Kansas Travel Blog

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.

Follow me on Twitter.

Visit my Michigan Straits of Mackinac site:  www.mightymac.org

Friday - April 30, 2010:  Today was the high point of the trip. It began with our walking through the
Louvre courtyard to the Seine River where we caught a boat up stream to the Eiffel Tower. We had the best table at the Jules Verne Restaurant, a Michelin stared restaurant, 125 meters up the tower. It has a private elevator, which is a nice perk. The view was incredible.

The food was great, but more importantly, I proposed and Linda accepted. 

After an afternoon at the Tower, we visited the Arc de Triomphe, shopped on Avenue des Champs-Elysées and finished the day with supper at the nearby Villa Spicy.

 

Eiffel Tower - Paris, France

Musee De La Marine - Paris, France View from our table

Thursday - April 29, 2010:  We were up fairly early and took the underground to St. Pancras International Rail Station where we caught the Eurostar to Paris. After checking in to the Hotel Brighton, we had lunch at the nearby Brasserie Le Carrousel, than walked over to the Louvre for the afternoon.

In the evening, we had supper at Chez Denise, which has been featured on Anthony Bourdaine's show. After dark, we walked over to Pont-Neuf bridge to take a river Seine cruise. We followed up with a walk over to Notre Dame and returned to our hotel along the Left Bank.

 

Louvre entrance and courtyard Louvre entrance and courtyard
Wednesday - April 28, 2010:  We began the day at Harrods - arguably the world's most famous department store. We made some purchases and had a fabulous shellfish meal at a counter in one of Harrods' spectacular food courts. After an afternoon at the British Museum, we attended the Arthur C. Clarke Award Ceremony following a reception that kicked off the Sci-Fi-London film festival. My photos of the event are at the MidAmerican Fan Photo Gallery. We were joined by family for a late supper at The Old White Bear pub in Hampstead.

 

Imperial Storm Troopers at Sci-Fi-London Linda with Imperial Storm Troopers at Sci-Fi-London
Tuesday - April 27, 2010:  Today we took the train to Windsor where we toured the city, part of nearby Eton and Windsor Castle. Lunch was at Gilbeys Bar and Restaurant in Eton and supper was at Rules. Rules was established by Thomas Rule in 1798 making it the oldest restaurant in London.

The two biggest highlights of the day were the Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle and the musical Love Never Dies - the sequel to Phantom of the Opera, which premiered in March.

 

Changing of the Guard at Windsor Castle Changing of the Guard
Monday - April 26, 2010:  Still adjusting to the 6 hour time change and little sleep on the American Airlines flight to the UK, we got a slow start to the day. But we still did a lot, including visiting the The National Gallery
on Trafalgar Square, enjoying the street entertainers at Covent Garden, the West End show Mrs. Warren's Profession (staring Felicity Kendal). Our meals were at Frascati (an Italian restaurant in Hampstead) and Porters English Restaurant near Covent Garden in London. Plus we had late night crepes from the tiny walkup Hampstead Creperie.

 

Trafalgar Square - London Trafalgar Square
Sunday - April 25, 2010:  Our first day in London was great. We visited the Keats home and museum, saw the conclusion of the London Marathon, an organ recital at Westminster Abbey, dinner at Le Pont de la Tour (a French restaurant with a great view of the Tower Bridge), and saw the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. Only a few people are permitted to watch the Ceremony of the Keys, which is the locking of the Tower of London and has been done every night for nearly 700 years.

 

Tower Bridge - London, UK Tower Bridge
Saturday - April 24, 2010:  After 10 days of worrying that the ash from Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland would cancel our trip, we left Kansas City for London, by way of Chicago.

 

Friday - April 23, 2010:  We revisited the Hereford House in Shawnee, Kansas. We started the meal with a combination platter appetizer - a larger platter of stuffed mushrooms, onion rings and flash fried Calimari for $19.95.  They were all quite good, particularly the Calimari, but much more than two people wanted to eat.

Linda had a 9 ounce filet mignon with baked potato and salad for $34.95. The steak was properly cooked and still juicy while being well done. My $30.95 16 ounce ribeye was also good, but the seasonal vegetables were limp and uninteresting.

 

Hereford House in Shawnee, Kansas Hereford House
Wednesday - April 21, 2010:  We had lunch at Woody's Pub, which opened 3 weeks ago in the former location of "Bar an Eating & Drinking Establishment" establishment in Lenexa, Kansas. The dinning area looks mostly the same, but possibly a bit better lighted. 

