Kansas Travel Blog
Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
Thursday - September 30, 2010: I had a second meal at Chili N Spice Indian Bistro in Overland Park. I wasn't quite as impressed as the previous visit, but it was still some of the best Indian food which I have ever had.


Wednesday - September 29, 2010: I made a special trip to Oklahoma Joe's BBQ in Olathe. The burnt ends looked very good when shown on Man Vs Food and they are only available on Wednesday evenings and Saturdays.

The large cubes of beef looked great, however the flavor was inconsistent. All of the meat was good, but a few of the cubes were so much better that the others were a little disappointing.

Added a new review of Rocky Ford Waterfall near Manhattan, Kansas.


Oklahoma Joe's BBQ - Olathe, Kansas Oklahoma Joe's BBQ
Tuesday - September 28, 2010: We revisited Waxy O'Shea's Irish Pub in Shawnee, Kansas. The menu has more Irish dishes than most of the Kansas City area's Irish pubs and I wanted to try some new items. 

I started with the Dublin Coddle, which the menu describes as a traditional Irish dish of sausage, bacon, onions, potatoes and fresh herbs blended together in a light broth. I enjoyed it, but would have liked a little more flavor in the meat.

I liked the classic corned beef & cabbage more. It was topped with mustard tarragon cream sauce and served with Calcannon potatoes. Linda had boxtys, which the menu described as 2 thin potato pancakes filled with corned beef and cabbage.


Oklahoma Joe's BBQ - Olathe, Kansas Oklahoma Joe's BBQ
Monday - September 27, 2010: We has supper at Smoke'N Babes BBQ in Gardner, Kansas. The baby back ribs and chicken wings were as good as I have had at any Kansas City BBQ restaurant. The Buffalo style wings (12 thirds for $7.99) had a good flavor from the smoker and an unusual sauce. The sauce reminded me of a chutney and was very flavorful.


Saturday - September 25, 2010: Tonight's supper was at the Bristol Seafood Grill in Leawood, Kansas. For many years, the Bristol has been one of the best places for fine seafood in metropolitan Kansas City. 

The service was excellent with our waiter providing details about the seafood and preparation and helping in the selection of fresh fish. I was very happy with my scallops with crispy shortribs, which came with chive gnocchi, leeks, oyster mushrooms, marsala pa jus, horseradish gremolata for $25.95.

The mesquite grilled barramundi was a hit, as was the lobster mac n' cheese. The lobster bisque was good, but I have had much better in recent months.


Friday - September 24, 2010: Lunch was at Chili N Spice Indian Bistro in Overland Park. I dined at Chili N Spice last November, shortly after it opened. While I wasn't that impressed last year, the food has significantly improved.

The selection on the lunch buffet is different from what I have been seeing at most Kansas City area Indian restaurants with many chutneys & appetizers and several kinds of rice. I want to return to the this restaurant soon.

Two friends joined me in a revisit of Tina Marie's restaurant in The Ridge Antique Mall in Shawnee, Kansas. It opened last winter and I was disappointed during my first visit to Tina Marie's in March.

TIna Marie's still has a very limited menu, which isn't necessarily a problem. A bigger problem was that they were out of about half of the things on the menu, which was irritating after carefully making selections. They would be better off just providing a board with the list of items which they have.

We did enjoy the cheese soup and the roast beef was served with a wonderful gravy. The rhubarb pie was also good.

The servings were more generous than they were last March.


Chili N Spice Indian Bistro - Overland Park, Kansas Chili N Spice Indian Bistro

Tina Marie's - Shawnee, Kansas Tina Marie's main dining room

Thursday - September 23, 2010: Added a new aerial photo of the Mackinac Bridge during construction in 1956 to our sister web site www.mightymac.org.


Wednesday - September 22, 2010: Had supper at The Pizza Man in Lenexa, Kansas. The Chicago Dog didn't have quite as much ingredients as I would like, but all of the ingredients were quite good. The generous $2.49 salad had been made hours earlier, but was still OK.

I arrived just in time, The Pizza Man closes at 7PM daily.


The Pizza Man - Lenexa, Kansas The Pizza Man
Tuesday - September 21, 2010: Posted a new review of the Lincoln Art Center in Lincoln, Kansas.


Sunday - September 19, 2010: We tired the new Sunday brunch at Carlo's Copa Room in Lenexa, Kansas. The $16.50 brunch buffet is served from 10Am - 2PM and includes more lunch items than breakfast. Highlights included the made to order waffles. roast beef, and ham with a mild habanero glaze.

