I do very much enjoy walking around urban markets in cities I visit. Accordingly, a stop at Kansas City’s City Market was on our itinerary. Originally, this was supposed to be our last stop on the Thursday of our trip. It’s located in the north of the city, right by Highway 35 and the plan had been to go for a walk by the river, browse the market, eat a quick lunch at Pigwich and hit the road. All of this got thrown for a loop by my lame trip planning. I’d put a visit to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art on the agenda for Wednesday (preceded by lunch at Gates-Bar-B-Q). Of course, since I only bothered to look at the museum’s website closely on Wednesday morning I discovered rather late in the game that the Nelson-Atkins is closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays. (Isn’t all this detail fascinating?!) So we went to the Nelson-Atkins and Gates on our last day and on Wednesday started out with a walk by the river, a stroll through the City Market and lunch at Pigwich. Here’s how it went.
Well, I’ve already mentioned our disappointment with our walk by the river. The approach to the trailhead near the market was promising, with a neat little bridge that takes you close to the riverbank but on descending to the trail we found it to not be very scenic, with the river barely in view and the environs occasionally a little skeevy. We went back to the City Market after a brief walk. It seemed like it would be a very vibrant place on the weekends when the Farmers Market is actually there but it was quite sleepy near midday on a Wednesday. This is basically an outdoor version of Minneapolis’ own Midtown Market—and a smaller version of something like Montreal’s glorious Jean-Talon Market—with grocery stores interspersed with small restaurants offering the foods of various cuisines. If we lived in Kansas City we would probably shop and eat here often (assuming the restaurants are in fact good). We ate here on this day as well but our destination had been set before we got there: Pigwich.
Pigwich is the restaurant arm of Local Pig, a combo butcher’s and fine foods shop that anchors one corner of the market. It has a separate entrance and lots of seating indoors and out. The menu is compact and revolves around a variety of sandwiches. We got one each and ate them outside—it was a hot day but there was plenty of shade and also a fan. What did we eat? One boy got the Cornflake Fried Chicken (predictably he got everything but the very nice crisply-fried chicken on the side and ignored it all). The rest of us stuck to the porky part of the menu. The other boy got the BBQ Pork Brisket (with bbq sauce, cheddar, fried onion straws etc.) sandwich and devoured it. I got a bite and quite liked it. The missus got the Spicy Meatball Banh Mi. Everything inside the sandwich was very tasty but the bread didn’t do it for us, not being the crisp baguette we were expecting. I got the eponymous Pulled Pork Pigwich (pulled pork patty, provolone, sweet slaw, bbq sauce, chipotle sour cream) and thought it was very good if not quite as excellent as the Rocket Pig I ate at Joe’s Kansas City on our first evening. All in all, a very nice meal.
For a look at the (deserted) market and the food at Pigwich launch the slideshow below. Scroll down to see what’s coming next.
Oh yes, opposite the City Market is a complex that houses something called the Arabia Steamboat Museum. We wavered about going in but eventually decided against. Do let me know if skipping it was a mistake.
Coming up from Kansas City: dinner at Voltaire and one last barbecue meal at Gates. That’ll be the next two weekends. Next weekend I’ll probably also start up brief meal reports from our recent trip to Madision. From the Twin Cities I will have a report on a new(er) Mexican restaurant in St. Paul. That will be on Tuesday.