According to an old Dutch proverb, "Coffee has two virtues: it is wet and warm. Stop giggling." For $8, today's Groupon lets you enjoy the dark elixir's many virtues with four coffee drinks at Dunn Bros Coffee (an up to $18 value). Bring your Groupon to either the Loring Park or Lyndale Avenue locations and you'll receive a four-beverage punch card that you can use to stay alert until baseball season.
The first IHOP—the dream of founders Al and Jerry Lapin—opened in 1958 in Toluca Lake, California, and was originally dubbed the International House of Pancakes. Since then, rapid expansion has led to myriad milestones across the company's colorful history, from introducing its modern IHOP acronym in 1973 to its 1,000th restaurant opening in Layton, Utah, in 2001.
Today, the company stands strong with around 1,500 locations across North and Central America, each one an enthusiastic dispenser of pancakes, french toast, and tables constructed entirely out of bacon. Though IHOP is known as a bastion of breakfast, it also stays open during the day and into the evening, delivering lunch and dinner as well.
More than a decade ago, a moose with azure fur wandered into a Prairie Village bar and became a regular, sipping on spirits and chatting up locals. This tall tale about the founding of Blue Moose Bar & Grill might not be exactly true, but it does evoke the laid-back vibe of the eatery's two locations, inside each of which a crazily grinning moose head overlooks the dining room. Brews babble from taps as chefs whip up pub fare with creative twists—fusion-inspired chipotle remoulade bedecks crab cakes, and sliced pickles sizzle in house-made beer batter till they reach a crispy, golden hue. The Overland Park location invites local musicians to fill the air with tunes each Friday, and the Prairie Village restaurant hosts art fairs, seasonal wine dinners, and other events throughout the year. During warmer months, both Blue Moose locations extend dining service onto spacious patios or mobile booths carried by passing bison
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.
Utilizing the best cuts of meats and the finest spices, Werner's hand-twists preservative-free sausages in natural casings that pop when bitten and giggle when tickled. The bockwurst floods taste receptors with rich veal and chives ($6.69 per pound), and the smoked cheddar-bier brat induces salivation with coarse ground pork, beer buds, and cheddar ($4.79 per pound). Passed down through generations in a baton-shaped cookbook, the recipe for swedish potato sausage blends one third pork, one third beef, and one third potato to please spud devotees ($4.99 per pound).
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.