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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Kansas Aviation Museum - Wichita, Kansas
Sunday - March 1, 2015: We went to Downtown Diner in Olathe to try the fried chicken and check on the current breakfast menu. A two white piece fried chicken dinner is $9.99 and takes about 20 minutes for preparation. The chicken was tender and moist with a crisp coating. 


Fried chicken at Downtown Diner in Olathe, Kansas Fried chicken dinner
Thursday - March 5, 2015: At lunch we went to The Other Place in Overland Park to consider it for our Overland Park Restaurant Guide. Their location in Olathe is in the Olathe guide. We tried the onion rings, chili and Canadian bacon pizza sub which was a daily special. It was a grilled sandwich which also had pizza sauce mozzarella cheese.

The onion rings were my favorite. They appeared to be freshly battered and were cooked just right. The $7 serving was enormous. We both had plenty of them and there were still many left over.


Onion rings at The Other Place in Overland Park, Kansas Onion rings
Friday - March 6, 2015: After a revisit to City Super Buffet in Olathe. It was added to the Olathe Restaurant Guide. This Chinese restaurant has been much improved since its change of ownership and name over a year ago. My favorite items were the butter shrimp and the salt and pepper squid. 

We paid our first visit to Taste of Africa in southern Overland Park. The African restaurant opened last summer in the space vacated by the Burnt End BBQ when it moved to 119th Street. The menu is somewhat limited, but had several items which looked appealing.

Linda has the Samaki wa Kukaanga (deep fried whole tilapia fish with seasonings topped with lime wedges) which came with the choice of two side dishes for $11.50. We didn't see or taste the lime, but that is OK, as I'm not a big lime fan. She chose Ugale (corn meal mush/ corn fufu) and fried plantains. The mush was a large white block with a texture and taste that made me think of a block of grits. The plantain slices were fairly thick and sweet. Very enjoyable.

I went with the Serengeti Platter - Ng'ombe (beef stew), sautéed cabbage, sautéed kale, rice and chapatti for $13.50. The stew was very good. Just meat and sauce with out vegetables. The sautéed kale was delicious. The cabbage was lightly seasoned with curry and I wasn't impressed with it at first, but it was much more enjoyable with a little of the sauce from the stew. The chapatti was a roll of thin bread. Not the spongy, sour bread from Ethiopia, but something filling the same place in a meal.


City Super Buffet - Olathe, Kansas City Super Buffet

Taste of Africa - Overland Park, Kansas Taste of Africa

Saturday - March 7, 2015: We drove to LC's BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri today. It is on the far side of Kansas City, only a few miles from Arrowhead and Kauffman Stadium. I really enjoy this restaurant (I think it is one of the top 5 BBQ places in the KC metro), but only get back there every couple of years.

The point of this trip was mainly to make sure there were no changes other than pricing and to update our photos. Also to see if there were any after effects from the fire in December. The pork ribs were dark & crispy on the outside, but still juicy and tender on the inside. This was the first time I have had LC's sausage, which has a somewhat coarse texture. I enjoyed it, but it was less of a hit with the rest of our party.

While we were eating, a Kansas City Barbecue Tour bus pulled up and the small restaurant filled up. Apparently it was either the $40 two restaurant "ribblet tour" or the $65 four restaurant "original KC barbecue tour."

Returning to Kansas, we visited the Johnson County Museum in Shawnee. We have had a page about the museum for many years, but they didn't permit photos in the museum, so it was limited. The museum recently contacted us to tell us that they now permit photos and are otherwise more visitor friendly these days.



LC's BBQ - Kansas City, Missouri LC's BBQ packed with the tour group

Johnson County Museum - Shawnee, Kansas Johnson County Museum

Sunday - March 8, 2015: I had lunch at Bangkok Pavilion in Overland Park, to update its listing in the Overland Park Restaurant Guide. Their $12.95 weekend buffet is the best Asian buffet which I have found in the metro area and competes with other types of buffets which are twice as expensive. My favorite dishes today were red curry flounder and the pad thai.


Bangkok Pavilion - Overland Park, Kansas Bangkok Pavilion
Monday - March 9, 2015: We drove to south Overland Park, to check out Stroud's new third location in the Kansas City metropolitan area. This one went to the space formerly occupied by a Mimi's Cafe and has the least charm of any Stroud's location.

However, the food is much like the other locations. The pan fried chicken, chicken gizzards, mashed potatoes, cottage fries, green beans, soup and gravy were all very good. The cinnamon rolls were good fresh, but don't do well when taken home and Stroud's large servings are largely about the food you take home. For example, after a generous meal, I took home enough gizzards and cottage fries for two more meals.

