Brookside East Welcomes Grab & Go Food Spot

bite verticle

Brookside East continues to gain more tenants, and one of the newest is Can I Have A Bite, the grab and go food store that moved to 633 E 63rd St in late March from a Wornall location in Waldo. Owner Kathy Hale focuses on healthy food, prepared on site, using locally sourced and organic ingredients when possible, with a menu that changes weekly.

 

 

bite food

Cashew meatloaf, sweet potatoes with chili pepper, basil roasted Brussel sprouts and rosemary balsamic beets

For busy professionals and those with food allergies, Can I Have A Bite can be a regular stop for specialty lunches and dinners. Kathy offers frozen entrees you heat up yourself—or she will have it hot and ready if you call ahead. There is an array of salads, soups, energy bites and full meals you can choose from. With this expanded location, she’s added some new options: a “Create Your Own Entrée”—you choose an animal or vegetarian protein, two sides and a sauce or cheese topping. There is also a “Healthy Belly Bar” with balsamic, bitters and tincture ingredients to create beverages for specific digestions; and a few fresh mocktail options. Plus, Kathy has added sandwiches featuring Gabrianna Bakery breads and fresh French pastries on Saturdays.   Local art, available for purchase, is showcased on the walls and there is  seating if you want to dine in.

 

bite KathyPersonal service thrives here–Kathy takes so much pride and care into creating these special, tasty options for her customers. She really understands how different folks have various food limitations (or dietary preferences) and tailors to her clients. This new location also offers much easier parking options, just outside the front door.

 

Can I Have A Bite is located at 633 E 63rd St, next to Golden and Pine. Hours are Monday – Thursday 10am-7pm; Friday 10-5 and Saturdays 11am-5pm. Check the Facebook page for menu updates—call ahead with your order at 816 381 9101.

It’s Here–KC Restaurant Week Jan 16-25 2015

January…the most boring month of the year!  The weather is cold, trees are barren and everything outside looks gray and dingy..except for the bright, soft focus sunsets!  Hard to muster up the energy to go out after you are settled in at home…. 

KC restaurant weekThat’s why January is the perfect time for Kansas City Restaurant Week!  From Jan 16-25, we have  ten days of bargain priced meals at many of KC’s finest restaurants.  This is the time to try the pricier spot you may have heard about for the low price of $33 for a three course dinner ($15 for a two course lunch).  Many of the eateries are locally owned and and operated; and there are all kinds of cuisine offered–from pizza to boar meat!

All of the participating restaurants donate a portion of their profits to these three organizations:  Boys Grow, Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired and Cultivate KC. 

Below is a list of the Brookside/Waldo spots offering special menus during the week.  You can go to www.kcrestaurantweek.com to see individual restaurant menus, make reservations and see a complete list of all the places throughout the metro area offering the prix fix deals. 

75th St Brewery                                   Louie’s Wine Dive

District Pour House and Kitchen       Michael Forbes Bar and Grill

Julian                                                    Waldo Pizza

Lew’s Grill and Bar                             The Well

 

Thank you for supporting KC Restaurant Week!  Reservations fill up fast so make yours today!

 

Governor Stumpy’s – A Brookside Restaurant for Everyone

Kevin Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy's. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

Kevin Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy’s. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

One of the many charms of living in the Brookside/Waldo area are the locally owned shops and restaurants.  Regular customers are greeted with a warm

Governor Stumpy's in Brookside

Governor Stumpy’s in Brookside

welcome and a sincere desire to please. Newcomers are encouraged to return; their comments solicited.  This is  the atmosphere of Governor Stumpy’s at 321 E Gregory.  And it’s all because of the owner/operator, Kevin  Ryan.

Whenever I am driving potential homebuyers around the Brookside/Waldo neighborhoods, they always comment on how much they like the fact that residents can walk to various services.  Governor Stumpy’s is perfectly situated on the corner of Gregory and Oak, within easy walking or biking distance from the nearby homes.  I love to enjoy a meal on the outdoor deck during the warmer months.  Plus, families with children are very comfortable here.

Kevin started out in the restaurant business working for Tippin’s.  After working for years for someone else, he decided to open his own place in 1997.  The Stumpy’s  location was the site of the old Leonard’s restaurant.  After an extensive renovation and opening with a more formal atmosphere–the place almost didn’t make it.  Kevin soon learned the patrons wanted a casual restaurant, so he revamped the place to cater to what his customers wanted.

When you walk in Governor Stumpy’s, you get that “Cheers” (TV show) sort of feeling.  Someone always says ‘hello’ and service is attentive.  If you come in often, the staff will learn your name. You can sit at the bar and watch a game or strike up a conversation with the bartender.  Slip into a comfortable booth and order from the reasonably priced food menu:  pizza, pastas, appetizers, burgers, salads and sandwiches.  Ryan says his best sellers include the baby back ribs, Posnanski’s Chicken Spedini Pasta and the Reuben.

