Table for Two: Howard Hanna and Caitlin Corcoran

Howard Hanna and Caitlin Corcoran, The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange and Ça Va

Story by Kimberly Winter Stern

One thing The Rieger Chef-Owner Howard Hanna and award-winning bartender Caitlin Corcoran have in common is an appreciation of adventurous food.

“Caitlin steps out of the box, like I do,” says Hanna. “It wouldn’t be a deal breaker, but it would be tough if she were picky.”

The stars rarely align for Hanna and Corcoran to have a night off together, but they dig into plenty of breakfast, lunch and late night snacks as a couple.

“Eating together is our biggest form of recreation and we make the most of it when we get the chance,” Hanna says.

The list is long and eclectic for this ambitious couple. Classic drive-ins like Harold’s, Town Topic (“sandwiches, always a chili dip to dunk tater tots”), and the Big Kahuna sandwich at Hum-Dinger on East 9th Street. Joints like City Diner in the River Market and brunch at Port Fonda, Café Sebastienne, Farmhouse, and Rye.

“Our favorite breakfast spot is Happy Gillis; Abbey-Jo and Josh always have something new to try, too,” Hanna says.

Lunchtime finds Hanna and Corcoran eating pho or the chef salad at Vietnam Café, bahn mi at iPho Tower on Independence Avenue, or a giant sandwich of sliced salumi, cheese, and pickled veggies at Carollo’s in the River Market. Barbecue is often on their menu: standards such as LC’s, Arthur Bryant’s and Joe’s Kansas City with newcomers like Slap’s, Q39, and Char Bar sprinkled in.

And who wouldn’t like to join this culinary couple on their quest for late night sustenance, which includes Santora’s Pizza, Gates at 31st and Main, and Tres Hermanos food truck?

But the mother of all late night food for Hanna and Corcoran might be the $3 burritos at the 24/7 Burritos To Go in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We like the Puerco en Salsa Rojo, the super-spicy Chicharron, and the Madrilena, a mix of pork and beef,” Hanna says. “They’re all delicious.”

Fancy food. First Friday lunch at The American, The Lounge at Bluestem, Novel, Jax Fish House.

Bottoms up. “Port Fonda has the best agave selection in Missouri and big, cold Mexican beers; Extra Virgin is a fun place to try creative cocktails, but we usually get bubbles; and Sunday nights at 403 Club in KCK are perfect—it’s low key, with great beers, darts, and pinball.”

Dirty little secret. “We love Red Lobster. Love. Those Cheddar Bay Biscuits are tough to beat.”