Kansas City pit-masters are a bit like wizards: with dashes of sauce and wisps of wood-smoke, they summon barbecue aficionados from across the world. But tourists aren't the only ones who hunger for their savory-sweet brisket, ribs, and burnt ends––locals do, too. Bethanie Schemel, owner of KC Barbecue Tours, gives both locals and travelers insider's access to the rich history––and deep flavor––of the city's smoked-meat scene through bus-guided food tours.
On these tours, groups visit famed barbecue hot-spots. They also make stops at beneath-the-radar barbecue joints. "We do have a couple smaller places on our tour that we tend to keep a secret because they are the hidden gems that not a lot of people know about," owner Bethanie Schemel told KCTV 5 News. Food isn't the only reason for booking a spot on one of KC Barbecue Tours' expeditions—participants also get a peek at behind-the-scenes preparation techniques, and can ask pit-masters for tips on what type of wood chips to use or how to build a xylophone from leftover rib bones.
If your shady parking spot rests beneath bird-filled trees, or someone scrawled carpetbagger into the inch of road salt on your car window, Travel Clean Express Car Wash can give your vehicle its original off-the-lot luster. With today's Groupon, you'll get Travel Clean's ultimate car wash for $5 (a $12 value). Use your Groupon at Travel Clean's locations in Lee's Summit or Overland Park.
Taking a three-hour lunch break might be frowned upon when you're at the office, but not if you work for Taste of Kansas City Food Tours. The company's tour guides specialize in meals on the move, leading groups to nearby restaurants for samples of their specialties. The stops on the walking tour tend to be locally owned eateries located slightly to the left of the mainstream—though they don't shy away from a famous pizza joint or two.
One route takes guests through Crossroads, and the other explores Westport, but both fill the time between bites with facts about the neighborhood and its history. The tastings on each tour might change from day to day, so surprise is the only common ingredient. One thing you can be sure of, however, is that you'll end the afternoon with a full stomach and a stack of clean plates.
PRP Wine International backs up its name by stocking more than 200 different wines from around the globe. A team of vino connoisseurs showcases the shop's international selection during in-home wine tastings and wine-tasting events, held in local hotels, warehouses, and deep-sea bunkers. Personalized wine labels and etched wine glasses and bottles can complement newly discovered wines.
With "Comfort is just a spoonful away" as its motto, Pegah's Family Restaurant serves up classic comfort food from a kaleidoscopic menu of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. The kitchen cooks traditional American dishes, filling plates with the likes of homemade soup, pancakes, reubens, and chicken fried steaks. A red awning welcomes diners into the brightly lit space, so homelike that no one would judge you if you wanted to eat breakfast for lunch or lunch for dessert.
This duo of history-rich houses showcase antebellum architectural styles, while providing insight into the mores of the era. With four tour tickets total, the historically inclined can visit each house twice or bring a friend along for each visit, while family memberships net unlimited entries for the nuclear unit, along with advance invites to special society-only events. A Greek revival-style home from 1858, the John Wornall House beckons history lovers in to watch costumed reenactors living in the past, where they play period-specific video games while drinking period-specific Mountain Dew. Regular special events at the house include paranormal investigations by local ghost hunters and recreations of the house’s past as a Civil War hospital. Dogs can sprint across the lush grounds while their two-legged companions waft in luscious scents from the herb garden, which contains a variety of delicate plants used in medicines and recipes.