Kansas Travel Blog

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
Art Prints

Drinkwater and Schriver Flour Mill - Cedar Point, Kansas
Friday - March 1, 2019: After a night at a Wichita hotel, I started the day at the east Wichita location Doo-Dah Diner. It is a cool, retro restaurant with an interesting menu. When I dined at their original location last year, it was on a Sunday, when the only option is a Brunch Buffet at $19.99. That location is presently closed for remodeling, so I decided to check out this (possibly) temporary location and have a look at the menu.

Although it was only 8:30AM, they serve their entire menu from the start of the day and I chose the outside in burger (10oz fresh hand partied beef stuffed with American cheese & jalapeno bacon on a house made bun) which is $12.99 with one side. 

While I waited for my food, they brought out a complimentary small bowl of monkey bread.

The huge serving of Fresh cut fries was very good, but the burger was less of a hit. The meat was dry and the stuffing was in one small part of the patty and there was only two or three bites of cheese or bacon in the large burger.

After breakfast, I drove on to Rose Hill, a small community on the southeast side of Wichita to visit Jurassic Art, a wonderful grassroots art environment which I just learned about last year. I had been photographing pieces for about 15 minutes when the artist, Phil Brinkley, came out to meet me and tell me about his history. I learned that Phil (who is a retired Cessna employee) and his son Allen do auto restoration and I was soon touring their body shop and studio. They have made some fabulous wheeled art creations and also do restoration of classic automobiles.

I would have liked to purchase some of Phil's art for our yard, but none of the pieces that he makes for sale were finished at this time.

On the drive back to Wichita, I drove past Field Station Dinosaurs. It is ironic that two recreations of the dinosaurs are so close to each other.

I stopped for an early lunch at Jack's Coffee Shop, which is not owned by a Jack and does not serve coffee. This spot looks more like a dive than any other place on our web site. It is only open for lunch Monday - Saturday and only serves hamburgers, potato chips and pop. But the burger is so good, even after having had the other burger only a couple of hours earlier. And inexpensive!

After a brief stop to photograph the Phil Brinkley made Knight next to Trinity Academy, I went to the new Pizza Hut Museum at Wichita Sate University. The museum is in the first building used for a Pizza Hut when the company was founded by WSU students in 1958. It was first relocated to the campus and then to this location in 2017. It opened as a museum in 2018. WSU students serve as docents and I enjoyed getting to know grad student Barb Myers, who was working today.

From the museum it was a short drive to Wichita Park Cemetery, where I had been unable to locate the graves of President Obama's great-great grandparents, Dr. Jacob William Dunham and Mary Ann Kearney Dunham when I searched in 2016. Armed with more information, today I was able to find the family plot, although their graves are unmarked. We will be adding a page about this spot, in addition to the listing it already has on our Barack Obama's Ancestors Graves in Kansas page.

Next up was a first visit to Sport Burger Drive In, which is open only for lunch on Monday to Saturday and until 6PM on Friday. Although there is a small counter area, at least this day it was locked and food was only available at the drive up window. I sampled a 1/4 pound cheeseburger, hot Polish sandwich, onion rings and fries. (sampled only) It was all good, with the Polish sausage and onion rings being the best, but it wasn't so good that I will return if it turns out the inside seating is closed all the time.

I made one more stop before leaving town, at Wichita's Central Riverside Park to revisit the Kansas Wildlife Exhibit and  to photograph the Mini Stonehenge a block away. The cages in the wildlife exhibit were mostly empty, probably because it is early March. The Stonehenge is pretty cool and I need to research it more.

I drove northwest to Hutchinson, where I photographed the second grassroots art environment of the day. This one is not open to the public and I only took photos from the street, a display of sculptures by the late Richard Brown. They are from his one time "Lost Acres Ranch." It will be added to our Kansas Grassroots Art page.

I checked in to the Atrium Hotel in Hutchinson, where a group of my friends were gathered for BYOc. When they headed out for a group dinner at a restaurant I didn't want to revisit this year, I headed out of town to try out Carolyn's Essenhaus in Arlington. I had read a lot of good things about this small town restaurant and had been looking forward to finally trying it out. It wasn't packed, but I could tell the restaurant had been busy earlier, as there were many tables which were empty, but had not been bussed. I waited at the door for a minute, but no one acknowledged me and there was no sign saying to wait for seating, so I asked one of the servers if it was OK if I sat at the one clean, empty table.

