanese beef. Still, Aaron’s house burger at Tannin tastes expensive, partly because the beef is so fine, and the slices of smoked cheddar and fresh tomato and the strips of very crispy bacon lend it major class. OK, $12 isn’t cheap for a “regular” no-frills burger, but honestly, we’d pay more for this one. Don’t tell Tannin.

BEST CHEAP HAMBURGER

Humdinger Drive-In 2504 East Ninth Street • 816-231-0888

When times are tough, sometimes a burger has to stand as a complete dinner. That’s where the $3.99 double cheeseburger at the Humdinger — a 52-year-old urban drive-in that has outlasted most of the other buildings on this forlorn stretch of Ninth Street — scores beautifully. One generous sandwich offers most of the basic food groups: meat (two beef patties), vegetables (lettuce and pickles), dairy (American cheese) and bread (a fluffy sesame-seed bun). Your burger meal is made to order by a staff enclosed behind a Plexiglas shield plastered with notices (“Be Nice to the Servers”), menu specials and terms of business (the Humdinger accepts only cash, but there is an ATM next to the video game). So, yeah, that means you have to take the burger home or eat it in the car, but that’s where you keep your chips and your soda anyway.

Kansas City’s Best Burger for 33 years!

BEST BREAKFAST

Genessee Royale Bistro 1531 Genessee • 816-474-7070 • genesseeroyale.com

First, the bad news: Genessee Royale doesn’t serve breakfast on Sundays (but offers it the other six days from 8 to 11 a.m.), and you can get the hot, sticky, caramelized “Brown Shugga Bacon Monkey Bread” only on Saturday mornings. But the other news is better than good. Restaurateur Todd Schulte, the soup guru who opened his beloved Happy Gillis Café & Hangout in Columbus Park, has turned an old West Bottoms gas station into the most eclectic, lovable diner in the city. There’s not a traditional offering on the breakfast menu, yet everything feels somehow familiar and homey. Eggs can be had with a cream-top biscuit and gravy or, if you prefer, roasted asparagus and crispy ham on a Farm to Market bialy. The orange and grapefruit juices are freshly squeezed, and the asskicking coffee is a Bull Mountain blend. Where else but the Bottoms do you even want a champagne cocktail and a Wolferman’s English muffi n first thing in the morning?

817 Westport Rd Kansas City, MO 64111 816-931-1986 westportfleamarket.com

Boy, can we stuff a ballot box!

BEST TORTILLAS

San Antonio Carniceria y Tortilleria 830 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas 913-281-6433

This tortilla factory is also a café (the pork tamales made here are legendary), a grocery store and a meat market, but the plastic bags of tortillas are what draw customers from all over the metro. The tortillas are so fresh that the packages — 10 tortillas to a bag — often are still warm from the griddle after they’ve been stacked at the counter. Made in the traditional way, with a blend of lard, flour and baking powder, the tortillas are satisfyingly soft but properly fattening and as fluff y as naan.

BEST KNOTS

Johnny Jo’s Pizzeria 1209 West 47th Street • 816-401-4483

The pizza may be the specialty at Johnny Jo’s Pizzeria, but we go for the knots. Don’t get them naked. You want them dressed in garlic-butter-herb sauce and topped with romano cheese. Get them to go, and we guarantee you’ll be wolfi ng them down from the moment you leave the tiny West Plaza pizza joint.

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GRAZIE! GRAZIE! GRAZIE! we’re super happy to be nominated in 4 different categories!

www.spinpizza.com

ONLY THE BEST MAKE IT ON Our

2 for $20 Menu APPETIZER

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Days and hours of operation may vary. 2 for $20 is available at all Applebee’s locations. applebees.com © 2013 Applebee’s International, Inc.

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WESTPORT LAWRENCE LEE’S SUMMIT MISSION OVERLAND PARK COLUMBIA WICHITA VISIT FREEBIRDS.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION


FOOD BEST CHOCOLATE ÉCLAIR

Opera House Coffee & Food Emporium Pastry chef Chelsea Williams bakes a lot of glorious pastries for this combination coffee bar and luncheonette in the River Market (the building is on the site of the old Gillis Opera House), but she reserves her light, crispy éclairs — filled with a sweet custard and blanketed in rich dark chocolate — for Thursdays and Saturdays. “I have regular customers who come in only on Thursdays and Saturdays for the éclairs,” Williams says. “But every Thursday is National Éclair Day for me.” For us, too, as long as she’s there.

BEST RESTAURANT IN A HOTEL

The Reserve Ambassador Hotel • 1111 Grand • 816-298-7700 ambassadorhotelcollection.com

Irish-born chef Shaun Brady serves real Irish scones with homemade berry jam every morning in this lobby-level restaurant, which also serves as the lounge for this boutique hotel. Brady uses his grandmother’s recipe for corned-beef hash, which he makes only for weekend brunch. We’re partial to the brioche French toast: stuffed, Monte Cristo-style, with ham and molten brie and smothered with a bourbon cherry sauce. Although Brady has been at the helm here just a few months, he has taken a firm hand in the kitchen, where the dinner menu includes sensational pork-belly tacos and unbelievably succulent, cabernet-scented coq au vin. If you eat too much, just book a room and sleep until breakfast.

BEST CHEESEMAKER

Sarah Hoffman Green Dirt Farm • 816-386-2156 • greendirtfarm.com

If chefs ranging from Anthony Bourdain to KC’s Alex Pope (Local Pig) and Colby and Megan Garrelts (Bluestem) all agree on something, it’s probably a pretty damned good something. The thing we’re thinking of in this case is the sheep’s milk cheese made by Sarah Hoffmann at Weston’s idyllic Green Dirt Farm. Sheep’s milk cheese is a few degrees less funky than goat cheese but is tangier, creamier and fuller in flavor than most cow’s milk cheeses. Hoffmann, a former chemist, not only makes the cheeses but also offers weekly Saturday tours of the farm. Her farm-to-table dinners and summer tastings are worthwhile as well.

ANGELA C. BOND

500 Walnut • 816-888-4858 • operahousekc.com

We look up to the Reserve. BEST LITERAL DESCRIPTION

Town Topic’s bacon sandwich 2021 Broadway • 816-842-2298 • towntopic.com

Sometimes it’s nice to go for that elaborate meal, to use that Food Network-delivered knowledge of sous vide, reductions and crème anglaise or whatever. Yet sometimes (particularly if there’s some alcohol involved) it’s even nicer to go out and get something very straightforward. And things in this life don’t come much more to the point (not to say damn sure) than Town Topic’s bacon sandwich. It’s exactly as billed: It’s bacon and toast. Expect no egg. Wait for no fancy sauce. Pay your two dollars and eat your bacon on bread and be happy with it. Be very happy. It’s delicious.

BEST RESTAURANT EXPERIMENT

Uberdine Joe Shirley is one of the few professional cooks in the city who works a 9-to-5 for a major bank (as its executive chef). He wants to open his own restaurant someday, though, so he’s keeping his creative skills sharp by scheduling pop-up restaurants, one night at a time, in unexpected locations. A recent Uberdine dinner, held at the Roasterie event space (and using many of that local coffee company’s products), was a three-hour, 10-course adventure in dining that was indeed fully über. Each of the discreet little courses was as dainty and artistically composed as a piece of Meissen china (a few were actually served on a single fork), but satisfying enough that no one left hungry. Joe and his wife, Carolina,

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Grace’s Best Sunflower Seed Cookies are the perfect holiday gift for anyone on your shopping list. Grace’s Best is a unique cookie that you have to taste to believe; your brain tells you “sunflower seed” and “cookie” don’t go together, but your taste buds say otherwise for an unforgettable taste. No preservatives, no trans fat; nothing you wouldn’t find in your own kitchen. Based locally in Parkville, MO, Grace’s Best Cookies are a great hostess gift or stocking stuffer for friends, family, and everyone else. Give the gift of Grace’s Best Cookies this holiday season for a fast, fun, and satisfying way to show you care.

