Kansas Travel Blog
July 2009

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith Stokes' adventures while exploring and photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact Keith at sfreader@sff.net.

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Kansas Travel - fire on the prairie
Thursday - July 31, 2008:    Made a first visit to Paulo & Bill's Ristorante on Midland drive in western Shawnee, Kansas. 

I liked the atmosphere of this upscale Italian Restaurant. There are lots of interior doors and walls with diamond shaped windows. 

The waitress brought me calamari fritta instead of the calamari pica that I ordered, but the lemon-oregano aioli sauce went so well with the fried calamari that I had no complaints. Servings were large - the calamari appetizer could have fed 4. An order of lasagna must have been over 4 inches high and had lots of meat. My Cannelloni was good, but not outstanding.

The meals at Paulo & Bills are totally ala carte and someone ordering a complete meal could quickly get the check to $50/person without wine.

Paulo & Bills has been open since 1996.


Tuesday - July 29, 2008:    Revisited the Holy Land Cafe in Lenexa, Kansas. Just across the street from Kabob & Curry. This was my third visit to Holy Land, and my first lunch time visit. From 11Am to 3PM, they have a special menu with 12 combination meals from $6 to $6.50, I had chicken breast with curry sauce, hummus, rice, a small Greek salad and pita bread for $6.50 and enjoyed all but the salad.

Updated the Unique Kansas Restaurants page for recent visits and added Holy Land Cafe to the list of good (but not unique) restaurants at the bottom of the page.


Monday - July 28, 2008:    Visited Mezzaluna Italian Restaurant in Shawnee, Kansas for the first time. By coincidence, Mezzaluna is only about a mile from Kabob & Curry which I visited on Saturday.

I liked the staff at Mezzaluna, but this restaurant just didn't click for me. If I lived in the neighborhood I would go back sometime, but I wouldn't suggest Mezzaluna to visitors. There are more interesting restaurants nearby. The interior of this restaurant is somewhat dark and overly decorated in a way the seems dated to me. Like the parlor of a 1960's matron.

The food is good enough, but not good enough for the prices being charged. I enjoyed a calamari and shrimp appetizer that needed more than the three small shrimp for $10. The Caesar salad was OK, but nothing special. A modest salad, appetizer and iced tea ran over $20.


Mezzaluna Italian Restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas Mezzaluna
Italian Restaurant
Saturday - July 26, 2008:    Visited Kabob & Curry Indian Restaurant on 87th Street in Lenexa, Kansas. This recently opened restaurant is open 7 days a week with a buffet at lunch and menu at dinner time. 

The food was pretty good with my favorite item on the buffet being chili chicken. Overall the items on the buffet were a little hotter than most local Indian restaurants feel safe offering. 

The decor is also pleasant, but there is nothing about Kabob & Curry that stands out for me to recommend it above the other excellent nearby Indian Restaurants. 10 years ago it would have been a standout, but today it is just another in a nice array of Johnson County Indian Restaurants.


Kabob & Curry Indian Restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas Kabob & Curry Indian
Restaurant in Lenexa, KS
Thursday - July 24, 2008:I drove down to Paola, Kansas to check out a restaurant I had never visited before. Beethoven's 9th is a German restaurant that is open only Thursday through Saturday. My Jaeger Schnitzel (pork loin - breaded and pan fried with creamy mushroom sauce) was very good. I almost licked the plate. The cold potato salad was also good, though their French fries weren't very impressive.

On the way out I bought a chocolate chip cookie. It was thick like a biscuit and had nearly as much chocolate as cookie batter. 

I will definitely visit Beethoven's 9th restaurant again. On my next visit to Paola it will be tough deciding between Beethoven's and The BBQ Shack.


Beethoven's 9th German restaurant in Paola, Kansas Beethoven's 9th

Beethoven's 9th German restaurant in Paola, Kansas

Wednesday - July 23, 2008:   Updated the page devoted to the James Naismith Memorial and Lawrence Memorial Park in Lawrence, Kansas. Somehow the photos on this page had disappeared and were missing on both of my computers.

In the evening I visited the campus of Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas where the Institute for Methodist teens is taking place this week.

The University and surrounding community have enough items of interest to have a page on this Kansas Travel website. Unfortunately, almost all of them are only open on weekdays when I don't have an opportunity to visit them.


Tuesday - July 15, 2008:   RevisitedTea Garden in Olathe, Kansas. The food at this high quality, small buffet is superior to any other Chinese restaurant I have tried in Kansas. The food turns over quickly and is always fresh and good. I am particularly found of their appetizers:  dumplings, to garlic chicken wings, crab Rangoon and others.

But the atmosphere is also nice less institutional than many of the area's Chinese restaurants, with wonderful photos from China on the wall. Plus good, friendly service.


Friday - July 11, 2008:   Had lunch at Free State Brewery where a friend and I split a special (posole) and two appetizers (onion rings and Spanish baked goat cheese). The rings and cheese were great. I didn't care so much for the posole, but my friend loved it. It was made with rib eye steak instead of pork and was less soupy than it usually is. It included some cabbage and red and yellow peppers. 

Supper was at Ghengis Khan Mongolian Grill at 3906 Bell Street, Kansas City, MO. Ghengis Khan has the finest Mongolian BBQ that I have ever had. They have better ingredients and more spices than most, and the chef's cooking on the hot circular grill do a better job than other places I have visited.

Ghengis Khan is in Missouri, but I think I am going to add a page devoted to it here at my Unique Kansas Restaurants page. It is so close to Kansas (right across from the University of Kansas Hospital) that you can literally through a rock from the back porch and have it land in Kansas.


Ghengis Khan Mongolian Grill in Kansas City, Missouri
Ghengis Khan
Mongolian Grill

Ghengis Khan Mongolian Grill

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