Kansas City-area restaurants you’ll never eat at again, part 3

Casa De Montez

Billed as “A Little Bit of Mexico North of the Border”, Casa De Montez was a long running Mexican restaurant on Troost. I found information that the place may have opened around 1964.

Back of postcard: Home of Authentic Mexican Food with Quality for “Selective People”.

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“Mexican food at 54th and Troost and a location on Rainbow Boulevard. One of KCMO’s earliest Mexican restaurants, along with the Red Bull, on the Plaza.”

Postcard. Casas De Montez. Henry McGrew Printing Co.
A little bit of Mexico North of the Border. Henry McGrew Printing Co.

Chutes

I haven’t been able to determine if this was a local or regional chain. I vaguely remember the look of these restaurants, which reminded me of the Atari logo of that era. Don’t recall ever eating at one of these burger joints. Do any of you recall this restaurant?

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“A fast-food joint in the late 70s (maybe early 80s) that was special for one reason only… your food came down a long slide (chute) to you. There were a few of them, I think. The one we would go to was in Grandview near the Truman farm home.”

Eddy’s Loaf ‘N Stein

One of the restaurant formats that is somewhat lacking in the Kansas City area, often cited by folks on local foodie forums, is the classic delicatessen. While a couple of delicatessen have opened in recent years, we still lack a good delicatessen scene. Perhaps delicatessens won’t make a come-back, given similar formats and changing dietary preferences.

One classic delicatessen that fed Kansas Citians over several decades was Eddy’s Loaf ‘N Stein. First opened in 1965, the local delicatessen chain eventually had 17 locations. The chain was closed by 1983. Had locations in Prairie Village, Downtown KCMO, The Plaza, Ward Parkway Mall and Metcalf South Mall.

This was your typical deli, featuring overstuffed beef, corned beef, ham sandwiches. Also offered salads, fries and a range of pies. Founded by Ned A. Eddy Jr. and his brother and father.

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“Several locations in KC. Great pastrami and corned beef sandwiches.”

“Great food and atmosphere.”

Gomer's Chicken

If you wanted chicken from a non-chain and lived in south Kansas City, Gomer’s was a popular choice for many years. I remember the opening of the restaurant since I grew up in the neighborhood. Gomer’s started as a gas station and then morphed into the chicken restaurant and liquor store. The liquor store is still in operation at 99th and Holmes and there are three other locations.

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“Really good fried chicken at a gas station at 99th and Holmes. Opened in the early 80s, I think. Completely closed now but later moved to a freestanding location just west of the gas station and was there until, I think, 2012 or so.”

Italian Gardens

It’s not surprising that a Kansas City restaurant institution that was open over eight decades was an Italian restaurant. Italian Gardens opened in downtown Kansas City, Missouri in 1925 and closed in 2003. Run by the DiCapo family.

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“I only went once as a child so memories are dim, but anytime my parents made it to KCMO, it was my mother’s favorite place to eat. I’d enjoy some background history on this icon of Kansas City.”

“Great food and great ambiance. I still dream about the Ravioli and meatballs and the red sauce is the best I have ever eaten. This restaurant should have been on your list.”

Jacks or Better

Jacks or Better was a small chain with locations in St. Louis, Kansas City, and New Orleans. Curiously remembered as allowing, perhaps encouraging, diners to leave peanut shells on the floor.

What readers remember:

“Best cheddar burgers in town; peanuts with shells on the floor”

Jacks or Better advertisement for St. Louis area locations.

Mrs. Peters Chicken Dinners

Mrs. Peters was a restaurant on State Ave in Kansas City, Kansas that specialized in pan fried chicken and comfort food. Records I’ve found indicate that it may have been open for twenty years, from 1977-1997. Several of my family members recall the restaurant and remember the chicken being pretty good.

On April 22, 1984, the New York Times profiled what was going on in Kansas City and highlighted Mrs. Peter’s:

“For family-style dining, there is Mrs. Peters’ Chicken Dinners (913-287-7711), where $8 a person buys cole slaw, marinated vegetable salad, hot biscuits with rhubarb sauce and honey butter, green beans, mashed potatoes, a choice of fried chicken, pork chops or country fried steak, and the choice of four desserts, including peach cobbler.”

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“They had great fried chicken that was worth the long wait”

“Dad cooked, son seated people and mom took the money. Always busy especially Sunday. Family style and delicious.”

