changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- June 1, 2021: I had lunch at Chosun
Korean BBQ on Metcalf on the south end of Overland Park, Kansas. I
like the restaurant a lot, but only get there every year or two. I've a
few favorite dishes that I usually have, but today I made a point of trying
something new - grilled seasoned chicken gizzards. I get fried chicken
gizzards often, but probably wouldn't get this dish again. they weren't
bad, but they were were tougher than I am used to and the meat had less
flavor. The gizzards were still easy to chew because of thin slices.
The flavor all came from the light sauce with pieces of onion and pepper.
meal came with three side dishes, kimchi, fish cake and potato. I liked
both the fish cake and the cold potato in a sweet sauce.
Gizzards at Chosun Korean BBQ
- June 3, 2021: I haven't been able to get out of town to explore as
often as I like, but today I was on the road to Wichita early in the morning.
I made just one stop on the road, getting off the Kansas Turnpike at Cassoday,
Kansas to see if I could find wild horses. I drove east of town on K150
and found a large group of wild horses with some of them near the road
at about the places where we had our best views last August. Although there
were some horses nearby when I stopped, a group of three white horses came
over from the main herd to check me out. I suspect that sometimes people
offer them food.
on the road, I drove to Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School to view and photograph
a wall display devoted to Father Kapaun, who was a chaplain during the
Korean War, who died in a POW camp. He is on the road to Sainthood and
the school is named for him.
I checked in at the office, the staff seemed surprised to have someone
come to view the displays and didn't know if they should let me in, but
one went in search of someone in authority. The president of the school,
Rob Knapp, came out and after asking a few questions, gave me a tour of
the parts of the school which are related to Father Kapaun.
addition to several cases with relics related to Father Kapaun, there was
another hall with many photos from throughout Father Kapaun's life time.
There is also a wall with a nice photo of the Father in uniform and smaller
photos of former students from the school who are serving in the armed
forces. There is a smaller, similar wall with photos of those former students
who are studying to join ministry.
was a little more difficult. I started by going to Jack's
Coffee Shop. Although two signs said they should be open and there
was a vehicle in front, the door was locked.
second stop was Buster's Burger
Joint which we first visited last summer and which nearly closed this
past winter. I ordered a $4 single cheese burger and $2.15 small tater
tots and dined in. The tater tots were fine (it is hard to make them exceptional).
The burger was much more well done than I prefer, but still tasted wonderful
and the slightly crispy smashed burger had a nice texture. Planning to
visit one more restaurant for lunch, I had only a few tots and planned
to have only two or three bites of the burger, but it tasted so good that
I ate the entire cheeseburger.
turned out to be a good thing that I did, when I arrived at Bomber
Burger at about 12:15, there was a sign on the door that they were
out of meat. This was the third time they have been out of meat when I
went there. I really need to call first, but I didn't anticipate them being
out this early in the day.
starts tomorrow and instead of the usual Sundown
Parade, there will be a drive by "porch parade" tomorrow though Sunday.
I drove by several of the business and residential addresses that are participating
in the parade, thinking they might have their displays up already, but
none them did.
have had a page devoted to Cathedral
of the Immaculate Conception for 15 years, but I haven't been very
happy with some of the photos used on that page and stopped there to take
new photos. This is the seat of the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.
doors to the church were locked, but the Parish Office was open and let
me in to see and photograph the interior. It turned out that all the doors
into the sanctuary were also locked, I returned to the office and they
electronically unlocked the door at the back. It is a handsome building!
many things to visit, I hurried on to Riverside Central Park, where I took
some additional photos of animals in the Kansas
Wildlife Exhibit and people playing in the nearby Interactive Fountain.
went on to Mid-America All-Indian Center. We once had a page devoted to
the Center, but it had grown dated. It happened that a new display of art
by the late Blackbear Bosin, whose most famous piece of art is the statue
"Keeper of the Plain" in Wichita. The exhibit will officially open on Saturday,
which is the 100th anniversary of Bosin's birth. The exhibit will run for
one year. Other than the modest art gallery, there isn't a lot to see in
the museum when they aren't hosting special events.