But the food has improved.

Woody's Pub serves 7 flavors of chicken wings, with the hottest being Mount St. Helens and "Ghostly." The smallest order is 10 wing thirds for $7.49 and the ordinary "hot" were quite flavorful.  The burgers are 1/3 pound and come with the choice of home cut fries, sweet potato fries, cottage cheese or slaw for $6.49 to $8.49 depending on the toppings. The fresh fries are quite good.

Woody's also offers several salads. The $7.99 grilled chicken salad was enormous, but didn't have nearly enough chicken to balance the other ingredients.
 

Woody's Pub - Lenexa, Kansas Woody's Pub
Tuesday - April 20, 2010:  We went to Lawrence, Kansas for supper at the combined Drake's Southern Cuisine and Orient Vietnamese Cuisine on Massachusetts, but learned that they no longer offer the southern cooking. So we had dinner at the Nguyen family's adjacent Angler's Seafood restaurant instead. The food was appealing and reasonably priced, but lacked the special spark for listing on this site.

 

Sunday - April 18, 2010:  Two friends joined me for a 2nd visit of  B.R.G.R. Kitchen And Bar in Prairie VIllage. They were able to eat some dishes that I am no longer able to have and I learned that the strawberry shake is very good. 

Of the various "fries & rings," I think the onion straws are the best. But the combo of any three is probably the best choice for 2 or 3 people.

The roasted half chicken with provincial herb seasoning, mashed potatoes, cold slaw and corn bread for $13 was a nice alternative for someone not looking for a burger or sandwich.

The enormous Double BLT (sugar cured bacon, iceberg lettuce, seasonal tomatoes, and mayo on toasted ciabatta) for $8 had good ingredients - particularly the bacon and toasted Italian white bread - but there wasn't nearly enough bacon to go with all of that bread.

 


 
 
 

roasted chicken at B.R.G.R. in Prairie Village, Kansas roasted chicken

Saturday - April 17, 2010:  We had lunch at Terrebonne Carryout & Catering in Lawrence, Kansas. The Cajun sandwich sop offer only one picnic table in the alley next to the building for seating, but it was a nice day and I had a fully dressed (special sauce, lettuce, tomato and onion) oyster poboy for $8 with a bag of chips and a pickle. The sandwich was hearty and tasty. I think it was the house sauce that really made the sandwich a success. Unfortunately, the coleslaw made with the same sauce did not work nearly as well.

L was equally pleased with a $7 fried catfish poboy.

Continuing through Lawrence, we drove to Clinton Lake, stopping first at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Information/Visitor Center located northwest of the dam. In addition to providing detailed information the Visitor Center has displays covering on the history of the area, reasons for the dam, and the wildlife of the area.

Finally we traveled below the dam to the spillway forming the Wakarusa River where we found a nice waterfall which had been pointed out by a reader almost a year ago. The spillway has water year around, but the amount of water being released varies greatly. It was quite attractive this day and there were many people playing or fishing nearby.

Heading back toward Kansas City, we made one more stop in DeSoto at Steve's Meat Market. Steve's has been operating for 40 years. Steve's is more than just a full service butcher and sells many items prepared on the premises. We purchased two flavors of Steve's Kill Creek Barbecue Sauce, beef jerky and pickled beef tongue (2.5 pounds for $8.99). They were out of the pickled Polish sausage which I like.

So far I have tried only the jerky and the tongue. The jerky is fine, but the tongue is the real treat. I've already gone through most of the jar and plan to returned to get more to keep on hand for a quick, easy snack or sandwich.

At supper time, two friends joined me in my second meal at El Camino Real in Kansas City, Kansas. The authentic Mexican Restaurant has some of the best tacos in metropolitan Kansas City. The language barrier kept them from getting our order exactly right, but we enjoyed all of our meal including assorted tacos, fried shrimp, salads, very good refried beans, Biztek Encebollado (steak cooked with onions served with rice, beans and lettuce) for $8.95. Al of the servings were generous. El Camino Real offers both American Coke and Mexican Coke which is made with sugar instead of corn syrup.

