Here’s what’s new in Kansas City food and drink in May 2021
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The post-pandemic awakening is upon us, with a number of institutions emerging from hibernation better than before. The city’s most celebrated ice cream shop, Betty Rae’s, has reopened under new ownership after controversy. Meanwhile, Gram & Dun is also open under new ownership and with longer hours. The redone menu at the gorgeous Plaza space with a popular patio has a broader range of price points and more casual offerings. Likewise, Bier Station in Waldo, which is often called Missouri’s best beer bar, took its pandemic break to add wine taps and retractable front windows. After focusing on to-go beer for much of the last year, the Station is reopening with normal hours this month.
Many of the world’s most-prized coffee beans come from Latin America, but coffee shops rarely lean into the culture. That won’t be the case at Cafe Ollama in the Crossroads, which is owned by a couple whose parents all hail from Mexico and which aims to celebrate their culture. As first reported by the Star, the shop is owned by Lesley Reyes and Francisco Murguia, who are from KC but have lived in Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix. Among the offerings is the cafe’s signature Cafe de Olla, which is popular in rural areas of Mexico. It’s slow-brewed coffee with cinnamon, spices and cane sugar.
When Missouri legalized to-go cocktails, we quickly fell in love with KC Daiquiri Shop, which sells frozen concoctions in milk jugs and hosts regular DJ webcasts to enjoy while sipping. Well, they’re coming to the Kansas side. As first reported by Startland News, the owners opened KC Daiquiri Shop: Bistreaux in mid-April at the former Boardroom space on Metcalf. “It’s set up as more of a traditional restaurant. Therefore our food flavors are going to be elevated,” one of the owners told Startland. “We’re going to have a more sophisticated menu. We’ll do things like charbroiled oysters, crab, lobster, filet mignon.” Happily, they will also have frozen daiquiris.
Ricos Tacos Lupe is getting into the tamale game. The treasured taqueria on Southwest Boulevard, especially popular for its carnitas and Taco Tuesday deals, has opened a bright red cart specializing in tamales outside its storefront. Among the offerings are sweet tamales that come stuffed with coconut and pineapple or strawberry and raisin. They’re two bucks each or a dozen for eighteen dollars.