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Panera: Great fresh bread, sweets, sandwiches
Panera is a national coffee/bakery/sandwich chain that sells pricey, trendy and delicious eats. Bagels, sticky buns, brownies, humongous cookies, sandwiches and of course, coffee. You will pay handsomely for the ambiance, so I suggest you eat in. If you are afraid to try the unknown, Panera is predictably good. They make really excellent bagels and bagel spreads.
D'Bronx Deli: Great Deli Sandwiches
The sandwiches, the price and the ambiance differ between its three locations. One at Crown Center is very good, and the sandwiches excellent. The original at 39th & Bell is also very good, but the price and variety a bit different. The new one at 105th & Metcalf is for the yuppie/Gen X crowd, and does a back up line of business for lunch, but the prices are higher and variety to choose form are different; not so good as the others.
Favorite Dish: Salami and cheese sub for $5. A wheat bread sandwich of liverwurst and corned beef is excellent and the combo is worth a taste. Usual prices for subs are $5-6, and sandwiches $7-8, with chips and drink extra.
Mama Bell's on 39th: An Old Tradition from the Past
This used to be an icon of a place to go for good food and plenty of it. Now you may get the plenty, but the good is getting medicore, at best. They moved some 3 years ago from 39th & Bell to a place on Southwest Blvd, about 1 mile est, and apparently the service by owner went down somewhat.
Favorite Dish: They serve breakfasts all day, and have about 20 varieties to choose from. All are good, and include the basic toast, hash browns, eggs(or alternative) and any other thing you could think of to add
d'Bronx Deli: Sandwich or Pizza by the Slice
Take a popular deli and put it in the middle of one of Kansas City's favorite hangout spots (for tourists and locals alike) and you've got a busy place. But the food is good and the prices are not at all unreasonable. Best known for their deli-style sandwiches, soup and for pizza-by-the-slice.
There is a second location at 3904 Bell Street, one block east of the state line and a short distance from the University of Kansas Medical Center.
Favorite Dish: Pizza by the slice. This is more of a New York style pizza than most you find in the KC area - thin and crispy.
- Food and Dining
Mr. Goodcents Subs & Pastas: Whether You Call Them Subs, or Heroes, or Hoagies
Whether you call them subs, or heroes, or hoagies, you will love these wonderful sandwiches from Mr. Goodcents. Goodcents started as a small local store in KC, and has grown to a chain with stores in 13 states. I have heard that there are more Goodcents shops in the metropolitan Kansas City area than there are McDonalds. If that is no longer true, it's probably not far off.
The reason for their growth is simple - quality. You may have had subs from that well-known national chain with the brown and yellow logo. Well, let me tell you there is no comparison. The top-quality meats and cheeses are sliced fresh from the roll as you order them - not prepackaged and stored in wax paper or cellophane. And the bread is really tasty and substantial. White or wheat, it doesn't turn to mush as you chew it.
Favorite Dish: My favorite is the Italian sub, made with capicola, pepperoni, salami, and choice of cheeses. However, on my diet now I usually order turkey or tuna or splurge on the Italian sausage with green peppers and onions.
Their cookies are awesome - particularly the peanut butter. They serve inexpensive pasta dishes that are ok, but hey, there are a lot of better places for pasta. With subs this good, stay with that.
Mario's Delicatessen: Best Meatball Grinder...
A tradition in the Westport area. I've been coming here ever since I moved to the KC area in 1973. It has the look and feel of an east coast Italian deli, not to mention the food. Big difference - the help is a lot friendlier.
Favorite Dish: No doubt about it - Kansas City metro area's best meatball grinder. (I have never had a better one, anywhere!) Generous portions of meat and cheese, with a just the right blend of spicy sweet sauce in a hot, crisp roll. A real deal at less than US$5. Good sides, too, especially the artichoke and tomato salad. Home-made cannolis are ok, but not great.
- Road Trip
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Happy Gillis: Great Sandwiches and Soups
I cannot say enough about this place. It is in a renovated corner store. It is bright and cheery. Seating is at a collection of eclectic kitchen tables covered with brown paper. There are crayons on the tables to doodle with. Other places do this but some of the many examples that they have pegged up on the walls are really fantastic. At lunch this hopping spot is busy yet somehow everyone finds a spot.
The staff is friendly and highly motivated. The quality of ingredients is the best in town. The selection is creative and very well crafted. There are new sandwiches and soups daily. I have NEVER had a less than wonderful lunch here.
It is not cheap but the taste and quality ingredients are reflected in the dishes. I always feel like I received good value. Cheap is not always inexpensive.
Favorite Dish: The soups are always great.(and often vegetarian a rare thing indeed) Any sandwich will not disappoint.
They serve breakfast but I have never been in this neighborhood at breakfast time yet. It is on my to do list.
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