Sol Azteca

One of my favorite Mexican restaurants in the 00s, after I had moved back to Kansas City, was Sol Azteca. The restaurant was on Southwest Boulevard, just west of Rainbow (currently Bohemio Mexican). Their food was very similar to other Mexican institutions on Southwest Boulevard, but I gravitated to it because their menu was slightly more vegetarian friendly, the atmosphere was chill, and the staff were always top notch.

Victoria Station

Do you remember the restaurant where you dined inside actual train cars and the signature dish was prime rib? There were two Kansas City locations of this international chain, which had 97 restaurants during its heyday of the 1970s and 1980s. The locations were at 103rd and Wornall in south Kansas City, Missouri, and one in the River Market area.

You entered each Victoria Station restaurant via a Caboose.

What readers remember about the restaurant:

“A place that felt fancy, made to look like a series of railroad cars. There was a location at 103rd and Wornall in the 80s. In our family, it was a place to go on a special occasion. I think they were famous for prime rib. Part of a chain if I remember right.”

Waid's

The local Waid’s restaurant chain was a beloved stop for Kansas Citians looking for comfort food. The chain started in 1953 and the last location, on W 103rd Street, closed in 2013. At the chain’s height, it had 14 locations. I vaguely recall visiting the 103rd street location a couple of times as a teenager in the early 1980s. That was probably with family. What I liked about the restaurant, in addition to the good food, was that it had the vibe of fast casual chains like Applebee’s or Perkins, but with more of an indepedent, family-owned atmosphere.

I understand that the chain, in later years, became a popular meeting spot for small groups. My father used to get together there with alumni from one of the local corporate offices that he worked at.

Hungry for breakfast? Waid’s offered Waid’s French Toast, Biscuits and Gravy Combo, Grilled Ham Steak, Pigs N Blanket, Louisiana Omelet, Southwestern Omelet, and many other diner breakfast favorites.

Lunch or dinner? You could enjoy their Blackened Chicken Salad, City Market Chef’s Salad, Salmon Croquettes, Country Fried Steak, Pork Cutlet, English Pub Burger, Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, Chili Dog Deluxe and much more.

Memories from our readers

“Best food of comfort food. I remember salmon croquettes, meat loaf. Really like to get recipes to recreate at home.”

“I went there many times late ’70’s with my best friend and our dates then wives.”

“Cheese soup”

Waldo Astoria / Tiffany’s Attic

I’m a bit surprised that I haven’t heard anything from readers about Kansas City’s bygone dinner theaters. Kansas City has a strong dinner theater tradition, with the Waldo Astoria and Tiffany’s Attic being popular venues for live theater and food. They were something unique that you could take a date to or have dinner with your spouse.

Tiffany’s Attic was started earlier and was located on Main Street in the South Plaza neighborhood. One of my sisters recalls working there. The dinner theater was a large space with tiers of tables and seating.

The Waldo Astoria was opened (1973) later by the owners of Tiffany’s Attic. It was in a historic theater in Waldo, which burned down several years after the Waldo Astoria closed. I remember my parents going there often for Friday night dates.

In 1992, the owners of these two dinner theaters opened New Theatre Restaurant in Overland Park. That venue is still going strong, “averaging more than a quarter million in attendance annually, including 25,000 season ticket holders.” (from their website)

Tiffany's Attic

Woolworth’s

If you are younger than 45-50, Woolworth’s is probably something you’ve read about in the history books. Older folks probably remember this international chain which could be described as a forerunner of Walgreen’s and CVS. One part of a typical Woolworth’s store was the restaurant, which was oddly just another part of the store. Think Target with a diner inside. There was quite a few Woolworth’s in the Kansas City area. Downtown Lawrence, Kansas had a location on Massachussett’s, just south of 9th Street.

Coming in April: Bygone Lawrence, Kansas Restaurants

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3 thoughts on “Kansas City-area restaurants you’ll never eat at again, part 3”

  1. Mrs Peter’s had limited hours & Days. Their honey butter, strawberry rhubarb preserves & biscuits were all made in house. They closed for 1 months each year to clean the place. The chicken was deep fried. It went through a couple of owners after the matriarch, never achieving the same levels of quality..

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  2. I don’t really know why you called Eddy’s Loaf & Stein a delicatessen. I don’t remember it being a delicatessen.

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