We all can’t get that Salvador Perez money, but you can experience the happiness that seems to power the stalwart catcher of the Kansas City Royals. Even with a new contract, it’s quite possible that Salvy is still underpaid. In that vein, and with a desire to see you get some happiness at a potential bargain, we’ve put together a list of ‘5 Cheap Eats to Love in Kansas City.’
Just a note, we’ve included food that’s available all the time. We’re not talking daily specials (although we’re not opposed to something like the 3 for $1 tacos on Thursdays at Grinders). We want this to be the beginning of a larger cheap eats discussion. So whether it’s in this space or via social media, let us know where you like to drop a George Washington or two.
5. Falafel Sandwich at Papu’s Cafe (604 W 75th Street). Eating at a gas station doesn’t have to mean that you’re settling. Papu’s Cafe is a tiny Middle Eastern spot tucked inside a Waldo gas station. The Falafel Sandwich ($4.99) is a pleasing mix of textures — crunchy fried chickpeas and red onion, and smooth tahini tucked inside a warm pita.
4. Breakfast at Nelle Belle’s Diner (150 E US Highway 69). It’s an old-school diner with old school diner prices. Two biscuits and gravy run you $3.50, but you might as well splurge and add on a third biscuit (or egg and sausage patty) for 50 cents more. The most expensive egg sandwich in the place is $4.40 and three pieces of French Toast are 10 cents more. Just a heads up, you can smoke in this Claycomo eatery.
3. Empanada at Empanada Madness (906 Southwest Boulevard). We couldn’t mention Salvy without a nod to his favorite place in town. He’s partial to arrepas — a fried corn meal patty stuffed like a pita — but you should snag an empanada. The fried corn meal half-moons are $3 (double that to add on rice, beans, and a drink) and the egg with queso fresco will make you understand why breakfast for dinner is heavenly.
2. Dim Sum Menu at ABC Cafe (10001 W 87th Street, Overland Park, Kansas). When you’re craving dim sum, it’s not easy to find the joy of small plates outside of a weekend. But at ABC Cafe, it’s Dim Sum All Day, and the plates are $2.88. Cucumber salad has a great vinegar punch, the scallion pancake is crispy, and this is your chance to take a shot at chicken feet (dip your scallion pancakes in the accompanying black bean sauce). They’re closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
1. Hayes Hamburger & Chili (2502 Northeast Vivion Road). You’ve got 24 hours to make it here. That’s 24 hours every single day. This tiny diner is a throwback with blue booths and counter stools. A pancake is $1.15, while a triple
cheeseburger tips the scales at $3.99 ($4.50 with cheese). One other dish of note — their pork tenderloin is grilled, not fried.