Monday, October 21, 2013

James Beard Award Winners in the Southland (Pt. 2)

On a recent trip, I saw this ad for Birmingham, AL in the in-flight magazine. It states that you can choose from BBQ joints OR James Beard Award winners. Luckily for Kansas Citians, we can enjoy James Beard Award winning chefs taking on BBQ and the like! Similar to Colby Garrelts' Rye, Debbie Gold parlayed her James Beard Award into bringing you midwestern favorites, cooked by burning wood. Where Colby cooks most of his menu with smoke, Debbie puts hers straight on the wood fire grill.

After adding her name to the list of James Beard Award winners at The American Restaurant, Debbie opened a burger joint (there are plenty of other awesome menu items there too, but I think this post will explain why I zeroed in on the burgers in the next paragraph) that brings blue collar fare (at a blue collar price too) to the white collar crowd in Leawood. 

It has been well documented that I am a huge How I Met Your Mother fan (more the early seasons, but I would be lying if I told you that I had not seen every single episode multiple times, or if I told you that I wasn't watching it as I type this). In HIMYM, "The Best Burger in NYC" was at a restaurant with a green door and "Burger" sign above that green door (pictured to the right). The crew spent an entire episode looking for this restaurant. That is exactly what I thought of when I heard about the Red Door Grill (now called Red Door Woodfire Kitchen & Bar, but who is counting?). Albeit, the door is red and not green, but you get where I am going with this.

Any-who, Red Door has a dining room (for those that prefer that environment) and a bar area (for those that want to watch sports and/or keep an eye on any injury updates that may have fantasy implications). I prefer the bar area for lunch, for obvious reasons (my fantasy football league isn't going to win itself), but both have the same great menu. The feel is modern, yet cozy.

As mentioned above: the burgers stuck out to me because they are made with McGonigle’s custom blend of beef brisket, short rib and chuck tenderloin, and I LOVE MCGONIGLE'S! I have personally had the Porkey's Revenge and The Remedy, both are amazing! If you are in the mood for something smokey, go with The Remedy. The aged cheddar, smoked bacon, and egg that top off that wood fire grilled burger will overcome your taste buds with smoky goodness. If you are thinking something more outside the box, go with Porkey's Revenge. The bacon jam, roasted tomato, and melted brie cheese do some kind of a tango between that fire grilled patty and brioche bun that leave you wanting more. Normally, I am not a big brie guy, but the melted brie on this burger will make you question everything you thought you knew about brie ("It's dank Brie!", sorry for yet another inside joke, but not sorry enough to not type it. You guys should really take a trip into my thoughts after visiting RDK&B, it's a pretty funny place). Your wait person will ask you if cooking your burger Medium is okay. The answer is YES! You may even tell them to err on the side of less medium (but not med-rare, we are not trying to get anyone shut down here) because that wood fire could severely dry out/char the wonderful McGonigle's meat blend if it is cooked any more than medium, and no one wants that.

The burgers are not the only amazing thing on the menu at RDK&B: The fries are outstanding, IMO they are probably right behind the BBQ Bohemoeth that is right across the parking lot, this is definitely a "fries first" place. The polenta is also pretty incredible; it is the creamy/soupy variety (like grits), not the fried/baked variety (like corn bread), but is full of smokey, creamy goodness. The one issue with the polenta is not about the taste at all, it is with the listing of it on the menu. It is listed as a table side, but since it is the creamy variety instead of the bite sized baked/fried pieces (that you may have seen elsewhere), it can be a bit awkward if ordered to split between a table of dudes (opposed to the "pound of fries"). 

Last, but not least, is my muse: The doughnut dessert dish (sadly, I did not catch her name). These yeasty doughnut morsels, rolled in sugar, and served with Chirstopher Elbow's Sweet Cream ice cream (from Glace) are perfect in every way. The outside is a tad crispy, the inside is a tad dough-y, and something about this combination is perfect for the fall!

Everything on this menu looks delicious, I am just sad that I cannot eat it all at once! I will definitely be back to try more, say "hi" if you see me there!

Red Door Woodfire Kitchen & Bar on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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