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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Yesterday Museum - Topeka, Kansas
Tuesday - January 1, 2013: We had lunch at Callahan's Bar & Grill on 87th Street in Lenexa. The restaurant was packed with Nebraska fans, who were watching the Capital One Bowl. The chicken wings were pretty much like you buy frozen at the supermarket. Our server kept disappearing and we had to ask the bartender for drink refills and other service.


Callahan's Bar & Grill - Lenexa, Kansas 66215 Callahan's Bar & Grill
Wednesday - January 2, 2013: My second restaurant meal of 2013 was at Old 56 Family Restaurant. It has been over a year since I was last there and it is time for a couple more visits to update the review.

Chopped steak smothered in onion, mushrooms and green pepper. The best part of the meal was the vegetable of the day - green bean casserole. The meat was well done, rather than the medium rare I had requested, but checking the bill at the end, I saw that the waitress had written down medium well.

Our third meal of the new year was at Garozzo's Ristorante in Olathe. The service has improved the past few times, but so much of the meal is now À la carte, that the price points are a bit high. The $8.95 stuffed artichoke stuffed with Italian bread crumbs & topped with garlic butter was very good. 

Garozzo's is known for its signature spiedini di pollo - marinated chicken breast, rolled in Italian bread crumbs, skewered & grilled. We had the $19 Garozzo topped with Amogio, a blend of olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs and the $20 Gabriella served on fettuccine in our spicy Diablo sauce. The Garozzo came with side pasta and both had the choice of one other side. The best part of the meal was the broccoli cooked with garlic.


Old 56 Family Restaurant - Olathe, Kansas 66061 Old 56 Family Restaurant
Friday - January 4, 2013: We continued revisiting the restaurants on the Olathe Restaurant Guide with lunch at Tea Garden. Olathe has many Chinese restaurants and I think that Tea Garden has the best service and atmosphere. Food is harder to compare, since what you like in Chinese food, depends on what you are used to eating.

I am fond of the lunch buffet, which is an incredible bargain at $7.50 including tax and beverage! The selection is smaller than most of the Chinese buffets in Olathe, but that means that the items turn over quickly and everything is fresh. I particularly like the appetizer items.

Supper was at the Snack Shack on Santa Fe, in Overland Park. One of their newer items is a very good pork tenderloin sandwich. All of the meats served at the Snack Shack are from Bichelmeyer Meats in Kansas City, Kansas. Really, all the dishes on the fairly limited menu are good.

The small dining area tends to be too hot in hot weather and too cold in cold weather.



Snack Shack on Santa Fe - Overland Park, Kansas 66212 Snack Shack on Santa Fe

Sunday - January 6, 2013: In the afternoon, we drove to Lawrence to take photographs of the University of Kansas versus Temple basketball game for my Fine Art Gallery. KU beat Temple 69 - 62.

On the way back to KC, we stopped for supper at the Salty Iguana in Olathe. The Salty Iguana is a small Lawrence based chain of Mexican restaurants which advertises heavily at KU games and on the radio broadcasts of the games. I had checked this restaurant out shortly after it opened (about 3 years ago). I was not impressed with the food at that time, but both the fajitas and fajita salad were pretty good.


KU basketball - Lawrence, Kansas Opening Tip Off
Saturday - January 12, 2013: We had lunch at Rosedale Barbeque in Kansas City, Kansas, which has been owned and run by the same family since 1934. It had been over a year since our last meal at Rosedale and the prices have increased slightly.

Rosedale Barbeque's chicken is pretty good with a crispy skin from a bit of deep frying at the end of the smoking process. The sweet, slightly spicy chili has only a few beans, which sit at the bottom of the bowl where they can be ignored or mixed in, depending on your preference. 


Rosedale Barbeque - Kansas City, Kansas Rosedale Barbeque
Tuesday - January 15, 2013: I learned of a new Overland Park restaurant today and this evening we drove to Smokey's on the Blvd BBQ at Metcalf and 143rd Street. This small family restaurant just opened in September and is the first restaurant the family has ever had.

The sausage and burnt ends are OK, but the pork ribs ribs are better and the pulled pork is a standout with great flavor & texture. The servings are modest, but so are the prices. New review of Smokey's on the Blvd BBQ.


Smokey's on the Blvd BBQ - Overland Park, Kansas Smokey's on the Blvd BBQ
Friday - January 18, 2013: We kicked off Kansas City Restaurant Week with supper at Room 39 in Leawood. The special menu offered a choice from 3 starters, 3 main dishes and 3 desserts for $30.  I didn't care that much for the grilled romaine salad, but the calamari with grilled lemon and herb salt cod aioli was tender and very good. Our main dishes were tempura braised beef short rib and mushroom, goat cheese, caramelized onion strudel. The strudel was surprisingly bland, but the short rib was good and a fairly generous serving.

I thought that the best part of the meal was the desserts: goat cheese beignets with caramel soup & whipped cream; and and chocolate terrine with tart cherry sauce, spiced pistachios and semifreddo. The spiced pistachios were a nice touch.


goat cheese beignets -  Room 30 Leawood goat cheese beignets
Saturday - January 18, 2013: We revisited the Sommerset Hall Cafe in Dover, southwest of Topeka. The lunch buffet had fried chicken which could have been a bit warmer, but tasted quite good and was not greasy. The mashed potatoes were very good. The large cinnamon rolls would have been better warm (they were actually chilled), but were still good.

The Cafe offers three "meals" at lunch. For just $7.50, you can choose from chicken fried chicken, chicken fried steak, pork tender or a hamburger patty, along with mashed potatoes, gravy, roll and salad which you get for yourself from the buffet. The chicken fried steak was very good, tender and well flavored. It wasn't very large, but the price was only $7.50. Sommerset Hall Cafe is very reasonably priced.

Returning to Topeka, we visited the Yesterday's Museum, which shares a neat 1935 stone building with Henry's Grill and Topeka Harley-Davidson. The museum is devoted to motorcycles. It had been ignored by the owners for several years, but has been seeing some improvements in the past year. Work was being done on the small free museum, today.

The neatest place we visited, was the Kansas Children's Discovery Center in Topeka. You must be accompanied by a child to visit the year and a half old children's museum, but we received special dispensation. The hands on exhibits, camps, and daily programs in the 15,700 square foot building are very cool. There are also 4.5 wooded acres of obstacle courses, hiking trails, an enormous tree house, and bike paths. Tricycles are provided for children and adults at no additional cost.

We had supper at Boss Hawg's Barbeque & Catering Company in Topeka. Although it will not make the list of Unique Kansas Restaurants, I felt that both the food and service had improved since we last visited the restaurant in 2011. The best meats sampled were the smoked chicken and sausage (with cheese inside). The best side dishes were the creamy, sweet coleslaw and the steak fries.

The restaurant is fairly pricey for the style, type of food and serving size, with many meals running $17-20. Most appetizers are $9 and up.


Sommerset Hall Cafe - Topeka, Kansas Sommerset Hall Cafe

Yesterday's Museum - Topeka, Kansas Yesterday's Museum

Kansas Children's Discovery Center - Topeka, Kansas Kansas Children's Discovery Center

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