 

Terrebonne - Lawrence, Kansas Terrebonne menu

Clinton Lake Visitor Center Clinton Lake Visitor Center

Wakarusa River spillway waterfall Wakarusa River spillway waterfall

Steve's Meat Market - DeSoto, Kanas Products from Steve's Meat Market

Thursday - April 15, 2010:  We drove to Stir It Up Café in Olathe, Kansas for lunch, but were disappointed to discover that the building was vacant and now available for lease. Sadly, this nice local sandwich and soup restaurant lasted only a few months.

As an alternative, we visited the new Master Wok Chinese Restaurant, just up the street. This is the third location for the self styled "Gourmet Chinese Restaurant" which is also in Lee's Summit and Independence. It occupies the space vacated by the Olathe Tannahs Restaurant when it move to Overland Park. 

Master Wok offer a number of reasonably priced luncheon combinations which include an entree and the choice of egg drop or hot & sour soup, and egg roll or 2 crab Rangoon, and steamed or fried Rice. I was quite happy with my pork with garlic sauce.

For supper, we made a second trip to Barley's Brewhaus in Shawnee, Kansas. The dinning room of the bar and grill was much less crowded on this Thursday evening. The Seven Hour Roasted Pork (slow roasted pork served over green onion risotto with asparagus) had great flavor, but the serving was smaller than I wanted for $17.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Seven Hour Roasted Pork - Barley's Brewhaus Seven Hour Roasted Pork

Wednesday - April 14, 2010:  Several friends joined me for supper at Dos Reales Mexican Restaurant at 75th and Antioch. The large restaurant seems pretty popular, but other than the chips and salsa, none of the food struck me as above average. The prices were quite reasonable and the portions were generous.

 

Tuesday - April 13, 2010:  Two friends joined me for supper at Stroud's South Restaurant and Bar in Fairway, Kansas. Stroud's just opened a new outlet in the Royals Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri and have eliminated the weekday lunch hours except for Fridays.

We had pan fried chicken and chicken gizzards. The gizzards were as good as I have ever had, with a great flavor and not at all tough. I like them with a little gravy and hot sauce. 

As always,
there was too much of the family style food and we ended up taking home 3 or 4 pieces of chicken and half of the gizzards, plus cinnamon rolls, potatoes and gravy.

The service was good, but the kitchen was slow. It must have been 35 minutes before we had anything but our salads. Stroud's food has been slow coming the last three times I have tried the Fairway location.

 

Stroud's menu - Fairway, Kansas Stroud's menu
Sunday - April 11, 2010:  Lunch was a revisit of Llywelyn's Pub in Overland Park, Kansas - the Irish Pub in a building which was once a Methodist Church. The restaurant wasn't very busy on this Sunday afternoon.

Dishes tried today were cabbage rolls (steamed cabbage leaves stuffed with beef, rice, and onion topped with a traditional tomato sauce served with a small salad for $9.95), shepherd's pie (garlic masked potatoes, seasoned ground beef, onions and cheddar cheese are layered together and served with a mushroom sherry sauce for $9.99) and pub pickles (deep fried dill pickles spears, hand dipped in beer batter and served with tarter sauce for $6.99). I was surprised how well the tarter sauce went with the dill pickles.

Several friends joined me for supper at Jazz - A Louisiana Kitchen, at the Legends in Kansas City, Kansas. This is the first time I have been to one of the Jazz restaurants since the one closed that was in the same location as the present Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Olathe. The oldest Jazz is at 39th & State Line in Kansas City, Missouri.

I liked most everything about this restaurant: the menu, food and prices, but was bothered by the continuous loud sound from the air handling system. The best items tried were the fried oysters ($10.99), garlic seafood tilapia ($13.99) and shrimp etouffee $11.49) The alligator bites ($7.99) appetizer were too thin and heavily breaded to taste like alligator.

 

Llywelyn's Pub - Overland Park, Kansas Llywelyn's Pub
 
 

Jazz - A Louisiana Kitchen, Kansas City, Kansas Jazz - A Louisiana Kitchen

Saturday - April 10, 2010:  After a leisurely start on the day, my first stop was just a few blocks from my hotel - the Oakwood Cemetery. In 1886, a portion of Oakwood Cemetery was purchased by Civil War veterans who came to Parsons as settlers after the war and named it the Antietam Circle. 

