New Ramen Bar Now Open in Waldo

boru

The much anticipated ramen bar, Boru, is now open in Waldo at 500 W75th St.  I haven’t eaten there yet–but everyone I know wants to try it! I hear it’s very busy during typical lunch and dinner hours. Another hot spot for Brookside/Waldo diners!

A little background:  Owners Andy Lock and Domhall Molloy also own the successful Summit Grill, just west of Boru.  The culinary director, Po Wang, is a native of Taiwan.

Boru’s  website offers menu details and a very helpful glossary for those folks not familiar with this type of cuisine.  Featured options include steamed baos (buns stuffed with goodies); several salads (including  cold noodle and crispy Brussel sprout ), ramen bowls with ‘add on’ options (egg, pork belly, tofu), plus a kids’ menu, full bar (with sake of course!) and happy hour specials. It all sounds delicious and so different from the usual Waldo bar food and restaurant spots.

Boru (it means bowl in Japanese) is open seven days a week at the corner of 75th and Washington– and accepts reservations through Open Table. Thank you for supporting our locally owned businesses!

 

New Waldo Restaurant Serves Breakfast Too!

The title of this new Waldo restaurant says it all up front: Game Day Chicken Wings, Burgers & Fish. Located at 8950 Wornall Road, this spot used to be The Cook Shack. Kelvin Powell and his wife Rischa Rayon opened the place in September 2014 and serve tasty home-style cookin’ all day long…so let’s find out more about this local Waldo business!

Game Day Chicken Wings, Burgers & Fish in Waldo

Game Day Chicken Wings, Burgers & Fish in Waldo

I stopped by earlier this week and visited with Rischa about what’s on the menu. She emphasized that fresh, not frozen, meat and fish are served: handmade burger patties, fresh chicken wings fried in their own special batter, and real fresh potatoes are used for the hash browns and country potatoes. Fish selections include catfish, basa and tilapia. The Game Day menu also offers several food combos so you can choose what suits you: for example, wings and your choice of sides (mac & cheese, green beans, corn, sweet potatoes and fries/tots/onion rings).

One aspect of Game Day Chicken Wings, Burgers & Fish that sets it apart is the breakfast menu. I was trying to think of another Brookside/Waldo area restaurant that serves a full breakfast –and only came up with The Classic Cup. At Game Day, breakfast is a busy time and they serve it all: freshly made biscuits, cinnamon rolls, oatmeal, eggs, grits, gravy, pancakes, waffles and side meats. The prices are reasonable and the portions are large–one cinnamon roll can feed at least two persons!

Rischa Rayon

Rischa Rayon

Rischa explained this restaurant is a family affair–for now, employees are relatives as they get the business established. They appreciate all of their customers, and set prices so area residents can afford to stop in often. It’s a place that has that special small neighborhood feel, where the staff will take the time to get to know you after a couple of visits. Enjoy this comfort food as you chat with Rischa at the counter, keep an eye on the TV or people watch out the large windows. In the spring, they plan to get a liquor license and have a small patio for outdoor dining during warmer weather.

During December and the cold winter months, the hours can vary a bit. In general, the restaurant is open Tuesday-Thursday 8am-7pm, Friday/Saturday 8am-9pm and Sundays 8am-4pm. Visit their Facebook page or website for more information…also, the Game Day staff will cater and reserve the restaurant for private events. Stop by and try this new Waldo dining spot!

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.

Waldo’s 75th St Brewery Celebrates 20 Year Anniversary

For twenty years now, the 75th Street Brewery  (520 W 75th St, just west of Wornall) has been serving locally brewed beer and tasty made-from-scratch foods to Waldo and Brookside residents.  This Saturday they are kicking off a week-long celebration of their anniversary, with daily food and drink specials.

I’ve been a fan of this place for a long time..even though I’m not a beer drinker, we eat there often because the food and service are good, and they welcomed our kids for dining when they were smaller.  I appreciate their 600 calories or less menu selections, the tasty sweet potato fries and the pizzas are delicious!

With so many beer pubs popping up in the metro area, it’s important to note  the 75th Street Brewery started it all as they claim to be KC’s first brewpub.  Although Saturday’s  Summer Beer Fest is sold out , you can still stop by at 3pm and meet the original brewmaster, Tom Richer and try the 20th anniversary beer, Imperial Stout.  On Monday August 19, the menu will feature throwback pricing to 1993, and on Thursday you can buy 75 cent pints of any of their flagship brews.  For other specials during the week–check out their Facebook page, as unfortunately, there is no mention of the big anniversary celebration on their website (as of this writing).

