Monday, October 4, 2010

Dharma and The Flea

For those of you still with me after my last post, thanks for returning. Also, thank you for your thoughtful comments and allowing me my own personal ABC Afterschool Special. I'm not mocking the seriousness of the post in any way and if telling my story helps one person than mission accomplished. I told Keith it felt as if I'd excised an emotional tumor and put it on display. Whatever discomfort I felt in baring my soul was quickly alleviated by the overwhelming response I received from so many awesome readers....bless you for your own honest comments. Still, it felt as if I'd just birthed my version of an entire season of James at 15 with Lance Kerwin.

That said, with this post I'm returning to my life through food and while I was playing confessional, one of my favorite months crept in. Yes, we are rockin' some October now and like every year, I am diggin' the crisper air, the slowly evolving fall hues and the onset of one of my fave holidays...Halloween. Saturday, we experienced the first of the eerie settings with our visit to Dharma Gallery in Westport. My friends Linda, Sherry and CJ were displaying their wares including jewelry, clothes and goods at the gallery and this was their opening weekend so of course, we had to support. Linda was there and she showed us her awesome necklaces ( I own one), excellent wineskins (we have those, also) and tres cool berets and beanies. Her sister Dee was also displaying some terrific artwork. Sherry's African-inspired fabrics and dolls were there and CJ was showing some of her cool pins. The gallery itself is an eccentric and unique space. It's the former home to various clubs and features a live music stage and an underground "coat check" with intriguing decor. The Halloween theme was pervasive throughout including this blood-soaked bride. Dharma is part vintage store and part art gallery with a retro-cool vibe and it's all too much fun. Check them out and say hi to the ladies with some truly unique gift ideas. They will be there every weekend for the foreseeable future.

We accompanied Linda and Dee to the venerable Westport Flea Market for lunch. The Flea is a KC institution and has long enjoyed an excellent reputation for their delectable burgers. If it's around, the first thing that catches your eye is the Flea's Burgermobile parked in the front of the building. Inside, the Flea still hosts an actual flea market in several rooms but it brings in the crowds for the grub these days. On this Saturday, the crowds were in full force as the Pub Crawl for Cancer was happening and several of the teams were descending on the Flea. The Flea is 27 years old and when we first moved to town, we lived in Westport and the Flea was fighting off being developed into a Hooter's. Thank the Good Lord, the locals revolted and the Flea remains. This joint is cash-only, has 23 beers on tap and features a damn good burger. You pay the cashier, find a table and wait for your name to be called. One particularly inventive cook sings, yodels and creates rhymes with your name when he lets you know your order is ready. The highlight is that burger made with McGonigle's beef and it's a beauty. You can get a side of homemade chili, curly fries or their new "party potatoes" which are cheesy with a crunchy topping and were just featured on Food Network. These days, there's a new burger joint cropping up on every corner and Lord knows I love me some Blanc, but the Flea's a classic. Long live the Flea!

The Flea also has a footnote in history that carries on the Halloween theme. Bob Berdella, the serial killer known as the Butcher of Kansas City once had a booth set up at the flea market known as Bob's Bazaar Bizarre. He sold...well, bizarre gifts that were macabre to say the least. He was eventually arrested after discovering he had murdered six men at his home. Brrr.....


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much from the Dharma Gallery mention. We enjoyed having you in our store and look forward to seeing you at our future First Friday weekend events. Dharma Gallery has linked your blog to our face book page.

Confounded Cook said...

Wonderful! Thank you for linking me. I thought your gallery was quite awesome.

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