Exotic Eats: Kansas City’s Most Unique Fare

By Kathryn Greene

In the mood for an epicurean adventure? It’s easy to wander off the beaten path of culinary classics in Kansas City. From duck tongue tacos to fettuccine with squid ink, chefs across the city are shaking up the culinary scene with unexpected ingredients.

Here are some of Kansas City’s most exotic entrées:

Duck Got Your Tongue?

Extra Virgin might be most well-known for its menu of Mediterranean classics, but it also offers some daring delights. In fact, a section of the menu is dedicated “For the Adventurous.” Alongside crispy pig ear salad and Sicilian spleen sandwiches, you’ll find their duck tongue tacos. The duck tongue is marinated in spicy achiote paste, topped with pickled onions and queso fresco and served in hard shell tacos. Squeeze the lime wedge over the tacos before eating to bring out the flavors in each bite.

Herring Pairing

Krokstrom Klubb & Market has been bringing the flavors of Scandinavia to Kansas City since it opened in early 2016. From its old-country décor to the craft cocktails to the smørrebrød (traditional open-faced sandwiches), everything at Krokstrom Klubb & Market is a unique culinary experience. One particular menu standout is the Pickled Herring Board. The Scandinavian charcuterie comes complete with juniper and onion pickled herring, served alongside baby potatoes and sour cream. The shareable plate is meant to be passed around, although you probably won’t want to—and we don’t blame you.

Think Squid Ink

Nestled among the French fare on Westport Café & Bar’s menu is an unexpected item—fettuccine with squid ink. Using hand-made pasta from Cupini’s, another Westport favorite, the dish is prepared with shrimp, crab and fresh tomato. The flavor of the squid ink fettuccine is much less dramatic than its appearance, having a subtle, savory taste that pairs perfectly with a glass of wine from the café’s extensive wine list.

Tell Tail

Image via Facebook.com/EthiopianandCaribbean

Located in the heart of Midtown, Mesob offers both Ethiopian and Caribbean food. It’s important to note that Mesob isn’t a fusion restaurant but rather one that offers two separate menus, cooked and sold side-by-side. From the Caribbean menu, opt for the oxtail, seared and slowly braised with carrots, onions and celery and finished in a rich red wine sauce. Wine is an atypical addition to oxtail, but adds an acidity that accentuates the bold flavor of the dish.

Tantalizing Tentacles

Image via @glitterbug_kc

Just because KC isn’t on the coast doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of fresh seafood dishes available. Carlos Falcon, the owner of Jarocho Pescados Y Mariscos, sources seafood from around the globe. As if octopus wasn’t an interesting enough dish on its own, Jarocho serves it two different ways. There’s pulpo encebollado, octopus boiled then sautéed to perfection with garlic, onions and chopped jalapeño for a flavorful Mexican twist. And then there’s pulpo en tinta for the truly adventurous: tender, broiled octopus sautéed in its own ink.

Ooey Geoduck

Image via @luvmyink

Among sushi house staples like ahi tuna and sashimi, Bob Wasabi on 39th Street West serves up something rarely seen on most menus, mirugai. More commonly known as geoduck (pronounced gooey-duck), the large saltwater clam has a soft, tender flesh and taste similar to other seafood in its shellfish family. At Bob Wasabi, you can choose to have it served sashimi-style or nigiri-style over rice. The delicacy isn’t always available, so be sure to take the culinary risk when you see it on the menu.

Kelli O'Hara, Broadway star in concert

Kelli O’Hara is one of the biggest stars on Broadway, and her work in film, television, and opera have made her acclaim even greater. The Tony Award winner will bring her unique mix of classicism and show business to Kansas City for selections from Broadway and the Great American Songbook.

Hugh Jackman

Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman will bring The Man. The Music. The Show to Sprint Center on Oct. 13. You will see Jackman performing hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Paul Childres Concert in the Caves

Blending Pop, R&B, and Soul, Paul Childers is leading a new breed of Singer/Songwriters and Guitarists. Paul finds a way to blur the lines cast between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix styles of guitar playing, a Motown rhythm section, and Pop vocal melodies. He is returning to the caves for another epic show! 

B-Side mini 2019

We're celebrating our second annual music festival - in a teenier way!
Join us Oct. 4th First Friday for B-Side Mini!
Acts include our house band I Threw a Chair, Winny Wallet and the Workshop, and local musician Sean Groff.
Inside the gallery we will be showing many mini works, small doodles, sculptures and more.
Big thanks to Brewery Emperial for providing the event with beverages!

Merriam Drive Live!

Downtown Merriam will transform into a street and lawn party full of music on two stages, food trucks, adult beverages and a Cornhole Tournament. Performers include: Four Fried Chickens & a Coke; Red Guitar; Stolen Winnebagos; Fast Times and Noe Palma. Enjoy this annual music fest for FREE in downtown Merriam.

Brahms’ Fourth and Bach’s Fantasia

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Paul Jacobs, organ
J.S. BACH/ELGAR Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY Once Upon a Castle for Organ and Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4

Finlandia and Schumann’s Piano Concerto

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Martin Helmchen, piano
SIBELIUS Finlandia
R. SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
DANIEL KELLOGG The Golden Spike (Kansas City Symphony commission, world premiere)
SMETANA “Blaník” from Má vlast

The Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City Fall Concert

The Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, healthcare students, as well as other musicians from the Kansas City area.  This fall concert will include: The New World Symphony - Dvorak , Fanfare for the Common Man – Copeland, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cello, s Gion Overture - Jose Gonzalez Granero