There was already menus on the table, so I photographed the menu and decided on what I would like to eat. Then I waited, After a few minutes, I started trying to catch the eye of a server, particularly the one I had spoken to before sitting down, and who had another table nearby. I started trying harder to catch a server's attention, but didn't want to shout across the restaurant. After waiting over 15 minutes I gave up.

The Dutch Kitchen Restaurant was on the way driving back to Hutchinson and its review on our Hutchinson Restaurant Guide was overdue for an update. Tonight the chicken fried steak was pretty good, but the mashed potatoes had huge lumps. The sour cream and raisin pie was very good and the peanut butter cookies I bought at the cash register on the way out were great!

 

Doo-Dah Diner - Wichita, Kansas Doo-Dah Diner
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Jurassic Art - Rose Hill, Kansas Jurassic Art
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Pizza Hut Museum Barb Myers at the Pizza Hut Museum
 
 
 
 

Sport Burger Drive In - Wichita, Kansas Sport Burger Drive In
 

Mini Stonehenge - Wichita, Kansas Mini Stonehenge

Lost Acres Ranch - Hutchinson, Kansas Lost Acres Ranch
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Dutch Kitchen Restaurant - Hutchinson, Kansas Dutch Kitchen Restaurant

 
Saturday - March 2, 2019: Another big food day began with a second visit to Firehouse Cafe, a breakfast and lunch restaurant which opened in 2010 in an old 2 story firehouse. My first visit there was on a Sunday, when the menu is a little more limited, so I was looking forward to dining there again. The restaurant was full when I arrived, but I found a seat at a long table which at least this morning was serving as a community table. 

The lunch selection still wasn't very big, and I had the chicken fried steak with 2 eggs. It normally comes with toast, but for a small upgrade charge, I went with a large blueberry pancake. The food was slow coming, the pancake not arriving until I had finished the rest of the meal. The chicken fried steak was very good. This restaurant will soon be added to our Hutchinson Restaurant Guide.

After photographing some nearby grain elevators, I drove across Hutchinson to Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ, one of my favorite BBQ restaurants. Roy's is a small family run restaurant that has been in operation since 1982. It was way too soon to eat again at this time, but I photographed the new menu and purchased a pound of their great Polish sausage to eat at home.

The next stop was out in the country near Partridge, Kansas at The Potluck, an Amish family farm and dairy which sells raw milk, eggs, meats and other items. The neat old building is unattended, with a cash box where you make your own change on the honor system. I was going to buy some sausage and other meats, but there was no price list for the meats and no one was available to ask when I went back outside to look around and take more photos.

A dog followed my car far down the road.

The next stop was a few miles away at Glass Springs Dairy, a similar family farm and dairy which I visited last year. I was concerned when there were no signs as I pulled in off the street and no sign on the dairy. It was unlocked, but the products were gone and there was no sign with an explanation. 

Back in Hutchinson, I had lunch at R-B Drive In, which opened in 1948. It changed hands in 2016 and was so busy there was an hour wait for food when we tried to check them out last year. Today there was a 30 minute wait before they could start cooking a new order, but this time I had brought a book and was prepared to wait.

The good news is that the food is still every bit as good! The menu is largely unchanged and prices are still very reasonable.

I returned to the hotel to spend more time with friends attending BYOc. Tonight I joined several of them to try a restaurant which was new to me - AJs Sports Grill, which is attached to a bowling alley close to the Atrium Hotel. Our large table ordered a variety of items. The bone in chicken wings which I ordered were nothing special, but the people who had the pizza were uniformly pleased.

 

Firehouse Cafe - Hutchinson, Kansas Firehouse Cafe
 
 
 
 

Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ - Hutchinson, Kansas Smoked ribs in the display case at Roy's

The Potluck - Partridge, Kansas The Potluck
 
 
 

R-B Drive In - Hutchinson, Kansas R-B Drive In

AJs Sports Grill - Hutchinson, Kansas AJs Sports Grill

Sunday - March 3, 2019: There was a 3-4" snowfall last night and it is still quite windy so there are deeper drifts. Still there were no real issues as I drove from Hutchinson to Newton to have lunch at The Breadbasket. It is a bakery and Mennonite influenced restaurant known for German buffets on Friday and Saturday evenings and for a breakfast buffet during the week.

