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Central Standard
4:18 pm
Fri February 27, 2015

For Kansas City Coffee Shop, Ambiance Is In The Details

Thou Mayest coffee in the east Crossroads district of Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Daniel Boothe / KCUR

The first thing you notice when you walk into Thou Mayest in the east Crossroads district of Kansas City, Mo., is the eclectic décor. It’s got cozy corners with funky furniture. Exposed brick and recycled wooden tables. Fishing poles and Boy Scout badges from the 1950s. You feel like you are in a high-end flea market, inside a cabin in the woods, located in a bustling downtown neighborhood.

The whole place is one gigantic conversation starter. With coffee.

Humble beginnings and a chance meeting

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Central Standard
12:55 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Westport: A Neighborhood At A Crossroads

Westport is home to a handful of iconic businesses, like Kelly's. This building at Westport Road and Pennsylvania has been home to a bar/saloon since 1934.
Credit Americasroof / Wikipedia

Westport has always been at a crossroads. So says urban design specialist Daniel Serda, noting that the historic neighborhood has been changing since its beginnings. But news of three chain restaurants entering the neighborhood where prime parking spots now stand has sparked a heated response, not just from Westport residents and business owners, but people throughout Kansas City who are passionate about the entertainment district.

Guests:

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Government
8:38 am
Tue February 24, 2015

Kansas House To Consider Bill That Would Expand Alcohol Sales

A Kansas House committee has approved legislation that would let convenience stores sell full-strength beer and allow grocery stores to sell beer, wine and liquor. The proposed changes, which would take effect in 2018.

Republican Rep. Scott Schwab says this change will be convenient for Kansas consumers. He says in his family, his wife doesn’t want to go to a liquor store while out shopping.

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Food Critics
12:43 pm
Fri February 20, 2015

Food Critics: The Best Restaurant Ambiance In Kansas City

Even the old-timey advertisement on the side of The Rieger Hotel Grill adds to the ambiance of the restaurant.
Credit Wiki

When you walk into a restaurant, there is a certain je ne sais quoi that can make or break the experience.

Of course the food is of paramount importance, but poor lighting, decor and authenticity can make even an exquisite plate of duck confit look like a soggy KFC drumstick.

Luckily, our Food Critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Jill Wenholt Silva know a thing or two about restaurant ambiance. Here are their picks for standout restaurants with great ambiance:

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Central Standard
11:14 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Food Critics: Best Spicy (And Spiced) Foods In Kansas City

Thai Place in the Kansas City, Mo., neighborhood of Westport has some pretty spicy food and a spicy challenge called demon gapow (pictured).
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Oh the heat. Sometimes it hurts so good — too much can make it hurt so bad.

If you like the pain, there are a handful of restaurants across the metro that invite you to test your limits. For the rest of you spice lovers, there are even more places that try to strike a tolerable, yet delicious balance both in heat and flavor.

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Central Standard
11:09 am
Fri February 6, 2015

Spice Challenges: Four Places To Burn Your Taste Buds Off In Kansas City

Two spoonfuls of this house-made dried chili packs the punch in the Thai Place's Demon Gapow.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

1. Thai Place in Westport, Kansas City, Mo.: The "Demon Gapow" is made with 10 habanero peppers, 25 thai chili peppers, 10 fresh jalapeno peppers, 10 serrano peppers, and two large tablespoons of house-made dried chili.

Patrons must eat the entire plate in 30 minutes, and they get it for free, plus a t-shirt, a $50 gift certificate and a photo on the restaurant's "Wall of Fame." (Note: the Thai Place Hot Challenge has taken a winter hiatus and will return in the spring)

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Central Standard
9:34 am
Fri February 6, 2015

WATCH: Central Standard Takes A Spicy Food Challenge

Lots of spices and peppers make the Thai Place challenge impossible (at least for the Central Standard staffers that tried it).
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross

Featured: Central Standard intern Patrick Quick and Central Standard food critic Emily Farris.

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Central Standard
1:24 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Burgers Of All Kinds, And A Check-In On The Beef Industry

At Alex Pope's Pigwich, burgers come with butter, a chip in the middle and some other distinguishing touches.
Credit Patrick Quick / KCUR

In a city known as a cowtown, what are the tastiest burgers around? Enjoy debates about cheese on a burger, house-made ketchup, bun preferences and what to order on the side (hint: it's hard to argue with french fries). We take a trip to an East Bottoms food truck to meet a new burger on the block. Plus, our friends at Harvest Public Media tell us what going on in the industry that brings us burgers: the beef industry.

Guests:

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Central Standard
1:32 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Did Someone Say Beer? 25 Years Of Craft Brewing In Kansas City

KC Ale Trail is a guide to the craft brewing industry in our region. Inspired by the 25-year milestone since Boulevard Brewing Company got its start, author Pete Dulin has expanded our palate by adding several smaller startup breweries to the local must-try list. Plus, a young beer-preneur shares his insights into what makes Kansas City's beer scene unique. 

