Kansas Travel Blog

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

Saturday - February 28, 2009: Added a new review devoted to Curtis Cafe in Stafford, Kansas and added it to the list of Unique Kansas Restaurants. Added three shorter reviews to the Olathe, Kansas Restaurant Guide - China Buffet, Haru's Steak Sushi Place and Ping's Restaurant.

 

Friday - February 27, 2009: Linda and I had lunch at Garozzo's Ristorante in Olathe, Kansas. My Vitello Spiedini alla Sophia Maria wasn't as good as it was at Garozzo's Overland Park location in November. The surface of the veal was so hard it was difficult to cut with a steak knife. The service issues continue at this location. Service was quite slow and I was over charged for the meal.

I stopped for supper at Blazers Restaurant at 131 North Center Street, Gardner, Kansas. Although there is no mention of the school in the restaurant, I assume it is named for the Gardner-Edgerton High School sports' teams - the Trailblazers. It seemed as if everyone dining this evening was on their way to basketball or volleyball games.

Ordering at the counter, I decided on a double cheeseburger, chili and French fries. Though not made to order, the burger was very good and bigger than I needed - particularly since the homemade chili serving was huge. The fries were nothing special.

Added a new review devoted to Roy's Pit BBQ in Hutchinson, Kansas and added it to the list of Unique Kansas Restaurants.

 


 
 
 
 

Blazers Restaurant - Gardner, Kansas Blazers Restaurant

Thursday - February 26, 2009: Lunch was at Harus Steak Sushi Place at 15202 W 119th Street in Olathe, Kansas. The contemporary Japanese sushi bar and steakhouse has a $9 sushi dine-in lunch special which includes soup or salad and the choice of two sushi rolls from a selection of 15. I had the salad, which had a flavorful, slightly citrus dressing with a hint of peanut. The sushi rolls which I tried, spicy crunchy crab roll and BBQ eel avocado roll were both very good.

 

Harus Steak Sushi Place - Olathe, Kansas Harus Steak Sushi Place
Wednesday - February 25, 2009: I revisited Ping's Chinese restaurant for lunch today. The Yu Hsiang Beef didn't have as much flavor as I would like, but the service was extremely fast and the other dishes (fried rice, crab rangoon, egg roll) were all very good.

Added a new review devoted to R-B Drive In in Hutchinson, Kansas and added it to the list of Unique Kansas Restaurants.

 

Ping's Chinese Restaurant in Olathe, Kansas
Ping's Chinese
Restaurant
Monday - February 23, 2009: For lunch, a friend and I tried Margarita's, a Mexican restaurant at 7890 Quivira Road in Lenexa, Kansas. I had a sampler with several items. None of it stood out as particularly bad or good. I wouldn't mind going again if a friend wanted to go, but I would be unlikely to select Margarita's.

Added a new review and two pages of photos on the Kansas Underground Salt Museum in Hutchinson, Kansas. 

 

Sunday - February 22, 2009: Sunday morning I intended to photograph the Hutchinson Zoo so that I could add a new page devoted to the small zoo. But arriving a little after the scheduled opening time (10AM, I found the gate locked and no one around. I waited fifteen minutes before leaving my business card and going on my way.

(I did hear back from the zoo later. An otter has escaped and all of the staff were trying to capture it. The zoo opened about 10:30.)

I drove west on US Highway 50, with just one side trip to drive through the small community of Sylvia, Kansas. Sylvia has 4 grain elevators, a grade school, post office, library and perhaps 10 businesses. I didn't find a museum, but there is an old jail cell on display outside, along with a time capsule from the Sylvia's centennial. The capsule should be opened 25 years later, on May 23, 2012.

The two church buildings that I saw were both castle like. The 1912 United Brethren Church is no longer in use, but the even more castle like United Methodist Church was surrounded by plenty of cars.

Sylvia, Kansas appears in many record books, because the football team had the misfortune to be on the wrong side of the most lopsided high school football game in history. On November 16, 1927 Sylvia was defeated by Haven High School 256-0.

