Two weekends ago, Henry and I took a last-minute, 42-hour trip to Kansas City on clandestine Nom Nom Paleo business. (Don’t worry, all will be revealed in due course.) The few meals we had in KC were already planned, with the exception of Sunday brunch. I’m a firm believer that no meal should ever be wasted, especially in a new-to-me city.
Although we’d hoped to try the legendary barbecue at Oklahoma Joe’s, it’s not open on Sundays, so I polled my pals on Facebook and tweeted my favorite Kansas City homie for recs on the best brunch in town. After scrolling through the different options and checking out Zagat scores, Yelp reviews, and restaurant websites, I chose Bluestem.
Bluestem is located in the historic Westport neighborhood, where the streets are dotted with bustling restaurants and funky boutiques. Chef Colby Garrelts has been nominated seven times for the Best Chef of the Midwest by the James Beard Foundation, and this year he won the coveted prize. (In your face, Susan Lucci!) His food has been described as “progressive American cuisine with seasonal selections and a bounty of local farmers and producers to showcase the best of Kansas City and the Midwest.”
Admittedly, I’m a bicoastal food snob who was wary about Midwestern cuisine (outside of Chicago). Bluestem might be good for Missouri, but it can’t be better than what I’ve eaten in San Fracisco or New York, right?
Wrong! Our meal at Bluestem may have been one of my favorite brunches of all time.
We were ushered into the bright and cheery dining room where we admired the quirky artwork adorning the walls.
Because we arrived in town late the night before, we welcomed the steaming mugs of coffee that our friendly server mercifully brought to us ASAP.
The menu is short, but it’s well edited. I had trouble choosing between the different options and finally decided that Henry and I would split a plate of steak and eggs and the Bluestem Breakfast. (Yeah, I typically call the shots when it comes to ordering food. I’m bossy like that.)
Man, oh man, our protein-heavy dishes totally hit the spot.
The steak and eggs came with perfectly cooked medium-rare hanger steak, fried eggs, salad…
…and a pile of crispy fries.
The Bluestem Breakfast was equally satisfying, featuring fried eggs, sausage, bacon, crunchy home fries, gravy, and cornbread.
That’s me telling Henry (again) that our meal may be one of the best brunches I’ve eaten. Ever.
Afterwards, we waddled down the street to the Broadway Roasting Company. Along the way, we passed this:
If I wasn’t already stuffed, I would’ve taken a bite out of it.
I can’t wait to come back and eat my way through the city.1