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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GrandStand Burgers in Overland Park, Kansas
Wednesday - April 2, 2014: It had been a little over a year since I last dined at Jumpin' Catfish Restaurant in Olathe, so I had lunch there today. I could see no real changes since the last visit. Service was good and family style servings of hushpuppies, coleslaw and beans were brought to the table before I ordered. I like the hushpuppies and the sweet, salty slaw, but found the beans to be tasteless.

I ordered fried chicken gizzards and fried potato wedges. Both were good, if not outstanding. The gizzards are cut very small, so they are easy to eat with a fork but no knife. I would like the wedges better if they were cooked a little longer. The smallest ones were crispy and my favorite.

In the evening, Linda and I had supper at the Pizza Man in Lenexa. Although I have eaten their more recently, I was surprised to discover that the menu listed on their review had not been updated since 2009. That is now corrected.

The prices have changed little in 5 years, making the prices very reasonable today. For example, a personal size deluxe pizza is only $7!

We split a large (14") all meat pizza. It was actually a little bigger than two people would need. The thin crust pizza with Italian sausage, ground beef, bacon, pepperoni and Canadian bacon is $16.00. It is one of my favorite pizzas in the Kansas City area.


Jumpin' Catfish Restaurant - Olathe, Kansas hushpuppies, slaw & beans

Pizza Man - Lenexa, Kansas

Friday - April 4, 2014: We drove to Kansas City, Missouri for the home opener of the Kansas City Royals. It was cold and windy, so I dressed warm, but discovered that I hadn't dressed as warm as I thought. I wasn't miserably cold, but it was uncomfortable. It was a good game and the Royals beat the White Sox, but it was also a long game, nearly four hours. Kauffman Stadium - Kansas City, Missouri National Anthem
Saturday - April 5, 2014: Linda and I tried a Kansas City, Kansas drive-in which we had never previously visited. Paul's Drive In is 53 years old, 43 of them at this location. There is no curb service, you walk into a small space to place orders to go.

We sampled an Italian steak sandwich, chili dog and a beef tender sandwich. My favorite of the three was the chili dog, which was a little unusual, the fairly small hot dog was sliced long wise twice and served on a hamburger bun. Linda that the Italian steak was pretty good. Its sauce was kind of a cross between Italian and BBQ.

Unless you request otherwise, a basket comes with a combination of fries and onion rings. The fries were crinkle cut and not very crispy. The onion rings were my least favorite fresh made rings in a very long time. Very thin slices of onion, coated in a thick pancake like batter. I ate only one.


Paul's Drive In - Kansas City, Kansas Paul's Drive In
Saturday - April 12, 2014: We are busy preparing our home for Easter and there was no time for exploring Kansas this weekend. Still, we did want to at least visit a few restaurants for this web site.

For lunch we went to GrandStand Burgers in far northern Overland Park. Actually it in a narrow section of Overland Park that most people believe has to be Shawnee. Even Google Maps gets it wrong.

The 13 year old restaurant is a tiny place with only 4 stools at a small counter, plus picnic tables out in front. On a day like today, there isn't enough room for people to order and wait for their food. Many customers have to rely on other customers passing along which order number is ready.

With the tiny kitchen, GrandStand Burgers is a bit restricted in what they can prepare and may try to offer too much. Many items, particularly the sides, are just prepared from frozen.

But they do three things very well. the hand formed hamburgers, pork tenderloin sandwich, and onion rings are all superior. There is a tendency to overcook the burgers, but if you request that the burger be cooked to 168 degrees, it still a touch more cooked than I prefer, but very good.

For a change up, supper was at the two year old Sweet Siam Thai Bistro in Lenexa. The restaurant was busy when we arrived at 7:45PM and although there was no line, we had to wait for a party to leave and a table to be cleared. Beverages were slow coming, as they had run out of clean glasses.

Linda had the $12.50 Thai BBQ Chicken - a half chicken which had been marinated in a sweet BBQ sauce, slow roasted and char grilled. It was served with shrimp fried rice and sweet and sour sauce. She would have preferred that the shrimp was cut up and mixed in with the rice, rather than whole shrimp sitting on top, but that is a minor complaint.

At $20, my dish was one of the more expensive on the menu, Sweet Siam Snapper - two pan fried snapper filets, ground chicken, shrimp, asparagus, red & green bell pepper. yellow and green onion, served in a spicy ginger and garlic sauce.



GrandStand Burgers - Overlnd Park, Kansas GrandStand Burgers

Sweet Siam Thai Bistro - Lenexa, Kansas Sweet Siam Snapper

Wednesday - April 16, 2014: This evening was spent updating the reviews of many Wichita, Kansas attractions with new fees, hours and other changes. Pages updated include Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Sedgwick County Zoo, Old Cowtown, Exploration Place, Great Plains Transportation Museum, Museum of World Treasures, Great Plains Nature Center, Ulrich Museum of Art, Botanica & Kansas Firefighters Museum.


Saturday - April 26, 2014: We drove to Bonner Springs and Leavenworth today. The first stop was unplanned, but when we were passing Wagners Classic Cars, the old cars drew me right in. Wagners began as an automobile collision repair & paint shop in Kansas City, Kansas in 1968. The classic cars developed until the store moved to Bonner Springs in 1996 to focus on the rapidly expanding car business. 