Then back on the highway driving west to Stafford, Kansas. I went to Stafford for lunch, but before parking the car drove through the business district where I found 4(!) museum buildings. Unfortunately the County museums have very limited hours, so I don't know when I will have an opportunity to visit them.

The reason for the drive to Stafford was the 1946 Curtis Cafe. The interesting old building has been operated by Jack and Musetta Curtis since 1982. The restaurant has an original counter and is best known for its pie and for the completed jigsaw puzzles which line the walls.

The menu was written by hand. 

On Sundays there are only 5 choices, but so many small town Kansas restaurants are closed, that I will not complain about the limited selection. The choices were fried chicken, Swiss steak, roast beef, pork loin with cherry sauce, or a vegetable plate. All are $6.50 - except for all white meat chicken which is $6.95.

Each meal comes with mashed potatoes & gravy, choice of vegetable of the day, salad, dinner roll, and coffee or tea. The salad this day was Jell-O with fruit. It came out right away, but before I had taken a bite, the rest of the meal came out. The chicken had good flavor, but tasted like it had been a half hour or so since it was cooked. I bet it is great when it is fresh.

Near the end of the meal, my waitress brought a small Styrofoam cup with a small scoop of raspberry swirl ice cream. When she returned with the check, I said she was too quick, that I wanted to try the raisin cream pie. She apologized and said that I was supposed to have had my choice of ice cream or a sliver of pie. She brought out a small serving of the pie at no charge. The pie was good, but not as fresh as I would have liked.

I will try Curtis Cafe again someday, but probably not on a Sunday.

It was time to head back to Hutchinson to pick up a friend to drive to Lawrence. But on the way into Hutch, there was just enough time to visit the Historical Salt Marker northwest of the intersection of Main Street and US-50. The fairly new display includes picnic tables, several markers and the Salt Discovery Well, where in 1887 Ben Blanchard found the salt that has contributed to the development of Hutchinson. The well has a small structure over it, but the open well head can be viewed through a clear top. A 1260 pound block of salt is also on display.

There were still a couple of brief stops on the way to Lawrence. In Newton, I took some photos of the Alco Store and the home of the late Helga Schmidt. Helga was the person that helped two children purchase shoes for their dying mother in the Alco Store. She wrote a brief essay about the experience for a college class. Over the years the story spread around the world and inspired both the movie and the song "The Christmas Shoes." 

North of Newton, I also photographed a historical marker commemorating the Black Beaver Trail, the Meridian Road, the Chisholm Trail and the Cherokee trail. Each of these historic routes passed within a couple of miles of the spot selected for this maker in 1970.

Continuing toward Lawrence, I was surprised at how much range burning (prairie fire) was talking place this early in the season. A half dozen or more smoke plumes could usually be seen at the same time.

After dropping off my friend, I made the final stop of the weekend. My second visit to Local Burger in Lawrence. My experience wasn't quite as good this time. 

I decided to try one of the seasonal burgers (lamb). It seemed pretty expensive at $8.50 for a quarter pound burger. But the person at the counter said it could be combined with a side dish for just a little more. I made the mistake of saying OK, without asking how little more and ended up having a cheese burger and French fries for $12.61 with tax. 

Although I was the only customer when I arrived, the food took over 15 minutes. It was good, but I didn't feel it was worth the price or wait.

 


 
 
 
 

Sylvia, Kansas Sylvia, Kansas
 
 
 
 
 
 

Curtis Cafe - Stafford, Kansas Curtis Cafe
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Salt Discovery Well - South Hutchinson Salt Discovery Well
 

Christmas Shoes Alco Store Christmas Shoes Alco Store
 

Kansas prairie fire Kansas prairie fire
 

Local Burger - Lawrence, Kanas Local Burger

Saturday - February 21, 2009: My first stop on Saturday morning was Hutchinson's 2 year old Kansas Underground Salt Museum. My tour reservation was scheduled for 10AM and there wasn't much to do while waiting for it to start.

