I ran some errands on a Saturday morning and decided to hop around to three different, yet terrific, coffee shops within a mile from one another in KC's midtown. What developed was not just a flight of unique and rewarding espressos, but also what coffee shops should deliver - a taste of community.
Broadway Sig Espresso Blend - Enjoyed the rich tartness tasting like bourbon-infused cherries. Feel like it's very consistent throughout.
Ran into local designer Charlie Burt who has worked on projects for Tech Nine, Sprudge and many other exciting gigs.
Stranger Danger seasonal espresso - Enjoyed the tangy-earthy combo but for the life of me couldn't compare it to something we eat. Feel like there was a nice variation in each sip and layer of the shot(s).
Ran into local artist John Raux who is also pretty badass, but you'll have to look him up to take a look.
Kaldi's Coffee on 47th
Costa Rica single-origin as an espresso - Enjoyed the tobacco-chocolatey notes like a nice, mellow cigar with a side of hot chocolate. That might seem weird, but it works. Ran into a parent at the same school my son attends. Introduced myself and on I went to run those errands.
A day of celebrating Tyler's birthday started with "creative morning cocktails" at Snooze (Jalepeno Bloody Mary & New Belgium Brewmosas), and ended with all-night happy hour at Social, a generous cheese plate and lots of laughs.
The evening kicked off with the "Cold Blooded" (pictured) - Orange Cognac, Lemon, Cranberry & Rosemary, which was suitably refreshing given the warmer weather FoCo was experiencing. Local libations included Gin and Tonic with Spring 44 Gin and house tonic syrup, and a Whiskey Smash + Old Fashioned with Tin Cup Whiskey (a bottle of which now happily resides in mi casa, purchased under guise of a birthday gift for the husband. ;)
When visitors ask me what my favorite bar in Portland is, I have a hard time answering. But one I always recommend is the year-old Pepe Le Moko, in the basement of the Ace Hotel. Pepe Le Moko is the brainchild of famed bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler. It's vibe is noir-ish; I find myself expecting Jessica Rabbit to slink in the door, toss her hair over her shoulder, and order an amaretto sour.
Morgenthaler has re-imagined some old favorite drinks and proved them viable--amaretto sours, espresso martinis, grasshoppers. But straying off the menu holds just as much promise here. The Hanky Panky cocktail is credited to Ada Coleman, the badass female bartender at The American Bar in The Savoy, 1925. Gin-based but substantial and balanced, it fit my 1920's-era book perfectly.
Birthday celebrations (like good food and drink) are always better with friends!
Starters: Manifesto in Kansas City > Nestled below the hustle and bustle of KC's Main Street and soon-to-be-operational light rail system sits a cocktail-lovers oasis! No address; no signage; no way to know unless you know! Michael began his birthday celebration here with a warm drink on a cold night: The Tom & Harry (for Tom Pendergast & Harry Truman; two KC icons!). The drink, served in a kitschy Sunrise Diner mug, boasted J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey, St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram, Egg whites, Steamed milk, Nutmeg, East India Solera Sherry and an Absinthe cream topping! Perfectly crafted, served hot and tasted even better on a sub-zero evening with friends!
Main Course: The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange > Street level showcases a hotel from yesteryear with this KC classic restaurant featuring award-winning co-owner and Chef Howard Hanna as well as award-winning co-owner mixologist (and now distiller) Ryan Maybee. The walls are adorned with mementos from centuries past but there was nothing ancient about the food and drink! Michael continued the evening with The Perfect Storm made with Cana Brava Rum, Averna, Ginger and Lime! The drink paired perfectly with round after round of small plates and desserts! I may have even had 2 of them?
Dessert: Ca Va > Kansas City's only Champagne bar never disappoints for a night cap! Following some amazing food and drink our gang ended up in the newly revitalized Westport spot for some bubbly! Michael went for a good ole standby: The French 75! But on this night, the Ca Va team had a special Cognac they were dying to use in place of gin ... So they did and we loved it! Such depth of flavor when paired with the sparkling wine and a single, but lengthy, curl of lemon peel for garnish. The drink even stood up to the late night Croque Madame ordered by the table for some noshing. A perfect end to a perfect birthday celebration with good food, great drink and wonderful friends!
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