August 2009

MexicanWTEIKC | 09 Aug 2009 04:43 pm

El Camino Real – 903 N 7th St, Kansas City, KS 66101 – (913) 342-4333

This must be where authentic soft tacos go when they die…in the Midwest, anyway. Step inside, and immediately to your right is the open kitchen area where you will see fresh tortillas prepared before your eyes. Various meat fillings can be prepared in tacos, burritos and tortas. The al pastor was a hit – incredibly tender strips of marinated, slightly salty pork were a perfect match to the hot corn tortilla and the simple house salsa. Two tacos, some beans, and a beer should be enough to make anyone leave happy. Two of us enjoyed such a repast for about $15.

You’ll have to forgive me for taking a huge bite before remembering to take the photo…

Tacos al pastor at El Camino Real

The rest of the day, I could be heard exclaiming, “TACOS! Heheheheh!” a la this lil’ guy:

HumorWTEIKC | 06 Aug 2009 03:19 pm

On the way to lunch, Frank exclaimed, “I wish it hadn’t taken me 33 years to discover coffee and liquor.”

CommentaryWTEIKC | 02 Aug 2009 04:36 pm

Seriously… There are two things about Gates Barbeque that have always baffled me: 1) The greeting, “Hi, may I help you?” yelled in an ear-splitting, almost accusatory voice as soon as you enter the building (are you really supposed to know what you want that soon?), and 2) the lack of any apparent organization behind the counter, resulting in long waits in a crowded space next to the register. I love KC BBQ, but when deciding among the many great places to get it, Gates usually gets written off first when I remember these two irritations. It doesn’t seem like enjoying a good meal should require getting yelled at and then being asked to repeat your order several times.

Gates should take a hard look at, say, Oklahoma Joe’s, another busy BBQ joint, but where the line keeps moving because there is a smooth, well-conceived workflow behind the counter. Okie Joe’s is a much smaller operation, yet it has received national recognition, including the infamous eat-here-before-you-die endorsement from superstar chef Anthony Bourdain. Gates may have more commercial savvy and presence in supermarkets, but can’t really boast the same in terms of prestige. Hm, wonder why?