There are two adjacent Antietam Circles. Both contain Civil War graves. Circle #2 also has an American flag, cast iron gate, and four copper statues. Circle #1 has two 8 inch Columbiad cannons and a 28 foot tall concrete rotunda which was constructed in 1905.

From Parsons, I returned to Highway 59 and drove south a few miles to Oswego. Before investigating the town, I went on through to see a low water road crossing waterfall which I learned about from Larry Hornbaker's Notes: Cherry Creek Low Water Bridge. It is always a little scary going through one of these the first time and the water did come up a bit higher than I liked. I wish they would put a depth gauge on these crossings.

Back in Oswego, I stumbled across John A Mathews Park, which is basically a vacant lot with an old stone well and a historic marker. Mathews settled in the area in 1841. The well was an improvement to an everlasting spring used by native Americans for generations before the first white settlers arrived. Mathews' slaves dug and walled the well in the 1840s.

Riverside Park is a few blocks farther north, along a bluff which overlooks the historic Neosho Crossing for "the old Indian Trail" between Missouri and the Osage buffalo hunting grounds in central Oklahoma. The crossing was above the present dam and falls.

The land along the bluff was purchased for the park in about 1885 by a group of local women who raised the money to pay for it by conducting food sales and ice cream socials. Many of the structures in the current park were built as a WPA project during the Great Depression.

I had a nice conversation with one of the Oswego Park Department employees near the scenic overlook. He told me a but of the history of Riverside Park and future plans. He also gave me a couple of leads on other waterfalls including one in Riverton, Kansas which I visited later in the day.

On my way out of Oswego, an interesting building on the south side of town caught my eye. Circling around, I found Jay's Repair at 810 8th Street. The sides of the building are covered with interesting old automotive related signs and there was a beat up old sign saying, "Antique Parts & Pieces, Buy - Sell - Trade, Antique Vehicles - Antique Gas Pumps - Antique Signs - Open by Chance, call or write, open by appointment." It looked worth investigating farther, but I decided to save it for another trip.

Continuing south, I drove on to Chetopa, just 4 miles north of the Oklahoma State Line. There is a sign proclaiming that Chetopa is the Catfish Capital and Pecan Capital of Kansas at the edge of town.

Driving through town, I found several unusual buildings, which I stopped to photograph, then went to the Chetopa Dam on the Neosho River. This man made waterfall isn't as attractive as most, but I did stay to watch the Paddlefish (spoonbill) fishermen. Unfortunately no spoonbills were caught during my brief stop. The primitive scaleless fish is one of the largest freshwater fish in North America and have a long, paddle shaped rostrum (bill) that is about 1/3 of their body length. They are plankton feeders and are caught by snagging.

Back in town, I stopped at Kansas Nutz N Stuff on Maple Street. When I entered the gift and design store, I could hear something loud going on in the back. Investigating, I found a pecan cracking and shelling machine in operation. Before leaving, I purchased both raw and roasted pecans to enjoy later.

The next stop was another Larry Hornbaker find, the Fly Creek Pony Truss Bridge, east of Chetopa and west of Melrose. Although listed elsewhere online as still open to traffic, the roadway has been removed from this 100' long Warren pony truss bridge and it has long been replaced with a low water crossing just below the bridge.

Back along highway US 166, I ran across another interesting scene - a field filled with old farm equipment lined up like a row of elephants. This is on the north side of the highway, just east of county road SW 90th St. There is a state highway sign nearby by with the name of the community of Faulkner, apparently misspelled at "Falkner".

Continuing east to Baxter Springs, I stopped at Cafe on the Route (on old Route 66) for lunch. The neat local restaurant was featured in a 2007 episode of the Food Network's Diners, Drive Ins and Dives. I can always tell when the episode about Cafe on the Route airs - traffic to its page on this site suddenly jumps from a handful a day to a hundred or more.

I had been impressed with the food at Cafe on the Route on my two previous visits and was not disappointed today.  I selected nut crusted catfish (7 ounce catfish with cornmeal, almonds and walnuts served with Ozark sauce). It came with vegetables, wild rice, the choice of salad/fruit/soup and a choice between several potato dishes or tobacco onions for just $7.

The salad was very good. It came with heavy flavorful crackers and a tasty house bleu cheese dressing. The catfish filet was so large that it looked like a pork tenderloin. The cornmeal nut coating was distinctive and worked well with the unique house tartar sauce. The tobacco onions turned out to be in the style of the Durkee French Fried Onions that are popular on casseroles. I had mixed feelings about the taste of their coating.

