Kansas City’s a nice place with some nice folk and some very cool things to do. But, it is also a city with an identity crisis and an inferiority complex–not a great combo. Things are getting better: Sprint Center finished this year, KC LIVE entertainment district finished early next, population of downtown growing every year. Still, we can’t help but shoot ourselves in the foot when things start looking too bright: a no-vote on downtown baseball, complete bungling of light-rail and public transport, the wooing of the NFL to put a Super Bowl at Arrowhead (that would be a public relations nightmare for the city that we could never outlive) if we put a potato chip lid on it. All in all, though, I like KC and I’ll probably always have family or property or something there.
That’s why it’s nice to see KC and Kansas Citians get noticed every once in a while. Now, if we can only parlay that recognition into feeling good about ourselves on a daily basis. The USA Today (that’s right, the colorful bastion of everthing blurb-y and veneer-like in the news) did a little story on places to eat and drink when travelling and not one, but two KC places were mentioned.
Blue Bird Bistro was mentioned as a place to eat healthy (who’s going to do that???) on the road. I must agree whole-heartedly with this choice. When not on the road, I live less than a mile from Blue Bird and it is tasty. It has evolved from a vegetarian spot to a nice, organic full menu bistro. I’m glad they’ve hung on through the years. They came to the neighborhood when few others were. Now that downtown is starting to boom again, hopefully Blue Bird Bistro will be rewarded. They are located just off the Crossroads Art District on the south downtown loop. You can visit and then walk to a good many galleries, bars, theatres, the convention center, and in 2009 the brand new KC Performing Arts Center.
Lidia’s was also mentioned in the food section of the same issue. Located in the Freighthouse District just on the otherside of the Crossroads from Blue Bird, this is my favorite Italian restaurant in Kansas City. Lidia Bastianich of Becco fame chose KC for her first non-New York restaurant and I’m happy she did.
Also getting a mention was the Kansas City Festival of Wine and Food. Now, I have never been to this event (shocking, I know), but I have been to a great many such events in KC and can’t imagine that this one would be bad. Kansas City is a pretty good restaurant town and a great wine town. So, check out this festival if you can–I will this year–from August 26-28.