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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Silo Modern Farmhouse - Lenexa, Kansas
Friday - February 1, 2019: I had lunch at the recently opened Smoke'N Babes BBQ in Olathe, Kansas. The newest incarnation of a BBQ restaurant I liked years ago in nearby Gardner, which has more recently been a food truck. I don't know how long they have been open, but the food truck's web site been updated to say they have a restaurant.

They are in a small strip center shop. So small that there is only one table and all of the food is served packed to go.

I had the $13.99 burnt end dinner with two sides. The side dish choices are cheesy corn, BBQ baked beans, potato salad and mac & cheese. I had the cheesy corn and beans. The corn tasted good, but not cheesy. The beans were extremely sweet (much like the sauce) and had no noticeable meat. I liked them as well.

The burnt ends were tender and tasty, though more the flavor and texture of good roast beef than burnt ends. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't what I was looking for.

The servings seemed small.

Ribs are only available on Saturday. The other meats are limited to chicken, pulled pork, brisket, sausage and burnt ends.

 

Smoke'N Babes BBQ - Olathe, Kansas Smoke'N Babes BBQ
 
 

Smoke'N Babes BBQ burnt ends - Olathe, Kansas burnt end dinner

 
Saturday - February 2, 2019: For lunch we paid a first visit to the new Silo Modern Farmhouse which opened in November in the Canyon Farms Golf Club in Lenexa, Kansas. They have been booked weeks in advance in the evening, so we tried them for lunch today.

The menu has a lot of appealing choices and we went with the Mongolian Pork Duo and Cast-iron Bistro Steak & Frites. Both dishes were good. The only thing I would change is the frites - I'm not a fan of extremely thin shoestring potatoes.

The dinner menu drops a few entrees and adds even more. Some dishes run about $3 more.

For supper we had another first look. This time it was Tabard's Ale House in Overland Park, named for an inn from  Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. We started with Korean chili chicken wings, 6 for $5.75 and so very good! I wanted to cancel my entree and just get more of these spicy wings.

Our entrees were the $13.50 herb & garlic shrimp and the $16.95 mustard grilled pork chop. The shrimp was basically a shrimp scampi, served in a little pot with the sauce filled with garlic butter.

The pork chop was a 12 oz. bone in pork chop marinated in dijon and fresh thyme, grilled, and topped with caramelized red onion. I enjoyed it, but not quite as much as I expected. This is the dish many people have raved about online.

 

Silo Modern Farmhouse view of golf course Silo Modern Farmhouse
 
 
 
 

Tabard's Ale House - Overland Park, Kansas Tabard's Ale House
 

Sunday - February 3, 2019: I paid a visit to Metcalf and 95th Street in Overland Park, Kansas to photograph the demolition of the old French Market and K-Mart. Office towers may be built here. Two years earlier, the nearby Metcalf South Mall was demolished.

For supper, we paid a long overdue revisit to ABC Cafe in Overland Park. The past two times we tried to dine there, they were unexpectedly closed, the most recent time being for the last half of January.

I really enjoy this restaurant which offers both meal sized dishes and dim sum. We had $7.95 XO Chicken Wings, $3.28 Shrimp Fried Wonton, $13.88  Salt & Pepper Shrimp and $16.88 Salt & Pepper Soft Shell Crab.

The chicken wings are one of my favorite items and I was delighted to find that they have returned to the current menu. They are lightly battered and deep fried, with most of the heat coming from jalapenos which can be avoid by those who do not want that much heat.

This was the first time that I had the soft shell crab, which I really enjoyed. Again, the heat came from crumbles and jalapenos which could be avoided, but which I made a point of including with each bite.

 

French Market and K-Mart demolition - Overland Park, Kansas French Market and K-Mart
 

dim sum at ABC Cafe - Overland Park, Kansas XO Chicken Wings and Shrimp Fried Wontons 

Sunday - February 10, 2019: We added a new page devoted to Dorothy's House, Land of Oz and Coronado Museum in Liberal, Kansas. 
 
 
Saturday - February 16, 2019: For lunch we made our second visit to the new Silo Modern Farmhouse in Lenexa, Kansas. It snowed the night before, but was sunny today and the view was much nicer than the brown golf course of two weeks ago.

We had two appetizers and one entree. The $12 Whipped Goat Cheese which came with Italian cured, smoked meat, local honey, greens and grilled garlic crostini was a real treat and included a generous portion of the goat cheese. Al though we didn't think it was unusually slow coming out, the server did and the charge for this appetizer was taken off the bill.

The $9 Lemon Garlic Hummus with grilled flat bread, fresh & roasted vegetables and aged cheeses was much less interesting. The hummus was OK, but the vegetables were a little bit of roasted red pepper, a lot of cucumber and some olive. the aged cheeses were cubes of one rather nondescript white cheese.

The $22 signature Silo Half Chicken had cast iron seared chicken, crispy fried chicken, poached chicken salad, whipped potatoes, pan gravy, and seared brussels sprouts with bacon. The seared chicken was very good, but the crispy chicken was all coating and the chicken salad could have come from a supermarket. The brussels sprouts were good.

At supper time a friend joined us for our annual follow up at RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, Kansas. Between us we had pan seared Atlantic Salmon, pork ribs, beef burnt ends, fried corn on the cob, cheesy corn bake and fresh cut French fries.

Each of the sides was a treat. The meats were all good, but with no real stand outs.

We added a new page devoted to the strangely moving Osawatomie State Hospital Cemetery in Osawatomie, Kansas, where the unclaimed bodies of patients at the Kansas Insane Asylum and later Osawatomie State Hospital were buried with no names, just a number of which sequential they were buried.

