Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha)

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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 13:22:42 (permalink)
Buddy, my standard sandwich since I was a little kid has always been Beef & Ham combo. BBQ Ham is one of those little known KC things, I think.
A slab of ribs is one Big hunk of meat. I wish I had one right now.
With some fries.
Bill B.
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 13:43:56 (permalink)
Oh, mama.

When I was a wee rugrat, the Kansas City A's played at the old Memorial Stadium, just a couple of blocks up Brooklyn from Bryant's. When you went to an A's game, you HAD to stop at Bryant's and get a sackful of 'Q to take with you.

There was another great barbecue joint right across from the stadium. I think it was on a southeast corner of Brooklyn and...maybe 25th Street? It disappeared in the 1970s.
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 15:25:33 (permalink)
I'm sorry, i meant St. Joseph not Jefferson City. Definitely worth a drive through. At AB, I ordered a fullrack which I believe was all piled on a steel tray. Huge amount. After going through it, I wanted more. My friend had brisket and I didn't even want to try it. Didn't want to divert my attention from my feast.
Extreme Glow
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 18:29:30 (permalink)
Off topic, but an interesting read on airport codes.
Double Chili Cheeseburger
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 18:37:31 (permalink)
Ok, ok, you talked me into going back to AB's after a 3 year hiatus. I was one of those detractors who felt AB's had been slipping a bit too far. It just didn't seem to be as good as it was. Maybe it is a nostaglia thing. You must remember, I, like Bill B and Bill Voss who also have a history of Arthur Bryant's, grew up with those burnt ends, brisket and ribs, having them at least twice a month. My family would pile in the car and wait excitedly while my dad would run in and run out with our sizable order. We couldn't wait to get home to tear into some great food. For some reason we usually took it to go. I think it was so my mother could wipe our faces off while we were eating, which was quite annoying. When we did eat in the restaurant I couldn't wait for the fries. And I loved watching the guys with the paint brushes of sauce and the white bread. Your description impels me to go back, I think it's been too long. I've enjoyed your trip report.
mayor al
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 19:46:27 (permalink)

Steve- Tell us about your experience at the Bohemian Cafe in Omaha. (Please).
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/28 21:39:42 (permalink)
Yes, MCI used to stand for Mid-Continent International because when it was built, it was built out in the middle of no where, literally! Now that Kansas City has grown around it, it's officially changed it's name to Kansas City International but the MCI code has stayed. Also, if you are ever at the Ameristar Casino in KC, there is an Arthur Bryants there as well. Same BBQ, not the same "atmosphere"
Filet Mignon
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/29 00:17:18 (permalink)
Originally posted by stevekoe

Well, Steve, I hope you're happy! You've just forced me off my celery and lettuce diet, which I had planned on adhering to for, well, at least one more day. Thanks for nutin'!!

I've got a brisket marinating in rub, and I'll smoke that with hickory wood tomorrow. I can sometimes find Arthur Bryant's bbq sauce down here, but I'll have to use a backup sauce in the event of this emergency.

Thankfully, my friend I95 left me with an awesome sauce from Extra Billy's in Richmond.

I'll be serving this with some homemade fries.
mr chips
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/29 01:04:48 (permalink)
I can hardly wait for your next report.Great picture with Fredbird.
The Travelin Man
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/29 06:21:52 (permalink)
Day 5; Omaha, NE

This day was to be prime ballpark day. We got an early start because the area surrounding the stadium is something to simply soak up. I wanted to get some serious soaking time in. Merchandise tents line 13th Street, stretching a solid mile in front of the stadium. Vendors hawking t-shirts, pizza slices, and aluminum bats all stake out their spots, while religious groups hand out bottled water, the local paper is given out free, and supporters for legalizing gambling in Nebraska all try to mark time with passers-by. It is an all-out street carnival, with a serious baseball theme.