419

Westport Road

KCMO 64111

AVAILABLE AT:

816.931.4740 | westportcafeandbar.com

• Green Acres Market • Nature’s Pantry • Rally House Stores • Whole Foods Market • Hy-Vee Health Markets • McGongiles Market • Kansas Sample Store • Price Chopper- Liberty • Natural Grocers • Mother Nature’s Market by Vitamin Cottage

or online at: GracesBestCookies.com

Where

friends & families

celebrate fellowship over a unique dining experience 3906 BELL • KCMO 64111

off 39th Street, just east of KU Med

816.753.3600 • gkbbq.com

KANSAS CITY’S OLDEST & BEST MONGOLIAN BBQ 56

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FOOD

Anton’s lights up Main. are larger-than-life personalities, so the production had a dinner-theater quality. But when you’re talking about a limited run, a little flamboyance is a perfect ingredient.

BEST STEAK

Anton’s Taproom 1610 Main • 816-888-8800 • antonskc.com

Kansas City has a lot of steakhouses, but only Anton’s Taproom offers both grassfed and grain-fed beef, cut to order and priced by the ounce. The meat is butchered and aged in-house (the 28-day steaks are slightly more expensive), rubbed with salt to a nearly evanescent patina, and seared in a world-class Montague broiler. The result is nothing short of extraordinary: tender, succulent, ruby-red beefsteak cut into filets, Kansas City strips and rib-eyes that you can almost cut with a fork. The grain-fed beef delivers a buttery richness; the grass-fed steaks taste distinctly leaner without sacrificing their subtle but distinctive flavor. (Brian Bromwell, the executive chef at Anton’s, calls this taste “slightly herbaceous.”) Don’t even glance at a bottle of steak sauce — flesh like this is glorious in its nakedness and must never be insulted. A crispy onion ring, however, is a perfectly tasteful accessory.

our fat, stupid faces into whole cheese pies to celebrate putting an issue to bed. There are leftovers in the office refrigerator. There are red-pepper flakes grinding under our feet wherever we step. There’s a crust under that sofa cushion. But don’t imagine that we ever fail to know the difference between good pizza and great pizza. We are not hobbyists, people — this is a life journey. And there’s more to that journey than scudding from deadline to hangover and back again. Sometimes we want a pizza that we can actually look in the eye — or in the potato or in the egg. Sometimes, in other words, we want Neapolitan pizza, with its chewiness and its char and its sophisticated flavors. Pizzabella rewards these grown-up, ambitious moments of ours with grown-up, ambitious food (at writer-friendly prices). Is this the last blurb? Are we done? We are ordering two pies from Pizzabella. Right now.

READERS� CHOICE

Named “Best Caterer” by the readers of Ingram’s Magazine for the past 12 Consecutive years.

inspiredoccasionskc.com

{

Monday-Saturday: 6:30am-8pm Sunday: 6:30am-2:30pm

}

6740 W. 75th Street Overland Park, Kansas 66204 913.236.0003 www.cozyscafe.com

1. The Peanut 2. The Foundry 3. The Brick BEST BARBECUE

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue 3. Gates BBQ BEST BARBECUE EVENT

1. American Royal 2. Great Lenexa BBQ Battle 3. Bluestem’s Summer BBQ BEST BARBECUE TEAM

1. Slaughterhouse 5 2. Smokin’ Guns 3. Pellet Envy BEST BREAKFAST

NOW OPEN: K-10 & WOODLAND

19617 W. 101ST LENEXA, KS 66220 PH. 913-254-1234

HAPPY HOUR: 3-5PM EVERYDAY • $1 WELLS $1 DOMESTIC PINTS • DAILY LUNCH & DINNER SPECIALS

1. First Watch 2. Succotash 3. Eggtc

Pizzabella

Nobody eats more pizza than we do. N-ob-o-d-y. We order big, drippy slices to galvanize us when a deadline looms. We rub

Winner of Kansas City’s “25 Under 25” Small Business Award

Great American & European Dishes with Fresh Ingredients!

BEST BAR FOOD

BEST BRUNCH

913-341-7700 • pizzabellakc.com

Winner of Catersource’s “Achievement in Catering Excellence” Award 2011

BEST BAKERY

1. Beer Kitchen 2. Succotash 3. Westport Café and Bar

4000 Indian Creek Parkway, Overland Park

Contact us today & let our unique style & unforgettable ideas make your wedding, social or corporate event one your guests will never forget!

1. McClain’s Bakery 2. Dolce Baking Co. 3. Bloom Baking Co.

BEST PIZZA 1810 Baltimore • 816-471-3300

Thank you readers of The Pitch for voting us one of the Top Caterers in KC for 2013.

BEST BURGER

1. Westport Flea Market 2. Blanc Burgers + Bottles 3. BRGR

M E N U & O N L I N E O R D E R I N G AT S H AW N E E P I Z Z A . C O M

S H AW N E E P I Z Z A

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SINCE 1975

by P readers!

Best margarita 2011, 2013 best mexican restaurant 2011, 2012

Voted Best of kansas city wORLD FAMOUS MARGARITAS ON TAP over 270,000 gallons of margaritas sold over 6 million tacos sold

2856 Southwest Blvd | 816.753.0775 | ponaksmexicankitchen.com

www.bashacuisine.com

7016 W. 105th St. Overland Park, KS

913-341-7778

Come in We’re Waiting to See You

We’re the real deal! n “Best Italia Sandwich in KC”

“Best Cannoli in KC” City Market 9 E. 3rd St., Kansas City, MO carollosgrocery.com • 816-474-1860

2995 RESERVATIONS RECOMMENDED • MELTINGPOT.COM (816) 931-6358 • 450 WARD PARKWAY, KANSAS CITY, MO 64112 Pricing valid at this location only. All menu items are priced and portioned per person.

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BEST BURRITO

FOOD BEST DOUGHNUTS

1. Chipotle 2. Freebirds 3. Pancho’s

1. Lamar’s 2. Fluffy Fresh 3. Donut King

BEST BUTCHER SHOP

BEST FOOD BLOG

1. McGonigle’s 2. The Local Pig 3. Broadway Butcher Shop

1. Feed Me KC 2. Eating Awesomeness 3. Lemon-Sugar.com

BEST CAJUN FOOD

BEST FOOD TRUCK

1. Jazz, a Louisiana Kitchen 2. Cajun Cabin 3. Lagniappe

1. Jerusalem Café Truck 2. Taco Republic 3. Detroit Coney Food Truck

BEST CATERER

BEST FRENCH FRIES

1. Moxie Catering 2. Delish Catering and Events 3. Lon Lane’s Inspired Catering

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Five Guys 3. Blanc Burgers and Bottles

