I've been meaning to write about the world famous Hereford House steakhouses in the Kansas City area for quite some time. I was in Kansas City recently, calling on one of my large dealers out in Overland Park. A scheduling snafu on the dealer's part ended up with me eating alone that evening. Hey, that's OK. I've got time on my hands. And the Hereford House is right down the road.
The Hereford House began in 1957 when Jack Webb (not the actor) opened the doors of his steakhouse (right) located in downtown Kansas City at the corner of Main and 20th near the famous stockyards (see map). 30 years later, a group of investors headed by Rod Anderson bought the Hereford House and began a renovation and expansion of the original property.
In 1997, the Anderson Restaurant Group opened a second Hereford House in Leawood, KS (see map); followed by a third location in Independence, MO in 2002 (see map); and they opened their fourth Hereford House location at the new Zona Rosa shopping area in north Kansas City, MO (see map).
The Hereford House restaurants serves Sterling Silver meats, a high end meat producer owned by Cargill. Sterling Silver steaks are consistently rated as the highest quality by a number of top chefs across America. The "marbling" of Sterling Silver steaks is a direct result of selecting special cuts that are only available on about 10% of the beef population of North America.
The Hereford House in Leawood was characteristically busy that evening. I asked if I can eat at the bar and the hostess said, "Oh, please do!"
(As an aside - Each time I've eaten at the bar of a fine steak house since my visit to Smoky's Club in Madison, I'm reminded of what that bitchy hostess said to me when I asked if I could eat at the bar - "We do not serve dinner at the bar. We're not that kind of place." Well, a lot more classy and BETTER places serve dinner at the bar and ARE that kind of place. Another reason I'll probably never go back to Smoky's.)
I got a seat at the bar, right under a light so I could read the paper. They had a basketball game on the TV. They had cold Boulevard Pale Ale on tap - I was set.
Looking through the menu, I was tempted to get the prime rib. But I really wanted a grilled steak. And there's so many to choose from - ribeye, KC strip, filet. But I ordered up the blackened ribeye topped with garlic butter sauce. And I got a side of mashed sweet potatoes and a Caesar salad.
I wanted some wine, and I ordered a glass of the Franciscan Oakville Estates merlot. My bartender said that he didn't have that particular variety that evening. I didn't see anything else on their "by the glass" list that tripped my trigger. My bartender said that they had half-bottles of some selected wines, so he gave me the wine list. I immediately found a 2003 Duckhorn merlot in a 375 ml bottle for $22 bucks and I ordered that.
My steak was brought out and it was cooked a very perfect medium rare. The meat was tender and juicy, and had a great taste to it. Coupled with the mashed sweet potatoes and the wine, it was a killer meal. I was in heaven.
With tip, the bill came to just about $70 bucks. The Hereford House isn't a cheap place, but it's worth every penny. Believe me.
In a city famous for steaks, there's no place finer than the Hereford House. It's a must stop if you're looking for a great steak in Kansas City.