Click to View Latest IssueClick to View Latest Issue

Iron Horse America’s Bar & Grill: Enjoy Creative, Fresh Fare in an Innovative New Space!

By  0 Comments

“Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name…” 

That’s exactly the kind of place the new Iron Horse America’s Bar & Grill, on the southeast corner of 151st Street and Nall, was designed to be. “They’re always glad you came…and your troubles are all the same.” 

If these old Cheers theme song lyrics do not fit your description, trust me, you’ll still want to stop in because this new neighborhood joint, already known to the locals as The Horse, serves delicious, upscale pub fare in a lively, beautifully remodeled restaurant.

First-time restaurant owner and long-time local business owner Jeff Dietrich knew he wanted to develop an energetic local restaurant with a made-from-scratch kitchen creating hearty and beloved entrees. And when Jeff sets his mind to something, he gets it done and done quickly!

Even in the midst of a pandemic, Jeff made things happen. He bought the space, branded the new restaurant, completely remodeled the interior and hired long-time KC chef DJ Martinez to lead the culinary efforts. DJ and Jeff worked together to design the brand-new kitchen including opening it up to the dining room and creating the first menu for Iron Horse America’s Bar & Grill, which officially opened in November 2020.

“I just really like to please people with the food I create. I recognize that food brings people together, and I love to see the families coming in and the neighbors coming in,” said Chef Martinez, who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Las Vegas and has worked in a variety of restaurants throughout Kansas City, including Houlihan’s.

That’s why Chef Martinez is such a good fit for Iron Horse America’s Bar & Grill. Jeff emphasizes the community aspect of the restaurant and hiring talented, experienced people. Since it’s a new restaurant, he’s finding ways to ensure The Horse is drawing a crowd with a variety of specials including Business Happy Hour Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. for drinks and 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. for appetizers. Ladies Night is Tuesday, with half-price wine bottles. Additional features are Karaoke Thursdays; Live DJ Fridays and the Sunday Funday Brunch, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Enough about the fun, the fabulous ambiance, great service and soon-to-open newly remodeled patio! Now it’s time for my favorite part, describing the food.

“I knew I wanted us to be a true scratch kitchen and to focus on foods that will stick to your bones. We’re not a tuna tartare kind of place. We bread our foods fresh to order, and our guests will be able t0 taste the difference,” Jeff said.

After hanging out for a while, I got the feeling that Chef Martinez likes to offer his guests an ever-so-slight twist on a classic favorite, setting the bar a little higher than your typical bar food. I was happy to try that twist when I sank my teeth into a flavorful Iron Horse Grilled Cheese served with a cup of Creamy Tomato Soup. This is part of the Pick 2 for $11 Lunch Combo, and it’s a delicious, heck of a deal! 

First, let me list the ingredients for the grilled cheese, because just the ingredients will make your mouth water: whiskey bacon marmalade (the chef’s secret recipe), fresh guacamole, balsamic marinated tomatoes, Havarti cheese on grilled Texas toast. Enough said! This was hands down my favorite of the day and will keep me coming back.

The soup was just right, with roasted ripe tomatoes, sautéed yellow onions, carrots, blended with cream, then strained for that ultra-creamy soup served with a surprise floating around in the soup: a parmesan-breaded cheese ball. As I said, the bar was raised and this is not your grandma’s toasted cheese with tom soup.

Next, a house favorite, and I can see why: the Blackened Cajun Shrimp and Salmon. I love my seafood, so when I can get two types in one entree, it’s even better! Plus, Jeff and Chef Martinez described the fare as “stick to your bones,” but this dish is even slightly healthy! It’s grilled blackened salmon with shrimp sautéed with Cajun seasoning and served over a bed of cilantro lime rice with sweet glazed whole carrots, all flavorful, fresh, colorful and enjoyable.

The Iron Horse brunch has just launched and Jeff expects that when the weather warms up, the newly renovated patio featuring a stage and DJ will become “Kansas City’s best day party.” I don’t doubt it. We sampled the beautiful and delicious Stuffed French Toast. This is a meal and a half, Texas toast stuffed with blackberry jam and cream cheese topped with sweet bourbon syrup and served with breakfast potatoes and applewood smoked bacon. 

The bar menu is full of unique and tasty drinks with clever names such as Horseshoe-tini, Neck and Neck Mule, Maple Stallion, Chomping at the Bit Spritz and so many more.

Iron Horse America’s Bar & Grill has an inviting lineup of specials and a long menu of dine-in and takeout items for all Metro Kansas City to enjoy; you don’t have to be a neighbor. Who knows? Pretty soon you might become a regular, and everyone will know your name.

Visit for menu previews, hours and more information.

Written by: Megan Neher

Journalist-turned-PR-professional Megan Neher has never forgotten her true first love: writing. Today, Megan owns her own PR firm, Megan Neher Public Relations; she’s a wife, mom, marketer, student and spends a lot of time cleaning up after her four pets and two teenagers. Her dream is to live on a tropical beach somewhere where she can stroll barefoot to a nearby grass hut for a fish taco and margarita.