BEST CHEAP EATS

BEST FRIED CHICKEN

1. Grinders 2. Town Topic 3. Cancun Fiesta Fresh

1. Stroud’s 2. Rye 3. RC’s

BEST CHEF

BEST GLUTEN-FREE MENU

1. Michael Smith 2. Celina Tio 3. Colby Garrelts

1. SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza 2. Minsky’s Pizza 3. Café Gratitude

BEST CHILI

BEST HANGOVER BREAKFAST

1. Dixon’s Chili 2. Woodyard Bar-B-Que 3. Detroit Coney Food Truck

1. Town Topic 2. Succotash 3. RecordBar

BEST CHINESE RESTAURANT

BEST HOT DOG/BRATWURST

1. Bo Lings 2. Blue Koi 3. Kin Lin

1. Haus 2. New York Dawg Pound 3. Detroit Coney Food Truck

BEST CHOCOLATE SHOP

BEST HOTEL RESTAURANT

1. Christopher Elbow 2. Andre’s 3. Chip’s Chocolate Factory

1. Chaz on the Plaza 2. The Reserve 3. Providence New American Kitchen

BEST CRAB RANGOON

BEST ICE CREAM

1. Bo Lings 2. Thai Place 3. Genghis Khan

1. Glacé Artisan Ice Cream 2. Sheridan’s Frozen Custard 3. Murray’s Ice Cream

BEST CULINARY EVENT

BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT

1. Taste of Kansas City 2. Forks & Corks 3. Bacon-Fest

1. Korma Sutra 2. Taj Mahal 3. Swagat

BEST CUPCAKES

BEST ITALIAN RESTAURANT

1. Cupcake A La Mode 2. BabyCakes 3. Smallcakes Cupcakery

1. Garozzo’s Ristorante 2. Lidia’s Kansas City 3. Jasper’s

BEST DELICATESSEN

BEST JAPANESE RESTAURANT

1. d’Bronx 2. Carollo’s Italian Deli 3. Pandolfi’s

1. Nara 2. Gojo’s Japanese Steakhouse 3. Jun’s

BEST DESSERT

BEST KOREAN RESTAURANT

1. Andre’s 2. Cheesecake Factory 3. McCormick and Schmick’s

1. Sobahn 2. Choga 3. Chosun

GRAZIE MILLE! KANSAS CITY

101 W 22nd St KC M O 6 4 1 0 8

816.221.3722 lidias-kc.com

Park Place Leawood 11529 Ash St. Leawood, KS 66211 913-338-1911 Country Club Plaza 4639 Wornall Rd Kansas City, MO 64112 816-960-1911

2012 ice for s Cho ES r e d a Re CAK

B E ST C

UP

look for these seasonal flavors: Pumpkin Pie • Gingerbread Man • Caramel Apple every monday is $2 Mondays | Gluten Free Wednesdays

THE BEST MOM & POP RESTAURANT P Open Tues-Thurs & Sun 6am-3pm, p Fri & Sat Open 6am-9pm for Great Dinner Specials, Closed Mon 1667 SUMMIT KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI | 816-471-0450 pitch.com

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THANKS for the

LOVE!

4615 Indian Creek Parkway, Overland Park, KS • North of 435 on Roe

Brobecks Barbeque TUESDAY-SATURDAY : 11am-9pm / CLOSED SUN & MON / 913.901.9700

DINE-IN, CARRYOUT & CATERING AVAILABLE! WINNER

2012 Pitch Best of KC

BEST RIBS

WE LOVE YOU BACK! Leawood 11723 Roe Avenue Leawood, Kansas 66211 913-338-5151 60

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Fastest Lunch in NKC!

900 Swift

N. Kansas City, MO

816.416.8100 | CATERING: 816.416.8109 Mon-Fri: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

KCSmokeShackBBQ.com

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

“More Smokey, More Juicy…More Better!”

Dine-In, Carry-Out, Catering, Delivery.

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

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FOOD BEST LATE-NIGHT EATS

BEST PLACE THAT’S WORTH THE WAIT

BEST SERVICE-INDUSTRY HANGOUT

1. Town Topic 2. Chubby’s 3. YJ’s

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Stroud’s 3. Rye

1. Harry’s Bar & Tables 2. Grünauer 3. Extra Virgin

BEST LATIN-AMERICAN RESTAURANT

BEST PRIX FIXE

BEST SOUP

1. La Bodega 2. Poco’s 3. El Salvadoreño

1. Bluestem 2. Room 39 3. The American

1. Panera 2. Happy Gillis 3. Uncommon Stock

BEST LOCAL BAKER

BEST RESTAURANT/BAR FOR A FIRST DATE

BEST STEAKHOUSE

1. Farm to Market 2. Bloom Baking Co. 3. Fervere

1. Extra Virgin 2. Bluestem 3. Gram & Dun

1. The Capital Grille 2. J. Gilbert’s 3. Plaza III

BEST LOCAL BREAD

BEST PLACE FOR A ROMANTIC DINNER

BEST SUSHI

1. Farm to Market 2. Fervere 3. Bloom Baking Co.

1. Le Fou Frog 2. Bluestem 3. Michael Smith

1. Nara 2. Ra Sushi 3. Friends

BEST LOCAL CHAIN

BEST PLACE TO EAT AT THE BAR

BEST TACO

1. SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza 2. Winstsead’s 3. Gates BBQ

1. Grünauer 2. Bluestem 3. Extra Virgin

1. Port Fonda 2. El Camino Real 3. Cancun Fiesta Fresh

BEST LUNCH SPECIAL

BEST RESTAURANT

BEST TAKEOUT

1. Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop 2. Extra Virgin 3. Accurso’s

1. Bluestem 2. The Rieger 3. Gram & Dun

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop 3. Bo Lings

BEST MEDITERRANEAN RESTAURANT

BEST RESTAURANT THAT DELIVERS

BEST TASTE OF EUROPE

1. Jerusalem Café 2. Aladdin Café 3. Holy Land Café

1. Waldo Pizza 2. Minsky’s 3. Cancun Fiesta Fresh

1. Le Fou Frog 2. Aixois 3. Grünauer

BEST MEXICAN RESTAURANT

BEST RESTAURANT WITH A VIEW

BEST THAI RESTAURANT

1. El Patrón 2. Manny’s 3. Mi Ranchito

1. Piropos 2. Café Trio 3. The American

1. Thai Place 2. Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop 3. Tasty Thai

BEST NEW CHAIN

BEST ROOFTOP

BEST URBAN GARDEN

1. Freebirds 2. Potbelly Sandwich Shop 3. Which Wich

1. The Well 2. John’s Big Deck 3. O’Dowd’s

1. Westside Local 2. Blue Bird Bistro 3. 18 Broadway

BEST NEW RESTAURANT

BEST RIBS

BEST VEGETARIAN DISH

1. Rye 2. Voltaire 3. Novel

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue 3. Gates

1. Café Gratitude 2. Eden Alley 3. Füd

sushi & bento

thank you!

BEST OUTDOOR DINING

BEST SANDWICH

BEST VEGETARIAN MENU

1. McCoy’s Public House 2. Gram & Dun 3. Rye

1. Oklahoma Joe’s 2. Planet Sub 3. Pigwich

1. Café Gratitude 2. Eden Alley 3. Füd

BEST PHO

BEST SEAFOOD

BEST VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT

1. Vietnam Café 2. Vietnam Café Columbus Park 3. Pho Hoa

1. The Bristol 2. McCormick & Schmick’s 3. Bonefish Grill

1. Vietnam Café 2. Saigon 39 3. Pho Good

BEST PIZZA

BEST SERVER

BEST WEDDING CAKE

1. Minsky’s Pizza 2. Waldo Pizza 3. SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza

1. Sarah Beets 2. Josh Judy 3. Jason Thomas

1. Andre’s 2. Hy-Vee 3. Classic Cakes

BEST PLACE FOR A BUSINESS LUNCH

BEST SERVICE

BEST WINGS

1. Gram & Dun 2. The Rieger 3. Michael Smith

1. Bluestem 2. The Rieger 3. Detroit Coney Food Truck

1. The Peanut 2. Buffalo Wild Wings 3. Grinders

pitch.com

FRIENDS

for voting for us

816.753.6666

1808 W. 39th St

Kansas city, mo 64111 best of kansas city 2013

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BEST BOTTLED SAUCE

BEST PULLED PORK

Arthur Bryant’s

Oklahoma Joe’s

Multiple locations • arthurbryantsbbq.com

Multiple locations • oklahomajoesbbq.com

Going to the Arthur Bryant’s at 18th Street and Brooklyn is a quintessential Kansas City experience. You pull into the lot, and the smell overtakes you. Then you wait. You stand in line and salivate like a weirdo, increasingly agitated by the sight of diners ripping into heaps of brisket and burnt ends. And when you finally get a table, your hands heavy with mounds of meat and pickle slices, when you finally get to sit down and regard your food, there remains one important thing left to do. You pick up a squeeze bottle of sauce, and you go all fire hose on your plate. Because as good as the meat is here, it’s the sauce that makes it Bryant’s. The vinegary crimson fluid is the pinnacle for any barbecue fan who (correctly) prefers savory to sweet. And when you can’t make it to the restaurant, the bottled version is a tasty stand-in. Unlike the bottled sauces put out by other local chains, Bryant’s at the retail level retains its spice, delivers the special something that keeps us coming back. Slather it on your own cookout fare and be transported. Your meat isn’t going to be legendary, but your sauce can be.

