Monday, May 30

crawfish boil - part 2

We took a lot of pictures but we can't remember everyone's names.
Since alcohol was involved, we were more concerned about drinking
than documenting. I think we all know how that happens!
Enjoy these and check on facebook for more pics tomorrow.
Photos by Linh Trieu, Craig Rohner and whoever else picked up the camera.

crawfish boil - part 1

Starker's chef John McClure held his annual crawfish boil yesterday and it was co-hosted by Dan Doty of Westport Café and Bar. Roughly 300 guests attended this blowout party, most of whom are in the service industry. We started out with pulled pork sandwiches and seafood gumbo soup. An eight-foot table in the backyard was loaded down with crawfish while a table inside was filled with amazing salads, dessert and one very delicious gazpacho soup. Boulevard beer and rosés flowed non-stop during this 12-hour party that started at 3:30 in the afternoon and went well into the wee hours of the morning. Aaron Confessori of Westport Café & Bar lives on the same street, he hosted a "satellite party" in the driveway of his home to help with the overflow from John's place. The entire street was alive with music, people and great food and drink. Thank you John and Dan for a really great party! And thanks(?) to Aaron who cracked open the whiskey, we are all a little worse for the wear this morning. Party pics coming up soon in Part 2. Happy Memorial Day! Photos by Linh Trieu & Craig Rohner

Sunday, May 29

rainy day walkabout

Although the temperature is hovering around 90°F and sunny today (32°C for our international readers), for most of yesterday, Kansas City was covered in a mist of rain and fog. With some rain gear on, the cooler weather provided a perfect opportunity to set off for a walkabout down Southwest Boulevard and almost all the way downtown. The best way to get to know any city is by walking or biking through it. When you live in said city, it's easy to forget that walking is an option, especially in sprawled out KC where driving is much easier and more convenient. Walking makes you really look at all the wonderful little treasures our city has to offer. Even if you don't get to explore regularly, we highly recommend hoofing it through the city whenever you can. And don't forget to take your camera and act like a tourist!

Miller High Life advertisement painted on Royal Liquors building.
This picture is for our friend Tim, Kansas City's unofficial High Life ambassador.
A metal horse and rider found above a sheet metal company by Shutte Lumber.
The view from 17th and Baltimore where half the buildings were shrouded in fog.
A super busty mannequin at a new fashion boutique on the Boulevard.
I'm no expert but she had to have been at least a 38D(D).
Condom filled with cigarette butts on Baltimore.
We guess that pretty much tells the whole story.
Martin Luther King, Jr., found in the window of YJ's on 18th Street.
This is the best doorway to the most oddly shaped building, narrow at the
entrance and widening toward the back, the building attaches to some garages.
Station RAC Auto Sales is sandwiched between a fleet of trucks and
Jesse's Bar on Southwest Boulevard
There are a slew of vintage cars along the Boulevard. Some are broken shells
waiting for new life, some are fixed up and locked up tight behind chain link fences,
and some are on the road, rolling down the street like it was the mid 1900s. 
Photos by Linh Trieu

Friday, May 27

food story

Prairie Village, Kansas
Here's a peek at the newly opened Story. We enjoyed a leisurely lunch there this afternoon and got a chance to see our friend Sloane (formerly of Le Fou Frog) at work. She is the General Manager and we are so proud of her and the great new job! The space was a stark black and white, very modern and a bit bare, but Sloane said black and white landscape photography will be on the walls soon. It did feel a bit like sitting in a contemporary art museum. The china, glassware and silverware were elegant and sophisticated, a nice canvas for the beautiful and delicious food created by chef/proprietor Carl Thorne-Thomsen

the menu, printed on a textured paper, was easy
to read and had a nice, clean design
a sweet little two-top right by the front door
rhubarb sorbet, part of a trio
along with honey and strawberry, $6
smoked duck empanadas, $9
avocado puree, black beans, jicama
ceviche, $12
North Atlantic fluke, pine nuts, celery, cilantro 
pork burger, $9
burger, confit, bacon, braised chard, ricotta cheese, bbq suace
their elegant glassware and flowers
story logo, the kerning drives me a little batty,
and yes, we have to call them out on it
Full disclosure: Sloane bought us dessert and we are not ashamed
to say that we took full advantage of her and ordered three.
Photos by Linh Trieu....Tina will be back soon!

chris d.

Chris D. | Regional Sales Director
Service Industry Fly By
Chris works for one of the largest wine companies in the United States. Every eight bottles over $15 is one of the wines she represents for family-owned Terlato. Chris hails from St. Louis, but said that if her family wasn't there, she would love to live in Kansas City. She thinks St. Louis is more chain driven in both retail and restaurants than KC and customers "are not as apt to drive outside of their comfort box." In her free time she spends time with her family, runs and plays golf. She loves horses.

