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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Turkey Creek Waterfall - Merriam, Kansas
Monday - January 1, 2018: Our first meal of 2018 was lunch at Zarda BBQ in Lenexa, Kansas. It is overdue for inclusion on our guide to Kansas City BBQ Restaurants. We had a sausage sandwich, smoked chicken and pork burnt ends. For sides we sampled beans and onion rings.

The sliced sausage is more like shaved ham, very thin slices piled high and no noticeable smoky flavor. It did work well with the Apple Harvest BBQ sauce, which tastes almost like apple sauce.

The pork burnt ends were quite fatty, which I enjoyed, but may not appeal as much to many other people.

After several nights of sub zero weather, I decided to photograph several Johnson County waterfalls. The first stop was Turkey Creek Waterfall in Merriam, Kansas. I was surprised to see that it was almost 100 frozen, with just the tiniest amount of water moving beneath it.

Continuing upstream along the creek, there was virtually no open water anywhere, and I finally realized that it was because there was very little water to begin with. This area has been having a drought.

Before quitting, I drove out to Olathe to Cedar Creek Falls at the south end of Lake Olathe. Although it had the least water which I remember seeing at this falls, there was enough to make a video worthwhile.

 

Zarda BBQ - Lenexa, Kansas Zarda BBQ
 
 

Turkey Creek Waterfall - Merriam, Kansas Turkey Creek Waterfall

 
Tuesday - January 2, 2018: Posted yesterday's video of Cedar Creek Falls in Olathe to the Kansas Travel Facebook Page

 

 
Thursday - January 4, 2018: We recently learned of a 3rd location for BRGR in Leawood, Kansas. We have been fans of their Prairie Village location since it opened, so we wanted to try out the new restaurant. We had the $12 Blacken Salmon sandwich and $11 Double Decked Grilled Cheese sandwich. 

The grilled salmon filet with dill caper remoulade, argula, and pickled red onion on potato bread was good, but was quite good, but didn't have the spicy, cajun seasoning we expected.

The grilled cheese sounded fabulous with cheese curds, fontina, provolone, cheddar, gruyere, and tomato onion jam on potato bread sounded fabulous, but there was lots of bread with not so much cheese and the sandwich showed little sign of being toasted. The best part of it was the tomato onion jam, but the sandwich was no treat .

 


 
 

Double Decked Grilled Cheese - BRGR Double Decked Grilled Cheese

Saturday - January 6, 2018: After learning that Mad Man's KC BBQ was having a soft opening this weekend at the Lenexa Public Market, it seemed like tonight was a good time to try out the food court which has opened in the new Lenexa City Hall. There is a free parking garage across from the end of the building and you can either take an outside flight of stairs to the entrance, or enter the City Hall and go down to the lower level.

There were a few other customers, but not many. I saw no one else go to the BBQ restaurant.

Mad Man's KC BBQ's already fairly limited menu was further reduced for the soft opening and my wife decided to try Chewology {Gyoza Bar & Kushiyaki} instead. Since the smoked Reuben sandwich I was hoping to try was not available, I tried the rib special (3 ribs, 1 side & medium drink for $11). The beans were average, but the ribs were very good, with a lot of flavor from the rub and smoking. The meat did not need sauce, so I just tasted the vinegary sauces, one sweet and one spicy. I probably wouldn't have used them anyway.

The skewers from Chewology were still not ready when I had finished my meal. Returning to the counter to check up on them, we learned that after 25 minutes, they had been overlooked until that time and had not started cooking. When they were ready, the staff offered the choice of rice or a bottled drink. It was nice to have some recognition of the error. We didn't ask for more, but that didn't feel like quite enough, to me.

The small skewers were fairly tasty. The chicken breast with green meso was $4 and butternut squash with shichimi and honey glaze was $3.5. I think that most people having a meal would want at least 4 skewers, if not several more.

Other options in the market include Foo's frozen custard and Topp'd Pizza + Salads. The space includes several small gift stalls. The main floor has an art exhibit with many of the pieces being available for purchase.

 

Lenexa Public Market - Lenexa, Kansas Lenexa Public Market
 
 

RIb special at Mad Man's KC BBQ Rib Special
 
 

Chewology - Lenexa Public Market squash and chicken skewers

Sunday - January 7, 2018: After church, I drove to Papa Bob's Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas, near Bonner Springs. It had been four years since my last meal there and the page about it need to be updated. 

The items on the menu are largely the same, but in general, prices have increased about 10-15%. The food remains much the same and the only physical change which jumped out at me is the addition of outdoor seating in front of the BBQ restaurant.

The review has been largely rewritten and updated.

 

Papa Bob's Bar-B-Que - Kanas City, Kansas Papa Bob's Bar-B-Que
Saturday - January 20, 2018: We returned to the  Lenexa Public Market so I could try the new Mad Man's KC BBQ a second time and to try the smoked Reuben sandwich. When I ordered and paid at the counter, the woman said it would be 2 or 3 minutes. That didn't sound right, but I stayed by the counter, since you can't hear them announce your order is ready in the large, noisy space of the Public Market.

My food was ready in 24 minutes. The sandwich had less flavor than I expected.

One other thing - they have their own fountain drinks. I only tried the diet cola, it reminded me of Mr. Pibb.

 

Mad Man's KC BBQ - Lenexa, Kansas Reuben sandwich
Monday - January 22, 2018: It had been a couple of years since out review of The Other Place in Lenexa, Kansas had been updated for our Olathe Kansas Restaurant Guide, so I had lunch there today. The Other Place has many lunch specials and I went with the quarter pound Firehouse Burger which  comes with sautéed jalapenos & onions, lettuce, pepper jack cheese and red-hot mayo and a choice of side for $7.99. It was good burger, thought the fries aren't quite as good. 

The Other Place has about 20 lunch specials every day and many of the others are more food than many will eat in an hour. One of the specials is Unlimited Lunch - unlimited slices of pizza plus soup/chili, house salad/Caesar salad. $7.99 for 1 topping pizza or $8.99 with the specialty pizza of the day.

 

The Other Place - Lenexa, Kansas The Other Place
Thursday - January 25, 2018: I drove to the Peanut on 127th at Metcalf in Overland Park, Kansas for lunch today. It had been about 2 years since my last visit at this location. The bar and grill was very busy and several parties had walked in right before me, but I knew what I wanted and ordered the $10 Three Wings & Fries when the server came for my drink order. Since there is a 20 minute minimum on wings, this was a big help. 

The large spicy wings were good as always, though I am still unimpressed with the house bleu cheese dressing. I cot pictures of the new menu (prices up about 10%) and the review has been updated.

 

Peanut on 127th - Overland Park, Kansas 3 wings and fries
Tuesday - January 30, 2018: I learned last week that Smokin' Joe's BBQ in Olathe, Kansas has added smoked meat loaf to their menu this winter, so I went there today for lunch to try it out. It is available has a diner with the choice of two sides for $11.95 or as a sandwich on sourdough bread with a choice of cheese, onions and sauce as you please for $6.75.

I got the sandwich, plus an order of fries. It actually was more food than I wanted and if I have it again, I will order the sandwich alone. The meat loaf was good, but not as smoky as I hoped. I still enjoyed it and there was a large serving of the meat loaf.

The meat loaf is prepared daily by Smokin' Joe's owner, Matt Sander, who says that the meat loaf is labor intensive.

 

Smokin's Joe's BBQ - Olathe, Kansas Meat loaf Sandwich
 
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