The tour begins with a brief safety video. Everyone entering the cave has to wear a white hard hat and personal breathing device. Staff get different color hard hats. Our group of about 25 boarded the two level lift and rode down 650 feet in the dark - "because that is the way the miners do it." Although there are long sight lines in the caverns when lighted, this isn't a place for the claustrophobic

The mine is still in operation. The Hutchinson Salt Company's elevator leading down to the mine is a few yards away. A new shaft was made for the museum at a cost of $6 million. The expense was shared with the third business operating in the mine - Underground Vaults & Storage.

The 40 minute tour is conducted on a tram. There are frequent stops to point out formations, exhibits and abandoned equipment. Since everything brought into the mine is left there (No sense going to the time or expense of bringing it back up), the mine is a bit of a time capsule.

Following the tour, visitors are free to tour the galleries on their own. The galleries feature exhibits devoted to mining, along with several videos. The other visitors seemed to spend most of their time in the exhibits devoted to Underground Vaults & Storage. Because of the low cost and constant climate (68 degrees and 45% relative humidity) UVS provides secure storage for many companies.

Those companies include all but one of the major motion picture companies and the caves store props and original film negatives for as diverse movies at "The Wizard of Oz," "Gone With The Wind," "Ben Hur," and "Star Wars." A small selection of the movie props is on display.

Because a big part of what they are selling is the high security, originally, Underground Vaults & Storage was opposed to the new museum. But that has obviously changed.

Leaving the museum, it was time for my first meal of the day, at Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ. Roy's is a small family run operation that closes when they have things to do. They were closed the last time I tried to eat there, and I overheard the lady at the counter saying that they will be closed for a few days next week. The 27 year old restaurant is only open Tuesday to Saturday from 11AM until 3PM, or until the meat runs out.

Arriving at the small old building, I opened the door to find the line waiting to get the counter  was backed up to the entrance. It took perhaps 15 minutes for me to get to the counter, though a few of the people left when they heard that the turkey was gone for the day. The side dishes didn't look that appealing to me (no French fries, cheesy corn or anything like that), and since I was going to have two more meals today, I ordered only meat - ribs with toast and a hot link sausage.

Although there are only 7 or 8 tables, there was no problem finding a free table. Everyone was getting their barbecue to go. The ribs were very good. The hot link wasn't very spicy. But the sauce was so heavy on the meat that they were hard to really taste. When I return, I will request the sauce be on the side. The toast (which is prepared on the grill) was very good.

It seemed that the lady working the counter knew about a third of the customers and most of the other customers knew at least one of the other parties in line.

Following the meal, I drove back into downtown Hutchinson to visit a church that had looked interesting when I was going in the other direction. The present St. Teresa's Catholic Church was built in 1911 and the parish has been in existence since 1872. The lovely smaller front alter was rescued from another church that was closed. The alter was only one day away from being buried when St. Teresa's congregation learned of it.

My second meal of the day was at the 61 year old R-B Drive In. I sat at the small counter. With great restraint, I didn't order a handmade malt, but I did get a double cheeseburger, hand cut French fries and fresh onion rings. (I didn't eat all of any of them:-)

Though not cooked too order and kind of squashed down, the cheeseburger tasted good. The fries were great. The large order of onion rings was very good. If they had been cooked a little more, they would have been some of the best I have ever had.

The current owner has operated R-B Drive In since 1984 and is the daughter of the original owners.

I next visited the nearby Reno County Museum. I was pleased to discover that it wasn't another miscellaneous collection of whatever people in the community had donated. The exhibits were interesting and well designed. Most of the exhibits were traveling or temporary, so there will be new things to see the next time I am in Hutchinson.

I particularly enjoyed the exhibit titled Hope and the Human Spirit: Overcoming Polio, which told the story of polio's impact on Reno County, and the battle to find a vaccine. It even included a heart-lung machine.

The Polo exhibit runs until March 15, 2009.