I drove along the 13 miles of historic Route 66 that are in Kansas, making stops to photograph the Brush Creek Rainbow Bridge and revisit 4 Women on the Route, the restored old Kan-O-Tex service station that is preparing for the new season.

At Riverton, I turned at the traffic light and drove south a half mile to investigate the Empire District Electric Company's power dam. The quarter mile long, man made waterfall is the most impressive water feature that I have found in Kansas to date.

Heading north from Riverton on US 69, I had gone only a little over a mile when I saw a sign saying "Ted's Old Iron Farm & Museum - Exit Here." I drove west on Lostine Road about 4 miles without seeing it and was about to give up when I saw a mail carrier and asked him for directions. The Farm was another half mile.

Pulling back into the small rural farm, I found 70 year old Ted Houser, working on a neighbor's lawn mower. Ted graciously took a break to show me around his collection of agricultural implements and equipment. The collection was scattered around the yard and also filled three rooms and the two bathrooms in a fairly large out building. Many of the items on exhibit had been used on the farm which has been in the Houser family for over 100 years.

Continuing north to Pittsburg, I took a break at the great 1106 Drive In. All I had was a soda and some good fresh made onion rings. 1106 also makes its own chili and grinds its beef for hamburgers lately.

Before leaving Pittsburg, I stopped by the Hance White Building at 2nd and Locust. The interesting old stone building now houses Faces Saloon, but 100 years ago it was the home of Hance White's tombstone business. The stones around the building's windows are decorated with carvings of the faces of famous Kansans like Bat Masterson, Wyatt Earp, Jesse James and Carrie Nation.

My final stop of the trip was at The Buffalo Grill in the century old Stout Building. Three friends joined me in checking out the steakhouse which opened in 2008. The Buffalo Grill is Fort Scott's only place for fine dinning.

Although the restaurant wasn't that busy for a Saturday night, our server had a hard time keeping up with our table and we had long waits for drink refills and other service. I might have been a little more forgiving of the service issues, if it didn't feel like the server wasn't trying (unsuccessfully) to be pretentious.

The presentations were all nice, but the food was less consistent. The Gorgonzola Buffalo wings were OK, but I think they would have been much better if the homemade gorgonzola cheese had been in a dipping sauce rather than in the Louisiana style Buffalo sauce. The best main course sampled was the Balsamic Glazed Bacon Wrapped Pork Filet, a grilled wrapped pork fillet basted with a sweet balsamic vinegar glaze, served with sautéed spinach for $11.95.

The biggest food disappointment was the badly overcooked fresh French fries. I am amazed that they were even served.

 

Antietam Circle #2 - Oakwood, Cemetery Antietam Circle #2

Cherry Creek Low Water Bridge - Oswego, Kansas Cherry Creek Low Water Bridge

John A Mathews Park - Oswego, Kansas John A Mathews Park
 

Riverside Park - Oswego, Kansas Neosho River dam & falls
 

Antique Parts & Pieces - Oswego, Kansas Antique Parts & Pieces
 
 
 

pecan cracking and shelling machine - Chetopa, Kansas pecan cracking and shelling machine

Fly Creek Pony Truss Bridge - Chetopa, Kansas Fly Creek Bridge

Antique threshers Antique threshers
 
 

nut-crusted catfish - Cafe on the Route nut crusted catfish
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Empire District Electric Company Power Dam on Shoal Creek Empire District Electric Company Power Dam

Ted Houser - Columbus, Kansas Ted Houser

1106 Drive In menu - Pittsburg, Kansas 1106 Drive In menu

Hance White Building - Pittsburg, Kansas Hance White Building
 

The Buffalo Grill - Fort Scott, Kansas  The Buffalo Grill

Friday - April 9, 2010:  Finally, a couple of days to explore Kansas. I left straight from work at the end of the day, heading south on US-169 to US Highway 59. It was a beautiful evening and traffic was light. I set the cruise control for 5 mph over the limit and never had to slow for other traffic.

My first stop of the evening was at Dinosaur Not So National Park, a few miles south of Erie, Kansas. I saw nothing new, but it was a chance to make sure that the interesting outsider art is still on display this year.

Then back on Highway 59, turning east on K-47 toward St. Paul. This was my first time on this stretch of highway, which has lots of ponds in what looks like reclaimed mining land.