We Kansas Citians are rightfully proud of our barbecue, but sometimes the tastiest local offerings have been fashioned after other geographical titans of the craft. The best example: the Carolina-style pulled pork at Oklahoma Joe’s. The smoky pig flesh stands up well on its own, but the way to truly embrace this place’s specialty is between two buns, buffered by a thick slathering of coleslaw. Detractors point to the idea of slaw on barbecue with derision, but what’s good for North Carolina is great for Kansas City. There’s plenty of pulled pork in this town, but there’s no better way to enjoy it than the way the Tar Heels do.

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BEST RIBS

Woodyard Bar-B-Que 3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kansas 913-362-8000 • woodyardbbq.com

“Follow the smoke,” Woodyard’s owners say. Oh, the smoke. That smoke has led celebs Anthony Bourdain, the Black Keys and Guy Fieri south on Merriam Lane to this gravel drive, past this screen door, all

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the way to the brick smoker. There, Woodyard uses a mix of wesell oak, hickory and pecan, producing a scent that wafts across the train tracks and forever into memory. Order the baby back ribs. They’re meaty and tender, smoked for about three hours and given an enchanting rub of spices: turmeric, sea salt, cardamom, clove, granulated garlic, cayenne pepper and lemon pepper. We’ve been known to order a full slab, half for today and half for tomorrow — and then live tomorrow right now by finishing the whole thing.

BEST BURNT ENDS

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Multiple locations • jackstackbbq.com

Some say Jack Stack in the Crossroads’ Freight House District is a barbecue aberration. The white tablecloths, the attentive waitstaff, the elegant bar — this couldn’t possibly be barbecue, right? Well, yes, yes it is. Need proof? Order the burnt ends. Here, the traditional Kansas City dish isn’t stuffy or formal but decadent. The bite-sized nuggets of beef, ham, pork and sausage come charred and crunchy outside, fall-apart tender inside. As your teeth meet the perfectly fatty morsels, you know you’ve found the delicious upper crust of local barbecue res-

taurants. This is a special-occasion meal that becomes a special occasion of its own, just because you’ve cultivated wisdom enough to order it again.

BEST VEGGIES

Fiorella’s Jack Stack Multiple locations • jackstackbbq.com

Skip the creamy coleslaw. Pay the upcharge at Jack Stack and do your greens right: grilled asparagus. Yes, we said asparagus. And we are saying yes as well to asparagus’s friends: smoked corn, roasted carrots, and grilled green beans with red peppers garnished with a balsamic glaze. The seasons dictate when the locally and regionally grown veggies end up on Jack Stack’s grill, but there’s no bad time. They’re not just a side order. They’re a treat. Jack Stack’s grill makes everything better, even your veggies. Now pay up and make Mom proud.

BEST FRIES

LC’s Bar-B-Q 5800 Blue Parkway • 816-923-4484

They’re frying fatties — big, steak-style fries — at LC’s Bar-B-Q. The East Side barbecue shack’s thick taters pull off a


BBQ serious feat: They please the two fry factions. Fans of mushy spuds like these plumper-than-a-pickle mothers. Fans of crispy fries know when they’re dealing with truly crisp tips. What makes LC’s a kind of fry ambassador, brokering a truce between the two sides of a classic debate, is a simple combination: heat and speed. These things practically fly at your face right out of the fryer. Even a couple of minutes into the drive back to the office, you’re going to burn the roof of your mouth if you dip into the bag. And you will dip. Resistance is futile. This is why we keep a salt shaker in the glove compartment.

OPEN FOR:

LUNCH & DINNER

OPEN 7 DAYS & A WEEK

NEW

GLUTEN

- MENUFREE -

BEST BAKED BEANS

This roadhouse-style joint on the outer limits of Leavenworth takes appropriate pride in its baked beans, which come loaded with big chunks of smoked beef and can — quite rightly — be had as a minimeal. The “Blazin’ Saddles,” a tribute to both the Mel Brooks fi lm and the result of an overindulgence of beans, comes with corn chips as a starter, but sometimes we’ve made it the main event. “Eat a bowl of that, and people will know you’re coming,” one of the wiser waitresses told us once. True, but sometimes a crock of supple, well-seasoned, truly fine baked beans is worth sacrificing a little decorum.

1610 W 39th St.

Kansas City, MO 64111

816.931.4455

kcsmokeburgers.com

HOURS

All Slabbed Up 405 Muncie Road • Leavenworth • 913-727-5227

SU-TH: 11am-9pm FR & SA: 11am-10pm

DINE IN, CCAARRRRY-O Y-OUUTT ERI RINNGG RIN or CATE “Let our good taste reflect your good taste”

THESUMMITHICKORYPITBBQ.COM

816.246.4434 • 1012 SE BLUE PARKWAY • LEE’S SUMMIT, MO 64063

BEST COLESLAW

Kansas City SmokeShack BBQ 900 Swift, North Kansas City • 816-416-8100 kcsmokeshackbbq.com

Can we be honest? The chopped-cabbage concoction known as coleslaw is to barbecue what Chris O’Donnell is to acting: bland but inexplicably still around. No matter how upscale a barbecue joint might be, the mayo-heavy salad (the name comes from the Dutch koolsla, meaning “cabbage salad”) invariably tastes like it was scooped out of a plastic pail from a big-box store. Why? Because at a lot of places, it is. But pitmaster Glenn Yeager, the owner and operator of the new Kansas City SmokeShack BBQ, has chosen not to treat coleslaw as just a way to cool off your palate between bites of spicy meat. His slaw is punched up with Ro-Tel, that beloved can of diced tomatoes and green peppers. It’s a simple, smart move, and we wish he’d come along with it years ago.

AS SEEN ON “DINERS DRIVE INS AND DIVES” & “NO RESERVATIONS”

THANK YOU TO THE READERS

FOR NOMINATING OUR CHILI IN TOP 3!

OPEN MON-SAT 10:30AM TO 8:00PM ....................... 3001 MERRIAM LANE KANSAS CITY, KANSAS 66106

913.362.8000 WOODYARDBBQ.COM

WE LOVE TO CATER YOUR EVENTS pitch.com

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GRAND OPENING Setting a new standard for the future. THE BEST IS YET TO COME.

A local scratch kitchen with an upscale taste at a neighborhood price. Offering unique liquor infusions and focusing on excellent service.

•HAPPY HOUR• $300 Infusion Shots/Drinks $450 27 oz Domestic Draws $600 27 oz Imports $1000 27 oz Tank 7

816.333.0799 | DistrictPourHouse.com DistrictPourHouseKitchen 64

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BEST CANNED-BEER BAR

BRGR Kitchen + Bar 11 East 14th Street • 816-221-2747 • brgrkitchen.com

Plop down at the sleek slate bar in the middle of newish P&L hot spot BRGR and order one of the canned beers. The bartender will offer you a chilled glass. Decline. Refinement is great occasionally, but when you’re downtown playing hooky from work, there’s nothing wrong with slurping straight out of aluminum. Iconic gold cans of yard-chugger Stag ($2 during happy hour!), fancy tall boys of the posh Crispin cider, south-of-the-border standard Tecate and Tallgrass Brewing’s 8-Bit Pale Ale all share fridge space here. And when you’re done, give your empty a firm squeeze. A crushed can on the bar gets the barkeep’s attention for another round.

