Food Reviews: Kansas City’s Best Grilled Foods | KCUR 89.3

The summer grilling season is upon us. Over this Memorial Day weekend, we’re going to be lighting the backyard grill, a cold drink in hand.

But what exactly is grilling? KCUR food critics defined it on Friday Central standard.

“It’s over a hot fire or coals,” Carlton Logan told host Gina Kaufmann.

“Grilling is not barbecue,” added Charles Ferruzza. “The main difference is speed. Grilling can be quite quick. Barbecuing is a slow cooker thing.

If you don’t feel like cooking on your own this holiday weekend, food critics have searched for the best grilled food in and around Kansas City.

Here are their recommendations:

Marie Bloch, Around the block:

  • Kansas City from Lidia – octopus.
  • Michael Smith Restaurant – octopus.
  • Novel – octopus.
  • Story – octopus.
  • Jarocho South – Lobster.
  • Port Fonda – esquite asado. It’s grilled sweet corn with ep azote (an aromatic herb), Cotija cheese, habanero mayonnaise, chili, cilantro, lime and more. My favorite dish on the menu. The corn is served on the cob.
  • Stock Hill – Oysters.
  • Stock Hill – steaks.
  • Stock Hill – cutlets.
  • Imperial Brewery – Grilled Caesar Salad.
  • Gram & Dun – Jackson salad. With grilled romaine, hearts of palm, blue cheese, bacon, artichoke and mustard vinaigrette.
  • Jasper’s – Italian sausages. From the grill in front of his restaurant. Served with potatoes, onions and peppers.
  • Carnicerie la Siete – carnitas. Once the pork shoulder is cooked, it is separated and put back on the grill and fried for more crispness. They are exceptional.
  • ChoSun Korean barbecue. The finely chopped meat is brought to the table for you to cook on your tabletop grill. I prefer the bulgogi, a marinated sirloin steak. You can also get pork belly or belly. Served with lettuce (for a do-it-yourself lettuce wrap), kimchi, sauces, pickled vegetables, seaweed salad and more.

Carlton Logan, and Co-Administrator, Kansas City Eats Facebook Group:

  • Third social street – grilled carrots. Heirloom Rainbow Carrots are roasted and sprinkled with Moroccan spices. And they’re served with yogurt and harissa, a North African chili paste. There are several layers of flavor in this dish. And there is a nice contrast between the hot carrots and the fresh yogurt and harissa.
  • BBQ in a blind box – elotes. Mexican street corn has become very popular. The corn on the cob is grilled, brushed with sour cream or cream, mayonnaise, chili powder, parmesan or cojita, salt and lime juice. It’s the sweetness of corn, the salty taste of Parmesan and the heat of chili powder. Blind Box uses their spice blend with chili powder and other spices they didn’t want to share!
  • Twisted fresh – Cajun grilled chicken tacos. For when I’m looking for something quick and healthy. With Pepper Jack cheese, avocado, shredded lettuce and black bean and corn salsa.
  • Twisted fresh – mahi-mahi tacos. With spicy Thai coleslaw, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo and honey and sriracha aioli.
  • Grünauer – duo of sausages. You can’t beat the flavor of grilled sausages. Of the six sausage flavors, I like the currywurst and the cheesy pork. And it’s served with sauerkraut.

Charles Ferruzza, The independent and Shawnee Mission Post:

  • El Pollo Rey – chicken. This is the best grilled chicken ever. A whole grilled chicken that is very fragrant, and the meat is extraordinarily tender.
  • The Basha Kitchen – grilled meat platter. I think it’s a nice assortment of grilled meats that you don’t often find on one plate. Includes kefta (lamb and ground beef), gyroscopic beef, super tender chicken skewers, or shish tawook. Served with garlic, tahini and hot sauce on the side.
  • Olives coffee – grilled cauliflower. On the lunch buffet. When roasted well, cauliflower is tender, flavorful and fragrant.
  • Restaurant JJ – lobster tail. A kind of classic JJ dish. It’s very buttery, very delicious.
  • Seasons 52 – grilled salmon salad with sesame. Organic green vegetables, pineapple, mango, jicama, lemongrass sauce, toasted sesame vinaigrette. It is really tasty.
  • Seasons 52 – salad of grilled vegetables. Wood-grilled kohlrabi steak that also comes with vegan paella, asparagus, roasted onion with fennel. It really elevates the word “salad” to a whole new dimension. You feel so healthy after eating it that you don’t feel bad about ordering five of their little desserts.
  • Nate’s Exchange Shop – street corn. Good product.

Recommendations from auditors:

  • Trezo Mare. Everything from grill to wood fire. They hang the vegetables on the grill for a smoky taste.
  • Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse – sirloin steak. They have the most amazing steaks that are hand cut and grilled. The sirloin is to die for.
  • Bristol Seafood Grill. Seafood and steak are grilled over mesquite.

Jen Chen is an associate producer for KCUR’s Central Standard. Contact her at [email protected]

Dino S. Williams