I was in the area, I took photos and video at Keeper of the Plains and
stopped at the original Nu-Way Cafe to have a root beer freeze.
to the northwest corner of the city to revisit the Steampunk
Grassroots Art of Gary Pendergrass. The clever science fiction inspired
art environment is in the back yard of a home in a residential neighborhood,
but open to the public. I was delighted to the see that the door to the
workshop and a gate to the rest of the yard were open this time. This is
the area where this wonderful, mostly metal art is created. I could hear
a table saw in use and rounding a corner, discovered Gary at work.
continued to work while I took a few photos, then took a break so we could
talk. It was interesting to learn how e started and some aspects of the
creative process! The most impressive thing was learning that for the past
year, Gary has set up a studio at McAdams Academy, an alternative, trauma
informed private school located in Wichita, Kansas. He is a volunteer who
works with high risk youths in middle school or high school, helping them
acquire the skills to create their own three dimensional art.
to check out as many restaurants as possible, I went to Tad's Carryout,
and takeaway only restaurant in a small storefront on Hillside Street.
I first visited Tad's in November and was impressed with the food. This
time I wanted to try their gator or frog legs. but they were out of alligator
until the next week and the frog legs were not in season. I ended up with
three chicken wings and fries. The fried wings have a spicy coating and
were quite good. The fries are just made from frozen, but are heavily seasoned
with hot pepper. Not bad, but it was easy for me to taste just a few of
the fries, to leave room to eat food one more time. I got the peach cobbler,
but took the large cobbler home to try at another time (it was excellent).
started on the way home, stopping in Emporia, where I wanted to get some
photos of David Traylor Zoo. The zoo was closed for the day, but portions
of the zoo with the largest animals have been drive through and open in
the evenings, but construction is taking place in that area and it was
the other end of Emporia, I went to Do-B's for the final meal of the day.
We visited Do-B's in October and were impressed with the sandwiches we
had then. Today I had the Hot Wing sandwich (Chicken, Onion, Blue Cheese
Crumbles, Chef's own Wing sauce and American Cheese on a bun). The flavor
was excellent, particularly from the blue cheese, but I had ordered the
1/4 pound version for $10.25 would like to have a little more meat and
would rather have the 1/2 pound size for $12.75. Ideally it will be on
the same size bun.
Father Kapaun relics
Cooking at Buster's
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Do-B's hot wing sandwich
- June 4, 2021: Linda and I tried out Chosun Korean BBQ 2. this new
2nd Chosun location has only been open a few weeks and is presently only
open evenings. The menu is identical at both locations. Linda had a full
order fried shrimp appetizer for $11.99. The shrimp were tempura style
and there were 8 long shrimp. I went with the Ojingeo Bokkeum, which is
a spicy squid stir fry. I didn't think it was as good as I have had at
the south Metcalf location, but the leftovers were better a couple of days
Chosun Korean BBQ 2
- June 5, 2021: We were going to try out the brand new KC Daiquiri
Shop Bistreaux in Overland Park, but learned that is is not open until
evening. We drove several miles south to revisit Tabard's Kitchen instead.
We had enjoyed their food in the past, but it had been several years since
we dined with them. The are one of the growing number of restaurants that
does not offer paper menus, having a QR code on the table to send you to
one. It did not work with my phone and after several minutes we were able
to convenience our server to bring a paper menu.
had the $11.95 Club Quesasilla. The "club part was three layers of tortilla.
I had the $12.45 Crawfish and Andouille Melt, which tasted good, but needed
Crawfish & Andouille Melt
- June 8, 2021: I revisited Roscoe's BBQ in Edwardsville, Kansas, which
already had a listing on our Kansas
City BBQ Restaurant Guide, but did not have a page of its own. A new
devoted to Roscoe's was added this afternoon. Roscoe's has one of the shortest
menu's and limited open hours of any Kansas City Barbecue Restaurants and
isn't even open at all on the weekend.
had a jalapeno sausage sandwich and French fries. The sandwich was served
lightly sauced and there was no sauce on the side or additional sauce available
in the dinning room. Although it is "jalapeno" and the counter person made
sure I knew that, it really wasn't very hot and I don't believe that most
people would find it to be too spicy.
fries were crinkle cut and were not house made, but they were very crispy
and I enjoyed them much more than I remembered.
supper time we checked out Seafood Island, a Cajun restaurant which opened
in Shawnee, Kansas last year. We had tried some fried items by carry out
a few months back, but had not had their "build your own seafood boil.
It is much like a seafood boil that I had at Mr. & Mrs. Crab in St.