We didn't take advantage of the special that may be the most popular - all you can drink mimosa, champagne or Bloody Marys for $5!


Carlo's Copa Room - Lenexa, Kansas Carlo's Copa Room
Friday - September 17, 2010: We started the evening by going to the Gaslight Grill in Overland Park. When we arrived, there was a wait for seating in the dining room, but immediate seating was available in the bar and patio. So we found a comfortable spot on the patio and sat down.

It took about 5 minutes before someone came with water and another 5 minutes before we had menus. But then we were never helped again. The were obvious service problems at other tables. The waitress with an adjacent table apologized for something at great length before the couple left. Other tables were ready to pay there bill and couldn't find there servers. We waited over t30 minutes and finally left without ever placing an order.

Instead, we returned to Ari's Greek Restaurant in Olathe. I enjoyed the food, but thought that $21.95 was a but much. There were fewer seafood items on the buffet than their were in the past. Our table was close to the buffet and not once during the visit was there someone to carve the roast beef which sat there with one slice off of the end.


Thursday - September 16, 2010: I returned to Paradise India Restaurant in Overland Park for lunch today. The parking lot was full and it was the busiest I had ever seen the restaurant. Apparently they had recently done a promotion with Groupon and were unhappy, because they hadn't intended for people to use it for the lunch buffet.

Added a new page devoted to the 50 year old Frontier Steak House in Kansas City, Kansas.


Paradise India Restaurant - Overland Park, Kansas Paradise India Restaurant
Tuesday - September 14, 2010: I finally had a chance to visit Small Cakes, a cupcakery in Olathe, Kansas. They also have a location in Overland Park and received publicity on the TV program The View. The small bakery has 15 daily cupcake flavors, made fresh every morning in small batches.

I tried the two most appealing cupcakes - hot fudge sundae and peanut butter cup.

The hot fudge sundae was good, but a little too rich for my taste. It is described as classic chocolate cake with butter cream frosting, nuts, hot fudge and a cherry on top. 

The biggest treat was the peanut butter cup - classic chocolate cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting topped with crumbled peanut butter cups.


Small Cakes - Olathe, Kansas Small Cakes
Saturday - September 11, 2010: Revisited the Frontier Steak House in Kansas City, Kansas with several friends so I could see and sample more of the menu. I didn't think the fried chicken was quite as good as the chicken at the nearby Granny's Chicken Ranch, which recently closed, but it was quite good.

There was still some trouble getting steaks quite as done as some of us wanted, but after having so many places in Kansas over cook steak, it is a problem I can deal with.

The biggest hits were the peanut butter cream pie, huge mudslide brownie (fresh baked brownie with a mountain of ice cream, covered with chocolate syrup and topped with whipped cream) and fried green beans (breaded with a hint of onion and served with ranch dressing).


Frontier Steak House - Kansas City, Kansas Frontier Steak House
Friday - September 10, 2010: Added a new review of the haunted old Beaumont Hotel in Beaumont, Kansas. Beaumont Hotel
Monday - September 6, 2010: I had lunch at Szechwan Dynasty in Olathe, Kansas. This is the grand opening of the Chinese restaurant which is the third such restaurant to occupy this space. My favorite items on the buffet were the pork with green onion (though it looked more like pork with green pepper), black pepper chicken (with jalapeno slices), green beans, and crab cakes.


Sunday - September 5, 2010: The breakfast menu at the Beaumont Hotel was proportionately larger and more interesting then the dinner menu the night before. An overnight stay includes breakfast in the diner.

I ordered a western omelet which would have been $7.99 if it wasn't included. It was a good three egg omelet with diced ham, peppers, onions and cheese, served with salsa and jalapenos.

Linda ordered the French toast which was described in the menu as being made from "thick sliced infused cinnamon rolls," but turned out to be made from ordinary bread.

W started the day in Yates Center, where Linda's daughter was filling in for the pastor at United Methodist Church. Then a quick drive to nearby Neosho Falls where she repeated her sermon at Neosho Falls United Methodist. I really enjoyed the hymns sung from the old hymnals in Neosho Falls.

Before leaving town, I photographed some of the derelict buildings in Neosho Falls. Although the town still has a small population, it is sometimes described as a ghost town. We also went over to the Neosho River, where a power dam provides an attractive low waterfall.

On the way back toward Kansas City, we made one more stop - at the Country Diner in Colony. Imagine our surprise when about a third of the congregation from Neosho Falls was already dinning there. 

I had dined at the Country Diner once before and was pleased with this second visit. Simple homemade food, served in huge quantities for very little cost. A huge meal for 4 people came to only $32. Country Diner is only open until 2PM on Sundays.