Then on to the northeast side of town to the Dillon Nature Center. The hundred acre park has a wild arboretum, geese covered pound and a 10,000 square foot Visitor Center which was opened in 1994. In addition to offices, the visitor's center houses a gift shop and nature display gallery with dioramas, interactive exhibits and live reptiles, amphibians and fish.

Continuing to drive northeast, I first stopped in the community of Inman to take a few photos, then continued to McPherson where I purchased sausage, venison hamburger and smoked jerky at Krehbiels Meat Market & Deli. I've been finding Krehbiels products at other specialty markets around the state and wanted to finally visit the source.

Returning to Hutchinson, I met another large group of friends for supper. 19 of us went to supper at the China Star Restaurant. It is a Chinese mega-buffet. It was not bad for what it is. My favorite items were the salt and pepper shrimp and jalapeno chicken.

 

Kansas Underground Salt Museum Kansas Underground Salt Museum
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ - Hutchinson Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

St. Teresa's Catholic Church - Hutchinson, Kansas St. Teresa's Catholic Church
 

R-B Drive In R-B Drive In
 

Reno County Museum Reno County Museum

Dillon Nature Center Dillon Nature Center

Krehbiels Meat Market and Deli Krehbiels Meat Market

China Star - Hutchinson, Kansas China Star

Friday - February 20, 2009: 17 friends joined me for supper at the Anchor Inn in Hutchinson, Kansas. The 35 year old, family run Mexican restaurant occupies three buildings and is so large that one of the first people to arrive lost the rest of our party.

Service was good despite our large crowd and the waiter was good about breaking up the check. Most of us had the large buffet. All of the food was well liked, particularly the home made tamales which several people said were the best that they have ever had.

My only complaint is that they took down the buffet as soon as the clock struck 9PM - even though several of our people were still dining. 

 

part of our party

Anchor Inn - Hutchinson, Kansas Buffet at Anchor Inn

Thursday - February 19, 2009:  Today's lunch was at Margarita's at 7890 Quivera in Lenexa, Kansas. This is the third location for the local chain of Mexican restaurants. I don't think anything stood out in the dishes we sampled. I wouldn't object to dining at Margarita's again, but there was nothing to make me select the restaurant for a return visit.

Added a new listing on the Kansas Specialty Food page, about the Call Hall Dairy Bar on the Kansas State University Campus. The Dairy Bar sells a wide variety of meats and dairy products which have been produced on the KSU campus but is best known for its ice cream.

 


 

Call Hall Dairy Bar - Manhattan, Kansas Call Hall Dairy Bar

Wednesday - February 18, 2009:  Lunch was at China Buffet at 2030 East Santa Fe Street in Olathe, Kansas. This is the third mega-Chinese buffet that I have visited in Johnson County in the past month and (to my taste) the most successful.

The dining room could use a little tender loving care, but it is clean. The music was amusing. The Yellow Rose of Texas, Red River Valley and Que Sera, Sera were among the songs I heard.

There were 5 large food tables with a wide variety of items that seemed hot and fresh. My favorite items were Thai chicken, fried fish (species unidentified), and a fish row sushi roll. 

China Buffet includes a Mongolian BBQ. It isn't as large a selection as a stand alone Mongolia BBQ like Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill in Kansas City, Missouri, but does a credible job as a part of the buffet.

With beverage and tax the bill was $8. Supper runs a couple of dollars more, or about $5 more if it includes crab legs.

In the evening Linda and I had supper at the Broadmoor Bistro, a restaurant operated by students at Broadmoor Technical Center (part of the Shawnee Mission School District) in Overland Park, Kansas.

The Bistro is only open Wednesday evenings during the school year. They keep the same menu for 2 months at a time. For $25 you get your choice of two items from two appetizers or soup or salad, choice of entree, and choice of dessert. For entrees, I selected juniper herb rubbed chop of wild boar with chili roasted posole, Asian pear puree and butternut squash. The boar was good, and the posole was better than I expected, but I was surprised how much I enjoyed the pear.

