Looking to combine a casual setting with traditional sit-down service, Megan Kendall and Jeremy Lane opened The Homesteader Cafe in the fall of 2015. The focus? Good food sourced from Kansas City-area farmers in a warm, welcoming setting.
Farm-fresh food was always in the picture for the husband-and-wife team: On their ¼-acre personal property, Kendall and Lane have been growing fruits and vegetables for years. The running joke shared between the couple was that they should operate their own homestead.
Joking became reality when they decided to open a restaurant featuring the ingredients grown on many homesteads around the Kansas City metro. Creating an extension of their home, Kendall and Lane easily decided on the concept that would become The Homesteader Cafe.
“We knew what our concept was going to be,” Kendall says. “We wanted to do a lot of local, farm-fresh foods – stuff from scratch, not from a box or bag.”
The menu changes seasonally with a few mainstay dishes that are guaranteed to stick around, but it all centers around as much local produce and meats the pair can get their hands on. Currently, The Homesteader Cafe is working with 12 different farms, one of them actually being a group of farms under one cooperative. Nearly all of these farms are situated within an hour’s drive of the restaurant’s Downtown location.
The concept is brought to life thanks to the tireless efforts from its owners. Kendall and Lane form a well-oiled machine that keeps everything running smoothly and efficiently: She helms the front of the house while also pulling double duty as pastry chef. When you visit, be sure to grab one of the brownie-espresso ice-cream sandwiches. Jeremy mans the back of the house, overseeing the kitchen and wearing the executive chef hat while also being the numbers guy. Chow down on his chicken and waffles for brunch, a dish that hits all the right notes – spicy, sweet and savory. Other standouts include sweet potato hash with peppers, red onions, Gouda and over-easy eggs and the breakfast sandwich with thick bacon, egg whites, spinach, sun-dried tomato pesto and Cheddar on local Farm to Market Bread Co. Grains Galore bread – tasty in its simplicity.
As they near their two-year anniversary this fall, Kendall and Lane have plenty to be excited about. The open business space next door to the café was recently leased out to a board-game bar that doesn’t offer food. As the two restaurants share a hallway, The Homesteader Cafe will provide food options for the neighboring patrons. Kendall says that is something you see often in Kansas City – people always trying to help one another.
Happy hour has been a recent focus for the owners. Swing by Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6:30pm for $2 off cocktails, $1 off beer, and half-priced starters and sharers. Favorites like poblano polenta cakes, fried chicken livers, baked Brie and sloppy Joe egg rolls are just the tip of the discounted iceberg of deliciousness awaiting. The relaxed environment is the perfect way to unwind, imbibe on a delicious beverage and share some scrumptious snacks with friends. The Homesteader is also open for lunch Tuesday through Friday and dinner Tuesday through Saturday. For dinner, hearty slow-cooked pot roast and Pork and Peaches (braised pork belly on a bed of peach-roasted red pepper risotto) are kitchen favorites.
When you talk to Kendall and Lane, it’s more than apparent that they are bursting with passion and enthusiasm about their business. In only two years, The Homesteader Cafe has deeply rooted itself with the local community and forged relationships with patrons, farmers and other local businesses that are sure to last for years to come.
The Homesteader Cafe, 100 E. Seventh St. #100, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.474.8333, thehomesteadercafe.com