We entered the ballpark around noon for the game scheduled to begin at 1 pm. By now, I had developed a stroke of hunger. In planning our day, we planned to grab "something light" at the ballpark, and gorge on a meal in between the two games. The food scene at Rosenblatt is something to behold. It is a veritable food orgy, and for stadium food, is surprisingly affordable. After doing a bit of a recon mission, I decided on a salt pretzel ($3). This was a huge mistake. I don't know if the problem was just the time of day, but it was awful. It was soft -- too soft, as though it had not even been baked. The salt, applied upon ordering, was excessive. I ate about half and tossed the rest. Blech. The food that I had previously had at Rosenblatt had always been very good. They have an excellent chicken fingers platter for about $7 which comes with four chicken fingers and more fries than most can finish. The nachos are always a hit with fans, as are the onion blossoms and funnel cakes (which seem to come from an outside vendor).

There is always a confluence of food smells in and around the stadium -- the burgers, sold inside, are grilled out in the open (don't see that anywhere anymore). Outside the stadium, Omaha Steaks sells their products, as does Famous Dave's BBQ. One of the more baffling treats to be considered a hit in Omaha is Dippin' Dots. Yes, it is hot, and anything cold is a welcome respite. But, I have never seen any place as crazy for Dippin' Dots as the midwest, and Omaha, in particular. They advertise themselves as "The Ice Cream of the Future," but it seems as though the future has been coming for a long time. I doesn't even look the least bit appetizing to me, but folks scarf this stuff up.

Gratuitous ballpark photo

Our late afternoon meal (again, I would only call this dinner at the AARP Early Bird specials in Florida) was at a place we discovered our first year in Omaha, Lo Sole Mio (3001 S. 32nd Ave, Omaha, NE). Back in 2004, we were sitting in the upper reaches of the grandstand, chatting with a local family. We told them of our ballpark adventures and mentioned that it was our first time in Omaha. They asked us where we were planning on eating in town, as we had mentioned that food was an equal part of our ballpark journeys. We, of course, asked for their suggestions. The woman in the group turned to me and asked if we liked Italian. I kind of shrugged my shoulders, as if to say "sure, but why would I come to Omaha to eat Italian?" She told me that she could refer me to the "best Italian meal I have ever had." I gave her the raised eyebrow, and politely told her that I grew up on Long Island, and have had a pretty good fair share of decent Italian meals. She conceded, but still offered that it would be the best Italian I would have in a solid 300 mile radius. Fair enough - and we had the afternoon free, so we checked it out. Well, the lady was is VERY GOOD Italian, and it has been part of our regular stops since then.

On this trip, I (the less adventurous eater of the two of us) ordered the chicken marsala and my buddy ate the Pasta Con Pomodori Secchi, a dish of sun dried tomatoes, grilled chicken and some veggies served over pasta. You can also see in the picture, some fantastic roasted garlic that is served on every table. I found it surprisingly mild, and added some to my pasta. The tomato and basil mixture was also a great compliment to the freshly baked bread placed on the table. Also, accompanying my marsala were some excellent baby carrots that had a sweet glaze -- definitely one of my preferred methods of preparation!

Both meals were enormous. Unfortunately, we didn't have a fridge in our hotel, so leftovers would be a waste. Successfully, gorged, it was time to head back to the ballpark.

More basbeall, some really good steak...and Bohemian Cafe in the next post!
The Travelin Man
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/06/29 06:31:04 (permalink)
Sorry about the diet, Bushie! But, I always thought that BBQ was healthy??? " />" />

Thanks for all the info on MCI! Loved the airport site. I am facinated by stuff like that.

And, I promise....the Bohemian is coming!
The Travelin Man
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/07/02 12:00:33 (permalink)
The final entry of this trip report (finally)...

Day 6; Omaha, NE

Our plan was for a late lunch at the famous Johnny's Cafe, and then a day and evening of baseball, with evening food consisting of ballpark fare.

We got to Johnny's (4702 S. 27th St.) a little before 2 pm (good thing, too -- their lunch service ends at 2!). Johnny's is an old cattleman's hangout, just outside the Omaha stockyards. Greeting you at the entrance is a larger than life photo of Jack Nicholson, grinning ear to ear (naturally) in that way that only he does. Nicholson filmed "About Schmidt" here, and, even as shy and demure as he is, apparently had his arm twisted into taking a photo for the wall. The dining room is decorated in what can only be called 1950's chic - a dimly lit room with big leather chairs and booths. The server, a robust midwestern woman, takes her time greeting the table, but she is always moving. You definitely feel like you have taken a step back in time. Lunch is served with a somewhat pared down menu, but they note that dinner steaks are available for lunch, as well.