Linda had chicken roulade - pan seared organic breast of chicken stuffed with spinach, goat cheese, sun dried tomatoes, braised in kalamata olive jus with Swiss chard and celeriac polenta. 

My favorite items were the smoked Nantucket scallops and fried leaks that garnished the salsify soup.

Once a month, the Broadmoor Bistro hosts James Beard Foundation dinners.

Olathe North High School has something similar, though they only offer meals 5 times during the school year.

Added a new review dedicated to Exploration Place - the science center in Wichita, Kansas. This competes my write up of all the Wichita attractions visited last November.

 

China Buffet - Olathe, Kansas China Buffet 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Broadmoor Bistro - Overland Park, Kansas Broadmoor Bistro
 
 
 
 
 
 

Exploration Place - Wichita, Kansas Exploration Place

Tuesday - February 17, 2009:  A friend joined me for a second revisit of Stonewall Inn in Lenexa, Kansas. The hand cut French fries were the best part of the meal. I was also happy with my BBQ pulled chicken sandwich, which had enough chicken for two sandwiches.

Neither of us were impressed by the potato soup and my friend's BLT was average - the bacon was over cooked and crumbly. The service was good and has been consistent under the new ownership.

This evening I added a review of the Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, which was visited in November.

 


 

Old Cowtown Museum - Wichita, Kansas Old Cowtown Museum

Monday - February 16, 2009:  I continue to catch up on writing up reviews for Kansas attractions and restaurants which I visited in the last quarter of 2008. Tonight I added a listing on the Kansas Specialty Foods page and a new page devoted to Cero's Candies in Wichita, Kansas. Cero's has been making candies since 1885 and was still operated by the Cero family until just 10 years ago.

 

Cero's Candies in Wichta, Kansas Cero's Candies
Sunday - February 15, 2009:  Two friends joined me for lunch at the Happy China Buffet at 11560 West 95th Street in Overland Park, Kansas. The wait staff was friendly and attentive. 

Happy China advertises having the largest Chinese buffet in Kansas City. It is good sized, but I know several that are larger. I found it interesting that the descriptions above the food were all in English and Spanish.

Overall, I found the food was average. If I was nearby, I would stop again, but I wouldn't travel any significant distance to go there.

For supper, another pair of friends joined me at a second Johnson County restaurant - Leona Yarbrough Restaurant at 10310 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Shawnee. The restaurant moved into this former Red Lobster building in 1998. It is currently run by the 3rd generation of the family which purchased a restaurant in Fairway, Kansas in 1966.

Yarbrough's website and menus say that the restaurant has order pads and pencils on the tables to allow diners to write their own orders at their pace. But there were no order pads on any of the tables in the large room where we dined.

My meal was crab chowder, liver & onions and fresh French fries. I'm afraid the chowder was more like crab gravy and I like my own liver & fries better. My favorite part of the meal was the cinnamon roll. Though it was only 2 bites.

The chicken fried steak one of my friends had was better. My other friend said that the prime rib was only OK.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Leona Yarbrough Restaurant - Johnson County, Kansas Leona Yarbrough Restaurant

Friday - February 13, 2009:  I had supper at the Cheesesteak Grill in Gardner, Kansas. The Cheesesteak Grill just opened in November and the staff was excited tonight, since they just received their liquor license today.

I had the mushroom Swiss cheese steak (shaved steak with grilled onions & Swiss cheese), which was served on a very good bun and came with French fries for $6.99. Most cheese steaks and submarine sandwiches are under $7 with fries.

Service was fast and good.

The cheese steak Grill could use some decorating and maybe a little less light. The dining room has no atmosphere at this time. With the exception of a handful of booths & tables, the seating is all stools.

The Grill serves Golden Boy pies.

Added a new page devoted to the Smoky Hill Wind Farm which is along I-70, about 20 miles west of Salina, Kansas

 

Cheesesteak Grill - Gardner, Kansas Cheese steak Grill
 
 
 
 

Smoky Hill Wind Farm north of I-70 Smoky Hill Wind Farm

Thursday - February 12, 2009:  Revisited Mezzaluna Italian Restaurant in Shawnee, Kansas with a friend.

