If you’re a Tim McGraw fan, you know the country singer’s songs are sprinkled with tasty food references.
From apple pie to fried bologna sandwiches and “finger lickin’ chicken,” McGraw isn’t afraid to put his cravings to music — he even has a song called “Do you want fries with that.”
On Saturday, McGraw and his superstar wife Faith Hill will bring their “Soul2Soul” tour to the Sprint Center. Going to the show? Consider fueling up with a meal inspired by the Grammy-winning power couple. All eight of these satisfying snacks are within a mile of the venue.
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In 1997’s “Hard on the Ticker,” McGraw sings about giving up apple pie, whiskey sours and Domino’s pizza.
But if you’ve had the apple pie at Town Topic, 1900 Baltimore and 2021 Broadway, you know that putting the fork down isn’t that easy. Between the flaky crust and the ice cream melting all over the cinnamon-flecked apples, this classic dessert is simply irresistible.
A slice a la mode costs $4.25 and comes with two scoops of vanilla ice cream on top.
Fried bologna sandwich
In 2004’s “Back When,” the country crooner gets nostalgic about “the old and out-dated way of life,” when a good meal was a fried bologna sandwich with mayo and tomato.
Fried bologna can still be found at Harry’s Country Club, 112 E. Missouri Ave. in the River Market. The down-home dive piles it high on toasted white bread — a sandwich costs $6.95 with a side of fries, or $7.60 if you want to fancy it up with a slice of American cheese.
‘Finger lickin’ chicken’
“Hard on the Ticker” also includes a reference to “finger lickin’ chicken” — a staple at The Peanut, 418 W. 9th St.
The Peanut is famous for jumbo hot wings that are fried to order (expect a 20-minute wait) and enough Frank’s RedHot to leave your napkins, face and hands tinged with orange. A half dozen cost $13.
Here’s an in-depth report on KC’s hottest Buffalo wings, if you’re hungry for more.
In “Do You Want Fries With That?” McGraw imagines himself as a disgruntled fast-food worker facing down the man who stole his wife.
“You’re out here buying Happy Meals,” he sings, “and I’m eating rice and pintos.”
BRGR Kitchen + Bar, 11 E. 14th St., is more of a gourmet burger pub than a fast-food joint, but the fries are amazing. Picture perfectly seasoned shoestrings piled into a cup with house-made dipping sauces on the side. It’s no wonder the fries ($2.50) scored second in The Star’s March Madness-style french fry tournament.
In other words: Yes Tim, we do want fries with that.
Gumbo and catfish
Beignet is best known for its deep-fried French pastries, but also serves a mean gumbo ($8.95) made with okra, smoked chicken and Cajun-style add-ins such as andouille sausage. The Southern spot also serves cornmeal-breaded fried catfish ($11.50 with fries) and sweet tea ($3.50) in a variety of flavors, such as watermelon and mint.
In a 2012 interview with Glamour magazine, Hill said she can never get enough Mexican food — and that her favorite dish was chiles rellenos, or stuffed poblano peppers.
If the couple needs a low-key date night in Kansas City, they should live out their “Refried Dreams” at Manny’s Mexican Restaurant, 207 Southwest Blvd. in the Crossroads Arts District. Manny’s chile relleno ($12.99) is a huge pepper stuffed with the customer’s choice of ground beef or Monterey Jack cheese. Want both? Ask for the ground beef version with Monterey Jack melted on top.
The meal comes with chips and salsa, rice and beans and flour or corn tortillas. Pair it with a margarita if you want to get real romantic.
McGraw’s appreciation for fresh pasta has been well documented. The star, who is part Italian, has said homemade noodles are a family tradition.
If he needs to carbo-load before the big show, the singer should hit up Lidia’s, 101 W. 22nd St. in the Freight House, where the signature dish is a fresh pasta tasting trio ($17 at lunch or $22 at dinner). Selections change daily but might include ravioli, fusilli, linguine or rigatoni.
Oh, and the pasta tasting trio is unlimited, so McGraw should feel free to say “I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.”
Then again, McGraw might want to keep his shredded physique by skipping the pasta, fries and apple pie and sticking to his favorite low-carb Paleo diet, which omits processed foods, refined sugar, dairy and grains.
Evolve Paleo Chef, 322 Southwest Blvd., Suite 100, serves to-go meals, snacks and boasts a juice bar. Who knows? Maybe that’s the kind of six-pack that McGraw’s craving these days.