Kansas City, KS

Letters Home

A series of letters describing
the unique culture and food of kansas city, ks

A letter to a friend

Hey Jessie,

I finished moving in all my stuff a couple of weeks ago. Whoever said moving to a new city was easy didn’t know what they were talking about. Oh wait, that’s right. No one has ever said that!

I settled in and decided to write you a letter. It’s a bit old-fashioned, but you know me. I like to get my thoughts down on the blank page and tell a story.

I wasn’t sure how I would feel moving to a new place where I didn’t know anyone, but after diving into my courses at University of Kansas Medical Center, I am really excited about my future here.

But I’m not here to talk about school and I’m sure you won’t care about how many bones reside in the lumbar vertebrae (the answer is 5!). During my first week, I met a really cool classmate who told me I should make a visit to the Clendening History of Medicine Museum. I didn’t want to go very far from my place in Kansas City, KS, but luckily it was nearby. I arranged a tour of the library and museum two days beforehand with the curator. It was extremely fascinating to learn about late-nineteenth and early twentieth century medicine in Kansas. They had collections of medicine from the Civil War and even artifacts dating back to ancient Egypt! It certainly made me appreciate all the modern medicines we enjoy today.

Once I finished at the museum, my stomach was telling me it was time for my own medicine, so I stopped by the Vietnam Café. It was pretty convenient as the restaurant was literally across the street from KU Medical. I opted for the Stir-Fried Veggies with tofu, complete with their house oyster brown sauce. I know how much you love pho, so I made sure to order some to-go in your honor.

I feel like I’m still getting my bearings around here, but, so far, Kansas City, KS has been very welcoming, and I can’t wait to discover more of the city. I think next week I’m going to branch out and try that Mexican place my sister told me to try.

By the way, I’m hoping to take a drive down in a couple weeks to visit my parents, so if I do, I’ll be sure to text ya!

Your pal,

Try cuisine from around the world in Kansas City, KS

What's up sis?

Hiya Maddie,

First off, I have to tell you that I finally tried that place you told me about, El Camino Real, and you were right.


I invited my classmate, Jared, to try it with me after our studies one day and I definitely don’t regret it. I’m pretty sure I’ve found my new favorite restaurant! I really had a craving for street tacos and this place did not disappoint. Even Jared, who is a super foodie, was impressed with the succulent meat in their tacos. I had the al pastor while Jared went for the asada. Afterward, we both agreed there would be a return trip in the future.

So, that was basically my long-winded thank you for your suggestion. I’ve been exploring the surrounding area as much as I can. I had to get out of my shell first, but once I met a few classmates and got to talking, they were eager to show me the sights and sounds of Kansas City, KS.

One night, we even went to a pinball tournament at 403 Club. One of my new friends, Chrissie told me they host weekly tournaments every Wednesday. And since it was my first time, the entry fee (normally $5) was free! It was a small space but that didn’t stop me from trying my hand at the Batman 66 pinball machine. I started playing pinball like I normally do, flapping the flippers at the bottom chaotically, before Chrissie showed me how to play properly. It turns out, pinball isn’t as random as I thought! At one point, Chrissie had successfully ‘locked’ three of her balls, and the voice of Adam West said, “Shall we Robin?” Burt Ward then replied, “Let’s Batman.” Turns out, she had activated Multiball mode. It’s basically exactly what it sounds like.

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know my new home, but I do miss you guys. I tried to make the drive down to see you, but I got a flat tire and had to get that fixed. I was able to call Jared and he helped me out. There are a lot of nice people here and it makes being away from you guys a little easier.

Dad told me to try a barbecue joint out here as well, and it’s on my list of places to conquer. I’m probably going to go there next.

Love your sis,

Experience Kansas City, KS nightlife

Checking in with
Mom and Dad

Hi Mom and Dad!

I feel like it’s been forever since I’ve seen you, but I just want you to know that I’m doing much better since we last talked. Making friends here was difficult at first, but I now have two great friends in Chrissie and Jared. They both grew up in Kansas City, KS and they’ve been showing me what a great place this is to live.

I know I was nervous before, but I really feel like I left my comfort zone over the past few months. In fact, I finally got a chance to try out that barbecue restaurant, Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que! Jared finished his studies earlier than me, and got a place in line. Dad, you weren’t kidding when you told me this was the best place for barbecue in Kansas City, KS! I ordered the Two Meat Dinner with pulled pork, brisket and french fries. The pulled pork was exactly how I like it; smokey and savory. Even after finishing my meal, I was already looking forward to when we could return.

Oh! I also visited that museum you told me about, Mom. I invited Chrissie to join me at the Strawberry Hill Museum over the weekend. Despite growing up in Kansas City, KS, she had never visited before, so it was the first time for both of us. I loved learning about the many different ethnic groups that contributed to the culture of the city and to see history basically come alive in the Queen Anne style home. From the outside, it definitely stood out when passing it by on the street. Visiting the museum gave me a great impression of the city I now call home and made me appreciate Kansas City, KS all the more.

More adventures await as I’ve decided to push myself to explore the culture and food of the city. I don’t feel so out of place anymore, especially having made friends in Jared and Chrissie, and I know they’ll be more than eager to join me on my journey to explore every nook and cranny.

I’ll make sure to visit as soon as I can. Next time you see me, I’ll have even more stories to tell.


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