b:2 Better Burgers

b:2 a burger boutique
Summit Fair
860 w. nw. Blue Parkway
Lee’s Summit, MO 64085
This is Cow Town right?  We ought to have the best burgers of anywhere in the country.  Stock yards graced this land for decades.  Cowboys landed here after long rides.  All that bovine history must have had some lasting effect on the city’s hamburgers.  This is the corn feed Midwest ladies and gents.  The burgers should be remarkable.   It’s our birthright.

And you know what, they are remarkable.  We may, as always, be a little slow on restaurant trends, but gourmet burger boutiques are here and here with a vengeance.  KC is my city and I love her.  As a dutiful hometown girl, I will find the best burger in Kansas City, in a several part series.  To serve you, loyal reader, I will subject myself to several weeks of eating delightfully prepared patties of Angus, Kobe and if I’m forced to, turkey meat.  I plan to visit 6 of the most renowned burger joints in Kansas City, thoroughly weigh the pros and cons of sauces, breads, toppings and seasonings.

But I’ve gotten a bit delayed by b:2.   I first ate there 4 weeks ago, and the only burger I have eaten since then is their caprese burger.

b:2 is brought to us by those marvelous boys that opened Blanc Burger, David McMullin, Estonio Peralta and the chef Josh Eans. Generally it’s the same idea: gourmet burger, ridiculous fries, and great alcohol.  I’m not sure there is a more fool-proof restaurant recipe.  These gentlemen met in Kansas City’s great steakhouses- Morton’s Steak House- so you know they know their beef.  Ironically, beef is not necessarily the star in a number of their burgers.  My life- long burger partner, the Caprese for example, is amazing for its caprese flavors.  The beef is an accompaniment.    How American that we eat the remarkable combination of balsamic, goat cheese and tomato with a side of gourmet beef.  For those of you good ol’ boys fear not, they have the requisites Swiss and mushroom patty melt that is on rye, an old timer and an inside-out bratwurst.   I hear they’re good, but I can’t leave my caprese.

All of b:2 is more about being innovative rather than traditional.  It’s all delicious, extremely delicious, but a tiny bit gimmicky.  The burger is not the star here, it’s the whole package.  They’re not trying to be the best All-American hamburger, but the best new wave of artistic burgers.  They serve truffle fries for chrissake.  I don’t mind, I just want to be clear, this is the hipster burger.  The interior is sleek, the burgers are unique and interesting and the drinks are refreshing.  Some contain alcohol, those are particularly refreshing.   Consider this:  what’s more comforting than a PB and J?  Um, a PB&J Chambord liqueur, peanut butter, and Foo’s vanilla custard.  Yes, please.

Their fries, oh their fries.   Not that you can go too far wrong for me with fried potatoes, but these fries are something special.  They’re just plain good.  Crunchy, medium cut, tossed with truffle oil if you have a more discerning palate than I, that decadence is not needed, because even the unadorned fries are great.

There’s a childish delight about going to b:2 that is reminiscent of my first trip to McDonalds when I was a four year old.  I was taken by my paternal grandparents much to the chagrin of my vegetarian mother.  Each step was fascinating- a restaurant designed for me, a child! With meat (or so I thought at the time)!  A toy with my meal!  A playground in the restaurant!  I felt the same mini thrills entering b:2.  A burger restaurant for me, an adult who still considers a well-cooked burger a gourmet meal!  Goat cheese on my hamburger!  Alcohol in a shake! (The alcohol in the shake is the equivalent of a toy prize.)  The only thing it’s missing is that creepy plastic man sitting on a bench.   I’d even imagine that b:2 will sell millions and millions, although they’re too cool to advertise that on the outside of their building.  No, it’s a fact best reserved for word of mouth and cool food bloggers who wittily reference themselves in their reviews.  b:2 even has homage to the old Mickey D’s; Their B-Mac has 2 all beef patties, secret sauce, (leafy) lettuce, (white cheddar) cheese, pickles, on a sesame egg bun.   They’re not too bound by their inspiration- there’s also red onions on it -and it’s actually delicious.

I feel obliged for moral reasons, and for my own ability to enjoy their wonderful food in the future, to emphasize that THIS RESTAURANT IN NO WAY IS LIKE MCDONALDS.  At all.  Except that I am entranced by it, like a 4 year old is entranced by the restaurant whose name shall not be said.  Thank the sweet baby Jesus we outgrow McDonalds and grow into b:2.


by Laura Shrader


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