By Kevin Collison
Pirate’s Bone Burger, the newly-opened Crossroads diner, has nothing to do with pirates, definitely not bones, and when it comes to burgers, don’t go in expecting a greasy hamburger.
Quite the opposite.
“We are the first, 100 percent plant-based diner in Kansas City,” said co-owner Lydia Palmer. “We don’t have anything made with animal products.”
Pirate’s Bone opened Sept. 16 at the strategic corner of 20th and Main, right on the streetcar line and in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District.
And it appears that the diner’s all vegetarian approach to burgers and sides is a huge hit. The first week, Palmer and her partner Zaid Consuegra were slammed.
“You’ve outdone yourself KC!” they posted on Facebook.
“The response we got this first week was beyond our dreams. We literally never expected so many of you to show up so fast. Thank you over all, it was an exhausting and challenging week.”
The pair quickly realized they needed help and expect to hire eight employees to meet the demand.
It’s been a great response to a culinary journey that began five years ago when Consuegra, a native of Mexico City, opened Pirate’s Bone coffee and test kitchen in Brookside.
Palmer, whose background is in architecture and product design, so enjoyed his place she volunteered to help him about two years ago. She’s a native of Houston who came to KC after getting her degree from Kansas State University.
The opening of the new Crossroads diner is an outgrowth of their personal dietary evolution. The two began thinking about doing something more to serve healthier food to people.
“We started thinking about ourselves and questioning our daily life, and decided we need to quit eating animal products,” she said.
Besides feeling healthier eating a 100 percent plant-based diet, Palmer said it also was much better for the environment and allows people to opt out from being cruel to animals.
The idea of a diner dedicated to plant-only based food was their solution.
“A diner is a classic staple of the American diet, like burgers,” Consuegra said. “It was an easy way to introduce a plant-based diet to people.”
They chose the Crossroads location because it was accessible to all kinds of people and in the heart of the action downtown.
“We knew we needed to be where everybody was,” Consuegra said. “We wanted to truly feed more plants to more people…if we can switch that one meal they eat here, that’s good.”
Consuegra, the chef, said a burger is more of a concept where food is served between two buns than the basic hamburger.
“My responsibility as chef is to make sure the food is good,” he said.
From the initial response, Pirate’s Bone has an appealing formula.
“Keep patience,” the pair asked in their Facebook post. “We are learning as we go with a small team, but trying to learn and change as fast as possible.”
Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
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