Petersburg, Florida last month, you order meats by the half pound and for
each pound ordered, get two potatoes and a corn on the cob. You get a choice
of seasoning (Cajun, lemon pepper, garlic butter seasoning, garlic butter
only or house special). There is no description of the house special.
also choose spice level (none, mld, medium, spicy, extra, super) We ordered
head off shrimp and sausage prepared with mild garlic butter seasoning
and head off shrimp and blue crab with spicy garlic butter seasoning. The
half pound was just one crab though it had been two crabs at Mr. &
Mrs. Crab. The boil comes in large, sealed plastic bags which the seafood
was cooked in. You open the bag and pour the contents on your plate. Their
is a pail for the shells.
the food was good, with the sausage being out least favorite. It takes
a lot of effort to get fairly little meat out of the blue crab and I would
not get it again. I liked the spicy broth and would have sopped some of
it up if bread had been provide.
meal came to $46 including one iced tea and tax. The dining room was rather
warm and I'm not sure how comfortable it will be on a really hot day.
Sausage sandwich & fries
- June 9, 2021: I'm off on an overnight trip, exploring central Kansas.
I began in Topeka, with brief stops to photograph a bison statue, the large
Wren statue which once sat on top of the WREN radio station and the nearby
6' tall Russian Egg. There was road construction next to the later two
and the photos of the egg are not very appealing.
stop was the "fire hydrant garden, a home with old fire hydrants all along
the edges of the yard and lining the edges of the building. I had taken
some photos of the hydrants before, but they were inadequate for making
a page devoted to the art environment. In the same block, I also photographed
a handsome old service station building and the John Nelson House which
was built in 1889.
had called Porubsky's Grocery
to alert them that I was planning to get 4 pints of hot pimento spread
today, but they did not have additional and I settled for the 4 smaller
containers which they had. They just opened the adjacent Porubsky's Tavern
for dine in last week and I took several phots of that area.
was at Prize Package a small carryout restaurant and store on the east
side. The restaurant was opened by Dee and Harold E. Cromwell in 1951.
Harold passed away in 1992 and Dee continued to operate the restaurant
until she passed away in 2004. There is only a small space for customers,
surrounded with an unusual variety of small items and they ask what type
of vehicle you are driving and bring your food to your car,
ordered a chili dog, double cheeseburger and French fries. the burgers
are not very large, but a double is only $3.45 and they offer up to 4 patties.
The bun acted like they were once frozen, but tasted fine. Both sandwiches
were good and they grilled the onions as I requested. The fries were decent
for made from frozen.
owner had noticed my taking pictures and came outside with her daughter
to see me taking more photos and we had a nice chat.
stopped in Alma, to check out a waterfall south of town at Alma City Lake,
but there was no water flowing. Since I was already off the freeway, I
also drove north to Wamego to take photos of some of the finishing touches
on the new murals which have been going up along an alley which is called
the Yellow Brick Road. Six artists have been painting a total of seven
followed up the Wamego murals with a couple in downtown Abilene, Kansas,
in the car, I called the new St. John's Military School Historical Museum
in Salina, Kansas. I was told that the curator was at the museum and would
remain to show me around. The academy operated from 1887 to 2019 and the
museum just had a grand opening on May 14.
was met at the museum by Kent Tretheway (Class of 1971) who gave me a very
through tour which included associating photo and artifacts with over 100
students, faculty and staff. The museum has about 7 galleries, each associated
with certain years and having class photos of all but a few of the oldest
classes. Each gallery has social areas with plush chairs & sofas, making
the building into a nice club house for the "Old Boys." as the alumni are
tour took about an hour and 20 minutes. Someone with a connection to the
school would probably taken more time. Those without a connection will
probably be satisfied with less than a 30 minute visit.
leaving Salina, I stopped at 99 year old Cozy
Inn to have a couple of ounce burgers and the Kansas Fishes Exhibit
at the Central Mall. The 15,000 gallon aquarium is nearly empty and the
fish are moved as they are waiting on parts. The sign said there was a
turtle in the tank, but the lights were off and I could not see it.
was at Öl Stuga, a bar with deli sandwiches in Lindsborg, Kansas.
Wanting to sample more of their menu, I ordered two sandwiches and took
half of each away with me. I got a $7.50 Reuben, which had a very generous
serving of thin sliced corned beef. The rye bread had a strong rye flavor,
holding its own with the corned beef and their was enough cheese to balance
them. There was only a hint of sauerkraut and I couldn't really taste the
kraut. I also didn't taste the sauce and didn't learn until later that
you have to request it.
other sandwich was the $7.50 "Brent Nelson" (sausage, BBQ sauce, smoky
sharp cheese, hot pepper cheese & onions served on a warm bun). It
is a good sandwich and is the one they are famous for, Former President
of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, had one when attending and event
at the Anatoly Karpov International School of Chess across the street.
