(Originally published in Exposure Magazine December 20, 2017).
Recently while I was in Kansas City, MO for business, my friend suggested we meet at lunch at Trago Bar & Tapas. I took the opportunity to learn a bit about the place, the owner, and its origins. It was such a unique experience, I decided to do a review and share.
Trago is in a busy shopping area, so it’s convenient for those who might be multitasking. The appearance outside is rather unassuming and basic. The inside, however, is very inviting, warm, and welcoming. I was greeted by the owner, founder and Chef Kandi Kerns. The décor, the food and the atmosphere are just like Kandi: warm, friendly, open, and inviting. It’s understandable that the place is packed on the weekends, including the outdoor patio area.
Sherri: This is a very interesting space, Kandi. How did you arrive at the idea of this kind of establishment?
Kandi: It was inspired by my late grandmother. Her name was Anna Maria Rosa Carlota Urrutia Evans. All the recipes are inspired by her recipes in some way. I was going to start with a food truck, but then suddenly I found myself in this almost 2500 square foot building due to some unexpected financial help.
Sherri: What is your mission with Trago Bar &Tapas?
Kandi: When I returned to Kansas City, I was so welcomed into this community. I knew I wanted to create something that promoted community and made people feel welcome and connected. I wanted to incorporate parts of the community into it, also. We made the bar from repurposed materials, and much of it coming from the Habitat for Humanity store. The tile, the construction, everything is a little part of this community. We have local musicians play every Wednesday evening, which is ladies night.
Sherri: Who is your target customer or patron?
Kandi: (Chuckles) Myself! I strive to put together a place where friends and family could gather in an upscale, yet comfortable place with friends and family, and experience custom drinks and fine dining. A place where memories are made. It’s more than just food and drinks, but an experience people never forget!
Sherri: What do you see as your long-range goals having just celebrated your one-year anniversary on Halloween?
Kandi: I would love to see us within 5 years also in a free standing 2 story building, which would allow more events, live music and entertaining!
Kandi then asked what I chose to eat. Because I knew I wanted to sample a few things, I ordered 3 items to sample and share (which is what Tapas means- shareable plates- usually paired with drinks). I ordered Albóndigas en Salsa de Tomate (Spanish meatballs), Tacos Hinchados (Puffy Tacos), and Pan Plano con Brie (flat-bread with brie). It was so delicious. Fresh ingredients, and a very unique presentation to each dish as well. Palette appealing as well as beautiful to look at. We had fabulous service by Jessica, and I learned so much. Too bad I was driving, because the drink menu is stellar! Be sure to stop in at the Trago Bar & Tapas if you are in Kansas City. You can visit them online at TragoKC.com, follow them on Facebook at facebook.com/tragokc or stop in at 9261 NE 83rd Terrace, Kansas City Mo. I absolutely give Trago Bar& Tapas thumbs up, a 10, a 5 star rating or whatever measure you prefer. It’s an experience you don’t want to miss. Order the Puffy Tacos!
(Originally in the July 21, 2017 Exposure Magazine.)
It’s that time of year, and the zucchini are abundant! HOORAY! There are many benefits to zucchini, such as weight loss (low calorie, high volume), manganese for healthy heart function, vitamin C, and fiber. It is a fabulous fruit/vegetable to add to your diet. Usually seen as a vegetable, zucchini is actually classified as a fruit. Regardless of what you classify it as, consider adding it to your healthy eating! There is a tremendous amount of beta carotene in the skins so unless it’s the size of your arm, leave the skin on! And don’t throw those giant zucchinis away- stuff them! You can find many recipes on Pinterest, including Zucchini boats, zucchini fries (my favorite) and even stuffed like enchiladas. I enjoy using my spiralizing vegetable cutter and making zoodles instead of starchy noodles. All this zucchini talk makes me think of Dr Seuss’s Green eggs and Ham poem. Except for me, it’s more like;
I like Zucchini, I do, I do,
So I say, how about you?
I would eat them made into a lasagna boat,
I would eat them stuffed with cheese from a goat.
I will eat them in a restaurant, and at home,
I eat them wherever I roam.
They are so good, so good, you see,
And they are so good for me!
I will eat them on a plate,
I will eat them at night, very late.
I will eat them as part of my healthy diet,
The calories are so low, no cause for a riot.
And I will eat them at my house,
And I will eat them with butter I can douse.
I will eat them here and there,
SAY, I will eat them anywhere!
I even eat zucchini with my fam,
Thank you, thank you,
Sherri I am.
Perhaps not as amusing as Dr Seuss, but none the less- Eat up your zucchini! Go ahead and sauté it, bake it, grill it or fill it- just eat it for your health!
These are my older blog posts, which originally appeared in my Exposure Magazine Column, "Healthy Living."