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Weekend Brunch at Strang Hall: Variety, Flavor and Surprises!

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My favorite thing about brunch is that it occurs on my two favorite days of the week. Of course, when you’re brunching it usually means relaxing, enjoying happy people and fun, which is pretty good too! That’s why there’s no better place to savor brunch than downtown Overland Park’s Strang Hall, with six local chef-driven restaurants in one location.

What’s especially cool about going to Strang Hall is that it’s more than just going out to a restaurant for a meal. It feels like an interactive experience! I love going to a place that’s different, has a variety of food options, features an enjoyable bar and outdoor space and offers a chance to engage with bar staff and chefs. 

For the past few months, Strang Hall has upped their brunch game. This new weekend day party plus food adventure features menu items from nearly all the restaurants. 

We started our brunch tasting journey at Anousone with chef-owner Anourom Thomson. He grew up in Laos and learned his traditional Southeastern Asian recipes from his mom. Most of the food at Anousone is inspired by his Asian upbringing; however, he mixes in other fun, comfort food from a variety of cultures.

I loved learning about his Laotian heritage. He first introduced me to Pulled Pork Congee. It was unlike anything I’ve eaten before, and I couldn’t get enough of it. “It reminds me of my youth; growing up, my mom made this for us a lot. In fact, I probably still eat it almost every day,” said Thomson, who has lived a fascinating life. His family escaped Laos after the Vietnam conflict and lived in a refugee camp for two years before coming to the United States in 1980 when he was a boy.

Although it’s considered “the poor man’s food” in Laos, Thomson has loaded the Anousone Congee with pulled pork and a ton of flavor including fried shallots, chili oil, cilantro, a splash of sriracha and more. The base is jasmine rice and sweet rice, giving it depth and delicious texture.

I can’t wait to come back and teach my family how to eat another one of his brunch items, the Lao Breakfast Plate like a real Laotian native—with our hands! The presentation is beautiful: on one side of the plate, there’s a mouthwatering crispy pork belly sliced thick, next to traditional sticky rice wrapped in a soft green banana leaf, keeping it warm and moist inside. The centerpiece of the plate is the Laos Omelette, made with lots of flavor including traditional Southeast Asian fish sauce, soy sauce, cracked pepper, tomatoes and onions, then fried to perfection. The fruity tomato sauce served in the middle of the plate is used to top it all for the ideal flavor.

“For most of our meals, rice is the centerpiece of the meal. All you do is pick it up with your fingers, make the rice into a ball and add the other ingredients. There’s no wrong or right way of eating it. A lot of times you put it all together with your hands,” said Chef Thomson.

Just down the way at Strang Hall is another restaurant, Tora Zushi, which opened earlier this summer as the newest local chef concept; it was a welcomed addition with beautiful and delicious sushi. Like all of the restaurants, Tora Zushi offers menu items that are out of the ordinary including a Japanese-style burger, sushi nachos and inventive sushi rolls.

I’m a huge sushi fan and enjoyed everything I tasted. I don’t have to follow traditions when it comes to food and brunch and would definitely indulge in sushi for breakfast. The Strang Roll stood out to me because it was topped with fresh tuna and included tempura-fried crab, avocado and cucumber beautifully plated with a spicy cream sauce.

 Run, don’t walk, to brunch at Strang Hall and get in line at another of the restaurants, Fénix, for the Short Rib Breakfast Burrito! I don’t know what the chef did to this burrito because all of the ingredients seem to be fairly ordinary, but it was out-of-this-world distinctive. The tortilla wasn’t an ordinary tortilla; somehow it was thicker and sweeter than most. It was packed with delicious short rib beef evenly shredded, seasoned eggs and Monterey jack cheese.

This is not my first time to Strang Hall, and I’m inclined to go for the menu items at Solstice, with the seasonally fresh and healthy food. Some of their brunch items include breakfast bowls, basic waffles, avocado toast and steak and eggs. But the Salmon BLT was something I hadn’t tried before and it was delectable and deliciously messy! The flavor was just right with plenty of cream sauce on toasted bread, avocado, salty, crunchy bacon and sliced salmon. It will be hard to decide which restaurant to go to when I go back next time!

Again, fun and unusual menu items are what make Strang Hall stand out. The craft pizza and sandwiches restaurant, Norcini, continues to pop up on my Instagram feed for their very popular Crab Rangoon Pizza, which is rich and delicious, and their charcuterie board, or Chef Board, is exceptionally beautiful. I can envision myself sitting at the indoor-outdoor U-shaped bar with my girlfriends sipping wine, enjoying an amazing display of cheese and meats.

The folks at Norcini took creative inspiration from the Crab Rangoon Pizza and created the Breakfast Club Pizza, a luscious breakfast/brunch pizza menu item with eggs and Canadian bacon that’s one of a kind.

It wouldn’t be brunch without mimosas and Bloody Marys; for only $5 you can enjoy more than one. The brunch bar special also includes $15 mimosa carafes on Saturday and Sunday. 

Thank you Strang Hall. I love you a brunch!

For more information, please visit or come by at 7313 W. 80th Street, Overland Park, Kansas.

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.