Best of KC 2020: The overwhelming kindness of Waldo Thai

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Waldo Thai. // Photo by Zach Bauman

This month, we published The Pitch’s annual Best of Kansas City issue. You can browse the results of the readers’ poll here. The issue also included a list, compiled and written by our editorial staff, of some of our current favorite things about Kansas City in 2020. We’ll be publishing these items online throughout November. 

Even in the kind of year that we now think of as “normal,” Waldo Thai Place would be a star in Kansas City’s galaxy of Asian restaurants. Actually, all restaurants. But the team led by executive chef Pam Liberda and her husband, Teddy Liberda, has stood out in the pandemic. From mid-March through June, Waldo Thai, at 8431 Wornall Road, offered free carry out lunches Tuesday through Saturday to service industry workers.

“A lot of us in management here came from Asian backgrounds. We didn’t grow up having a lot,” says Darrell Loo, the bar manager. “We take and we give. The local support we’ve received has been incredible, so we wanted to give something back.”

Waldo Thai eventually had to discontinue the lunches to focus on its own bottom line, which, like most restaurants, has been harmed by COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions. But, along with in-person dining Mondays through Saturdays beginning at 4:30 p.m., it continues to sustain the community with dazzling take-out options. For $55, the “family meal” will sustain three or four people with an array of main dishes and appetizers, and have enough left over for appetizers. “We’re hanging in there,” Loo says. And long may they last.

Waldo Thai

8431 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO, 64114

Categories: Food & Drink