May 292007
 

Summer time is here, and so is people’s seemingly undying lust for outdoor seating. Enter Harry’s Country Club, an apparently beloved River Market area institution that features a large patio in addition to a decent sized dining/bar area. Because of this I was happy to see that Harry’s is indeed open for lunch. I’m not sure that this has always been the case, since I have a vague memory of standing outside looking forlorn last summer. But that happens a lot, and could have been elsewhere.

Anyway, the menu at Harry’s features all sorts of glorified bar food, and pretty darn good food at that. Really my only complaint is that there is virtually nothing healthy on the menu, except for salads. Let’s see Reuben, Burgers, Fish & chips, Fried Bologna, Patty Melt, Nachos–you see what I mean. That being said, you should just suck it up and get the glorious Reuben, because they do justice to this classic sandwich like few other establishments, in KC or anywhere. I’ve eaten a hell of a lot of Reubens (and have the LDL to prove it), and this, while not implemented in the uber-traditional fashion, is very taste-a-riffic. Their menu is online at http://www.kansascitymenus.com/harryscountryclub/menu.pdf

Harry’s does a nice lunch trade too, though most people, as expected, clamor for the outdoor seating. This is only problematic on sunny days, since there are far fewer umbrellas than tables. You can’t always count on being in the shade, which is pretty important for the fair skinned, the bald, and the generally weak-natured. The patio manages to be a nice place to eat, for it could easily feel like you’re eating in a parking lot. Or a monkey cage.

The food will take a bit longer than a 1/2 hour lunch break allows for so keep that in mind–or at least prepare a decent excuse for your lateness before you leave. Prices are about what you would expect from a place like this: A drink and a sandwich will set you back about $10-12 with tip. For the wildly irresponsible among us, Harry’s also offers a full bar and permits smoking. But even inside the place never struck me as particularly smoky during the lunch hour.

And best of all, Baby Cakes is right next door so after lunch you can grab some dessert to enjoy on the walk back to work.

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Winslow’s BBQ: City Market

 Posted by at 10:38 pm
May 252007
 

Imagine my surprise when I discovered this place was actually good. See, that’s the nice thing about KC, a place like the City Market can have some crusty gems, even though it’s basically a tourist trap. No, not the best bbq is the city, but a hell of a lot better than you would expect. Winslows offers a nice selection of the usual fare, chicken, ribs, and sandwiches of the usual varieties. The have a number of good sides as well. Their sauce is pretty boring, sweetish and thick, quite unlike the incredibly outrageous, overly spiced and utterly delicious Arthur Bryant’s classic sauce or the balanced smokiness of Gates’ noble condiment. But they do a nice job on sandwiches at least, and they also offer them in large, medium and smalls.

Typical of bbq, the prices are higher than average grab and go lunch fare, but right in line with every other place in town. They also have a moderately seedy bar on one side where you can order a cold pale ale with your beef sandwich, an absolute necessity, particularly when a weekly staff meeting awaits your return to work.

Most people know Winslow’s as the place with all the outdoor seating. This is a really nice feature in the summer of course. Those of us consigned to cubicles in windowless nether regions of office buildings definitely need a daily injection of vitamin D whenever we can get it.

This place isn;t crowded at lunch time either, which is starting to become a theme for City market establishments. They must make all their money on Saturdays. It also raises the appeal quite a bit for me, because I don;t like people very much. Especially not when they are waiting in front of me taking a long time to order a freakin sandwich.

I’m also finding that the quickest way to eat lunch out is to go to a place with counter service, not waitstaff. When i am late getting back, it is without fail because I was waiting for some clueless server to bring my check, rather than waiting in line or actually waiting for my food.

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