Central Standard Friday

Friday at 10 a.m.
Monroe Dodd, Charles Ferruzza & Russ Simmons

A weekly special series celebrating the food, movies and history in and around Kansas City.

Central Standard Friday is the continuation of the weekday program, Central Standard. On Fridays the show features regular segments on history, food and film.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Movie Critics: Hollywood Embraces Religious Films

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier"
Credit THEGALATF / deviantART/CC Google Images

The movie critics are here to discuss new releases. The critics tell us which movies to see and which ones to skip. Later in the show, host Russ Simmons explores the faith-based film phenomenon. 

Released April 4:

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12:20 pm
Fri April 4, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Fish In Kansas City

Our food critics recommend the best fish entrees on Kansas City menus, spring 2014.


  It's Lent, and whether you observe the Catholic fast or not, it's a great excuse to eat fish.

Kansas City restaurants offer plentiful selections of the under-water variety. On today's Central Standard the food critics recommend their favorite fish entrees in town.

Will Monsieur and Madame be having osteichthyes? Yes, please. Leave the frozen fish sticks at home.

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Food & Drink
3:01 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Food Critics: Best Noodles In Kansas City

Our food critics tapped Asian noodle dishes at Lulus Thai Noodle Shop, Vietnam Cafe, Thai Place and other spots in Kansas City.
Credit Chung Chu / Flickr -- Creative Commons

There is one ingredient that you'll find in almost every culture and has been around for almost 4,000 years: noodles.

On Friday's edition of Central Standard, food critics Charles Ferruzza, Gloria Gail, Chris Becicka and Emily Farris dished on the best spots in and around Kansas City for noodles of all shapes and sizes. 

The Critics' Picks: Noodles

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Central Standard
4:01 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Seven Life-Changing Inventions Created In Kansas City

An example of a Strowger-type selector assembly from the collection of the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris

Kansas  City is the birthplace of many inventions that have changed the way we perform everyday tasks. For example, your neck might be a lot hairier if it weren't for Samuel Coffman, who invented the electric clippers. 

Today on the KCUR program Central Standard, we discussed just a few of the most prominent products, icons and improvements invented here. Check out this list of seven life-changing inventions, born right here in KC:

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Food Critics: Best Sausage In And Around Kansas City

Credit DanPeters / Flickr -- Creative Commons

On Friday's edition of Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and Food Critics Mary Bloch, Chris Becicka and Emily Farris discuss some of Kansas City's newest restaurants. And then the food critics locate the best places for sausage in and around Kansas City, with the help of listeners. From kielbasa to bratwurst to chorizo, Kansas City has it covered.

The Critics' Picks: Sausage

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Central Standard
3:18 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

Movie Critics: What Makes A 'Cult' Film?

Credit Edward D. Wood, Jr. / Wikimedia Commons - CC

From The Rocky Horror Picture Show to Monty Python and the Holy Grail to Eraserhead​, cult films seem to last forever.

But, what exactly is a cult film and what keeps them going? Which ones deserve to live in our memories and up on the big screen?

On Friday's Central Standard, Russ Simmons is joined by fellow movie critics, Thom Poe and Loey Lockerby to discuss what it takes to become a cult film and chat about the local venues that screen them.

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Central Standard
1:51 pm
Fri January 24, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Happy Hour In Kansas City

Credit Bob B. Brown / Flickr - CC

In Kansas City's days of old, enterprising bar owners would offer free food to workers heading home and craving a beer or whiskey. This food was usually very salty, encouraging the patrons to drink even more.

The term “happy hour” didn’t exist at this time, but a mix of food and drink has always been an intoxicating lure that nearly every restaurant offers.

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Emily Farris, Mary Bloch, and Gloria Gale discuss the best happy hours in and around Kansas City.

