Tag Archives: Mama’s

Mama’s Changes Hours, Revamps Menu

Mama’s 39th Street Diner is a go-to place fairly close to where I live. The menu is large, varied and relatively dependable so I often pop in when I need a quick, unpretentious bite to eat.

However, the hours advertised on Yelp, Facebook and large, etched letters on the front window are incorrect.

Unlike the all-night Nichols Lunch which gloriously occupied the spot for many years, Mama’s seem content to be a breakfast and lunch joint.

When I popped in for breakfast this past weekend, I found the menu to be redesigned and somewhat scaled back from the monster menu that preceded it. Gone are all the specialty omelets which are replaced by a build-your-own system. Each meal is seemingly smaller in choice, but you can still get corned beef hash, meatloaf, reubens and pancakes. Honestly since they don’t have a website with the menu posted it’s hard to compare the old and new menus. However, the character of the place is virtually unaltered and I suspect this is merely an effort to streamline their operation.

The hostess mentioned that they are experimenting with staying open late on weekends, presumably to cash in on the Westport bar crowd. Apparently, if the place is busy, they will stay open if not, they will close up at 9 p.m. as indicated on the sign. I’ve never much cared for this loosey-goosey approach to one’s hours but it might work for late nights.

Anyhow, changes are afoot at Mama’s but it appears to be thriving particularly on weekend mornings. Just keep the new hours in mind when paying a visit.

Sunday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Monday – Thursday: 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday – Saturday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Breakfast: It’s not just for breakfast anymore

The world is full of wacky folks who would eat breakfast food for every meal of the day if they could. Pancakes, waffles, omelets and of course, bacon can deliver the goods at lunch or dinner and are no longer considered odd choices later in the day. So it is no wonder that a number of local establishments offer breakfast whenever you want it.

Hayes Hamburgers & Chili has been dishing up simple and fresh diner food from its Northland location since 1955. While the menu is chock full of burgers, hot dogs, burritos and chili, you can also get breakfast fare 24 hours a day. This is a charming little space with a counter and several small tables. You can just have a seat and shout your order to the owner, who often seems to be manning the grill. Have him whip up some hot pancakes or some of their superb biscuits and gravy. Hayes is unassuming, genuine Northland fun, and even gets a tad rowdy late at night as you can imagine. Bring cash, as Hayes does not take credit cards.

First Watch bears mentioning simply because it focuses so heavily on the morning meal, available during all open hours. Despite being a national chain, First Watch almost feels like a hometown operation since it boasts more locations in the Kansas City area than any other. As their slogan is “The Daytime Cafe,” it should go without saying that you can’t get dinner here. Visit one of their twelve metro restaurants between 7 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

A similar concept with much better food is Brookside’s Eggtc., which operates seven days a week, 6:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The wait times on weekend mornings can be downright preposterous, so stop by at lunchtime and order what could be the best eggs benedict in town. Despite a pretty stupid name, they get major credit for offering a breakfast menu that appeals to a slightly more interesting palate. You can get grits, crepes, huevos ranheros and a number of unusual omelets, like one stuffed with apples, goat cheese and walnuts. Eggtc. recently opened a second location on Renner Road in western Shawnee.

Chubby’s on Broadway will be more than happy to serve you breakfast at any hour of the day. A longtime refuge of the drunk and desperate, Chubby’s actually serves decent breakfast food and is always a good place to people-watch, especially late at night. I’m not a huge fan of their omelets but the french toast, waffles and pancakes get the job done if you have a craving. This was infamously a cash-only establishment for a long time, but Chubby’s has recently started accepting credit cards.

The logical conclusion of our country’s breakfast-food obsession is a restaurant like Simply Breakfast. Located in the same Westport shopping center that houses Murray’s ice cream and Californo’s, Simply Breakfast opened early this year and has been warmly received by its neighbors. While the restaurant experienced some problems with long wait-times in the beginning, it seems to have ironed out the problems on recent visits. At any rate, I like that they offer variations like multi-grain pancakes and whole wheat french toast.

Despite Tony’s Kansas City declaring that Mama’s 39th Street Diner would close within one year, the place not only survived, it even appeared on the Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” a couple years back. A focal point of the episode was Mama’s corned beef hash which is worth trying for fans of the stuff. The menu is multi-paged and varied, including 66 varieties of omelet. But the real winner is the deep fried cinnamon roll, which is probably worse for your health than an entire slab of bacon.

Kansas City is a town that loves its breakfast. If you get a hankering for it, these are just a few options to chew on.