Saturday, September 3, 2011

Prairie Village Urban

I hooked up with Stella for an urban lunch this week at Urban Table in the Village. Stella had wanted to eat there since it opened so we finally got around to it. In case you don't know, Urban Table is owned by the same guys wtho brought you BRGR. Urban Table is like a cross between You Say Tomato and Ingredient serving sandwiches, soups and salads. The schtick is that all the food is fresh, organic and seasonal.

It's really kind of a cool looking little place, like a hipsterish Machine Shed or like the actual You Say Tomato only with matching furniture. The menu is pretty sparse, about 6 or 7 sandwiches, a couple different salads and a soup of the day. I imagine the menu's going to change with the seasons. I got a BLTA, a BLT with avocado and Stella got some sort of cheese sandwich with figs.

Then I noticed a pretty good tap tower over by the bar*. The New Belgium Lips of Faith tap caught my eye and I went over to check it out. Magic Hat #9, Rogue Mocha Porter, Bob's 47, 1554, Easy Street Wheat, Copperhead Pale Ale, Delirium Tremens, Guinness and Lips of Faith Dunkelweiss were all ready to be drank from the tap. If I could have 10 beers on tap**, I'm not sure more than 2 of these would make the cut, but, in Prairie Village this is a ballsy tap list.

*The other thing I noticed was "Urban Table" merchandise like t-shirts and hats. This seemed a little out of place for a restaurant that's been open a month and at the end of the day is a sandwich place.

**What are the 10 I would choose in Kansas you ask? With imperfect information as to what's available in kegs I would choose, Boulevard Tank 7, Pale Ale, Seasonal, Free State Ad Astra, Seasonal, Tallgrass Halcyon Wheat, New Belgium Lips of Faith Le Terroir (if I can get it, if not then another Lips of Faith selection that I can get then), Lagunitas IPA, Lagunitas seasonal (WTF, Gnarly Wine, Brown Shugga, etc.) and Sam Adams Boston Lager. 3 big, premium beers, 4 big well known big sellers, and 3 good beers that signal you know what you're doing. Swap in an Avery, Great Divide or Odell beer for Lagunitas IPA, Boston Lager or the Free State Seasonal depending on my mood and what's available.

Stella and I found some seats, which was more difficult than we would have liked. For a place with "urban" in the name there was an awful lot of white people there, in percentage terms I would put it at 100. There was a lot of them there too. After having the open ticket thing explained to us twice (your credit card tab remains open so you can get another beer or a dessert or whatever without having to run your card again) our food arrived. We got a couple of baskets of meh. We spent $26 for 2 sandwiches and some buttered noodles for our 4 year old and got a couple of sandwiches we could have made ourselves after doing some creative food shopping.

Urban Table is the kind of place that makes you want to eat better than you actually do. If you'd just go to Whole Foods, McGonigles, a farmer's market and a neighborhood bakery you too can have sandwiches like you get at Urban Table. Instead Urban Table does that shopping for you, puts together the food for you and charges a premium for the privilege. Nothing we ate was something we couldn't make ourselves, there's very little chefery there. When I go to Blanc, I know I can't make that burger, when I go to Extra Virgin, I know I can't make the baby goat empanadas, when I go to Oklahoma Joe's I know I can't smoke that pork. At Urban Table you're basically paying for someone to shop for you.

I did enjoy my food, especially the little crispy spicy shoestring potatoes. Everything was well put together and it was ultimately more than I could eat. Stella didn't think that much of her cheese sandwich (brie, fontina, fresh figs and preserves, truffle butter, challah bread) but liked her salad. Like I said it was a whole bunch of meh.

When I got home I checked out the beer list. Urban Table carries quite a few bottled beers as well as quite a few wines. But, again, the list is just kinda weird. From what I can tell, you can't get a Boulevard Pale Ale or Wheat, you can only get Tank 7, Dark Truth or Sixth Glass in the li'l Smokies, no other Smokestacks are available, only Goose Island Fleur, not Matilda nor Sofie (this may have to do with the distributor, Goose Island availability has been spotty). But Delirium Nocturnum is available in big bottles as is Three Philosophers. It seems kind of random.

All of these issues aside, Urban Table seems like a great place to stop in for a drink and a bite if you're in the neighborhood. The beer selection here is better than BRGR's in the same strip mall and they have more on tap than the Leawood Blanc a couple of miles away. Other than that, this area of town is a beer desert. I know if I was in the neighborhood and wanting a beer, Urban Table would be my stop. It's a cool looking place with friendly people and good beer, a nice little enclosed patio for outdoorsy type sitting, there's room to improve, but it's got a decent start.


  1. I have a dream. A dream that one day Kansas will not suck raw ass when it comes to beer selection. A dream that one day the Costco im OP will sell booze. A dream hat Rimann and Lukas wont be the only liquor stores on the KS side which dont suck.

    Seriously're Missouri's bitch when it comes to beer. (Free State being the exception.)

  2. I thought it was slightly over priced and the bar seemed out of place. The retail style deli area near the entrance was weird but whatever... I thought the beer selection was good for a new place, but I think it could have been tailored a bit more considering they could draw on BRGR's experience in Prairie Village... I wen't for lunch a week after they opened, it was hard enough to order and find a table so we ended up going to BRGR for a beer. I had a salad and half a sandwich, the salad portion was tiny and the sandwich was about 80% bread. I can't really complain about the flavors, but overall I really just wasn't impressed with the place. I'd go back at least once more I guess, maybe in a couple months when it isn't asses to elbows in there.

  3. Tipsy's in Mission has a good KS beer selection, as does Gomer's off I-35. But I am Kansan who always goes to MO for beer...

  4. Scott. If you are setting your sights as high as Missouri, I recommend getting a St. Louis and riding their coattails.