In recent years it seems that I can only get by here on Sunday when they do a $14.99 Five Meat Buffet only and are open from 10:30AM - 2PM. I arrived at 10:40 and was the first customer of the day.

The meats are fried chicken, fantail shrimp, tilapia, roast turkey and a weekly rotating 5th meat. Today the 5th meat was BBQ brisket. I had all the meats, but the tilapia and enjoyed them all. I was surprised at how good the breaded fried shrimp was. Today the dessert bar had chocolate pudding cake, bread pudding, 3 cobblers (1 sugar free) and soft serve ice cream. I tried several of them. All were good, with the rich chocolate pudding cake being my favorite.

The roads were a little better when I got back in the car. The sun had come out by the time time I had arrived in Newton and it was now quite pretty, so I stopped to get sunny, snow pictures of the Drinkwater & Schriver Flour Mill, Spring Hill Ranch House at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve,  Chase County Courthouse, and Cottonwood River Dam & Bridge.

 

The Breadbasket - Newton, Kansas The Breadbasket
 
 
 
 
 

Drinkwater and Schriver Flour Mill - Cedar Point, Kansas Drinkwater & Schriver Flour Mill

Tuesday - March 5, 2019: We totally rewrote our review of B&C BBQ Pub & Grill in Wichita, Kansas to take in the remodel, expansion, much great hours and menu (before it was buffet only). Over half of the photos have been replaced as well.

 

 
Wednesday - March 6, 2019: For the third week in a row, I revisited an Overland Park Korean restaurant and had stir fried squid (ojingyh bogum). This week the restaurant was Choga Korean Restaurant. I first dined there about 20 years ago and it has had a review on our Overland Park Restaurant Guide for many years, but I had not been back in about 3 years.

Choga is doing something new, but that was not what I was there for this night. They are now doing all you can eat Korean BBQ, prepared on gas or charcoal grills built into the dining tables. It isn't cheap ($27 - $35 depending on the dishes selected) and everyone in the party must order the KBBQ. You can order more items brought to the table to cook on the grill for up to 3 hours!

The ojingyh bogum was good. I enjoyed it much more than the o jing uh bokkeum at Korean Restaurant Sobahn two weeks earlier, but I still liked the ojingeo bokkeum at Chosun Korean BBQ more. I enjoyed the side dishes (banchan), but none so much that I asked for more. 

It used to be that my servers at these Korean restaurants would ask if I wanted more of the banchan. They still bring it if I ask, but no longer ask if I would like more.

 

ojingyh bogum at Choga Korean Restaurant ojingyh bogum
 
Thursday - March 7, 2019: My day job took me to the Kansas City Auto Show in downtown Kansas City, Missouri today. I recently noticed that our Kansas City BBQ Restaurant Guide does not have a listing for Smokin' Guns in North Kansas City and this seemed like a good time to revisit it to take photos and sample the food for a listing.

It has been several years since the last time I ate there. They moved the restaurant into a larger, purpose built building in 2013 and I had only been to the new location once. I decided on a ribs and chicken plate with onion rings, corn and corn bread for $14.95.

While waiting for the food, I tasted all there sauces: regular, spicy and sweet. The spicy isn't very spicy. It has just a little heat in the finish. My favorite of the three was the sweet.

Maybe they were having an off day, but this wasn't as good as I remembered from years ago. The only thing I really cared for was the onion rings. When I am in this area again, I will be more likely to dine at Hawg Jaw Que & Brew a few blocks away.

 

Smoking Guns BBQ - NOrth Kansas City, Missouri Smokin' Guns BBQ
 
 

ribs and chicken plate at Smoking Guns BBQ ribs and chicken plate

Friday - March 8, 2019: We added a new page about the Pizza Hut Museum at Wichita State University.

