Manny’s: A Kansas City Staple Evolves

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Mexican restaurants are a dime a dozen in Kansas City.  On Southwest Boulevard, you can’t drive more than a few hundred feet without seeing a brightly colored Mexican restaurant.  So, it can be a challenge to stand out from the rest.  But, Manny’s on Southwest Boulevard is up to the test…and then some.

I went to Manny’s on a Friday night in January.  And, the place was buzzing.  Manny’s has a great location near W. 20th & Southwest Blvd.  That means it will be especially busy on First Fridays.  (So, plan ahead and pack your patience!)  If you haven’t been in the Crossroads District for the monthly arts event, I strongly suggest doing so.  It’s a great time with amazing art and interesting sights on every street corner.  But, I digress.  You’re reading this blog to hear how the food tastes not what’s happening on the streets.

The restaurant, itself, is very big.  But, even with so much space, the restaurant still has to pack tables close to one another.  It makes for a lively, if somewhat loud, environment.  After about a 20 minute wait, we were seated at a cozy table near the back of the restaurant.  Our waitress, Netty, was great!  She greeted us warmly and was always at the table when we needed her.  The thing I liked most about Netty was her honest recommendations.  She knows the menu inside and out and is not afraid to say which meals are better than others.

I, of course, started with a Manny’s margarita.  The day I go to a Mexican restaurant and order something other than a margarita is the day someone should call a doctor…because there must be something wrong with me!  I quickly devoured my margarita and ordered a second.  And, at $4.50 a glass, the margaritas were definitely worth it.  Like all good Mexican restaurants, Manny’s provides free chips and salsa.  But, my table decided to kick it up a notch with Monterey Jack cheese dip.  And, WOW that stuff is awesome!!  Everyone at my table agreed that cheese dip was well worth the calories and cost!  I will be getting that dip every time I go to Manny’s.

As for the main course, I went with El Sombrero.  This meal consists of a pork, chicken, or ground beef burrito, a ground beef or chicken taco, and a bean tostada or chicken flauta.  You also have your choice of rice or beans.  I went with the ground beef burrito, ground beef taco, chicken flauta and rice.  The burrito was topped with that amazing Monterey Jack cheese sauce, which completely set it over the top.  I could have made an entire meal from the burrito and rice.  But, I’m glad I got the taco.  Tacos are a Mexican food staple that I just can’t do without.  On the other hand, I could have probably done without the flauta.  It did not have a lot of meat or strong flavor inside.  It felt as though I was simply eating a rolled up tortilla shell.  As you can probably tell from reading this description, it was a huge plate.  I somehow managed to eat virtually all of it!  But, I definitely felt the need to work out after eating the meal.

The prices at Manny’s are very reasonable.  My main course cost about $14.  For my partner and myself, our bill came out to about $40.  That included our share of the cheese dip, two margaritas, a soda, plus our two main courses.  And, the service is impeccable! Manny’s is a family-run restaurant.  It has been in business for more than 30 years.  And, even after several visits to Manny’s, I always find something new to try.  The menu has a lot of variety.   The restaurant is constantly evolving, with a very eclectic crowd.  It makes for a fun adventure and a different experience from other Mexican restaurants on The Boulevard.

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