The 75th Street Brewery is part of the KC Hopps restaurant chain, locally owned and operated. Other restaurants in the group include The Blue Moose, 810 Zone and Barley’s Brewhaus.  Happy Anniversary to the 75th Street Brewery.. one of Waldo’s best casual restaurants!

Good Mexican Food–Chelly’s Cafe in Waldo

Just as I  started to fix dinner on a recent Friday night, our neighbor calls.  “Let’s go out for Mexican food!” he says.  I picture a  frosty margarita, a night off from cooking and immediately agree!  So we head over to Chelly’s’ Cafe in Waldo.

Chelly's Café in Waldo

Chelly’s Café in Waldo

Chelly’s is one of those restaurants I’ve passed many times, but haven’t  tried.  All these years I’ve been living in Brookside–and have never stopped at  this nice little neighborhood dining spot!  It’s a family owned restaurant, located in strip mall on 85th St just east of Wornall Road . Open for about  eleven years, it’s the kind of place that gives you a lot of food for the  price, with quick service..  I started off with a  margarita in a large bowl glass that was just $5.  It felt like two drinks for the price of one.

For dinner, I ordered the Steak Tacos ($8.50).  They came in doubled shell corn tortillas, dressed with onion (raw, wish it had been grilled) and cilantro.  On the side was fresh lettuce,  a scoop of guacamole, rice, black beans and a lime wedge.  I ate two tacos and had enough left over for lunch the next day.  Very tasty.  I don’t remember what the rest of our group ordered, probably because we were all talking, but everyone liked their food.  Chelly’s has all of the usual selections you would expect in a Mexican restaurant, plus a hamburger and grilled chicken sandwich option .  I also like the fact  you can order  many items a la carte. We enjoyed the fresh chips and salsa brought to the table soon after being seated.  Service was friendly and quick–and the restaurant was very busy.  A lovely woman sang songs in Spanish from the front of the room, but it didn’t look like too many folks were paying attention.  

Chelly’s is open seven days a week, and serves breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. The breakfast nachos and breakfast burrito are especially popular .

I’m looking forward to going back to Chelly’s soon–I want to try their fajitas.  Thank you for supporting our locally owned  Brookside/Waldo businesses!

My Visit to Louie’s Wine Dive in Waldo

louie wdEarlier this week my friend Maija and I met at Louie’s Wine Dive for happy hour. I drive by this place daily on my way to work and it looks like they are drawing big crowds. The reviews on-line are generally very positive. Our experience was a good one, especially because of the service. More on that later.

I’m not a foodie — I’m actually a very picky eater! Everything we tried was delicious: the garlic hummus with lavosh crackers; the tomato bruschetta, the harvest salad; and the pork ragu sliders with thin, crispy fries. This is the kind of happy hour I like: the portions are smaller yet the right size (for me) as a  regular meal, so an excellent value. The two pork ragu sliders were very filling, and with the fries on the side–a gourmet meal for just $6! The wine selection is extensive, and they serve a very tasty grapefruit martini ($5 during happy hour).

Louie’s has a casual feel with hardwood floors, raised tables, a long bar and original artwork (for sale) in the bathroom. The menu is extensive and the food is sourced locally when possible (Farm to Market bread, Alex Pope meats). Although it was busy during my visit, the volume in the room was fine and we could carry on a conversation easily. Others I know who have dined at Louie’s complain that it is very loud and noisy during the busy dinner service.

Whenever I visit a restaurant, especially a locally owned place, I am keenly aware of the service level. Is the wait staff friendly? Checks on the table often but doesn’t interrupt conversation? Shows some personality but not overbearing? Do they smile and make eye contact? Do they know the menu? When you have a professional and friendly server, it makes the meal so much better. Our waiter was Andy, and he was excellent. Attentive, sincere, knowledgeable and really enjoyed his job. When Maija accidentally spilled my full glass of wine, Andy and another server had the mess cleaned up quickly and soon presented a replacement. He made our meal better. Ask for Andy when you visit.

Louie’s Wine Dive is a welcome addition to Waldo. Happy hour is from 3-6pm Monday through Friday, and late night Thursday-Saturday from 11pm-midnight. Support locally owned businesses and stop by Louie’s Wine Dive soon. They accept reservations through Open Table.