Last week was just plain yucky. We didn’t see the sun for 4 days straight, there was no corn planting because the fields were wet, we were on week 4 of living in our kitchen chaos, and had set-backs with our appliances. We needed a break, and a brief getaway to Kansas City was the perfect mini-vacation.
After chores on Friday, we made the relatively short drive to KC. In our younger years, we would have went out for some drinks upon our 9PM arrival, but as old married people we stayed at J’s sister’s apartment and just chatted until our eyes got droopy (probably around 10:00!) It was a good thing we saved our energy for Saturday . . . because we conquered KC.
Our first stop was the Boulevard Brewery for our brewery tour tickets. Boulevard’s infamous wheat beer (served best with a lemon slice) is one of my all time favorite beers. Going to college in Omaha, just a few hours up the road from KC, I was quickly introduced to this craft brew and have been a fan ever since. The brewery tour is something I have always wanted to do while visiting, but never had the chance. Tickets for the free tour are available starting at 10AM daily, and to assure our spot we arrived right as the doors opened . . . although a whole line of people were there even before us!
We got our tickets, but our tour wasn’t going to be until after lunch time, so we headed to the City Market in the River Market neighborhood. There were tons of farmers selling their produce, flowers, meats, and other goods. It was also quite busy as KC residents and visitors alike decided to get outside and finally enjoy spring. From my observations, patrons of the market were really taking an interest in their food and where it came from. There were many people asking questions directly to the farmers and inspecting produce carefully. I think this interactive experience is something that many people crave, so great job to those farmers. It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to be there every weekend rain or shine participating in direct sales!
There were also lots of fun different restaurants around the market . . . everything from Middle Eastern food to Italian sandwiches. I really wanted to grab something small to eat before we headed to the brewery tour, but I was having no luck finding my snack. I was going to give up when I spotted a restaurant, The Bite, that advertised selling tamales and ice cream sandwiches. I was hooked at ice cream. We ordered the strawberry, basil, and balsamic ice cream sandwich . . . sounds weird, but it was amazing!!! The ice cream sandwich itself was huge (all 3 of us shared it) at it was completely homemade. The bursts of balsamic were amazing and the basil was subtle and sweet in the strawberry ice cream. It was a solid combo that I am glad I took a chance on.
We then headed to the brewery tour. The tour was brief, and not overly interesting, but the price of admission (free!) was totally worth it. The tour ends with 3 tasters of any of their brews, including some that are only available at the brewery. A great cheap activity. After our tour, we ready for some food. We headed down the road to La Bodega, a tapas restaurant. J was skeptical of the tapas concept (small plates shared among everyone), but I think he is now a believer. We arrived at La Bodega around happy hour, but we made the mistake of ordering our sangria right when we were seated . . . only 10 minutes before it was set to be half-price. Rest assured, we did not make the same mistake with our tapas. I can’t remember all the plates we ordered, but the Papas Frista con Ajo were the most memorable. They were crispy fried potatoes smothered in a tasty garlic aioli. The sangria was also top-notch. Happy hour pricing made it pretty affordable for our group of three. I would highly recommend a stop there if you are in the neighborhood.
Our next stop was my sister-in-law’s urban garden! She has rented a plot of land on the cheap and is growing a garden in the middle of the city. She lives in an apartment, so this is an awesome way to grow her own food even in the city. The Missouri soil is a little more challenging than our black dirt back in Iowa, so she has had to work really hard to bring in suitable top soil and till the land. I think her hard work (and genetic green-thumb) will pay-off in the end, but she is a bit skeptical.
Last, but not least, on this beautiful spring day we honored the American way and went to a baseball game. The Royals played the Tigers in an evening game and we enjoyed the weather, our company, and the atmosphere (despite the Royals poor performance). It was a great ending to our perfect KC weekend! Check out some photos of the events below!