Are server was struggling a little, but other employees did a good job of covering for her and our service didn't suffer.


Stroud's Restaurant - Overland Park, Kansas Stroud's
Tuesday - March 10, 2015: We tried the new Saints Pub + Patio off Renner Boulevard in Lenexa. It had been quite a while since we last dinned at the other Lenexa location, so I'm not sure how this one compares, but neither the flat bread pizza or fries did much for me. The bone in chicken wings were OK. There is nothing wrong with this place, but there was nothing which would particularly bring me back. 

We updated our pages devoted to the Richard H. Schmidt Museum of Natural History in Emporia, Mount Sunflower, and Great Overland Station in Topeka.


Wednesday - March 11, 2015: This evening, I paid a second visit to Taste of Africa in Overland Park. This time I had the Mbuzi (goat stew with onions, tomatoes, peppers and African spices) with two sides for $12.50. I requested that they make it spicy, but it seemed no spicier than the beef stew which I had last Friday.

I would like this better with some pieces of onion and pepper, but it is still very good as it it.


Taste of Africa - Overland Park, Kansas Taste of Africa
Thursday - March 12, 2015: At lunch I made my annual visit to Fred P. Ott's Bar and Grill. The menu and its prices were unchanged since last March and I didn't notice any other changes. The pork tenderloin sandwich appeared to be hand breaded. It was quite good, with a large toasted bun. Being able to doctor it up at the fixings bar really made this sandwich.

I followed up with a stop at the nearby Ernie Miller Nature Center. The largest exhibit gallery was being remodeled.

This evening, Mary and Linda helped me make a first visit to Twisted, a counter service sandwich, wrap and taco restaurant near Johnson County Community College. I had heard wonderful things about their Cajun Mahi Mahi fish tacos. The sweet, spicy taco lived up to the hype. The BBQ chicken wrap. Southwest chicken sandwich and Cajun chicken tacos were all OK, though the sandwich had too much pico de gallo which soaked the bun.

Listing for Taste of Africa and Twisted were added to our Overland Park Restaurant Guide.


Ernie Miller Nature Center - Olathe, Kansas Ernie Miller Nature Center

Twisted - Overland Park, Kansas Twisted

Saturday - March 14, 2015: Mary and Linda joined me in revisiting D' Bronx Deli & Pizzeria in Overland Park. I had not been there since May 2013.

The Italian susage and meatball submarine sandwiches were both good, but the pizza was the standout. It is among the best pizzas I have had in Johnson County.

The signature Ruben sandwich was disapointing. It had way too much bread for the amount of filling and not enough dressing. It was mostly about eating grilled rye bread.


Monday - March 16, 2015: Burnt ends are only sold at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que on at lunch on Monday & Saturday and at supper on Wednesday. It had been years since I last had their burnt ends and the review didn't really talk about them, so I stopped by the the Olathe Location today.

The burnt ends are good, though at $10.69 with one side, the serving of meat seemed a little small. I would like the price to drop about a dollar and a half, a second side dish added, or the meat serving made larger.


Burnt ends at Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que Burnt ends
Thursday - March 19, 2015: For lunch, we thought we would visit an Olathe bar and grill, so we could watch the Kansas Jayhawks in the NCAA tournament. First we went to Freddy T's Restaurant and Sports Bar, but we discovered that it had closed. We later learned that it had permanently closed on March 8th.

So we drove a couple of miles south to Austin's Bar & Grill, but discovered that there would be a long wait for a table.

Giving up on the game, we then made our second visit to Foody's. 


Foody's - Olathe, Kansas Veggie wrap and sweet potato fries
Friday - March 20, 2015: I had lunch at the Double Nickel bar and grill in Olathe. It had been several years since I was last there. The University of Kansas versus New Mexico State NCAA tournament game was on every TV. 

I had the chicken fried steak sandwich special, $7.99 with curly fries. The large, thick sandwich came without white gravy, but was still tender. The breading was nothing special.

Friday afternoon I drove to Wichita to revisit several of the places on our Unique Kansas Restaurants page.

First up was Bomber Burger on the south east side. The tiny bar & grill first opened in 1951, and it has been in the Rickard family since 1985. Chris Rickard, who presently runs it, took over in 1997 following the death of his father, Paul Rickard. The burgers are grilled slowly, so they stay very moist, though they are all cooked well done. They are spinkled with a little garlic powder & other spices. The fresh cut fries are also good.

Following the meal, I drove along the Big Arkansas River from the Keeper of the Plains, south to Watson Park, stopping several times for photos. Much longer was spent at the fairly recently built Lincoln Street Dam & Bridge, where a beaver was quite active.