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Central Standard
1:32 pm
Fri January 17, 2014

4 Things To Know About North Kansas City

In 1869, North Kansas City didn't exist. It was all rural farmland north of the Missouri River. The one bridge in the scene is the Hannibal Bridge but was only accessible by freight cars.
Credit A. Ruger Merchant Liths. Co. / Madison, Wis., Ruger & Stoner - Wikimeida Commons

There’s a community of more than 4,000 people that sits barely two miles away from Kansas City’s Downtown. It has its own mayor and city agencies and a major hospital, and it’s more than a century old. We're talking about North Kansas City, all 4.4 square miles of it.

On Friday's Central Standard, Monroe Dodd chats with two longtime residents of the city about the history of this town-within-a-town.

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Central Standard
1:40 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Food Critics: Chicken Or The Egg?

From listener response, it seems the Kansas City metro is much more interested in the chicken than the egg.
Credit avrene / Flickr--Creative Commons

You’ve heard the question a million times: What came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is complicated when you pose it to Kansas City diners who might choose fried chicken over an omelet or eggs benedict over chicken noodle soup.

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics, Gloria Gale, Chris Becicka, and Emily Farris consider the possibilities that both the chicken and the egg bring to restaurant menus, from fried livers to egg soufflé – and everything in between. 

Best Egg Dishes:

Eggs Benedict

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Central Standard
11:26 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Movie Critics: The Best (And Worst) Movies Of 2013

Gravity made many of our movie critics' top film lists this year.
Credit Warner Bros. Pictures / IMP Awards

This was another record-breaking year at the box office for the film industry and on Friday's Central Standard, the movie critics gather 'round to share what they felt were the best (and worst) movies of 2013.

The Top Five Films of the Year:  

John Tibbetts:

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Central Standard
1:11 pm
Fri December 27, 2013

Food Critics: The 15 Best Dishes In Kansas City In 2013

The fried chicken from Rye makes the KCUR food critic's list of top dishes in the Kansas City area in 2013.

As 2013 comes to a close, we raise a glass to Kansas City's dearly departed, and appreciate the best that came to be.

On Friday's Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza is joined  by fellow food critics Emily Farris, Mary Bloch, and Chris Becicka to discuss their favorite meals and restaurants of 2013. They also chat about Kansas City's dearly departed restaurants that left us throughout the year. 

The Food Critics' Favorite Dishes of 2013

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Central Standard
11:58 am
Fri December 20, 2013

Examining The Legacy Of Boxer Jack Johnson

Boxer Jack Johnson
Credit Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

Jack Johnson's first brush with Kansas City was traveling through  the city on a freight train heading to Chicago. Shortly there after, he would become a world famous boxer.

His return to the Kansas City area was much more negative. He was imprisoned in Leavenworth, Kan., for violating the Mann Act, due to his relationship with Belle Schreiber, a white women and alleged prostitute. Author Phil Dixon joins Central Standard exploring Jack Johnson's legacy.


  • Phil Dixon, author and historian
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Central Standard
12:42 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Food Critics: Best Steak In Kansas City

Credit dirtsailor2003 / Flickr - CC

Since the cattle rustling days of yore, steak has always been an important part of the culinary traditions of Kansas City. We even have a baseball team named The T-Bones. Whether it’s top sirloin, filet mignon, or a big bone-in ribeye, premium cuts matter a lot to this city. With so many varieties and types and restaurants to choose from, where should you go when you want both the sizzle and the steak?

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Central Standard
10:43 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Movie Critics: What You Should See Right Now

Actor Jennifer Lawrence has found big success with the Hunger Games film franchise.
Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

The Thanksgiving movie releases have provided us with a cornucopia of cinematic offerings to choose from. Do we have a lot to be thankful for or have we been served up a batch of celluloid turkeys?

On Friday's Central Standard, Russ Simmons and fellow movie critics, Marie Asner and Tom Poe, check out the current crop from Hollywood and abroad and let you know what's worth your time and money.

They'll also take a look at what’s right for the family audience and what fare is for adults only.

