changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- July 2, 2021: I drove to New Century AirCenter in Gardner & Olathe
to photograph the practice day for the Kansas City Air Show. It was a hot
sunny day and it was nice being there without the crowds which would be
there the next two days. The Air Show wouldn't provide a schedule of when
the acts would rehearse, so it was pot luck, which acts would perform during
the two hours I was there.
highlight of that time was the flight of a Yak 110, a unique custom made
aircraft created by combining two Yak 55 aircraft and adding a GE J-85
Jet Engine between them. It was like watching two planes in an extremely
leaving New Century, I photographed the the jet aircraft in Naval Air Park.
my way home, I stopped for lunch at Olathe's Downtown Diner. I dined there
many times in the years when I worked in Olathe, but had not been there
since last September. The owner, Sue Caines, waited on me and it was good
seeing her again.
ordered one of my old favorites, a Sheboygan burger - hamburger, Swiss
cheese, house made Italian sausage, grilled onions, sauerkraut. It is still
a very good burger, though I still find the Downtown Burger with hamburger,
Swiss cheese, coleslaw, corned beef and bacon to be their best these days.
Naval Air Park
- July 3, 2021: We went to Legends Field in Kansas City, Kansas to
check out the new Kansas City Monarchs baseball team. The team was
originally called the T-Bones, but nearly folded at the end of the 2019
season. In 2020, though there were no games the team was sold and the new
owner renamed them the Monarchs, after the longest running franchise in
Negro Leagues history that played in Kansas City, Missouri until the 1960ís.
They have also partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This is
didn't decide to go to the came until that morning, but I still managed
to get tickets in the first row behind the visiting team dugout. They cost
$22/each plus fees which brought the total for two tickets to $51.02. I
really enjoy being that close to the game, where you can see players expressions,
hear ball slamming into the catchers mitt and be highly aware of the action.
The Monarch's had little trouble with the Lincoln Saltdogs from Lincoln,
Nebraska and won 11-3.
photography opportunities were limited during the game as the stadium has
added netting protecting the fans along both sides.
dined at Legend's field, first walking all the way around the stadium checking
on all the options. We found the options fairly limited and Linda had a
"bratwurst sausage" (that sounds redundant) while I had loaded French fries
with nacho cheese, chili, and sliced jalapeno peppers. The fries were pretty
good but could have used a little more toppings and I wish that there had
been onions on the condiment table.
wasn't until after we ate, that I learned of the most interesting offering
in the stadium. "The Kansas City BBQ Project" were five different KC BBQ
joints are each taking part of the season and offering their own barbecue.
THis night the provider was Jousting Pigs BBQ from Liberty, Missouri. Jones
BBQ ran the booth from May 14 - June 3.
game was followed by an impressive 20 minute fireworks show which had 6
different times that so many fireworks were going up that we thought it
was the finale.
Jan Hernandez hitting his second 2 run homer of the game
The Kansas City BBQ Project
Monarchs & their families watching the fireworks from the field
- July 5, 2021: We drove to Arthur
Bryant's Barbeque in Kansas City, Missouri to update its listing on
our Kansas City BBQ Restaurant Guide.
We went early, but the line was already over half way to the door. We had
a nice conversation with a family passing through on I-70 on their way
were several changes to the menu, the biggest being that chicken is available
only as chicken tenders on the children's menu. They also stopped offering
the choice of a short or long end of ribs. You can only order a half slab
with no choice.
was going to order a sliced brisket & pork combo sandwich, but they
only had pulled pork, so I went with brisket & fries, while Linda had
a half slab of ribs and onion rings. Bryant's is one of the few places
I have brisket, which I enjoy drenched in their sauce. Linda cares nothing
for Bryant's sauce.
both had plenty of meat to take home.