The salesperson apologized that the showroom is usually filled bumper to bumper with collector cars, muscle cars, street rods & trucks of all kinds, but several were away at an auction. It seemed like a nice selection to me and was live visiting a small museum.

Out next stop was just a block away. I had not been to Moon Marble for several year and Linda had never been there before. In addition to selling hand made marbles, the shop has wonderful toys, including the kind of wood and metal toys and collectibles that you haven't seen in most toy stores in 40 years. Marble making demonstrations are done three days a week and we saw Moon Marble Company owner Bruce Breslow demonstrate marble making to a standing room only crowd.

Our next stop was at the Richard Allen Cultural Center in Leavenworth, but it turns out that their web site and several other Leavenworth web sites are inaccurate. They are not open on Saturdays.

On our way back out of town, we stopped for lunch at All Slabbed Up on the south side of Leavenworth. 

We were quite impressed with All Slabbed Up when we ate there in July. In fact one member of our party said that if it was located closer, it would be her favorite BBQ restaurant.

I was a little less impressed with All Slabbed Up today. The ribs were tender and had a very good flavor, but they were about luke warm. The fresh cut fries, which are cooked with a little onion and dusted with season salt, were quite good. 

The burnt ends were cold. Not lukewarm, but refrigerator cold. I had already asked for a new Diet Pepsi because the first one tasted like regular, and I didn't feel like I cold could complain again, so I said nothing.

I did bring most of them home. They were more worth eating after they have been in the microwave.


Wagners Classic Cars - Bonner Springs, Kansas Wagners Classic Cars

Moon Marble - Bonner Springs, Kansas Glass blowing demonstration

All Slabbed Up - Leavenworth, Kansas All Slabbed Up dinning room

Sunday - April 27, 2014: Heavy rains canceled other plans so we had supper at Old Shawnee Pizza in Shawnee, Kansas. The obvious choice was pizza and we ordered a Meat Locker which was covered with pepperoni, bacon, hamburger, Italian sausage, Canadian bacon, sausage. $22.40 seemed a little expensive for a pedestrian 14" pizza.

Service was inattentive and we had to ask for things repeatedly.


Old Shawnee Pizza - Shawnee, Kansas Meat Locker pizza
Monday - April 28, 2014: For lunch I visited Celebrity's Sidewalk Cafe in Olathe. It had been three years since the last visit and the review needed an update.

I ordered a mushroom Swiss burger and fries. The fries are lightly battered shoestrings, as they were in the past. Really not to my taste. The hamburger was cooked to order, but not hand formed. It was not very juicy and the swiss cheese hadn't been given time to melt into the burger. Everything turned out to be lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise. It really would have been better with onions and pickles. 

If I returned, I would go back to items from the original menu, such as A-1 Cheese Steak.

Celebrities offers coupons on their web site.


Celebrity's Sidewalk Cafe - Olathe, Kansas Celebrity's Sidewalk Cafe
Tuesday - April 29, 2014: Linda and I had a hard time finding a place for supper tonight. We first went to Quick's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Kansas, but they have changed their hours and now close at 3PM on Tuesdays (and Mondays). Wanting to not waste the drive, we decided to go on to Rosedale Barbeque, which is about a mile farther away. 

Except they are closed for some renovation, until at least May 5th.

We finally circled around to a newer and more famous Kansas City, Kansas BBQ restaurant - Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que. OK Joe's original location (they have two others, including one we have reviewed) shares a modest sized building with a gas station. Joe's has a good, consistent product and even better marketing. They have received a lot of national recognition and have become a destination. A group from Chicago stopped us to take a photo for them.

The line was almost to the door, which is shorter than it often is. It took 35 minute to get through the line and pickup our order. They have an express line for carry out, but appear to actually time and slow the service to the dine in line, so that a table becomes free before you get your food.

I was already in the mood for Quick's sausage so I had ribs and sausage tonight. The ribs were good as always. The sausage was nothing special. Linda had ribs and 1/4 chicken. The spicy chicken was tender and very flavorful.

The onion rings were better than average. The thin cut fries were lightly dusted with season salt. Both servings were quite large.



Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que - Kansas City, Kansas Oklahoma Joe's Bar-B-Que

Wednesday - April 30, 2014: We had supper at Quick's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Kansas. It had been a year since the last time we had been there and it was time to update its review. 
The meats we tried tonight were three of my previous favorites (ribs & sausage) and one that I have had mixed feelings about (burnt ends). What I like most about the sausage is that it is sliced prior to the smoking, so the smoke flavor is more intense. Linda likes the burnt ends more than I do. Unlike traditional Kansas City style burnt ends they are more like chopped roast meat with a generous coating of sauce.

The fresh cut fried potato wedges were my favorite of the sides, but the smoked green beans and the onion rings were both good.

Quick's will celebrate 50 years on May 14 with $9.19 slabs and 50¢ draws. They will open at 8AM and have 1,000 slabs available.


Quick's Bar-B-Q - Kansas City, Kansas Quick's Bar-B-Q
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