Next Door Pizza and Pub

Do you ever just crave a big ole’ bite of deep dish pizza?  Next Door to the rescue!  You’ll find this quite neighborhood pub to be just the ticket and maybe you can catch a football game while you chow down.

A Slice is Nice

Taste: 7

Presentation: 6

Originality: 5

Service: 6

Appearance: 5

Value: 8

Restrooms: 7

More Cheese, Please

Taste: Personally, I am not a big fan of deep dish, but Kyle says this place does it just right.  The flavors are always good and if I’m not feeling up for pizza, I can always dig into the nice salad bar and have some yummy appetizers.  May I recommend the legendary puerta fries?

Presentation: The food is well-presented and always looks appetizing.

Originality: Just another local pizza place, here.  But they are clearly a favorite among the college folks and there are pictures all over the walls of different schools declaring their love for Next Door.  It is special to go to a place where it is so clearly loved by so many.

Service: Even though I have had my share of awkward servers at Next Door, they are consistently helpful and polite.  We always bring the kids and they are very kind to them as well.

Appearance: Very tasteful, clean, homey atmosphere.  They have a side room for parties that also has some arcade games and even a train set for the little ones.

Value: It is a tad high, but all of the food comes in large portions so it is very “shareable.”  An average 14″ deep dish pizza is around $20, a dozen wings is $8 and endless salad bar is $6 but if you only want to go once it is an easy $3.

Restrooms: Clean and they must be nice because my toddler goes an average of five times per visit.

Next Door Pizza and Pub on Urbanspoon

Chez Elle

Kyle and I have a birthday tradition where we always try out a new place and make it a nice date.  This past week was my birthday, so we picked a place that we have been hearing a lot of good things about, Chez Elle Creperie and Coffeehouse.  We were won over with the welcoming atmosphere and will certainly come again for the delicious food!

Bonjour.

Taste: 9

Presentation: 9

Originality: 9

Service: 6

Appearance: 6

Value: 6

Restrooms: Didn’t see.

Au revoir.

Taste: As you can see from their menu, they serve crepes in three main categories: savory, sweet and breakfast.  Everything looked amazing, so we ended up getting three different crepes to share.  The taste was exactly what I was craving: simple, fresh flavors with a type of food that didn’t sink in my stomach.  The overall eating experience was so delightful that it made me want to continue exploring French cuisine at different restaurants in the future.

Presentation: This was quite possibly the best part.  Our crepes were perfectly golden brown and all had little simple garnishes that made them look like pieces of art.

Originality: Maybe I don’t get out much, but I have heard of a restaurant that focused solely on crepes, at least in the Kansas City area.  They pulled off their concept quite well and I wish there were more eateries like them in the greater Kansas City area.

Service: The service here was only so-so.  They were helpful in explaining the menu, but there wasn’t anything about the service that made them stand out in that aspect.

Appearance: It is a cute, quaint little place filled with indoor plants, artwork, books and games.  It is the kind of place that you want to take off your shoes and stay for a while.  The only downside was that it felt a little cramped at times.  They have plenty of floor space, but they really packed the chairs in there even though when we ate during the lunch hour it was probably only 25% full.

Value: I personally thought the price point was a little high and since the crepes were so tasty, you really are going to want one just for yourself.  Kyle and I each got three crepes, I got a 1/2 salad and he got an Italian soda.  All that was just under $40 which, again, I felt was a little high for a lunch.  But hey, it was my birthday!

Restrooms: n/a

Chez Elle Creperie Coffeehouse on Urbanspoon

Grinders

Located in the artistic Crossroads Arts District of Kansas City, we had heard about the amazing local eats and drinks at Grinders for quite some time.  When Kyle saw that they used authentic rolls for their philly cheese steaks, we finally decided to give them a try.

Artsy 

Taste: 8

Presentation: 5

Originality: 6

Service: 7

Appearance: 5

Value: 9

Restrooms: 9

But Not Fartsy 

Taste: The kids split two slices of pizza and I tried a bite.  The sauce was delish and the boys gobbled down their supper.  Kyle declared his cheese steak the most authentic one he has had (something about the roll?) and so he was a happy dude.  My calzone was tasty, not too humungous and very fresh.

Presentation: We ate outside and they served us on paper plates and the food is just kinda piled on there.  No big deal because it all tasted awesome.

Originality: They do add their own special twist to a lot of their specials, but it is still just your standard pizza and burger joint.

Service: Although it was a little confusing to tell who worked there and who was just friendly, our server was very nice and helpful.  Initially, they accidentally sent out the wrong calzone and she handled the whole thing really well and was genuinely apologetic.

Appearance: It definitely has that “local favorite” feel and even though we stuck out like sore thumbs (white suburban, middle class, with 3 small kids, not artsy looking at all), we felt very comfortable and just like we were out eating on somebody’s patio.  It was a beautiful day so when the kids were finished eating, they played in the big grassy area while Kyle and I chatted.

Value: The food here is cheap cheap cheap.  Pizza by the slice is $3, Kyle’s sandwich was $5 and my calzone was the priciest at $8.  Burgers and subs are about $9 and an 18″ pizza is about $14.  Make sure to check out their daily specials for even cheaper eats!

Restrooms: According to the boys, the restrooms were “actually really nice.”

Grinders on Urbanspoon