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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Cedar Vreek Falls - Olathe, Kansas
Thursday - April 1, 2020: The closing of many attractions and the need to maintain social distance have cut way back on our visits to places for this web site. Today I went to one of the restaurants which isn't as impacted by social distancing as most. Christy's Tasty Queen in Kansas City, Kansas has no inside seating, only a few scattered picnic tables, and most meals are purchased to go. The restaurant has closed the usual indoor pick up area and purchases are made at a small window.

We ordered the pork tenderloins that Christy's is famous for, plus a foot long chili dog. The large pork tenderloins were crispy, while the pork is tender, with a delicious coating. The chili sauce was just right for a dog, flavorful and relatively thick with no beans. It and the Suzy qs, were so filling that we had an entire tenderloin leftover. It was still good, reheated two days later.

 

Christy's Tasty Queen - Kansas City, Kansas Christy's Tasty Queen

Chili dog at Christy's Tasty Queen chili dog

 
Saturday - April 3, 2020: I paid a brief visit to a individual burial near the intersection of K-7 and K-10 in Olathe. The 1856 grave is of Asa C. Smith, the infant son of Fountain and Emily Smith, who had a farm at this location until 1865. The grave is maintained by Atmos Energy.

I drove through Shawnee Mission Park on the way home, though some of the roads are closed for construction. With the exception of the dog park, it appeared that people were doing a good job of keeping their distance from each other.

 

Tuesday - April 7, 2020: Joe’s Kansas City BBQ may be the most successfully marketed restaurant in the Kansas City area. They have responded to COVID-19, by having all three locations offer curbside pick-up. Call in your order, they'll take payment over the phone and give you a pick-up time when they will bring your order out. They have even added Sunday hours.

Today we picked up a half smoked chicken, a short end of pork ribs, beans and spiced fries at the Olathe location. They traveled well and it was a quite enjoyable lunch. Linda commented that she enjoyed them even more than usual. We think that may be because we are having barbeque much less often than normal.

They got our order completely correct, something we can't say for all the places we have recently tried.

 

Saturday - April 11, 2020: Jones BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas added a refrigerated vending machine this past week. Their hours are quite limited and this provides a new option for people who cannot get there between 11AM - 3PM.

We visited early this morning and found only 4 items available, Chicken wings, rib tips, cake and a sandwich. It wasn't easy to read what the prices are, but we bought the last wing package, which turned out to have two smoked wings, a small serving of beans, pickles, bread and tiny bit of sauce for $4.00. The wings were a little tough but had a good smoky flavor. The beans were sweet and were nearly 1/4 pork - quite good!

 

Wednesday - April 15, 2020: Although we have stopped traveling and are severely limited going out because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we are still trying to support locally owned restaurants. Tonight, we got supper to go from Snack Shack on Santa Fe in Overland Park, where we have regularly dined since it was the Shake Shack in 2011.

The restaurant has responded to safety concerns by closing the inside to the public and limiting sales to the window on the patio. Dinning at the outdoor tables is also no longer permitted. The menu has been slight reduced, but the quality of the burgers and fresh cut fries are as good as always (though the fries don't travel home as well as the burgers do).

Business appeared to be steady.
 

Snack Shack service window - Overland Park, Kansas Snack Shack
 
Friday - April 19, 2020: Silo Modern Farmhouse in Lenexa is doing meals on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays, taking the order the day before and doing curbside pick up. On Fridays it is a fish boil of shrimp, crawfish and mussels with andoullie sausage, boiled purple potatoes, corn on the cob and cheddar chive biscuits. The other potatoes in the upper right were an extra from the chef.

I ordered this because the picture looked so good on facebook. Our food looked great, but wasn't a treat. the biscuits had little flavor - really all of the food was bland.

 

Fish boil at Silo Modern Farmhouse in Lenexa, Kansas Fish boil
Sunday - April 19, 2020: One of the challenges of getting curb side or home delivery is finding dishes that will still be good when you get it home. Today we did Stroud's in Overland Park and it traveled well. We ordered a white meat dinner and a gizzard dinner. Between them, there were 7 meals. I enjoyed this food a lot. For me, it is the gravy which makes it all work so well. Gizzards, cottage fries and gravy warm up well the next day in the microwave. Stroud's in Overland Park, Kansas Stroud's Restaurant
Saturday - April 25, 2020: As we visit restaurants these days, its nice to have some where the experience is virtually unchanged under COVID-19. Grandstand Burger in Overland Park is a great place for a burger, pork tenderloin, onion rings or tater tots. LInda had a cheeseburger and I had the Grandstand Burger, a Swiss cheeseburger topped with Philly steak. I forgot to request a cook it to only 168 degrees (the closest they get to medium) and the Grandstand Burger was a bit dry.

Looking for a safe way to do a little exploring, we visited some small cemeteries in eastern Douglas County. Our first stop was Pioneer City Cemetery in Baldwin City. It was started in 1855 and is one of the oldest continuously operated cemeteries in Kansas. We came to photograph one grave in particular, that of Luther Haden "Dummy" Taylor, the only successful deaf pitcher in major league baseball, He was born in Oskaloosa, Kansas and over the years was a student, teacher and coach at Kansas State School For the Deaf in Olathe.

From Baldwin City, we drove north, stopping first at Dow Cemetery, SW of Vinland, which was the site of the burial of Charles Dow, who was killed in a land dispute by a Southern Sympathizer in 1855, in what has been called the first murder of an American of European descent in Kansas. His body was later moved to Oakwood Cemetery in Baldwin City, but there are believed to be over 70 other burials at this location. No burial markers remain today, just a sign.

On the way into Vinland, we went by Stony Point Cemetery, which followed Dow Cemetery and which has a Lutheran Church which was built in 1883 and abandoned in 1900.

After taking photos of Coal Creek Library, churches and Grange Hall. we headed north to Eudora to visit Beni Israel Cemetery which was founded in 1858 by the local community, which was only the 2nd Jewish community in Kansas. The community moved to Lawrence only a few years later, but continued to use the cemetery until 1928. In 1978, Lawrence Jewish Community Congregation reactivated the cemetery. It is in use today and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

One of the interesting features of the cemetery is that the Hebrew on many of the stones is misspelled, which is believed to be because the stone carvers did not know Hebrew. The "genizah" is where worn-out Hebrew language books and religious papers papers are buried, because they contain God's name and cannot be thrown out.

 

Grandstand Burger in Overland Park, Kansas
"Grandstand Burger"

Luther Taylor grave - Baldwin City, Kansas Luther Taylor grave

Dow Cemetery - Vinland, Kansas Dow Cemetery
 
 
 
 
 

Beni Israel Cemetery - Eudora, Kansas Genizah at Beni Israel Cemetery
 

 
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