changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- September 1, 2021: Continuing to revisit Overland
Park Restaurants which we have reviewed, but not visited in more than
2 years, I had lunch at André's
Confiserie Suisse & Rivaz Tearoom in south Overland Park. I first
dined at André's flagship location in Kansas City, Missouri in 1985,
when it was already 30 years old. This Overland Park location opened in
only for lunch, the menu at Andre's changes daily and today's choices were
cauliflower ham cheese casserole, chicken or tuna salad entree salad, turkey
& gruyere sandwich, salami and provolone sandwich, quiche Lorraine,
cheese pie, The meal is served all inclusive with sides, bread desert,
and coffee or tea. for $17.53.
had the cauliflower ham cheese casserole, which is described as florets
of cauliflower, diced ham and shredded Gruyere cheese baked in a cream
bechamel sauce and was served with the choice of two sides. I rarely eat
cauliflower as an entree, but was quite happy with this dish and particularly
enjoyed the flavor of the ham.
four sides offered were all salads and I chose the cucumber salad and green
salad. I would have have liked onion in the cucumber salad, but it was
still quite good. There was no choice of dressing for the salad and it
was served dressed with a Swiss version of creamy vinaigrette Franzosische
Salatsauce or French Salad Sauce which was invented in house in 1955. It
was thin light colored dressing which did not cling to the greens.
To my taste the dressing was almost non existent. Yet it is popular enough
that bottles of the dressing are sold to take home.
bread was crusty, slightly warm and served with unsalted Grassland grass
fed butter. I'm not that big a bread eater, but thought this was very good.
was the choice of nine different pastries or one of several cookies, including
6 gluten free options. I went with Matterhorn, a blend of chocolate cake
and chocolate butter cream with a butter cookie base. Although the dessert
was small, it was was very rich with a really wonderful chocolate flavor.
I took small bites to savor every bit of it and was quite satisfied.
pay at the candy counter, instead of the table, so that you are exposed
to the many chocolates, pastries and heat-at-home entrees. Wanting to sample
more of André's dishes than I could at one meal, I got frozen chicken
spinach shrimp lasagna and cod casserole with rice to take home.
André's Confiserie Suisse & Rivaz Tearoom
Cauliflower ham cheese casserole
- September 2, 2021: Union Pacific's historic Big Boy steam locomotive
No. 4014 started its third and final 2021 pass through Kansas this morning
and I was waiting near De Soto, Kansas while it traveled on its way from
Kansas City, Missouri to Lawrence, Kansas.
were quite a few people waiting near the tracks, but I found a spot across
a field where I could see it longer and have time for a short video and
the train passed, some people headed toward Lawrence where they might see
Big Boy stopped for a half hour, but I drove to the University of Kansas
campus, where the Wilcox Classical Museum has reopened after a year and
a half closing due to Covid.
Wilcox Classical Museum first opened as the Classical Museum of the University
of Kansas in 1888, making it the oldest museum at KU. It was located in
old Fraser Hall, but that building was closed in 1965 and the museum was
placed in storage until this 1,500 square foot space became available in
1985. The museum also serves as a classroom, but I was permitted to continue
touring the museum when a class began during my visit.
are two galleries and the larger one which doubles as a class room is filled
almost exclusively with plaster casts of Roman and Greek art. The smaller
gallery has ancient artifacts from around the Mediterranean, including
coins, lamps, pottery and small sculptures. Both galleries display student
designed proposals to remodel the museum. The plans include making it more
open and removing the screens which cover the original windows of 117 year
old Lippincott Hall.
noticed The Wagon Wheel on my way to the campus, I returned to the 66 year
old bar, better known as The Wheel for lunch. The dark bar is covered everywhere
with the KU souvenirs and student graffiti and lighted by chandlers built
from wagon wheels, which gave The Wheel its name. This popular place is
more bar than grill, but serves burgers during the day and pizza at night.
had their best known item, the Wang Burger which is topped by fried egg,
bacon and cheese and has been mentioned on air by ESPN commentators who
dined there before calling a game. It tasted good and didn't really need
any condiments. It isn't very big, but large enough for only $6.
only real complaint with The Wheel was the lack of a lock on the door of
the small men's restroom.
returning home, I drove south to Wells
Overlook County Park, an attractive scenic lookout point about 3 miles
south of Lawrence. Our 2017 page about the lookout tower talks about the
tower not being accessible and that the trees block the view from the ground,
but a there is a new ADA compliant lookout which was built by students
of Dirt Works Studio, a University of Kansas School of Architecture and
Wilcox Classical Museum
- September 3, 2021: We were on the road at 3PM, heading west on I-70
and driving straight through got Lindsborg, Kansas and the Peterson Farm
Brothers Sunflower Trails. We had learned of this sunflower farm last year
and wanted to add it to our Kansas Sunflower Field Guide, but they didn't
grow sunflowers in 2020.
