The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

September 22, 2012

Wally Kennedy: Hot dog! Instant Karma gets new look, dinner menu

It’s not every day that a restaurant reinvents itself.

Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, 527 S. Main St., has done just that. The place was cool before. It’s even cooler now.

What’s hot is the new menu. It features an assortment of appetizers and entrees that you will not find anywhere else.

You think I’m kidding? Well, I’m not.

Let’s look at some of the appetizers. How about duck poutine, a duck gravy and pale ale cheese sauce over shoestring fries? How about trout tacos or a Scotch egg with mustard relish? Those clearly are not your everyday selections.

Let’s look at some of the entrees. How about Boulevard Wheat duck potpie? That’s duck breasts slow roasted in Boulevard Wheat beer. Or how about Boulevard Bully Porter bangers and mash? This is a Bully Porter-marinated, English-style sausage that is stuffed by hand. It comes with redskin mashed potatoes and balsamic onions.

The business, which is a downtown hot spot during the lunch hour, is now open for dinner, hence the additions to the menu. You can still get Karma’s classic hot dogs and burgers, and a few vegetarian selections. There’s also a kid’s menu.

The restaurant now has a counter with seating and a selection of beers. The interior is freshly painted. It has new, hip lighting. The entrance features chalkboards where upcoming community events can be highlighted.

The restaurant closed briefly for the remodeling. It reopened last week. I dropped by on Friday to check out the changes. I was going to eat but there was a line, and the place was full. That should tell you something.

Lunch tip

When I go to Casa Montez, 2324 S. Range Line Road, it’s mostly at dinnertime. I had no idea the restaurant offered a lunch buffet.

For $6.45, there’s tacos, beans and rice, cheese enchiladas and other special choices, including chicken and steak fajitas.

The buffet is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. A sign at the restaurant advertised the buffet, which I assumed was a new feature that might explain why the parking lot was so full.

The manager told me that the buffet has been offered for quite a while, and the lunch hour is often very busy.

“They eat up,’’ she said.

I bet they do.

Big step

Make no mistake about it: The interchange at Interstate 44 and Range Line Road is a work in progress.

A big step was taken on Friday when new ramps and temporary traffic signals went into operation. Straight directional ramps have opened. The cloverleaf ramps that have existed there since the early 1960s have been replaced. New signals now regulate the straight ramps. Drivers have access to all directions at the interchange.

The $8 million project will replace the Interstate 44 bridges over Range Line and convert the roadways underneath the interstate into a diverging-diamond interchange. The project is to be completed by the end of 2013.

Average daily traffic count for Interstate 44 at the interchange is 28,030 vehicles. That’s a threefold increase in traffic when compared with traffic volumes in the early 1960s

Heads-up: If you get a speeding ticket in the work zone while workers are present, $250 will be added to the total fine.

Closing

Garrett’s Cake Design and Bakery, 3120 S. Main St., has closed. A sign there says the storefront is available for lease. Details: 850-5220.

The bakery was located south of Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Southside shopping center.

If you have news about something that’s happening on Range Line Road or Main Street, dial 623-3480, Ext. 7250; or send an email to wkennedy@joplinglobe.com; or send a fax to Wally Kennedy at 623-8598.

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