BEST PLACE TO TRY A NEW BEER

Bier Station 120 East Gregory Boulevard 816-548-3870 • bierstation.com

Before Bier Station planted its flag at 120 East Gregory earlier this year, the oblong building at that address was the site of many illconceived, short-lived restaurant concepts. Bier Station, armed with a consistent crowd,

has staying power. Many of the beers on Bier Station’s taps aren’t easily found elsewhere in Kansas City. Many of their taps are unrecognizable to the casual beer drinker, leading some to rely on the beer menu displayed on a large flat-screen perched behind the bar. A heavy slate of foreign beers means decisions are often made by price or alcohol content. Can’t stay? Grab a six-pack from the cooler (admittedly priced above what you’d typically find at a liquor store for comparably priced beer) and drink it at home.

delicate pâtés and soft, triple crème brie are good for sharing when we want to include a dining partner, but we really don’t need anyone else to geek out with on this truncated culinary adventure through Gay Paree. The pleasure reaped from two hours on the patio with fresh raw oysters and a flute of champagne are enough for one.

BEST EXTRAVAGANT HAPPY HOUR

Not too many downtown dwellers or office workers shed tears when Mizzou sports bar Willie’s closed at Grand and Truman Road East. But those of us who work in the area were skeptical when another sports bar took its place. Duke’s struggled initially with its small food menu, but the laid-back, brickwalled corner bar has done one thing right since it opened: $2 for all pints all day on Thursdays. In other words, it’s the best lunch spot on Thursdays, even with mediocre food. If Mad Men can do three-martini lunches, then we figure we’ll treat ourselves to the occasional four-pint lunch. Or an eightpint lunch. And we should clarify that it’s not technically all pints. Guinness and Stella Artois aren’t included. (Still, there are Blue Moon and Deschutes Brewery’s Chain-

Le Fou Frog 400 East Fifth Street • 816-474-6060 • lefoufrog.com

When we really want to feel the throes of anticipation and pleasure, we turn down all happy-hour invitations during the week and save our francs for a Friday-afternoon affair on the patio at Le Fou Frog. Beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, the River Market bistro offers specials on the indulgences we can never duplicate on our electric stoves — steamed Prince Edward Island mussels, braised duck legs, perfectly cut frites — and serves them alongside Kir Royale, glasses of crisp chardonnay and pints of Kronenbourg 1664. Charcuterie and fromage plates with

BEST CHEAP LIQUID LUNCH

2 beers, Duke’s on Grand

$

1501 Grand • 816-527-0122 • dukesongrand.com

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breaker.) We take full responsibility for the Stella exclusion. We abused the deal.

BEST NERD BAR

Green Room Burgers & Beer 4010 Pennsylvania • 816-216-7682 greenroomkc.com

Jocks vs. nerds is a little cliché, but with the prevalence of sports bars in this town, it seems only fair to give the high-water set their due. Luckily, geeks who get down have their own watering hole at Green Room Burgers & Beer, where the ambience is welllighted-living-room, the burger special is an H.P Lovecraft pun, and the flat-screen televisions are more likely broadcasting pirated Edgar Wright flicks or Mythbusters. The clientele tilts more toward grad students arguing over the legality of Scrabble plays than bros pounding brewskis. Green Room doesn’t do shots or fruity cocktails. What it does have is a low-priced craft-beer list as long as Star Wars’ opening crawl, with rotating local taps and some brewed-on-site offerings you won’t find elsewhere. Grab Settlers of Catan or Star Trek Monopoly from the board-game bookshelf and sidle up to the bar for good conversation and a malty microbrew. If you’re lucky, the bartender will show you his latest con photos of his posing with the Shat.

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For a quick lunch or an evening with friends!

e of n o d od anctions of o f t a Gre est sele EER!! the b

CRAFT

B

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 n’ Chips

Want a Free Beer Growler Jug? We’ll treat you to your own 32 oz. or 64 oz. growler jug (value up to $5) with the purchase of a single or unlimited bowl(s) of our Create-Your-Own Stir-Fry. One growler per person. 21 & older. Offer expires 10/31/13. Independence location only.

KC’s Original Neighborhood Bar & Grill P

12 W. 63rd St. in Brookside 816.361.8841 | charliehoopers.com

VOTED ONE OF THE BEST PL ACES TO WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SPORTS TEAM COME WATCH YOUR FAVORITE TEAM PLAY AT ANYONE OF THESE LOCATIONS: WWW.TANNERSBARANDGRILL.COM

Y OUR TEAM PL AY S HERE LENEXA OVERLAND PARK 12906 W 87th St Pkwy 10146 W 119TH St Lenexa, KS 66215 Overland Park, KS 66213 (913)541-0137 (913)345-1217 66

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MOS H DT T IN T VS OW N

SHAWNEE METCALF KANSAS CITY (WALDO) 22374 W 66th St 14337 Metcalf Ave 7425 Broadway St Shawnee, KS 66226 Overland Park, KS 66223 Kansas City, MO 64114 (913) 745-8100 (913) 681-8313 (816) 822-7525


DRINK BEST POWER LOUNGE

2012), it has been embraced as a hangout by wider swaths of the city’s arts scene. Nondubstep DJ nights, the occasional punk show in the upstairs bar, a solid beer selection and a 3 a.m. license: Feels like the old Westport.

Pierpont’s at Union Station 30 West Pershing Road • 816-221-5111 • pierponts.com

If you’re lucky enough to snag a stool at the bar of Pierpont’s around quitting time, you’ll feel a sense of prestige wash over you before you’re halfway through your first $5.25 Manhattan. Listen closely and you might hear the sounds of deals being sealed, startups being launched or partnerships being formed over the clatter of knives scraping plates after $10.95 strips and fi lets. The restaurant’s namesake — railroad magnate and early American financier John Pierpont Morgan — should provide a cue as to how you should dress. Happy-hour pricing runs from open to close, Monday through Friday. The vibe never stays too stuff y, but watch yourself. You never know what corporate pooh-bah is standing behind you.

BEST PLACE TO FEEL FANCY WHILE DRINKING CHEAP BEER

Hi Dive Lounge 1411 West 39th Street • 816-931-5800 hidivelounge.com

Hi Dive Lounge is kind of like a hobo in a tuxedo. As the name suggests, the West 39th Street joint is a classy place (the food doesn’t resemble bar fare in style or price) that serves cans of bottom-shelf beer from a creaky old vending machine. But do you really want to be the person ordering Hamm’s or High Life in a place that serves polenta and $8-a-pint microbrews? At Hi Dive, yes, you do. If the heat isn’t too sweltering, the rollback windows are open. The Royals are on the TVs, and customers are being generous with the jukebox. Neighbors wander by pushing strollers or walking dogs. Nobody cares if you’re drinking piss water. It’s a live-and-let-live joint. The beer is cheap, but it’s the rich life.