 

 
Saturday - March 9, 2019: We added a new page devoted to Jurassic Art, a fabulous Grassroots Art Environment in Rose Hill, Kansas.

 

 
Monday - March 11, 2019: We hadn't been to Big Bam's Burgers in Shawnee, Kansas for several years, but it has vocal supporters and we felt it was time to try it again. The building is too nice to be called a dive. I would describe it more as a hut. The menu continues to be on the wall and you order & pay at a counter. The food is brought to the table when it is ready.

The food was fine, but none of the dishes would draw me here from any distance. My burger wasn't very juicy and the chicken sandwich was just a chicken sandwich. The highly talked about tatter tots were properly cooked and crispy on the outside, but still were just tatter tots.

The strongest things I can say is that the onion rings are better than average and the prices are reasonable.

 

Big Bam's Burgers - Shawnee, Kansas Big Bam's Burgers
Tuesday - March 12, 2019: I was still in the mood for a good burger, so today seemed like a good day to retry Grandstand Burger in far north Overland Park. Although I like the burgers at this little restaurant a lot, indoor seating has been limited to 4 stools crammed into a small space at the counter. There are some picnic tables out front, but that isn't a very attractive area and is even less appealing on a cool wet day.

I discovered that the stools have been removed and now the only place to eat inside is standing at the counter. That is just what another customer and I did. Grandstand has a number of specialty burgers on the menu, but I went with a double cheeseburger with grilled onions and grilled jalapenos.  The hand formed burger had great flavor! This was a burger worth driving a distance for.

I haven't been very impressed with the fries at Grandstand before and went with the tatter tots. The tots are long, flat and about a third of the thickness of other tater tots. They are shaped like Tetris pieces and are crispier than most. I really enjoyed them!

 

Grandstand Burger - Overland Park, Kansas Double cheeseburger with tots
Wednesday - March 13, 2019: At lunch time, I revisited the new Wahlburgers in Olathe, Kansas. It opened last September and although they were trying very hard, there were issues when I tried them at that time. This franchise restaurant is operated by the Hy-Vee grocery chain and is the first Wahlburgers in Kansas.

The Coke & Sriracha glazed wings sounded great and I had them with Yukon French fries. I could taste the Coke in the glaze, but the Siracha flavor was missing. Perhaps they were afraid to use enough Siracha for fear it would be too much? They weren't bad, but they had sounded so much better. 

The fries were average.

For the fourth week in a row, I revisited an Overland Park Korean restaurant and had stir fried squid (Squid Bokkum). This week the restaurant was Gangnam Korean Restaurant, which is only about 2 blocks from Choga Korean Restaurant where I dined last Wednesday.

This was the newest of the four restaurants and only the second time I have dined here. The squid bokkum was the hottest of the four squid dishes and there was a time years ago that the heat was the thing I most wanted, but the complex flavors in the ojingeo bokkeum at Chosun Korean BBQ have my highest marks. There was more variety in the side dishes (banchan). The boiled peanuts at the left in the photo didn't do much for me, but the radish in the dish at the right was wonderful. I was tempted to see if it could be ordered to go.

 

Coke and Sriracha glazed wings at Wahlburgers in Olathe, Kansas Coke & Sriracha glazed wings
 
 
 

Squid Bokkum at Gangnam Korean Restaurant Squid Bokkum

Thursday - March 14, 2019: Thursdays in March are the only days in the year when Joe's Kansas City BBQ sells corned beef burnt ends Reuben sandwiches. This is the third year for this great sandwich. Get here early, a lot of people come for this sandwich and the meat runs out.
 

 

corned beef burnt ends Reuben sandwich Reuben sandwich
Friday - March 15, 2019: Tonight we tried KINZI Mediterranean Cuisine in Mission, Kansas. We had feta cheese dip, a gyro pie, beef biryani and kibbeh. As you can see in the photo to the right, rather than the appetizers coming out early, all of the food came out at the same time. We both enjoyed the meal, which has some surprises. Probably the biggest surprise was the gyro pie. We never guessed that it was a pizza.

None of the dishes stood out so much that we would make a point of having it again, but we definitely want to try KINZI again.