Patrick Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy's. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

Patrick Ryan, owner of Gov Stumpy’s. Sitting beneath a picture of his kids!

Ryan lives in Lees Summit with his wife and three kids.  He loves the restaurant and has worked very hard to make it a success.  He’s thought about opening additional locations but  doesn’t want to give up his current ‘quality of life’.  Sometimes he works days, sometimes nights, and he can arrange his schedule to be around for family events, sports practices, homework, etc.  If he had another restaurant it would cut into his family time too much.  He’s quite comfortable with the way it all balances out right now.

What’s next for Governor Stumpy’s?  Ryan has plans to enclose the deck this year  and wants to bring back the Celtic Block Party he used to host annually over the Memorial Day weekend.  He’s looking for a benefactor for that event. The menu still features a quarterly special series of food items that benefit a local charity (currently Big Brothers and Big Sisters).  Ryan is also participating in the local Dancing with the Stars competition to benefit Cristo Rey High School.  He’s been practicing with a professional dancer and hopes to raise the most money during the event on March 29.  (You can vote early here, and watch a short promo video below.)

The next time you think ‘let’s go out and grab a bite to eat’ –think about stopping by Governor Stumpy’s.  Thank you for supporting locally owned Brookside/Waldo businesses!

KC Restaurant Week – Participating Brookside/Waldo Restaurants

Are you getting burned out  making dinner every night?  Do you need an excuse to call a friend and grab lunch to break up the workday?  Is there a locally owned KC restaurant you’ve always wanted to try??  Here’s my suggestion:  make plans now to dine out during Kansas City Restaurant Week January 17-26, 2014.

Participating restaurants are offering a two course $15 lunch and/or three course $33 dinner.  This is a real deal folks–most of the dining spots are locally owned and a portion of the proceeds benefits Harvesters-The Community Food Network. You’ll get an excellent meal at a  favorite dining spot…you can try a new place…you can earn dining points if you make reservations through Open Table!

For a sneak peak at the special menus lined up,  visit the Harvesters website and follow the links.  Below is a list of participating restaurants in the Brookside/Waldo areas:

Louie’s Wine Dive

Michael Forbes Grille

75th St Brewery

Remedy Food and Drink

The Well

I suggest you make reservations early in the week…this is a popular event in Kansas City and many restaurants will fill up fast!  Thanks for supporting Harvesters and our locally owned businesses.

Brookside/Waldo Eateries Celebrating KC Restaurant Week

Kansas City Restaurant Week 2013

Kansas City Restaurant Week 2013

Is there a new local restaurant you’ve been wanting to try?  This is the time to do it, during the 2013 Kansas City Restaurant Week, January 18-23.  Created by the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Authority and the Greater Kansas City Restaurant association, this special ten-day event showcases our locally owned restaurants while supporting Harvesters-The Community Food Network at the same time.

 
Each participating restaurant offers a pre-sent lunch and/or dinner menu at a $15 and $30 price respectively.  A portion of all profits goes to Harvesters.  It’s the perfect opportunity to try a new spot while supporting the food bank  and our locally owned businesses.

I’m listing Brookside/Waldo restaurants that are offering special pricing during Restaurant Week; I am not linking to individual websites because the best site to view the menus is www.kcrestaurantweek.com.  Reservations are recommended; there’s a link to Open Table on most listings.

Such a simple pleasure, and a privilege, to dine out with friends!  Make plans now to enjoy Restaurant Week, and thanks to our local Brookside/Waldo restaurants for participating:

Louie’s Wine Dive                     The Well
75th St Brewery                          Michael Forbes Grill
JULIAN                                          Lew’s Grill & Bar                  

You can also download the mobile app at VisitKC.com

Talking With Celina Tio of Julian

Attention to detail.  That was my first impression as I waited to have a fast chat with Celina Tio.  I noticed her attractive wall display of tee shirts promoting the restaurant. She has men’s AND women’s sizes for sale!  We all know that a woman’s body in a man’s tee shirt doesn’t work. Celina knows it too and that why she has sizes in both styles.  And the price?  Just $15.  That’s noticing the small stuff.

This seems to be Celina’s guiding principle for her first owned and operated restaurant:  attention to detail regarding delicious food and offering meals at a reasonable price.  Looking at the menu, she’s priced well — actually lower than many dinner items offered at nearby Carmen’s Cafe or Avenues Bistro.  Julian is  open for Thanksgiving–offering all the standard items for a fixed price:  3 courses for $30, 4 for $34 with service over the noon hours or late afternoon.  I like that idea–the traditional foods served with a twist for the holiday, from an accomplished chef, for a special holiday.

