Kansas Travel Blog
Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
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Saturday - October 31, 2009: We began the day with lunch at Christy's Tasty Queen in Kansas City, Kansas. Other than some outdoor picnic tables, there is no place to sit and eat. At least on this cool day, most people were eating in their cars.

The 28 year old local burger joint is justifiably famous for its pork tenderloins. The large pork tenderloin we tried was the best that I've had all year. The side dishes aren't fresh made, but the fried mushrooms were good and the onion rings were very good. My cheeseburger was just ordinary.

We stayed in Kansas City, going on to the Rosedale neighborhood to visit the Rosedale Arch which is dedicated to the Rosedale residents who served in the 42nd Rainbow Division during WW1. The nearby Rainbow Boulevard is named for the division.

The street leading to the Arch was closed, but it was just a short walk up to the Arch which is inspired by the Arc de Triomphe. The 34.5' tall Arch was designed by Rosedale resident, John LeRoy Marshall. It was completed in 1923 and dedicated in 1924. In 1993 a small marker which doesn't fit in with style of the arch was placed beneath it honoring the Rosedale residents who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.

The best thing at the arch may be the view of the downtown Kansas City, Missouri skyline.

From Rosedale, we drove northwest to Leavenworth, Kansas to see the new exhibits at the C W Parker Carousel Museum. The second floor of the museum is now open and in addition to carrousel horses, includes a small exhibit based on the side show attractions and games which were featured in the traveling amusement shows.

Our last stop of the day was at the Red Fortune Chinese Restaurant in Bonner Springs, Kansas. This was my first meal at the restaurant which L has visited several times before. The service was very good and the staff couldn't have been friendlier. 

I liked my scallops szechuan style (scallops sautéed with water chestnuts, mushrooms and vegetables in garlic sauce), but enjoyed L's crispy shrimp (deep fried shrimp in a light batter, served with special sauce on the side) even more. The sauce (which I think was plum) made all the difference in the crispy shrimp.

They also did a good job on the large order of crab Rangoon.


Christy's Tasty Queen - Kansas City, Kansas Christy's Tasty Queen

Rosedale Arch - Kansas City, Missouri Rosedale Arch

C W Parker Carousel Museum - Leavenworth, Kansas C W Parker Carousel Museum

Red Fortune Chinese Restaurant - Bonner Springs, Kansas Red Fortune Chinese Restaurant

Friday - October 30, 2009: Had lunch at Johnny's BBQ in Olathe, Kansas for the first time this year and updated its review. The Friday lunch special (BBQ Ribs with fries, bread, pickle, and a small drink) is still a great deal at $7.49 and the ribs are very good.


Johnny's BBQ - Olathe, Kansas Johnny's BBQ
Thursday - October 29, 2009: For supper, L and I went to Paulo & Bill Restaurant in Shawnee, Kansas. The upscale Italian restaurant has a special Sunday through Thursday evenings for $18/person, where a couple split an appetizer, each select a salad and choose from several entrees with starch & vegetable. Since entrees start at about $18 without salad or appetizers, it is almost too good a deal to turn down.

Our appetizer of Garlic Bread Bruschetta served with goat cheese, caramelized onions, sun dried tomato kalamata tapenade and pesto was very generous and L liked it a lot. I was quite pleased with the spinach salad, grilled salmon, and particularly the red onion & swiss chard.


Wednesday - October 28, 2009: Photographed the new entrance to Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead in Overland Park, Kansas. There seems to be something new at Deanna Rose every time I go there. The park will have two more Nights of the Living Farm on Friday and Saturday October 30 & 31, before shutting down for the winter on November 1.

Added a new review of the Peanut Bar & Grill on 127th Street in Overland Park, Kansas


Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead - Overland Park, Kansas Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead
Tuesday - October 27, 2009: Revisited and launched a new review of Stonewall Inn in Lenexa. Stonewall has a wide variety of good, simple food for $9 or less in a neat old, haunted building.


