Saturday, January 16, 2016

Here's a Restaurant Week Tip: Tip A Little Extra

With apologies to Charles Dickens, the ten days that make up Kansas City Restaurant Week (#KCRW2016) are arguably the best of times and the worst of times for all involved.

The best because:

  • Dining out is fun and much of the city is singularly focused on just that.
  • There are bargains to be had.
  • Excellent local charities are supported.
The worst because:
  • Restaurants that you usually count on for walk-in table availability are overbooked.
  • Kitchens are focused on pushing out a large quantity of items from a special menu and quality sometimes suffers as a result.
  • Average check totals are lower and if you are a server you typically hustle harder and make less on tips.
Let's address that last one because as a diner you can fix that problem with minimal pain and effort.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Kansas City Restaurant Week Kick-Off

One of the magical moments during today's visit to a CCVI classroom.
Depending on their abilities the kids use a combination of sight and
touch with a healthy amount of singing and peer assistance to put
together the daily calendar.
It is very timely that as we kick off Kansas City Restaurant Week I was priveleged to be a guest in a Children's Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) classroom. Earlier today I spent several hours among the amazing professionals and volunteers that work tirelessly to prepare children with visual impairments (including many with multiple disabilities) to reach their highest potential in the sighted world. Honestly I was completely blown away by the magic that takes place there every day. My classroom was made up of three-year-olds with disabilities that ranged (to my decidedly non-professional eye) from moderate to heartbreakingly severe. Within the same classroom all of these kids engaged in learning and play,  singing and dancing, eating and clean-up, genuine friendship and active cooperation - in an atmosphere that would draw a tear of joy from the most cynical among us.

Why is this timely? Why is this important? Well, one of the things that's often lost in the celebration, the circus, the excitement that's known as Restaurant Week is the fact that there are three very important charitable organizations that directly benefit from the money you spend. For 2016 these organizations are: