The trip into Kansas City went eazy-breezy-mizzou-peezy. Nearly w/out incident sans the brown bile that I was told was coffee and the tan-toothed woman who suggested so, who also told me how much she liked my car — seemingly with the underlying suggestion I throw her in the back and rescue her from her roadside rest stop reformatory. Cheap shots aside she was very nice as I’ve come to find many midwesterners so far. Also I passed a fireworks superstore called 'Pyro City'. Yes. Perhaps they have sister locations called 'Finger Destroyer'.
The city greeted me with the roaring screams of fighters on maneuvers from nearby Whiteman AFB. Quickly found myself at probably the most hipster coffee shop in Kansas City if not the world. And coming from Williamsburg this speaks volumes. Am on the hunt for accommodations, BBQ & jazz & the brew is delicious.
Checked into the Hotel Phillips for the special rate of $98 (including valet) under the Hot Country Nights package, GIDDY UP! This 84yo Art Deco beauty once housed a haberdashery run by Harry S. Truman. Now housing and unemployed graphic designer dashing responsibility running to the West Coast.
I hit the famous Jack Stack’s BBQ (via Baltimore Ave.) which I could literally smell a block 1/2 away. It was large signaling it was no longer a BBQ joint but an institution. It was darker than most clubs/bars in NYC which was odd and why I didn't take any pics of it or the food. The service was exceptional and while the meat was tasty wasn’t overwhelmed by the boasted greatness. Also there was neither collards, spinach (which understand isn’t customary in the SE) or cornbread. I did the ribs (Stacks goes sauce vs. dry), beef tips and chicken. Overall the sauce was unremarkable. Pork ribs were good not great; not falling off the bone. This may be a regional thing or a symptom of their having grown to 5 locations. Tips were the tastiest of the 3 and along with the [dark meat] chicken did occasionally dip into my beans. The chicken was nice in that it did have noticeable smoke but again the sauce was lacking.
I walked a couple miles back through downtown (Crossroads, Power & Light District & River Market) to the Missouri River and made it for sunset which was quite beautiful. It’s a very approachable and easily walkable city in a way that St. Louis absolutely wasn’t. Then back tracked a different route down to Flying Saucer bar where outside was ‘Kansas City Nights’. A rocking country summer fest which seems pretty popular. Could tell on my walk down to and from dinner people were walking from all over for the show. At 8:30 Flying Saucer seemed to have begun emptying out of Happy Hour and/or concert goers. Great variety of all sorts of malted magnificence and hopped happiness. I [of course] had a ‘Hang ‘Em High’ by Torn Label Brewing from Missouri. I mean c’mon Hang ‘Em High. Fan-freaking-tastic movie. It was yummy. Again like St. Louis when the Royals are on, that is what is on TV. Sensing swelling in my feet from having spent the afternoon beating downtown with my boots [roughly 4 hilly miles) decided to pack it in. While in a very short time came to respect what was going on here in a way I wouldn’t have otherwise need to keep moving. And while there some pretty good stuff going on here where it wasn’t in St. Louis and would love to spend another day the closer I get to the west coast the more I feel compelled to keep going.
As both of my friends and their families won’t be in Denver (and it’s freaking expensive) think I’ll make it a pit stop. Making up a day so that I can [hopefully] spend a full day [2 nights] in Yellowstone. 8 hours+ to Denver/Boulder.
248 miles driven, 4 miles[ish] walked
3 pork ribs, 1 thigh, 1 serving of beef tips
2 local beers
2nd Baltimore Ave trekked in 2 days
1 dinner recommendation for Boulder
1 sweet deal on a hotel
1 brief survey of seemingly a pretty cool little city