  Make STL Better » I would make it less clique-y. 

Thursday, May 26

secret wine garden

In a hidden pocket alley down in the River Market, there is an intimate, new haven for wine drinkers. To get there, you must enter through the two front doors of Cellar & Loft, down the stairs, through their dishwashing area and through two more doors. It's a long, narrow space with light streaming from the sky at the top of the buildings. Black and white striped umbrellas give the alley a European bistro feel. We think this would be the perfect venue for an intimate party or a lazy afternoon of reading and relaxing in a secret getaway. photos by Linh Trieu

pink drink

Blueberry Cilantro Margarita
Jose Cuervo Silver, elderflower liqueur,
lime juice, fresh blueberries and cilantro
photo by Linh Trieu

cara y.

Cara Y. | Server
Years of Industry Service: 8
Cara is an anomaly in the service industry. Besides the occasional glass of wine, she tries not to drink too much. Serving is a transition for her at the moment. She was in marketing, but still, out of all the jobs she's had, Trio has been the best. Although Cara thinks Kansas City is fantastic, having lived in Colorado for a while, she wouldn't mind having some mountains as part of the landscape.

  Make KC Better » Add more outdoors stuff. I want to hike. I want trails. 

Wednesday, May 25

metal sculpture

Where are we?
Where is this metal art located? And who is the artist (we don't know, just curious).
Leave your answer in the comments section below
or send us a message via facebook or twitter @ELoungeKC.
We have a winnah! Kristen Sikorski hit the nail on the head...this very
unique home and probably studio is located at 46th and Genessee.
Kristen, email us with your addy so we can send you a prize!
Photos by Linh Trieu

john b.

John B. | Chef
Years of Industry Service: 20
John grew up and now lives in Northeast Kansas City. He is a former Navy man (airman) and his first job was at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Now he works downtown and he works A LOT. When we talked to John, he was going through an 18-day stretch with no days off. Mostly, he works as a hot line chef at Cosentino's, Kansas City's only downtown grocery store, but he also helps out his buddy at Qudo's, a cognac and cigar bar. "I don't have any free time," he says.

  Make KC Better » Make public transportation 24 hours. 

Tuesday, May 24

Bikes, Burgers & BBQ

National Bike/Burger/BBQ Month Celebrations Continue!
Vintage bike mounted by front door neighborhood bicycle shop Waldo Bikes.
French Fried Potatoes, Genessee Royale Bistro, $3
Crown Prime Beef Rib, Jack Stack BBQ, $11.95
1/2 lb Roadhouse Burger with bacon, Wisconsin cheddar,
and onion straws on a corn bun, BRGR Kitchen & Bar, $8.50
Tannin 8 oz. Wagyu Burger with smoked cheddar, crispy bacon,
and a fried egg on an onion bun, Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen, $9.50
Rear view of vintage bike and new wheels suspended from the ceiling at Waldo Bikes
Southern Jack, pulled pork in Jack Stack BBQ sauce on a French roll,
Vintage tricycle on the lower level of the Rivermarket Antique Mall
The Butcher's Grind Hamburger on a Wolferman muffin with
aged Gruyère and bacon marmalade, Genessee Royale Bistro, $11
Full disclosure: We were invited to BRGR to check out their patio (which we love for being covered but still outdoors) and ended up having a burger instead. Thanks again, Andrew, for buying our lunch! Ryan at Tannin bought our burger when we followed him around for a future post about the day in the life of a bartender's day off. We also want to mention that Michael Smith has a burger at lunch that we wanted to try and is on our list of burgers to try, Smithburger & Pommes Frites with white cheddar, bacon, tomato, red onion and port ketchup, $10. 

As always, we were not paid by any of the businesses for coverage.

mark m.

Mark M. | Server/Host/Kitchen
Years of Industry Service: 35
A 12-year-old when he first stepped into the restaurant industry, Mark says he kind of grew up in restaurants. For the past ten years, he ran an organic gardening program for K-8th graders at USD 500, the only gardening program in Kansas. Unfortunately as with many programs at many schools, funding for the program fell through last year* so he started working at You Say Tomato little by little. At the four elementary and three middle schools, they harvested from the gardens and cook them in the classroom. "They got to have the whole food cycle," Mark says. "That's what I love about this place too. We cook everything homemade and use local products." 

