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Restaurants & Bars 5

Brief KC report: Mexican & BBQ

bb | May 17, 200404:10 PM

Tried La Fonda El Taquito on (800) Southwest Blvd. on advice from these boards. Either the place has gone downhill or I have to say it was a bum steer. Had bad vibes when we arrived (was Sunday) basically owing to lack of majority of Hispanic clientele & staff. (Lots of anglos, Chinese(!) and variety of alternative cultures. Just no Mexicans!) Chips and salsa arrived by default, unasked: not usually a good sign, even if in some really good well-meaning downhome authentic places this does happen if you stagger in & are white on the basis that you'll expect it. The chips were poor(thin and without any grainy character) and the two salsas (presented in unappetizing-for-dipping styrofoam tubs) were absolutely unexceptional. We ordered appetizers and the main courses arrived BEFORE them. The staff appeared to have been sniffing something in terms of being very distracted and difficult to locate. Nothing tasted as though it was any different from the neighborhood Mex-joint in Anytown USA. What rubbed salt into the wound was that on the same block there were a number of other establishments which looked 100% better and 1000% more authentic. La Fonda El Taquito appears to be "the place white folks go that's not too threatening or native or exotic" versus the real thing. This was not the impression given in posts elsewhere in this board but that's my opinion. It was the wrong choice for us. I suggest anyone interested go to that same (quirky) block of SW Blvd and report on the neighboring place (painted garish mexican green color and with a Mexican jukebox blaring the sort of music you only generally hear on AM interference at night). This place's only saving grace(s) was a light tab and a passable red menudo.

In a different league altogether was Fiorella's Jack Stack Bartbecue in Martin City. (13441 Holmes Road KC MO 816-942-9141.) It was not easy to find but once you get within a 1/2 mile you'll find it because of the blue smoke haze that must perpetually issue from the namesake stack. An unusual building indeed but the BBQ is great. DO NOT MISS the Denver (lamb) ribs. I love lamb & mutton BBQ and I think it is the best meat bar none but little seen most places. (Thinking of Owensboro etc. KY) We ordered brisket and lamb ribs. Superb ribs and great brisket no Texan could even complain about. I think the overall quality and taste beat (narrowly) Bryant's but it's a heck of a step to get down to Holmes Road from central KC. I guess there are other locations (I do not generally like even mini-chains) but I can only vouch for this one. A-O-K. Only minus: no white bread served with the BBQ only pickles. This was exceptional BBQ and not badly priced. You might ask for extra sauce as I found it not quite sufficient.

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