Guests:

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Food Critics
5:08 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

Food Critics: The Best Dishes Of 2014

Pizzabella's Brussels sprouts were among our Food Critics' favorite dishes of 2014.
Credit Pizzabella / Facebook

From happy hour treats to sumptuous desserts, Central Standard's Food Critics covered a wide swath of Kansas City cuisine in 2014. And what better way to test their culinary knowledge than with a "Best-of" list?

Here are the Food Critics' choices for the best dishes of 2014 in Kansas City:

Mary Bloch:

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Harvest Public Media
8:00 am
Wed December 24, 2014

Harvest Public Media's Top Agriculture And Food Stories Of 2014

The Jamie L. Whitten Building in Washington, D.C., home to the United States Department of Agriculture.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Even the lunch ladies got political in 2014.

KCUR's Harvest Public Media was created four years ago to report on agriculture and food production in the geographic area where the majority of that takes place – the Midwest.

This year, my third of counting the top ag stories of the year, I find that the issues taking center stage were set not here, but in the politics, policies and processes of Washington D.C., state legislatures or the ballot box.

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Up to Date
9:57 am
Tue December 23, 2014

The Best Wines In Kansas And Missouri Of 2014

Grape orchards on the Les Bourgeois Vineyard have been in operation since 1986. It's located just off the Missouri River, midway between Kansas City and St. Louis.
Credit Courtesy photo / Les Bourgeois Vineyards

The holidays are a great time to buy local, especially when it comes to picking out a great bottle of wine.

In the past 20 years, Missouri’s wine industry has grown in size and sophistication, with more than 100 wineries throughout the state.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, master sommelier Doug Frost, of Kansas City, Mo., will talk about one of his favorite subjects — local and regional wines.

Here are some of his top 10 picks out of Kansas and Missouri in the past year:

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Central Standard
4:37 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Kansas City Wine Vendor's Advice: Slurping Is Good

Ryan Sciara, right, owns Underdog Wine Co. in Crestwood Shops.
Credit Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Wine merchant Ryan Sciara says “slurping” is the proper way to taste a wine.

Suck in some air to help move it to the different taste receptors in the mouth.

“You get acidity on the front, tannins in the back, and sweetness in the middle,” Sciara says.

And then he spits, so that he can function through the rest of the day.

Sciara, who opened Underdog Wine Co. in Crestwood Shops in Kansas City, Mo., earlier this year, developed a taste for wine as a small child, sitting in his grandmother’s kitchen.

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Central Standard
12:12 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Restaurants Within 250 Miles Of Kansas City

The Lemp Mansion Restaurant in St. Louis, Mo., is just one of the destination restaurants that the Food Critics recommend.
Credit Chris Yunker / Flickr-CC

With holiday vacation days in sight, many will be leaving the Kansas City area to go visit loved ones.

Instead of just eating gas station burritos that look like they've been irradiated, why not stop for something a little more refined?

This week on Central Standard, food critics Mary Bloch, Charles Ferruzza and Cat Neville discussed the best spots to eat within 250 miles of the Kansas City metro. From fried chicken to artisan chocolates, they covered a wide range of tastes and culinary styles.

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Arts & Culture
10:41 am
Thu November 13, 2014

JJ's Restaurant Re-Opens In New Location

Nearly two years after a natural gas explosion and fire destroyed JJ's restaurant, Kansas City Mayor Sly James and owner Jimmy Frantze cut the ribbon at the restaurant's reopening ceremony in the Polsinelli Building in the West Plaza.
Julie Denesha KCUR

JJ's restaurant re-opened Wednesday night for dinner in its new location in the West Plaza district of Kansas City, Mo., inside the Polsinelli Building at 900 W. 48th Place.

It's been a work in progress for more than 11 months. When a natural gas explosion destroyed the original location in February 2013, it was questionable if the popular meeting spot would ever recover. 

In the days following the explosion that left server Megan Cramer dead, JJ’s co-owner Jimmy Frantze couldn’t even bring himself to look at the building.

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Hotel Savoy
2:39 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Fire Heavily Damages Historic Hotel Savoy In Downtown Kansas City

The Hotel Savoy as it stood in 1950, already 62 years old by then.
Credit Missouri Valley Special Collection / Kansas City Public Library

A fire at the historic Hotel Savoy in downtown Kansas City, Mo., late Thursday damaged several floors of the building, which used to be known as a frequent stop for several U.S. presidents.

Firefighters told KSHB 41 Action News that the fire started due to "inattentive cooking" in the Savoy Grill. There were no customers in the restaurant at the time. Residents of the apartments above evacuated without injury. 

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Food Critics
12:02 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Coffee Shops In Kansas City

For many, a morning cup of coffee is just the boost needed to start the day.
Credit madame.furie / Flickr-CC

For some, coffee is simply a quick way to perk up and start the work day. But for others, a lovingly roasted coffee with steamed milk and all the accoutrements is the source of near-religious worship. 

On this week's Food Critics, Charles Ferruzza, Emily Farris, Jenny Vergera and some callers helped narrow down which coffee houses and shops have the best cup of Joe in the Kansas City metro.

