Back in 2015, Ryan Triggs and two business partners started growing hops in Kansas. The small green flowers, which look like pine cones, are the bittering agent in beer and contribute to the floral, citrusy and fruity flavors that make IPAs so popular. “Things are going really well, but we’re only growing three acres of hops down there, so it wasn’t really enough to be a full-time job,” Triggs says. Eventually, they decided they either needed to up their acreage or add another line of business by opening their own microbrew taproom—which they did with Tall Trellis Brew Co. (25600 W. Valley Parkway, Olathe). “We’re providing hops to about seventy different breweries right now, so the goal is to highlight a lot of beers from the breweries that have been supporting us,” Triggs says. (Those beers are marked on the sixteen-beer tap lineup with a little hop cone.) As the name implies, Tall Trellis will be brewing its own beer on a small one-barrel system pending the necessary inspections and approvals. Some drinkers may not be totally familiar with what a hop cone looks like—Tall Trellis will correct that as the summer goes on and the hops planted around their courtyard climb the surrounding trellises. “I’m excited to use that as an educational tool,” Triggs says. “I’m excited for people in Kansas City to get up close and personal and be around the plants and see what they look like and how they’re grown.”
‘Happy’ in Spain
One of Kansas City’s culinary power couples will decamp for Spain, reports Jenny Vergara of Feast. Abbey-Jo and Josh Eans own Happy Gillis and Columbus Park Ramen Shop but are moving to Valencia, on the country’s eastern shore, with their three children. The big move came from a mid-pandemic moment of clarity.
“We realized we were always working way more than we were at home with the kids and each other, and we also saw how easily everything we had been working so hard for could be taken away,” Josh Eans told Feast.
They’ve sold their home and cars and saved enough money to make it for a year without jobs while renting an apartment in Valencia. They will continue to own Happy Gillis, which will be run by a longtime manager. The ramen shop has remained closed since the start of the pandemic.
>>In addition to this scoop from Feast magazine, we have a scoop about Feast magazine. The venerable St. Louis-based food publication is retracting to its home turf and stopping its KC coverage beginning in June. It’s a sad loss for local food media.
Kansas City has its first Indonesian restaurant with the opening of Spicy One (6551 W 119th St, Overland Park). The Southeast Asian nation is home to more than thirteen thousand different ethnic groups and has one of the most diverse cuisines in the world. Spicy One is especially proud of its Rendang Spicy Beef, which is slow-cooked in coconut milk with spices and chiles and its Martabak Telur, a stuffed pancake that’s popular street food. Indonesia is the fourth-most populated country in the world but a blogger who did the math found fewer than a hundred Indonesian restaurants in the U.S., most in California. Spicy One received an official visit from the Indonesian consulate at the end of April.
Two notable local fast-casual restaurants are expanding with new concepts. We have a soft spot for Haha’s Pizza Hub on Main Street, which we’ve included in roundups of the best New York pizza not just because it’s good pizza but because it feels more like being in outer Brooklyn than anywhere else in KC. Brothers Fouad and Firas Haha were raised in Jordan and are tapping their background for a sister concept, Haha’s Kebabs and Shawarma. According to the Star, it will be around the corner at 204 W. 39th St, on the edge of Westport. Look for chicken and kofta kebabs, plus hummus and Greek salad.
>> Up in the Northland, a venerable burger spot is doing something similar, also reported by the Star. Tay’s Burger Shack opened in 2014 and has a loyal following that will tell you it’s the best burger in town. Now owner Kent Harrison is trying his hand at Philly-style steak sandos with Tay’s Cheesesteaks at 315 Armour Road. Harrison tells the Star that he’ll use grass-fed beef from a Kearney farm but bring in traditional Amoroso’s rolls from the land where it’s always sunny.