 

KINZI Mediterranean Cuisine - Mission, Kansas Assorted dishes at KINZI
Saturday - March 16, 2019: We took a few hours to explore Osawatomie, Kansas today, stopping on the way there to try Grandstand Burger in Paola. We just recently learned that this restaurant existed, having been fans of the Grandstand Burger in Overland Park for many years. This restaurant is independent of the Overland Park restaurant, but was started 4 years ago with the assistance of Nick Marci, who opened the Overland Park location.

This location is in a repurposed gas station and has much more room. The larger kitchen lets them have a larger menu and several tables, where the Overland Park one has no seating at all.

The onion rings are very good. The tater tots are also very good, but not the same as the incredible, unusually shaped tots in Overland Park. The catfish filets are battered rather than cornmeal breaded and I liked those as well. The mushroom Swiss burger was average.

We took back roads to Osawatomie, where our first stop was a revisit of the Osawatomie State Hospital Cemetery. Since my previous visit, I learned that two of the otherwise identical numbered grave markers were long ago replaced with markers with names and wanted to get photos for our page about the cemetery. I also discovered that many of the numbered markers are actually replacements of older numbered markers whose numbers had worn away.

The next stop was at the north end of the long ago closed Asylum Bridge. We got pictures of the south end later in the day.

The main point of the trip was to visit the John Brown Museum in Osawatomie. It had been many years since I was last there and Linda had never been there before. I had confirmed the hours on their web site (10AM-5PM) and on the recorded message on their answering machine, but the building was locked up and there was no sign.

With the extra time, we visited the Osawatomie History Museum. It is much larger than I remembered from my previous visit, including a large wing in recreated train depot which I don't recall at all.

We added a new page devoted to Bates City BBQ in Shawnee, Kansas.

 

Grandstand Burger - Paola, Kansas Grandstand Burger
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Asylum Bridge - Osawatomie, Kansas Asylum Bridge

Osawatomie History Museum - Osawatomie, Kansas Osawatomie History Museum - Railroad Wing

Thursday - March 21, 2019: I had a late morning appointment on the east side of Kansas City, Missouri and I decided to take advantage of it by having lunch at LC's Bar-B-Q, It is one of my favorite Kansas City BBQ Restaurants, but because of its location, I tend to only make it there once every year or two. It has been several year's since I had seen L.C. Richardson, himself, so it was a pleasure when he came in near the end of my meal. He appears to be still doing fine.

LC's Bar-B-Q is a interesting little dive with a great product. The ribs at LC's Bar-B-Q are slightly crunchy on the outside, but still juicy and well flavored. The sauce is quite sweet and not what I would choose to take home, but it complements both the meat and the great, thick French fries.

We added a new page devoted to the Osawatomie History Museum & Osawatomie Railroad Museum in Osawatomie, Kansas.

 

L.C. Richardson - LC's BBQ L.C. Richardson
Saturday - March 23, 2019: A friend joined us in revisiting Woodyard Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas. I wanted to dine there again before writing a review and adding it to our Kansas City Barbecue Restaurant Guide. I first dined there more than 10 years ago, but it took several years of their development before I became a fan.

We had smoked chicken, a burnt end sandwich and chicken wings. The wings are both smoked and fried. The small, whole wings aren't smoky or spicy, but have a nice crunch when you bite into them. 

We had supper at Stroud's Restaurant in Fairway, Kansas. Family style skillet fried chicken, mashed potatoes, fried chicken gizzards, cottage fries, gravy, cinnamon rolls, green beans and chicken noodle soup. More food than almost anyone can eat. 

I've never had room left to try Stroud's desserts.

 

Woodyard Bar-B-Que - Kansas City, Kansas Woodyard Bar-B-Que
Sunday - March 24, 2019: Following church, we drove to De Soto, Kansas to try out Wanda's Roadside Cafe. The breakfast and lunch restaurant is the third restaurant we have dined at in this store front. We tried a breakfast dish (ham and cheese omelet with hash browns) and a lunch item (country fried steak with green beans and mashed potatoes & gravy). They both came with a pretty good, warm biscuit.

All the food was simple and reasonably priced, but nothing to really get me to pull off K-10 and go here. My favorite part of those dishes was the mashed potatoes.