Sunday - October 25, 2009: L and I had lunch at the The Peanut Neighborhood Bar & Grill in south Overland Park, Kansas. We were going to eat at the location at 76th Street and Metcalf, but discovered that it as closed.

We had four items and 3 of them were very good. The large peppery chicken wings that the Peanut s famous for were as good as always. So were the onion rings. The chicken sandwich with marinated chicken breast, Swiss & cream cheeses, red onion and grilled red bell peppers on a hamburger was surprisingly good. 

The only disappointment were the ordinary, frozen French fries, but they were better on previous visits..


chicken wings at the The Peanut Neighborhood Bar & Grill
Saturday - October 24, 2009: Today I attended the Ethnic Food and Pastry Sale at Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in south Overland Park, Kansas. Although this festival is much smaller than the Greek Food Festival at Saint Dionysios Greek Orthodox Church in Overland Park, this festival has spectacular eastern European pastries made by members of the congregations.

We started our visit with a tour of the church sanctuary. The modest church building is only 7 years old. There are relatively few icons at the point, but the building lines are clean and it will only grow more ornate with time.

Downstairs, meals were offered for $12: Russian, Greek and Lebanese Plates. Actually they were each the same with just one item changed. We had the Greek (with spanakopita) and Lebanese (with kibby). My favorite item was the kibby, which was a kind of meat loaf with a layer of pine nuts.

The best parts of the festival were the nice people and the pastries. After consulting with the young ladies, we bought a Slavic nut roll (similar to povitica), Syrian baklava, makarouns, butterhorns and and a couple of packages of tiropita (Greek cheese triangles) to be baked later. Every item was spectacular and I wish we had purchased more. the Syrian baklava with its pistachios really stood out.

The tiropita with its layers of buttered phyllo and cheese egg filling baked up very well at home.

For super,  nd I finally visited Taste in Overland Park for supper. I enjoyed both lunches I have had there, but this was a chance to finally try the dinner menu.

We started with the chef's selection of 6 cheeses with aged balsamic reduction and berry compote for $9. I had the herb crusted rack of lamb with roasted corn polenta, sautéed spinach and mushrooms with thyme sauce for $29. L had the  grilled salmon with garlic shipped potatoes, frilled asparagus and a citrus butter sauce for $17.

We enjoyed every dish and the prices were quite reasonable, but I would have liked a little more of the polenta and spinach.

For dessert, we split the warm apple crumb tart served in a cast iron skillet with fresh whipped cream ad cinnamon ice cream for $7. Very rich, but very good - plenty for two people to share.

The more that I try Taste, the more that I want to return!


Ethnic Food and Pastry Sale - Holy Trinity Orthodox Church Ethnic Food and Pastry Sale

Taste - Overland Park, Kansas Taste

Friday - October 23, 2009: Tried a Lenexa, Kansas restaurant for the first time today - 
Callahan's Bar and Grill on 87th Street. The fairly small neighborhood sports bar serves pizza, sandwiches and snacks.

A cup of chili was only $2.50 and fairly good after the generous addition of Louisiana Gold hot sauce. L enjoyed The Gobbler (Callahan's trademark smoked turkey, bacon and Swiss sandwich on grilled sourdough bread), which came with choice of side for $7.55.

My almond chicken salad (grilled chicken on a bed of fresh greens and tomatoes, topped with toasted almonds, parmesan cheese & scallions) was large and looked wonderful fro $8.50, but was disappointing. The chicken was dry and didn't have much flavor.


Callahan's Bar and Grill - Lenexa, Kansas Callahan's Bar and Grill
Wednesday - October 21, 2009: Today was the long overdue second visit to the Copa Room in Lenexa, Kansas. My $6 Caesar salad was pretty average, but adding a side of chicken Spiedini for only $3 turned the salad into something special.

This time, L had the grilled Italian sausage sandwich which came with one side for $6.99.


