Oprah Winfrey, Johnny Depp and Eminem all died in (separate) horrific car crashes.
Deep within the recesses of Richard Gere’s anus lives the ghost of a dead, declawed gerbil.
Clicking “like” on the picture of the kid with the harelip donates $10 to a surgery that will fix said harelip.
Nigeria’s got some money for you, asshole.
For better or worse, everything that the internet says about the recently opened soul-food/southern-cooking emporium Magnolia’s actually is pretty spot-on.
Lance W. from Yelp says, “The service was polite, helpful and slow.” Matt E. says, “But unfortunately, I do have to talk about the service. It was a joke. The staff was nice, but talk about absent.”
Magnolia’s has nine reviews on Yelp, and every single one of them is some variation of the same: food was outstanding, but the service, my LANDS, the service! And the sad thing is, it’s all true.
We paid a visit on a blisteringly hot day earlier this month. Although it was before noon, it was already triple digits. The walk from the car to the entrance took everything we had. We pulled open the door, hoping from a respite from the heat and BOOM—nothing. Though the server claimed the air was on, it felt like she was telling stories. A standup fan moved in the corner, blowing the hot air around instead of offering any kind of relief. I had a feeling we were in for a long, sweaty meal. And boy was I right.
Just out of curiosity—not because I’m an asshole or anything—I started timing the proceedings. We were seated at 11:10, after the server covered our table with fresh parchment. The seats were folding chairs that give the impression of being at an outdoor wedding. The tables sit pretty close together. If you’re not careful, everyone ends up as part of one conversation.
In the interest of being fair and balanced—and fat—we decided to try multiple items. We ordered the trio of deviled eggs appetizer (traditional, creole and smoked salmon), the acclaimed Red Velvet Waffle Evangeline, an order of biscuits and gravy with sweet potato hash, the open face steak sandwich and sides of the “Uber” creamy smoked Gouda mac and cheese and purple potato salad.
And then we waited.
And 35 minutes later, our food came out. All at once. Screw the deviled eggs as an appetizer, our server seemed to be wordlessly saying, you’re gonna eat them between bites of the biscuits and gravy, you fool.
That said, the food was—for the most part—remarkable.
The deviled eggs were sufficiently deviled and, while I couldn’t necessarily tell the difference between the three different types, I inhaled them with glee.
The waffle—served with sweet potato hash and smoked bacon—was GIGANTIC, so we didn’t really miss the berries that the menu had promised. The bacon was divine; thick and deeply peppered, it fell somewhere between flaccid and corpse-stiff, an “in between” that appeases all while offending none. And though I’m no fan of sweet potatoes, the hash may have converted me with its soft, sweet, lightly fried deliciousness. The waffle itself? Wasn’t very red velvet in nature. No, it was a plain-old waffle, but tasty nonetheless.
The purple potato salad was one of the few real misses of the meal. Bland, and without much flavor, it’s definitely something to skip.
Same goes for the biscuits and gravy. The biscuits tasted old. They were a bit… crunchy? Which is an odd way for biscuits to behave. The gravy itself was okay, but seemed to be trying a bit too hard, what, with its inclusion of basil and all. Oh, AND they forgot the bacon on that was supposed to come with the platter.
So if you’re keeping track at home, we’re down one side of berries and one order of bacon.
What WASN’T trying too hard, however, and what completely blew me away, was the open face steak sandwich. Served with house-made sweet potato chips (decent, but lacking crunch), I opted to pair mine with a side of the Gouda mac and cheese (phenomenal, subtle and excruciatingly creamy). A fitting side for a fitting sandwich.
Cooked to order steak is served atop toasted Farm to Market bread that’s been slathered in “bacon dip,” and then the whole mess is covered with caramelized onions and baby Swiss.
What a sandwich.
That alone was worth the trip to this fairly desolate stretch of Cherry.
And though the prices were reasonable for the fantastic quality and quantity of food—you’re looking at $7-$10 for a breakfast or lunch plate, typically—something has GOT to be done about the service. I know I’ll definitely be back, because I’m a forgiving sort (and because of that erection-inducing steak sandwich, ohsweetjesus), but some people aren’t so kind. And with so many new, quality restaurants opening around this fair city of ours, there is little room for error.
I certainly hope they get the service side of things on track soon, before this flower begins to wilt.
Magnolia’s is located at 2932 Cherry St.
For hours, prices, and serious looking pictures of owner/chef Shanita McAfee, please visit Magnolia’s website.
Front page photo courtesy of Kansas City Daily Photo