year the field is located outside Lindsborg, about a half mile south of
the Peterson Brother's The Heights Wedding Venue. Considering that the
Peterson Far Brothers are internationally known and have a huge social
media presence, we were surprised to find only one other party at the field
at 6PM in the evening. The flowers were nearly perfect for viewing at this
is just a small parking area, but it was far too muddy to use and we parked
on the road. Admission is $5/person or $10/per family, with additional
charges for professional photographers. You can leave check or cash in
a box fastened to a telephone pole by the road or follow the instructions
at the entrance to use Venmo. There are trails through the field and you
are asked not to leave the trails.
more party arrived as we left the field to go on into Lindsborg for supper
at at Öl Stuga, a bar with deli sandwiches. I dined here in June,
but haven't had a chance to try enough of the dishes on the menu.
I started with one of their "trays." I went with the "Swedish Delicacy
Tray" which has 7 oz. of pickled herring, knacklebrot and bond-ost. Not
that I knew what knacklebrot & bond-ost are when I ordered. Turns out
that bond-ost is a mild Swedish cow's milk cheese which is aged only 6-8
weeks. knacklebrot is a Swedish cracker usually eaten with toppings. This
was the first pickled herring I have had in several years and I really
enjoyed it. It was in a particularly sweet brine.
also had a German sausage made with sausage, Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard
and sauerkraut on a submarine bun. It was served with chips and was a good
sandwich. One I would definitely have again. Linda had the famous Brent
Nelson, but without hot pepper cheese, just sausage, BBQ sauce, smoky sharp
cheese and onions served warm on a submarine bun. The pain rippled potato
chips served with the sandwiches mainly added crunch. I wouldn't mind some
flavored potato chip options.
was a nice meal for only $26 before tip.
spent the night at the Best Western Plus Midwest Inn & Suites in Salina,
Swedish Delicacy Tray
- September 4, 2021: The morning started out with rain, so we waited
until about 10AM to start today's explorations. The first stop was just
a short drive from the hotel, Fossett Plaza at the Salina Regional Airport.
The centerpiece of the Plaza is a 16 foot tall monument to Steve Fossett’s
2005 around the world, solo, nonstop flight in the Global Flyer. The 22,936
mile, 67 hour flight started and ended at the Salina Airport. The
runway Fossett used can be seen from the small plaza which also has almost
illegible etched metal panels with info about Fossett, the flight and other
history of the airport.
crossed town to Oakdale Park where the 3rd day of the Smoky Hill River
Festival was taking place. We paid $10 each to enter the festival and were
given a color coded wrist band for admittance that day. Admission was by
cash only and no receipts were available.
of the first things we spotted in the festival was World's Largest Collection
of the World's Smallest Versions of the World's Largest Things Sideshow
Extravaganza, created by Erika Nelson from Lucas, Kansas. Erika was just
finishing set up and we checked out the displays and they watched as she
cave out fortunes from a booth reminiscent of a Zoltar machine. After a
brief chat with Erika, we got our own fortunes and moved to see more of
visited most of the more than 100 crafts booths, the 3 out of the 4 stages
where there was live entertainment in the morning, and other outdoor art
installations. We purchased lawn art from AJ's Copper Garden in Homestead,
Iowa. There were many food vendors with items which looked good and we
had frog legs and popcorn shrimp for lunch.
the afternoon we drove to Manhattan, Kansas to a farm market called Britt's
Garden Acres, At the market we each paid $5 for a wristband and they directed
me to their sunflower field a couple of miles away. I would have had a
hard time finding the field from the directions, but they had also provided
an address and I put it in the GPS. The sunflowers were a little down from
heavy rain but still looked good. There were Guinea fowl in the field from
a nearby farmstead.
being closed for a year and a half due to Covid, the Marianna
Kistler Beach Museum of Art reopened earlier this week. We stopped
to get some fresh photos of the galleries, as the photos we have been using
on the museum's page have been over 10 year's old. Unfortunately, two of
the museum's galleries were empty and other galleries were closed for a
September 7th opening.
we were just a half mile away, we went to the Call
Hall Dairy Bar. This is where the ice cream, milk, cheese, from
the KSU Dairy Processing Plant are sold to the public. Mask wearing is
currently required in all buildings at Kansas State University and everyone
at the Beach Museum was wearing masks, but despite prominent sings on the
door, almost all people in the long, packed line to get ice cream were
looked like they had sold a lot of ice cream today and they were sold out
of the flavors we would have really liked, so we went with vanilla crunch
and peanut butter chocolate nut.
