How many times have you faced the seemingly unsurmountable task of choosing what to have for dinner? It would be nice if they put a variety of cuisines in one space, so you could pick and choose your favorite dishes. Well someone was listening to our suggestions and created Parlor KC. This glorified grownup food hall sits in the heart of the Kansas City Crossroads District, at 1707 Locust St. We’ve long considered KC the “melting pot of the Midwest”, so a chef-inspired collaboration of this magnitude seems perfect for our city.
Stepping through the front entrance, diners are greeted with a funky, fun vibe. One of the two bars greeted us on this hot summer day. Our visit took place on a Saturday at lunchtime and the place was already hopping. The décor is a mixture of contemporary art with pops of color splashed around the spaces. Groups had congregated for various purposes and the noise level was a little high. This just added to the adrenaline level of the place. We decided to get our bearings and check out all of the spaces, before deciding on our meals.
In or Out
Parlor KC has three levels to explore. The lowest level serves as a mix of den and library. During our visit, it was being used for a demonstration, so we stuck to the other two floors. Seating options are broad and include an outdoor shaded patio. With the KC summer heat level rising, we opted to remain indoors for this visit. We could see this outdoor space being a great spot to enjoy a Happy Hour when this heat wave breaks. It would also serve as a good people-watching spot during First Friday Art Walks.
There are two floors of food options inside Parlor KC. Unless our eyes deceived us, we counted seven cuisine choices. Knowing that we would only be able to pick a couple for this visit, we took our time exploring the various menus. On the first floor, we spotted Ting’s, which serves up Filipino dishes inspired by the chef’s parents. Next door is KC Mac N’ Co where you will find a broad range of creamy, cheesy dishes. Khalia’s Pizzeria owner, Theresa Spencer, has a fondness for Italian Gardens and wanted to bring their cheesy goodness to life in a new setting.
Sliding in Style
None of the first-floor options were sparking our appetites, so we moved up to the second floor. Here we found tacos from Taco Tank, as well as Korean comfort food from Sura Eats. After checking out all of the food options, we decided to pick dishes from two of the vendors. Being from the Midwest, we couldn’t pass up some juicy smashed beef sliders, and the menu board at Slideshow touted some interesting options. We decided to each pick one that struck our fancy. The Steakhouse Slider is topped with arugula, smoked Gouda, A-1 mayo, and fried onions. It was just what a homemade burger should taste like. The Fig & Goat Cheese Slider added some sweet tang to our lunch. It’s topped with fig & onion jam, arugula, truffle mayo, and goat cheese.
Getting Our Cluck On
Our other food hall option was Mother Clucker! I have to admit that the brightly colored signage captured our attention. The backstory on this space is all about Nashville Hot Chicken. Anytime we see a chance to sample some southern comfort food, we are down with it. The chef couple who designed this restaurant saw an overlooked food option in Kansas City and set about rectifying the situation. The chicken comes in a sliding scale of heat, so choose wisely. We grabbed a two-tender combo, which comes with a side (Crinkle Fries for the win!), pickles, and your choice of dipping sauce. With everything assembled, it was time to get down to business.
It didn’t take long for us to decide that Parlor KC deserves more exploring. With only two of the seven cuisines under our belt, there is still a lot of taste-testing to be done. We like that Kansas City has embraced the food hall idea and expect to see more of this type of establishment. With Strang Hall already bringing in consistent crowds at their Overland Park location, Parlor KC gives us a downtown KCMO option to boot. We have always felt that Kansas City is a leader in dining destinations and now we have one more good option to choose from. Have you ever visited a grownup food hall?