Half slab & brisket sandwich
- July 6, 2021: I paid a second visit to Monkey King BBQ & Noodle
restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas. I had honey chicken wings and slat and pepper
shrimp. Both were good, but I like the salt and pepper dishes at ABC Cafe,
a few miles away in Overland Park, more.
feel like I have found the best parts of the menu, yet, and look forward
supper we went to the fairly new KC Daiquiri Shop on Metcalf in Overland
Park. The building originally opened as a Fuddruckers years ago and has
house many different restaurants over the years. It took us a couple of
months to get there, as they are only open in the evenings.
has Salmon New Orleans which is described as blackened salmon, crab cake
& shrimp topped with Cajun creme on a bed of garlic mashed potatoes
and asparagus. We both thought it was good, though the asparagus seemed
like the odd item out.
had a cup of gumbo and voodoo wings which were described at Cajun fried
and came with a selection of sauces. I did the Cajun rub, but would probably
try a different sauce the next time, It was the best gumbo I have had so
far this year.
think this restaurant will be more of a place for drinks and appetizers,
than for meals, but I'm ready to be proved wrong.
Salt and pepper shrimp
Voodoo wings, gumbo & Salmon New Orleans
- July 8, 2021: We had supper at Pizza West in Shawnee, Kansas. We
had an 11" pizza with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, roasted garlic and bacon.
We requested St. Louis style cheese. The pizza was cut St. Louis style,
but the cheeses did not taste or look like the combination of cheddar,
Swiss and provolone called provel, which I like on St. Louis Pizza. Otherwise
the pizza was fine and I wish to try some of their other pizzas.
- July 9, 2021: I revisited Ruchi Indian Restaurant which is near College
Boulevard and is one of the listings on our Overland
Park Restaurant Guide. This is one of the oldest Indian restaurants
in the Kansas City area and was the best at the time it opened. I did the
lunch buffet, letting me sample a wide range of dishes and requiring little
service. The chicken and goat dishes were my favorites and the naan was
is one of Ruchi's weak spots. For example, although water was brought to
the table while I got food, I was never asked if I wanted something else
- July 12, 2021: I had lunch at Bangkok
Pavilion Restaurant in Overland Park, Kansas. They have restarted their
Thai buffet after nearly a year and a half. This has been my favorite Asian
buffet in Kansas City or Kansas for several years. The complete buffet
is set up again and nearly as I can tell, other than a 40-50% increase
in charge, it is unchanged.
- July 13, 2021: We had supper at RJ's
Bob-Be-Que Shack in Mission, Kansas. An old style KC BBQ style restaurant
with a much more varied menu than most.
had the half chicken platter with fried corn on the cob, while I had two
appetizers: BBQ shrimp and bison empanadas. All of our food was very good.
I particularly liked the shrimp, which was like a shrimp scampi with BBQ
seasoning. I would gladly repeat all of the items we had.
& BBQ shrimp
- July 14, 2021: I made a third visit to Monkey King BBQ & Noodle
restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas and finally hit their sweet spot. The chicken
egg rolls were superior and the Cantonese roasted duck was heavenly. The
seasoning and finish of the crispy duck skin was the best I have ever had.
was probably my final "official" visit to this restaurant, but I will be
back for myself.
Cantonese roasted duck
- July 15, 2021: I made a second visit to Pizza West in Shawnee, Kansas.
They have a lunch buffet, so I had a chance to try several of their pizzas.
I like the service and the set up with a large selection of pizzas, but
don't really care for the pizza. The sauce does not agree with me, though
I can't describe why.
- July 16, 2021: We are off for three days in north central and northwest
Kansas, heading west on I-70, with our first stop being lunch in Salina,
Kansas to check out Bravo Sliders-N-Bites, which opened in 2019. The small
restaurant has quickly gathered many positive reviews and a reputation
for supporting the community.
are small hamburgers and Salina already has a famous place for sliders,
the 99 year old Cozy Inn, but a slider can
be any small sandwich made on a slider bun and Bravo Sliders currently
lists 27 varieties, with the choice of four different proteins (beef, chicken,
pork, beyond beef) on nearly half of them.
also offer "frips" (fresh cut French fries shaped like thick ridge potato
chips), salads, and "bites" (bite sized house made desserts). We ordered
4 sliders, cheese streak, fajita, jalapeno cheddar brat, and club. I enjoyed
all of them, but liked the hot sandwiches the most, particularly the fajita
(sliced steak, red & yellow peppers, onions and cheddar).
