Last week I happened to be in Kansas City for the MLS Cup final and I was fully expecting myself to eat about 10 lbs of ridiculous barbecue, indulge in many beers, and keep warm with a scotch in one hand and a scarf around my neck… and I did that. But one night, I was holed up in a bar waiting to go out and a started talking up the barkeep about some of the really good restaurants in the area and that is how I found Anton’s Taproom and Restaurant.
It started when the tender of bar told me about the burger…. actually, it started when she talked about the beer selection there, but being a man of size I asked about the food. When I did that, she did a double take and couldn’t get out of her mouth fast enough, how good the burger looked every time she saw it go by. The obvious follow up, for me, was “is it good? what does it taste like? .. it turns out that she never had it!
* Editors Note * I did….
Anyways, after wrapping up and heading out, we found the spot after a short cab ride from the hotel the next day, and it was a great decision for lunch. The place, the concept, the food and beverage selection is great…
It wasn’t until I became a father that the quality of food became so important. Knowing where the food we’re eating came from and what care was used in raising it became essential. That philosophy is being incorporated into Anton’s by developing relationships with farmers and trying to build on sustainability. We are striving to put quality products at the forefront. Some of Anton’s offerings are pork and poultry raised hormone free, without antibiotics and certified organic grass fed beef.All from farms that care about and practice the humane treatment of animals. I realized by dealing directly with farmers I would be able to offer something distinctive, at an affordable price. This allows for more creativity and offerings like in-house aging, cutting steaks to order and being able to offer our products at the Butcher’s counter to enjoy at home. I wanted to recreate the Butcher Shop and Steak House of long past.
Great beers, I did a flight. They don’t actually do legit predetermined flights, but they have a menu system where you can select certain beers and have short pours and it turns into a flight. They also had Chimay on tap, something I hadn’t seen in a whole bunch of places. Spot is solid.
The System (Our little way of paying it forward.)
The Auquaponics system we have downstairs enables us to raise our own Tilapia thereby controlling what the fish are eating. The minerals and nutrients the fish leave behind are a perfect source of food for the herb and lettuce gardens growing on top of the tanks. An additional bonus of this process is that the plants in turn are a carbon free, natural filtration system for the water as it returns back to the fish. We’ve created a truly organic food system.
They are part beer spot, part restaurant, and attached is a full on butcher shop. You can get meat to go from there!
Time to eat…..
Quick side note, this restaurant claims sustainability, and they mean it. I notice things like this. Towels for napkins. Its little bit its legit. It tells me that there is some serious thought about waste and what they are putting out in the world. One thing that kills me in some restaurants is when they talk on and on about being sustainable and taking care of the environment, but they go through napkins and paper towels like I go through beers on a hot day.
Things like reusable clothe napkins is legit. It may cost a little more with the laundry delivery, but I have a feeling that have that dialed in too.
Autumn bisque : great!
I had the house burger of course …. fresh ground, sharp cheddar, house bacon, pickled onion, dijon mustard and a side of chips
It just so happened that while we were there we chatted up a couple of bartenders and actually the owner himself, Anton. It turns out that he was a contractor by trade and this wasn’t his first spot. he had a hand in developing, building and running a local joint called GRINDERs as well, which we’d heard about during our time down there. Antons was great. The food is great. Its somewhere you definitely need to check out if you are in KC.
By the way, they have Unibroue on draft. Which is interesting because I think the kid behind bar was telling us that they are one of the only places in the region with Unibroue on tap. You can get it other places, in the bottle, but on draft is rare. And there was the Chimay that they had on draft too. Good stuff.
If you want to read about it from real writers:
New York Times slobbers over steaks at Anton’s Taproom – www.pitch.com
Restaurant Report: Anton’s Taproom in Kansas City, Mo. – www.nytimes.com
Anton’s Taproom has a lot on its plate – www.kansascity.com