Empanada Madness Opens Out South & Other Weekend Possibilities

papusas and empanadas Empanada Madness South American Kitchen is serving up arepas and empanadas in south Kansas City. (Jonathan Bender I Flatland)

Empanada Madness opened its second location at 13135 State Line Road in Kansas City, Missouri. Dive into arepas (a fried dough pocket made of corn meal), empanadas (fried corn meal pastries), or tequenos — a Venezuelan snack food of fried cheese sticks made with queso blanco. The joy is in the array of fillings. You can fork and knife your way through chicharron (pork rinds), potato, shredded beef, or black beans and avocado. Sweeten up your dinner with horchata, a rice milk drink, or strawberry fresa (milk).

Empanada Madness has a number of gluten-free (tostitostones: fried plantains topped with shredded chicken and queso fresco) and vegan (fried yuka) options. The original location at 906 Southwest Blvd. is a favorite of Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez, where he has even brought out dishes to fellow diners. The new restaurant is open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Get some pumpkin inspiration at Powell Gardens tonight and tomorrow. Glow: A Jack O’Lantern Festival features hundreds of glowing carved pumpkins along a mile-long path. In addition to the jack o’lanterns, they’ll have a host of family activities including painting a pumpkin and hayrides.

Summit Grill is getting a noteworthy addition to its whiskey lineup: a custom bottle of High West bourbon. Restaurateurs Domhnall Molloy and Andy Lock worked with the Park City, Utah, distillery to create their own bourbon from a single barrel. To celebrate the collaboration, both Summit Grill locations (520 W. 75th St. and 4835 NE Lakewood Way, Lee’s Summit, Missouri) and sister restaurant Third Street Social (123 E. 23rd St., Lee’s Summit, Missouri) are hosting a High West Whiskey Launch Party from 4 to 7 p.m. tonight with samples of the new bourbon. The spirit will be available in cocktails and flights at the Summit Grills, Third Street Social, and Lakewood Local (811 Lakewood Blvd, Lee’s Summit, Missouri), as well.

We’ve all wanted to view paradise. Now you can get your shot at The Mockingbird Lounge (204 Orchard St., Kansas City, Kansas). Tallgrass Brewing Co. is hosting a tap takeover and Willy Wonka Halloween Party from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Dress in your Wonka best for a costume party and try beer caramels from Bizz and Weezy, along with Tallgrass-influenced cupcakes from Kansas City Cupcake Company.

Messenger Coffee Co.’s new roasting facility at 1624 Grand Blvd. has its grand opening at 7 a.m. Saturday. The building is a collaboration with Ibis Bakery, and it’s a lot of things in one place. There’s a cafe on the first floor, an event space and a rooftop patio. It also houses a grain mill for Ibis, as well as a cupping lab — a place to develop and sample new coffees — for Messenger.

It’s definitely chili season. The Lenexa Chili Challenge kicks off tonight (6 to 10 p.m.) and runs through Saturday (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.) in Old Town Lenexa at Santa Fe Trail and Pflumm Road. They’ll have live music both nights, fireworks on Friday and chili samples on Saturday.

The Messner Bee Farm is holding a grand opening for its store at 8301 Westridge Road in Raytown, Missouri, from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The local beekeepers will have Crane Brewing, a fellow Raytown business, and Lufti’s food truck on hand. They’ll be selling their raw honey and products made with beeswax. Pick up a tube of their lip balm.

Chewology, a dumpling bar, opens in the Lenexa Public Market (8750 Penrose Lane, Lenexa, Kansas) on Sunday (11 a.m. to 8 p.m.). Chef and owner Katie Liu Sung will be serving gyoza, pan-fried dumplings, and skewers from the kushiyaki grill. They also have Ramune — Japanese soda with the marble on top. Chewology will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

East Brookside can claim its first brewery. BKS Artisan Ales (633 E. 63rd St.) has its soft opening this weekend. Check out #TapList below for the style-bending beers from Kansas City’s first nanobrewery.

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