Kansas City didn’t give us the warmest welcome in terms of weather, but we were able to adjust and had a great time during our brief stay this week. As we drove in the pouring rain from St. Louis, we learned that the baseball game that evening was going to be postponed to the following day. Lucky for us, our MLB stadium tour itinerary included a free day in Kansas City the next day, so we were able to go to the makeup game!
With a rainy evening and no game going on, we decided to go out for dinner and a movie. I was happy to finally get the chance to see the new Pixar movie Inside Out! Not only were we looking forward to voices by some of our favorite actors (Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, and Phyllis Smith) but the message was one that got me really excited: Every emotion has a purpose. It’s better to express and process through sadness when you feel it vs. just pushing through with a “happy face.” Great stuff.
Jack Stack Barbecue
Through reading reviews on Fodor’s, Yelp, and our hotel restaurant guide, we took a chance on Jack Stack Barbecue – and ended up eating the best barbecue ever. We tried the Freight House location first, but it was closed since the power had gone out from the storm! A staff member gave us a free appetizer coupon and told us to go try the Country Plaza location instead.
After a ten-minute drive and just ten more minutes of waiting for a table, we were seated. The ambiance was nice, with comfy booths, sleek wooden tables, and low lighting. We started out with delicious beef and pork burnt ends, which the reviewers on Yelp were losing their mind over. For our entrée, Chris and I split two Crown Prime Beef Ribs with cheesy corn, broccoli, and fries.
I am not a big meat eater, but the edges of the ribs were caramelized and unbelievably crispy. The insides were so tender. What really put the ribs and burnt ends over the top was the spicy barbecue sauce. I couldn’t get enough! We ended up purchasing some to take home with us.
The Kansas City Royals & Kauffman Stadium
We went to the makeup game the next day, which took place at 1:00pm on Tuesday. I was a little worried that there would hardly be anyone there, and while it certainly wasn’t sold out, there was still a good showing.
After a two-year hiatus of professional baseball in Kansas City, The Royals came to town as the new team in 1969. They were named as a nod to the first Negro League baseball team, the Kansas City Monarchs. The Royals’ stadium is named for Ewing Kauffman, a famous, philanthropic individual who is credited with bringing baseball back to Kansas City and gave much to the city.
I say this all of the time, but I can’t get over the uniqueness of each Major League ballpark. Kauffman Stadium is an interesting mix of old and new elements. Built in 1973, the stadium was quite progressive for its time with the open outfield borders. New pieces were added in the remodel undertaking from 2007-2009, such as the expansive concourse with mini golf, a mini baseball field for kids, the Hall of Fame, and more.
Kauffman Stadium also has fountains, which are a big part of the city! I found them calming and lovely to watch. We spent some time watching the game from a standing room area in the outfield, enjoying the mist and sound of the fountains behind us.
When we started walking over to this area, Chris was carrying our Cheesy Corn Brisket- acho and I was starving. The Royals hit a home run and it landed in the standing room area where we were heading! I was delirious from hunger and not paying attention much, but Chris started running with our food to try to get the ball. He was really close! I must admit that I was more concerned in the moment about him throwing the food to get the ball, though in retrospect, it would have been worth it of course.
You can catch us on the highlight reel here!
Located in the Crossroads Art District, Extra Virgin was a recommendation from a friend’s sister-in-law who used to live in Kansas City. From our limited experience, it seems like this is a great area for restaurants with a Jack Stack location nearby and another recommendation, Lidia’s, there too.
Extra Virgin is a tapas restaurant by James Beard Award winning chef, Michael Smith – who actually came out of the kitchen towards the end of our meal to order a drink and watch the Royals’ evening game at the bar!
We ate a great meal of the Greek salad, poblano mac ‘n’ cheese, grilled shrimp with peaches, and pork belly steamed buns. We finished it all off with churros and chocolate. Yum.