frips are all about toppings, but they are good fries and would be good
without toppings, though I think I would want them a little crisper if
they were on their own. Orders come in four sizes and include the choice
of 17 seasonings: Greek, salt & pepper, ketchup, Sriracha, cajun, garlic
parmesan, jalapeno cheddar, dill pickle, ranch, BBQ, Congolese, sour cream
& onion, cheesy bacon, jerk, lemon pepper, truffle parmesan, and cheddar
'n chive. We tried the jalapeno cheddar and enjoyed it but would try a
different seasoning the next time.
can also order topped versions of the frips and we got a $6 half order
of Chicken Bacon Ranch Frips. They include shredded cheddar and fried French
onions and we really enjoyed them. Next time I am torn between trying Fiesta
(beef, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and guacamole sauce) or Poutine (ground
pork, peppered gravy and shredded cheddar).
"bites" on the menu are bite sized desserts are made in house and you get
a choice of 4 for a dollar. We had two brownies, peach cobbler and baklava.
We intended to to also have a cheese cake, but when they were out, the
server had substituted the second brownie and I said that was fine. The
brownie was my favorite of the three we tried. The peach cobbler was like
a peach muffin.
the way back to I-70, we passed a home with four large school or church
bells displayed in the yard. I posted a photo to our Facebook page. While
it received a lot of attention, no one provided more info about the display.
drove to Trescott, Kansas to see some outdoor metal sculptures by Trent
Dickerman. We saw one of his father, Jim Dickerman's sculptures on Highway
K-18 east of Trescott, but could not locate Trent's Forever Flower Gardens
in the cemeteries in Trescott or Beverly.
did locate Jim's present home and Soaring
Heart Gallery art studio in Beverly and took some exterior photos.
We noticed several of Jim's "Creature Creations" in nearby yards and on
the K-18 Open Range Zoo as we continued
west to Lincoln, Kansas.
finally located some of Trent Dickerman's art in Lincoln. There were multiple
pieces making up a "Forever Flower Garden" and "Flowers & Hearts."
If the pieces in the cemeteries are at all like these, we don't know how
we could have missed them in the two cemeteries.
an appointment in Ellis, Kansas at 4PM, we were soon back on I-70 headed
west to the Bukovina Society of the Americas in a beautiful stone 1907
Congregational Church. It is open only by appointment and we were met by
Guy Windholz, Norma Lang and Erin Henderson-Rogers. The museum is modest
and size, but Guy was happy to point out his favorite exhibits and tell
us about the history of settlement in the Americas by people from the region
of Europe once know as Bukovina.
the tour, we caravanned to St. Mary's Church, a beautiful Catholic Church
on the east side of town, which we had never seen on the interior. Norma
tracked down the Father and he graciously turned on the lights for my photography.
was at The Brazen Bull in Wakeeney, Kansas. The mountain oyster appetizer
was tender and very enjoyable. My chicken fried steak had an unfamiliar
coating which I really didn't care for, but Linda's flat iron steak was
cooked perfectly, something hard to do well done. She also enjoyed the
German fries (thin slices of potato, pan fried with onions and butter),
by I thought it needed a little more seasoning.
drove around Wakeeney after dinner and discovered that the Trego County
Fair was taking place, so we stopped to check it out. It was the smallest
county fair I have visited, but we enjoyed seeing the open class and 4-H
fair entrees. In the Commercial building, we learned that there is a group
raising funds to build and operate a Trego Sky View Drive In Movie Theater.
We would have bought raffle tickets for a beautiful University of Kansas
quilt, but we would be out of town when they selected a winner.
spent the night at the Super 8 by Wyndham in Wakeeney.
Sliders & Frips
Bells on Ohio Street
Forever Flower Garden
Norma Lang, Erin Henderson-Rogers, Guy Windholz
Raising funds for a Trego Sky View Drive In
- July 17, 2021: We got away from the hotel a little early, so we added
a stop in New Almelo, Kansas to photograph St. Joseph Catholic Church.
The striking stone church was constructed on a hill in 1908 and stands
out as you approach the tiny community from the east. The building is kept
open from 8AM - 8PM and after moving the padded weight which keeps the
doors closed I photographed the interior. The furnishings seemed plain
after having been in the ornate St. Mary's Church in Ellis, Kansas the
day before, but I love the stained glass windows.
had a 10AM appointment to visit the Norton County Museum in Norton, Kansas.