Mezzaluna didn't click for me on the first visit, but it has been getting may positive comments and I wanted to try it a second time. Mezzaluna offers 9 lunch specials for $5.80. None of them sounded very interesting, but I think that is the fault of the person who prepared the menu.

My friend had crepes with meat and tomato sauce that she sad was only so-so. I had a fabulous Caesar salad with salmon.

Added a new page devoted to the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita, Kansas.

 

Mezzaluna Italian Restaurant - Shawnee, Kansas Mezzaluna Italian Restaurant
Wednesday - February 11, 2009:  Added a new page devoted to the Mid-America All Indian Center in Wichita, Kansas

 

Tuesday - February 10, 2009:  A friend joined me for lunch at Brobecks Barbeque in Overland Park. It was my first time there since last August.

Brobeck's BBQ ribs were quite good. Both the flavor and texture were superior. The sausage was just sausage. The smoked ham salad is an unusual BBQ option, but I liked it and made it into an excellent sandwich. The smoked brisket was closer to roast beef than BBQ. The French fries were thick, tasty and crispy.

Supper was at a new restaurant in Gardner, Kansas - Bob & Dee's Family Restaurant. The building was built new for this restaurant and has a dinning room on one side and bar on the other. The smoking is confined to the bar and should not create a problem for people sensitive to smoke, accept for going to and from the rest rooms.

My hand breaded chicken fried steak and garlic toast were quite good. The twice baked potato was OK, but I would not get it again.

Service was rushed. The rest of my food was brought out before I was 1/4 through the tossed salad. Then the waitress returned only a couple of minutes latter, asked if I wanted dessert and left the check. She never asked if I wanted more iced tea until clearing the table.

Added new pages devoted to Holy Cross Church and Holy Cross Cemetery in Pfeifer, Kansas.

 


 
 
 
 

Bob and Dee's Family Restaurant - Gardner, Kanas Bob & Dee's Family Restaurant

Monday - February 9, 2009:  I had lunch at Masalas Indian Restaurant, Overland Park's newest Indian Restaurant, which I first visited in October of 2008. Masalas still gets my vote for the nicest atmosphere at an Indian restaurant in metropolitan Kansas City.

Service was good. The food on the buffet was good, but not the best in town. My favorite items were the chicken curry and chicken 65 (Deep fried chicken sautéed with red chilies and yogurt), but the mushroom masala, carrot halwa and goat curry were also good. The quality is good, but I wouldn't often do the lunch buffet at $12.

Added new pages devoted to the Skillet Licker Cafe in Kansas City, Kansas and Masalas Indian Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas.

 

Sunday - February 8, 2009:  I stopped by the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art at Johnson County Community College to check out the current temporary exhibits in the museum and photograph some of the public art scattered about JCCC. The hedgehog at the right isn't listed on the map of campus art. It is one of several pieces at the east side of the Arts and Technology building.

For supper, three of us went to Choga Korean Restaurant in Overland Park. My nak ji bogum (stir fried baby octopus with onions in a sweet and spicy sauce) was less spicy than my previous visit. My friends enjoyed their dishes of jae yook bogum (thinly sliced pork marinated in hot sauce) and dak bulgogi (grilled white chicken meat with teriyaki sauce on a sizzling plate).

Added a new page devoted to Mad Jack's Fresh Fish in Kansas City, Kansas.

 

Johnson County Community College public art
Saturday - February 7, 2009:  I spent a couple of hours exploring downtown Kansas City, Kansas. The first visit was to the Skillet Licker Cafe in the Strawberry Hill area. I had dined at the Skillet Licker in November, but their donut fryer was shut down for cleaning that day. I was glad to learn that the fryer was in operation today.

They serve hot Lilí Doughnuts, perhaps 1.5 inches across. I purchased a half dozen fresh hot cinnamon sugar donuts for $2. Actually there were 8 in the small bag, perhaps the equivalent of 1 and a half normal donuts.

