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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Great Blue Herons - Mill Creek in Lenexa, Kansas
Monday - March 1, 2021: I added a new page devoted to Burger Station in Winfield, Kansas. It is a hamburgers only, carry out restaurant which opened in 1952.

 

 
 
Tuesday - March 2, 2021: I had lunch at the recently opened Jonathan's Wood Fire Grill in Olathe, Kansas. There is a food truck parked in front of the restaurant with a smoker, and I'm not sure if all of the food is being prepared outside. I don't believe the small storefront has had a restaurant before.

There are only about 6 small tables (half of which are closed for distancing and a couple of patio style tables in the parking lot in front. I got my order to go. The closest park I could find with picnic tables is over a mile away.

The menu includes BBQ and seafood. I went with the !2 lunch shrimp boil of shrimp, corn and whole potatoes. The shrimp were small, very spicy, buttery shrimp which might be too salty for some, but not for me. The potatoes were soft and flavored much the same. The corn on the cob did well with the same seasoning, but seemed to have sat a while since cooking. There was also a cornbread muffin, which would have been better with butter.

The serving of shrimp was large enough, but I would like to see them add about 50% more potato and corn.

I look forward to sampling more of the menu and wish this new restaurant was located closer to me.

 

Jonathan's Wood Fire Grill - Olathe, Kansas Jonathan's Wood Fire Grill

Shrimp boil - Jonathan's Wood Fire Grill Shrimp boil

Wednesday - March 3, 2021: I expanded and replaced all the photos in our page devoted to the Little Monument Pyramids.

 

 
Thursday - March 4, 2021: I made a second visit to Tay's Burger Shack in south Overland Park, Kansas. I used the drive through and ordered fries and a "homerun" with 4 patties. I drove to the nearby Kingston Lake Park to have my lunch and watch the geese. The house made buns which I found bland and a little thick in relationship to the smashed flat single hamburger patty worked much better with the 4 patties. I definitely liked this burger better than the single. My only complaint is the left of the mustard and grilled onions which I requested.

It was more than I needed to eat, and if I had eaten it in their dinning room, would qualify my picture to hang on their wall.

Also nearby, I went to Golden Belt Beef a meat market which opened less than 2 years ago and sells beef from a farm near St. John, Kansas. I bought a selection of regular & South of the Border brats, beef patties, smoked summer sausage, cheese & pepper summer sausage, cheese summer, and beef sweet Italian sausage. So far I have tried only a couple of the summer sausages. I like the texture and flavor of the cheese & jalapeno pepper sausage.

 

Homer at Tay's Burger Shack Homerun cheeseburger
 
 

Golden Belt Beef - Overland Park, Kansas Golden Belt Beef sausages

Friday - March 5, 2021: I added a new page devoted to the Bison Community Museum in Bison, Kansas.

 

 
Saturday - March 6, 2021: We got curbside delivery from Burg & Barrel in Overland Park, Kansas, giving us a chance to update their review and confirm what things are like this year. We got a fried mushroom starter, Blue Moon burger with onion rings and fish & fries. All were superior and the three dishes was about twice what we needed, so there are plenty of leftovers.

I think that the mushrooms came with ranch, rather than the truffle buttermilk aioli. In either case, I didn't care for it as a dip. On the other hand, the house dressing which came with the onion rings was a great dip for the mushrooms.

We drove to Antioch Park to eat our meal. This was a sunny, windy day in the 60s, so it was comfortable dining at a picnic table and watching the many people enjoying the weather. We followed lunch we a nice walk through the park and took photos of the Historic Dodge Town Play Area, which has been popular for generations and was reconstructed 3 years ago.

I added a new page devoted to the Lucas Travel Plate in Lucas. Kansas.

 

Bue Moon burger and onion rings at Burg and Barrel Burg & Barrel
 
 

Historic Dodge Town Play Area - Overland Park, Kansas Dodge Town

Monday - March 8, 2021: I added a new page devoted to Bowl Plaza in Lucas. Kansas.

 

 
Tuesday - March 9, 2021: We had carry out from Santa Fe Cafe in Overland Park, Kansas. French fries, onion rings, mushroom & Swiss burger, and Chicken Monterey. The burger was fine, if no special treat. The onion rings were better and traveled better than I expected. The Chicken Monterey (Hand breaded chicken breast topped with Swiss cheese, bacon, shredded lettuce, onions, pickles, tomato and ranch dressing) was very nicely seasoned and tender. The French fries were under cooked, frozen crinkle cut that were very disappointing and I will not order them again.