Here are their picks: 

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Arts & Culture
10:04 am
Thu October 16, 2014

6 Things For Food And Drink Lovers To Do This Weekend In Kansas City

It wouldn't be a Kansas City weekend without a little barbecue.
Joe Newman Flickr -- CC

We all must eat and drink. But sometimes it seems like we’re just absorbing fuel, rather than being delighted by our dietary decisions. Not this weekend!

That which is consumed so that we may press on can provide greater meaning — as well as a greater waistline —when folks gather around the metro to make a fuss over chili, barbecue, beer, wine and more.

And, remember, it’s the greater meaning that makes the difference at the table – along with maybe a napkin.

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Food Critics
12:31 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Smoked Foods In Kansas City

Kansas City cuisine may be best known for the smoky taste of barbecue, but the earthy goodness of smoke isn't limited to pulled pork and brisket. 

From rich, smoked Gouda, to smoke-infused cocktails, adding smoke to a dish can add another layer of complexity to its taste. 

Central Standard food critics Charles Ferruzza, Mary Bloch and Emily Farris and callers gave us their picks for the best smoked foods and drinks in Kansas City:

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Food Critics
12:18 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Seasonal Dishes In Kansas City

Root vegetables are just some of seasonal ingredients to be found in Kansas City metro restaurants this fall.
Credit Skånska Matupplevelser / Flickr-CC

As temperatures start to drop and fall begins, it's time to start thinking about culinary standbys that characterize the season.

From root vegetables to fresh apple cider, there are plenty of seasonal ingredients and dishes in the Kansas City area to get you in a fall mindset. 

Here are Central Standard's Food Critics' and local callers' choices for good seasonal dishes in the Kansas City metro:

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Food
11:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Desserts In Kansas City

Golden Boy Pies out of Overland Park, Kan., was one of our Critics' recommendations. You can get a slice at Town Topic.
Credit Julie Fallone / Town Topic

  At some point, we all get a sweet tooth. For some of us it is a little more frequently than we would like, for others its an occasional craving.

Whether you are in need of a decadent mousse or plain old fashioned ice cream cone, our Food Critics are here to guide you (and your tooth) to the sweetest treats in the metro.

Here are suggestions from the Food Critics and listeners to Central Standard:

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Community
4:12 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Foo's Fighting To Keep Serving Custard At Brookside Shop

Betty Bremser has owned Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo., for 17 years.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

A popular frozen custard shop in Kansas City, Mo., could close after an outside real estate company didn't renew its lease for its Brookside location.

Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard has been in the same storefront on Brookside Plaza for more than two decades. But owner Betty Bremser learned last week that First Washington Realty Inc. in Bethesda, Md., the company that owns much of the neighborhood shopping district, didn't plan to renew her lease at the end of this month.

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Central Standard
11:21 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Food Critics: Best Brunch In Kansas City

Credit Erica Firment / Flickr--CC

Brunch. Sometimes it is leisurely and relaxing, sometimes after a long night, it is just necessary. 

From upscale to fresh and light to downright greasy, the Central Standard food critics have you covered for all your mid-morning needs in the Kansas City metro. 

Here are our food critics' recommendations:

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Food Critics
1:15 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Food Critics: The Best Tacos In Kansas City

The Food Critics track down the best tacos in the Kansas City metro on Friday's show.
Credit Evan P. Cordes / Flickr-CC

From Southwest Boulevard to 7th Street Trafficway, it's hard to go anywhere in the Kansas City metro without running into delicious taquerias and Mexican restaurants.

On Friday's Central Standard, host Charles Ferruzza and the rest of the Food Critics came up with a large list of some of the best tacos in Kansas City.

Here are the Critics' and callers' picks:

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Central Standard
3:55 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Kansas City Bartenders Create Cocktails Inspired By Local Bands

Credit Geishaboy500 on Flickr

Music is often connected with emotions, but what about food? Can a cocktail taste like a song? On Thursday's Central Standard, we spoke with two Kansas City bartenders who recently completed a feat of synesthesia - creating original cocktails inspired by songs from local musicians.  The event was called Mixtapes & Mixology.

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Harvest Public Media
6:02 am
Tue July 8, 2014

On The Farm, Chefs Learn The Basics Of Food Production

Farmer Kate Potter shows chef Terrah King how to gut a chicken at Chef Camp in Livingston County, Ill.
Sean Powers Harvest Public Media

With farm to table restaurants springing up left and right, cooks are having to go beyond the grocery store. That’s why about a dozen chefs from Chicago and central Illinois recently gathered for a two-day crash course on where their food comes from – the farm.

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Central Standard
1:52 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Food Critics: Best Unleaded Drinks In Kansas City

The Food Critics have plenty of favorite refreshing summer drinks in the Kansas City area.
Credit Mitch Altman / Flickr-CC

The dog days of summer are upon us and everyone is looking for good ways to keep cool. Though cocktails might do the trick, not everyone wants to get intoxicated while they sip a cold drink.

On Friday's Central Standard, guest host Charles Ferruzza is joined by the Food Critics to find out where the best refreshing non-alcoholic drinks in the Kansas City area are. 

Here are their picks:

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