They were spectacular! It took real discipline not to go right back in for more. I am still salivating as I write about them today.

Lunch was Mad Jack's Fresh Fish, a dozen blocks northwest on State Avenue. Mad Jack's is an interesting little hole in the wall that opened in 1984 and has been run by the current owner, John Reed, since 1987.

There are two counters, one for purchasing uncooked fish & one for cooked, and 6 small booths. The food is served in styrofoam boxes regardless of being ordered to eat in or out. But that worked out well for me, since I had ordered too much food for a single setting.

A small order of fried oysters, was a generous half pound for $8.49, and they were great. I will be back to have them again. I also ordered a small walleye combo for $8.99, which came with a choice of two sides. The "small" meal was still a large serving of walleye, but it wasn't the battered fish I was hoping for. The walleye pieces were coated in corn meal like catfish. They were still good, just not what I wanted. The French fries were a small order and nothing special, though the hushpuppies were better.

I can't believe it has taken this long for me to discover Mad Jack's restaurant, but I will do my part to help others find it.

 

mini fried donuts at Skillet Licker Cafe Hot Lil' Doughnuts
 
 
 

Mad Jack's Fresh Fish - Kansas City, Kansas Mad Jack's Fresh Fish
 
 

John Reed John Reed behind the cooked food counter

Friday - February 6, 2009:  Lunch was at Zarda Bar-B-Q in Lenexa, Kansas. I first dined there in 1985, but hadn't been there in many years.

Items sampled were ribs, beef, corn on the cob, French fries and wedge cut fries. The two types of fries were my favorite times, with the wedge fries having a narrow edge.

The beef was fairly good, but I wasn't impressed at all by the ribs. The last half dozen paces I have had BBQ pork ribs all have done better jobs.

I think Zarda BBQ is more likely to appeal to hardy eaters, than to others. They have fairly large prices and fairly large servings.

 

Tuesday - February 3, 2009:  Today I revisited the The BBQ Shack in Paola. My second time there since they moved out of the wonderful old dive where they started business, into a strip mall. 

The food is still good. I had Mr. Foley's Rib Platter (3 pork ribs, plus meat of my choice and 2 sides) for $12.50. I chose sausage for my second meat and my sides were crosscut fries and corn nuggets. The meats were both good. The fries are ordinary. The deep fried corn nuggets were sweet and I saved them for dessert.

I ordered a dozen wings to go for $7.95. Of course they weren't a dozen wings, but a dozen thirds of wings. I like them at the BBQ Shack, but they weren't that good re-heated that evening.

The evening was spent adding material to my other travel website MightyMac.org which is devoted to the Mackinaw Bridge, Straits of Mackinac, Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island and the Mackinaw Coast Guard Cutters in northern Michigan. I added a trip report for my January trip to Mackinaw City, plus special pages devoted to Winterfest with its ice sculpture contest and International Outhouse Races.

 

Rib and sausage dinner at Paola BBQ Shack Rib and sausage dinner

Ice Tower in Mackinaw City, Michigan Ice Tower in
Mackinaw City

Monday - February 2, 2009:  For lunch, I joined a friend at the Pizza Maker on 87th Street in Lenexa, Kansas. I liked the atmosphere at this locally owner restaurant. 

I wanted to have the Italian submarine sandwich listed on the menu, but it is no longer offered. The meat ball sub that I tried, was average. It could have used a little more flavor and a little more meat. There were just two meat balls (cut in half) on the sandwich.

My friend's salad was very good. I would get a salad if I was there again. Her mini pepperoni pizza was thin crust, and I preferred it to the pizza at Mafia Mike's Pizza (a block away) which I had a week before.

The sub with potato chips was $5.95. The every day lunch special is a better deal with a salad and single toping mini pizza for the same price.

I'm sorry to report that restaurant closings continue. This time it is one of the newest places - Parkway Cafe in Lenexa. I will miss this one.

 

Pizza Maker - Lenexa, Kansas Pizza Maker 
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