I’ve always found the American concept of “home cooking” strange. I mean, don’t we all enjoy home cooking when we eat at home? Growing up in the Philippines, eating a home cooked meal was the norm.
But I guess with the advent of insta-foods, especially those that come in boxes, pouches or cups that you can nuke in the microwave and the convenience of eating out in restaurants, home cooking in America is such a novelty.
In our visit to Kansas City, The Husband and I were so happy to have gotten a taste of good ol’ home cooking at Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor restaurant.
First, Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor restaurant is a real home.
The 4-room house, built in 1844, like any normal houses, was meant for family. But with the growing number of family members, visiting friends and guests, they slowly expanded the home to accomodate everyone.
So everything in the home cum restaurant is original. Honestly, it was dim and musty with low ceilings (not that it mattered to our petita Asian frames). We were lucky to have been seated beside a window to let natural light shine upon on blue & white checkered table for better photos.
Second, Stroud’s is famous for their home style pan fried chicken.
Until today, every single piece of Stroud’s fried chicken is cooked to crispy, non-greasy perfection (but sadly not close to Gus’s Fried Chicken perfection…Stroud’s chicken is perfect in its own right) in a cast iron skillet. Its crispy skin sure reminded me of the famous crispylicious fried chicken from back home that crackles and crumbles into pieces as soon as your teeth bite through it 🙂
So don’t expect for the fried chicken to appear on your table with lightning speed. Just like home, food does take time with loving care in the kitchen. It is around a 30-minute wait before you get to dive into the mountain of fried chicken.
Third, Stroud’s food is really, really simple.
No gourmet nor artisanal food here. Just simple, well-cooked food on the plate. No frills just like home where you can let your hair down and just be.
The fried chicken is piled high on a single plate. The ultra rich cream gravy, made from the drippings of the fried chicken, wiggling in a bowl. The mashed potatoes (real potatoes and not the boxed kind!) fluffed into stiff peaks in a bowl. Green beans swimming in a concentrated cured pork broth.
Oh, and that hearty chicken noodle soup served hot just like on those nights that you were in need of some warmth.
And I will not forget their unique cinnamon rolls. Instead of the sticky glaze, the warm rolls are covered by sandy cinnamon sugar, which gives a nice crunch, a contrast against the pillowy soft rolls.
I recommend that you have these cinnamon rolls WITH your fried chicken. Just tell your server I let you in this little secret 😉
So okay, I now officially change my mind about “home cooking” It isn’t strange because, in the end, it all is about really good food.
Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor Restaurant
5410 NE Oak Ridge Dr
Kansas City, MO 64119
+1 (816) 454-9600
Open Monday through Thursday 5-930PM