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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Turkey Creek Waterfall - Merriam. Kansas
Thursday - February 3, 2022: I had lunch at Selamta Ethiopian Restaurant and Bar in Lenexa. The name and ownership of this restaurant changed a few years ago and I had not been here since then. I don't know Ethiopian food well, but have had it occasionally for many years. The storefront restaurant has a fairly small dining room, but the restaurant widens out at the bar and there were several people settled down at the bar.

I ordered the Meat Combination, which they describe as a mix of red sauce, turmeric mixed sauce, roasted beef, collard mixed beef, carrot mixed beef and turmeric mixed chicken for $16.99. It looked like their were two servings of the turmeric mixed chicken, with no carrot mixed beef. The chicken dish was not very spicy and I am not a carrot fan, so that was 40% of the meal. the beef in turmeric mixed sauce and roasted beef were both fairly spicy and I enjoyed them both. The collared mixed beef was OK. The injura (sour spongy bread used to pick up the food) was not as sour as some, which is more to my liking. That said, although I like the style of picking up the food in the bread, it doesn't add to my enjoyment of the dishes and after a few bites I switched to using a fork.

The service was friendly but rather slow and I noticed the people at another table become impatient and go up to the bar to pay.

Overall, I would be fine returning with someone who would like to eat there, but probably will not pick it out myself.

 


 
 
 

Selamta Ethiopian Restaurant - Lenexa, Kansas Meat Combination

 
Friday - February 4, 2022: I drove to Kansas City, Kansas to photograph several Quindaro town site locations with fresh snow. Quindaro was established by abolitionists in late 1856 and became the home of many former slaves. My destination was the Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum. The museum is housed in two rooms of the Vernon Multipurpose Center and is open on weekday mornings. It appears that the main purpose of the museum at this time is to preserve, books, photos, clippings and a few artifacts, but needs a curator to organize things in context and better communicate the interesting history of this community. At this time I feel that the collection is more of a research tool than a museum.

I drove to the Armourdale neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas to have lunch at Wolfe-Es Restaurant. which styles itself as an American Diner. The 30 year old restaurant does serve diner style food, but other than breakfast items, has a short menu for a diner. It has been under the present owner for three years and I was told they still use many scratch recipes from the previous owners. 

I had a pretty decent pork tenderloin sandwich, the first I have had since early last year. It was typically sized and pretty good with mayo and onion. The French fries did not appear to be house cut.

Some people have called this place a dive. I don't think being a dive is a bad thing, but this restaurant is too clean and well kept for that name to apply. Online reviews also say it is cash only, but that is no longer true.

On my way home, I stopped at Wyandot National Burying Ground in downtown Kansas City, Kansas and Turkey Creek Waterfall in Merriam to take more photos with the light snow cover.

 

Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum - Kansas City, Kansas Quindaro Underground Railroad Museum
 

Wolfe-Es Restaurant - Kansas City, Kansas Pork tenderloin 
 

Wyandot National Burying Ground - Kansas City, Kansas Wyandot National Burying Ground

Saturday - February 5, 2022: Linda joined me in paying the third visit to Smoketown BBQ in Overland Park, Kansas. I ordered a small chili ($4.89) with onions ($0.39) and 6 wings ($9.59). The chili was a real treat, meaty with only a few beans and lots of flavor, while not being very spicy. I usually want my chili hotter, but was quite happy with this and will have it again. The wings were small, but I was given 9 instead of 6. They were smoked and lightly finished in a deep fryer. They were served with BBQ sauce and while I liked them, didn't satisfy the flavor profile that I am usually thinking of when i order wings - Buffalo sauce and blue cheese dressing for dipping. I would order chicken instead of wings.

Linda got the half chicken dinner ($13.49 with Texas toast and the choice of two sides). It was a very small chicken, but had nice flavor from the smoking and rub. It was very lightly sauced, but need no more sauce. Linda was as impressed with the Texas toast as I was when I sampled it last month.

I do wish that the employees would take a few Covid precautions.

 

Smoketown BBQ - Overland Park. Kansas chili & chicken wings
Tuesday - February 8, 2022: I need to try the ribs at Smoketown BBQ in Overland Park before I can do a review on this restaurant and stopped here for lunch. I had the $15.89 rib dinner with 3 ribs, two sides, pickle and texas toast. I felt there should have been more meat for the price. The ribs were tender. Although the meat was nicely smoky, there wasn't much flavor from seasoning in the cooking. 

The only side I hadn't tried was the macaroni & cheese. It was fine, if not a standout. 

 

Rib dinner at Smoketown BBQ Rib dinner
Wednesday - February 9, 2022: I had lunch at the Peanut on Santa Fe to update its review on our Overland Park Restaurant Guide. I got pictures of the current menu and enjoyed an old favorite, the 3 wings and fries with house made blue cheese dressing. As usual, the wings are quite large, though not that meaty. I like the black peppery hot sauce which many people think is the best in Kansas City.

 

Peanut on Santa Fe - Overland Park, Kansas 3 wings & fries
Thursday - February 10, 2022: The much awaited Buck Tui BBQ, a Thai influenced Kansas City BBQ restaurant in Overland Park, opened to curbside only sales tonight and we ordered online. We don't usually visit brand new restaurants, but with takeout only, we thought it was worth a try. 

