WELCOME BACK TO SOUPFLY!
This is the 3rd and final part recounting our travel adventures from the cross country trip we took last month.
After a few days of visiting family and friends in St. Louis it was time for us to finally start going West. Our first stop-Kansas City, where Greg and Megan live-Michelle’s son and his wife. Megan is a graphic designer and she is the one who designed the logo for this blog site, Soupfly as well the original cover design for my book-
Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service.
When we arrived in Kansas City we learned that the hotel that we booked through Hotels.com isn’t actually puppy friendly-although they come up on many puppy friendly sites as well as on Hotels.com they show up when one checks the puppy friendly filter. So, originally we were going to stay in the Westport area of Kansas City which has tons of bars and restaurants, we ended up staying in Overland Park. The first night in Kansas City we went to a favorite restaurant of Greg and Megan’s- Blanc Burgers and Bottles.
The food at Blanc is very good. The truffle fries are great and they’re served in little miniature shopping carts. Very creative presentation. The truffle fries are served with Blanc’s own house-made ketchup and chipotle aioli.
When we were there, the place was packed and there were only 2 servers in the entire restaurant. Our server did a good job considering that he had a hundred other tables. Just kidding, not a hundred but he was pretty non-stop busy. I was happy because they had a great lentil burger-which I really enjoyed. So, even if you are a vegetarian or vegan, I recommend that you give Blanc a try next time you are in Kansas City. Oh, and all the burgers are served with wonderful house-made pickles. Yummy.
Aside from visiting with family, in fact, Michelle’s Dad and Step-Mom also came to Kansas City, our major Kansas City highlight was our second day there which happened to be our (Michelle & Me) 1 year anniversary! We got married-in a fever-hotter than a pepper sprout. Johnny Cash fans-anyone? Ok, never mind. I’ll end the digression. Michelle and I got married in Vegas, where we live, on 11/12/13. So on 11/12/14 we spent the day just the two of us. We even left the puppies back at the hotel.
Although I had never been to Kansas City aside from being there for a conference a couple years ago, I did my research and told Michelle that I’d like to plan our anniversary day myself. Hopefully she would be happy with the places I had decided upon for our lunch and dinner. First lunch. We went to the historic, 100 year old Union Station. It is a beautiful building with surprisingly, a number of choices of places at which to dine. I decided to take Michelle to Pierpont’s-a famous steak and fresh seafood restaurant.
Located in the recently renovated Union Station, Pierpont’s is a premier fresh seafood and steak restaurant in Kansas City. The restaurant has an atmosphere of casual elegance and is named after one of the most prominent people in the railroad business, John Pierpont Morgan.
Pierpont’s has a variety of seafood flown in fresh daily, such as scallops, wild salmon, ahi tuna and lobster. The restaurant also serves, Filet Mignon, Ribeye Steak, and Kansas City strip steak. They have an excellent wine cellar that features over 300 bottle selections .
A highlight is Pierpont’s architectural features. The space looks much like the original building did in 1914. Sixty percent of the restaurant’s three-story structure is historical space, including the original women’s smoking room, the women’s waiting room, and the women and children’s waiting room. Pierpont’s was selected as the best architecturally designed restaurant as well as the best place to take out-of-town guests.
Pierpont’s truly is a beautiful restaurant. We were greeted very warmly by Sean, who also was our server. He was very approachable, had a pleasant personality, was very informative and an overall great Service Professional. It was quite apparent that he really enjoys his work and the people that he interacts with.
Our lunch began with a glass of prosecco to toast our 1 year anniversary. Next, crab cake with a tomato mustard sauce and calamari with flash fried spinach. Both of them excellent. Michelle had a blue crab and sweet corn bisque and I had the Pierpont’s salad which was topped with crispy root vegetables. Both of our second courses were also very good. By the time our entree’s were served we were both nearly full but today was a celebration so we pushed on. I had the trout while Michelle ordered the pulled pork croque madam – an open face sandwich of pulled pork, with a bechamel sauce, topped with a fried egg on a brioche bun.
This was one of the best lunches I have ever had-I think Michelle would concur. The ambience, the decor, the food, the wine-all were excellent and Sean’s service and hospitality made it a most pleasurable experience! Our meal, however, was not yet complete until Sean did a tableside flambe of a white chocolate bread pudding with rum sauce for us! Very nice!
You can go here to watch Sean doing the tableside flambe’:
And of course the company of my amazing wife-it was a perfect lunch! What a wonderful way to start our anniversary celebration day! Thanks Sean McKenzie!
After lunch we did a bit-and I mean a bit, of strolling around at the Plaza (which is an outdoor mall) and shopping. However, because it was about 25 degrees outside and somewhat windy-remember-I don’t love cold weather-our Kansas City shopping was not very extensive. I prefer shopping in sunny and warm Las Vegas.
