Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thirsty's Cantina

Oh Thirsty's, how I missed you. As a follow up to Saturday's review, I had to go back and try an old favorite. There was much anticipation in the household for taco Tuesday at Thirsty's. Would it be the same? Of course not, I had kids with me. We arrived at their corner location and parked in front of Planters. There was 70s rock blasting from the speakers outside. Good sign. I digest better to Steve Miller Band.
We were greeted by the GM, who informed my kids it was "Kids Pay for Parents" night. The place of course had none of the old divey Westport locale, but it was bright and friendly. Our waitress quickly had our drinks and orders and brought us some salsa. Hot salsa. For once, salsa that is hot. Not say its hot and its not. Hot.
Our "all you can eat" tacos actually came with beans and rice. I find this usual and smart. Unusual because I don't see it alot. Smart because beans and rice are cheap, You load up on those, you don't have to make so many tacos. And the refried beans were good. Like, really good. Not the tasteless crap you get most places. Rice was good too. The GM informed me they have changed the rice recipe 10 times over the years and you only get about 30% of the people that like them, no matter the recipe. Oh, well.
Oh, and let me say their not just a Mexican place. Their motto is "I'd rather eat food in a bar, than drink in a restaurant". I agree.
So on to the tacos. They were good. Not "oh, my God"fantastic. But good. The kind with the deep fried shell, not out of box kind. Most places you get meat, cheese and lettuce. Thirsty's kicks it up a notch with adding tomatoes, green onions and parmesan sprinkled on top the shredded cheese.
Add in a Tecate, and you have a recipe for heaven.
Food: 4.5 spoons
Price: 3 spoons
Kitch: 1 spoons. But it didn't need it. Nice clean bar and happy customers.
Bonus: My daughter's new favorite place. I'll make the drive from Indy any Tuesday.
Thirsty's Cantina on Urbanspoon

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Eat your way around the world, or at least the City Market

When I met my wife 17 years ago, she was Market Master of the historic City Market. Many credit her for turning it from a flea market to the first class farmer's market it is today. She hasn't worked there for many years, but most of the farmers and shop owners from those days still give her a big hug when we come around. But this blog is about food.
The City Market is not only a great place for fresh, locally grown produce and products, but also a great place to spend the morning grazing.
In addition to just wandering the islands and stalls for free samples, I usually grab a coffee and a fluffy scone at the City Market Coffee Company. The place gets packed early, but here's a secret. Right up front there's a place to drop a $1 and just pick up an 8oz. cup o' Joe and avoid the line. But, if you want one of those scones I talked about, you'll have to get in line.

Now I need some protein. Carolla's Italian Market grills their own sausages and burgers right there. Or there's other vendors scattered around grilling sausages and dogs with plenty of grilled fresh peppers and onions. There's even a little breakfast cart selling biscuits and gravy.
I discovered the beef pies at Tikka house this morning. My fingers still smell like the yummy beef, onions and spices packed inside this crusty little piece of heaven. They've got feta filled and gyro pies, too.

Also new is Bloom bakery. You can watch them making bread from the big window outside. They have, in additional to their fresh baked breads, wonderful little cupcakes called buds. They bake them in those little cups the dentist gives you your mouthwash in at teeth cleaning time. My daughter and I split a Vanilla Bean and a Hummingbird (orange zest with coconut butter cream icing). Yes, it was as good as it sounds.
Then we all split a ham and cheese with jalapeno stuffed croissant. Nummy.....
On the way out, after snagging some Morrel mushrooms, we found a lady making Shroopwaffels (sp?) outside the Dutch Flower place. These were little waffleconey material with cinnamon maple syrup between. My daughter wanted to go back for more.
There's more. Way more. Salsa and dips and cheeses and jellies....
A stop at Alhabasshi's Mediterranean Market is worth it. Sample all the great nuts and dried fruits. Outside he sells spices out of the bag for a dollar a scoop. Kids will walk away with a cinnamon stick for free.

Just north of the Market is a large Asian Market. If you can put on your big-boy pants and breath through your mouth, you can get cheap, authentic noodles, spices and dumplings straight from Asia. I always see people bringing in coolers and buying massive amounts of seafood, despite the fishy smell. And don't forget about the restaurants scattered around the perimeter of the Market. Winslow's has solid BBQ and great place to hang out on summer nights. I miss the Delaware Cafe, but I hear the the Farmhouse that replaced it is good. Don't waste your time waiting for breakfast at Cascone's. I never have understood the appeal. Ketchupy Italian sauce and expensive prices are what await you after waiting an hour in line.
I discovered a couple of places from my past right next the Planters (a KC institution in itself). While living in my crappy little studio apartment off the Plaza I used to order Antonio's Pizza. For a time, Antonio's and Torre's battled for pizza supremacy in Westport. Torre's is still there, so that tells you who won. So I was surprised and happy to see Antonio's is back, down by the market. New Greasy Spooners adventure!
Right on the corner next door, is Thirsty's. This is another Westport veteran that moved down to the Market. I can't tell you how many Sundays I spent at Thirsty's having all-you-can-eat tacos and watching the Chiefs lose. So glad they're back. My wife almost cried when she saw the sign.
City Market Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon
Bloom Baking Co. on Urbanspoon