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Culinary Curiosity – Goat and Rabbit and Dodson’s Bar and Commons

Kansas City is a story of parallels. Straddling the state line of Kansas and Missouri, our fair city has provided interest and intrigue for centuries now. From the practical, “Which police car comes to the disturbance on State Line Road?” to the critical, “The free state of Kansas versus the slave state of Missouri,” to the absurd, “Liquor laws depend on a restaurant’s footprint and clubs are exempt,” we have created confusion for all to ponder. Visiting guests and tourists are flummoxed by the duality of the region, and more than one of our transatlantic visitors has expressed concern over which state they should fly into and what to tell their friends and family regarding their destination. 

On a separate plane, but running parallel to the city’s dual psyche, was the upbringing of the author. While being exposed to fine art, delectable food, and the purest gin… the journey to adulthood was paved with roads to the perfect hamburger. No kidding. In this universe, there was absolutely nothing wrong with having a martini and then seeking out the most divine, juicy hamburger or cheeseburger within reach. 

Why does this matter? Because we have found the answer to all of our existential questions, and our answers come in “twos.” Enter Atit Patel and Jugal Patel, co-owners of Goat and Rabbit bar on 39th Street, and Dodson’s Bar and Commons in Waldo. Decidedly different, the two watering holes are oases for the consumer seeking a welcoming, interesting, diverse place to order a libation. (We’ll get to the burgers later.)

Atit Patel and Jugal Patel, Co-owners

 

Goat and Rabbit occupies the space formerly held by Nomad’s coffee, just steps away from The KU Medical Center campus. Expecting a clientele of discerning taste and a desire for a neighborhood bar, Goat and Rabbit offers a fantastic menu of creative cocktails. First, let’s talk about the name. Inspired by the rivalry of the Pendergasts and the Shannons, the “Goat” in the moniker pays homage to the Pendergast people who lived on the hills above the West Bottoms, according to the Shannon clan. The “Rabbit” pays homage to the Shannons, who settled along the rivers. The bar seeks to be an equal opportunity locale. We sampled what the co-owners and the knowledgeable bartender recommended, and we were not disappointed. The old fashioned was smooth with Four Roses Bourbon and not too much bitters. The mezcal paloma is not like anything on any menu… tart, smoky, fruity, all at the same time. The cosmo has a divine apricot foam lightly settled on top of the traditional drink, and it was sublime. Our collective favorite might have been the retro cocktail hour, which was created by Diana Condori, local drink creator and confidante. Containing Appleton Estate Rum, Cassis, orange, and lime, all muddled perfectly, the drink is more than refreshing and secretly alluring. In addition, Goat and Rabbit has a nice choice of crafted beers, as well as a burgeoning wine offering. 

John Adams, Goat and Rabbit

 

Move, now, in the mind’s eye to Waldo, where Dodson’s Bar and Commons resides. This is the casual brother of Goat and Rabbit. With an unmistakable neighborhood feel and a clientele on foot, bikes, (and trains, planes, and automobiles), Dodson’s is named after the old streetcar line. The Dodson Dummy Line Railroad, also known as Route 65,  ran from Westport through Waldo to Dodson, Missouri, on the southern end. (Dummy refers to a type of condensing engine quieter “than the usual kind.” Courtesy of the Kansas City, Missouri Public Library.) And, as most are aware, the current trail that runs the former streetcar line is wildly popular and passes mere feet from Dodson’s. This place has a sense of humor. In the beer category one can choose from Hamms or Martin City Yoga Pants in bottles or cans. On draft, find Odell Sippin’ Pretty or Torn Label Monk and Honey… just to name a couple. For cocktails, we tried the Blue Hawaiian, which tastes like it sounds – very island-like; and El Diablo – Reposado Tequila, Cassis, lime and ginger beer – delicious. 

But here’s the fun part. Inside Dodson’s sits Cosmo Burger. It is a stand-alone, takeout burger bar. Ordering is done online ahead of time, or from your phone as you sit and sip. Pretty soon, a text will arrive, and diners fetch their bags of burgers from the bar. (If you have to wait, there is a shuffleboard table.) Now, just indulge us here for a bit. These Cosmo Burgers (billed as smash burgers) have rocketed to number one on our hit parade of hamburgers or cheeseburgers. The smash, the sauce, the bun, the burger… all perfect in the book of Potter burgers. And, don’t forget the tots. 

So, we have two co-owners with creativity and flair, we have two bars with different personalities, we have two states living in social harmony, and we have fantastic cocktails and mouthwatering burgers. The old Wrigley’s slogan of “Double Your Fun” has never seemed so apt. How lucky can this dual temperament city get?

Also featured in the June 12, 2021 issue of The Independent.
Photo Credit: Bailey Pianalto Photography

Anne Potter Russ

Anne is thrilled to be working with The Independent again, and even happier to be with some great people. Having served as editor from 2005 to 2009, it is a pleasure to be able to connect with the readers of this timeless magazine. Anne and her husband, Norbert, live in south Leawood, and have two grown kids, Diana and Nick, as well as two rambunctious dogs.

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