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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Topeka Christmas Display - Topeka, Kansas
Wednesday - December 2, 2020: After a couple of day off, I'm back to checking out Christmas Light Displays in Johnson County. I went out a mid day, checking on displays from last year's tour. I am checking on Christmas displays most days, but not listing every time on this blog.

Since this would take me nearby, I had carry out from Burnt End BBQ in Overland Park. This was only the second time I have dined at Burnt End since they moved north from 135th Street, years ago. I had beef burnt ends, fries and onion rings. The fries were ordinary. The burnt ends were well smoked, but more lean than I would choose. The onion rings were much better than they looked, but I would have liked them to be crispy.

We went back out in the evening to check on new displays which had been recommended for the Kansas City Christmas Display Tour. The largest new display was in the Quivira Woods subdivision in northwestern Shawnee, Kansas. Most homes in the small subdivision have combined to decorate for Christmas. In 2020 they have gone all out and many homes feature blow molds and handmade cutouts which are drawn freehand by Bill Barkemeyer.

 

Burnt End BBQ - Overland Park, Kansas Burnt End BBQ
 

Quivira Woods Christmas - Shawnee, Kansas Barkemeyer display

 
Thursday - December 3, 2020: We added a new page devoted to Quivira Woods Christmas in Shawnee, Kansas.

We were invited to do the new 2020 drive through Rockin' Winter Wonderland at KC Wine Co in Olathe, Kansas. Admission is by timed tickets purchased online and includes a bag of caramel corn and the opportunity for adults to purchase wines and ciders curbside. They even gave us a small taste of the Granny Smith cider, so we could decide which cider we wanted to purchase. The drive through display is a little expensive at $25/car and a leisurely drive through took about 10 minutes. About a quarter of the lights were not working.

We also checked out some of the beautiful Christmas light displays on nearby Gardner Lake.

 

Rockin' Winter Wonderland at KC Wine Co - Olathe, Kansas Rockin' Winter Wonderland
Friday - December 4, 2020: We added a new page devoted to Rockin' Winter Wonderland at KC Wine Co in Olathe, Kansas. 

 

 
Saturday - December 5, 2020: We returned to Topeka for the 25th Annual Miracle on Kansas Ave Parade. To encourage social distancing, this year they had a reverse parade around the Capitol and you drove past the stationary floats. Our photos are not very good, as drivers were not permitted to stop driving for photos. The line to get to the drive through parade went blocks south, than east to Kansas Avenue and blocks up that street.

We checked on some new displays which had been recommended for the Topeka Christmas Tour, Than stopped to check on more new displays in Lawrence, De Soto and Shawnee.

 

Miracle on Kansas Ave Parade - Topeka, Kansas Miracle on Kansas Ave Parade
Thursday - December 10, 2020: It was a warm evening, so we returned again to Topeka to do the Topeka Zoo's new fund raising event, Zoo Lights. About half of the zoo is decorated with Christmas lights and the zoo reopens each evening from 5-9 PM for visitors to walk through. Most visitors were wearing masks. There was no set route through the pathways, so people were wandering and at times it was quite crowded when people going in opposite directions passed. It was nice, but only took about 30 minutes. Other same birds on the pound, we saw no animals.

Before leaving town, we stopped at Washburn University where the Alumni have created a new Washburn Winter Walk with Christmas Lights.

 


 

Washburn Winter Walk - Washburn University Washburn Winter Walk

Friday - December 11, 2020: We added a new page devoted to Zoo Lights at the Topeka, Zoo.

 

 
Saturday - December 12, 2020: We tried out the new Red Door Woodfired Grill which opened on December 8. It is a local chain with 4 other locations in the Kansas City metro area. I guess we tried them too soon.

I ordered curbside delivery using their web site. When I arrived, I found number parking spots to be used for curb side pick up and instructions to text my location. The reserved spots were all full, but I was able to park between them and the door and texted that I was there and exactly where I had parked.

There was a prompt text reply and I waited, watching the staff taking orders to other vehicles. After 15 minutes I texted gain, but there was no response. I tried again a few minutes later. At about 25 minutes, I went inside to speak to someone inside and was told that it was not ready. I left my phone number with the reception.

I finally received a phone call asking me to come in to pick up my food about 40 minutes late. When I got home, part of the meal was cold, as if it had been prepared on time and than sat while the rest was prepared.

They are brand new and we will try them again, but will wait a few months.

 

 
Monday - December 21, 2020: I had lunch at Big Bam's Burgers in Shawnee. Every year or so we receive a recommendation for this restaurant to be on out Best Kansas Hamburgers list and ever 2 or 3 years I return to reevaluate them. Today I had carry out and sampled the onion rings and the "Goldblum," which is a burger with American cheese, grilled onion, bacon and ranch dressing. I wanted it for the cheeses and grilled onions, but substituted mustard for the ranch dressing.

The onion rings were quite good and burger was above average, but in my opinion, not at the same level as the ones which make our list. The price was fair at $10.58 plus tax, and if this restaurant was in my neighborhood, I will dine here occasionally.

 

Big Bam's Burgers - Shawnee,Kansas Goldblum Burger
Wednesday - December 30, 2020: I revisited Buffalo State Pizza Co. in downtown Overland Park for lunch. The 25 year old restaurant changed its name from Papa Keno's Pizzeria earlier year, but seems otherwise unchanged. The specialty pizzas are only $6.25 for a huge slice which can be an individual meal.

I got slices of the STOCKYARD (Ground Beef, Pepperoni, Bacon, Scimeca Sausages, Parmesan) and THE OUTLAW (Marinated Anchovies, Pepperoni, Green Onion, Roma Tomatoes, Fresh Mozzarella). The Outlaw was really good! Each slice was sub sliced into several pieces and I only ate the equivalent of one slice.

The listing on our Overland Park Restaurant Guide has been updated
 
 


 

Buffalo State Pizza Co.

 
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