The Coffee Girls' menu lures in Argonauts of the ante meridiem with its siren song of caffeine, smoothies, juices, and breakfast items. The coffee ($1.80 for a 16 oz.) is freshly brewed using beans from local bean baron Broadway Roasting Company and is accompanied by an entourage of caffeine-crowded specialty drinks such as the freeze ($3.95 for a 16 oz.), which icily blends coffee with caramel or chocolate, and the coffee girl ($3.95 for a 16 oz.), which drops a double shot of espresso with vanilla-bean flavoring capped with steamed cream.
The CDC Caf? chefs build sandwiches from scratch each and every day. Sourdough paninis are a shop specialty, pressed with gourmet fillings like grilled chicken, bacon, avocado, and Monterey Jack cheese. Fresh, light rye bread, meanwhile, holds all the fixings of a traditional reuben sandwich: slow-roasted corned beef, sauerkraut, thousand island dressing, and Swiss cheese. Not in a sandwich mood? The chefs pile the same ingredients atop flatbreads and tuck them into omelets. For bigger appetites, they also create a handful of heartier entrees, such as baked spaghetti or parmesan-breaded tilapia.
While they eat, guests can relax inside the welcoming caf?, which offers complimentary Wi-Fi to all patrons. Or, they can enjoy their favorite panini or flatbread on their own turf, since CDC Cafe also caters, delivering food for office luncheons, family parties, neighborhood food fights, and other special events.
If a dance club isn't the first place you think of to find a great fried chicken dinner, then you clearly haven't been to Chico's Chicken yet. Tucked away inside Club Afrobeat, Chico's gives taste buds something to dance and sing about with a menu centered around home-style chicken dinners and rib-sticking sides such as mac and cheese, mashed potatoes, and red beans with rice. But that's only the beginning of what the restaurant has to offer?other hearty eats include cheeseburgers, mozzarella sticks, cheesesteaks, and fried fish.
Ray Lamar hasn't spent decades perfecting his donuts. In fact, his namesake shops still use the same recipes that Ray developed in 1933—at the age of 17—when he got his first job working a donut fryer. World War II and a postwar career as a stockbroker interrupted Ray's donut-making pursuits, although he returned to his roots in 1960 when he founded the first LaMar's Donuts.
The shop went on to become a Kansas City icon, with crowds arriving well before 6 a.m. to line up outside the doors and taunt the roosters for sleeping in. Ray and his wife, Shannon, eventually decided to expand their business into a regional empire, and LaMar's Donuts currently boasts 27 franchised stores spread across six states.
Even with all of this growth, decades-old traditions still dictate how things are done. The workers prepare more than 75 different kinds of donuts, hand-making fresh batches of perennial favorites as well as recent inventions each and every morning. In addition to the original glazed creation that dates back to 1933, the menus can feature a variety of cake donuts with flavors such as red velvet, apple spice, and maple.
Since donuts and coffee go together as naturally as paper shredders and subpar report cards, the stores also prepare cappuccinos, mochas, and other coffee drinks. These are all made with handpicked beans that slowly roast inside Italian brick ovens.
Named one of the top-five bakeries in the Kansas City area in 2009 by CityVoters, Dolce Baking Company whips up small batches of delicately beautiful specialty pastries every day. Dolce's menu features traditional sweets as well as creative treats that incorporate seasonal ingredients and flavors, such as an apple cinnamon roll drizzled with a local apple-cider reduction ($3), sweet-potato scones donning a maple glaze ($2.65), and pumpkin whoopee pies teeming with cream-cheese filling ($3.25). Perennial favorites include cupcakes ($2.25), rustic apple tarts ($4 per slice), and the chocolate blackout cake ($17 for a 6 in., serves 4–6), which may cause power outages.
Authentic techniques are the key to French recipes. Understanding this, Chef Emmanuel Langlade honed his cooking skills in Marseille, France, before opening Aixois Bistro with his wife more than a decade ago.
Amid suspended orb lights and rustic, wrought-iron chandeliers, French flavors prepared by chef Miguel Sanchez delight palates at all hours. As morning light spills through enormous windows, the staff brews fresh coffee to pair with piping-hot croissants for early-bird visitors. Lunchtime guests sample favorite French sandwiches, from the classic croque-monsieurs to the egg-crowned croque madames. For dinner diners, the kitchen dishes up an elegant menu that includes two varieties of moules frites (mussels with pommes frites), as well as seafood, steak, and oven-roasted chicken. Afterward, traditional desserts such as cr?me br?l?e topped with fresh berries cap off meals and keep sweet teeth from rebelliously biting tongues.