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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Jousting Pigs BBQ - Kansas City, Kansas
Wednesday - December 1, 2021: I'm off on a quick overnight trip to western Kansas.

I had lunch at Chuckburger, a 67 year old drive through restaurant in Topeka, Kansas, a drive through and walk up restaurant. There is one row of parking and a couple of picnic tables over a carport.

The double chuckburger (Swiss cheese, grilled onions, mustard and pickle) was quite good, as was the chocolate malt, which was just the right thickness and had plenty of flavor from the malt. The fries could have used ketchup or some other topping, none came with the meal. Next time I will know to ask for them.

Driving west on I-70, my only other stop was at Kansas Originals Market, where I bought some Christmas Wine at the Smoky Hill Vinyards shop within the building.

The first attraction I visited was the Robbins Center at Fort Hays State University in Hays. The Center houses the Kansas Postcard Collection. There are 635 original postcard sized images from 1978 to 2002. The collection is a result of a 25 year competition that was open to all Kansas Artists. There are no signs to let you know the collection is there and the art is spread through out the building in framed displays from each year. The kind people at the Robbins Center gave me a couple of packs of reproductions of the art.

I drove on to Wakeeney, which has called itself the "Christmas City of the High Plains" since 1950. Each year the downtown is decorated with a 35' tree made from greenery and the adjacent streets are lit with strings of lights and some garlands. I took some daytime photos and then checked into the Best Western Plus Wakeeney Inn & Suites.

Supper was at Western Kansas Saloon & Grill, the first time I have dined there in several years. They were busy, but under staffed and my server almost ran from one table to the next. I had a 16 ounce ribeye steak. It came with salad, green beans and choice of potato for $22, with sautéed onion and mushrooms added for another $2.

The Saloon is decorated with antiques, an original freight elevator, tin ceiling, hardwood floors, and six large paintings by a local artist.

I followed supper with night time photograph of the downtown lights. I also drove through the residential streets looking for other Christmas displays, but they were quite limited.

 

Chuckburger - Topeka, Kansas Chuckburger
 
 
 
 

Kansas Postcard Collection 1994 selections from the Kansas Postcard Collection
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Christmas City of the High Plains Wakeeney Christmas Lights

 

 
Thursday - December 2, 2021: After a short stop in Ellis, Kansas to get fresh photographs of the Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home, I drove back to the Fort Hays State University campus to check out the two year old Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art in the Old Power Plant building, it pairs nicely with are displays in the attached Schmidt Foundation Center for Art & Design. It was interesting seeing artists and designers at work in the various classrooms and labs.

I also photographed the Jellison Bridge pedestrian bridge a couple of blocks away.

Lunch was a second visit to Tiger Burgers, which is in a restored gas station with a floor made of pennies. The only person working was busy in the kitchen it too quite a while to get his attention. I had The Dorothy Melt (1/2 pound burger with smashed onions, American & Swiss cheese on artisan bread for $11.49 including fries.

I wasn't impress with the bread, but was happy with everything on the burger. My favorite thing about Tiger Burgers is the large condiment bar where you can add various toppings to any of the sandwiches or sides.

Continuing east, I pulled off I-70 at Dorrance and then Wilson to photograph the many handsome old stone buildings and buy some house made sausage at Wilson Family Foods. I also photographed the interior of St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church.

 

Moss-Thorns Gallery - Fort Hays State University Moss-Thorns Gallery

The Dorothy Melt - Tiger Burgers The Dorothy Melt

St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church - Wilson, Kansas St. Wenceslaus Church

Friday - December 3, 2021: I revisited Strang Hall, the food hall in Overland Park, Kansas which opened just two years ago this month. After checking the menus behind all the food counters, I ordered a Route 66 Burger at a counter called Minglewood. I would describe the $13 burger (with fries), but it is no longer on the menu and my photo of the menu is not legible. It was OK, not something I would make this much effort to get.

 

Minglewood food counter - Overland Park. Kansas Route 66 Burger
Monday - December 6, 2021: I drove to North Kansas City, Missouri to have lunch at Hawg Jaw Que & Brew. I hadn't been to this barbecue restaurant since 2019. The counter area has been changed to provide more social distancing. Several items were unavailable today, including the smoked corned beef which I love in the Irish Hawg sandwich.

I went with the rib & smoked meat combo ($19.99 with 1 side and Texas Toast. I would rather this dish be two or three dollars lower, but understand that meat costs are way up. The thin sliced savory ham. The ribs could have used more rub, but were still good and I appreciated their being tender, but still requiring a little pull to pull of the bones.

