In the food world, Kansas City may be mostly known for Mexican food and BBQ, but there is now a slightly unique hidden gem in the western KCK area called “Mason Jar”. Located around 78th and State Ave. (just south of Kansas City, Kan., Community College), it is quite easy to get to from I-70 if you’re passing through the area, or is very accessible if you’re looking to escape the crowds at Legends or the Speedway.
I found Mason Jar to be a real breath of fresh air, as it’s very clean and sharp inside, but still has a nice inviting and fun feel to it. In my opinion it’s an upscale sports bar/bar & grill. The “bar area” feels like a sports bar, but there is plenty of seating in the other side of the place that feels more like a family sit-down restaurant. They really pride themselves on their cocktail and beer menu, as well as their food. While I didn’t try any of the drinks, I did try one of their pizzas.
I went with the “Loaded Up” pizza, but subbed jalapeños for the red onion. The pizza had bacon, sausage, meatballs and pepperoni, so it served up a healthy dose of pork. I almost ordered the “Hog Bones” too, which are bone-in pork shanks in an sweet Asian chili sauce, but I figured a 12” pizza was enough food for me.
If you do find yourself in this area for a meeting or an event, or are just passing through, go check out Mason Jar. It really bucks some of the stigmas that might surround Kansas City and provides a perfect environment for food, drinks, and fun for adults, or the whole family!
Until next time,
My latest trip to go sample some pork took me back to one of my favorite places in the Kansas City area– old downtown Overland Park. When searching out great places to sample pork in various dishes, it’s easy to get stuck in the BBQ and pizza rut, so I busted out of the rut this time and went to “Lemongrass Thai Cuisine” in Overland Park.
I had the egg rolls as an appetizer and then went with the Yellow Curry Fried Rice with pork. The egg rolls were seriously the best I’ve ever had. They had ground pork and all the vegetables you’d expect inside, and the outside wrapper was fried to a perfect crispiness. The sweet & sour sauce put to shame the neon pink stuff you get at a Chinese buffet.
The Yellow Curry Fried Rice with pork was delicious as well. I decided to ask for “mild” on the heat scale just to be safe. At Lemongrass they let you choose from “no spice” on up to hot. I’m glad I chose mild, as it really let me experience all the flavors of the dish. The fried rice with yellow curry, pork, onion, and cilantro together were simply impeccable.
I will for sure be going back to try other dishes there, in time. Part of the reason I look forward to going back is I get to experience old Overland Park more. Once there, a person can check out Upper Crust pie bakery, Clock Tower Bakery & Café, or The Tasteful Olive, which has many infused olive oils, vinegars, and other unique ingredients for sale. I might even go check out the used record shop again too!
Until next time,
As Overland Park rapidly sprawls south down Highway 69, the ensuing rush to put in eateries around all those new housing developments leads to some unexpectedly nice food options. One of those places, “Costa Vida,” is now up and running at the intersection of 159th St. and Antioch Rd. which is just east of Hwy 69 on 159th St.
Costa Vida is a fast Mexican place that reminds you a lot of Chipotle or Qdoba, but maybe has a few more options for the customers. It was started in Utah of all places by a husband and wife that had enjoyed their trips to Cabo San Lucas so much they thought the foods they loved there needed to be shared with the masses in the U.S. In 2003 they opened their first place, and the rest is history!
Then menu quickly shows they cover all the basics of Mexican food. You can get tacos, burritos, enchiladas, nachos, quesadillas, a “baja bowl”, and of course a salad. On/in these things are your choice of a variety of meats that include their “sweet pork” and their green chili pork (which isn’t shown on the menu). I went with a nacho bowl and the “sweet pork” as my meat. Wh at can I say other than it was delicious. The meat quality and flavor are both through the roof. You can get all the fixings you could possibly want with it. I kept it pretty simple with just some beans and 2 types of cheese (shredded and of course some queso dip).
In general, the place gives you a ton of options, yet keeps things simple. The food quality is excellent as far as I can tell and they love to give out samples to help you make your decision. My 3 year old daughter said “I wanna eat all that” when I was showing her the pictures on the online menu, and I can’t say I disagree with her logic!