In 2012, the Brent Nelson was a finalist for Good Morning America's "Best
Bites Challenge: College Edition."
missed the "trays" on the menu and need to return to have a smoked oyster,
pickle herring, sardine or knacklebrot and cheese tray.
spent the night at the Best Western in McPherson.
WREN wren statue
St. John's Military School Historical Museum
- June 10, 2021: I contacted the Inman Museum a couple of days ago
and arranged to see the museum this morning. They are normally only open
on Sunday, but are so serious about trying to open the museum to everyone
that they have a list of 11 names and phone numbers on the door to call
to see museum. I was met by the curator, Ralph Vogel.
museum occupies a large former former store front, but includes many out
building, both next door and across the street to the back. Ralph pointed
out the 1875 Wilke Homestead & Farm, across the street, but none of
the other buildings were included in the tour. He is a former educator
and the one who built many of the exhibits, which are very well done. He
gave me a tour of the main building, which had several highlights, including
a large collection of antique, toy circus wagons, a couple of which were
actually carved by Ralph 50 years ago.
on to Hutchinson, I started with a short revisit of the Cosmosphere,
a science and space museum. I've visited the museum multiple times and
didn't have time to see a show and tour the Hall of Space Museum today.
I limited my visit to photographing the public areas which can be seen
without purchasing admission, They include a replica Apollo lunar lander,
a flown SR-71 Blackbird, a restored Mission Control console, exhibits about
each of the planets, a Saturn H-1 engine, gift shop, Cosmosphere Cafe and
more. Someone with a love of space could easily spend a half hour enjoying
the free parts of the Cosmosphere.
driving across town, I photographed the 13th Avenue & 6th Avenue home
where Grandparent of four members of the rock group The Beach Boys
lived. Murry Wilson, the father of Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, was born
in the 13th Avenue home, and Edith Wilson, mother of Mike Love, was born
in the 6th Avenue home.
stopped at Roy's Hickory Pit
BBQ on the west side of Hutchinson. Wanting to try multiple restaurants,
I got pork ribs, brisket and two kinds of sausage to go. The line at the
counter was at the door when I arrived a little after 11AM. Every customer,
but one, was getting their food to go. It took about 20 minutes to get
through the line. When I asked for plastic bags instead of paper, since
the meat was going in a cooler, the lady at the counter took extra care
with the packaging and even gave me a couple of extra bags, "Just in case."
called in advance to 72 year old R-B
Drive In, ordering a quarter pound cheeseburger and small order of
fresh cut French fries. The order was ready when I arrived and dined at
the counter. The food isn't just good, it is quite reasonably priced. The
cheeseburger was $4 and the fries were just $1! Planning to try another
restaurant, I had just a couple of the fries.
leaving Hutchinson, I stopped at the Hutchinson Zoo, which has been undergoing
construction for what seems like forever. The work continues, but several
of the new exhibits are open including much larger places for beaver and
2nd lunch was at The Barn in Burrton, Kansas. I ordered the shotgun shrimp
and chicken fried steak, eating a little of both and then packaging the
rest to take home. The shotgun shrimp is battered and fried shrimp tossed
in house sweet & spicy shotgun sauce. It wasn't as spicy as I expected,
or really that sweet, but it was good. I enjoyed it even more with hot
sauce at home.
chicken fried steak had a very flavorful coating, which was almost over
cooked. The Barn had several house made desserts and I decided on something
I had never heard of before, Banana cream cheesecake, but when I got home,
I discovered that it was banana cream pie.
server, Saah McMillan is also a photographer and we talked about Kansas
locations which we love to photograph. She told me about Certies Lavender
Farm, a few miles south of town. I drove their next, but the lavender had
not grown very large this year and I took a couple of photos and continued
on to Halstead, and photographed a Gary Pendergrass's steam punk sculpture
which was recently installed at Springdale Art and Nature Center.
finally visited Crystal Springs, which provides Florence, Kansas with its
water. It and Florence Water Plant 49 are located a few miles northeast
of town. There is a monument and where the water flows out from the water
plant, there is a short waterfall down to a creek.
few miles east, I stopped at the Drinkwater
& Schriver Flour Mill in Cedar Point, Kansas. The mill is being
slowly stabilized and restored, but I couldn't see any change since I was
there last summer.
on to Chase Lake Falls in the spillway
of Chase State Fishing Lake, west of the community Cottonwood Falls. The
beautiful series of falls was little known when I first photographed it
in 2008, which left me surprised when there were 8 cars parked on the road.