Movie Reviews (Out of 5 Stars)

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Central Standard Friday
12:22 pm
Fri November 29, 2013

Food Critics: Look To The Sides

Credit vxla / Flickr--Creative Commons

Many restaurants in Kansas City have signature dishes. Stroud’s is known for its fried chicken, Jess and Jim’s is famous for its steaks. But what about the dishes that complement the main course?

Some restaurants do wonders with the lesser-known side dishes: potatoes, vegetables, greens and rice. In fact, a well executed side dish can draw your attention to the entrée—complementing or contrasting the texture, sweetness or bitterness of other servings. 

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Central Standard
1:16 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

Legends And Myths Of Kansas City

Did "Boss" Tom Pendergast bury his political enemies underneath Brush Creek concrete? Are there bullet holes still in Union Station from the Union Station Massacre? Is there any fact behind these fictions?

On Friday's Central Standard, host Monroe Dodd discusses some oft-told tales of Kansas City and determines whether any of them actually hold any water. 


  • Dave Boutros, Assistant Director of the State Historical Society of Missouri Research Center
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Central Standard
10:40 am
Fri November 22, 2013

The History Of The Kansas City Streetcar

Credit ChrisM70 / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Kansas City, Mo., is well on its way to building a downtown streetcar line. In the works is a two-mile project from River Market to Union Station, and it's likely there will be more miles of track extending further into the city.

Kansas City once had more than 300 miles of streetcar track, one of the largest systems in America, but the city tore up the tracks or, in some cases, paved over it.

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Central Standard Friday
10:00 am
Fri November 15, 2013

Food Critics: The Post-Thanksgiving Detox

Credit Gabriel Saldana / Flickr - CC

The great thing about the Thanksgiving feast is that the table is groaning with wonderful comfort foods and lots and lots of leftovers.

The less appealing thing about Thanksgiving is that 48 hours after the holiday, you’re sick of cold turkey sandwiches and re-heated mashed potatoes and you’re ready for something else to eat. 

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics, Emily Farris, Mary Bloch and Chris Becicka shared ideas for a post-holiday culinary detox, and took calls with listener suggestions. Below are their suggestions.

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Central Standard Friday
2:24 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Food Critics: The Best Soup In Kansas City

This is some delicious-looking pho from Pho Hoa in Kansas City, MO.
Credit Charles Haynes / Flickr - CC

A rich, flavorful broth with hardy vegetables can go a long way to raising your spirits. And a hearty soup like a stew or a bowl of Vietnamese pho can actually serve as a meal. In the Depression, home cooks discovered starting a meal with soup took the edge off of hunger so they could serve a more modest entrée. But no matter how you serve soup, it ranks as one of the best dishes ever for surviving cold weather, providing comfortable relief for the common cold, and eating your vegetables.

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2:41 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

The Celebrities Buried In Kansas City Cemeteries

The tombstone of Charlie "Bird" Parker buried in Lincoln Cemetery.
Credit CoolValley / Flickr - CC

Do the ghosts of Jesse James, Cole Younger, and Annie Chambers still haunt us? What about the apparitions of Carrie Nation and Tom Pendergast?

These folks all have one thing in common — they're all buried right here in Kansas City. So, for a brief moment, let's resurrect these long-slumbering souls and explore the fascinating lives of some of Kansas City's famous dead:

Goodman Ace (1899-1982) and Jane Ace (1900-1974)

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Central Standard Friday
9:30 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Food Critics: Diabetic Dining

Don't be fooled! These aren't french fries, but fresh and healthy beans everyone can enjoy.
Credit cookbookman17 / Flickr - CC

Most of us are very lucky. When we go out to eat, we usually don’t worry about dietary restrictions or fret over missing the delicious food we'd like to eat.

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Central Standard Friday
9:55 am
Fri October 11, 2013

Movie Critics: The Changing Fall Movie Season

Credit Travis / Wikimedia Commons - CC

The fall movie season is upon us, which means more movies aimed at adult audiences and those held back for awards consideration. That's great news for movie buffs, but is it great news for the theater operators. Will these movies be good enough to draw audiences like the Summer blockbusters?

