Friday, May 8, 2009
I think I saw Jim Messina in the alley.
“Hot spiced shrimp.”
Soon as I saw that on the Twin City Tavern sign, I knew that’s where we should eat before going to Record Bar to see Summer Breeze, Kansas City’s soft rock tribute supergroup. Not that I had any actual intention of getting the hot spiced shrimp. Just seemed like a place proud enough to give it such high billing would pair nicely with the smooth Yacht Rock music of the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Man, did that ever turn out to be a good call.
Much like Yacht Rock, Twin City Tavern is clearly of a time yet timeless all the same. You can’t call it retro, seeing as how it’s always been like this. Lots of wood paneling and fake bricks, and in certain areas of the bar you’re bathed in a classy red neon glow. There is no reason Twin City Tavern shouldn’t be the most happening nightspot on the marina, except of course for the fact that Kansas City is landlocked.
With McHugh and Voytek joining us, we sat down and ordered some hot wings and the first of a few buckets of beers, which are $11 for five domestics. Shaw and I decided to split a couple of burgers for dinner, quickly settling on the Bacon & Philly Cream Cheese Burger. Because bacon plus cream cheese -- can it get more ‘70s than that?
For burger number two, we asked the waitress what the most popular choice was and she pointed us to the Dutchburger, which involves Thousand Island dressing, grilled onions and swiss cheese. I also wanted to ask our waitress if her name was Brandy, but thought it best not to push my luck.
The hot wings arrived, and although they were unexpectedly sauceless, they still had a good heat on them. Nice and spicy and crispy. The Dutchburger was tasty enough, even if it was a little heavy on the dressing. Side-wise, we went tots, yet it’s worth noting that in addition to fries, Twin City Tavern has Fritos as an option. I can appreciate a place that serves Fritos instead of boring blah potato chips.
I wasn’t truthfully expecting all that much out of the Bacon & Philly Cream Cheese Burger since I’m fairly lukewarm toward cream cheese, but it turned out to be like one of the best things ever. The generous schmear gave the burger a layer of melt-in-your-mouth creaminess that was even more intense what with the bacon in there -- and we’re taking bacon like bacon should be. Smoky, salty and thick. Not that wimpy bacon you find on so many burgers.
A big Lunch Blog thumbs up to Twin City Tavern. Next time, I think we’re going to have to give the hot spiced shrimp a shot.
So how was Summer Breeze? Smooth, man, smooth. They absolutely nailed that Yacht Rock sound on favorites like “Steal Away,” “Rosanna,” and “Islands in the Stream.” J.D. Warnock did an uncanny Michael McDonald on “I Keep Forgetting” and “What a Fool Believes,” too.
The show’s high point for me personally was when the first chorus of “Baby Come Back” kicked in -- it was one of my favorite soft rock moments come to life. Everybody at Record Bar was totally soaking up the good times.
And never before have I seen so many captain’s hats.
If you like smooth music -- and really, who doesn’t? -- mark your calendar now. Summer Breeze brings it to Record Bar again on Friday, June 26.
(A special right on and thank you to @TrustTheDust of Scene-Stealers.com for the photo.)
Twin City Tavern: 1815 Westport Road | Kansas City, MO 64111