Foodies know that Celina came from the American Restaurant, has a husband and small daughter, and has quite a bit of energy and determination to make this restaurant a success.  She chose Brookside as the location because it was ‘good timing, a good location, and the loyal neighbors like to keep their  money in the neighborhood’ by supporting local businesses.  She says the best and worst thing about having her own restaurant is the same thing:  she is compelled to do everything herself.  While we were chatting, she jumped up twice to answer the restaurant phone and take a ‘reservation’ (details on that process later).  Celina is so focused and pumped up — she is in the kitchen, on the floor with guests, bussing a table, tweeting on the Blackberry.   She has positioned Julian to be a place that won’t “break the (money) bank or the calorie bank”, serving fine food without the high price tag.  She’s also into comfort food, which shows on several menu items (Boulevard pale ale macaroni and cheese, crispy pork shoulder and  pasta with meat sauce) .  And that’s just the right trend for these recessionary times…you want to enjoy a nice meal out but can’t justify spending $100 on dinner.  

Julian is open seven days a week, currently just for dinner but Celina wants to open for lunch within the next few weeks.  On Sundays she serves the 3 for $30 dinner–which is just whatever she happens to be creating that day–and it’s served family style. Mondays are “American Classics” — lasagna, steak.  She’s now collaborating with her staff for the winter menu.    The restaurant doesn’t take reservations but will do ‘priority seating’–call in with the time you will arrive and you will get the first and best table available.  To keep up with Julian–get connected to her Facebook and Twitter accounts–she does all the social media herself.

One remark Celina made while we were talking keeps coming back to me.  I asked her, what do you know now that you wish someone would have told you when you started out as a chef?  She replied, “That all employees don’t have the same work ethic and morals as you do”.  When she was getting the restaurant ready to open, sometimes she would stop at McDonald’s (?!) and bring in breakfast for everyone.  As they were unwrapping the sandwiches, she noticed that so many of them weren’t stacked with care–the bun was slapped on the side, the insides were spilling out, etc.  One time she noticed a perfectly wrapped sandwich with the food inside properly put together and presented.  She said, “I was so happy to see that someone actually cared about putting the food together the right way”.  You can expect your meal at Julian to be not only properly presented, but also infused with a love of the art of preparing food.

New Restaurants in Brookside-Julian and Mezzaluna

Support local businesses…the money you spend locally tends to stay in the area and is ‘respent’ many times over.  Residents of Brookside and Waldo are known for their loyalty to local businesses.  ALthough there are a few national chain operations here (Baskin Robbins, Mr Goodcents, Tuesday Morning), waht gives our neighborhoods it’s character is the LACK of the same national restaurants and stores you see all over the suburbs in most Any City USA.

Armour Hills has a new restaurant with Mezzaluna at 120 East Gregory.  I stopped in yesterday, not for dining but to just check out the atmosphere and menu.  Unfortunately, I was not greeted warmly by the gentleman at the front who surely is one of the owners.  I asked to see a menu, and he wordlessly gave me a to go menu.  I asked about the upstairs room and he offered to escort me up there for a quick look.  Was hoping for some friendly conversatin initiated by him–after all, I’m a potential customer.  When I’m holding an openhouse and someone walks in, you can be sure I am greeting them with a smile and telling them a few specifics about the home.brookside rest 002

Inside there area comfortable booths and some tables, plus a small bar area.  The is a separate ‘to go’ pick up area–very convenient!  On the menu, lunch offers several variations on pizza, $7-8 each, with pasta items priced the same.  The three entrees are chicken, veal or eggplant parmigiana.  Salads are an extra charge.  Dinner entrees must be lovingly prepared–the menu tells you to allow 25 minutes for preparation of your meal.  Averaging $14-18 each, the entrees come with a potatoe and vegetable.  Pizza is also an option at night, priced at $14.  I fyou are planning a special event or have a large party, the upstairs dining area is elegant and comfortable.  It seats 28-40 persons. Mezzaluna is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday. 

brookside rest 001Celebrated ex-American Restaurant chef Celine Tio has opened Julian at 6227 Brookside Plaza, in the former spot of Joe D’s. I have not dined here yet but hope to soon–Ms Tio promises good food that won’t break the budget–let’s see if she delivers on taste and portion size.  Sandwiches and entrees are on the menu, including lobster Shepard’s Pie, fish tacos, braised short ribs and mini desserts.  Cheesy grits and onion rings are a couple of the side dishes.  The decor is minimal:  there are placemats, not tablecloths, and the outdoor patio is a welcome option during good weather.  Right now Julian is open only for dinner; lunch and breakfast hours are planned. 

Thanks for reading my blog..have you dined at either restaurant?  Tell me about it with your comments!