|Monday - June 29,
2009: Linda and I returned to Taste,
a restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas, which we last visited in October.
We each went with the $11 tasting menu which has a choice of three small
items from a fairly long and interesting list. We sampled piquant tempura
shrimp tossed in a spicy garlic chili sauce, mini grilled mahi mahi sandwich
with homemade tarter sauce, mini bleu cheese burger with caramelized onions,
mini steak sandwich with caramelized onions & horseradish sauce, traditional
hot wings, and fresh mozzarella & tomato salad with balsamic glaze.
The shrimp and mahi
mahi were our favorite items.
|Saturday - June
27, 2009: Today's early lunch was at a wonderful, little Wichita dive:
Bomber Burger. I've been wanting to try Bomber Burger for about 3 years,
but it has limited hours and took this long. Open since 1952, it has been
in the Rickard family since 1985.
Bomber Burger has a
counter with five booths and four small, two person tables. The (original)
grill and fryer are 5 feet behind the counter and I took a seat where I
could watch the meals being prepared. Other than beverages, the only items
on the menu are fresh cut French fries and a variety of large (8 ounce?)
hamburgers and double burgers.
Watching the food preparation,
the first thing that I noticed was how often Chris Rickard cleaned his
hands. Every time he touched anything other than the food and utensils,
he would immediately wash his hands. Often within a minute of the last
time. Later in the meal, when Chris and I got to talking, I learned that
his constantly washing his hands instead of wearing gloves has been a source
of confrontation with state health authorities. He told an interesting
story which ended with the state agreeing that he might be right, but that
it violated their rules and he was fined $1,000. Which he paid in dimes.
My burger was grilled
slowly, so it stayed very moist. It was cooked with a little garlic powder
and was the best hamburger I have had in Wichita. The fries were every
bit as good.
I enjoyed Chris' stories
so much that I was an hour down the road before I realized I forgot to
leave a tip.
Driving north, my next
stop was in McPherson, Kansas at the McPherson Museum & Arts Foundation.
I was delighted to discover that unlike many local historical museums,
this one had interesting collections devoted to minerals, fossils, and
Native American pottery.
Around the block, almost
directly behind the museum, the Mid Kansas Model Railroaders have a Model
Train Display that is open to the public on Saturday and Sunday afternoons.
They are temporarily in an former nursing home that needs a lot of repair.
My next visit was to
Marquette, Kansas. I don't have much interest in motorcycles and had put
off the visit for several years. But discovered an interesting short main
street with several interesting places.
The one that looked
the most interesting does not appear to keep regular hours - The Gas Pump
- which is a lovely collection of old gasoline service station memorabilia.
Though closed, the signs & pumps outside, and what I could see through
the widows, looked very interesting.
In addition to visiting
the Kansas Motorcycle Museum, I toured the small Marquette Museum and the
adjacent one room school and old railroad depot.
With more miles to
go before the day was over, I continued north with a stop at the outlet
from Kanopolis Lake to photograph the waterfalls, and the nearby Information
Center with its exhibit on Native American Petroglyphs.
On around the lake
and a bit farther west, I visited the Faris Caves. which were excavated
by a Colorado miner in the 1880s. He lived in them briefly. They were later
used as a spring house, storage room, generator room, and a school. The
mosquitos were kind of bad, so I took a few quick photos and was back on
Finally headed east,
my next stop was to take a few photographs of Detroit and Enterprise, Kansas.
I was expecting to see a waterfall in Enterprise, but couldn't find it.
Continuing east on
I-70. I stopped for supper at Seoul Oriental Supermarket & Restaurant
in Junction City. This was my second visit to the restaurant and the first
time when they had their buffet operating. But I'm afraid I like the other
Korean restaurants in Junction City much better. It probably wasn't a good
sign, that no one else eating in the restaurant appeared to have Asian
Continuing home, I
listened to an MP3 of Friday's Walt Bodine radio show and got several restaurant
leads in the KC area. Making a spur of the moment decision, I added a stop
in Lawrence to try one they talked about - the Burger Stand, which is located
in Dempsey's Irish Pub. I sampled a classic cheeseburger and duck fat French
fries. While I didn't enjoy it as much as the burger that started my day,
the burger was fairly good, but didn't think the fries were anything special.
Model train display
The Gas Pump
Kansas Motorcycle Museum
Kanopolis Lake waterfall
burger & fries to go from the Burger Stand
|Friday - June 26,
2009: This morning, I started a two day trip, exploring south central
Kansas. As usual, the best parts of the trip were the people I met.
