Talk of the Town

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Recently I had lunch at Talk of the Town on 135th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. This is a sports bar with a comprehensive menu of upscale “bar food.”

My dining companion for this visit is a big fan of Talk of the Town. I’ve driven by this restaurant on 135th Street hundreds of times, but just assumed that it was another sports bar and grill. I used to visit sports bars more often ten years ago, but I stopped drinking around 2015 and don’t follow sports much, so sports bars are off my radar. My sports bar of choice in the early 2010s was McCoy’s in Westport.

Dining companion shared with me that they like to get delivery from the restaurant frequently, so I assumed that they had lots of experience with their food.

My friend had the Surfin’ Burger, which is a burger with bacon, grilled pineapple, and jack cheese.

I had the Baja Fish Tacos, which were Boulevard Wheat battered cod, cabbage, corn salsa, cheese, and topped with a creamy chipotle sauce. These were excellent and illustrate my take that fish tacos need something more than just fish and tortillas and sauce. In this case, they included corn salsa and the cabbage. This adds more grains and veggies to the tacos, which make two of them more filling. But these additions add more nutrition, color, flavor, and crunch. My favorite fish tacos have extras like this, plus great sauces other than the house salsa.

I had recently had fish tacos at a Mexican restaurant, which were excellent for their price, but I do like fish tacos when they are kicked up a notch. These tacos also used cod, which is different than your typical fish tacos, which have tilapia. But the cod worked fine.

My entree was supposed to include Spanish rice and refried beans. There were no beans, probably an oversight, but the plate filled me up. I could write an entire essay about why I dislike Spanish rice. This side is such a cliché in bad American Mexican cuisine. When I see Spanish rice, I recall the bad Mexican TV dinners of my youth. There was always that little triangle in the aluminum tray with the sad Spanish rice. Any good kitchen could turn out flavorful dirty rice for a plate like this, if the management and owners of restaurants make an effort to up their sides game.

As I mentioned earlier, their menu is very comprehensive, so expect the usual fare. But let me highlight some interesting things on the menu. Sixteen varieties of wings are available. I don’t know if that is typical or not, as I’ve never eaten a chicken wing in my life. But loads of options there.

Talk of the Town can make a pizza for you and there are nine salads. Of the 13 burgers on the menu, interesting takes include Bison Burger (with real bison meat?), Go Easy Burger (egg on a burger), and the Cheddar Bacon Cowboy Burger. I also see a Beyond Burger on the menu now, which is up my alley as a vegetarian.

Of the dozen sandwiches on the menu, all of them look good, but a special note for the Burnt Ends Sandwich, which sounds like an interesting take on the Kansas City dish.

Talk of the Town Grill & Bar, 5201 W 135th St, Leawood, KS 66224

Surfin’ Burger and onion rings
Surfin’ Burger and onion rings
Baja Fish Tacos
Baja Fish Tacos

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