Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Souperman Fights the Winter Chills

On this cold, snowy day, a friend and I visited Souperman, a long-but-not-very-wide restaurant in the downtown Crossroads area that specializes in - what else - soup!

We shook the snow off as we entered Souperman and were faced with a chalkboard listing all the freshly-made soups for the day. We put in our order at the counter and by the time we paid, our lunch was ready. The smells in this place are amazing!

The place was busy, but mostly folks were taking their lunch away, probably back to work. We had no problem getting a table in the mostly metal-themed dining area.

I chose the Poblano Corn Chowda and a Portobello Mushroom with Roasted Peppers, Goat Cheese and Grilled Onions Sanditto. The chowda was the right blend of creamy/spicy/corny goodness and the sanditto just made me smile.

What's a Sanditto? Well, it's basically a foil-wrapped, enclosed panini, with all your favorite stuff in there. I'd say it's like a Hot Pocket, but those are gross, and this was delish. Just try one, okay?

My dining companion had the Curried Pumpkin Bisque and a Smoked Turkey Melt with Swiss, Tomato, Spinach, and Pesto Sanditto. I didn't get a taste of either, darn it! By the time I'd gotten my face out of my lunch, her lunch was gone!

Souperman only serves lunch, and is only open from 10:00am - 3:00pm. Go early to get the best choices, before they are gone. This is the perfect place to chase away the winter chills.

website: http://www.kansascitymenus.com/souperman/

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A "Bleck" and a "Yum"

First the "Yum!"

Pizza Bella, 1810 Baltimore. Their menu is not extensive - it's basically on the placemat - salads, antipasta and wood-fired pizzas - but everything was wonderful. During our visit, we enjoyed a zesty caesar salad, and split a Margherita pizza and a Proscuitto pizza between three of us.

They have a nice, wide selection of wines and beers (I secretly loved that Bud was not on the list!).

We finished off with Tiramisu and Italian gelato and some GIGANTIC cups of nice dark-roast coffee.

The atmosphere is very urban, yet comfortable and the wood-fired ovens made the place warm and inviting. Definitely try this place if you get the chance. Be warned: We were there on a Wednesday evening and it was packed!

website: http://www.kansascitymenus.com/pizzabella

Now, the "Bleck!"
Granny's Chicken Ranch, The Legends (in the previous McBride's pad site)

Who doesn't love some pan-fried chicken or chicken-fried chicken every once in a while? I do, so I had high hopes that Granny's might be the place for me.

Alas, no. This place is no Stroud's. Nor KT Fryer's.

I ordered the Chicken-fried Chicken. My son got drumsticks. We both got the mashed potatoes, green beans, biscuits and cinnamon rolls. After dinner, we both agreed that the cinnamon rolls were (by far) the best part of the meal.

I'm not sure what Granny puts in her gravy, but I expect chicken fried chicken gravy to be mostly white - a creamy gravy. Granny's gravy is a beige color. And lumpy. I suspect it might have been some sort of sausage gravy - the type you put on biscuits - which (trust me) does NOT work on chicken. But even after scraping all the gravy off, the chicken was overcooked. The drumsticks were too. And the biscuits basically just tasted like lard and flour.

Maybe Granny's is just going through some New Restaurant growing pains. That said, next time I want chicken fried or pan-fried chicken, I'll wait for the new Stroud's to open.

And one more thing - a pet peeve of mine: If you are going to put your menu on your website, make sure that it is READABLE. Granny's isn't.

website: http://grannyschickenranch.com/