But there is a reason to pull of the highway. When we sat down, the chalk board said there was apple pie, blackberry pie and cinnamon rolls. The rolls were taken off the board a few minutes after we ordered and I asked the servers if the pie was in danger of running out. I was just in time to ask them to set aside the last slice of the blackberry pie, though I was surprised when it was brought right out, rather than being held back.

We still waited until after the meal to try the pie. It was so good! Particularly the crust. I may comeback just for the pie!

Before leaving De Soto, we stopped up the street at Grandpa's Old Ford Garage. Dean Weller's collection of beautiful antique cars crowded into the 1918 Model A Ford garage. Dean didn't just restore the cars. In large part he created them. Dean stooped doing new restorations about 5 years ago and I wasn't that surprised to see a sign on the door saying,  "For Sale Antique Cars - open Tuesday morning or call for appointment (913) 585-3326."

Following up, to update the pages we have devoted to Grandpa's' Old Ford Garage, I was sad to learn that Dean's bride of 72 years recently passed away. Rest In Peace, Delores Weller.

We added a new review of Woodyard Bar-B-Que in Kansas City, Kansas, which we revisited yesterday.

 

Wanda's Roadside Cafe - De Soto, Kansas Wanda's Roadside Cafe
 

Blackberry pie at Wanda's Roadside Cafe Blackberry pie
 

For Sale Antique Cars - Grandpa's Old Ford Garage For Sale Antique Cars

Friday - March 29, 2019: I left work a little early and headed south for a quick overnight exploration of southeast Kansas.

The first stop was the Prairie Nut Hut in Altoona, Kansas. I first wrote the review of the Nut Hut in 2008 and we have been back quite a few times, but it had been 2 years since the last visit. The menu had not changed since 2013, but this time a few items had gone up. The prices are still very reasonable.

I ordered a specialty burger I hadn't had before, the Green Chili Burger (grilled green chilies and Swiss cheese) and home style fries. I love the fries here, but looking at the plates of onion rings going to other tables made wish I had gone with them.

The Green Chili Burger was good, but the Rohr burger (with grilled onions, mushrooms and Swiss cheese) is still my favorite.

Before leaving Altoona, I went by Altoona Mill Falls, south of Kansas Highway 47. I could hear the roar of the Verdigris River as soon as I got out of the car a couple of hundred feet away and I took a video which was posted to the KansasTravel.org Facebook Page this evening.

There was light rain as I continued driving to Neodesha, but it let up enough to let me photograph some of the more interesting buildings before stopping at Beef Burger Bob's. I first dined at the restaurant when it was in the nearby community of Fredonia, but Bob and Tony Babcock moved the restaurant ot Neodesha about 8 years ago.

There is just one large table and four 2 person tables in the small dinning room, but most orders seem to be to go. I had a small beef burger (loose meat hamburger) and fresh made Susie Q French fries. Even though I had eaten another hamburger less than two hours earlier, this sandwich was well seasoned and tasted great. I asked for a small order od Susie Qs, but the serving was still huge and I didn't eat more than a 5th of it.

Some day I will have their pie, but I seem to always get here late in the day, after the pie has sold out.

I continued south to Independence, Kansas, where I spent the night at the Apple Tree Inn. It was comfortable, quiet, clean and reasonably priced.

 


 

Green Chili Burger
 
 
 
 

Altoona Mill Falls - Altoona, Kansas Altoona Mill Falls
 

Beef Burger Bob's - Neodesha, Kansas Small Beef Burger and Susie Qs

Saturday - March 230, 2019: I was up early and after grabbing some breakfast at the hotel, was on the road, heading west on US Highway 160. My first stop was in Elk Falls, Kansas, where I wanted exterior photos of Elk Falls Pottery, which had moved since the last time I was in town. 

As I was pulling back on the highway, I spotted Outhouse Grove, which I assume was created by the people who have the pottery. Elk Falls, Kansas is the self proclaimed Outhouse Capital of Kansas and hosts an open house and Outhouse Tour on the Friday and Saturday before Thanksgiving each year. This grove gives people a handy photo opportunity year around.

