Dish & Drink KC: Mother Clucker on the move, vegan fare from Spicy Moon Foods, and a sitcom pop-up
Drinking: Dunder Mifflin style
Scranton, PA, is closer than you think—and it’s slinging some wonderfully weird cocktails.
Vignettes Bar, a rotating pop-up concept in North Kansas City, is bringing The Office to life with its “Assistant to The Regional Manager” pop-up bar. It’s the sister operation of Apparition, known for their spectacularly spooky Halloween pop-ups that go all out.
The interior—decorated with artifacts from many of the best episodes—leaves no detail untouched, with accents such as the one and only “IT IS YOUR BIRTHDAY” banner and a Dundie scattered throughout the space. They even had a local artist dressed up as Andy Bernard for live entertainment, which patrons can enjoy Thursday-Saturday.
The beverages are inspired by some of the most humorous moments in the sitcom and range from wildly weird to more approachable. Offerings include Meredith’s Liquor Drawer, a Long Beach Iced Tea with nearly every liquor in the book, Robert California’s Private Reserve wine, or the popular Scott’s Tots, a tater-tot-infused Bloody Mary (yes you read that right).
If you want a more adventurous libation, the Kevin’s Famous Old Fashioned is there to deliver.
Inspired by Kevin’s famous chili, which he promptly spills all over the floor in the show, the drink has a brown sugar Old Fashioned as the base, is seasoned with bitters, and topped with baked beans. A drink with baked beans? You bet I tried that. And it was delicious.
Another unique standout was the Great Scott. Inspired by Michael’s “homemade salad dressing” (“I mix Newman’s Ranch and Newman’s Italian”), the concoction is made with vodka, lemon juice, and balsamic vinaigrette.
It’s served in a ranch dressing-rimmed Martini glass and topped with skewered lettuce, tomato, and onion. If you order this, you meet your vegetable quota for the day.
If you plan to head there with a few friends, might I recommend the Damn It Jim, a ginormous Jell-O shot with a mug inside of it reading “World’s Best Pop-Up.” You get to keep the mug as a bonus.
This pop-up runs through March 5th, and other thematic concepts such as a Clue-themed event are in the works for the future. If you consider yourself an elite office fan, head there on a Wednesday when they do Office trivia from 7-9 p.m.
The Assistant to The Regional Pop-Up Bar runs through March 5, and is located at 2376 Armour Rd, North Kansas City, 64116. It’s open from 6-11 p.m. on weekdays and 6-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
Spicy satisfaction, now headed to Shawnee, from Mother Clucker
Some like it hot, and it doesn’t get much hotter than Mother Clucker.
The Nashville Hot chicken joint ran by Derrick and Kylie Foster has its sights set on Shawnee, with plans to open a second location in the former spot of Big Bam’s burgers sometime in early summer.
The flagship location is currently serving their chicken-fried goodness inside of Parlor food hall in the Crossroads, where guests can indulge in several dishes of various heat degrees.
If you’re spice sensitive, there’s no need to fear: six seasonings are available, ranging from no heat to the “What The Cluck!,” which packs a serious punch on the Scoville scale.
General manager Mark Cobb describes it as eating a raw ghost pepper, but they use an even more intense spice in the seasoning—the Carolina Reaper.
Once customers have picked their seasoning, they can choose their chicken of choice. Options include the Comeback Sandwich, made with a boneless chicken breast, slaw, pickles, and cluck sauce, which is their house-made aioli based dipping sauce.
Tenders are also on the menu, served with sliced bread, sauce, and pickles, as well as The Clucker, which is a breast also served with bread and pickles.
Whatever you decide, get the sauce and pour it on everything. Also be sure to ask for the hot honey, which is house-made and features red chili flakes, cayenne, and other spicy seasonings.
Once you’ve had enough of the heat, you can also get a milkshake to cool yourself down. The lineup is somewhat rotating, but the Captain Crunch shake—topped with whipped cream, sprinkles, cereal pieces, and a donut—is nearly always on the menu. It’s also got an icing rim, so any excuse to eat straight up frosting is good enough for me (don’t judge me, or do, but it’s good either way).
Mother Clucker is located on the second floor of Parlor at 1707 Locust St. Kansas City, MO, 64108. Its open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11.am.-11p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday.
Dig into vegan biscuits and gravy from Spicy Moon at Kinship Café
Spicy Moon Foods, a traveling vegan pop-up serving a diverse collection of eats, will be stopping at Kinship Café on Feb. 11 from 9 a.m.- noon.
Spicy Moon is run by Montana Mckenzie, a self-taught vegan chef who focuses on plant-based comfort food. They did a stint at Café Gratitude before the pandemic and found themselves whipping up vegan and gluten-free dishes at home.
When COVID-19 turned the world upside down, they figured that then was as good of a time as any to make the pop-up their full-time hustle.
They started out with pastries, with their rotating donut flavors and cupcakes selling out with regularity. Now they are constantly creating new dishes that are both sweet and savory, pulling from various culinary influences. Mckenzie describes their food philosophy as a fusion of cultures, keeping the respect of tradition but also making room for the creative process.
Mckenzie runs the pop-up with their partner, and the dynamic duo serves as the front and back of house team. Since the team is small, most of the pop-ups are focused on one dish per event.
Whatever you are getting, odds are there’s some sort of fermented element to it—Mckenzie loves a good kimchi and other assorted pickle-esque ingredients.
Spicy Moon’s biscuits and gravy will be served at Kinship. The dish is made with a cornbread biscuit, chorizo and cheddar cheese gravy, cilantro pesto, tortilla strips, and pickled jalapenos. The cheddar is pistachio-based, a nut that Mckenzie says they are surprised isn’t used more often in vegan cuisine. This non-vegan agrees that pistachios are underrated.
If you can’t make the Spicy Moon pop-up at Kinship, there are plenty of other events scheduled over the next month. They’ll be at a “vegantine’s” market at Blip Roasters on the 12th along with other vegan vendors, and at Strange Days Brewing on the 25th during their comedy night. Other events and their corresponding menus can be seen on the restaurant’s Instagram.
Spicy Moon also sells its house-made hot sauce and Kimchi, so if you get there before they sell out, be sure to grab a bottle.
Spicy Moon Foods will be at Kinship Café, located at 719 North 6th Street, Kansas City, Kansas, 66101, from 9 a.m. – noon on Friday Feb. 11.