Spring brings new foliage and new foods, especially ice cream, beer, and tacos. From State Line to Raytown and back to 39th Street, here are the latest from KC Eats.
Westwood Hills best kept secret is ready for prime time. In a town where good ice cream is rare, Sheri Weedman started making it at Annedore Fine Chocolateshis shop on National line route in the square to the north of hi coffee hat.
During the pandemic, word spread around the neighborhood about Annadore’s ice cream, which Weedman, with some reluctance, admits to having made in a “very fancy Italian freezer” and to Italian specifications on the percentage of milk fat. Weedman kept it low because she feared demand would trade her shop. Demand for ice cream and ice cream seemed to increase during the pandemic when people were looking to get out of the house but not into a restaurant.
“They would come out, they would walk over to my store, get a scoop and leave,” she says.
Still, “I couldn’t do it the way I wanted in the chocolate factory space.”
Things changed when Annedore moved its chocolate production to a space in downtown Shawnee, where you can also expect a small retail operation in the future. This opened up space for the new Flying Cow Gelato – a name Weedman chose because “it’s a frozen dessert and it’s supposed to be fun. We don’t want people to think this is super serious.
Look for flavors using Annadore’s Caramel, Marshmallow, Toffee and Fudge. “To make ice cream properly, it has to be fresh, and we go to the plate and make it fresh every day,” says Weedman. “We do eighteen different flavors. There will definitely be a touch of confectionery on it.
Crane brewing in Raytown has been famous for its sour beers since its opening. For most of that time, it’s been a destination: Raytown isn’t dense with gose lovers, and it’s not a place where people often find themselves shopping. They recently revamped this, especially in light of the opening of the Rock Island Trail, a biking and hiking trail that crosses the east side of Jackson County and has a trailhead in the brewery parking lot.
“The trail has been a big help in attracting new visitors, and many of them aren’t familiar with as many styles of beer or are relatively new to craft beer in general,” says co-owner Chris Myers. “[Sours] won’t change as a passion for us, but of all the beers we drink, local craft beer is still only a part, and of that, sour beers are an even smaller part. We want to make sure we produce the best options for everyone.
In an effort to have more “gateway” beers available, Crane is offering new beers throughout the year: Migration Patterns IPA and a soft-drink corn lager called Odd Bird.
Speaking of pivots, a well-known taco shop on West 39th Street has changed hands and undergone a rebranding spearheaded by some of the city’s top creatives.
The Wade Brothers are KC-based photographers and directors who direct creative campaigns for brands like Nike, Oakley and Gatorade. (You know those hotels.com ads with the Captain Obvious mascot? That’s them.)
Lindsey Wade, one of two brothers, has been immobilized following surgery on his shoulder which he injured while surfing when he started Google search businesses for sale. Lindsey, her brother Lyndon Wade and her mother Judy Rush are “serial entrepreneurs”, always looking for something to put their mark on (Paradise Garden Club? That’s them too.). Lindsey discovered this neighborhood favorite Tiki Tacos (1710 W. 39th St., KCMO) was for sale, providing the right opportunity.
“I thought to myself, this little place is tiny but always crowded,” says Lindsey. “We changed everything, but we really didn’t change anything.”
“We love creative projects, we love building community,” Lyndon says. “We wanted it to be a fun place that didn’t take itself too seriously. It must be reasonably priced and good. It’s our mission to just have fun.
“It’s such a happy place,” Judy says. “How can you be in a bad mood when you walk into Tiki Taco?”
The old Tiki Taco was a kind of “tequila shot in a plastic thimble”. The new one has a bar program built around cold fruit drinks that Lindsey got help with from a friend in Costa Rica, where he resides part-time. Tortillas, meanwhile, come from Yoli and now feature ingredients like Thai fried chicken and Korean beef. You can still get a six-pack of crispy tacos for ten bucks and a margin made with good tequila, three different citrus tops, and Grand Marnier and Cointreau for eight bucks.
Tiki Taco will soon expand, opening a second location at 54th and Troost, in the old Coffee Break building, as early as June.