had one more sunflower field to visit and drove just south of Manhattan
to another farm market, A & H Farm. The grounds around the market have
things for children like slides and a pen of goats. They are not in very
good condition. A small sunflower field was at the far end of the property
and we couldn't get to the sunflowers without wading through a few inches
of mud and water. The plants were small, sparse, small and not very attractive,
though there were a few things set up to provide photo props. There was
a $10 charge, which is high if (like us) you are there without children
and just there to see the sunflowers but is more reasonable if you are
there to see goats and do other things. The produce is nicer than what
is outside. We bought some great peaches from Idaho.
final stop of the day was for supper at The Wheel Barrel in the NOTO district
of Topeka, Kansas. The Wheel Barrel serves soup, salads and grilled cheese
sandwiches. We had the Not-Yo-Mama's BLT (sharp cheddar, goat cheese, bacon,
mixed greens, tomato and sriracha aioli on sourdough) and the Kansan (cheddar,
mozzarella, grilled onions, mushrooms and roast beef on sourdough with
a side of jalapeno ranch). Both were good, though the ranch did noting
for me. I would like the restaurant even more with a selection o condiments
to select from after the sandwich comes to the table.
Getting my fotrune from Erika Nelson
Britt's Garden Acres sunflower field
A & H Farm
- September 9, 2021: For lunch I went to Sneed's Bar-B-Q in Belton,
Missouri. I want to add a listing for Sneed's in our Kansas
City BBQ Guide. I ordered a 3 meat combination with sausage, brisket
and pork ribs plus baked beans and fresh cut French fries for $20.99 All
of the servings were generous.
didn't find much smoke flavor in any of the meats and wanted sauce on all
of them for additional flavor. The meat brisket and ribs were well trimmed
and had little or no fat.
main house barbecue sauce was on the table and was a little sweet. The
server brought the hot barbecue sauce. which had a distinctly different
flavor, primarily black pepper. I kind of liked the hot sauce on the sausage.
cut fries are usually my favorite side with Kansas City barbecue, but the
sweet, meaty, smoky beans were the star of the meal. As good of beans as
I have had in a restaurant.
of us has supper at Queen of Mediterranean Restaurant in Lenexa, Kansas.
We had lamb biryani, grilled shrimp with veggies, chicken shawarma sandwich
with fries and baklava. Almost all was good, it not outstanding. Two of
the dishes had a lot of carrots, most of which were undercooked, though
the smaller pieces were more cooked and better. I enjoyed the seasoning
on the fries.
3 meat combo
- September 11, 2021: Linda joined me for a second meal at Sneed's
Bar-B-Q in Belton, Missouri.
was much more impressed with the meats today. Sneads calls their burn ends,
"brownies" and the beef burnt ends are great. Wonderful flavor from the
smoking and very little fat. I actually would like a little more fat, but
this is healthy and probably more popular. The sausage brownies are sliced
sideways and thicker than the lengthwise that Sneads' regular sausage is
cut. This much the way Jack Stack sausage and sausage burnt ends are cut
and all of our family prefers the sausage this way, which seems to be more
tender and the flavor we like.
smoked chicken was a little small, but tasted good. Better than the meats
I had Thursday.
fresh cut fires were hot an much better today. Thursday's fries must have
been a fluke. The onion ring appetizer was crispy and very good with a
mile batter which let us enjoy the flavor of the onion. They were so good,
that at the end of the meal, the cold ones still were very good.
Half order of mixed beef & sausage brownies
- September 15, 2021: Lyle joined me in revisiting the original location
of Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que
in Kansas City, Kansas. I was last there in January 2019 and I couldn't
believe how much this popular restaurant has changed. Joe's shares a building
with an operating gas station and has had a small dining room. The size
impacted the experience more than you might expect, because they slowed
down the food preparation so that dine in customers wouldn't receive food
until a table was ready.
the past year, Joe's has taken over half of the space the gas station was
occupying, letting them expand the dining room. Outside, they took over
half of the space occupied by the gasoline pumps, so that cars can only
get fuel on the far side of the pumps, while an outside dining area goes
right up to the pumps on the building side. In addition, they have added
curb service with about 10 of the parking spaces.
was the first time I have dined at Joe's KC when the line waiting to order
didn't go all the way across the building. There were maybe 10 people in
line in front of us.
had a half chicken and a Smokie Joe (chopped smoked beef and pork in barbecue
sauce). Both we very good.
all the experience is much improved!