Aside from gardening and restaurant work, Mark is also a theater person. He hosts a show on 90.1 FM (KKFI) called Midday Medley that is primarily a music program that supports and helps promote local artists and musicians. KKFI has been in Kansas City for 23 years and is almost totally driven by volunteers.
*They JUST got their funding!!! Congratulations Mark on getting your program back!

  Make KC Better » Light Rail. Trains from the Airport to Olathe. Organic gardens in every neighborhood, providing organic produce to all. Bike lanes. Safe sidewalks in every neighborhood, for kids to walk to school. After school programs for all students Pre-K through High School. Free tutoring for all students. More free clinics. More fresh food pantries, especially for at risk youth. A swimming pools for kids in the inner city. A real investment, by city leaders, in our most precious resource: our youth. More respect for artists who make our city beautiful. 

Monday, May 23

stephanie h.

Today's post features guest photographer and graphic artist Elizabeth Cook. 
Because of our friendship, she accepted Peanut chicken wings and a pitcher
of beer as payment for her services. See more of her work here. Thanks Beth!

Stephanie H. | Hair Slinger
Great Links
Service Industry Detour
Stephanie slings hair for a living now, but she was once a nail tech at a day spa (nine years). Although she initially liked giving manis and pedis, she soon "got sick of touching people. I don't want to touch people's feet." Her dream job would be to be a makeup artist, particularly special effects. In Stephanie's free time, she like to "drink, go see bands and travel. I go out of town a lot."

  Make KC Better » Public transportation. 

Friday, May 20

George & His Raleigh Chopper

Today's guest post is brought to you by Linh's husband, George, who shares memories of his very first bike. It's a short story, but longer than what we usually post, so make yourself a cuppa and enjoy your read. This story is set in George's hometown of  Killybegs, Ireland. You can read more of his writing here.

The Onion-Infused Red Raleigh Chopper
A Short Story by George Vial
I’ve a bike in the garage that cost about two thousand dollars, weighs twenty-four pounds of the finest hand-welded aluminum, with ultra light wheels and top-of-the-line components. Twenty-four gears that can get me effortlessly up any small hill or mountain road. It’s more like a rocket ship on wheels than a bicycle.

When I think back to my first bike, I often think about the racer Derek bought me begrudgingly with his bingo winnings, but that memory is false. There was another, my first real bike, and it came from Granny and Granda’s coal shed.

The coal shed in the back garden was a dirty little building. It’s where, true to its name, they kept their coal and slack. But it was also a home for dogs and their pups and lots of old junk they no longer used but didn’t have the heart, or gumption, to throw away. There were old spades, saws and even a petrified string of onions on the wall. But among all the clutter, the biggest thing stuck to the wall was my aunt Magella’s old bicycle.

It was a red Raleigh Chopper. The kind with the little front wheel and the oversized back wheel, the long saddle with the high back and the gear shift in the middle of the low, slanted crossbar, oh and I shouldn’t forget the big droopy Harley-Davidson style, low rider handlebars, from which it earned the chopper distinction. Jesus, she was a sight. When we were really little, before we could ride a bike, we always wanted to have it down off the wall to play with, but always the answer was “No!”

zach w.

Zach W. | Server/Bartender
Years of Industry Service: 11
Zach started his service industry career at 75th Street Brewery as a host. Bartending jobs are not easy to come by, especially without much experience, but through hard work and a little bit of luck, he eventually landed behind the bar. Since his early days of pouring locally crafted beers, Zach has expanded his knowledge and experience of the liquor business with every job, one of which was at Maple Creek Winery in Yorkville Highlands, California, just outside of Anderson Valley. For eight months, he took every step in the wine making process from working the tasting room and cellar, racking wine and cleaning barrels to pressing juice, punchdown and even blending. A mistake he made blending led to a Gold Medal at the Mendocino County Fair. Zach said, "It was an invaluable experience and a beautiful place to live."

During Manifesto's first run before their unfortunate hiatus, Zach worked alongside older brother and bestie Beau, shaking and stirring up classic craft cocktails. Although Zach made the cocktails just as well as Beau, customers kept asking for his big brother. Oh, such is the life of the younger brother. "I let Beau deal with the glitz and the glamour. I just put my nose down and make the money." Zach and Beau have not had a physical altercation since they were thirteen-years-old. "We're best friends," he says. "Besties. Tots besties." Awwwwwww. That is just the sweetest.
Zach is enjoying an ice cream cone from Murray's,
a surprise afternoon treat from girlfriend Mary Ann

  Make KC Better » Put a beach in Westport, if Buzzard Beach was real beach... 

