You know when you ask your server to box up half of a piece of cheesecake, and then drive home, crack open the clamshell, and eat the other half on your sofa while watching Friends reruns? I did that. With a kale salad. And I don’t really like kale (or at least I didn’t think I did).
For this month’s installment of our Tour of Kansas City’s restaurants, Ali and I selected the new fast casual restaurant Sheridan’s Unforked Eats and Sweets. Although the restaurants we choose don’t usually have a drive-through, we were pleased with the interior and the menu. In addition to their breakfast offerings, they serve burgers, tacos, quesadillas, and some apparently smashing custard treats.
But their menu is different from most menus — even many locally-owned restaurant menus — because of their philosophy. Their website reads, “All for UN and UN for all.” Un-what? Un-icky. Un-sure where my food came from. Un-sure what was added to my food. Their policy is to buy clean, local, and seasonal ingredients first, and if not, then family-farmed organic or fair trade.
From their creative, fun, and fairly-priced menu, we selected:
Barking Pig Taco ($3.80)…carnitas tossed with a shagbark bacon glaze, topped with scallions and queso fresco. This was my favorite of the tacos I selected.
Conquistador Taco ($3.80)…tri-tip steak, poblano chimichurri, blistered onions, and queso fresco. I don’t know what I was thinking when I ordered this. I really never like steak tacos and this was no exception. It seems the steak meat is always too tough for me. There was a terrifying moment when I bit into this and accidentally ripped out all of the meat, and almost ate my own hair. And I’ll tell you what I did. I put the meat in the basket and finished the taco with just the onions, queso fresco, and the AMAZING poblano chimichurri.
Cali ($3.50)…seared chile spiked tilapia topped with creamy avocado-cilantro sauce and a pickled red cabbage slaw. No photograph here…I didn’t want to freak out Ali. She said it was really good. And it is the taco I’ll try on my very next visit.
Thai Me Up Salad ($5.80) Green mangoes, rainbow crunch carrots, bean sprouts, toasted coconut, peanuts and red miso dressing. Ali’s again…but she shared a bit and it was good.
The aforementioned salad is the Hail the Kale ($5)…fresh kale dressed with a lemon olive oil vinaigrette, toasted breadcrumbs, and parmesan. The greens were mild and crisp and the vinaigrette and crumbs were addictive. So very addictive.
We ordered a bottle of Manu Sauvignon Blanc and were pleased with our choice. It was light and crisp…perfectly drinkable with our salads and just fine with our tacos.
Upon writing this post, I referenced Unforked’s online menu and was thrilled to see I can get their poblano chimichurri free (FREE!) with what sounds to be some tasty chips. Again, I am already planning my next visit. The Chipz are $1.70, and comprised of a mix of thin white tortilla, fresh taro, and plaintain chips. And of course, they are served with choice of sauces (including poblano chimichurri!!!!)
The “fun” part of our meal was picking up our food. When you order at the front counter, you receive a light-up buzzer that indicates when your food is ready. I volunteered to grab our tray, and was a little surprised when I arrived at the pick-up counter and found before me a tray that was literally 4 feet in diameter. It was, um, awesome. To be fair, we did order quite a bit of food. I did my best to hide my surprise, and gamely picked up the tray (with the bottle of wine and gratefully, stemless glasses) and carried it to the door, where I begged another patron to admit me to the great outdoors. Our food arrived safely, but I didn’t exactly love that part of my visit. I should have asked for help and given them the chance to assist.
We sat outside on the small patio, and appreciated the modern decor of the building, but found the rest of the patio atmosphere to be a little lacking. Unforked is located just off busy 119th Street, and near a fire station. So you get the picture. But to their credit, they’re conveniently located for easy access for a quick lunch or drive-through visit. Some great news is that there appear to be outdoor fireplaces for the coming chilly months.
While we enjoyed our dinner outside (and pretty much shut the place down), we noticed alot of people photographing the restaurant (or perhaps, us?) with their phones and cameras. This place is kind of a big deal. Do what you must to get there soon. Drive through. Stop in. Order the Kale.