A square tower was visible from the distance as I approached St. Paul. Driving through town to the tower, I found the handsome, St. Francis Church. The stone, 1881 church was unlocked and I took a series of interior photos. 

The grounds are also lovely, with several statues and a walkway with the stations of the cross.

Than back through town to The Lodge Steakhouse & Lounge. The outdoors themed restaurant opened just this past year by the Roy Carter family which has the nearby Big Island Hunting Club.

The menu at the Lodge had too many things that looked good to me. I am going to have to return with friends to sample more of the items.

But tonight I started with the Big Island Duck Tenders ($7.50). The breaded, deep fried duck pieces were served with warm pineapple marmalade. I liked them, but really couldn't taste the flavor of the duck. Chicken cooked the same way would have tasted the same.

I tried the rime rib, which is available on just Friday and Saturday evenings. It comes with two sides for $20.99. The large cut of prime rib was slightly more rare than I had ordered, but otherwise perfect. My side dishes were a so-so vinegar based coleslaw and a very good vegetable medley.

Following diner, it was a short ride to Parsons, Kansas where I spent the night.

 


Dinosaur Not So National Park - Erie, Kansas Dinosaur Not So National Park

reclaimed wetland

St. Francis Church - St. Paul, Kansas St. Francis Church
 

The Lodge Steakhouse and Lounge - St. Paul, Kansas The Lodge Steakhouse & Lounge

Thursday - April 8, 2010:  We drove to Gardner for a second try of Smoke'N Babes BBQ. I was still quite happy with the pork ribs with the spicy coating, but L didn't care so much for it. The sausage was available in spicy or regular, I had the spicy, which didn't seem _that_ spicy. The texture was a little different - kind of granular like the sausage some folks make at home in their ovens. The brisket had had an excellent smoky, spicy flavor.

The Coleslaw was fresh and tasty, with a flavor that I couldn't identify. I seem to have that problem often at Smoke'N Babes. 

I am still unimpressed with the battered fries.

Update the review of Stroud's Restaurant in Fairway, Kansas, with the new shorter hours.

 

Brisket and sausage ar Smoke'N Babes BBQ Brisket and sausage
Tuesday - April 6, 2010:  We had lunch at yet another new Johnson County restaurant - Eggtc at Midland Road and Renner Road in Shawnee, Kansas. This is the second location for the breakfast and lunch restaurant which is owned by the same company which owns the adjacent Minsky's Pizza. The first Eggtc has been operating in Kansas City, Missouri for four year.

Eggtc is a bit unusual for a restaurant that is open only from 6AM - 2PM, it has a full bar. I assume that it is inherited from the restaurant previously occupied the space.

I'm afraid that for the most part, the descriptions of the food sounded better than it tasted. The grilled turkey sandwich (turkey, Monterey jack cheese, arugula, tomato with cranberry cream cheese on wheat for $8 with the choice of French fires, sweet potato fries or fruit) was OK, but really, just another turkey sandwich. The $8 eight ounce cheeseburger was a little dry and a bit overdone.

Eggtc is yet another restaurant with battered fries. Is a local supplier having a sale on them?

The best item sampled was the chili, which I thought was very good despite the unexpected sour cream on top.

 

Eggtc - Shawnee, Kansas Eggtc
Monday - April 5, 2010:  Lunch was at another of the new barbque restaurants in Johnson County, Kansas - Smoke'N Babes BBQ in Gardner. Is only about 3 blocks from Fat Katz BBQ which I visited last week.

I selected the rib dinner - a half slab of spare ribs with one side, fries and bread for $11.49. My side dish was cheesy corn. It was a generous serving, but pretty much just tasted like corn. The fries are lightly battered, which many places are doing lately, apparently trying to be "special" without the effort of making fresh fries.

But the ribs were very good. They have a full, spicy flavor from a dry rub. Other than salt, I'm not sure what is in the rub and the counter person refused to tell me when I asked.

Smoke'N Babes has two sauces, which are available to take home, or purchase online. The regular sauce is quite sweet. It is ketchup based with Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, garlic and hot pepper sauce. The "spicy" version has less sugar and I thought it worked best with the strong flavor that the ribs already have.

