Three Stop Hop is a series from Recommended Daily and Visit KC that lets you experience a neighborhood or corner of the city in three unique stops. Steeped in over 150 years of tradition, the City Market is one of Kansas City's can't-miss neighborhoods to visit.
The City Market is a mash-up of flavors and ingredients from across the globe. The Bite? Well, chef Carlos Mortera has figured out how to distill those flavors into a sandwich. The Bite opened in 2014 with its most popular sandwich – the Senor Chang – leading the way. The short rib beauty is delicate dance of fusion with Korean and Mexican influences. Tender short ribs are gussied up with sriracha crema, candied jalapenos, pickled onions, and queso fresco. If you’re gluten-free or craving tacos, all of the sandwiches on the menu are available as tacos. But ask nicely, it’s an off-menu secret.
Take a moment, while perched on stools at the long wooden tables, to admire the art on the walls and at the bottom of your bowl. The walls feature a rotating cast of local, primarily Latino artists, while a Kansas City potter has fired and designed the ceramic bowls that hold The Bite’s rich comforting pozole. As for sides, the patatas bravas feature chopped potatoes that sing thanks to chipotle aioli, cilantro, and house kimchi.
Save a little room for a shared dessert. The Bite’s ice cream sandwiches have Abuelia cookies (pops of dark chocolate, cinnamon, ancho chile and sea salt) stuffed full of seasonal flavors.
The Bite | 23 E 3rd St. | thebitekc.co
Arabia Steamboat Museum
Visible from the patio in front of The Bite, the Arabia Steamboat Museum is the stuff of storybook legends. A family uncovers a sunken steamboat in a field and they start digging. Little do they know they’d uncover the foundation of a museum that’s been at the City Market for 26 years.
The Arabia Steamboat Museum is not just living history, it’s about lives defined by history. As you descend into the museum, you learn the story of The Arabia – a boat that sunk in 1856 when it hit a walnut tree snag. The culprit is at the center of the museum, below the paddlewheel that slowly spins in the sunlight.
It’s what happened after the Arabia sunk that is so unusual. The mud at the bottom of the Missouri river preserved the artifacts aboard the steamship. And those pieces – dishes and clothes and preserved food (that still, theoretically, could be eaten) – give an unprecedented glimpse into the everyday goods that Frontier folks needed and wanted. The tour includes a stop by the cleaning lab where artifacts are cleaned and often a visit from one of the men or women who helped to dig out the sunken ship. So, take a walk back into the pre-Civil War era and spend a moment imagining what it would have been like for you to build a life in that time.
Arabia Steamboat Museum | 400 Grand St. | 1856.com
Brown & Loe
A few hundred steps from the paddlewheel is a former produce warehouse that has been reborn as Brown & Loe. The contemporary American bistro opened in 2016 with a menu that took an elegant approach to comfort food.
The restaurant is a mix of modern and traditional design touches. The kitchen is housed in a former bank vault, the door visible behind the bar. Vintage pieces like a deli meat scale contrast nicely with the dark wood and gleaming metal of old-world steakhouses.
The familiar and nouveau happily co-exist on the Happy Hour menu. Macaroni and cheese is no ordinary affair – it’s cavatappi pasta with a luscious smoked gouda – or a corn dog with house made blue corn meal that will change your perception of the State Fair classic. Their cheeseburger and beer special is half an Andrew Jackson and the staff delights in finding a cocktail (think bubbly fair like the Kir Royale or a Pimm’s Cup) or glass of wine that will go with the meat and cheese board. With drinks in hand, celebrate life today on the Frontier and chat about the treasures you’ve uncovered during your day in the City Market.
Brown & Low | 429 Walnut St. | brownandloe.com