Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Progressive Feast For the Belly of The Beast

As Keith and I began our descent in the Art Deco elevator at the Hall of Waters, Keith remarked, "Now we enter the belly of the beast.". He was referring to his offices behind the old, historic spa where we stroll past old steam cabinets and intimidating hoses that I inevitably glance at, then look away quickly, as if I'd just come across some ancient torture device. They were meant for healing but they look harrowing. As for the belly of the beast, well, that could describe my monstrous midsection of late. I'm experiencing that ever-annoying feeling of tighter-fitting clothes and contemplating the cutting of the calories.......the weekend before Christmas. ha.

During contemplation, I still gots to eat, so on we went to the Progressive Taste of Christmas in Excelsior Springs. Several restaurants participated in the fund-raising event that kicks off the holiday festivities. We started off at the hotel, already hopping with wedding regalia, where we sampled their mini-bread puddings. Across the street, the historic Episcopal Church was an unorthodox setting as an event stop but there they were serving brownies in stylish homemade boxes. We were momentarily mesmerized by the stunning stained glass and stately stonework in the church but finally headed off to the West side for the next courses. The highlight at Applebee's was seeing our artist friend Kate Johnson's display under Hometown Heroes. Life Springs Nutrition sampled some healthy protein shakes and green teas and A Slice of Paradise gave out mini-slices of their Meatlover's pies....a next-door comedic contrast to each other. Outpost Grille served up some mini-pastries of pumpkin cheesecake and apple galette.

The action was most definitely centered around downtown. After a brief stop at Daylight Donuts to see their Cinnamon Roll Christmas Tree (the samples of cinnamon roll and brownie went home with us), we dove into the crowds. Downtown Excelsior truly pulled out all the stops and kicked off the holidays in unique style.....they were deservedly packed up and down the street. We first hit Ventana where Wendy was sampling some excellent herb cheese spread and then next door to Ooey Gooey for chocolate-covered strawberries. Keith peeled my face from the OG bake case and on we went to sift through the Merc crowds at Willow Spring to try out some homemade Focaccia bread and Chardonnay Cheese Dip while watching Daphne pour samples of holiday spiced wine. We took a break from the merry munchies to get lifted by the dazzlingly divine decor at Redmond's Home Furnishings(top left pic), I believe they outdid themselves this year and that's saying something. We concluded this Gastro tour at Broadway and Penn and a sampling of some seriously savory Shepherd's Pie created by the lovely Mary and served by some friendly and helpful elves.

Mary? Shepherds? Yes, that would make for a super segue to the next post when we explore the rest of the day's Christmas kickoff...


Kristy said...

Oh wow! Thanks for sharing. This sounds spectacular. Speaking of the "belly of the beast" remember that my office still houses the old elevator shaft at the Triplett's Building. The cage is gone but we still have the original doors to that freight elevator that in the '20's was installed to move Model A Fords from the ground level to the 2nd floor! I hear ya about the tighter fitting clothes. Our good friend Miss Erika Hupp decided to post on FACEBOOK what is undoubtedly the WORST picture taken of me in 30 years so I am now begging Michael to wade through my storage building and get out my rebounding trampoline because I just cannot take this fat suit anymore!!! And yeah right, right before the holidays. Everything looks like it was a grand time ya'll spent. Thanks for sharing!

Lisa Mandina said...

Sounds like fun! I need to keep up with what's going on there in Excelsior Springs, I would have enjoyed all that food!

Kate (Cathy Johnson) said...

And I missed the whole thing...nuts! (Hope the display at Applebees didn't affect your appetite--and thanks for the kind words, Greg!)

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