Before heading to my motel, I also stopped at the original Nu-Way Cafe, which has been serving crumbly burgers and wonderful in house made root beer since the 1930s. I had a medium Nu-Way burger, small onion rings and a pop. Much have they have done in the past, although I did not have a coupon, they gave me the coupon price for the combination - only $4.99. All of the food was good, with the handmade onion rings being the best.

The menu is quite limited, the Nu-Way Cafe does a good job on those things which they offer.


Double Nickel - Olathe, Kansas Double Nickel

Beaver - Wichita, Kansas Beaver  (Castor canadensis) below the Lincoln Street Dam

Nu-Way Cafe - Wichita, Kansas Nu-Way Cafe

Saturday - March 21, 2015: The first restaurant which I revisited today was Ty's Diner, which is only a few blocks from the Nu-Way Cafe. The popular burger joint opened in the 1950s and there have been few changes over the years. Long time employees, Dave and Kristen Hale purchased Ty's shortly after the last visit in 2012. They have also been slow to make changes, but just the day before, they posted a sign that there will be new hours starting May 1. The previous hours (11 AM - 2:30 PM Tuesday - Saturday) have been unchanged for years. Those will not change, but Ty's will also be open Friday and Saturday evenings from 5-8PM.

The first attraction visited today was the Kansas Aviation Museum. Although I had photographed the museum many years ago, somehow a page had never been made and some of those photos are now out of date.

The museum occupies a beautiful WPA completed building which was the Wichita Municipal Airport terminal from 1935 to 1951. The Aviation Museum displays its larger aircraft outside the building, but there are many smaller aircraft and displays inside the building. Wichita has long been called the "The Air Capital of the World" and there are exhibits devoted to several of the firms which have been head quartered in Wichita or had major facilities here, such as Beechcraft, Cessna, and Stearman Aircraft. Volunteers open a couple of the larger airplanes for viewing each day.

Driving on to Hutchinson, I took new exterior photos of the Strataca. The old photos said Kansas Underground Salt Museum, which was the original name. I think the original name was better for marketing several ways, or even Stratica Underground Salt Museum.

There were several other stops in Hutchinson, starting with Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ. The 33 year old family run BBQ has become almost iconic. After taking some photos to update the listing, I had just the mild Polish sausage which is my favorite meat at Roy's. I would have enjoyed it more without so much sauce.

Sacks 5th Avenue in Hutchinson was busy today, despite (or because of) a sign that says it will be auctioned on April 1st. There is no mention of the sale Google news and even the auction house's website doesn't mentions Sacks by name. Sacks is a locally owned hamburger joint in an old gas station building with the walls lined with old photos plus rock and roll and automobile memorabilia.

Before leaving town, there was one more stop at R-B Drive In, where I had a pork tenderloin sandwich and a copy of the current menu. I noticed nothing new here. The server made one major error, but was mortified when she realized it and apologized several times.

It was time to start a winding drive toward home, but there were several more stops to make. The first was in Cassoday for some photography on block long main street. Driving east on a dirt county road, I stopped to photograph the fire that were being used to revitalize the range land. Despite it being very dry, some of the fires were over a large area and I didn't see anyone monitoring them.

I paid my second visit to Teterville,  a small community which formed near the Teter Oil Fields in southeast Kansas in the 1920s. The community is long abandoned and just a few foundations remain.

Teter Rock was a pile of local rocks which James Teter erected at a high point on his land as a guidepost for homesteaders searching for the Cottonwood River. As Teterville grew, the rocks were used in the construction of several of the buildings and the Teter marker disappeared. 

Teter Rock was reconstructed in 1954.

Supper was at the Chicken House in Olpe. It had been a few years since the last visit. Most things are unchanged, but the pies are no longer baked in house and the Freedom fries are called French fries again.

The last community visited was Emporia, where I took many photos of the Soden's Dam Falls, Soden's Grove Bridge and the nearby All Veterans Memorial. There were also a few photos taken at Red Rocks, which was the home of the famous journalist, William Allen White.


Ty's Diner - Wichita, Kansas Ty's Diner

Kansas Aviation Museum - Wichita, Kansas Kansas Aviation Museum

Strataca Underground Salt Museum - Hutchinson, KansasStrataca Underground Salt Museum - Hutchinson, Kansas Strataca

Sacks 5th Avenue - Hutchinson, KansasSacks 5th Avenue

Teter Rock - Tetterville, Kansas Teter Rock

Soden's Dam Falls and Bridge - Emporia, Kansas Soden's Dam Falls and Bridge

Friday - March 27, 2015: I made one more trip to Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que in Olathe to have the Lenten special soft shell crab po-boy and update the review. Prices are still unchanged since March of 2014.


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