BEST PATIO

Harry’s Bar & Tables 501 Westport Road • 816-561-3950

Westport is a great ’hood if you’re looking for a little sweaty grime with your date. It’s where you go for a little cheap-beer-fueled public grinding on your way (fingers crossed) to some private grinding. So it’s a little surprising that nestled amid the Solo cup venues is the city’s classiest patio. Harry’s long, two-story space is the stuff of rom-com

BEST HIDEOUT DURING THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE

Twin City Tavern 1815 Westport Road • 816-531-2141 • twincitytavern.com

Nice selection: Hi Dive Lounge location scouts’ wet dreams: wrought-iron tables, lush trees, a bar with wood stools, all in the soft glow of tiny stringed white lights. We don’t know how the smiling, whirling, speed-walking waitresses manage to stay on top of the dozen-plus tables out here, but your drink never stays empty for long in this magical al fresco drinking spot. It also offers a front-row seat behind what feels like a force field, to watch the rowdier Westport foot traffic shuffle past. Chuckle at the tipsy passers-by or settle up, hop the iron fence and join their caravan to a dive.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR

Johnnie’s on Seventh 55 South Seventh Street, Kansas City, Kansas 913-371-0300

A solid neighborhood bar seems like a simple thing to execute, and yet there are far fewer of them in Kansas City than one might imagine. Generally speaking, such a place requires, in descending order of importance: cheap drinks, friendly bartenders, a pool table, good music, free popcorn, a foosball table. We are also partial to wooden interiors — the older, the better. Johnnie’s on Seventh covers all these bases. It’s a true blue-collar joint, like many old-school KCK bars. But it’s a little more welcoming. For one, there’s a lot of laughter — particularly on Monday nights, when, as part of the local Pro Wrestling Appreciation Society’s weekly meeting, you can catch legends like Ric Flair “wooooo”ing around a ring on the TVs. The old-timers are friendly, the hipsters know their place in the pecking order, and the well whiskey is Old 1889 — our favorite. It’s the type of neighborhood bar where you don’t even have to live nearby to call the place your own.

BEST IRISH PUB

Llywelyn’s Pub 6995 West 151st Street, Overland Park • 913-402-0333

Given the storied history of the Irish in Kansas City, it’s hard to believe that the metro’s most authentic Irish pub is a St. Louis export that lies deep within the recesses of Johnson County. Close to the corner of 151st Street and Metcalf, the century-old church turned craic emporium features an original, imported Brunswick-Balke-Collender bar from the 1880s; church-pew seating; stained-glass windows; and traditional pub fare, including Welsh rarebit, colcannon and lamb sausage bangers. Of course, it’s the consummate place to watch a Premier League match or have $3 happy-hour pints, but the experience is best when the unofficial house band, Flannigan’s Right Hook, is onstage and the energy is burning like a gutful of Powers. It’s loud and a little dank but oh, so Irish.

BEST SANCTUARY

MiniBar 3810 Broadway • 816-326-8281 • minibarkc.com

After a shaky decade, Westport is once again a bright, bustling entertainment district, with new restaurants, bars and shops serving young crowds. We love it. But one drawback to this upswing is that it gets damn crowded in there on the weekends. And some nights, we’re not in the mood to bodycheck the drunken masses while waiting five minutes for another vodka soda. So lately we’ve been hiking a few blocks northeast and posting up at MiniBar. The seediness of its Broadway location is prohibitively scary for the snootier and more suburban slice of the Westport clientele, and after a slowish first year (RecordBar owners Steve Tulipana and Shawn Sherrill opened it in the spring of

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For a couple of years now, the walking dead have staggered and lurched their way into every corner of pop culture, and we’re bored with them. Still, we couldn’t help noticing the other day that if there was one watering hole in the city that would offer some protection from a zombie invasion, it would be the bunkerlike, almost windowless bar at State Line and Westport Road. Here, a screen door inside the main entrance offers a second layer of security. Few windows mean not as many access points for the undead bastards, and the regulars at this bar known for its sturdy solid-wood booths are fiercely loyal, so you know they’d stand their ground. Even the concrete, slightly raised back patio has an iron railing and feels like perimeter that’s easy to guard. We just hope the zombies don’t attack this dark, comfy bar during the weekend all-you-can-eat shrimp dinners.

BEST LEARNING-WHILEDRINKING EXPERIENCE

The KU Natural History Museum’s Science on Tap series Free State Brewery • 636 Massachusetts, Lawrence 785-843-4555 • freestatebrewing.com

In 2010, following a long tradition of Café Scientifique, the KU Natural History Museum teamed up with Free State Brewing Co. for Science on Tap and took science off campus and into the more informal setting of downtown Lawrence. Three times a semester — and twice in the summer — speakers from KU, KU Medical Center and sometimes Kansas State offer their expertise in Free State’s beer hall. “We have had everyone from paleontologists, herpetologists and entomologists to experts in water levels in Kansas, physics, social media, climate change, science fiction, social justice, and even sex and relationships,” says Jen Humphrey, the museum’s communications director. With lectures like “100 Years of Ecological Change in Central Mexico” and “The Role of the Gut Microbiome in Alcoholic Liver Disease,” you can easily expand your repertoire of barstool knowledge for only the price of a pint.

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DRINK BEST COFFEE

Parisi Artisan Coffee 30 West Pershing Road • 816-569-2399 5245 West 116th Place, Leawood • 913-696-9999 parisicoffee.com

WE ARE THE

HOTEL WITH

1215 WYANDOTTE STREET KANSAS CITY, MO 64105 TEL: 816-421-8888 FAX: 816-817-1883

FOR MORE INFO GO TO HIALADDIN.COM the pitch

best of kansas city 2013

BEST BEER COCKTAIL

The Summer Beer Beer Kitchen • 435 Westport Road • 816-389-4180 beerkitchenkc.com

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After Pete Licata won the 2013 World Barista Championship in Melbourne, Australia, this past May, we asked him what was next. Simple, he said: Keep pushing Parisi “to the top of the coffee scene.” Around here, we think Parisi — where Licata and everyone else in the company’s two cafés and its roasting facility do journeyman work — is tops. Besides employing the No. 1 barista, you know, on the planet, it does the microroasting thing at a very competitive level and keeps those two coffee shops humming at a smooth pace without sacrificing a milligram of Great Plains friendliness. Perhaps best of all, though, Parisi’s excellent bagged beans are in enough area grocery stores now that you can grab a pound for yourself in the long, lonely hours before dawn when more sensible types aren’t even thinking about caffeine. Pshew!

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If we had a summer estate, our standard pour during fancy croquet parties would be this boozy hot-weather drink. Beer Kitchen in Westport is known for its beer list (so long that it needs to be bound like a book), its upscale fare and white-collar happy-hour set. So, of course, the restaurant gives the traditionally trashy beer cocktail the Eliza Doolittle treatment. The Summer Beer is a tasty collision of an unnamed American lager, vodka and rosemary-infused lemonade. It’s sweet, complex and far more posh than what we’d normally drink while playing cornhole in our backyard or lounging to watch the Royals game on a porch. It’s nice to act tony every now and again.

BEST RUM DRINK

Toasted Coconut Colada Sunset Grill • 14577 Metcalf, Overland Park 913-681-1722 • sunsetgrillrestaurant.com

When you’re livin’ that suburban dream — shopping at Hen House, hustling the kids between piano lessons and Noodles and Co., and getting a pedi and a lip wax — you have to take a timeout and treat yourself to a cocktail that takes you to a tropical island, free

from the worries of post-recession Johnson County. We recommend the Toasted Coconut Colada, a simple concoction made of well rum, pineapple juice, cream of coconut and ice. Found at the tropical-themed bar and restaurant Sunset Grill, the smooth, creamy, white-as-Liparian-sand drink — served in a hurricane glass and rimmed with ambrosial honeyed coconut shreds that are worth the calorie count — belies its humble $6.25 price. The busy bartenders at Sunset Grill adeptly handle blender-drink orders — these babies are requested more often than Rupert Holmes at a Shawnee Mission South Class of 1980 reunion.

