Cooking up Italian staples and baking pizza has been a Walker family tradition since 1969, first at a pizza franchise and now at their own Old Shawnee Pizza and Italian Kitchen. They use the skills they've perfected over the last 40 years to make everything from their Alfredo-topped ravioli stuffed with three types of seafood to their Midwest-style pizzas on homemade dough.
They first top their inventive pizzas with sauces such as the classic red, salsa, spicy peanut, or garlic olive oil. From there, they use their multitude of unique toppings to create most any pie their customers can dream up, barring ones that bear an uncanny resemblance to Burt Reynolds. They also cook up specialty pizzas such as the Caribbean Jerk, made with jerk sauce, chicken, onions, pineapple, and roasted red peppers.
Add some sepia tone and photo grain, and a snapshot of Hereford House could make it pass for an old Western saloon. But the photo would actually be of a modern steak house that churns out aged steaks, seafood, and ribs—the same fare that put Kansas City meat markets on the map at the turn of the century. In the dinner menu, most everything walks across the grill before being served. The steak oscar entree eschews the barriers that separate land from sea by teaming up a 6-ounce filet mignon with jumbo lump crab pilfered from crustacean birthday parties and pan-seared to perfection. Juicy tenderloin medallions come smothered in red-wine demi glace, and oven-roasted cuts of salmon arrive in pools of garlic herb butter.
Just as Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant's name honors the owners' oceanfront hometown in Jalisco, Mexico, the menu honors Mexico's iconic cuisine. These pages brim with favorites such as enchiladas, hefty burritos, and sputtering fajitas with marinated portions of beef, chicken, pork, or shrimp. The choices seem familiar, but there's no denying that their roots cross the International Date Line that separates California from Mexico. Mexican Coca-Cola fills glasses alongside a handful of imported beers, and the tangy crema sauces and vaguely sweet moles are all based on family recipes.
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.
J. Murphy's Irish Pub commands the attention of whistle-wetters and famished fare-seekers alike with a broad bar selection and a menu with an array of burgers, steaks, and other entrees that caters to both Old World and Stateside tastes. Silence boisterous bellies with the Gaelic fish and chips, served with Irish curls and rough-and-tumble tartar sauce ($9.99), or opt for the Guinness stew, a rib-sticking mélange of beef and veggies partnered with Ireland’s number one beer and sports drink ($7.99+). Bar-side big-screen TVs allow patrons to surveil the activities of professional athletes and commercial spokespeople, and individual televisions in each booth prevent sitters from having to share their televised views with strange eyeballs. The selection of sippables includes 20 Irish whiskies, 20 wines by the glass, and 20 beers on tap to help wash down the savories and drown trouble-making gullet gremlins.