Kitty’s Café, Kansas City, 12/9/21


Kitty’s Café opened in 1952 by Paul Kawakami and his wife Kitty, who they named the place after.  Since that time it has changed hands several times but stays in the same location.  It’s ownership has always been Asian-American and you can see the influence in the fine tempura batter on the pork.  They no longer have any indoor dining on the 6 stools that were inside prior to Covid.  Now there is a large covered patio next to the place but most seemed to take their food elsewhere.  You place your order at the walk-up and are given a number and told it’ll be about 15 minutes.  Most left and came back and payment is by cash only.   It is known for the pork tenderloin sandwich and tater tots.  If I lived nearby, I’d go all the time – it’s that fun and tasty.

Set up

another menu
interior – order counter
Frankie posed with some action figures



The small building has plenty of street parking but not much room inside.  The menu is a lighted sign on the wall and it’s decorated with science fiction characters made with recycled auto parts (that are for sale).  The cooking goes on around the corner.  We grabbed some packets of salt and pepper and sat in the large open patio.  The pork tenderloin sandwich has 3 pieces of battered pork with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle and Kitty’s homemade hot sauce.  The sauce is excellent and I heard several order extra sauce and I can see why.  The breading is light and crisp on the juicy meat.  It is so simple but so very good.  Great textures and flavors piled into a soft bun.

pork sandwich

We wanted the tater tots to go with it but they were out, so we had their crinkle cut fries which were fine.  Very crisp with good potato flavor, they were not greasy and a perfect accompaniment for the wonderful sandwich.

Frankie pointed out that it’s cash only

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