My first stop was in
El Dorado where I visited the Kansas Oil Museum and Butler County History
Center. The museum has attractive well labeled displays, a Legacy Wall
(Hall of Fame), oil industry equipment and the start of a recreated oil
boom town main street. I stayed only about 30 minutes, but could see where
someone with the right interests might spend a couple of hours.
2 friends met me for
lunch in Wichita at Brint's Diner. I love the atmosphere of this lovely
old Valentine Diner, but found the food average. However, I didn't try
the dishes Brint's is known for and may need to go there again. The best
item sampled were the home made potato chips.
On my way out of town
heading west, I stopped briefly at the original Nuway Cafe, getting a root
beer frostie for the road.
The next stop was an
hour west in Pratt at the Wildlife Education Center and Aquariums. The
curator, Chris Shrack, was the first person I saw as I approached the museum
building and he ended up taking time to show me show me an 80 pound
they were temporarily keeping in a rest room, some of the ponds used by
the hatchery, and introduce me to a biologist who gave me a thorough tour
of the (very warm) building where they hatch the fish. There were several
tanks, each holding about 200,000 nine day old channel catfish.
Amongst the ponds (there
are 80 acres) we saw great blue heron, green herons and a mink.
Then farther west to
Kansas Meteor Museum (midway between Haviland and Greensburg). Although
the museum and gift shop occupy just one room, the owner, Don Stimpson
started showing me exhibits and demonstrations, and 90 minutes were gone
before I knew it. I had already purchased some tiny fragments from the
famous Brenham meteorite, but at the end of my visit, he gave a larger
polished piece of the Brenham which has a lot of iron and nickel.
The Meteor Museum is
a little known attraction that will thoroughly interest those that like
space or geology.
After a long drive
back to Wichita, my final stop of the day was at Olive Tree Bistro. Which
had been a nominees for the recent 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. The bread
came with a small plate of olive oil and three small spread samples. All
three were good, but my favorite seemed to be nearly all garlic.
I ordered another spread
as an appetizer, Eggplant Makdous (ages puree of eggplant, garlic and walnuts),
and Blackened Ahi Tuna with tempura vegetables. I loved the tuna, which
I ordered rare, as recommended by my friend from lunch earlier in the day.
The vegetables were mostly zucchini with a little onion and bell pepper.
The sweet red pepper was the best.
Kansas Oil Museum and Butler County History Center
about 800,000 catfish
alligator snapping turtle
Don Stimpson and recently found piece of the Brenham meteorite
Olive Tree Bistro
|Wednesday - June
24, 2009: The Model T Fords crossing the United States as part of the
Ocean to Ocean tour arrived in Olathe, Kansas this afternoon. The main
time for viewing them will be tomorrow, but I took some photos and added
them to the Ocean to Ocean tour page.
Added a new page devoted
to the grassroots art environment the home of Cindy
and Nick Schmiedler in Lawrence, Kansas.
|Monday - June 22,
2009: Today is my birthday and tonight Linda took me to Soho 119 in
Leawood Kansas. Soho is a retail concept by Three Wildcats LLC, a
New York based holding company that may take the concept nationwide. It
has been open a little less than one year.
Soho 119 combines a
retail clothing floor, 119 The Restaurant (which features an antipasto
bar and formaggeria, as well as paninis and salads, homemade sorbeto and
gelato and a full bar), and 119 Vinotherapy Medspa.
I was a little surprised
when we entered the store. I had assumed that the restaurant would be tucked
away in a corner, but it was in the front right next to the entrance. The
restaurant area is a bit stark and could use a little more decoration.
The menu and location is more oriented for mid-day visitors, and we were
the only customers in the restaurant the entire time we were there.
For an appetizer, we
split a cutting board of mortadella, gouda and drunken goat. Mortadella
is a cured pork product from the Bologna region of Italy. It was served
in very thin slices and went well with the Queso de Cabra al Vino (drunken
goat) which is goat cheese that has been soaked in wine. But the smoked
gouda was our favorite.
For diner, Linda had
feta cheese, bell pepper, onion and farfalle pase with a sun dried tomato
cream sauce. The prevailing flavor cane from the sweet peppers.
