Monday, May 7, 2007

"Everything’s Up-To-Date In Kansas City"

I’m Back!! Well, it’s not as though I’ve gone anywhere. And yet I’ve been everywhere.

Two things have gone great here so far here in K.C. First, I’m back in the yoga room, finally. There haven’t been any Bikram yoga studios in many of the places I’ve been over the past few weeks so it’s been a pretty long lapse for me. There’s only so much you can do by heating up the hotel room and listening to a CD, It’s just not the same. But Stu's friend, Aliya is a teacher at Bikram Yoga Kansas City and I met the owner, Angela, who is wonderful. I'm home. And the other thing that I love about K.C so far should be no surprise to any of you. I love the food. All right, so I know about the ribs, steaks, barbecue, KC Masterpiece and all that. Meat, meat, meat and more meat. But for me what stood out immediately was the presence of a Whole Foods and a Wild Oats within a stone's throw of my ExtendedStay room in Overland Park. Needless to say, the ExtendedStay team in Kansas City, headed by Valerie Guerke, has taken great care of me. I’ve been in contact with Val for months now over the phone and via email so it's been nice to finally put a face on our contacts.

So - back to the food. By now you can tell it’s my favorite thing to talk about, (beside the Mets, which is another story for another day). After yoga class this morning, I headed up 39th street back toward the highway so I could head directly over to the library to write. There is a stretch of restaurants along 39th Street, funky looking places, different cuisines, from Italian to Vietnamese to Mongolian. Ohhh, how I’ve missed this stuff. And then I saw a word on a sign hanging in front of a small corner shop/restaurant. “Slices." Music to my intestines. Home made overstuffed sandwiches, heroes.” The name of the place is “D’Bronx.” "New York Style Submarines & Pizza." I couldn’t turn quickly enough.

After parking the car, I saw a guy coming out the side door carrying what looked to be a 3' x 3' pizza, I’m not kidding. He smiled at me as he places four of those giant pies into the back of a van. Once inside, I read over the menu and … well ... lets’ just say I was pleased. No. Let's say I was pretty friggin' happy.

I ordered a large hero with some kind of meat, I think it was turkey (trying to be healthy, you know). “You want some sliced pepperacini’s on that?!” a woman smiled from in back of the counter. I smiled. "Finally someone who understand my needs." The lady laughed.

While waiting for my sandwich, I started up a conversation with a man holding a clipboard. It turned out he was the owner and we talked a bit. When he heard about my trip, he immediately took my arm and pointed to a man making sandwiches behind the counter.

“You should talk with this old guy,” he laughed. "He came with the place.”

At that, Fred, the sandwich-man with the white hair and mustache smiled and took off his plastic gloves to shake my hand, which then led to a long and fun conversation about New York, where he'd lived for many years. We chatted until they called my pickup number and Fred had held up the sandwich assembly line long enough. It was time to go. Until my next Bikram class and lunch break, that is.

And yet, all the good conversation and potential interviews wouldn’t have meant a thing if the food didn't rate.

I took a bite of the sandwich .

I have news for you.

It was good.

Really good.

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