The museum occupies the main floor and basement of a former 1938 WPA Stone
Library. I found many interesting exhibits, starting with one devoted to
the February 18, 1948 Norton County Meteorite. Other notable exhibits include
the 1st aviation fatality in Kansas in 1911, the Norton Manufacturing Company
which made farm machinery from 1910 - 1967, women's suffrage, and the Norton
BB Gun Team which won 38 state championships and 8 international championships.
Norton, we drove west on US36 to visit the US 36 Highway Association Museum
in Norcatur. Kansas. We saw a lovely old building with a sign saying it
would be the future home of the museum, when we were in town about 5 years
ago. But the building looked nothing like like I remembered. We soon learned
that the grant which would have been used on the old building did not come
through. This former bank was purchased for use as the museum by a relative
of Elmer Kellner, who greeted us at the door and showed us through the
this point there isn't a great deal to see in the museum, but it is worth
getting off the highway to enjoy a half hour of chatting with Elmer and
learning more of the area history.
our way back to Norton, we turned off to visit Prairie Dog State Park.
We were lucky and the curator, Michael Richard, was at work in the Hillman
School. We had been unable to make contact with him through the state park
office. He was excited to show us that the cage, which once separated visitors
from the interior, had been removed as they plan to eventually start having
programs for children there.
took us on to see the Adobe House about a mile away. This is the only original
adobe structure being used as a museum in Kansas.
explained that they have scheduled fund raising events and intend to move
school near the adobe house under a combined name of Norton Living
History Museum. On the way between the two buildings we must of seen 30
or more prairie dogs and we took about a half hour photographing and watching
at least twice that many after visiting the Adobe House.
lunch at Destination Kitchen in Norton, where the front of the building
is a kitchen store, the back is a restaurant and the attached shop is a
had the "Good Fellow," a $12.99 brick oven pizza with olive oil, jerk chicken,
fresh tomato, roasted red pepper, fresh basil and mozzarella. She had been
a little concerned that the jerk chicken would be too spicy, but we didn't
notice the "jerk" and she was very happy with the pizza.
had a Classic Reuben, which they described as layers of juicy corned beef
topped with homemade kraut, a slice of Swiss cheese and a smear of their
own Russian dressing on marble rye. It was only $7.99 with kettle chips
and a pickle and was the best Reuben I have had this year. I thought the
various ingredients were perfectly balanced and I could tell it was homemade
sauerkraut, even though I hadn't noticed that it said that on the menu.
young server didn't ask if we wanted desserts and there were none listed
on the menu, but as I was paying at the register near the front of the
store, I saw a selection of large, house made cookies. We got three, peanut
butter, chocolate chip and snickerdoodle. The first two were good, but
it was the best snickerdoodle I have ever had!
leaving Norton we photographed the Remington statues at the library, the
new Kansas Centennial Women's Suffrage Mural by Erika Nelson and nearby
Cope Cemetery which contains just 5 known graves, that of Civil War veteran
Abram Louk and four children.
drove on to Logan, Kansas, where the Dane Hansen Museum has reopened after
a $3,000,000 renovation. The building and displays are very attractive,
but I'm not sure how much there is to interest people outside the area
of northwest Kansas which has benefited from grants from the Dane G. Hansen
Foundation. There is a large gallery for temporary exhibits, which currently
has "Animal Groups" with art by 9 artists. The permanent exhibits are devoted
to the Hansen family, with personal materials, a gun collection, small
coin collection and a recreation of Dane's office. I think that exhibits
devoted to the work of the foundation would be more interesting and educational.
east, we passed through Speed, which was severely flooded when we were
in town 5 years ago. After a taking a few photos, we moved on to Kirwin
National Wildlife Refuge and the town of Kirwin which lies below the Kirwin
headed north for a pass through Agra, Kansas to photograph some WPA buildings
and then back to the west to Phillipsburg where we had diner at Willers
Casual Dining. My prime rib was garlicky and fairly good, though the fries
which came with it appeared to be the cheapest frozen fries. Linda was
satisfied with her sautéed shrimp. Her loaded baked potato was unusual,
in that the toppings to load it were in a little plastic container, rather
than being prepared in the kitchen.