Back in the metro area, the day concluded with a revisit of Backfire BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas. The burnt ends and sausage were every bit as good as the meats I sampled a couple of weeks ago and a review of Backfire BBQ will be added to this site soon.



Neosho Falls ghost town old building in Neosho Falls

Neosho Falls - Kansas Neosho Falls

Country Diner - Colony, Kansas Country Diner

Saturday - September 4, 2010: Linda and I started the day with a drive to Eureka, Kansas where we had lunch at the Lo-Mar Drive In.

Located in a 1962 Valentine Diner, Lo-Mar's current incarnation began 9 years ago this week. This definitely isn't fast food. Only one person was working in the tiny kitchen, and he would take only a couple of orders at a time and not start on the next order until they were taken care of.

Linda had a $4. Lo-Mar Cheese Burger and it was more sandwich than she really wanted. Actually she had ordered a Lo-Mar Bacon Cheese Burger, but when the food was read, the chef apologized that the bacon wasn't thawed. She also had a $2.25 order of onion rings, which I thought were better than my $2.50 order of beer battered rings.

My $6 double quarter pound cheese buffalo burger was good, but didn't quite match up to the fresh ground beef in Linda's burger.

At 2PM, we met Mike Pitko (Mayor of Eureka) at the Greenwood County Historical Museum which is normally closed on weekends. He took me on a tour of the modern facility, while Linda researched some of her ancestors who lived in Greenwood County. 

Many of displays at Greenwood County Historical Museum are devoted to cattle ranching and oil. There is also the obligatory one room school house display and displays about various former residents of some note. Behind the museum there is a shed with a number of old farm implements which were gathered by Mayor Pitko, including a couple of implements which were invented by a local rancher.

Leaving the museum, the mayor took us on a tour of Eureka and it was a pleasure seeing the community through his eyes. Interesting features included Eureka Downs, Utopia College and the Eureka Spring which is being developed into a park. 

After photographing a waterfall on the Fall River at the west side of Eureka, we drove 5 miles north to Eureka Lake. The 259 acre lake was built in the 1930s as a WPA project and created a 30 foot tall waterfall in the spillway at the east end of the lake.

There was only a trickle of water flowing over the waterfall today. It was still pretty, but I want to return in the spring when the waterfall should be spectacular.

Continuing on, we turned off of the highway at Piedmont to photograph a handsome 1908 three arch stone bridge over the North Branch of Otter Creek. The bridge was still used up until 6 years ago - which Linda thought was a little scary.

We stayed on gravel county roads and went on to Beaumont, where we check in to the Beaumont Hotel. The 1879 hotel has 8 rooms, 3 suites and two dining rooms - one of which is decorated as a 50's style diner.

We enjoyed walking through the neighborhood and seeing the oldest wooden water tower in America, the 1885 Firsco ponds, and the nearby Elk River Wind Farm. While we were walking, a Cessna 150 airplane landed at the the hotel's airstrip a few blocks away and taxied up the street to park at the hotel.

Following a game of horseshoes behind the hotel, we had supper in the main dining room.

The menu is somewhat limited at the Beaumont Hotel and they were out of the prime rib special. '

I had the 16 ounce ribeye with salad, green beans and fresh cut fries for $18.99. The steak was the best part of the meal. For my taste, the salad had too much carrot & radish and the fries were made from potatoes that just didn't taste that good.

Linda had the 8 ounce country fried steak with mashed potatoes & gravy. The menu described it as hand breaded, but it didn't seem like it was freshly breaded.

The highlight of the meal was the Beaumont brownie which was served with ice cream and pecans.


Lo-Mar Drive In - Eureka, Kansas Lo-Mar Drive In

Greenwood County Historical Museum - Eureka, Kansas Greenwood County Historical Museum

Fall River Waterfall - Eureka, Kansas Fall River Waterfall

Eureka Lake Waterfall - Eureka, Kansas Eureka Lake Waterfall


Beaumont Hotel Beaumont Hotel

Thursday - September 2, 2010: Attended the Olathe Chamber of Commerce weekly Coffee at new Smash Burger in Olathe, Kansas. In addition to getting caught up on some of the most recent developments in Olathe, it gave me a chance to sample some more of the wide variety of menu items. The deep fried pickles weren't bad, but were a little saltier than I would choose.

In the evening, we revisited Fronteras Mexican Restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas. While it was still good, I wasn't quite as impressed with the food as I was on the first visit. It was still a lot of food at a reasonable price.


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