BEST VODKA DRINK

The Silencer Manifesto • 1924 Main • 816-536-1325 theriegerkc.com/manifesto

With all the skinny and gummy-bear-flavored versions and the energy-drink pairings, vodka seems to have lost its place in the center of the liquor shelf. It’s not quite the star of the cocktail menu at Manifesto, but it does lend itself to a sharply pointed yet easy-on-the-palate drink, the Silencer. The Silencer is gentle with Shpilka (the seriously smooth Russian brand), Cocchi Americano (an Italian aperitif wine fortified with brandy), Mathilde Peche (a peach liqueur), Bitter Truth lemon bitters and a whisper of St. George Absinthe. Garnished with a lemon twist, the $11 drink slips easily into your mouth and leaves without a trace of wormwood. Best enjoyed in quiet contemplation, the Silencer is way more sophisticated than anything Diddy mixes up with his Ciroc.

BEST GIN DRINK

Grandma’s Garden Louie’s Wine Dive • 7100 Wornall • 816-569-5097

Between the $18 glasses of Veuve Clicquot and the hibiscus mimosas, there are several ways to treat yourself at Louie’s. Need a refresher? Simple, green flavors come together in a Mason jar for Grandma’s Garden, a cool herbal tonic made with muddled cucumber and mint, Hendrick’s, simple syrup, lime juice and a hefty splash of sauvignon blanc. It’s hardly complicated to make, but Louie’s gets the proportions just right so you don’t taste too much of one ingredient. Good for baby-stepping into the nuances of gin, Grandma’s Garden tastes even better when you ask the bartender to substitute sparkling wine for the blanc.


DRINK

BEST TEQUILA DRINK

The Royal Rita Kauffman Stadium • 1 Royal Way • 816-921-8000 royals.com

The Royal Rita is a frozen margarita made with Jose Cuervo that comes from a machine, but its beauty lies in the presentation. The perfectly sweet, sticky and boozy drink comes in a plastic souvenir cup, and if you ask nicely, you can get the margarita in Royals blue, making this $12.50 purchase the best adult buy at the K. The Royal Rita is especially delicious on a hot day when it melts fast, making it easy to suck down. But be warned: We recommend no more than two, unless you want to get the party started, Royals Fountain Lady-style.

BEST DRINK WITH A VIEW

Teocali 2512 Holmes • 816-221-4749 • teocali.com

Teocali, at 25th Street and Holmes, opened in 2006 but, situated as it is in a commercial dead zone on a one-way street on Hospital Hill, it’s easy to miss. We suspect the Mexican restaurant will soon be a little more visible: Teocali recently expanded vertically, and upstairs you find another dining area, a full bar, a few outdoor tables overlooking Holmes, and a much larger terraza out back. The eight or so patio tables are a perfect happy-hour perch when the weather is nice, with views stretching every which way. We recommend stopping by on Tuesdays, for the magnifico 1-2-3 special: $1 tacos, $2 Tecates and $3 tequilas. Salud!

BEST LIQUOR STORE

Gomer’s Midtown 3838 Broadway • 816-931-4170 • gomers.com

One of the best things about living on the Missouri side of the state line is the ultraliberal liquor laws. This town is a booze swiller’s paradise. And free-flowing liquor means an abundance of places to buy our tipples. The best, though, is the squeaky-clean 39th Street Gomer’s. What’s not to like about this place? It’s in a convenient urban location with ample parking. The staff is so friendly, they won’t look down on you for shame-buying a handle of Popov vodka or a $7 bottle of red. The consistently cheap beer (if you need a suitcase of PBR, this is your joint) cements Gomer’s as our alcohol dispensary of choice. (We know how this makes us sound. We don’t care.)

READERS� CHOICE BEST BAR FOR PEOPLE WATCHING

1. Harry’s Bar & Tables 2. Buzzard Beach 3. The Foundry BEST BAR TO MEET PEOPLE

1. Harry’s Bar & Tables 2. Kelly’s Westport Inn 3. The Well BEST BARTENDER

1. Ryan Maybee 2. Van Zarr 3. Berto Santoro

Unanimous Double Gold Winner!!!

World Spirits Competition

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

BEST BEER CRAWL

1. Falldo Waldo Crawldo 2. Crawl for Cancer 3. Zombie Walk for Hunger BEST BEER FESTIVAL

1. Parkville Microbrew Festival 2. HopFest 3. Strong Ale Beer Festival BEST BEER SELECTION (BOTTLES)

“ ” Spirit Journal “Smooth, I mean really smooth!” CNN

1. Bier Station 2. Flying Saucer 3. The Foundry BEST BEER SELECTION (TAPS)

1. Flying Saucer 2. Bier Station 3. Anton’s BEST BLOODY MARY

1. RecordBar 2. Beer Kitchen 3. Tomfooleries BEST BOULEVARD RELEASE

1. Tank 7 2. 80 Acre 3. Coffee Ale BEST BREW PUB

1. McCoy’s Public House 2. 75th Street Brewery 3. Beer Kitchen BEST COCKTAIL

1. Manifesto’s Beautiful Red Bell 2. The Rieger’s Pendergast 3. Extra Virgin’s Manhattan BEST COCKTAIL MENU

1. Manifesto 2. Westport Café & Bar 3. Gram & Dun BEST COFFEE

1. The Roasterie 2. Oddly Correct 3. Broadway Café and Roasting Co.

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. pitch.com

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A small batch, hand crafted vodka Distilled in a cave in Parkville Washington Cup SILVER Medalist

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Pairs well with

GE T T I NG LO S T

When autumn arrives, colors explode in one last hurrah before the gray of winter takes hold. And like fall, Missouri Wines burst with bright flavors. They should. The grapes were ripened by Missouri sunshine and bottled by those who understand how summer’s warmth can make an autumn evening. 70

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Client: Missouri Wines / State of Missouri

missouriwine.org


DRINK BEST TWO-PULL BEER

Jim Dandy McCoy’s and The Foundry 4057 Pennsylvania, 424 Westport Road 816-960-0866 • mccoyskc.com, foundrykc.com

Most of McCoy’s and the Foundry’s regular beers stand on their own. But McCoy’s Ginger Shandy and Newcom’s India Pale Ale, like Jerry Lewis and the French, work better together. The Ginger Shandy’s syrupy sweetness cuts the inherent bitterness of Newcom’s. Some think the flavor is similar to a rip off a bong. Others say it’s an improvement over the taste of a ginger beer and a precursor to a Moscow Mule — for those who don’t care to dump a whole lot of money on the copper-mug cocktail.

BEST BARTENDER

Dana Wiseman Replay Lounge • 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence 785-749-7676 • replaylounge.com

Few bars provide such an overall satisfactory experience as the Replay. The joint is simply comfortable: The music curation is solid; the beer garden is the best in Lawrence; and, most important, the cocktails are strong and cheap. And all of that gets even better when Dana Wiseman is behind the bar. A steadfast presence on the corner of 10th Street and Mass since 1998, the white-blond Wiseman is as much a part of the institution as the pinball machines and the black-lit art, and her friendly glow warms the place. “I truly like to see people enjoy themselves,” she says. And while she has seen a lot of positive changes in her 15-year stint — an overall reduction in binge-drinking and drunken driving, fewer unattended drinks — the best could be people’s perceptions of Kansas after a night at the Replay. “Most people leave with a new idea of what it’s really like here,” she says. Wiseman is a true ambassador of Lawrence awesomeness.

BEST GAY BAR

Hamburger Mary's 101 Southwest Boulevard • 816-842-1919 hamburgermarys.com/kc

We were a little skeptical when Hamburger Mary's came to town in late 2009. Mary’s painted purple a huge Crossroads building that had been home to several failed restaurant concepts. It was a little loud (aurally and visually) and slightly inconsistent, but the big, juicy burgers and KC's thirst for a gay-friendly, sketchiness-free atmosphere

helped it rise. Hamburger Mary's has worked out most of the kinks: The rooftop patio is one of the best First Friday pregame spots; its Charity Bingo nights raise a lot of cash for several community nonprofits; and the Drag Brunch on Sunday is one of the most popular in the city. We like to drink at Hamburger Mary's because the cocktails come in three sizes: pints, goblets and — when we really want to shine on the karaoke stage — buckets. Yes, buckets.

