We can’t hug all of you today, but we can do the next best thing. We’ll tell you where you can get the culinary equivalent of a much needed embrace and chip into sadness mountain one bite or spoonful at a time. Here are five dishes around Kansas City that are like a warm hug.
5. Pozole at Chapala Restaurante Mexico (5224 Truman Road) — An enormous steaming white bowl of pozole will arrive at your table — the vibrant red a subtle reminder that it’s okay to move on to football. The rich broth is dotted with pork, hominy and cabbage and you then doctor it up like pho with lime or hot sauce. For many, this could also double as a hangover cure.
4. Milkshake at Potbelly (4725 Broadway) — In a Plaza sandwich shop there is a diner milkshake that has no earthly reason being there. The Potbelly milkshake is straw-standing thick and it makes you work (not unpleasantly) for your sweetness. There’s a small flower cookie that you’ll overlook — it anchors the base of the straw to the lid — but will be glad to have to dip into the last sip.
3. Burnt End Chili at Woodyard Bar-B-Que (3001 Merriam Lane, Kansas City, Kansas) — You should get some barbecue in you over the next few days because this one will be a bit of a slow burn. At Woodyard, it’s like a plate of burnt ends crash landed into a bowl of chili. They don’t skimp on the smoky bits and this one looks like a soup but eats like a sandwich.
2. The Original Mac and Cheese at McCoy’s Public House (4057 Pennsylvania) — This one is all the dairy. Jumbo pasta shells are topped with mozzarella, cheddar, parmesan, provolone and buttered breadcrumbs. The result is a bowl of hot comfort that works well with McCoy’s fresh-hopped ESB (Extra Special Bitter).
1. Cinnamon Rolls at Stroud’s (5410 NE Oak Ridge Drive, 8301 W 135th Street, Overland Park, and 4200 Shawnee Mission Parkway, Fairway) — By the time you get to the cinnamon rolls, that means you’ll have worked your way through a healthy amount of fried chicken, gravy and mashed potatoes. And those cinnamon sugar dusted sweet rolls will give you just enough spark to find your way to the car and think about what you’ll do with the leftovers tomorrow.[Shake image via Potbelly, BBQ sign via Facebook: Woodyard]