I continue to go out checking on Johnson County Christmas Light Displays almost every night. Tonight they were in Lenexa, Shawnee and Bronner Springs. I was particularly impressed by the Allen Christmas Display in Bonner Springs. The yard includes many moving elements, but the focal point is a large animated village and carousel in the garage, which you are invited to walk up and enjoy. You are also invited to leave a letter for Santa, hug a giant teddy bear and help yourself to a candy cane. Faces in three small trees sing Christmas songs which are playing over speakers and at 100.1FM. We really like this display and the longer we watched it, the more we found.

 

Hawg Jaw Que & Brew - North Kansas City, Missouri Rib & meat combo
 
 
 

Allen Christmas Display - Bonner Springs, Kansas Allen Christmas Display

Friday - December 10, 2021: I wanted to update our page devoted to BB's Lawnside BBQ in Kansas City, Missouri and we drove there for lunch today. 

We ordered an $8.25 Quarter Chicken Dinner and $14.25 Yardbird Combo. They both are good values. The chicken comes with one side and the Combo includes four ribs, Italian sausage, the choice of one other meat (I went with chicken) and two sides. The customer can select white or dark meat on the chicken dinner. The meats were all good, particularly the pork ribs. The skillet fries, 3/4 inch long chunks of potato cooked in a skillet with a spicy seasoning, were crispy and great as always.

My photos did not turn out very well today.

 


 

BB's Lawnside BBQ - Kansas City, Missouri Yardbird Combo

Tuesday - December 14, 2021: I made a second visit to Lawrence and Topeka to check on new Christmas displays which followers of our Topeka Christmas Display Tour and Lawrence Christmas Display Tour.

In Lawrence I found two new groups of homes which decorated together: Coneflower Court Lights and the Eldorado Drive Avenue Of Trees.

I had supper at 4 Guys Bistro on Kansas Avenue in Topeka. You order from a somewhat eclectic menu at a counter. The menu includes chili and hot dogs, a number of dishes from around Asia, and burritos which are built as you watch. I has Vietnamese spring rolls (3 for $7.50) and a chili dog ($8.50 including fries). The spring rolls were good and I loved the peanut sauce which came with them. The fries were good, as was the dog itself, but the chili topping was a sweet tomato sauce like pizza. I couldn't taste any in it.

 


 
 
 
 

4 Guys Bistro - Topeka. Kansas 4 Guys Bistro

Monday - December 27, 2021: Two new restaurants have opened at the Legends in Kansas City, Kansas in the past month and tonight we checked out Dancing Crab Cajun Seafood & Bar, which is in a free standing building, just south of the the shopping mall.

Dancing Crab is another of Cajun seafood restaurants that have been springing up through out metro Kansas City, offering fried, broiled and steam seafood. Tonight we both decided to try fried seafood dishes and we ordered at $13.99 fried oyster basket and an $18.99 Combo Fried Basket A with 3 pieces of catfish and 5 pieces of shrimp. The oyster did not appear to be fresh and were only so-so. The Catfish had the same coating as the other items, not the cornmeal coating we have come to love. The shrimp was the best. The fries were just OK.

 

Dancing Crab Cajun Seafood - Kansas City, Kansas Dancing Crab Cajun Seafood
Wednesday - December 29, 2021: I had lunch at Pizza Man in Lenexa, Kansas. Although we have pizza here every month or two, I haven't had the hot dogs in many years. I tried both a Chicago style dog and a chili dog. Both were made using Vienna beef hot dogs. The Chicago style dog isn't the classic, lacking the dark green relish and using bigger hot peppers which have been cut. It was my favorite by a small margin. I should have requested onions on the chili dog.

 

Pizza Man - Lenexa, Kansas Chili dog & Chicago dog
Thursday - December 30, 2021: After visiting a new restaurant instead, last month, I returned to Olathe. Kansas to update my review of Mom's Kitchen in Olathe, Kansas. Prices have risen a little at Mom's Kitchen, but they are still a reasonable value.

I ordered a new item on the menu, a Jalapeno Burger with French fries for $12.99. The patty is topped with white cheddar cheese, jalapenos and jalapeno bacon, served on a Kaiser bun. I really enjoyed the bacon! 
 


Mom's Kitchen - Olathe, Kansas Jalapeno Burger
 
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