Posts tagged ‘Plaza’
Recently opened on the little strip of shops at 51st and Oak, Saraha is very popular with the UMKC crowd. Adding a bit more ethnicity to the standard choices of pizza, subs and Chinese on that block, students have been flocking here for hummus, gryo sandwiches, shawarma, and kabobs.
Sahara is in the old Russell Stovers store, and I think they kept the same commercial ceiling lighting that existed before, which does nothing to enhance the restaurant’s rather drab appearance. The owners took a stab at decorating, using a bright saffron to freshen the walls and hanging a few ornaments, but the decor is definitely more suited to a quick meal or grab ‘n go rather than a relaxing dining experience.
Diners order at a counter from a huge cardboard wall menu that has pictures of all the offerings, and a server brings the food to your table a la Spin Pizza’s model.
But, the food’s decent. Plentiful and fresh, if not exciting. We tried the lentil soup, which was more flavorful than it looked. The appetizer platter featured falafel, hummus, baba ghannouj (eggplant dip), dolmas (stuffed grape leaves) and pita. The baba ghannouj was our favorite, though the falafel’s inside was light, almost airy, a pleasing contrast to the fried exterior.
Saraha is a welcome addition to the area. It will fit student budgets and offers a healthy alternative to dorm food. I know some businessmen who also enjoy it for the large portions and quick service. But a cozy date night? Not so much.
The Classic Cup has always been one of my favorite restaurants, but it’s been ages since I had eaten there. As much as I love the outside deck, for quite a while the menu never changed and I grew tired of it. I had stopped ordering the Thai Chicken Pizza when the crust didn’t seem quite as fabulous as the original and I had mastered the recipe at home. Moving on, I hit upon the Magic Mushroom sandwich, a grilled Portobello with roasted peppers and goat cheese aioli, a meaty, messy stack of deliciousness, but chef Michael Turner is so talented, I wanted more from him.
I recently noticed some menu changes when I was surfing online and decided it was time for a return visit. So, on a gorgeous fall day, four of us went for lunch, sat outside and had dishes that were recent additions. I enjoyed a Tuscan tuna salad, with grilled romaine, ahi tuna and white bean salad. Though a bit heavy on the lemon caper dressing, the overall dish was solid. The crunchy texture of the grilled lettuce provided a nice contrast to the creamy beans and the tuna was prepared rare as requested.
The Cuban Muffaletta was a takeoff on two trendy sandwiches, the cuban, which pairs pork, ham and cheese, and a muffaletta which uses an olive salad as a sandwich topping. Thick and rich, it was very tasty. The lamb gyro used ground meat rather than shaved, it was spiced with harrissa, then wrapped in a thick pita and served with a cucumber salsa and tzatziki sauce. Again, another winner.
The Classic Cup is one of the few independent restaurants left on the Plaza. Given Highwood’s propensity to bringing in chain stores, it’s important to patronize each of them. And the Classic Cup been an institution for more than 20 years– we need to make sure it lives on for another twenty.
Glace is Christopher Elbow’s newest endeavor, having made a name for himself in the chocolate business. He utilizes some of those same ingredients to concoct truly outrageous flavors of ice cream. The flavor list reads like a grocery list–sweet corn, goat cheese and cherry, basil lime sorbet, fresh mint, lemon curd with blueberry, caramelized banana and peanut butter and jelly.
More traditional flavors, including vanilla bean, coffee, strawberry and Venezuelan dark chocolate are also available, but Elbow doesn’t do mundane, so even these are pretty intense. And rich.
Cups come in two sizes, one which holds two flavors, the other three. The servers provide samples to help narrow your choices, but repeated visits are in my future so I can eventually pick some favorites!
*(There is an accent over the “e” but my blog format doesn’t allow me to add it.)