For our anniversary dinner I chose another one of Kansas City’s premier restaurants. Since lunch was in an old historic building, I thought we should go modern for dinner. I made reservations at BlueStem-a recently James Beard awarded restaurant in the Westport area of Kansas City.
BlueStem describes their food as progressive American cuisine. Their head chef, Andrew Longres creates culinary masterpieces for the various set tasting menus that they offer. Dinner at BlueStem was Amazing, to say the least. We were warmly welcomed by the hostess, sorry, didn’t get her name. She offered to hang our coats for us. The service team of Paul and Nathan and the others (sorry didn’t get everybody’s name) did a wonderful job of creating a great dining experience for us.
I can’t recall all that we ate and I can’t even spell some of the items but here’s little rundown: We started with an amuse bouche-which I don’t remember exactly what it consisted of but I do know that it had salmon roe and a gelee of some sort. An amuse bouche is a single bite hors doeuvre’ that is offered complimentary by the chef to restaurant guests. It is a French word that literally means “to entertain or entice the mouth”.
I had an heirloom carrot salad, Michelle started with a truffle and potato tortellini with rabbit. Both were excellent.
For our main courses-Michelle decided to be adventurous and opted for the venison, although she had never had it before. I had the snake river sturgeon which normally is prepared with oxtail and I believe had a sauce made with the oxtail. I do not eat meat and so our server asked me if I liked beets. I said yes and sometime before our entrees were served, the chef sent out another little bite for us to enjoy of pickled beat puree-(I hope I’m getting that right). That, too, was another delicious morsel.
What I didn’t know at the time is that Chef, sent it out to see if I liked those flavors because he then created a beautiful beet and ginger sauce to accompany my sturgeon.
So many times when I order something without the sauce-(oftentimes there is a veal or beef stock in it) that typically comes with a particular dish-I at most restaurants I am usually served a naked-not fully completed dish. However, I was very impressed with Chef Andrew’s care and concern for me and he later told me, “If somebody doesn’t like a particular sauce or component on a dish-we don’t just omit it. We replace it with something that the guest will enjoy and can eat. We never send out “unfinished dishes”. That was really great! And I loved the sturgeon! Not only was our food delectable to taste, as you can see from the pictures it was stunning to behold-culinary works of art.
Our dinner ended with an apple butter cake with walnuts, raisins and cinnamon stout ice cream and a snow white goat cheddar cheese with chestnut, roasted pear and cider. Scrumptious! I rarely eat dessert but this was a special occasion. And our server brought out some festive looking shooters that had-actually I don’t recall what was in them, maybe cranberry and prosecco. He just called them “celebration aids”. Michelle thought that was a cute name for them. Cheers!
After dinner, I asked our server if I could meet Chef Andrew and take some pictures of him. I watched him plating a couple of dishes. He does it with such care and finesse-it’s like watching an artist create a masterpiece-Andrew’s canvas is the plate.
Our first year anniversary celebration was a beautiful and very memorable day! Thank you Kansas City!
After another day of visiting with family it was time to hit the road and begin our trek back to Las Vegas. I drove the puppies, while Michelle and Melissa rode in Melissa’s car. We left Kansas City early in the morning just as a huge snow storm was on it’s way into the area. Bye Kansas City-see you later.
After 11 hours of driving we stopped in Albuquerque for the night. No fancy dinner this time. Just pizza delivered to our room. The next morning, Michelle and I went to a cool local diner called Range Cafe-where they do “Ordinary Food Extraordinarily Well!” It’s very eclectic cool place that uses local fresh ingredients and makes many types of pies in house. There’s little 1950s ovens as part of the decor as well as southwest style painted murals and colorful stuff hanging from the walls and the ceilings. I don’t really know how to describe it. So here’s some pictures.
Our server was very friendly and upbeat. All the staff seemed to be pretty cheerful people. The food was good and it was a great way for us to start our day for the last leg of driving back home-Las Vegas.
After a quick stop at Mama’s Minerals in Albuquerque to pick up a couple gemstones, we were finally on our way.
On Soupfly’s Travel Adventures over 11 days we passed through 15 states, traveled 4488 miles, spent 63 1/2 hours in the car driving and visited many family members and friends that we otherwise would not have been able to see. Thank you all that we got to spend time with and we miss those of you that we missed.
Thank you to all of my readers and followers. And Soupfly salutes all the wonderful Service and Hospitality Professionals that we were blessed to meet-both old and new, along the way.
Thank you for reading! As always, I love it when you Share my Soupfly posts on Social Media. If you have not yet Liked our Facebook page, I encourage you to do so here:
And as a reminder-my book- Getting to WOW! Everybody WINS with 5 Star Service is still Available for Pre-Order at the Special Introductory Price of only $20.00 !
If you work in the Restaurant/Service and Hospitality industry-you will want to read this book. If you care about Service and Hospitality-this book is for you!
I wish you all a very joyous and blessed holiday season!
God Bless you all and Cheers!
Christoff J. Weihman
Las Vegas, NV