The restaurant is tiny, with only 5 three-person tables in the dining area, but there is more seating outdoors. Smoke'N Babes is considering enclosing that space before this winter comes. The rest room is a very small, unisex room that you must go outdoors to reach. It is not handicap accessible.

For supper, two of us went to Fortune Palace Chinese Restaurant, which just opened in the old Jalapeno's Mexican Restaurant location at 12102 West 87th Street Parkway in Lenexa, Kansas. It is so new that someone was up on a ladder replacing the coming soon banner with now open. The owner of this restaurant used to work at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants - Tea Garden in Olathe.

The dinning room has been dramatically changed and no longer looks like the old restaurant. 

The presentation of the food was quite attractive nd the servings were generous, but the food didn't impress me on this first visit. I will wait a few weeks for them to settle down, before a 2nd visit and a more serious review.

  . 

Smoke'N Babes BBQ - Gardner, Kansas Smoke'N Babes BBQ
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Fortune Palace Chinese Restaurant - Lenexa, Kansas Fortune Palace Chinese Restaurant

Sunday - April 4, 2010:  Several friends joined me for supper at J Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks in Overland Park, Kansas. At various times, almost everyone took a first bite of a dish and went "wow!' 

Most of the group went with the Easter Pre-fixe menu which offered a three course menu with several choices for $28.50.

Among the starters, the lobster mac & cheese was popular, but the Maryland crab bisque was the most popular. My "cowboy cut" ribeye was one of the "wow" dishes, with a great rub and perfectly cooked. The 18 ounce bone-in ribeye came with white cheddar chipotle mashed potatoes, ancho chili onion rings and pico de galio for $35.95.

The twin fillet medallions and the chipotle BBQ pork chops were also very good, but the pan seared George's Bank scallops and the Alaskan halibut were other "wow' dishes.

 

J Gilbert's Wood Fired Steaks - Overland Park, Kansas
Friday - April 2, 2010:  Several friends joined me for supper as I revisited Edokko Japanese Restaurant. 

This time I had an opportunity to sample many items of sushi and sashimi as well as some of the hibachi dishes. Most of the sushi items were well liked, with the exception of the Lenexa roll ($8.95) which was mostly uneaten. The crab meat with mango roll ($8.50) was so popular that I didn't get to try it.

I was happy with the baby octopus salad ($5.95), which was cold, spicy. The crab Rangoon (6 pieces for $4.95) was also a hit.

Although they do not offer table side cooking, Edokko offers several hibachi style dishes. We tried the shrimp, scallops, chicken and shrimp. The Shrimp was the best of the group. The chicken was so tasteless and dry that very little was eaten and no one wanted to take home.

Service was also off. Our server kept making major errors, then pretended that she meant to do things that way. 

I know that Edokko Japanese Restaurant has been a treat for many people, but after two visits, I'm not very interested in going again.

 

Sushi at Edokko Japanese Restaurant
Thursday - April 1, 2010:  I dined at Danny's Bar & Grill in Overland Park, Kansas, the first time I had been there since living in the neighborhood 6 years ago. I think that Danny's is more about being a place to meet friends for drinks, than a destination for food.

The service was prompt and attentive. The large side serving of beer battered onion rings was generous for only $2.75, but just ordinary frozen rings. The $7.95 Grilled Chicken Wrap (Grilled, sliced and diced chicken wrapped in a flour tortilla with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cheese, served with ranch dressing on the side) with one side dish was a good value. The ranch really made the sandwich and did a lot to help out the onion rings. I had corn for the side. It was also a generous serving, but tasted like canned.

Several friends joined me for supper at the Blue Koi in south Leawood Kansas. My favorite items were all appetizers and all were good values. The dumplings (order of 8 - $6.50) were a hit with all of our group.

The duck wrap consisted of roast duck, cucumber, onion, cilantro and a touch of hoising sauce in one large, soft wrap and served with homemade braised peanut salad on the side. It was a great bargain at $5. But the 4 Egg Plant Pockets (Crispy eggplant pockets filled with vegan stuffing and served with raw garlic sauce) for $7, had great flavor and texture.

 

Danny's Bar & Grill - Overland Park, Kansas Danny's Bar & Grill
 
 

Blue Koi - Leawood, Kansas Blue Koi

Kansas Travel Blog     Kansas Travel Home

2015: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2014: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2013: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2012: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2011: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2010: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2009: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2008: May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December

Copyright 2008-2016 by Keith Stokes.