If you’re looking for a huge variety of beers, and delicious food, check out Beer Kitchen in the Westport District of Kansas City MO
Two weeks ago I was in Kansas City for the Big 12 Men’s basketball tournament. OSU played on Wednesday night, and unfortunately lost. I was already planning to stay at least until Friday though, to watch West Virginia play. I’ve known Billy, one of the assistant coaches, since I was in college at Maryland.
Like Oklahoma City, Kansas City is comprised of numerous distinct districts. Tuesday night I had stayed in a hotel in Westport. I had been planning to eat dinner somewhere close, but ended up meeting Billy and our friend Walter at The Phoenix jazz club. If you’ve never been, you need to check it out. They have live bands almost every night, and they play great music. Walter is a regular, and also a singer, and he got up and sang a couple of songs. It was awesome, and The Phoenix is one of my favorite places to go.
I knew that all of the restaurants in the Power & Light District would be packed for lunch because the tournament games were starting at 11:30. I considered eating somewhere in Country Club Plaza, but nothing really jumped out at me. So back to Westport I went in my search. Westport is the oldest established community in Kansas City, and is home to dozens of restaurants and bars. One that immediately jumped out to me was Beer Kitchen, currently rated the #4 restaurant in Kansas City.
Beer Kitchen has a great location on Westport Road, right on the corner. There is lots of natural light, thanks to a wall of windows on the short side of the building facing the street, and smaller windows on the long side. The restaurant is small, but they make great use of all the space. It seats about 75, with a combination of booths, tables, 2 long bar-height-tables, and a bar with seating 2 sides. I’m not normally a big fan of sitting at the bar, because the service can often be lacking; the bartender is not only taking care of you and anyone else at the bar, they’re also making drinks for everyone else in the restaurant. All of the tables were full when I arrived, and I was absolutely starving since I had missed breakfast, so I gave in and sat at the bar.
No surprise, Beer Kitchen has a huge beer menu. There are a wide variety of types, including smoke, roast, sour, fruit, malt, and hops. The list seems to go on and on. The tap beers rotate daily, and I really like that they offer different sized beers. I wasn’t really feeling beer, so the bartender made me one of his favorite beverages. I can’t remember the name, but it has citrus vodka, homemade rosemary infused lemonade, and PBR on top.
There’s a lot going on in the drink, but it is so light and refreshing. I say that, but at the same time I’m sure they could get dangerous really fast. Rosemary is potent, so I was a little concerned that it would be overpowering. But honestly, once you mix everything together, all you get is a hint of rosemary flavor. I really enjoyed the drink, but savored it slowly.
The Beer Kitchen food menu, like the beer menu, is pretty large. The lunch and dinner menu features snacks, appetizers, soups, salads, flatbreads, burgers, sandwiches, fries, veggies, and a few breakfast items served all day. TI really like that they have a Build Your Own Lunch Box. Great idea, and very good price
Another thing I love? The Build Your Own Mac & Cheese
I am a huge mac & cheese snob, and it’s hard for me to find one that rivals mine, so I decided not to try it. Also, I don’t do well with a lot of choices, and I knew it would take me forever to build one.
I wanted deviled eggs to start, because I can devour eggs at record speed. But when I saw the French onion soup, I knew I had to go that route
This soup is so delicious. I don’t like Guinness, because it’s too heavy. But in the soup, heavenly. Sometimes with this soup the cheese can completely take over and be overpowering, but this one was not at all. The only down side? When I got to the bottom of the bowl, I wanted another one!
For my entree, I briefly considered a burger, but since I already had the rich soup, I decided to go with a sandwich. I couldn’t decide between a couple of options, so with the help of the bartender I decided on the short rib grilled cheese.
I thought the sandwich would be bigger, and I couldn’t hide my disappointment when it arrived. But one bite in, I changed my tune. The beef is incredibly tender, and fontina is one of my favorite cheeses. The flavors and textures work so well together, and the sandwich is amazing. The pickles are fabulous. They make their own pickles, and you can even buy a jar of them. I thought about it, and then forgot. I don’t eat pickles very often, but these were so good that I could probably eat a jar in one sitting.
Beer Kitchen offers a wide selection of fries. The 3 varieties of cheese fries seem more family-sized, and I knew it would be too much for me. They have 3 flavors of hand-cut fries, including Belgian style, truffle parmesan, or sweet potato. You can choose from small or jumbo, and can also choose one of 7 aioli dipping sauces. So many choices! After some back and forth with the bartender, I decided on sweet potato fries. It took me a long time to get into sweet potato fries, but now I really like them, and will often order them instead of regular. You can choose from mini, small or jumbo fries. Mini and fries don’t belong in the same sentence. I considered jumbo, but the bartender said they are huge. Clearly he’s never seen me eat fries. I decided not to be gluttenous, and got the small
I’m a huge french fry snob as well. If they’re not hot and crispy, I’m most likely going to send them back. I ate one, and it was okay, but not super hot. So yes, I was “that person”. The bartender was really nice about it though, and within 2 minutes, I had a fresh batch of fries that had just come out of the oil. They were screaming hot. And really delicious. And yes, the bartender was right…a large would have been way too much for me. It took all I could to finish the small.
I just remembered that I didn’t get one of the aioli dipping sauces! But I didn’t need them, because I had my choice of ketchup
I really like this idea, and of course had to try all 3 of the varieties. The “old school” was just that, regular ketchup. The smoked chipotle did have pretty strong smoky flavor, but not overpowering. I think the whiskey BBQ was my favorite.
Will I go back to Beer Kitchen? Yes, for sure. The food is delicious, and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. I may even be adventurous next time, and try the mac & cheese.
For more reviews of restaurants in Kansas City, click on the photos below!