One of Kansas City’s most iconic restaurants makes eating well a priority
Johnson County LIVING WELL Magazine
Living Well includes eating well. For Kansas City natives and visitors, eating well in this area means the Hereford House. But did you know that eating well at the Hereford House can also fit into a healthy dining lifestyle?
Rod Anderson, the owner of the Hereford House restaurants and Pierpont’s in Union Station, talks about the evolution of the Hereford House and how menus have adapted to customer requests and needs.
Anderson explains, “Back in 1957 when the Hereford House opened its doors, because of its proximity to the stockyards, the restaurant immediately became a destination for large cuts of legendary Kansas City steaks and generous helpings suited to the hearty appetites of the day including the lunch cliental, which was nearly all male. Since 1987, when the Anderson Restaurant Group bought the Hereford House, the group has expanded to four locations in the Kansas City area (Leawood, KS, Independence, MO, Zona Rosa in north KC, and Shawnee, KS) and opened their sister restaurant, Pierpont’s in Union Station.
Changing with the times, the Hereford House menu expanded beyond beef and now includes an equal number of seafood, chicken, and vegetarian dishes.
“As baby boomers age, we’ve responded to requests for smaller portions lighter in calories and lighter on the budget,” says Anderson, adding, “as a result, we launched the Lite Night Menu and Happy Hour menu that offer great food at a great price.”
In addition to lighter menus, Anderson explains how the Hereford House responds to special dietary needs, in particular, the increase of food allergies. At Hereford House and Pierpont’s, the staff is sensitive to customizing any meal. Sometimes it means sautéing vegetables in olive oil only, other times it’s altering a dish to avoid gluten, dairy, eggs, nuts or sugar. According to Anderson, it’s as simple as a brief mention to your server.
Still, for some, eating well at the Hereford House means just one thing, steak! The chefs at the Hereford House have suggestions for enjoying a healthier steak. Want less fat? Top sirloin is a good choice for you. And always ask how a restaurant tenderizes and seasons their dishes. Fine steak establishments, like the Hereford House, serve aged beef to intensify flavor and improve tenderness. Hereford House steaks are aged for a minimum of 21 days, but most of the lesser priced chain steakhouses use lower grades of meat then inject them with nitrates and sodium to tenderize. To some diners, this saltiness is perceived as “flavor” and it comes at a cost to their health.
Anderson explains, “we use minimal seasoning while grilling, letting the customer apply the desired amount of salt, pepper and optional steak sauce. This also allows customers to follow guidelines that could impact their health.” How much of a difference are we talking about? At a popular nationwide steakhouse the sodium infused 8 ounce KC Strip contains 1,151milligrams of sodium, while an 8 ounce Hereford House KC strip without infusion and seasoning has just 141 milligrams.
What other healthier dining changes have customers impacted? “Definitely beverage habits,” states Anderson, citing, “the health benefits and knowledge of wine have increased that category. We’ve also seen a rise in quality of the drinks rather than quantity of drinks.”
According to Anderson, the other difference is in celebrations. All Hereford House locations, and Pierpont’s, have both private rooms and banquet rooms. They were traditionally filled with 50th wedding anniversaries, rehearsal dinners, and milestone birthdays. Now it seems any birthday or anniversary, even career moves and random life events, are deserving of a celebration. As it should be!
It’s good to know that eating well and dining to continue Living Well go hand in hand at one of Kansas City’s most iconic dining destinations, the Hereford House.
To learn more, visit herefordhouse.com.
“I wanted to tell you about our experience at the Hereford House. Because of my dairy allergy we haven’t been able to eat out much (it’s a hassle to deal with the allergy menu or lack there of.) We were in KC for a wedding and had to eat out. We went to the Hereford House and I was blown away by how accommodating our server was. He was willing to check on the smallest detail with the chef and even brought me rolls fresh out of the oven before they were brushed with butter. He was considerate of my hope to not make a big deal of the allergy…and was very discreet.” – A recent Hereford House diner