Thursday, May 19

Chris & His Schwinn

Today, we are excited to to share a guest post from Chris Magee-Jenks, Tina's husband and Linh's former co-worker. Chris is part of the "Green Team" at work, advocating sustainability efforts for the entire company. He shames his co-workers into recycling and reusing whenever possible and sets a great example by riding his bike and taking the bus to work whenever possible.

This is my bike. 
It's a 1976 Schwinn Varsity.

I have only been riding to work for a couple of years, not daily, but as much as I can. It's old, heavy, and riding it is a good workout. I found it on Craigslist back in 2008, but someone bought it before I could. Turns out, it was my wife who bought it out from under my nose and gave it to me as a wedding present! I love it. I'm a pretty big nerd, so prepare yourself. And thanks to Tina & Linh for letting me crash The Lounge!

I've learned some things riding this bike. One is that it sucks to carry stuff on my back. I used to bring my work clothes, lunch, shoes, iPod & a sketchbook in a backpack... it got old fast. So, I got this rack trunk. It's really great for holding all the crap I just mentioned, and it helps to keep me visible because it's an outrageous yellow color. I always go with the "safe" choice when buying gear, and it usually ends up being the ugly & dorky choice. That's how I roll.
Dork Points: 3

Growing up I had three bikes stolen out of my parents garage.
This lock isn't great, but it will hopefully deter thieves in the future. 

Another thing I learned about this bike is that it's old and there aren't many "cool parts" out there for it. After I got the bike, I started upgrading what I could. These brake levers are a more recent design that looks better, stops better and offers more riding positions. One thing I love about my bike is that I can tinker with any part of it and upgrades are accessible and relatively simple compared to say, my car.
Dork Points: -3

These tires (old school 27" diameter gumwalls) have a kevlar tread backing to help prevent flat tires from debris you'd find on a commuting route. I don't carry a backup tube, so fingers crossed, these tires hold up!

These are the shifters... they're in a bad place. I seem to accidentally shift with my knee at least every other day...

Yep... A headlight in front, a mirror, and two blinkies (white forward, red rear) ALL on the helmet. I got hit by a car while riding my bike when I was 12. If I hadn't been wearing a helmet, it might have been my skull that shattered instead of that Subaru's windshield. I ALWAYS ride with a helmet. Have ever since.
Dork points: 8

I also wear this insane yellow jacket to make sure drivers don't miss me. I try to ride like I'd drive a car, so I stop at stop signs and at lights, use turn signals, ride with the direction of traffic, etc. Mostly I feel like drivers see me, and they don't seem to have any problem with me riding on the street. Which is good, because legally, bikes are vehicles that are required to use and obey laws of the road, just like cars.

That's the stash pocket.
Dork Points: -5

I always rode mountain bikes or BMX bikes when I was a kid (in Denver) so when I finally made the switch to a bike with these tires, I was shocked at how smooth and fast they can be. The Varsity is an old fart in the world of road bikes, but it feels like a race bike compared to every other bike I ever rode.

And that's why I love it. It doesn't matter to me what kind of bike it is, so long as it's fun.
So when you ride be safe, and be creative.

marcia c.

Marcia C. | Owner
Shabby Hattie's Tea Room & Boutique
Years of Industry Service: 1
Marcia has lived in Parkville her entire life and has always wanted a storefront in their charming downtown. As a high schooler, she worked at a fast food joint called Smack's in North Kansas City. But for most of her career, she ran a daycare from home. After raising three children who have given her three grandchildren, she finally made her dream a reality. Marcia's very-girly and very-cute tearoom boasts of 65 tea varieties. They offer breakfast on Saturdays, private parties on Sundays and her customers' ages range from wee three-year-olds to centenarians. Shabbie Hattie's was named after Marcia's grandmother (pictured in the last photo). "She was a tea drinker and the first person I shared a hot cup of tea with." 

  Make KC Better » Drop the sales tax. 

Wednesday, May 18

ryan h.

Ryan H. | Server/Cook/Bartender/DJ
Years of Industry Service: 10
Ryan came to work at Fric & Frac purely by chance. They were looking for someone and he just happened to be there. Ryan is a transplant from Sacramento, California, has a 3 and 1/2 year old daughter and lives conveniently close to his one of his jobs (upstairs). When he's not pouring you a drink, or making and bringing your food, Ryan deejays as DJ Hood Nasty at Union and Gusto Lounge. He's been producing dub step (electronic-reggae-feel) since 2006. Ladies, you can catch Ryan every other Tuesday night at Union, free entry and two for one wells.

  Make KC Better » Clean up Midtown and get rid of the projects.