When I strut into a new restaurant that I’ve not been to before, a hit of serotonin rushes through my body. The bustle of the kitchen staff, the ambiance the dining patrons create, if it’s *really good* I’ll hear pots and pans clinking and that really does it for me. There’s something so comforting about the hope of the meal ahead, the experience, the moment in time you’re there sharing it with someone. I felt that rush when I walked into Billie’s Grocery for the first time.
The aesthetic of white on white, pops of color on plates and minimalist décor is still on trend as we wrap 2020 and I’m not mad about it. The very Hygge Billie’s Grocery designed by Unbakery Owner and Nutritional Therapist Practitioner, Robin Krause, is helping grow Kansas City’s health food scene one gluten-free pastry at a time.
The pastry case is brimming with delicious creations that are (mostly) healthy. Lavendar Rose Hempseed Brownies, Pistachio Bars and even a Boujee Streusle Poptart you didn’t know you needed. In the mood for pie? You will be after feasting your eyes on their pumpkin or apple. Or maybe you wish to partake in their PE-CAN Piiiie (said in the classic Billy Crystal manner). They even have vegan versions of these classics and I know that’s very hard to find in KC.
Where they shine is brunch. It’s Australia meets California (the muse behind the magic) and I can’t imagine it any other way. I started off with their Beet Hummus Avocado Toast – sourdough toast, herb butter, avocado, beet hummus, organic wild greens, soft egg, basil infused olive oil, sea salt. Reading the description, it sounds amazing, you want it to be as amazing as it sounds and it really truly is. The soft egg, poached to perfection, the sourdough toast is beyond dreamy and even a beet-hater has to admit this hummus is un-beet-lieveably good not to mention very Instagramable.
Next up, the Salmon Mezze Bowl – smoked salmon, soft egg, organic wild greens, sourdough toast, pickled onion, pickled onion, caper berries, roasted tomato, crème fraiche. I love me some crème fraiche. More of that toast please and pickled onions for days. It’s beautiful, delicious and filling. I ate every last bite and though I was satiated, could have easily had another. Gosh, I’m craving it again right now. Damn it.
Craving something for lunch? I’ve got you, boo. Try their Sauteed Caesar – organic baby kale, grilled romaine, preserved lemon, goji berry, raw cashew caesar dressing, crispy chickpea, brazil nut parm. This is not you mom’s caesar salad it is SO MUCH BETTER. I am a caesar snob, I love it. Always crave it, always want one. This one is now what I want. The preserved lemon is DAMN BRILLIANT and I will now be demanding it on any salad I have anywhere else. Did I ever think a cashew-based caesar dressing would haunt my dreams – no! Does it? Yes! Honestly, the fact that they grill it makes me a fangirl.
Whenever there’s a Thai something on the menu, it has to be ordered. Enter their Thai Bowl – tamarind marinated rice noodles, organic carrot, noodles, red cabbage, green apple, almond chili sauce, spicy nut brittle, cilantro. This is a big bowl. A friend of mine ordered it and wiped it CLEAN but it was massive. The beautiful crispy red cabbage, the spice of the chili sauce and the umami flavor of the rice noodles is perfectly balanced. Thai one on here anytime, you won’t have regrets.
I haven’t tried everything on the menu but I’m well on my way. They have cocktails, mocktails, juices and coffee. I recommend their Mushroom coffee (iced) it’s so delicious just trust me, OK?? I would you never lead you astray.
To make this place truly my own personal heaven, they have cooking classes! Could it GET any better? Visit their page to get the deets on what you can cook up at Billies. Though they are usually priced around $85, it can be a unique and fun way to spend an evening – Homemade Ramen, Pintxos and Paella, French parcel and pastry (who wants to join me?!) there’s a fun class for everyone. Get your cook, on. Overall, I give this place 4/5 spoons. The ingredients are top-notch, service is excellent and the atmosphere is a vibe. It is *a bit pricey* to make this place a regular occurrence (breakfast with a coffee can set you back $25 with tip) but you are getting your money’s worth out of it.
At the end of the day, we all need to be safe right now and protect ourselves as much as others but we also need to support local business if we can. Whether it’s picking up a pastry to go or safely distancing as you dine, we will miss these places in our community when we return to life like in “the before times”. There are a few places in Kansas City where I feel safe and this is one of them. I hope you stop by and experience the beauty of Billie’s and recommend it to your friends. Their heart (and their gluten-free brownies) are in the right place.
MONDAY – SATURDAY 8am-6pm
SUNDAY – 8am-3pm
Order online for delivery or pick-up
3216 Gillham Plaza, Suite 100