Kansas City, April

Kansas City is a destination the wife and I try to visit several times a year. We love to spend the weekend eating, drinking, shopping, and exploring the city. This trip we decided to stay downtown close to the plaza, at the Intercontinental Hotel. We found a good deal on Priceline, $133 a night. The Intercontinental Hotel Is a fantastic hotel, with lots of amenities. Lobby bar with live music on Friday and Saturday nights, coffee shop, pool, and easily within walking distance of the plaza. There are a lot of nice Hotels in the Kansas City area so look around for deals.

It was a rainy Saturday, our first stop of the day was to get some coffee. We chose an unconventional spot, a chocolate shop. Christopher Elbow chocolates. It is a highly reviewed chocolate shop in the Crossroads area. We grabbed an assortment of chocolate to compare to our local hometown shop, and I ordered a mocha to get my caffeine fix in. The mocha was delicious. So good in fact that I shared it with the wife because I knew she would love it. I very rarely share my caffeine fix, but I was right she loved it. The assorted chocolates we selected were very good, packed with flavor. I will say I prefer our hometown place, Cocoa Dolce, but Christopher Elbow Chocolates is a must stop for a chocolate lover.

After we grabbed our chocolate, and mocha we headed to our first barbecue spot, Slaps Barbecue. This was my second trip to Slaps, but my wife first. Slaps barbecue has the atmosphere you want in a barbecue spot. Even on a chilly raining morning, there was a small line at opening. The line moves quick and in no time we were ordering. I went with my usually order, the sampler plater. It comes with brisket, pulled pork, smoked turkey, sausage, and two sides. I also chose to add ribs for a few dollars extra. For sides I selected fries, and baked potato casserole. The baked potato casserole was our favorite side of the ones we tried. All the meats were tender and juicy. Nothing had heavy flavor from rub, the meat was the first thing you taste. The brisket was sliced pretty thin, but you got a good helping of it. I prefer a little thicker slice, about the width of a pencil. It gives you better indication of how well it is cooked. The two meats that really stood out to me was the Jalapeño sausage and the ribs. The ribs were cooked to absolute perfection. Perfect bite with just the right amount of smoke flavor. They were the star of my sampler plater. I am a sucker for jalapeño sausage, and Slaps’ sausage is right at the top of the list of my favorites. The wife ordered a no cow combo. She selected the smoked turkey, and chicken quarter. The chicken was cooked perfect as well. Bite through skin, and great smoke flavor. I was impressed the chicken, I wish I could cook chicken like that. Slaps offers two choices of barbecue sauces, normal and hot. We both like the mix of two the best. Overall Slaps is a must try on the Kansas City Barbecue scene. Check out their menu. https://slapsbbqkc.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Daily-Menu-For-Print-5.pdf

Sampler plater add ribs
No cow combo with beans and Mac and cheese
Since I had sacrificed most of my morning coffee, finding another cup was high on my list of things to do. Luckily there is a fantastic coffee shop right across the street. Imagine taken off their Facebook page

After a few hours of shopping at oak park mall, a serious bust, and a quick trip out to Duluth Trading Company we had to get to our dinner reservations. Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue plaza location was our dinner spot. I know barbecue twice in one day, but when in Rome. The plaza location was about a five minute walk from our hotel. Our table was ready right at our reservation time, and we were quickly seated. I appreciate being able to make reservations in barbecue spot, especially during COVID times. Sometimes you just don’t fell like waiting in a line. I was in the mood for a drink so I got what the waiter recommended, a blackberry basil lemonade. Not my favorite drink, but you could definitely taste the vodka. The KC smash I ordered next was much more to my liking. We originally ordered the smoked salmon dip as a starter, but was later told it would be an additional 30 minutes longer wait for it, so we switched to onion rings. They were good, but the homemade ranch dressing that came with them was the star of the appetizer. I once again ordered a sampler platter. Brisket, sausage, ribs, with fries and cheese corn. This gave me a pretty good head to head comparison to lunch. Overall I have to give to the win to Slaps. I really enjoyed my meal at Jack Stack, and the more upscale atmosphere, but the brisket, ribs, and sausage were all better at Slaps. I will definitely be back to eat at Jack Stack again especially if we are staying around the plaza, or crossroads area, I would like to check out their freight house location in crossroads. Here is a link to the menu. https://www.jackstackbbq.com/country-club-plaza-menus

Bad lighting and a few drinks hindered the quality of this picture. It happens right?

Messenger Coffee + Ibis Bakery was our Sunday morning breakfast and coffee stop. This place is a real gem. A coffee shop with rooftop seating, how cool is that! Messenger was packed when we arrived. We waited in line for probably 10 minutes before ordering. Not to bad considering how busy they were. Their coffee was very good. I got my typical drip coffee, no cream no sugar. I was told it was free refills, but I did not test that out. We ordered the country toast, a cinnamon roll, and a Lemon KOUIGN AMANN. All were very good. There is plenty of seating inside, we had no trouble finding a place to eat, and drink our coffee. We will be back to messenger, more than likely every time we are in KC. I really want to spend a morning drinking coffee on the rooftop. We both agreed this was our second favorite coffee shop we had ever been to. The little place in Southwest Harbor, Maine is still our number one. I read that messenger will be opening up another location in the plaza in the next few months. https://messengercoffee.co/pages/menus

Messenger Coffee breakfast.
Blue royal latte. Go Royals!!

Between the Plaza, Zona Rosa, Legends, Oak Park Mall, and the Leawood/Overland Park area, KC has everything you could want multiple times over. Most of our shopping was done in the Leawood, Overland Park area. This is usually our go to area for shopping. Scheels, LL Bean, REi, are a few of our favorites. The only store this area is lacking that I would like to see is a Duluth Trading Company. There is one East of KC in Independence, about a 30 minute drive from the area. The Aloft hotel in Leawood is a place we have stayed at many times, and I would recommend. You can get anywhere around KC fairly quickly so don’t limit your lodging options to just one area of town. I would highly recommend to anyone to spend a weekend in KC. We already have our tickets for the upcoming Immersive Van Gogh exhibit scheduled to open in December.

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