We first discovered EJ’s Urban Eatery at an event we attended at Kaw Point Park in KCK. They were serving up some of their Baked Macaroni & Cheese along with their Breakfast Ribs. We were smitten with the Mississippi White BBQ Sauce that they used for the ribs. We discovered that this creamy white sauce is common to the region where the owner was raised. It has a mayonnaise base that includes a tangy and slightly spicy side provided by the vinegar, horseradish, and mustard components. After sampling this delicious treat, we knew we needed to locate their brick and mortar location. We snagged one of their business cards and discovered they are located at 1414 West 9th Street, in the West Bottoms area of KCMO.
A Trip To The West Bottoms
A rainy weekend meant that many of our pre-planned activities had been cancelled. This opened our calendar for some local exploring. (One of our favorite activities!) Being First Friday Weekend, we made our way down to the West Bottoms for some retail therapy. Even though we weren’t starving, we decided a little lunch was in order. When we stepped into the restaurant we found that many others must have had the exact same idea. This place was hopping, but we weren’t worried about the crowd, since we were in out of the rain. At Ej’s Urban Eatery you place your order, before finding your seat. A pair of large chalkboards list the dishes, with one dedicated solely to their weekend brunch items. Being our first time, the hostess walked us through the menu and ordering process.
Once we made our selections, we headed off to find seating. The majority of the seating is found at large communal tables. There are two in the main room, and many more are located in the second section found just past some brick arches. There is also a good number of seats available at their long bar area. We found a couple of open seats in the main dining room and soon our server popped over to get our drink orders. While we waited for our food to arrive, I snapped a few pictures of the place. The large window to the kitchen allows the mix of aromas to flow out into the seating area. It was apparent that many of the dishes are designed with a southern twist, since we could smell the Creole and Cajun style spices in the air.
EJ’s Urban Eatery Strikes Again
Since we had already sampled the barbecue, we decided to test the waters of some of the more basic staple dishes. I ordered The Bacon Burger, which sounds very simplistic in its name. What was delivered was more complex than that. The meat is locally sourced, which is always a big plus in our books. Cooked to the diners desired level, it is topped with aged white Cheddar cheese, thick-cut bacon strips, and mayo. The juicy burger was the perfect size for my hunger, and the taste was excellent. The order comes with choice of one side, and I went with the Roasted Sweet Potato Wedges. These big bites had an amazing texture. The combination of roasted skin and soft inside was perfect. We found ourselves reverse engineering their preparation, so we can attempt them at home. After all, many of our home meals are ideas we picked up during our travels.
Crystal joined me in sampling a basic dish, as she chose the Avocado Chicken Salad Sandwich. The making of the chicken salad filling is peppered with celery, red onion, Parmesan cheese, and their house-made Buttermilk-Avocado dressing. They serve up the meal with locally sourced Farm to Market Grains Galore bread. (My burger bun was also from this local baker.) It was a pleasing mix of flavors, but the avocado does get lost in the mix. I was surprised when Crystal selected the Creole Fries for her side. These may look like ordinary seasoned fries, but the creole spices provide a nice kick. I ended up swapping her some of my sweet taters for her more heavily seasoned pieces. These were so good!
Another Successful KC Discovery
What we thought would be a potentially long stop, ended up running fairly smoothly. Even though the crowd was large, EJ’s Urban Eatery has a well-tuned process for handling it. With our bellies full, we were fueled up for some more shopping in the West Bottoms. Before we left, we made note of the weekend brunch menu, and decided we needed to plan a return visit. With so many great eateries in the metro, it’s just hard to say when we will get the opportunity. If you have ever dined at EJ’s we would love to hear about your experience. Drop us a note in the comments, so that we can see what you thought of it. Thanks!