Food Critics

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On a beautiful summer night, stopping by a neighborhood pizzeria for a quick slice (or five) can really hit the spot.

With a handful of exciting new pizza places opening up, Charles Ferruzza and the food critics put out a call for the best pizza in the Kansas City area. 

KCUR's food critics recommend:

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Many people enjoy a glass of wine or a beer to loosen up, but sometimes those just don't quite do the trick. From Moscow Mules to Brandy Alexanders, a good cocktail can be a great companion to a nice meal or a casual social event.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best cocktails in Kansas City are.

Here are their picks for cocktails at restaurants and bars:

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It’s difficult to imagine a life without cheese.

We eat our cheese grilled, deep-fried, cubed, shredded, baked in pastry and whipped into a tiramisu. 

On Friday's Central Standard, the food critics explored the cheeses of the Kansas City region, from Asiago to Velveeta and everything in between.

Here are their recommendations:

Wikipedia -- CC

It may not be football season, but chicken wings are still a popular appetizer at many restaurants and bars.

The Central Standard Food critics stopped by KCUR to give us their Kansas City favorites from traditional Buffalo wings to exotic preparations.

Here are their recommendations:

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Merriam-Webster defines pastry as "sweet baked goods made of dough having a high fat content." The definition leaves out a few key words and phrases, like "delicious" and "tasting great with tea or coffee."

The Central Standard food critics swung by our studios to guide listeners on a quest for the most delectable pastries in Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

      

  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.

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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The science behind what makes spicy and hot foods hot we understand fairly well: the capsaicin in the seeds of the peppers tricks your brain into believing that your flesh is on fire. Why people have sought the sensation of burning may be harder to pin down, but undeniably the practice is present across the world. Hot peppers and spices can be found in almost every type of food in varying degrees.

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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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.

Food Critics: Chicken Or The Egg?

Jan 10, 2014
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

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.

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

Food Critics: African Cuisine

Sep 20, 2013
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.

Food Critics: Restaurant Trends

Sep 6, 2013
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?

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.

Delivery:

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.

Food Critics: Vegan & Vegetarian Food

Jul 12, 2013
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No eggs? No dairy? No meat? No problem!

Friday on Central Standard, food critics Charles Ferruzza, Chris Becicka, Mary Bloch, and Gloria Gale discussed the best vegan and vegetarian food in Cowtown.

Where are your favorite vegan/vegetarian restaurants? Let us know in the comments!

New and noteworthy

Food Critics: Korean Food

May 3, 2013

Korean Restaurants:

Recent Restaurants:

Korea has been top of mind lately as the threat of conflict has been rising, but on this Central Standard Friday the food critics take a look at another explosive element of this country's culture: its cuisine. From famous dishes like kimchi and Bibimbap, we look at what makes up Korean food, and where you can find it in Kansas City.

Our critics this week are Charles Feruzza, Grace Suh, Emily Farris, Chris Becicka and Gloria Gale.

In her book The Soul of Southern Cooking, Kathy Starr calls soul food "generous and earthy, like the people who created it. I'm not talking about small slivers of skinned chicken breasts surrounded by miniature carrots and radishes cut like roses. I'm talking about something to eat!" In Kansas City you'll never walk out hungry from one of this town's soul food restaurants or buffets. Classic southern cuisine like fried chicken, greens, macaroni and cheese, and peach cobbler are soul-soothing dishes. They may not be so good for your waistline, but they're nirvana for your spirit. Food Critic Charles Ferruzza, Emily Farris, Gloria Gale and Mary Bloch explore the best soul food of the city.

Food Critics: Best Meals Under $10

Oct 19, 2012
ny.eater.com

You're staring at an empty refrigerator realizing if you want to eat you're going to have to go out.  A quick check of the wallet shows it not much fuller than the fridge. So where can you find a decent meal for less than $10?

Food Critics: Eating Out In Lawrence

Sep 7, 2012
flickr / Kansas Poetry (Patrick)

Coming up on Central Standard Friday, host Charles Ferruzza and the Food Critics share their favorite spots in Lawrence. We're talking the best coffee shops, bars and even fine dining in that fun college town west of KC.

Food Critics: Sweet!

Aug 24, 2012
Angela C. Bond / The Pitch

Coming up on Central Standard Friday, host Charles Ferruzza and the Food Critics share their favorite spots for a sweet treat in town. From ice cream to macaroons to a slice of coconut cake – we’re coming by with the dessert tray.

Food Critics: Destination Dining

Jun 15, 2012
Willowtree2005 / flickr

Coming up on Central Standard Friday, host Charles Ferruzza and the Food Critics share their favorite spots outside the KC metro area for dining -- including Baldwin City, Leavenworth, Atchison, and Rocheport.

Food Critics: Party Of 10+

May 31, 2012
inju / flickr

Coming up on Central Standard Friday, host Charles Ferruzza and the Food Critics share their favorite places for taking a large group out to eat on a special occasion.

Food Critics: Dining Al Fresco

May 17, 2012

Coming up on Central Standard Friday, host Charles Ferruzza and the Food Critics share their favorite places for dining outdoors, including a patio in Parkville that feels like a tree house and a deck overlooking Lake Lotawana.

Food Critics: Takeout

Feb 24, 2012
pirate johnny / flickr

On some nights, there’s no greater luxury than ordering a meal to go. In this edition of the Walt Bodine Show, the Food Critics share their favorite take out spots – from Mediterranean kebabs, to Chinese noodles.

Food Critics: New Years Eve Dining

Dec 23, 2011
flickr/achernar

New Years Eve isn't just about the bubbly these days. This Friday morning, join co-host Charles Ferruzza, and the Food Critics for a conversation about great places to go out and celebrate the arrival of 2012 over a great meal.

Food Critics: Eating Well While Eating Out

Sep 30, 2011
SweetOnVeg / Flickr

Eating out is often an indulgence... but when we stretch our budgets, must we also stretch our waistlines? Join the conversation with Walt Bodine, co-host Charles Ferruzza, Chris Becicka of of Ingram's Magazine, Gloria Gale of 435 South, and Mary Bloch, of Around the Block, as we discuss making healthy choices without compromising the pleasure of eating out.

Food Critics: Desperation Foods

Aug 19, 2011
powerplantop / Flickr

What's the last thing you ate during your lowest moment? At an airport? A food court? What about that time you woke up hungry at 3am with only expired eggs in the fridge? Join Walt Bodine, co-host Charles Ferruzza, and the Food Critics Chris Becicka of Ingram's Magazine and Gloria Gale of 435 South Magazine  for a look at what we eat when we're feeling desperate.

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