I had smoked salmon
added to a salad of candied walnuts, gorgonzola, candy beats and mixed
greens with blush vinaigrette. I enjoyed my meal thoroughly.
|Sunday - June 21,
2009: I returned to Lawrence, Kansas today to have lunch at Aladdin
Cafe on Massachusetts Street. On Sunday's from 11-3 Aladdin offers a buffet
with a modest selection of Mediterranean foods.
I'm not an expert on
food from this region of the world, but I liked the moussaka (beef, herbs
and eggplant in tomato sauce) and loved the meat loaf like Sultan's Kifta
Platter (lean ground beef mixed with cilantro, onion ad potatoes in tahini
Added a new page of
photos of the USCGC
Mackinaw museum ship to www.mightymac.org.
I like that the engines are named "Jake" and "Elwood."
|Saturday - June
20, 2009: I drove to Baldwin City this morning for the Planes, Trains,
and Automobiles Father's Day Weekend Celebration. A bicycle tour of the
historic sites around Baldwin was taking place at 8:30AM, but their literature
and the Chamber of Commerce said that maps could be picked up to do the
tour by oneself anytime during the day.
I first went to the
Antiques on the Prairie antique mall where the tour starts and maps were
supposed to be available. They didn't have maps for that tour, and after
speaking to several people, I was directed to talk to a woman down the
street. That woman directed me a couple of blocks away to the Chamber of
Commerce office, but no one there knew about the maps either.
Before leaving town,
I took a few photos of the vendors and displays in the street, but there
didn't appear to be much of interest to me and I headed out of town to
Lunch was at Terrebonne
Carry-Out on Vermont Street in Lawrence. They were out of oysters, so I
selected an alligator po-boy. The sandwich wasn't large, but came with
a generous side of French fries for $1.
I dined at the only
table available at the restaurant, a picnic table in the alley beside the
kitchen. They provided Pepperdoux's tabasco hot sauce to spice things up.
Then on to Missouri
Street where the home of Cindy and Nick Schmiedler has been turned into
a grassroots environment. I had no appointment, but spent several minutes
photographing the various folk art statues and mobiles. It looks like there
might be even more around the back of the home.
It was starting to
rain, so I called it a day.
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles festival
Schmiedler garden and grassroots art
|Friday - June 19,
2009: The Kansas Sampler Foundation has just announced the winners
Wonders of Kansas Cuisine. I have visited all of the 8 Wonders of Kansas
Cuisine winners and recommend many of them.
|Thursday - June
18, 2009: We tried the new Cafe
Augusta in Lenexa, Kansas for the second time. While I still like the
concept, there were still a significant service error and the food isn't
quite what I hope for. My cobb salad was dry and plain.
Added a page devoted
to the 2009 Ocean to Ocean Tour,
where 55 Ford Model Ts are retracing the 4106 mile, 1909 Ocean to Ocean
Endurance Contest from New York to Seattle. The cars will be spending 4
days in Kansas next week.
For supper, three of
us traveled to Lawrence, Kansas and joined a party of 53 people at Jade
Mongolian Barbeque on 23rd Street. Like most Mongolian BBQs, Jade does
well with large groups. Jade's Mongolian BBQ is combined with a large Chinese
buffet which includes sushi.
I chose to stay with
the buffet items, since Jade does not have a selection of spices to add
to the raw ingredients and you give the chef cards with the names of the
sauces you like, rather than mixing them in your own proportions.
Jade Mongolian Barbeque
|Wednesday - June
17, 2009: Had my second meal at at El Pulgarcito, the Salvadoran restaurant
in Merriam, Kansas last night. camarones rancheros (ranch style shrimp)
came with rice and salad. There was no dressing on the salad, but the stewed
tomato sauce from the shrimp had merged with the salad and flavored it
I'm still experimenting
there and also ordered a pupusa - corn flour flat bread stuffed with pulled
pork. It came with a large jar of curtido (Central American kimchi) to
eat on top of it or on the side.
It was wonderful and
quite reasonable (about $12). The pupusa was only $1.95 and two or three
of those with the curtido would make a nice lunch. They can also be filled
with cheese, loroco, beans or a combination at the same price.
I added El
Pulgarcito to the list of Unique
|Tuesday - June
16, 2009: Updated some of the details on the page about the Sternberg
Museum of Natural History in Hays, Kansas. Also added a new page of
photos devoted to the newly restored McGulpin
Point Lighthouse in Mackinaw City, Michigan to www.mightymac.org.
|Sunday - June 14,
2009: Attended the 47th Annual Greek Food Festival at Saint Dionysios
Greek Orthodox Church in Overland Park, Kansas. I hadn't been there since
the 1980s when I lived a few blocks away.
