City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More
Photo by Katie Currid

Featured Article

Eatin' Good in the Neighborhood

This Facebook group has some of the best restaurant recommendations in all of KC

Going out to eat can feel overwhelming at times. There’s the price point, the drive time, and don’t even get me started on actually agreeing with your dining partners on what it is you all want to eat. 

Now there’s a group on Facebook that’s sole purpose is to share reviews of Northland restaurants. Though, if I’m being honest, the list of places I want to eat is now longer and I’m not sure it’s made the decision on where to eat any easier! But it’s the first place I check when I’m searching for a new place to go.

The Facebook group is called KC Northland Eateries and it was started by Carl Sorensen. At the age of 72, Carl probably isn’t the first person you’d imagine running an internet community with over 10,000 members, but Carl has long been an early adopter of technology.

Carl started the group only 6 months ago, and it’s exploded since. He was a longtime member and frequent poster in a similar group, Kansas City Eats, which also shares restaurant recommendations, though for all of Kansas City. However, as a Northlander, he noticed more and more of the recommendations were moving further and further south, focusing on areas south of Brookside and primarily in Johnson County. Since many of those places were over a 30-minute drive for him, he wanted a place to discuss Northland restaurants and realized that if anyone was going to start it, it was going to be him.

“I think there are some people up here, too, that don't believe that the Northland has the entertainment that they have south of the river and I disagree with that strongly,” says Carl. “I think the local restaurants we have up here are really, really good. I mean, I worked downtown, and I ate downtown for years. And they've gotten really good from downtown. But we have really good food up here.”

Carl is a frequent reviewer in his own group, and his reviews have a certain style to them. He loves setting the scene in restaurants, describing the weather and the ambiance, and then delving into a detailed description of his meal. When he’s had a particularly good meal, he typically ends it with something along the lines of, “My meal did not last long at all! Well done, well done indeed! An evening meal and life is good!” They are truly a joy to read — restaurant prose, full of praise.

As with most Facebook groups, there are rules, and one of the most important ones in Northland Eateries is that reviews must be positive. Carl thinks the restaurant industry has had a rough few years, taking hard hits with the pandemic and also inflation, and he doesn’t want a group that hurts them further but shares the good places to go. He says, sure, he’s had some bad meals, and he just doesn’t write about them. 

A lifelong bachelor, and now a retiree on a fixed income, he looks forward to going out to eat as a way to treat himself. He eats out twice a week and says he makes one an “easy” meal and one a “nice” meal. So he usually has plenty of fodder for his reviews. 

Carl has actually been reviewing restaurants as a hobby for many years. He started writing reviews on Yelp and Google in 2015. Early reviews he remembers writing are ones about one of his favorite restaurants, BC Bistro when they first opened. 

And, yes, he has written a bad review before — once, on Yelp. And he regretted it immediately. But the positive reviews he’s put out there since seem to more than make up for it. 

Carl’s restaurant order varies. He doesn’t usually like to order things he can make himself at home (he says he makes a very good burger and a mean bolognese), but he almost always washes his meal down with an ice-cold beer.

“Somebody once asked me, 'What's the best beer you ever drank?' And I answered them, ‘The one I'm currently drinking,’” says Carl. “And you can almost say that with food, too. Because if you are at a restaurant that does a really good job, it doesn't matter what it is. They will put it on your plate and it will taste good.”

If you’re stumped on the next place to go for a night out, or maybe you need a specific recommendation for where to find the thing it is you’re craving — KC Northland Eateries should be your first stop. The positive community it creates there is a wonderful and rare place to find on the internet, and it’s a great celebration of our community and the talented people who work to feed us. 

Well done, Carl. Well done, indeed!


Some of Carl's favorite Northland restaurants:

  • Aroma Bistro, 14121 Earthworks Drive, Smithville
  • Scott's Kitchen, 11920 N Ambassador Drive, Kansas City
  • BC Bistro, 7749 NW Prairie View Road, Kansas City
  • Chappell's, 323 Armour Road, Kansas City
  • District Biskuits, 504 Armour Road, North Kansas City
  • KoZak's Laketown Grill, 1018 US-169, Smithville
  • Trezo Mare, 4105 N Mulberry Drive, Kansas City
  • Photo by Katie Currid
  • Photo by Katie Currid
  • Aroma Bistro
  • Briarcliff Barrio
  • BC Bistro
  • Danny's Burger Shack
  • Fitti's Espresso
  • Italian Sausage Company
  • KoZak's Laketown Grill
  • Mudbug Cajun Po' Boys
  • Red Door Woodfired Grill
  • Merchant Logo T-Shotz
  • KoZak's Laketown Grill