Several years ago I watched a documentary on the New York City nightlife for post-teenage/pre-adult mindsets; in other words at the time; the future me.
It passed up all the nightclubs, and dub step houses. Slid past the bars and vacant ally lots. I don’t remember much about the show, except for one insert. Some fancy hamburger joint.
Now, from MC to Darco, the world knows my weakness of a good burger; see what I mean here and here for great examples. What the show had on display was some sort of chic display of modern art, electric lights, and round burgers on rectangle plates that made absolutely no sense. I was entranced. It was a burger joint that wasn’t about fast food, but about good food, great friends, and usually a stupid price tag.
I wrote this off as a mental concept of things that I’d add to a bucket list; never to accomplish [please remember that this was four years ago]. Gourmet burgers. Who would have thought?
Since then Twitter has become a staple of every day life, and within the program of the Kansas City Shock it’s a daily resource. However, today was very unique. I had hopped on to post some information about our director of media [cool story], and started to see some post from a place called Blanc Burgers and Bottles. All I knew about Blanc was:
- They made burgers
- They had fries
- They were a standard in the Country Club Plaza in downtown Kansas City
The third reason had kept me away [the assumption of the price tag], but they kept using the tag #eatKC. Here’s the unique thing about Blanc; everything they make is used from food companies within the area; whether it is Boulevard beer, The Roasterie’s coffee, or milk for their shakes by Shatto Dairy [down the road from where I grew up]; everything revolves around utilizing every element of Kansas City. The same belief I have about the Kansas City Shock. After watching the interaction I made a snap decision:
My girlfriend and I were going to eat at Blanc.
So, I sent out a tweet, tagging Blanc, and got ready for the date. Blanc responded; wanting to know time and which location of theirs I’d be at. After answers; they stated that I should ask for the MOD when I arrived [MOD=Manager on Duty I later learned]. So, my girlfriend and I hopped in the car, and after a quick stop to talk to MC, we went to the Plaza [Country Club Plaza]. After fighting the mini-New York, we found Blanc. Immediate image:
- White walls
- Glass partitions with bubbles illuminated in them
- Orange light covers and accent walls
Yes, as stated at the top, I was took a piece off of the bucket list. After waiting for about fifteen minutes for a seat, my girlfriend and I started to chat about what to eat. That’s when a man with a Hispanic accent stepped up to the table, pulled up a chair and started chatting.
The owner of Blanc; Ernesto.
Ernesto told us about his life, his passion, and why Blanc existed; it was captivating and amazing. This gourmet burger owner was taking time to sit with us. He ordered our appetizer [fries with bacon and melted guda cheese…my word], and our drinks on the house. We sat and chatted for about twenty minutes; discussing his love for Blanc and Kansas City, and my love for soccer and Kansas City. We found common ground. We spoke of his plans for business, and mine; spoke about the potentials that were available for each. This man oozed Kansas City; he said under his thick accent, “I’m the most loyal Kansas City-an that isn’t from Kansas City”. I couldn’t agree more. He left me his card, of course myself handing out cards is merely second nature now. The phrase, “Official burger of the Kansas City Shock” was used, and he headed home for the night.
It took me a moment, while working on the most amazing black bean burger I’ve ever had, to fully wrap my mind around what had taken place. Make no mistake; Blanc is a major restaurant in Kansas City; one of the top 50 burgers in the United States by Food Network Magazine; in the eatery world, this place is a big deal. I just had an appetizer with the owner and creator of the thing. He suggested that any business meeting I have; to bring them into his place. Every coach and owner that travels into Kansas City; introduce them to Ernesto and Blanc.
Tonight I felt like a business owner, tonight I lived out a dream, and tonight I met a soul with the same belief as mine; the potential that lies in Kansas City is limitless when we work together. Not to mention, seeing and listening to someone with age and wisdom, and for them to believe in the goal that I have: I left Blanc full, content, and inspired.
My girlfriend enjoyed the meal too.