No, I am absolutely NOT stepping on the DLC’s toes, as you will see by the relative brevity of these posts. This is more/less just a brain dump of places I’ve been in the last two months that I felt were worth mentioning if you work in central-ish JoCo.
Bates City BBQ, 65th and Quivira: Better than most barbecue places in Johnson County. It’s one of those places that doesn’t do anything brilliant, but doesn’t do anything bad either. They seem to run about 4 different specials every day, listed among the other hand-written signs and slogans on the left. You can get out of there for about $7 with a drink. It’s not a destination barbecue joint, but is plenty satisfying for a quick lunch.
Nordstrom Café, Oak Park Mall: I had no clue there was a restaurant in Nordstrom until a co-worker took us there. Anyone who is hunting for a wealthy divorcee who likes to get tipsy will find the crème de la crème at this place. The crowd is 25% older women and 70% well-heeled women in their late 30s to early 50s wearing $150 jeans and $150 haircuts dining on salads, pizzas, panini...and wine. (The other 5% are people like me who had no clue the place existed.) There was nothing wrong with the food, but you’re looking at a $15 lunch. Unless you rationalize that about $7 of that amount is admission to one of the more interesting people-watching experiences in town, don’t bother.
Tienda Casa Paloma, 82nd and Metcalf: I had three delicious authentic tacos here at this half store/half restaurant (I think I did carnitas, barbacoa, and carne asada). They even have a salsa bar to dress them up however you’d like. I also suffered from absolutely explosive gastrointestinal distress as a result. It went from being a place sure to make it into my rotation to a place I’ll likely never try again.
Villa Capri, 81st and Metcalf: Way old-school Italian joint. I really wanted to like the place, but it felt more sad than anything. I had an Italian steak and salad, both of which were filling but uninspired. The place has been there for many decades. From what I understand they have a boatload of regulars, but the day I was there only two other tables were occupied. Average food + some character still does not = $10, which was the cost of my lunch before tip.
I have a few more that I’ll share later.