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Central Standard Friday
9:44 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Food Critics: The Best Restaurants in Lawrence, Kan.

Mass. Avenue in Lawrence, Kansas, home to a number of Lawrence's restaurants.
Credit Franklin B Thompson / Flickr -- Creative Commons

Lawrence, Kan. is probably best-known to most of us as the home of the University of Kansas, but the beloved college town has also become a dining destination for Kansas City diners. Just 45 minutes outside of the heart of Kansas City, Lawrence boasts one of the best bakeries in the Midwest and at least a half dozen truly excellent restaurants. Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Mary Bloch, Emily Farris, and Sara Shepherd  give you a crash course in Lawrence dining. Notebooks ready? 

New and Notable

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Central Standard Friday
10:14 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Food Critics: African Cuisine

Credit Wikimedia Commons - CC

Over a decade ago, the National Restaurant Association issued a report stating that Italian, Mexican and Chinese cuisines had become so popular, they had moved beyond the ethnic food category and into the mainstream. But less familiar culinary traditions are making an increasingly greater impact on how we eat in America. In Kansas City, for example, there are more opportunities to sample the cuisine of the African continent than ever before, and that's just what Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Mary Bloch, Chris Becicka, and Emily Farris will do.

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Central Standard Friday
9:37 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Movie Critics: What To Watch In Autumn

Credit JT / Creative Commons

The fall movie season is almost upon us and with it comes more adult fare--even a few fine films that are generating some Oscar buzz.  Plus they also chat about the Kansas International Film Festival and the unique offerings it brings.

Today on Central Standard, Russ Simmons and the movie critics review flicks currently showing. They also walk us through the surprises, the usual suspects, and the instant classics opening up during awards season. We also want to hear your opinion on the matter!

REVIEWS (Out of 5 Stars)

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Central Standard Friday
9:22 am
Fri September 6, 2013

Food Critics: Restaurant Trends

Credit Pace J Miller / Creative Commons

When you dine out you may have noticed that certain trends have been popping up lately. We're seeing noisier dining rooms, smaller portions, and desserts almost as expensive as the entrees. And whatever happened to salad bars, anyway?

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Central Standard Friday
5:21 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Pioneers' Hardship In Eastern Kansas

Credit R-Cleland / Flickr - CC

Traveling to a new land, a place one has never been before can be nerve-wracking. More so when that land is uninhabited, undiscovered, and there is no support system other than your family and those traveling with you. In the case of settlers moving west, sometimes the only place for them to express themselves--their thoughts, their emotions--was their journals.

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Central Standard Friday
9:38 am
Fri August 23, 2013

Food Critics: The Best Take-Out And Delivery

Credit AMERICANVIRUS / Flickr -- Creative Commons

You get home, you're dog tired, and the thought of looking for ingredients, digging through your fridge and combining them into a meal is just too much to bare. So you pick up a phone, but who you gonna call?

Charles Ferruzza and the food critics search for the best places that will deliver their meals right to your doorstep or allow you to simply take them directly from their kitchen.


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Central Standard Friday
4:00 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Food Critics: Eating In The Suburbs

This is inside a Liberty, MO McDonald's.
Credit Patrick Hoesly / Flikr - CC

For many years, Kansas City’s primary restaurant spots were downtown and the Country Club Plaza. But times have changed. And over the last 30 years, the destinations for good eating have expanded to include most of the outlying suburban cities – from Prairie Village to Lee’s Summit and Liberty to Martin City. Kansas City diners can hop in the car and travel anywhere in the metro to find unexpected culinary treasures.

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Central Standard
9:20 am
Fri August 2, 2013

Five Stories Behind KC Neighborhoods And Parks

Loose Park in the summer.
Credit maltoodle / Flickr

Ever wonder how neighborhoods and parks around the city got their names? Host Monroe Dodd was back during Friday's show with a panel of guests to tell the stories behind the names of public spaces and communities in Kansas City.

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