food critic’s corner :Mildred’s offers exciting coffee atmosphere

Joey Hill

In the heart of the Crossroads District, amidst the sprawling streets of galleries, bars and bakeries sits a small hole-in-the-wall café known simply as “Mildred’s”.

Among the excited energy that fills the streets during First Fridays, Mildred’s at 1821 Wyandotte Street may appear like any other café or restaurant, but it’s not. The instant one elbows his or her way through the poets, artists and eager onlookers to enter the low-lit, amber colored atmosphere of exposed brick, couches and black wooden tables, you know you’ve entered the right door.

A row of artisan light bulbs hangs above the register, and softly illuminates a display of muffins, danishes and egg and cheese quiches. Each pastry exudes a rough, asymmetrical exterior, the look of something handcrafted that morning.

It’s not just pastries that Mildred’s offers. The cooks also make a variety of soups, salads and sandwiches.

One dish in particular, a deceptively simple-looking roast beef sandwich on marble rye with tomatoes, onions, cheese and spinach, is a culinary marvel. From the first bite, one is overcome with an intense savory combination of meat, cheese and tomatoes until being pulled back to reality by the fresh tug of the spinach that leads into the final lingering hint of the red onion’s sting. Mildred’s uses all natural ingredients and prepares everything in the kitchen, with the exception of the bread, which is bought from Kansas City’s own Roma Bakery.

Unlike other cafés, Mildred’s atmosphere is never defined by the hour of the day Mildred’s is always a comfortable, relaxed space that never feels like a diversion.

One can simply run in, order coffee and run out like anywhere else, but one look at the exquisite crafting of the “rosette” crème design which graces the top of a prepared latte, and even the busiest of coffee-drinkers will pause and question the idea of covering it up with a black plastic to-go lid.

Mildred’s is the kind of place that sets the standard for other cafés with a wonderful atmosphere, delicious food, fantastic service and of course, incredible coffee.

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