 

Santa Fe Cafe - Overland Park, Kansas Santa Fe Cafe
Thursday - March 11, 2021: For lunch I had carry out from Choga Korean Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas, the oldest Korean Restaurant in metropolitan Kansas City. I had La Kalbi (grilled beef short ribs on the bone in a sweet soy sauce marinade. Very tasty, but more bone than meat. The $11.95 lunch box salad it came with kimchi, steamed white rice, house salad, japchae (stir fried glass noodles), fresh fruit and two small beef dumplings.

When I opened my order, the kimchi and house salad were missing. The slightly sweet japchae was nice, but just enough for a taste. I don't eat much rice and finished my meal still hungry, so I decided to revisit another restaurant off Metcalf in Overland Park.

Sinbad's Grill is a small storefront Mediterranean restaurant in a strip mall. There is counter service and 5 or 7 small tables. I ordered a $7.25 spicy gyro. Everything is made from scratch and I enjoyed the lamb with cucumber mint sauce. The flat bread was slightly crispy and would be nice even on its own.
  
  

Choga Korean Restaurant - Overland Park, Kansas La Kalbi lunch box
 

Sinbad's Grill - Overland Park, Kansas Spicy gyro

 
Tuesday - March 16, 2021: We had a nice day of photographing southeast Kansas waterfalls. We departed about 8:30AM and drove straight to Woodson County State Fishing Lake, which is about 6 miles east of Toronto, Kansas.

First we visited Woodson Falls in the spillway of the lake. At first I thought there was no significant overflow, just a pipe feeding a pond below the dam and a small spillway leading fro the pond. But as we followed that insignificant creek, we started hearing water farther away. It turned out that this creek flowed into the actual spillway and we found a large waterfall, above the point.

We were going to continue around the lake on Fegan Road to a reported smaller Fegan Falls leading toward the lake, but the road is supposed to cross the spillway and the water was so high that it was impassible. The road goes all the way around the lake, so we went the other way, but didn't find a significant falls.

But as were nearing the spot where I thought it was, I spotted a cave that was clearly visible from the road. When we stopped to photograph the cave, we discovered a small Cave Falls feeding the pool which fills the floor of the cave. The falls is about 60 feet from the road on Cave Creek.

We drove to Yates Center to get lunch to go at Hy's Filling Station. We reviewed the menu online and called to order, but although the restaurant was open, they were not answering the phone. I entered the full restaurant and paced our order, waiting for the food in a corner, trying to stay away from the crowded tables. No one was wearing masks at any time or doing anything obvious to reduce the risk of Covid.

We drove a couple of blocks away to have lunch on a picnic table At ball fields a couple of blocks south. We had a fried chicken sandwich (broasted chicken), hand made onion rings, Hobbs burger (seasoned with locally produced Hobbs habanero rub, jalapeños and topped with Swiss cheese), house made French fries, peach pie and Butterfinger pie.

The chicken sandwich was large and very good. The fries could have used a little more time in the fryer, but the onion rings were very good. The Hobbs Burger wasn't very juicy and didn't have the kick I was expecting.

The pies were very good. The peach pie was very sweet and had a wonderful, flaky crust. I had never had a Butterfinger pie before, but if they are all anything like this wonderful cream pie, I want them all the time. It was surprising lighter than I expected.

We went on to see Woodruff Branch Falls in the outlet from Wilson State Fishing Lake. I can hardly believe I've driven by the large falls so any times with out stopping, but there are no signs and I've only seen one mention of it online. I parked near the lake and it wa a fairly long walk along the spillway to the falls. There is about a 40 foot drop, with water falling from multiple spots, plus a neat shorter falls created by water coming out of the rock face about 12 feet from the top.

In Chanute, Kansas, we visited Santa Fe Park where a nice Falls & Bridge are located next to each other. The park also has a lake, campground, sports fields & courts, picnic tables, an antique steam locomotive and a dog park.

Santa Fe Park Falls is on Little Turkey Creek, where it flows out of Santa Fe Lake. It is a lovely seasonal waterfall which only has water when the lake water level is high. The falls has about a 20' drop in a rapids and short drops along about 100' leading toward Austin Bridge.