The next quick stop was Moline, Kansas, where I photographed the Lockheed T-33A Shooting Star aircraft which was moved here from Independence, Kansas and is on static display in a park. I also took some new photos of Kansas' Oldest Swinging Bridge. The was light, wet snow while I was taking pictures.

The first appointment of the day was at 9AM at the Grenola Elevator Museum, where Dorthy Keplinger had agreed to show me the museum during there off season. The museum is normally open April through September on three week day afternoons. The building is neither heated or cooled, so the best time of year to visit it is late spring and early fall.

The main part of the grain elevator is preserved much as it was when the business shut down. The remainder of the building has two galleries, while the old office serves as a genealogy library. Two one room school houses have also been moved to the site. Touring the main building takes about 30 minutes and of you visit the two school buildings, you will probably spend a total of about 40 minutes.

Back on the road, I had less than two hours to get to Chetopa, Kansas, where Sandy Baldridge, curator of the Chetopa Historical Museum had also agreed to show me around a museum that does not open for the season until next week. Sandy and her husband, Howard, showed me around the museum, My favorite parts were the exhibit devoted to the button factory which made buttons from mussel shells in 1921 and the room devoted to Chetopa's status as the Pecan Capital of Kansas.

After taking photos of several minor attractions around Chetopa, I had lunch at The Firepit, a BBQ restaurant which has pretty good ratings online. I had ribs and pulled chicken. The fries I saw at a neighboring table didn't look very exciting, so I went with the jalapeno corn. I liked the chicken and corn, though I didn't think they stood out. Most of the meat went in a cooler for another day.

I continued east to Baxter Springs. It had been several years since I had been on the Kansas portion of Historic 66 and it was time to get photos to update our extensive section on The Route. The main new items which I found were a series of descriptive panels along the route and a quirky collection of photo opportunities on the east side of Galena.

It was time to start heading toward home and I went north on US Highway 400 and then US Highway 69. I had a mid afternoon meal at Idle-a-While Bar & Grill in Cherokee, Kansas. This is a wonderful little dive that I hadn't managed to get back to in over 6 years and I was pleased to learn that other than replacing one of the pool tables with more tables & chairs, little has changed.

I had the Colossal Dog - hot link on hoagie topped with kraut, cheese, onions, jalapenos and cayenne. Actually, I didn't notice much cheese or onions, but it was very good. The hot link really had a good smoked flavor. Dan told me that he hasn't found a regular supplier of the link and it could well be a different one the next time I was in.

Although they were closed I took a few exterior photos at the Carona Depot and Railroad Museum in Scammon, Kansas and Big Brutus near West Mineral, Kansas. The Carona Depot has a large cosmetically restored Kansas City Southern Steam Locomotive on display which was not here the last time I visited.

I had supper at Jim's Steak House in Pittsburg. While I like this restaurant, it hasn't quite met the bar to be on our list of Unique Kansas Restaurants, but it had been 6-7 years since the last time I was there it was time to try them again.

Jim's is decorated appropriately for a nicer small town steakhouse, but the effect is hurt by the tables and booths being so close together that you can't help but hear neighboring conversations.

I started with a "small" order onion rings. I felt like it was enough for 4 or 5 people, but the couple at a neighboring booth almost finished their order. The onion rings were house made and excellent.

My main dish was a 12 ounce rib eye, which came with fresh cut fries and a salad. After I paid the up charge for grilled onions and grilled mushrooms, the meal was a still reasonable $27. They didn't skimp on the onions and mushrooms, they entirely hid the steak. The steak was fine, but nothing special.

I took most of the meal home with me (got two more meals out of it), but I was still tempted to try a dessert, until I learned that none of them were made in house.

 

Outhouse Grove - Elk Falls, Kansas Outhouse Grove
 
 
 
 
 

Grenola Elevator Museum - Grenola, Kansas Grenola Elevator Museum
 
 

Chetopa History Museum - Chetopa, Kansas Chetopa History Museum
 
 
 
 

Galena, Kansas Galena, Kansas photo opportunities
 
 

Colossal Dog at Idle-a-While Bar and Grill Colossal Dog
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

onion rings at Jim's Steakhouse in Pittsburg, Kansas. onion rings

 
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2009: January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December
2008: May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December

 
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