Joe's KC Dining Room
- September 23, 2021: I had lunch at Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue,
which opened last week in the former Ignite location in Lenexa, Kansas.
This is their 6th location in the Kansas City, Missouri area and the second
on the Kansas side of the metro.
dined at other Jack Stack locations many times, so this time I made a point
of having two dishes which I have not had before, I had the $14.50 Fire-Kissed
Wings appetizer and a $5.50 side of Cheesy Potato Bake.
were 10 wing thirds which had been rubbed with Cajun spices and grilled
over a hickory fire. They were spicy and quite good. The potatoes were
thin slices, cooked like scalloped potatoes, flavored more with black pepper,
than with cheddar cheese.
Cheesy Potato Bake & Fire-Kissed WIngs
- September 24, 2021: I had lunch at Snack
Shack on Santa Fe in Overland Park. It was the first time I have done
dine in, since 2019. I had a "Bob," a $6.50 1/4 pound version of the $8
Bobby Burger which is 1/2 pound with American cheese grilled onions and
grilled jalapeños. Quite good and really large enough. I may no
longer do the Bobby.
downtown Overland Park streets were closed and vendors were setting up
for this weekend's Fall Festival.
and Lyle joined me for a second visit to the new Fiorella's Jack Stack
Barbecue in Lenexa. The price points are a bit higher than I like, but
the food was all good. We had burnt ends, beef ribs and pork ribs.
like the beef crown ribs at the other locations, but this time had regular
beef ribs. They were a little tough, but still tasted quite good, particularly
the fatty portions. There were four ribs. Three were enough to fill me
and I took one home. We had leftovers of all three meats
sampled included Cheesy Corn, Cheesy Corn Bake, Baked Beans and French
Fall Festival Vendors
- September 25, 2021: It has been several years since I have returned
to the Kansas City Renaissance Festival,
so I took advantage of a free ticket from Kansas Public Radio to visit
the Bonner Springs, Kansas theme park this afternoon. The parking and the
crowd inside appeared to be down this year, but with fewer of the food
vendors open this year, the lines looked longer than ever. In particular,
the turkey legs booths each had 40 or more people in line.
was the "Shamrocks & Shenanigans" theme weekend, but I didn't notice
more of an Irish theme in the activities that caught my eye. My favorite
part of the festival was people and pet watching, with so many customer
- September 30, 2021: We are off for a short visit to southwest Kansas.
We got away from Lenexa about 4 PM and drove straight through to Wichita,
Kansas to have supper at the Headz & Tailz Whisky Bar, a Cambodian
influenced seafood restaurant which opened in May. We called ahead for
a reservation and were told it wouldn't be necessary, but they would mark
arrived about 6:25PM and the dinning room was empty except for a part which
walked in right after us. The owner, Pauleen Riel, let us sit where ever
we wanted. She said they were out of a couple of dishes which she hadn't
had time to prepare this day.
ordered Riel Saucy Lobster (a whole lobster with ginger, scallions, jalapeno,
lemon grass and onions) and a Khmer-Cajun style create your own platter,
selecting shelled shrimp, corn and potatoes. It also came with sausage,
which we did not order, but were charged for. As with most seafood boil
style corn on the corn, we did not not care for the corn which we felt
was overdone. Linda found the mild to be more spicy then she wanted, though
I didn't think it was very hot unless I bit into one of the jalapeno sliced.
It was good and garlicky. The leftovers which we took with us really were
noticeable in the car and in the motel refrigerator. They were good for
breakfast the next morning.
lobster also had plenty of spice. The meat was hard to cut into, to make
bite sized chunks, but was tender enough when chewing. The issue may have
been with the knife not being sharp enough.
asked where we were from and then asked if we were in town for Riverfest.
We had not known about the mini fall edition which was added to this year's
Riverfest and looked up what was happening this evening. After we visited
the Fountains at Riverwalk and found out they were not running this night,
we drove to the part of Riverfest that is called Ackerman’s Backyard which
was hosting Phlox Kansas fire dancers and actually along the Arkansas River.
We purchased $10 buttons to have access and entered Ackerman’s Backyard
to find the lights out and no activities going on. There were other people
wandering around and we finally found passing through who had learned that
the activities had been shut down because there might be thunderstorms.
(There were none)
we had already purchased admission we walked through the part of Riverfest
around Century II. The only thing happening was a sparsely attended concert
inside by Flatland Cavalry. Oddly, the outdoor food vendors were still
spent the night in a nice suite at Best Western Plus Wichita West Airport
Riel Saucy Lobster
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