Since 1930, the grill masters at NuWay Burgers have been crafting their unique crumbly burgers from the same recipe and patented cooking equipment, preserving the signature texture that has kept customers returning to their original Douglas Avenue location for more than 80 years. The crumbly burgers share a menu with chicken and pork sandwiches, handmade onion rings, and frozen treats, including floats made with homemade root beer.
Currently celebrating its 25th anniversary, Popeyes remains the flavorful lovechild of Cajun and Creole cooking, serving up a wide-ranging menu. Connoisseurs of crispiness can stick with Popeyes’ famous New Orleans–style fried chicken meals ($4.49–$6.89) surrounded with savory sides ($1.59–$3.79) such as warm flaky biscuits, red beans and rice, coleslaw, mashed potatoes, Cajun rice, and more. Otherwise, slather some livers and gizzards ($2.99–$5.49) onto a biscuit and eat it, temporarily imbuing you with the chicken’s mighty strength and ability to smell time. Avian-averse appetites can feast instead on a shrimp po’ boy combo ($6.19) with a pecan pie ($1.49) or Mississippi mud pie ($1.99) for dessert. And to keep your famished family from impeaching you and electing a new parent, quell multi-person appetites with bona fide family meals ($10.49–$30.99).
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.
Curtis Crawford has tackled Barry Sanders and thrown a strike past George Brett—accomplishments all the more impressive considering he was never a professional athlete. The tackle happened in a high-school football game against Sanders's Wichita Northwest (Curtis played for Manhattan), and the strike happened when, as an adult, he participated in a Royals fantasy camp (Brett got a hit off the next pitch). Curtis has had a passion for sports his whole life, and even though he never pursued it as a career, it's had a huge influence on his professional path.
Curtis studied hotel and restaurant management at Kansas State, and over the years honed his chops at national institutions such as Applebee's and Taco Bell. But when the Village Restaurant in Newton went up for sale in 1994, he bought it. One of the first things he did was decorate—using, of course, the loads of sports memorabilia he'd collected over the years, including an autographed Joe Montana Chiefs jersey and an entire corner of George Brett relics. And in that spirit of timeless Americana, his menu gathers together everything from hotcakes and biscuits with gravy to chicken-fried steaks and chili cheeseburgers. There's even a burger named after the Newton High School Railers, topped with shredded cheddar, onion rings, barbecue sauce, and notes from girls who think it's cute.
Featured on NBC Action News, Korean Restaurant Sobahn crafts authentic Korean cuisine that recalls the ancestral homeland of the owner-and-manager. The menu, updated regularly to reflect Korea's changing culinary trends, boasts savory options ranging from meats and seafood to stews. Within a hot stone bowl of dolsot bibimbap, rice nestles snugly betwixt hearty beef and vegetables, and the entire creation rests under a jaunty fried egg given to the restaurant at a baseball stadium's fan appreciation day ($12.99). Tear into thinly sliced beef bulgogi ($12.99) or the jaeyuk bokkeum's pork soaked in a spicy marinade ($12.99). Every entree can accompany a collection of banchan, a set of about five complimentary side dishes that enhance the flavor of the table's meals. While the banchan has been known to shift daily, like a greased sunrise, past dishes include zucchini, seasoned seaweed, tempura fish cakes, and spicy kimchi, which is made fresh daily.
“Stepping into the restaurant is like visiting the home of an Ethiopian friend,” writes the Austin Chronicle about Habesha Restaurant & Bar. Woven straw mesobs—hourglass-shaped tables designed for communal eating—are central to the restaurant’s traditional decor, along with Ethiopian artwork. The friendly staff is always happy to welcome newcomers, explain the menu, show them how to properly stretch before a meal, and make dish suggestions.
However, it's the authentic eats that form the backbone of Habesha Restaurant & Bar. To start, head chef Selam Abebe uses grains from Idaho to prepare injera, a traditional Ethiopian flatbread used to scoop up bites of food in place of utensils or your neighbor’s hand. She then prepares vegetarian and meat wot, tibs, and fitfit using recipes and techniques from her homeland. As the child of Ethiopian restaurateurs, Selam has had plenty of experience preparing the traditional dishes—she’s been cooking professionally since age 20.
Meals at Habesha Restaurant & Bar often end with a coffee ceremony, a sign of friendship and respect in Ethiopian culture. Servers carefully roast green coffee beans, grind them, sing them a lullaby, and then steep the grounds in hot water to create a rich, black coffee that they serve with hot popcorn.