Austin Bridge is a 160' bowstring arch bridge which was built on the Neosho River, east of what is now Chanute by the King Bridge Company in 1872. The bridge was moved down stream to the community of Austin in 1910, closed to vehicles in 1972, and added to the National Historic Register of Historic Place in 1977. In August of 1999, the bridge was moved to Santa Fe Park where is serves as the southern terminus of a 3.11 mile hike & bike path. 

While passing by Erie, Kansas, we pulled into town to revisit Erie Dinosaur Park, which displays some of the wonderful creations of the late Robert Dorris. We discovered that three additional dinosaurs have been added, including a brontosaurs, which had been kept by family members. The brontosaurus is not completely assembled at this time.

On the drive back to the highway, we discovered the the Mem-Erie History Museum has moved down the street to a much larger building since we toured it.

Our final waterfall of the day was Neosho Lake Falls at Neosho State Fishing Lake, northeast of Parsons, Kansas. It is a difficult falls to see and even harder to photograph. It is along the first 50 years of the spillway from Neosho State Fishing Lake, with the larger fork in the first 4 of these photos and smaller fork a few yards north that is in the next 2 photo.

A slightly improved trail crosses a plank bridge and leads toward the falls from the parking on the north side. The trail leads to the top of the dam, but there is a faint path to the left about 60 feet from the top. Going south through the woods, the next creek is below the smaller fork of the falls and it is possible to walk on stones to the center of the creek to see that falls. The larger falls is jut a few feet farther, but is hard to see unless you climb through the underbrush, up a steep slope. This gives you glimpses of the falls in both forks before arriving at a flatter, more open area near the top.

We had an early supper at His & Hers Bar & Grill in Walnut, Kansas. Their menu is not available online, so we went inside to order and found an isolated table in a corner where we felt fairly comfortable, though we were the only people wearing masks in the bar & grill.

Though the menu is short, the prices are very inexpensive. They are hamburgers, cheeseburgers, 6 sandwiches, 4 dinners and some appetizers. Linda had the $5.25 fish dinner, with two small, pre breaded cod fillets & Suzie Qs. The cod was OK and the Suzi Q's were very good. I had the large cheeseburger for $5.75 with grilled jalapeno & grilled onions for an additional 50 cents. The burger was dry and there wasn't much onion or jalapeno. The bun appeared to have been frozen for long time and the crust was flaking off. The $1.50 thick cut house fries were overcooked and I was stealing Suzi Qs.

 

Woodson Falls - Toronto, Kansa Woodson Falls
 

Cave Falls - Woodson Fishing Lake Cave Falls
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

peach pie and Butterfinger pie - Hy's Filling Station Peach pie and Butterfinger pie
 
 
 
 
 
 

Woodruff Branch Falls - Wilson COunty Lake Woodruff Branch Falls

Santa Fe Park Falls and Bridge - Chanute, Kansas
Santa Fe Park Falls and Bridge
 
 
 
 
 
 

Mem-Erie History Museum - Erie, Kansas Mem-Erie History Museum

Neosho Lake Falls at Neosho State Fishing Lake Neosho Lake Falls
 
 

His & Hers Bar and Grill in Walnut, Kansas Fish dinner
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Wednesday - March 17, 2021: I added a new page devoted to Santa Fe Park Bridge & Falls in Chanute, Kansas.

 

 
Thursday - March 18, 2021: I added a new page devoted to Cave Falls near Woodson State Fishing Lake.

 

 
Friday - March 19, 2021: I added a new page devoted to Neosho Lake Falls near Parsons, Kansas.

 

 
Saturday - March 20, 2021: After seeing a Facebook post with photos of a Great Blue Heron Rookery along 87th Street in Lenexa, Kansas, we decided to make a quick visit to the colony of nests. There were 12 nests and several herons present, but not much activity. It was impressive, but not very photographic with the birds just standing or sitting there.

I returned Monday when they were much more active and the following Saturday when they were somewhat active and the early morning light was better. The photo at the right is from Monday.

For supper we drove to Kansas City, Missouri to have supper at BB's Lawnside BBQ. Although it is not in Kansas, we have a page devoted to BB's as part of our Kansas City BBQ Guide. We dined on the small outdoor deck. We had two combination plates, BBs King Combo (Four ribs, Italian sausage and choice of one meat served with battered fries and Pit Beans. and
Yardbird Combo (quarter smoked chicken with three Ribs served with battered fries.). They allow substitutions and we both choose skillet fries. I upgraded my other side to gumbo and choose brisket for my meat.

