Add some sepia tone and photo grain, and a snapshot of Hereford House could make it pass for an old Western saloon. But the photo would actually be of a modern steak house that churns out aged steaks, seafood, and ribs—the same fare that put Kansas City meat markets on the map at the turn of the century. In the dinner menu, most everything walks across the grill before being served. The steak oscar entree eschews the barriers that separate land from sea by teaming up a 6-ounce filet mignon with jumbo lump crab pilfered from crustacean birthday parties and pan-seared to perfection. Juicy tenderloin medallions come smothered in red-wine demi glace, and oven-roasted cuts of salmon arrive in pools of garlic herb butter.
Corn tortillas filled with meat, lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese rest peacefully on a plate, unsuspecting of the fate that awaits them, when suddenly they find themselves in the hot embrace of a deep-fryer. What emerges is not merely a taco, but Lucia’s Famous Taco, a crunchy confection and, like many of Lucia’s dishes, a twist on a classic Mexican dish.
The resident butchers at Curt's Famous Meats serve up award-winning steaks, burgers, and homemade sausage in a 64-year-old, full-service butcher shop and deli. Meat mavens skillfully slice up choice rib-eye steaks ($13.99/lb.), Kansas City strips ($13.99/lb.), and T-bones ($12.99/lb.) that are juicier than water-cooler gossip about fresh peaches. Groupon holders can also sample sliced slab back bacon ($5.99/lb.) or stack sesame buns with 8-ounce filet burgers ($5 each). Curt's Famous Meats' enthusiastic, predominantly female staff welcomes customers' questions about how to choose the best cut, how to achieve a perfect medium rare, or how to gently demote baked potatoes to side dishes.
In 1963, Vita and Jay Totta opened up their cozy café with a small counter, three tables, and four booths. Within three years, the couple’s following of loyal diners had overgrown their modest space, and they expanded to a larger location with more than twice the seating capacity of the original café. Another steady increase in popularity led the Tottas to create V's Italiano Ristorante as it stands today, which includes a spacious dining room, three private banquet rooms, a lounge, and an outdoor patio. When designing and building the restaurant in 1971, Jay—a professional architect—focused on creating an Old-World atmosphere where guests could enjoy everything from Sunday brunch to romantic candlelight dinners with their tax auditors. Patrons may also venture out to the restaurant's garden patio, where they'll eat by a stone waterfall and under the vines of a grape arbor originally planted by Vita's father.
Although Salvatore’s has changed hands three times, it never once strayed beyond the Garozzo family’s reach. Founded in 1991 by Mike and Alfio Garozzo, the restaurant bore the name Garozzo’s until 2003 when Alfio’s son—Salvatore “Sam” Garozzo—took over as full owner. Sam made several interior and exterior renovations, but he kept his family’s rich culinary traditions intact through a chronicle of Mad Libs and a menu of rich pastas, homemade gnocchi, and sautéed veal entrees. Sam’s vivacious personality earns the restaurant nearly as many loyal customers as the flavorful cuisine, as he makes an extra effort to check up on his customers throughout their meal.
Fun House Pizza’s cooks have been tossing craving-satisfying pizzas since 1964, catering to families with their shareable fare and friendly staff. Gooey pizzas arrive topped with Fun House Pizza’s secret sauce recipe, sprinkled with toppings that include kraut, mushrooms, and Italian or Polish sausage. The kitchen crew gets creative with their specialty pizzas, which play dress up to create pies of the taco, bacon cheeseburger, and mexican variety. The restaurants cater to kids with a slew of entertainment options, from Thomas the Tank Engine rides to game rooms with air hockey and video games to the cheerful servers who are ready and willing to eat homework assignments.