Tuesday, January 17, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — What’s the best lunch in Kansas City, Mo.?

Opinions no doubt vary in one of the Midwest cities most frequented by people from the Carroll area.

But one establishment that’s in the running is the Rozelle Court Restaurant in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in downtown Kansas City. The sandwiches and salads are outstanding as are the hot dishes (even the meatloaf).

And the chowders and soups are exceptional. But the real attraction is the atmosphere as the restaurant is located in a 15th century indoor Italian courtyard right in the heart of the museum.

The building is a wonder in itself.

“When the massive Beaux Art Nelson-Atkins Building opened in 1933, newspapers nationwide reported visitors ‘amazed,’ ‘gasping at its innovations and marveling at its luxury,’” the museum says in its promotional materials.

It is not an oversell.

Even if you are not an art aficionado, (I never took an art history class in high school or college) you should still make this a stop on a trip to Kansas City.

“I have no formal education or trained understanding of art,” I told a museum employee.

“That makes you the perfect visitor, then,” she said. “You just know what you like.”

What she didn’t say: you can enjoy the museum because you aren’t trying to impress your fellow visitors.

A highlight at the Nelson-Atkins is the work of the artist George Ault (1891-1948). He has a strong eye for rural settings and painted some moving works of life in the Great Depression and the 1940s. “Ault on paper” runs until April 29.

The big drawing card: the sculptures of Auguste Rodin (French, 1840-1917) who was one of the more influential sculptors of the 19th century. The exhibit is open until June 3.

If you take your kids, they’ll love the outdoor sculptures, particularly the signature giant shuttlecocks (those things you bat around in badminton).

Full disclosure: one of the reasons I’m drawn to this museum is that it was founded by a fellow newspaperman — William Rockhill Nelson, who started The Kansas City Star.

*****

With family living in the Kansas City area I travel there at least twice a year.

The best place for an affordable Sunday brunch buffet?

Cinzettis in Overland Park, Kan. — 7201 W. 91st St.

It’s an Italian restaurant, but the buffet goes beyond the pizza and pasta to include a number of breakfast items and an assortment of salads and dishes and desserts. My favorite: garlic mashed potatoes and the Chianti peppercorn gravy — the best gravy I have had anywhere.

Another key: there are multiple food stations with cooks and chefs keeping meals hot. It’s not a traditional down-the-line buffet, which makes it more clean and appetizing.

Price on Sunday: $15 for adults ($13 for seniors) and $5 for kids.

*****

In a feature story we published Friday on the phenomenon that is Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, Carroll High School football coach Dennis McCartan said he  thinks Tebow’s public showings of faith are in fact exercises in vanity.

“My concern is if you’re a true Christian, are you supposed to be making public displays that draw attention to yourself?” McCartan said.

There’s biblical backing to this view:

“And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men.” — Matthew 6:5.

Here’s a question, though: Am I violating the intent of Matthew by even printing that?