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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Kaw Point Railroad Bridge - Kansas City, Kansas
Wednesday - November 1, 2017: I had supper at the Broadmoor Bistro in Overland Park, Kansas, which is part of the Shawnee Mission School District. The food is prepared and served by high students.

Up until this school year, the student restaurant was at the Broadmoor Technical School and we have had a review of the restaurant at that location for many year. The restaurant moved to a new location at the Center for Academic Achievement, over the summer. The feel of the new dinning room is both more contemporary and more institutional. I referred the old location.

I won't go into the details of the meal until the restaurant's review is updated, but will mention that the pace was very slow. The meal took and hour and 40 minutes.


Broadmoor Bistro - Overland Park, Kansas Broadmoor Bistro
Saturday - November 4, 2017: Linda and I had lunch at Big T's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri. It had been two years since the last time we dined there and it is time to update its review. While I like the food at Big T's, it has the disadvantage of being on the far side of the metropolitan area and near two other restaurants which I enjoy even more: LC's BBQ and the Peach Tree Buffet. The food was very similar to our last visit, so the main changes needed will be to the menu listing.

In the afternoon I drove to Wyandotte County Lake in Kansas City, Kansas to photograph a small waterfall which we learned about last spring. The falls is on a creek feeding into the lake, near a bridle trail. I walked back to the falls using the only directions which I had, which sent me along the trail from the norse trailer parking lot. That trail crosses two small creeks, using stepping stones and probably would not appeal to hikers when there is much more water. I met only two riders on the trail

Although relatively little water was going over the falls, it was still pretty and sounded cheery. I found an easier way out, walking near the creek going toward the lake.

I followed up with a circle drive of the 800 acre lake. The neatest thing which I fond was the Mr. & Mrs. F.L. Schlagle Library, which is an "Environmental Learning Center," on a point overlooking the lake.


Big T's Bar-B-Q - Kansas City, Missouri Big T's Bar-B-Q

Bridle Trail Falls - Wyandotte County Lake Bridle Trail Falls

Schlagle Library - Kansas City, Kansas Schlagle Library

Friday - November 10, 2017: We took Friday off from our day jobs so we could visit some attractions which are not open on weekends. 

Our first stop was Reuter Organ Company in Lawrence, Kansas. The pipe organ manufacturer is in its 100th year. They have produced over 2200 organs, 312 of them for Kansas churches. It turns out that they built the organ for our church, Lenexa United Methodist Church and they were kind enough to give us a copy of the contract and a program from the dedication ceremony.

Our second stop of the day was in north Topeka at Porubsky Grocery & Meats. They do not sell their popular chili on Friday or Saturday (to keep down other traffic on the days when most of their local customers shop), but I had called the day before and they had set aside a quart of the chili for me. I also got the hot pimento spread and horseradish pickles, which I love.

The person in line ahead of us said that he had come from Leavenworth to get pickles and ham salad, so we got some ham salad for lunch in the car, but it wasn't as big a hit. The main flavor of the ham salad turned out to be sweet pickle relish. We could hardly taste the ham at all.

Continuing west, we stopped at Grandma Hoerner's Foods near Alma, Kansas. Grandma Hoerner's produces apple sauces, preserves, fruit butters, chutneys, barbecue sauces, salad dressings, salsas, and mustards in a 40,000 sq. ft. facility that is just off of I-70. They also have a small factory store.

Continuing west to Hays, we toured the RANS Designs aircraft factory. RANS was founded as a bicycle manufacturer in 1974 by Randy Schlitter. RANS stated manufacturing ultrilight aircraft in 1983 and moved into light sport aircraft manufacturing a few years later. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour, but was a little disappointed to learn that RANS Bikes was spun off and sold 5 years ago. It is now in Montezuma, Kansas.

Practically next door to RANS Designs, we discovered the remains of the abandoned Frontier City. The property is not open, but i took a few photos from the parking lot.

With just an hour or so of daylight remaining, we headed back east a few miles to get new photos of the Cathedral of the Plains in Victoria.

After checking into the Best Western in Hays for the night, we had supper at Golden Q Sports Bar & Grill. My double cheeseburger was quite good, but neither the French fries or onion rings were anything special.


Reuter Organ Company - Lawrence, Kansas Reuter Organ Company

Porubsky Grocery - Topeka, Kansas Porubsky Grocery & Meats

Grandma Hoerner's - Alma, Kansas Grandma Hoerner's

RANS Designs aircraft factory - Hays, Kansas RANS Designs

Golden Q Sports Bar - Hays, Kansas Golden Q Sports Bar

Saturday - November 11, 2017: The day began with a visit to St. Francis Catholic Church in Munjor, Kansas. I photographed the exterior of the church a few years ago, but we were met by a gentleman who (along with his wife) is responsible for maintaining the lovely building. 

The post rock, stone building was built in 1889, but was destroyed by a fire in 1932. The church was restored with the same appearance it had previous to the fire, with the exception of the steeple which was never replaced.

