Kansas City can be described in many ways, but we like to think of it as the “Melting Pot of the Midwest”. Within the boundaries of the metro, you can find nearly every ethnicity. This provides an amazing array of cultures, and they each bring their unique cuisine to the table. Diners can choose from a Thai banquet to a German smorgasbord. We have tried to delve deep into this mix, but in reality, we have only scratched the surface. In just the main five-county portion of the city, it is estimated that there are over 3200 eateries. That’s a lot of spots to try to visit.
One of the cuisines that we had not featured is a German Smorgasbord. In Kansas City, there are a handful of options, but one of the premier stops is Affäre. They tout themselves as a seasonal dining experience with a German twist. Located at 1911 Main Street, in the Crossroads District, it is a popular destination for upscale dining. We knew that visiting on a First Friday would be crazy busy, so we chose a quieter Sunday evening. Stepping through the door, we were greeted with a dim interior, which sets a sultry tone for an evening meal. The seating arrangement is well spaced, and this was even before the necessity of “social distancing”.
On this outing, we were joined by our daughter, Amanda. All of us were eager to sample the variety that can be found at a German smorgasbord. Fortunately, we were in luck, as Affäre was offering a Sunday Night Family Dinner. This Prix-fixe meal was comprised of a starter, followed by an ample amount of protein choices. The sheer volume of food would challenge even the biggest appetites, but we knew that we could always take home leftovers.
Let’s Get Started
One of the nice things about a German smorgasbord is that you only have to make a few selections. Once your order is in, you sit back and wait for the plates to begin arriving. It didn’t take long before we were staring at a huge Salat Teller (Salad Platter). The mixture of greens was accompanied by an assortment of diced vegetables. Two dressing choices were included, as well. This was a nice palate-cleansing start to our meal.
German Smorgasbord Staples
We were still enjoying our appetizer when the first main dishes began arriving. A platter full of Weinerschnitzel was accompanied by a side of Spinach & Blue Cheese Gaspaetzle. The schnitzel was served with a spicy mustard sauce that enhanced the flavor of the breaded pork cutlet. The flavor of the meat was quite different from the chicken schnitzel we had sampled in Amana, Iowa. None of us were familiar with the spaetzle, which is a German form of egg noodles. The creamy sauce had a hint of sharpness that came from the cheese. It was the perfect side for our meaty meal.
With the schnitzel as a warm-up, we were ready for the next round of protein. Without having a full background of German cuisine, it appears it was developed for robust hunger. One can only assume that the meals revolved around heavy loads of protein designed to fuel the working class. Our server arrived with a platter that contained a pair of meaty treats. A Wagyu Beef Loin was cooked to tender perfection and accompanied by two varieties of German Brats. At Affäre, the artisan brats are made in-house using local meats and traditional recipes. These were deliciously flavorful.
As we continued to pick away at our robust main courses, we realized that we needed to save room for dessert. While these were not included in Sunday Family Dinner, there was no way that we would overlook this important portion of any German smorgasbord.
A Sweet Ending
They had a few options to choose from, so we decided to pick our two favorites. Our first choice was a Pear Tart with Almond Paste. The thin layers of sliced pear was a nice choice to pair with the creamy and sweet almond paste. Crystal wanted to make sure we sampled the Apple Strudel, and we all loved the moist layers that we found in each bite. While we savored our delightful desserts, our server packed up our leftovers for the ride home. After thanking the staff for such a wonderful experience, we made our way back into the night. All the way home we discussed the idea of finding other Kansas City German smorgasbord destinations for future excursions. Have you discovered any that you would like to share?