Brookside

Pauline Mak / Flickr -- CC

What’s the mark of a good bakery?

“You can taste when butter is used,” Food Critic Carlton Logan told host Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard. “You can tell when real ingredients are used. It has a very different taste compared to something you get in a supermarket.”

Logan, along with critics Charles Ferruzza and Jenny Vergara, searched out the best bakeries — and best baked goods — in and around Kansas City this year.

Here are their recommendations:

In food circles, there have been a lot of questions about the idea of authenticity and appropriation. We explore the intersection of food, race and culture.

Guests:

Stacy Spensley / Flickr -- CC

Once, our idea of healthy eating revolved around the salad bowl.

But we’ve discovered that some salads can be deceptively unhealthy … and that there are other satisfying options on local menus.

On Friday’s Central Standard, KCUR's Food Critics explored what “healthy eating” really means.

“I believe there are so many personal definitions of what ‘healthy’ is,” Lisa Murphy told host Gina Kaufmann. “Every individual has to make their own choice and have their own personal philosophy.”

Karen Neoh / Flickr -- CC

There’s a lot that can go between two slices of bread.

Portable and fuss-free — no need for utensils — sandwiches are perfect for work lunches or picnics.

stu_spivack / Flickr -- CC

It’s hard to go wrong with fries.

They come in all sorts of shapes and textures, and they’re a great vehicle for dipping sauces, seasonings or even gravy.

Whether you prefer thin and crispy, thick and pillowy-soft inside — or waffle-shaped, crinkle-cut or curly — on Friday's Central Standard, KCUR’s Food Critics searched out the best fries in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Erin / Flickr -- CC

Brunch can take on many different forms.

There’s the all-you-can-eat buffet, complete with waffle and omelet stations.

And don’t forget the boozy brunch — quite possibly the only time of the week where one could have a drink in the morning without feeling too guilty.

On Friday's Central Standard, KCUR's Food Critics took their annual look at the best brunch dishes in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Chicken isn't the most exciting protein.

“It’s like the vodka of the food world,” Food Critic Jenny Vergara told guest host Brian Ellison on KCUR's Central Standard. “It takes on the flavor of whatever you put in it or put with it.”

But that’s the beauty of chicken — and why it’s a beloved staple in many cultures. Whether you like it fried, roasted or grilled, in strips or shredded (and, for the kids, in nugget form), you can find chicken at all price points.

In the 1990s, fiddler Dennis Stroughmatt was a student at Southwest Missouri State University when a folklore professor made a passing reference to a little-known dialect of French spoken nearby. An encore presentation of his journey to find out if anyone still spoke Missouri French.

Then, a KU professor on the connection between blues and funk, and Question Quest has the final installment of the mysterious bird lady statue on the Trolley Trail.

Suzanne and Cody return with a follow-up episode to the "bird lady" statue in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood. And this time, they've got all the answers.

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Forget the sad desk lunch. The lunch break is a time to get out and explore new restaurants.

Whether you’re looking for something fast and affordable or luxurious — or something to grab and take to a nearby park (hi, spring!) — KCUR’s Food Critics search out the best lunch spots in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Bonjwing Lee, The Ulterior Epicure:

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Last year, KCUR's Question Quest started looking into a strange statue in Kansas City's Brookside neighborhood. And things have gotten a little weird in the months since then.

We recently got a dossier from a mysterious figure who claimed to know about the statue's avian origins, and now there's a ring of new additions surrounding it. 

Lara604 / Flickr -- CC

Many Kansas Citians are familiar with hummus by now. Available at Costco and other area grocery stores, this chickpea puree has become as ubiquitous as guacamole.

But what are some other Middle Eastern dishes that are on local menus?

Laura Spencer / KCUR 89.3

Co-working is a growing trend for freelancers, small businesses, and startups. It provides a place to work, interact with others and share expenses. But artists, and makers of all kinds, often have specialized needs, when it comes to light, space, or tools. 

David Jones / Flickr -- CC

Before you pack away your Chiefs gear: A look back at the history of the team and how they helped shape KC.

Plus, Question Quest discovers why people keep leaving little bird figurines around a statue in Brookside.

Guests:

  • Monroe Dodd, KCUR's resident historian
  • Joel Thorman, Editor, Arrowhead Pride

Flannery Cashill

Many people pass by the unmarked statue of a woman at 52nd Street and Brookside Boulevard, every day perhaps without ever noticing the bird shenanigans taking place.