wasn't until the entrees were brought, that we knew that they weren't bringing
Linda's salad. We told our server and explained that there was no point
in bringing it now that we were eating the main meal. She made no offer
of anything to make up for that.
the check came, there was no adjustment for the missing item, and there
was an up charge for the baked potato being loaded. Something we hadn't
been told when ordering.
taking a photos of a few buildings and art around Phillipsburg, we checked
into the Roadway Inn. We went back out about 8:45PM when Linda noticed
that there was a deep red sunset, and hurried northeast of town to take
photos of the sunset.
St. Joseph Church
Norton County Museum
Good Fellow Pizza & Classic Reuben
Prime rib, fries & slaw
Sun setting over TAMKO Building Products
- July 18, 2021: There is steady rain this morning as we start toward
home. In Athol, Kansas, we photographed some signs from the car. Many of
the streets in Athol are not paved and we almost got stuck in mud.
continued to rain and we stayed in the car until we arrived at Cawker City
to check out the new Eyegore's Odditorium and Monster Museum, which opened
in April, about a block from the World's Largest
Ball of Twine. Matt Alford and Julie Agee fell in love with Cawker
City during a cross county trip last year and moved here from Virginia.
Matt is a fan of horror and has created many odd items to amuse and entertain
visitors. They sell souvenirs, penny candies, hot sauces and some of Matt's
grassroots art, but this feels more like a gallery than a gift shop. The
Odditorium reminds of an 80 year old pharmacy and taxidermy shop in my
home town when I was a child.
highly rated restaurants are open in this area on Sundays, but we found
El Tejavan, a Mexican restaurant in Beloit, Kansas. The salsa was a mild
style we have had at some other authentic Mexican restaurants, but do not
care for. Linda had a huge fajita quesadilla which may have been the best
quesadilla she has ever had.
had the San Juan Especiale fajita with chicken, shrimp, beef and chorizo.
It came out so hot and steaming that it was a minute before the steam died
down enough to photograph. The dish wasn't cooked as much as I like when
it came out, but continued to cook at the table and was better the longer
had finally stopped raining and most of the places we visited during the
rest of the day did not appear to have had any rain.
next stop was Tootle Park in Miltonvale, Kansas. where we photograph a
three arch stone bridge, large play area, band shell and veterans memorial.
photographed about 10 murals in Clay Center, Kansas, including a lovely
set of books titled "Windows to Literacy'" next to the library and a large
one on two sides of a grain elevator. The are part of a recent "Mural Movement
of Clay Center" and several more are planned.
repeat visit of the Clay Center Zoo found that the expansion of the zoo
continues and their are now two bears sharing a much larger space. Unfortunately
they were ignoring the new space and were exhibiting the stereotypic behavior
of repetitive pacing. There are also still other animals in tiny barren
cages from the early half of the 20th Century. The zoo is improving, but
it yet to warn a passing grade.
9 miles southeast of Clay Center, we went though the two block long community
of Bala and Bala Park about a mile away. The private owned park is open
to the public and includes a playground. picnic area and an 1887 Timber
Creek Arch Bridge. Fort Riley is on the far side of the former Chicago,
Rock Island & Pacific Railroad line.
continued to City Park in Manhattan, Kansas to photograph the 24' tall
statue of Johnny Kaw. The mythical pioneer Kansas wheat farmer was invented
by Professor George Fillinger from Kansas State University as part of the
1955 Manhattan Centennial, and a series of stories of his adventures were
published in the Manhattan Mercury newspaper and later collected into a
self published book. The statue was constructed in 1966.
City Park we also discovered the Pioneer Log Cabin which was built in 1915
the Riley County Historical Society over 100 years ago and was the Society's
only museum until 1956. It would have normally been open at this time,
but there was a sign that it was closed for the day.
had supper at Krustaceans Seafood, a seafood restaurant which opened about
4 months ago in Lawrence, Kansas. We got deep fried fish and shrimp, which
is is cooked with a heavy Cajun seasoning. They don't say what kind of
fish. The seasoning worked fairly well on the shrimp, but I didn't care
for it on the fish. The only sauce other than ketchup had the same seasoning.
