Like many of you, we enjoy a visit to our local city market. In fact, the historic City Market in Kansas City has been a staple of the downtown since 1857. The vibrant neighborhood that surrounds the market is filled with unique shops and restaurants. Going in search of a fun evening out, we planned ourselves a Happy Hour story that included a stop at Brown & Loe. This upscale eatery, located at 429 Walnut, looked like the perfect site to eat, drink, and escape from the madness of the work week.
Soaking in the Sunshine
We have spent many weekend mornings perusing the City Market in search of treasures. Even during the pandemic, we have found that the farmer’s market is still a great place to find flowers and fresh fruit. It is less frequent that we visit the area on a Friday evening. Of course, we have traveled down to the area along the streetcar during one of the city’s First Friday Artwalks. On this particular sunny evening, the temperatures were hovering in the upper 90s. While the patio sounded inviting, we found that all of the shady spots were taken.
Brown & Loe Historic Digs
With the option of melting in the sun not sounding appealing, we decided to enjoy the air-conditioning inside. At first, we had the place nearly to ourselves, but in a while other couples began arriving. Brown & Loe is located inside of the Merchant’s Bank building on the corner of 5th and Walnut. This historic two-story structure, built in the 1920s, was also occupied by a produce dealer during the 1940s. Fortunately, when the new design was being planned for the restaurant, they kept many of the original details. The marble floors and beautiful moldings make great eye candy.
Our Happy Hour story needed to take place between 3:00 and 6:00 on a Monday through Friday. Those are the times that Brown & Loe run their specialty menu. We decided to order up a couple of sultry sips, while we scanned the menu for some tasty bites. After consulting with our server, we decided that one of our drinks should be the Purple Mist. This colorful cocktail consists of vodka, lavender. ginger, and lime. It tasted just as sophisticated as it looked. Our second choice was the Pisco Sour, which contains Pisco, lime, lemon, and egg white. Although we shared the drinks, it didn’t take long for us each to pick a favorite.
Something on the menu that caught our attention was their Queso Dip. Now we love trying the variety of options at various restaurants, because there are so many ways to fix it. Brown & Loe adds fun twists on the dish by tossing in candied jalapeno slices to add some more kick. What really got us going was the substitution of crunchy chicharrons for the usual tortilla chips. These airy puffed pieces added a touch of fun and flavor to the appetizer. This may have just become our “new” favorite Queso stop.
Join the Club
After nibbling on our appetizer (actually we devoured it), it was time to turn our attention to more substantial dishes. Our Happy Hour story was quickly phasing into dinner and a couple of handhelds seemed to be the perfect fit. Crystal had spotted a specific sandwich on the menu and even I knew she couldn’t pass it up. The Turkey Club, at Brown & Loe, is made with a heaping helping of roasted turkey. This gets joined by smashed avocado, pepper bacon, tomato, and a smear of chipotle aioli. Sandwich it all between slices of toasted sourdough bread for a delectable dish. Their house-made Buttermilk Chips made a good compliment to this healthy meal.
I will freely admit to being more of a beef fan. While Crystal was enjoying her fowl dish, I was not about to pass on the Steak Sandwich, which is no run of the mill dish. They start with Aleppo pepper rubbed skirt steak that has been cooked to juicy perfection. Accompany this with caramelized onions, horseradish, cheddar cheese, truffle oil, house steak sauce, and garlic aioli for an extra kick of flavors. Toss in some fresh arugula for color and squeeze it all inside of a toasted French roll. The addition of crispy French Fries made this meal hearty enough for most any appetite.
Brown & Loe Brings It Home
By the time we finished our visit at Brown & Loe, Happy Hour had expired. Stepping back out into the scorching August sunlight was a bit of a shock. We decided to forego a stroll around City Market and instead headed back to the climate-controlled environment of our car. As we made our way through the market neighborhood, we spotted one of our favorite ice cream shops, Betty Rae’s. After doing a gut-check, we decided that there was just no room left for a creamy treat. I guess we will have to wait until our next City Market visit.