The festival is mainly
about food, with some entertainment and a very few craft and souvenir items
for sale. I had lamb ribs, rice, green beans, potatoes and pita bread.
Although the food was only luke warm it was tasty, with the lamb and potatoes
being my favorite items.
For dessert I had melomakarona,
a spiced nut cookie dipped in honey. I didn't care much for it. Friends
that had the baklava were much happier with it.
After the food, my
favorite part was viewing the dozens of painted and stained glass icons
in the church.
|Saturday - June
13, 2009: Thanks to Andrea Repinsky, I was able to add many more details
about the entries in Lawrence, Kansas' Art Tougeau.
|Wednesday - June
10, 2009: Traveled several days to northern Michigan for family matters,
but while there, had several good meals of whitefish and perch.
included the magnificent tunnel of trees along a cliff beside Lake Michigan
M-119 between Cross Village and Harbor Springs, the museum ship Coast Guard
Cutter Mackinaw, and the newly opened to the public McGulpin's Point Lighthouse
in Mackinaw City. I will soon be adding photos to my pages at Mightymac.org.
McGulpin Point Lighthouse
|Monday - June 8,
2009: Today's lunch was at Paradise India in Overland Park, Kansas.
This was my first visit to the Indian restaurant since last summer.
I wasn't that impressed
with Paradise India last year, but I think the flavor of the dishes has
much improved. I liked almost every dish that I tried, and was most impressed
with the Chicken Malai Kabob. The only disappointment was that the papadum
(thin flat bread) was soggy.
Added Paradise India
to the Overland Park Restaurant Guide.
|Sunday - June 7,
2009: I added a new page devoted to Bourbon
Lake Falls, near Elsmore, Kansas. There are now 15 waterfalls on the
Also reviewed the proof
of my article on Chase Lake Falls,
which will appear in Kansas Traveler magazine latter this
Bourbon Lake Falls
|Saturday - June
6, 2009: I started the day photographing the lovely Clarice L. Osborne
Memorial Chapel at Baker University in Baldwin City, Kansas. The building
was constructed in 1864 and was the home to the Methodist congregation
of Sproxton, England for 124 years.
When the congregation
could no longer support the chapel, it was closed and stood in disuse for
seven years. In 1995 it was acquired by Baker University, dismantled and
shipped to Baldwin City where it was reassembled. Lady Margaret Thatcher
assisted in the dedication at Baker University on October 23, 1996.
Follow attending the
retirement and appointment service of the Kansas East Conference of the
United Methodist Church at the Methodist University, I took other photos
around Baldwin City. iI was only able to photograph the exterior of the
Old Castle Museum Complex which has never been open on days when I have
been in town.
Lunch was at El Pulgarcito,
a Salvadorean restaurant in Merriam, Kansas. Linda and I both tried chicken
dishes: pollo en crema (chicken in a cream sauce) and pollo gusado (chicken
in a seasoned tomato sauce. I was pleased with my pollo gusado, but liked
Linda's dish even better. Both meals came with rice and salad. Linda's
dish also included a mixture of onions, sweet peppers & celery and
mine came with potatoes & carrots - one of the few times I have ever
enjoyed carrots. Each generous dish was $9.89.
We will be returning
to El Pulgarcito soon.
|Friday - June 5,
2009: Several friends joined me for dinner at Tres Mexicanos Mexican
Grill & Cantina in Lawrence, Kansas. Although the restaurant was pleasant
and the service nice, we were underwhelmed by the food. The favorite items
tried were the the chips and salsa. The prices on the fairly large menu
were quite reasonable, with most meals priced between $7 and $13
|Tuesday - June
2, 2009: I posted three new pages of photos from the Art
Tougeau wheeled art parade in Lawrence, Kansas which I attended in
May. It is one of the coolest Grassroots Art
events I have found in Kansas.
Kansas is one of the
top three states in the United States for grassroots folk art.
|Monday - June 1,
2009: Hosting of www.kansastravel.org moved to a new server today,
allowing for more bandwidth and adding more material. It had been bumping
against the space limit for the past month.
Linda and I had lunch
at Adrian's Cafe, a sandwich and soup shop on Santa Fe Trail Drive near
Old Town in Lenexa, Kansas. Adrian's has nothing to really distinguish
it for me, but is good for a quick meal if you are in the area.
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