No tartar or cocktail sauce were offered. The fries were so-so.
have since learned that the fish is swai.
we weren't turned off by the place and want to return and try some of the
Eyegore's Odditorium & Monster Museum
San Juan Especiale
"Windows to Literacy"
- July 19, 2021: Linda and I had supper at Juan Jose's Taqueria in
Shawnee, Kansas. The family restaurant is in a small strip mall storefront
and has been getting positive reviews. We had ground beef tacos and carne
asada nachos. I like the very large selection of sauces and condiments
at the counter.
nachos are worth having again, and I would like to sample a little more
of the menu, before deciding about this restaurant.
- July 21, 2021: We had supper at Blind
Box BBQ in Shawnee, next door to Juan Jose's where we dined the night
before. Linda had a half chicken with onion straws and street corn on the
cob and I had a "Heavyweight Plate" of ribs, sliced chicken and sausage
with fries and street corn. Everything was uniformly good and there will
be no changes to their review on our Kansas
City BBQ Guide.
added a new review of Bravo Sliders-N-Bites
in Salina, Kansas. The 2 year old restaurant offers dozens of kinds of
sliders (small sandwiches), Frips (fresh cut thick ridge French fries)
and Bites (bite sized desserts).
- July 23, 2021: I added a new review of Destination
Kitchen in Norton, Kansas, which is a combination kitchen store and
restaurant with an attached fabric shop called Stitch Up A Storm.
The menu is half gourmet sandwiches and half wood fired brick oven pizza.
They have the best snickerdoodle I have ever had!
- July 24, 2021: I had lunch at Estrella AZUL Mexican Cuisine in Mission,
Kansas. I was the only one dining in the dining room and there was one
party dining outside. I ordered the Carne Asada Fries, which were repeatedly
recommended in their Google reviews and a carnitas taco. The nachos looked
fabulous, but I felt there wasn't enough meat. The carntas was tender and
more to my liking.
Taco & nachos
- July 27, 2021: We had supper at Mr. P'z Bar & Grill, which is
at least the third BBQ restaurant at this storefront on 103rd at US-69
in Overland Park, Kansas. This is the second time I have dined in after
getting carry out once before. We had a two meat meal (sausage and ribs)
with onion rings, a a pork tenderloin with French fries. I enjoyed the
fries much more than the onion rings. The sausage was flat, looked like
liver and tasted a little odd.
added a new page devoted to the Bukovina
Society Headquarters and Museum located in a beautiful stone 1907 Congregational
Church in Ellis, Kansas. Bukovina is a region of Romania and Ukraine which
sent many immigrants to western Kansas.
Sausage & ribs
- July 28, 2021: Scott's Kitchen and Catering at Hangar 29, near the
Kansas City, Missouri airport has been getting very strong ratings on Google
and with limited hours (7AM - 6:30PM) I hadn't been able to make it there
before. I arrived on a hot afternoon and was surprised to discover the
door standing open. It turns out the building was not built to be a restaurant,
has limited air conditioning and they only air condition the kitchen. The
dining area was too warm for comfort.
order at a small counter from a menu on the wall and the food is brought
to the table. It comes out fairly slowly for BBQ, which is often closer
in time to fast food. Wanting to sample multiple meats, I got a 2 meat
combo of sausage and burnt ends, with a single wing. Only 4 sides are on
the menu and they do not offer French fries (my favorite barbeque side),
so I ordered cheesy potatoes and pickle & egg potato salad. I did not
care for the cheesy potatoes and like the potato salad only a little more.
Ii understand a restaurant that wasn't purpose built not having a
deep fat fryer, but wish they would at least offer something interesting
like cheesy corn or street corn.
wing was quite smoky and my favorite of the the three meats. The sausage
was very course and didn't have much flavor.
haven't tried enough of the BBQ meats to evaluate the BBQ at Hanger 29
and have tried none of the Mexican dishes, but with the limited hour and
my opinion so far, it will probably be some time before I try them again.
Scott's Kitchen and Catering at Hangar 29
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