Around the base of the statue, which sits just off to the side of the popular Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail, there is a collection of small gifted birds. And the way that the statue is decorated with these birds seems to mysteriously change over time.

The Rieger / Facebook

When it’s cold out, a big, hearty bowl of pasta really hits the spot.

Whether it’s a creamy mac and cheese or something a little more sophisticated (squid-ink noodles, anyone?), KCUR’s Food Critics search out the best pasta dishes in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Mary Bloch, Around the Block:

Steven Depolo / Flickr -- CC

Why is comfort food so … well … comforting?

“Carbohydrates,” said KCUR Food Critic Charles Ferruzza.

“I think comfort food is heavy, filling, fattening food that you know you probably shouldn’t be eating,” he told host Gina Kaufmann on Central Standard. “But if you’re sick or depressed or cold, it really hits the spot.”

For Food Critic Carmen Gramajo, though, it’s also the memories associated with those dishes.

Cody Newill / KCUR 89.3

Supporters of a $227 million plan to expand Kansas City’s streetcar system south to UMKC got their day in court Thursday – as did opponents.

“Putting down rails is something you do to invest for the century,” says Midtown resident Ryan Mott, adding that two blighted homes in his neighborhood have sold amid speculation that the streetcar is headed their way.

Gib Kerr, a commercial real estate broker at Cushman & Wakefield, says he’s spent most of the last 20 years watching companies leave downtown.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

A proposed $227 million extension of Kansas City’s streetcar line could add nearly four miles to the current route.

The Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance – a citizens’ group not affiliated with the city or the KC Streetcar Authority – filed a petition in Jackson County Court Wednesday to fund an expansion of the current line with a new taxing district along Main Street.

“You think about the shops we have here,” UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton said Thursday morning outside the Colonial Shops on 51st Street. “You think about the Plaza. You think about the Nelson art gallery.”

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

It’s graduation season for many area high schools. And for one Kansas City public high school, this year’s graduation was the last.

The Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS) announced in late February that Southwest Early College Campus (SWECC) would be shutting down after the last day of classes on May 17. 

file photo

The “East Brookside” redevelopment plan is rolling forward.

The Kansas City Council Planning Zoning and Economic Development Corporation approved basic redevelopment plans for the area along 63rd Street from Oak to Troost Avenue on Wednesday. 

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

How long can you let your lawn grow before the city gets involved?

In Overland Park, Kansas, that number is 8 inches, according to Kim Hendershot, supervisor of code compliance for the city. In Parkville, Missouri, you can let it grow a whole foot. 

Eleanor Klibanoff / KCUR

It's no longer enough for restaurants to offer roasted chicken or braised beef shank on their menus.

They need to be able to tell customers exactly where that chicken came from and how the cow was raised. If they can remember the pedigree of the produce? All the better. 

But serving locally sourced food is a challenge for chefs, and the farmer-foodie connections aren’t always easy to come by.  

Two Are Charged In Murder Of UMKC Student

Mar 27, 2013

A bond of half a million dollars is holding each of two men charged today in the murder of a University of Missouri-Kansas City  student at a near-campus house just south of  Country Club Plaza. 

Allegations point to a robbery gone awry.

20-year-old Alonzo Ruff and 21-year-old Anthony Williams were looking for a place to rob March 21st, according to court documents. 

They allegedly picked the house near 49th and Brookside Boulevard because one of the men charged had once smoked marijuana there.

photos: Laura Spencer/KCUR

Stainless steel is an elegant medium. It's an alloy of metals, including chromium and nickel. A local master of the material says he's hanging up his hat, at least for now.

Kansas City, MO – Stainless steel is an elegant medium. It's an alloy of metals, including chromium and nickel. A local master of the material says he's hanging up his hat, at least for now.

Arrests Lead To Charges In Brookside Attack

Jun 2, 2010

Kansas City, Mo. – Convenience store surveillance video led to an arrest, and now charges have been filed against two Kansas City men in a particularly brutal beating in Brookside.

The Jackson County Prosecutor lays charges that 23-year-old Andre Valentine and 20-year-old Durrell White beat, robbed, then further savaged a man and woman in a parking lot Friday near 62nd Terrace west of Main.