 

Silo Modern Farmhouse - Lenexa restaurant The view from Silo Modern Farmhouse
 
 
 

Silo Half Chicken - Lenexa, Kansas Silo Half Chicken

Ribs, burnt ends and fried corn on the cob

 
Sunday - February 17, 2019: We have been hearing good things about Smoked Creations, a BBQ restaurant in Ottawa, Kansas, and tried them tonight. The bar/dinning room is comfortable, staff is very friendly and the prices are reasonable ($17.99 for the large platter in the photo below).

We enjoyed the food, though not to level of the hype we have heard about. We liked the place and will return, but would not make a special trip to Ottawa to dine there.

The meats sampled (pork ribs, brisket, pulled pork and jalapeno sausage) didn't have as much smoke flavor as I was hoping for and the brisket & pork were a bit dry. They improved with sauce, going with the house sauce on the beef, mustard bbq sauce on the pulled pork and chipotle sauce on the sausage.

The fresh cut fries were very good and we both enjoyed the onion rings. The fried corn on the cob (in the foil) was a bit mushy.

 

Smoked Creations - Ottawa, Kansas Smoked Creations
Monday - February 18, 2019: We added a page devoted to the Jack Wyatt Museum which is at the Piano Technicians Guild headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas. This is a very interesting, small museum!
 
 
Wednesday - February 20, 2019: Supper was at The Thai House, which went into the Overland Park, Kansas location which was Wai-Wai Thai Place Express for many years. I paid a first visit 6 months ago and it was time to see how they have settled in.

I enjoyed the crispy spicy wings, though they were more crispy than spicy. The sauce on the side was sweet and just a little spicy.

I ordered the $10.95 chicken phad Thai hot from the choices of hot, medium or mild), but it was mild and not very interesting as to flavor.

 

Thursday - February 21, 2019: At lunch I made a second visit to the recently opened Smoke'N Babes BBQ in Olathe, Kansas. They have a very limited menu and I wanted to try their smoked chicken. I had stopped about 10 days earlier, but that day the chicken wasn't ready to come out of the smoker yet. Since there is only one table with 3 chairs, I was there shortly after opening to be able to snag one of the places to sit.

I found the chicken far superior to the burnt ends I had the first time,

I was in a mood for Korean food, so for supper, Linda and I went to Korean Restaurant Sobahn in Overland Park, Kansas. I dined there twice in 2010 when it was new, but didn't care as much for the food here as other area Korean restaurants. 

We had jogi guee (grilled fish) and o jing uh bokkeum (spicy stir fired squid with vegetables). The fish was Ok, but the squid was very disappointing - like something thrown together. It lacked the blend of rich flavors that I expect from this dish. None of the banchan (assorted side dishes) were a treat. The best part of the meal was a stew which came with the fish and was not mentioned on the menu. It was spicy and had more flavor than anything else in the meal.

This restaurant has a loyal following, but doesn't work for me.

 

smoked chicken - Smoke'N Babes BBQ half chicken
 
 
 
 

Korean Restaurant Sobahn - Overland Park,  Kansas Korean Restaurant Sobahn

Saturday - February 23, 2019: We paid a third visit to 4th Street Cafe in Edwardsville, Kansas and made a new review of this 3 year old restaurant in a neat, little stone building first held a cafe in the 1930s. Blackboards line one wall of the dining room, covered with the menu. Kelly, the owner, said he has several more pages of menu items which doesn't fit on that big board. This restaurant gets high points for atmosphere and medium high points for the food.

 

4th Street Cafe - Edwardsville, Kansas 4th Street Cafe
Wednesday - February 27, 2019: Still in the mood for Korean food, I revisited Chosun Korean BBQ in Overland Park, which has been in our Overland Park Restaurant Guide for many years, but had not been updated 2015. 

I had the same ojingeo bokkeum (spicy stir fired squid with vegetables) I had at Sobahn and the difference was like night and day. This time the sauce was a complex bend of flavors which was so good that I wished I could lick the plate. 

The banchan (assorted side dishes) also appealed more to me, though none were as exciting as the the squid. One of the things that I appreciate about Korean food is that vegetables I normally wouldn't want to eat, taste good. I avoid celery, but the celery dish was so good that I ate all of it and asked for more.

 

ojingeo bokkeum - Chosun Restaurant ojingeo bokkeum & banchan
Thursday - February 28, 2019: I started a three day weekend of Kansas Exploration with a drive to Wichita after work, making a stop in El Dorado to take additional photos of Walnut River Falls in Riverside Park.

Supper was a revisit of B&C BBQ Pub & Grill in Wichita. I have loved this restaurant since my first visit in 2006 and it was one of the first restaurants on our list of Unique Kansas Restaurants. B&C was in the middle of an expansion a year ago when we ate there last and it was time to check out the changes. After years of offering a barbeque buffet and only being open on Monday - Saturday from 11AM - 2PM, they now are open from 11AM - 10PM, with a menu during the additional hours.

After supper I went to the confluence of the Big and Little Arkansas River near downtown Wichita. It was too late for the "Ring of Fire" at the Keeper of the Plains, but it was a beautiful, still night.

Before going to my hotel, I made one last stop at the 88 year old Nu-Way Cafe. I love this place, but with so many other restaurants to check out in Wichita, I can only get here about once a year to see if things have changed. My Nu-Way burger and root beer frostie (blended root beer float) were both great. Would love to eat more often at both of the restaurants I visited tonight!

 

Walnut River Falls - El Dorado, Kansas Walnut River Falls
 

Keeper of the Plains - Wichita, Kansas Keeper of the Plains

 
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