We both had our hearts set on two things - the filet and the hash browns. Our server told us that the hash browns would be an upcharge for the lunch-sized 6 oz. filets, but come as an standard side to the 9 oz. dinner cut filets. Hmmm...more steak? OK. Split open, there was a significant difference between my buddy's medium rare and my medium. Actually, I would be amazed if these guys EVER had a steak sent back. The hash browns lacked the crispness that I prefer. I recall them being a little crispier the last time, but I am not sure if I ordered them that way, or if at dinner time you just get better hash browns? I am not much of a wine drinker, but their house Cabernet was delicious, and I thought a bargain at $4.75/glass. The bread plate is pretty pedestrian, but the spread that was served with the bread was cottage cheese-like, and pretty tasty. Suuficiently stuffed, and wallets emptied ($70 lunch for two), we made off to Rosenblatt.

Things didn't work out as planned at the stadium. The early game went REALLY long, so we decided to punt the evening game and intead do one more place for a great meal in Omaha.

The Bohemian Cafe (1406 South 13th Street) is another of the legendary Omaha restaurants that most people just assume you hit when you tell them that you went to Omaha. I had never been there - heck, I wasn't really sure that I liked Czech food, but what the hey...I'll give it a shot. The recommendation that we got was to order the duck and pilsner. I like duck and I like beer - should be a winner. Again, we walked in the door just about as the place was closing. I wouldn't think that a Tuesday night in Omaha would be all that hopping, but 9 pm seems to be when the whole town shuts down. We were seated, graciously, and next to us was a father/son duo who had clearly made the same bee-line for the place as we did from the stadium. They must have had better seats or a better parking spot, because they already had their food. I also let the sight of their meal talk me out of the duck.

I ordered the jaeger schnitzel, sort of czech veal cutlets in what tasted like a very thick marsala sauce. It came with a cup of their chicken and dumpling soup, which was fabulous and two of the thickest and tastiest dumplings I have ever had the pleasure of consuming. My buddy stuck with the roasted duck, and was not disappointed. The Pilsner Urquell is served on draft in a frosty ceramic mug. Homemade bread accompanies the meal, but there is enough carbs in those dumplings to get anyone with even the slightest sense of watching their carb intake to take heed. For the first time on this trip, I could not finish the meal. I couldn't come close to finishing this meal. I left a whole dumpling, some of the veggies, didn't touch the bread, and it was even tough to finish the beer.

All in all, a good vacation, with some FABULOUS food. I can honestly say that I ate the best roast beef sandwich and frozen custard anywhere. I enjoyed a heck of a good hamburger, and one of the top steaks in my life. Throw in a meal at Arthur Bryant's and an almost lost in the shuffle Italian meal in Omaha, and it is no wonder that I didn't add ten pounds. Fortunately, I also did enough walking to help that!

Can't wait for next year!
mr chips
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/07/02 12:35:37 (permalink)
Great reports, Steve. The Bohemian Cafe looks marvelous. It sounds like you ate very well.
The Travelin Man
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RE: Trip Report (STL, KCMO, Omaha) 2006/07/09 03:05:04 (permalink)
I think it was cornfed who asked why we didn't plan a game at Kansas City on this trip. The Royals were out of town when we flew in on Sunday. We only scheduled Monday and Tuesday to be at the College World Series this year. One of the plans we originally had was to go to the early game, which we thought was at 1 pm, on Tuesday and then drive to KC to see the Royals and Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, there wasn't an early game on Tuesday -- the earliest start time was 4 pm. Not going to be able to make a 3 hr drive after a 4 pm game and catch a 7 pm start!

We had attended a game at Kauffman Stadium the last time we went through town in 2003.

This is basically how it ended up:

Fortunately, we were able to exchange our rain out tickets for a crappy game for tickets to the Yankees one visit to KC that year. They were in decent demand, and decent seats, so they sold on eBay for a tidy profit! This was definitely one of our more profitable stadium excursions.
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