When our food came out, there were two errors in the Yardbird Combo (dark meat instead of white and wedges instead of skillet fries), but that was quickly corrected. All of the meats were very good. The ribs were my favorite and our meals both came with one more rib than advertised. I'm not quite as big a fan of the sweet, thin sauce, but it isn't bad and I prefer the hot version.

The skillet fries 3/4 inch long chucks of the wedges, cooked in a skillet with a spicy seasoning. It is one of my favorite sides at any Kansas City barbecue restaurant. The gumbo was good, but I missed having hot sauce on the table and rather than ask for some, took it home to enjoy with my own hot sauce later. You get a lot of meat in these combos and we took home more meat meat than we ate. 

I added a new page devoted to the Mem-Erie Museum in Erie, Kansas.

 

Great Blue Herons - Mill Creek in Lenexa, Kansas Great Blue Herons
 
 

BBs King Combo and Yardbird Combo - BB's Lawnside BBQ BBs King Combo & Yardbird Combo

Tuesday - March 23, 2021: It was a rainy day, so it was likely that the new Ssong's Hot Dog in Overland Park, Kansas would not be as busy. The South Korean chain restaurant opened a couple of weeks earlier with a very limited menu. The main feature is sausages and hot dogs on sticks, covered mixture of rice and wheat flour and deep fried like a corn dog, with a much different flavor.

After my first couple of bites I was pealing off the batter, which wasn't unpleasant, but I felt took away from the taste of the dog. It seemed like there was a lot of batter to the amount of dog. The combinations like cheddar sausage had half as much meat.

The waffle fries were a little underdone, but I enjoyed them dipped in the spicy mayo sauce.

A hot dog or krab stick is only $2.99, but items including sausage or cheese run $4-4.50. Waffle fries are $1.89. A typical meal will include several items. They are not marked as which kind they are and you will need to cut or bite into them to find out which kind is which.

Cash orders are placed at the counter. Credit orders are made on touch screens at the far end of the dining area. The dinning area is fairly small and there is no place that you can not be close to the path of traffic to and from those order screens.
 
 

Ssong's Hot Dog - Overland Park, Kansas Ssong's Hot Dog

hot dogs and sauces Assorted hot dogs & house sauces

Ssong's Hot Dog Dinning room & order screens

Wednesday - March 24, 2021: I had lunch from Anita's Cuisine in Merriam, Kansas, which is presently carry out only. The weather is nice, so I took my meal across the street to the north to Merriam Marketplace and across the pedestrian bridge over Turkey Creek to Warner Park.

I had the $6.50 Chilaquiles Plate (Chilaquiles served with refried beans, two eggs, and your choice of chorizo, ham, bacon, or sausage). It is a wonderful breakfast and a true bargain. The chilaquiles are crispy tortillas chip bathed in a rich salsa and covered with cheese. I would rather than were a little crispy, but the flavor is very nice and I enjoyed eating them with a little refried beans.

I also had both a chorizo crispy taco and Al Pastor (Marinated Pork) soft taco. The Al Pastor was fine, but the chorizo taco was very good. The richly spiced chorizo paired very nicely with the warm crispy corn tortilla. 

 

Anita's Cuisine - Merriam, Kansas Anita's Cuisine
Thursday - March 25, 2021: We added a new pages devoted to Woodson Falls near Toronto, Kansas and Anita's Cuisine in Merriam, Kansas.

 

 
Wednesday - March 31, 2021: I had lunch at The Rub Bar-B-Que in Olathe, Kansas. I used to love their smoked meat loaf, but it is long gone from the menu. I went there today to try a dish which is new since my last visit, the Burnt End Burrito, which is made with beef burnt ends, potatoes, Jalepeño cheese and pico de gallo wrapped in a tortilla.

It is a generous serving and quite tasty for only $10.99. It had a nice flavor from the seasonings and smoking and I enjoyed it as served. It had just the right level of juiciness and it didn't need the salsa and sauce which came on the side. I also loved the large serving of fresh cut fries for $2.99 and still have half of the burrito to enjoy on another day.

Follow-up - the burrito was even better reheated and topped with a little Sriracha.

 

Burnt End Burrito and fries at THe Rub BBQ in Olathe, Kansas Burnt End Burrito
 
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