Known for growing cotton and soybeans, many farms in the South known now nurture a new crop?catfish. Converting their fields to ponds, farmers raise the whiskered fish on an all-grain diet to develop meat with a clean, slightly sweet taste and reduced cholesterol. Every filet at Jumpin' Catfish Restaurant comes from this stock, which the chefs prepare in various ways: breaded and fried in the Southern tradition, marinated in lemon and pepper, or dusted with cajun spices, like the mayor of New Orleans after their morning bath. They then pair the plump, juicy filets with sides such as hushpuppies and white beans with ham.
The chefs extend their culinary skills to other seafood as well, from Norwegian salmon to Alaskan snow-crab legs. They also work with wild game such as quail and frog legs, and prepare Southern fare, such as fried chicken.
Within the geisha-adorned stained-glass doors at Sakura, chefs serve up a tasty array of Asian favorites and sushi specialties in an elegant atmosphere outfitted with mosaic murals, warm cherry accents, and traditional Japanese artwork. Sushi artisans delight diners by handcrafting classic and unique rolls behind a granite bar before comically slipping on tempura banana peels. The Pitch dubs the unexpected décor accents, such as stuffed pandas and a curtain of plastic crystals, as a “blend of the glamorous and the absurd,” also proclaiming that Sakura is “a good date restaurant” because of its mood lighting and romantic music.
Award-Winning Pizza | Featured on Food Network |100+ Beers | Lunch Buffet | Vegan and Gluten-Free Menus
What to Drink
The eatery's nationally recognized beer selection features more than 100 bottles of imported and domestic brews. And that doesn't even include the lineup of 20 beers on tap or the vast selection of wines and cocktails.
When to Go
To get the most bang for your buck, stop in Monday–Saturday, 11 a.m.–2 p.m. for the all-you-can-eat lunch buffet. If that doesn't work, aim for a Tuesday, when guests receive a second pizza for half price.
While You're Waiting
Before making your own pizza disappear, marvel at the tricks and illusions of professional magician Eric Z. He appears every Monday night at the downtown location and every second and fourth Thursday night at the Lee's Summit location.
Vegans and folks with gluten allergies have all sorts of options at Waldo's. The restaurant offers a full gluten-free menu—including a locally made pizza crust made with rice flour—and tops its dairy-free pies with soy cheese.
Three generations of the Monetti family serve up secret family recipes defined by Old World tradition within Monetti's Taste of Italy's. Pizzas bake in a wood-fired oven as Mama Monetti's secret sauce simmers on the range, ready to douse homemade lasagnas or winning football coaches in tomatoey flavor. In the dining room, an exposed-stone archway flanks wine racks ready to pour out libations into glittering goblets, and pristine white pillars at the hostess station complete the eatery's atmosphere of Old World charm. The location was also recently expanded to include a sleek bar and lounge with three flat-screen TVs, as well as a banquet hall and catering for special events.
Planet Sub sidesteps the flavorless land mines of days-old bread, opting for filling-packed subs and sandwiched meaty delights. The menu may differ slightly between the two locations, but omnipresent signature subs cross state lines to sate hungering masses, such as the bacon-bolstered mega roast beef ($4.69/$7.29 ) and the Planet BBQ, a saucy concoction stacked with ham, turkey, and roast beef ($3.99/$6.99 ). Vegetarian options abound, so meat abstainers can try the spicy cheese sub ($4.49/$6.99 ) or the pesto bello ($4.99/$7.19), which is loaded with portobello mushrooms, red peppers, and a tomato-garlic pesto as smooth and suave as an Italian R&B crooner.
Tim Griffin has come a long way from washing dishes. That first job gave set him on a path into the restaurant industry, which led to stints in almost every position including bartender, server, manager, and dish taster for visiting monarchs. He first used his experience to launch a catering company, and then kept evolving and founded his own restaurant, J.Bean's Gathering Place. Today, Tim—along with his wife Ibby and head chef Blair Johnson—welcome guests with a creative menu of dishes ranging from crab-rangoon dip to fish tacos. The two-level dining room evokes a warm, welcoming atmosphere with an abundance of hardwood furnishings and trim anchored by a stone fireplace. The establishment also often hosts special events, such as occasional live music on the patio.