Sierra Grill - Lenexa, Kansas
The Sierra Grill in Lenexa, Kansas is a great example of how much can be done with little space. In 2017, owner and executive chef Ryan Edwards turned a long closed Quiznos Sub Shop into a 50 seat restaurant serving fabulous food at reasonable prices. With limited space, he and his father remodeled the building to squeeze the most out of the space, with an open kitchen and the maximum number of seats without making it feel like you are sitting with the people at the next table.
At first the restaurant was open only 11AM -2PM on weekdays, but as evening hours were added, 3 and then 4 nights a week, we first came to be fans of this restaurant at dinner. The fairly short menu has a high percentage of attractive dishes, but I love the rib eye steak so much that it takes an effort to try other dishes. The steak has wonderful flavor, which is accented by the sauce it is served on. I find myself taking a bite and holding it in my mouth to savor. The sauce is also good with the potato puree.
The menu changes periodically, and some favorites, such as the pork chops, have disappeared off the menu, only to return later. The prices aren't cheap, but are reasonable for the quality of food and we usually take dishes home with us. There is half of one of their rib eyes, plus sides and a little salmon, in our refrigerator as I type this. The prices listed for the dishes shown below were from April 2019 for the dinner dishes and August 2018 for the lunch dishes.
We highly recommend making reservations for dinner. They are taken by telephone and it is best to call when they are open, rather than leaving a message and possibly being called back with the news that no tables are available.
It took a year before I finally had a chance to have lunch at Sierra Grill. I arrived a few minutes before noon and the small restaurant was already crowded, but I was able to get a stool at the small bar. Much like the menu, the lunch menu is relatively short. The two times I have been there for lunch, there were 7 sandwiches, 3 house specialties and 8 side dishes. The menus are limited in part by the compact kitchen. Space is a premium in this small restaurant which was built as a chain sandwich shop.
As a fan of the rib eye on the evening menu, I first decided to try the wood fired steak sandwich with cheddar cheese, peppers/onion & chimichurri. The thick slices of steak were good, though I would leave the chimichurri off in the future, perhaps going with mayonnaise. The chimichurri has a strong garlic flavor which I enjoy, but which overpowers the meat. The sandwich includes the choice of one side. I went with the braised cabbage, which was OK, but I would have been happier with the roasted mushrooms and got them the next time I had lunch.
The servers at Sierra Grill are surprising good for a restaurant with such limited hours. When you ask a question about a dish, your server is likely to describe exactly how it is prepared. If you ask for a recommendation, they will give you a useful answer, not "everything is good."
L-5/09. copyright 2009-2020 by Keith Stokes