I found a couple of families picnicking near the top falls, with the children
in the river and continued to find people all the way to the bottom where
several teen girls were doing a photo shoot.
drove into town to take new photos of the falls
which Cottonwood Falls is named for, then headed to Emporia, Kansas for
supper at J's Carry Out. In addition to carry out, there is a drive through
window, counter and a few tables.
ordered a $7.19 mushroom Swiss burger, $3.09 regular coney dog and $2.98
curly fries. Yes those are somewhat oddly priced items. The food was all
fine, and I would be happy to get it if I was in town at meal time, but
it isn't food that I would drive there to get.
Ralph Vogel with toy circus wagons
Saturn H-1 engine
William & Edith Wilson home
Cheeseburger & fries
Shotgun shrimp & chicken fried steak
Chase Lake Falls
J's Carry Out
- June 12, 2021: We had lunch at Knub's Pub in Shawnee, Kansas. I tried
this restaurant its first year, but it has been open several years now
and is getting strong customer reviews and I wanted to give them a second
ordered the "Brother Burger." substituting chicken for hamburger, topped
with seasoned cream cheese, smoked gouda and bacon crystals. All the elements
were good and so was the sandwich, but they didn't come together quite
the way she hoped. In particular the candied bacons didn't compliment the
rest of the sandwich.
had the "Shroom Attack" topped by grilled mushrooms & onions, smoked
gouda and cream cheese. Another good sandwich, but for me the total was
less than the sum of the ingredients.
Brother Burger & Shroom Attack
- June 15, 2021: We left on a 9 night trip to northern Michigan, to
take literally thousands of photos for our sister web site MightyMac.org.
Highlights of the trip included a glass
bottom boat shipwreck tour, a helicopter
flight over the Mackinac Bridge, renting
a self drive horse & carriage on Mackinac Island and visiting Oswald's
Bear Ranch near Newberry, Michigan. I've prepared a 10 page trip
report and the links above go to the pages with that part of the trip.
Mackinac Bridge in the moonlight
- June 25, 2021: I had lunch at Mr. P'z Bar & Grill, which is at
least the third BBQ restaurant at this storefront on 103rd at US69 in Overland
Park, Kansas. we had carry out from here once in the past year, but this
was my first time dinning in. I had BBQ before, so today I tried the stuffed
burger of the week. "The Surf & Turf" stuffed with a smoked cream cheese
& crab meat mushroom and topped with smoked cream cheese remoulade
and fried shrimp. It didn't really come across as a burger. In particular,
it was like the mushroom was between two small patties, rather than stuffed,
but I enjoyed it and the $13 price including fresh cut fries seemed fair.
The Surf & Turf
- June 27, 2021: We visited Papagallo Italian & Mediterranean Express
in Lenexa for lunch today, having a chicken kabob dinner and shrimp diablo.
The $16.95 chicken kabob tasted great, but we would have liked a little
more chicken, it seemed like there was a high ration of sweet pepper to
selected the $16.95 shrimp diablo because it was one of the few dishes
the server suggested and because I like spicy food. I enjoyed the shrimp,
though it tasted about like something I might have cooked at home. There
was nothing to make the dish special. There was a lot of sauce for the
small store front restaurant is run by two brothers, with one in the kitchen
and one at the counter, handling the to go orders and the few tables.
- June 29, 2021: I finally made it to the new Monkey King BBQ &
Noodle restaurant in Lenexa, which opened last winter. This is a great
new venue for authentic Chinese food in Johnson County and a good counterpoint
to ABC Cafe, a few miles away in Overland Park. The dishes are uniquely
different and the setting is larger and more comfortable. The food and
experience are enough different that although I believe that both restaurants
will appeal to the same audience, they should hurt the business for the
ordered the $7.95 spicy duck wings and $13.95 salt & pepper pork belly.
The duck wings are a shade of dark brown that I am not used to seeing in
savory dishes. There were six or seven large wing flats & tips with
very little meat. I am used digging the little bits of meat off wings and
this was mainly somewhat tough skin. The sauce was mild enough to not be
too much for anyone who would consider ordering a dish with "spicy" in
the name. I would be fine sharing an order with someone who want to have
them, but wouldn't be likely order it again myself.
salt & pepper pork belly was slightly crispy and more enjoyable.
Spicy Duck WIngs
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