Recently the 11 Northeast-Westside expanded weekday service to include KU Med Center. That’s good news for workers and students in the area, and also good news for everyone who likes to try new restaurants. Spanning from the restaurant row on West 39th Street, across the Boulevard, through the Westside and Downtown KCMO, and finally across the Historic Northeast, there are no shortage of dining options.
We stopped into for a bite at three restaurants on the line.
Looking for a quick and easy lunch of street tacos? Rico’s Taco Lupe on the Boulevard has you covered! Behind the unassuming storefront, you’ll find the place busy over lunch hour. Diners get a quick, economical lunch on a break from downtown offices and nearby worksites.
Rico’s menu includes burritos, enchiladas and tamales. But the street tacos are the stars. We tried a variety, including carne asada (grilled steak), pastor (marinated pork), pollo (grilled chicken) and molida (ground beef). Paired with a Coca-Cola with real sugar, also known as a MexiCola, it made a perfect lunch before heading back to the bus.
A few stops north of Rico’s you’ll find the neighborhood of 17th & Summit, home to several restaurants including Chez Elle. Coffee and crepes are the mainstay of Chez Elle, which occupies the former home of the Summit Theatre. For the uninitiated, crepes are thin French pancakes served with sweet or savory fillings.
For a savory crepe, there are a dozen options, including smoked salmon with capers, caramelized onion, artichokes, herbed cream cheese; bacon with brie and pesto; and spinach, artichokes, sauteed mushrooms, caramelized onions and provolone cheese. The dessert crepes include classic Nutella, ice cream with strawberries, and a decadent chocolate crepe with chocolate mousse and a raspberry sauce. This spot with a coffeehouse feel also offers breakfast crepes and pastries.
On Washington Street in downtown, you’ll find Spokes, which bills itself as a local hangout with the bike shop built in. Spokes serves up comfort food, coffee and beer. They also sell, rent and service bicycles, frequently holding group bike rides that begin and end at the cafe.
Comfort food, in particular hearty sandwiches, dominate the lunch menu at Spokes. There are several melts, from the Cuban Melt to a classic grilled cheese with gruyere, cheddar and mozzarella. The Pulled Pork Melt and the “fancy” grilled cheese with arugula, apple and fig marmalade are also satisfying. Spokes also has its “classic” sandwiches, wraps and salads. And when it comes to ordering a side, we always tend to pick the chips over the pasta salad or cole slaw.
Give us your recommendations to grab a bite on 11 Northeast-Westside.