Let me tell you about Café Vie in Overland Park, Kansas and
Eden Alley in Kansas City, Missouri! Yummy Kansas City restaurants
and haunts I discovered eating around my town!
Remember, a while ago, I spotlight some of my favorite things about Kansas City (my hometown)?
Don’t worry, it won’t be an everyday thing, just something I do from time to time.
I like a lot of things about Kansas City, but chief among them is the food! I know. I know, when you think Kansas City, you’ll likely think moist, succulent, incredibly tender bbq. That’s a given. But, I ask you to please expand your beautiful mind to consider that there is so much more to my city’s culinary landscape than pig, cow and turkey.
So, I’m going to share about my two latest finds: Eden Alley and Café Vie. My featured photo is from McCormick and Schmidt, but they are everywhere. So I feature them today.
Let’s begin with vegan/vegetarian food in Kansas City. Before we do, I admit in full disclosure, I am neither. I just like good, flavorable, complex food. Eden Alley delivers it all in the first bite. The best part is they do it without the fat, dairy and animal products that make us unhealthy. I wouldn’t call it guilt-free eating, but it’s definitely guilt-less eating. I feel less guilty when I eat there.
It’s nestled in Unity Temple on the Country Club Plaza. Watch for the sign “Eden Alley Vegetarià”.
The atmosphere is so…zen. It’s almost as soothing and relaxing as a warm cup of chamomile tea at 9:30 at night. The décor seems to reach out and stroke your hair in a way your mom might do after a long, exhausting day. I’m not kidding. It’s a very relaxing joint.
After I admired my journey into the restaurant, I was quickly greeted and seated. The menu was so vast, choosing an entre was difficult. After some advice from the server (can’t remember his name), I ordered zucchini humus, mushroom tacos and a baked falafel. Jerusalem Café has spoiled me a little and made me a falafel snob. I was hesitant.
Zucchini was a nice twist on hummus. It made it hearty but also light. Not sure why that is. They made the tacos with mushrooms and soy protein. I didn’t feel like I was missing anything at all with the mushrooms. I was overwhelmed with satisfaction. But, I wasn’t finished.
You see, although I was stuffed, there was no way I was leaving that place without dessert.
The lunch was a homerun and it filled me up wonderfully. But, I’m greedy.
So, I selected the green tea and almond (vegan) cake. It was good, but didn’t quite make it to yummy on my yum-o-meter. I think my brain was expecting something very …cake-like. It wasn’t, but it was good. The website calls the desserts “sinful”. I don’t really agree on this one, but I would say it was naughty at best.
The distinction between sinful and naughty?
After the first bite, sinful desserts make my eyes roll to the back of my head. This didn’t deliver that sensation, but I plan to return soon and try something else. Check out Eden Alley at 707 W 47th St in Kansas City, MO 64112.
From the soothing and sublime to flavors that will make your tongue dance around your mouth!
A work buddy took me to a place called Café Vie in Overland Park, Kansas. It’s part of a strip mall which includes a nail salon, an oriental grocery store and something else. But, don’t let the “only average” exterior fool you. OMG!
Upon entering the restaurant you’re struck by the casual, decoratively flat-line atmosphere. Absolutely nothing fabulous about it, but also nothing gross or repugnant either. It’s kinda like when you visit a new friend and see her living room, although not fancy, is warm, lived-in and rather ordinary. But, the atmosphere is so welcoming, you forget what the room actually looks like.
Again, Cafe Vie’s decor has nothing to make you go “Wow”, but also nothing to make you want to say “Bye” either.
A few more steps and you meet this pretty, EXTREMELY friendly lady behind the register. Her smile is intoxicating and she is genuinely glad to see you. I mean really. It’s almost like she’s fighting the urge to reach beyond the counter and give you a “welcome” hug. I’ve visited twice and each time, she is consistently delightful. She’s now a big part of the reason I drive 25 minutes to this hidden treasure. Who doesn’t like it when someone seems happy to see you, right?
Let me back track. On my first trip I ordered their Seafood Pho, California Rolls and Mango Bubble Tea.
The seafood Pho was silky, rich and mind-bogglingly flavorful – just as Pho should be. Each bite renders a different delectable piece of seafood: shrimp one time, calamari on another and mussels in the next bite.
Then the California rolls (not pictured). Delicious-ness at it’s best. The yummy sauce was perfectly balanced between sweet and spicy.
But, the Mango Bubble Tea. Let me tell you about that scrumptious treat! It is so light, creamy, and frothy, It deserves it’s own moment of silence. That was my previous visit in a nutshell.
Today I returned to find that I’m even more impressed!
I had the Pho with ramen and gimbab with spring rolls…and of course, bubble tea. The portion was insanely generous, as is the staff. The first time I visited, the pretty lady behind the counter gave my co-worker samples of the bubble tea because she was the only one at the table who didn’t order any. How nice is that!???
Then when I went today, she gave us a complimentary order of Thai Tea because she had an extra. Who does that?
The restaurant is just….kind. That’s all I can say.
Anyway, my Pho was a blast of complex, spicy flavors that warmed me inside out. The sushi-style gimbab was a relaxing mix of flavors and textures. It could have been my entrée, really.
It was so filling that I had to pause myself before eating it all. The spring rolls were a delight in crisp freshness. To wet my whistle, opted for passion fruit bubble tea this time. It was magnificent and velvety goodness in a cup.
I’m in love. I’d marry this place at 10330 Metcalf Ave in Overland Park, KS 66212 if I could. But, I can’t, so I’ll just return often. Can’t wait to take my hubby there soon! Had a hard time linking to their website, but they in Yelp and Google.
That’s my 40somethinglife this week – Eating around Kansas City. What’s your most interesting lunch “haunts”?