We drove on to take fresh photos of Holy Cross Church and Holy Cross Cemetery in Pfifer, Kansas. Then on to the Bison Museum in Bison, Kansas. The museum does not have regular hours, but the librarian in the library which shares the same building had put me in touch with Sharon Klein, who was waiting for us. The library was having an annual hunters' breakfast & lunch on the first day of pheasant season, and the museum was full of people who had come for the meal. We enjoyed the small museum and also took several photos of the downtown with its interesting old buildings and attractive, bison shaped street signs.

We had lunch in Seward at Mom's Bar and Grill, which was filled with hunters and the busiest I have ever seen it. Too busy. They weren't doing their great home fries because they were so busy in the kitchen. Linda had a good grilled chicken sandwich. I had the pork tenderloin sandwich, which wasn't nearly as impressive as the chicken fired steak sandwich which I had tried in the past. 

Driving back toward Great Bend, we stumbled across "Christmas Miracle Village," on Highway US-281. It looked like it was well on its way to being set up for the season, but the young woman in the yard was clearly uncomfortable with my taking photos and we went on without getting out of the car.

In Great Bend we stopped to visit the Barton County Historical Museum, but it was not open during the posted hours.

We extra time now on our hands, we drove to Lucas, the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas where we checked out the new Possumbilities shop and purchased homemade Czech bologna and smoked sausage at 95 year old Brant's Meat Market.

The main point of going to Lucas was to see the new home which Erika Nelson is making for the World's Largest Collection of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things. The new space in a storefront across from the Grassroots Art Center is already very cool and it was fun watching children sign the unusual wooden sculpture which is serving as the guest register and had gum to the ball of used gum.

There was one more stop on our way back across Kansas, for supper in Salina at Seoul USA Korean Restaurant. I enjoyed our experience at the little place, which is in a former fast food building, but it did not stand out in the ways to make our page of Unique Kansas Restaurants.


St. Francis Catholic Church in Munjor, Kansas St. Francis Church

Bison Museum - Bison , Kansas Bison Museum

Mom's Bar and Grill - Seward, Kansas Mom's Bar and Grill

World's Largest Adding gum to the World's Largest Ball of Gum

Sunday - November 19, 2017: We added a new page about the Christmas Miracle Village, south of Great Bend, Kansas on Highway US-281, which we discovered last week.  It was started by Rita Vredenburg, who started the village in Texas in 2004, but brought it to Kansas when she moved next door to her sister, Debbie Clothier, in 2010.

We visited Betty C's Bar & Grill in Shawnee, Kansas for the first time today. We both had the chicken fried steak sandwiched, which were good, but the French fries were nothing special. I recommend the Reuben Rolls - egg rolls filled with corned beef & Swiss cheese, served with Reuben sauce.

We learned just today, that the adjacent 1927 Aztec Theater should reopen next year, after being closed for over 40 years. Three partners recently purchased it and the City of Shawnee has contributed $250,000 toward the restoration.


Christmas Miracle Village - Great Bend, Kansas Christmas Miracle Village

Betty C's Bar and Grill - Shawnee, Kansas Reuben egg rolls

Monday - November 27, 2017: After work, I drove to Topeka to check on displays for the Topeka Christmas Light Tour. At the start things went well. Every display from the first third of last year's tour was still up and 3 displays from previous years which hadn't been up when checked last year were back up for 2017.

I stopped for supper and to update the review of Bobo's Drive In, having a Spanish Burger, Double Cheeseburger and onion rings. The cheeseburger was good and the onion rings were very good. The Spanish burger appeared to be just a burger with a little house made salsa.

Returning to the tour, I started having less luck with former displays from the tour. One was now two small and two spectacular displays from late in the tour were gone entirely. There were two new displays which had been recommended to check out. Both ere up to the standards of the tour and (as luck would have it), I discovered other displays on the way to photograph them. 

The second new discovery was on Indiana Avenue. Actually, I had gone past it last year, but had decided it wasn't quite large enough last year. This year the display is added to the tour and while I was photographing it, I met the home owners, the Pittengers. Trudy  loves Christmas decorations and her husband, Phillip, has given her a new major decoration each of the past 20 years. 

Coming back through Lawrence, there was time to check on the displays from last year for the Lawrence Christmas Light Tour and to photograph a new display which had appeared at a location which used to have an impressive display. 

Moving quickly, there were 4 more stops to confirm previous displays in Eudora and De Soto.



Bobo's Drive In - Topeka, Kansas Double cheeseburger & onion rings

Pittenger Christmas Display - Topeka, Kansas Pittenger Christmas Display

Thursday - November 30, 2017: It had been about a year since my last visit to Austin's Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas.

We had supper at Fiorella's Jack Stack in Overland Park, Kansas to update its listings on Kansas City BBQ Restaurant Guide and the Overland Park Restaurant Guide. I finally tried the fire kissed wings, which several people had recommended. Their appearance and texture were both good, but there was an unfamiliar spice which detracted from the flavor for me.

We updated the review of  the Broadmoor Bistro in Overland Park, Kansas,


Zarda BBQ - Lenexa, Kansas

Fiorella's Jack Stack - Overland Park, Kansas Fire kissed chicken wings

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