Copa Room - Lenexa, Kansas Copa Room 
Monday - October 19, 2009: After another week in the hospital, I wanted steak, so L and I had lunch at the Longbranch Steakhouse Saloon in Lenexa, Kansas. We each had kabobs. L had the shrimp and chicken kabobs which came with peppers, onions and mushrooms and was brushed with teriyaki sauce and one side for $9.59. Her side was an enormous loaded baked potato.

I had the beef and veggie kabobs for $11.79. The salad I had with it was a little to heavy to raw peppers for my taste.

Both were tasty and nice alternatives to the somewhat pricey (for the style of restaurant) steaks.


Longbranch Steakhouse Saloon - Lenexa, Kansas Longbranch Steakhouse Saloon
Sunday - October 11, 2009: Added a new review with many photos of Stir It Up Café, the new slightly upscale but reasonable breakfast and lunch restaurant in Olathe, Kansas.


Friday - October 9, 2009: Today's lunch was at Bangkok Pavilion Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas. The longtime Thai restaurant serves a great lunch buffet for only $7.29. My favorite dishes sampled today were the stir fried vegetables, Pad Gra Pow (Thai Basil Chicken) and red curry chicken.


Bangkok Pavilion Restaurant - Overland Park, Kansas
Thursday - October 8, 2009: L and I had lunch at Cafe Augusta in Lenexa, Kansas. This was my third visit to Cafe Augusta, and the first time that the food was as ordered. The side salad of lettuce, tomato and Durkee French Fried Onions was a little odd, but good.  My tuna melt was very good.

Service is still erratic. The waitress asked if L wanted more iced tea, but then didn't bring it. And one of the dishes served to the people at the adjacent table was missing several key ingredients.

Added a new review of Nu Grille Cafe in Fort Scott, Kansas.


Cafe Augusta - Lenexa, Kansas Cafe Augusta
Wednesday - October 7, 2009: This evening I had dinner at the Stonewall Inn in Lenexa, Kansas. The prices have gone up some with the new owner, but this is still one of the most reasonable restaurants in the Kansas City area.

I had 3 pieces of fried chicken with the choice of two sides for $8. I enjoyed the chicken and the home style fried potatoes with onion. My waitress was young and has only worked at the Stonewall Inn for 2 months, but still provided excellent service.


Stonewall Inn - Lenexa, Kansas Stonewall Inn
Monday - October 5, 2009: For lunch, L joined me for my second visit to Stir It Up Café in Olathe, Kansas. This time we each tried sandwiches: Turkey Club (Fresh baked turkey, crisp bacon, sliced tomatoes, lettuce & provolone cheese served on Grains Galore bread - $6.99) and Grilled Chicken Breast (Charbroiled 6 oz chicken breast, topped with provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato & onion served on a grilled bun - $6.99). I had the chicken breast, which had good ingredients and a very tasty bun, but again felt that it needed a dressing.

The sandwiches each came with a choice of side, and we had garlic fries and sweet potato fries. Both were above average.

Stir It Up Café - Olathe, Kansas Stir It Up Café
Sunday - October 4, 2009: After surgery and a 5 day hospital stay, today was my first day of freedom. I decided on BBQ and several friends joined me for lunch at Hayward's Pit Bar-B-Que in Overland Park, Kansas.

Hayward's is an old Overland Park BBQ restaurant that has its fans, but isn't a "name" among Kansas City BBQ places. The recent closing of the nearby KC Masterpiece restaurant should have left Hayward's with twice the business, but there were few customers for this Sunday dinner.

We tied ribs, chicken, sausage and burnt ends. The sausage was my favorite meat tried, but nothing special. The chicken had little flavor.

I wouldn't say not to go to Hayward's, but can't think of a reason to select it over other Johnson County BBQ restaurants.


Hayward's Pit Bar-B-Que - Overland Park, Kansas Hayward's Pit Bar-B-Que
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