Kansas City Burgers, Chapter Two: An Odyssey in Beef Continues ...
Emily and I learned with our initial guide last year, that burgers were a meal people have a particularly visceral response to.
I know this. I understand. Burgers are truly one of my all-time favorite things. There are few foods as universally loved as a good burger, and I wish there were a way to include every burger recommendation in Kansas City. Alas, it would prove too monumental a task, and with strong wishes to avoid developing potential cardiac conditions, we were unable to do so. That being said, we did indulge in five more great spots to devour this most prestigious of American delicacies. As always, in no particular order:
Tay’s Burger Shack
1019 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, MO 64116
This place, one of the Best of the Northland 2018, feels like where your family would run to for burgers when you were a kid. It’s a small but welcoming establishment with staff greeting you the moment you cross the threshold. No frills here. They only have about six different menu items, all made from organic grass-fed beef. Four of these items are burgers ranging from a single patty up to a towering four. Yeah, I said it. FOUR. It’s called the Home Run. Get after it if you dare, ya filthy animals! The other two menu items are hotdogs. We ordered the Tay’s double with bacon and grilled onion. The bacon was crispy and particularly gratifying along with the onion. On the table you could take things up a notch with their house made sriracha mayo or ketchup. A fun touch was their cooler with throwback glass bottles of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, and Lost Trail root beer or cream soda, brewed at the legendary Louisburg Cider Mill.
4942 Merriam Dr., Shawnee, KS 66203
At Grandstand, the staff directed us to give their Kelly Burger a shot. It is designed as a double cheeseburger, with bacon and a slice of grilled ham. We took the coward’s way out and altered it to a single, which was still more than enough. (Our blood pressure thanked us.) It was a very fresh, juicy burger and we loved the alphabet-shaped tater tots. This could be good for educating little ones with edible flashcards. They state they aren’t fast food here, as indicated by a sign on the door. Be prepared for a little bit of a wait, and do not plan to dine in. It’s pretty close quarters in there, but they do have picnic tables outside. Also, if folks want to get it on the go, they should call in their order ahead of time.
1708 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64108
Probably the most “gourmet” burger we tried would have to be this one. Not solely a restaurant, Howard’s is also a café and grocery. It is located in the Crossroads and serves its burger with a few unique characteristics. It is adorned with a variety of pickled veggies (half onion and half whatever is in season), in-house made American cheese, City Bitty pea shoots, and “burger sauce.” Burger sauce is a combination of mayo, ketchup, mustard, and Worcestershire (a fun word to type, an impossible word to say). All of this rests atop Golden Rule grass fed beef on a Farm to Market potato bun. This selection was a little out of the ordinary, but totally worth checking out.
McCoy’s Public House
4057 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111
4057 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City, MO 64111
At McCoy’s, they offer five different burger options. We elected to go with The Real McCoy made from local butcher McGonigle’s custom blend of beef brisket, chuck tenderloin, and short rib. This one is served with a standard dress of lettuce, onion, tomato, and pickle. You then select one of seven different cheeses. We personally feel you have to go with Merkt’s cheddar sauce - rich, creamy and sharp - this cheese will offset the flavor nicely. This was definitely the heftiest single burger we tackled and is certainly shareable. In fact, Emily and I have frequently shared this one on date nights. Our preferred three round shared dinner is as follows: the baby spinach salad, then the Real McCoy, and finally wash it all down with their chocolate chip croissant bread pudding served with black and tan custard sauce. It’s a decadent meal that feels slightly less so when shared. (Do it. For serious.)
Beerded Man’s Kitchen
312 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, MO 64116
Nestled within Colony Brewing on Armour road, lies a fine establishment. Another North KC favorite, this one was recommended to us by BBQ pitmaster Stephanie Wilson. She sent us there saying we had to try their Pork Belly Burger. Sadly, it is not currently served there but will be returning to the menu sometime next year. So be on the lookout for that. As luck would have it, they replaced it with the intriguing Meatloaf Burger. This burger was a bit of mess to eat but this did not detract from its epic scrumptiousness. The meatloaf is made in house with peppers and onions, cage-free eggs, and sourdough bread crumbs. It was served with “awesome sauce,” made with ingredients they would not share, and smoked gouda on Roma buns. Also of note were their French fries. There was a sweetness to them that we couldn’t quite place. We theorized brown sugar, but owner Jason Fritts remained coy about his secret ingredients. Check them out for yourself and formulate your own culinary hypothesis. The onion rings were also crunchy and satisfying.
So there you have it, KC Burger Guide Pt. 2. It’s a tough job eating this many burgers, but we’re up to the task for the greater good. Where else should we check out next time? We look forward to hearing about more of your favorites!