Where Chefs Eat

Northland Hidden Gems

If you think that figuring out dinner every night for your family is tough, try doing it when your job is figuring out dinner (or breakfast or lunch) for your patrons--that's every chef's dilemma. That's why we asked three Northland chefs where they go when they just can't cook anymore. Their answers may be a godsend for those of us that don't cook for a living as we look for new answers to the eternal question--What's for dinner? 

Miranda Barchers Chef/Owner of Morning Day Cafe

6 E Franklin St 
Liberty, Missouri 64068 

What is your Northland connection? 

I’ve lived in Liberty for seven years and owned Morning Day for a little over four years.

What is your favorite restaurant/meal in the northland?

One of my favorite restaurants in Liberty is Seva Indian Cuisine. I am in love with their chicken tikka masala and the Seva Squash. I usually end up there on my rare day off for the lunch buffet. I generally make a meal of the vegetable pakoras, squash, and basmati rice and then cover it all in tikka masala chicken with even more masala sauce. I could do the backstroke in this stuff- I dream about it- I’ve attempted to regularly recreate it and if I go to long without it I go through withdrawals. It is my ultimate comfort food. The naan is fresh and delicious but for me it’s merely a vessel to transport more masala sauce to my mug. The service is gracious and the perfect complement to the complex yet simple and fresh flavors the kitchen keeps pumping out during each busy service. I take everyone I can to brunch at Seva when I’m not making brunch for my friends at Morning Day.

What is your personal philosophy toward food for your own restaurant?

I feel that food no matter how it’s assembled, food needs to start with fresh, local and organic ingredients. I want to feed my community from my community so I try to stay as locally sourced as possible. I utilize fresh, local and ethically sourced ingredients in my kitchen as well my coffee and cocktail bar. My menu has simple flavors that are creatively constructed to be unique and interesting yet alluring enough that, like the masala sauce from my fave lunch at Seva, keeps customers coming back again and again.

Katee McLean Chef/Owner of Krokstrom Scandinavian Comfort Food and Vildhäst KC located inside Parlor 

Krokstrom Scandinavian Comfort Food

3601 Broadway Rd (2.83 mi)
Kansas City, Missouri 64111

Vildhäst at Parlor

1707 Locust Street 
Kansas City, Missouri 64108

What is your Northland connection? 

I was born and raised in the northland (Platte City). My first restaurant job was off I-29 and 64th street at the Yia Yias.

What is your favorite restaurant/meal in the northland?
I have a special spot for the sausage and onion pizza at Leo’s Pizza. It’s partly a love from childhood and partly my obsession with provel cheese and thin crust. The sausage is cooked on the pie and the onions are super sweet. The house salad is a must also. It has cold provel (totally different from the melty molten cheese on the pie) and the sweet onion vinaigrette. Everything about Leo’s is pure Northland--warm, comforting and wouldn’t work anywhere else. My dad was a UPS driver forever and he loved finding those hole in the wall spots. Leo’s, Wally’s pastry, Hay’s Hamburgers and Le Monde Bakery (RIP). 

What is your personal philosophy toward food for your own restaurant?
My personal philosophy at Krokstrom and Vildhäst is to respect the culture and traditions of Scandinavian cuisine. Krokstrom focuses on the comfort food of Scandinavia, the dishes my family passed down. Vildhäst is all about the street food of Scandinavia--think unique Korv (sausages) with exciting flavorful toppings and pickled Danish fries.
At the end of the day I want to make food that I crave and I want to represent a culture that has been neglected far to long. We all want an escape when we go out. Whether that’s a trip up north out of the city center or visiting a restaurant with food you never knew about, it gets you out of your day to day routine. That is fun for me.

Abbey-Jo Eans Chef/Owner at Happy Gillis Cafe and Hangout 

549 Gillis St 
Kansas City, Missouri 64106

What's your Northland connection?

My family (husband and chef Josh, three kids and mother) moved to the Northland a couple of years ago and love it. 

What is your favorite restaurant/meal in the northland? ​​​​​​​

We really love Spices Asian Restaurant. They always remember us when we come in and make us feel very welcome--that's important when you're spending your money on an experience like dinner. The Panang chicken curry, the chicken wings, and the green papaya salad are my favorite dishes. 

What is your personal philosophy toward food for your own restaurant? ​​​​​​​

My philosophy is to make things with conviction that I would like and would want to eat. Food is about relationship a my hope is that my food brings people together. 

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