BEST BIKER BAR

Kobi's Bar & Grill 113 Oak, Bonner Springs • 913-422-5657 kobisbar.com

There isn’t a pair of leather chaps (that we know of), a do-rag or a motorcycle among The Pitch’s editorial staff. But we can still say with certainty that Kobi’s is worth the trip to the farthest reaches of western Wyandotte County for friendly, high-octane good times. On Sundays, bikes fill up the back parking lot, and easygoing folks sipping domestic bottles from buckets take over the back deck. (We hear Johnny Dare makes regular appearances.) During the week, Kobi's offers cheap tacos, half-priced drinks on ladies’ and guys’ nights, and live music. Well-lighted, clean and super-friendly, Kobi’s treats you like a badass whether you pull up on a Harley or in a Honda Civic.

BEST STRIP CLUB

Whispers Gentlemen’s Club 13944 Mitchell Court, Basehor • 913-724-3322 whisperskc.com

Those who desire interaction with exotic dancers must travel west across State Line. About 30 minutes from downtown, in Leavenworth County, savvy consumers can fi nd Whispers, a recently renovated club that charges a paltry $5 cover and has shockingly cheap specials ($1 Bud Light draws at happy hour; $8 8-ounce steaks on Tuesdays) and a large, round stage that plays host to at least 10 dancers on the weekends. Several clean private booths are available for $25 dances or 30- and 60-minute increments of intimate conversation with the woman of your choice. “People must be respectful,” Dave, the general manager, tells us. “If not, we’ll show them the door.” Open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Saturday, Whispers welcomes everyone 21 and older who knows how to conduct themselves around booze and boobs.

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COME TASTE WHY JOWLER CREEK WAS VOTED ONE OF THE BEST LOCAL WINERIES IN KANSAS CITY!

FREE WINE TASTING Wednesday - Sunday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

P p

16905

Jowler Creek Rd Platte City, MO

NOVEMBER 2, 2013 @ 11a-6p UPTOWN SHOPPING CENTER 36th & Broadway, Kansas City, MO

FREE EVENT! Over 75 craft vendors & over 25 beers available!

816.858.5528 | jowlercreek.com |

jowlercreek

Interested in sponsoring Crafts and Drafts arts and crafts fair? Contact us at jason.dockery@pitch.com or call 816.561.6061 for additional information.

THANK YOU KC FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

HOURS: TUESDAY THROUGH SATURDAY 11AM - 6:00 PM FRIDAYS 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM | SUNDAY 12 - 5:00 PM

1505 GENESSEE KANSAS CITY, MO 64102 72

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DRINK BEST COFFEEHOUSE

BEST MARGARITA

1. The Roasterie Café 2. Filling Station 3. Broadway Café and Roasting Co.

1. Ponak’s 2. El Patrón 3. Port Fonda

Only 2 blocks from Kauffman Performing Arts Center! “Best ie er Crep ” 2011 The

Pitch

®

BEST COLLEGE BAR

BEST MARTINI

1. Harpo’s 2. The Wagon Wheel 3. Mike’s Tavern

1. Capital Grille 2. Café Trio 3. Thomas

Come enjoy L’Apéritif Fri & Sat 4-7pm

BEST DIVE BAR

BEST MILKSHAKE

1. The Peanut 2. Buzzard Beach 3. Chez Charlie’s

1. Winstead’s 2. Blanc Burgers + Bottles 3. Alamo Drafthouse

Mon: 11a-2p • Tu-Th: 7:30a-3p Fri: 7:30a-9p • Sat: 8a-9p • Sun: 8a-3p

BEST GAY BAR

BEST MIXOLOGIST

1. Missie B’s 2. Hamburger Mary’s 3. Bistro 303

1. Ryan Maybee 2. Beau Williams 3. Berto Santoro

BEST HAPPY HOUR

BEST MOCKTAILS

1. La Bodega 2. Extra Virgin 3. Bluestem

1. Extra Virgin 2. Voltaire 3. Remedy

BEST HOOKAH LOUNGE

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD BAR

1. Jerusalem Café 2. Sinbad’s 3. Jaskki’s

1. Charlie Hooper’s 2. Lew’s Bar and Grill 3. 403 Club

BEST HOTEL BAR

BEST NEW BAR OR CLUB

1. The Drum Room 2. The Reserve at the Ambassador 3. 12 Baltimore

1. Bier Station 2. Louie’s Wine Bar 3. Hi Dive Lounge

BEST ICED COFFEE

BEST PATIO

1. The Roasterie Café 2. Broadway Café and Roasting Co. 3. Starbucks

1. McCoy’s Public House 2. Harry’s Bar & Tables 3. Gram & Dun

BEST IRISH PUB

BEST PLACE FOR CRAFT COCKTAILS

1. Kelly’s Westport Inn 2. O’Dowd’s Little Dublin 3. O’Malley’s

1. Manifesto 2. The Rieger 3. Extra Virgin

BEST LOCAL CRAFT BREWER

BEST PLACE FOR WINE BY THE GLASS

1. Boulevard 2. Free State Brewery 3. McCoy’s

1. Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen 2. Louie’s Wine Bar 3. Amigoni Urban Winery

BEST LOCAL DISTILLERY

BEST SPORTS BAR

1. Dark Horse 2. McCormick 3. Clear 10

1. Johnny’s Tavern 2. 810 Zone 3. Lew’s Bar and Grill

BEST LOCAL MICROBREWER

BEST 3 A.M. BAR

1. Boulevard 2. McCoy’s 3. 75th Street Brewery

1. Harry’s Bar & Tables 2. Buzzard Beach 3. Lew’s Bar and Grill

BEST LOCAL NANOBREWER

BEST WINE BAR

1. Green Room Burgers and Beer 2. Cinder Block 3. Big Rip

1. Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen 2. Louie’s Wine Bar 3. Amigoni Urban Winery

BEST LOCAL WINERY

BEST WINE LIST IN A RESTAURANT

1. Amigoni Urban Winery 2. Pirtle Winery 3. Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery

1. JJ’s 2. Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen 3. Michael Smith

& CIDER MILL re Coun y S to tr

Gluten Free & Vegan Crepes Available

~HOURS~

SINCE 1977

STORE OPEN 7-DAYS-A-WEEK

For hours, to shop, catalog, information:

Breakfast & Lunch

Fri & Sat Evenings Open til 9pm

www.louisburgcidermill.com 913-837-5202

14730 K68 Hwy., Louisburg, KS 66053

10-ACRE

PUMPKIN PATCH

Pumpkin Patch & Maze Open Through October 31

ONLY 20 MINUTES FROM KANSAS CITY

AMAZING 10-ACRE

Scarecrow Corn Maze

• Puzzling Clues • Wagon Ride • • • • •

1713 Summit St. KCMO

(816) 471-2616 www.chezellekc.com

Jump Pillow • Hill Slide Teepees • Live Music & Bonfire Farm Animals on Selected Evenings Straw Fort Fri. & Sat.: Play Area

7pm to 10pm: Fri. & Sat.: 10am to 10pm Bring a flashlight Sunday: 10am to 6pm & go through the maze Weekdays: Groups by Appointment

IN THE DARK!

MISSOURI’S SMALLEST BREWERY

2013

ds n a t s n o em be r

Nove 1 2

VOTED TOP 3 BEST LOCAL

NANO

BREWER

4010 PENNSYLVANIA KCMO

816.216.7982

www.GREENROOMKC.com GREENROOMKC

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The Pitch: Best of Kansas City 2013