99 Hops House 11

Good beer meets good food

Let’s get one thing straight–I’ve never been a big fan of casinos. It’s not that I have anything against gambling, except that I’m bad at it. I really enjoy getting something tangible for my money. Luckily, at Argosy Casino, I can now guarantee that I can get a great meal with a fine craft beer. That’s a good bet.

While normally a restaurant connected to a national chain would barely turn my head, the 99 Hops House has one thing that caught my eye–an extensive craft beer list. Not only do they have a selection to rival the beer bars south of the river, they also have the city’s second self-serve draught wall. True to the name, the bar and restaurant features at least 99 selections of brew on tap and in bottles.

If you’re not a gambler, then don’t worry. 99 Hops House isn’t actually inside the casino, but just outside. The sleek dining room features seating for 112 at comfortable booths or tables. And although the Kansas City location may be the fourth in the country, the menu has a few unique offerings that reflect its midwest location.

The Kansan Flatbread is a great example. The flatbreads are the 99 Hops House version of pizza, perfectly sized to be a meal for one or an appetizer if shared. The Kansan taps into the midwestern love of BBQ with Guinness braised beef, sweet corn, and pickled onion and is topped with shaved parmesan, arugula, and a lemon vinaigrette drizzle. Another local nod comes in the KC Sausage, a Krizman’s bratwurst and polish sausage boiled in KC Bier Company’s Dunkel then grilled. With a side of red cabbage, mashed potatoes and German mustard, it’s hearty fare to stand up to a high alcohol beer.

The menu is fairly extensive with offerings of burgers, salads (try the wedge), dinners, sandwiches and even breakfast for lunch. The burger and sandwich game is strong with the braised beef sandwich taking the top prize for me. The amount of butter soaked into the grilled sourdough may have helped sway me but the stout braised beef was also topped with caramelized onions, roasted tomatoes, and fontina cheese. Served with a San Marzano tomato soup, it was a perfect cold weather meal.

If you’re looking for just a bite and a beer then the 99 Hops House is a perfect spot. In addition to their normal appetizer menu, they feature a snack menu with the bar noshes that you crave–marinated olives, caramel corn coated in chocolate (perfect with a high octane stout or barleywine) or waffle cut potato chips. The deviled eggs are a winner. Each order comes with two varieties, one topped with salmon and the faint zing of wasabi and one with bacon and cheddar.

But let’s talk about beer. That’s why most will come to 99 Hops House and it’s with good reason. On the evening that I visited, the self-service tap wall, which charges by the ounce, was loaded with sour beers, including 14 different offerings from Jolly Pumpkin out of Dexter, Michigan. For those that don’t drink sours, there were other options such as the Deschutes Black Butte 25, 26 and 28. Local favorites Crane and KC Bier company were represented as well. For the non-beer snobs, they had quite a few cider options. Add a full bar and everyone could be happy with the beverage selection.

Beer snobs are notoriously hard to please but 99 Hops House gets it right where it counts–location (Northland), food (tasty, hot and fresh) and beer selection (geek-drool worthy). So try your luck at the casino sometime soon. If nothing else, you’ll leave with a full stomach and pleased palate. Check out the menu at ArgosyKansasCity.com.