We arrived to find 6 ot 7 vehicles already waiting curb side. From outside it appears that there is much more work to be done before they will open inside. The photo at right was taken after most of them left.

We enjoyed the dishes we sampled, but I felt they suffered from the 15 minute drive taking them home. We look forward to having their food again when we can dine at the restaurant.

The first food photo has the Buck Tui Banh Mi (Smoked chicken, chicken liver mousse, ginger pickles, jalapenos, crusty hoagie with one side for $14) and a half slab of ribs (With rice and pickles for $21). The fries are not listed on the menu, except as a side option with this sandwich. The ribs came with a choice of two sauces from a long list.

The second food photo has Buck Tui Noodles (Pulled pork, egg noodles, scallion, bean sprouts, cilantro, ginger $14), Brisket Egg Rolls (Brined brisket, cream cheese, scallion, sweet & sour sauce $9), and Brisket Noodle Curry (Brined brisket, coconut curry, roasted small potatoes, long bean, vermicelli noodles, Thai chile, peanut $18. The cream cheese in the egg rolls was a hit!

 

Buck Tui BBQ - Overland Park, Kansas Buck Tui BBQ

Banh Mi and ribs - Buck Tui BBQ Banh Mi & ribs

Noodles, egg rolls, curry - Buck Tui BBQ Noodles, egg rolls, curry

Sunday - February 13, 2022: I added a new review of Smoketown BBQ in Overland Park, Kansas.

 

 
Monday - February 14, 2022: I added a new page devoted to Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art at Fort Hays University.

 

 
Wednesday - February 16, 2022: We had supper at Meat Mitch Barbecue at Ranchmart in Leawood, Kansas. The much anticipated restaurant by a well known KC BBQ Pitmaster had been in the process for 4 years. It occupies a 6,000 square foot storefront and has a lot of covered outside dining space, though that space was not open. We were happy to see that all of the employees who were interacting with the public were wearing masks.

You order your meal at a counter and are given glasses to serve your own fountain drinks. A server comes to your table to see if you want drinks from the bar and otherwise assist you. The server brings your food and collects your payment at the conclusion of the meal. Our server was quite helpful and did a good job of answering questions. The manager also stopped by the table to check on us.

We ordered the Pitmaster Platter. The $42 combination is intended to serve two and we had enough meat to bring some home. It includes smoked burnt ends, black angus carved brisket, three rib bones, pulled pork, smoked turkey, smoked rope sausage, bbq pit beans, potato salad & French fries. I liked all of the meats, with the brisket being my favorite, closely followed by the pulled pork. The sausage was a little bland for my palate. The ribs were the most smoky of the meats which were all served un-sauced.

Meat Mitch has 6 sauces, 5 of which were already on the table. They are Naked BBQ Sauce, described as rich, smooth & sweet; Yellow Brick Road, described as Carolina-style mustard sauce; WHOMP! Competition BBQ Sauce, described as rich, smooth with a touch of heat; Stay Hot! BBQ Sauce, described as major heat meets a touch of sweet; Char Bar Table Sauce, described as spicy tang with a zesty bit; and WHOMP! White Sauce, described as Alabama-style white BBQ sauce.

The Char Bar Table Sauce was my favorite of their traditional KC sauces, but Yellow Brick Road was by far my favorite of the six. The White Sauce is the only one which isn't already on the the table (probably because it is kept refrigerated) and when our server brought it at my request, I asked him what he thought it went best with. He said that he liked it with the French fries. I normally love mayonnaise on fries, but this combination of mayonnaise, horseradish, brown sugar and vinegar didn't appeal to me.

The fries were fairly good. The are heavily seasoned and very salty. Some customers may prefer to ask for them unseasoned. The beans did little for either of us. The potato salad was traditional. I'm not a big potato salad fan, but thought this was above average and worth bringing home that which we didn't finish.

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Meat Mitch BBQ Sauces - Leawood, Kansas Meat Mitch BBQ Sauces

Monday - February 21, 2022: We added a new page devoted to St. Wenceslaus Catholic Church in Wilson, Kansas.

 

 
Wednesday - February 23, 2022: We added a new page devoted to Wakarusa River Valley Heritage Museum in Lawrence, Kansas.

 

 
Thursday - February 24, 2022: We had supper from the Tacos El Viejon food truck in Shawnee, Kansas, which has been building a strong reputation. They have picnic tables for seating, but it was a cold. windy night, so we picked up our food and took it to the home of nearby friends.

Although Tacos El Viejon has a Facebook page, they do not have a menu online. The menu in place at the food truck is a listing of items without pricing on the side of the truck. For $42 we got 11 tacos and 2 quesadillas, but don't know how much was paid. 

I found the tacos dry and the meats lacking in flavor, but I was the only one of the 4 of us who didn't care for it. I did like the foil wrapped radishes, raw onion, cilantro, cooked onions & peppers that accompanied the food.

 

Tacos El Viejon food truck - Shawnee, Kansas Tacos El Viejon
Saturday - February 26, 2022: We just learned this week that after a long Covid related break, Jarocho has reopened in Kansas City, Kansas. This is my favorite seafood restaurant in Kansas and I have been particularly anxious to return and try the grilled stuffed oysters which I saw prepared on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives during the break.

Arriving at 5 PM, we were pleased to see that all of the staff was wearing masks and that customers were required to wear masks while not at their table. Kansas City, Kansas is still rated High for Covid.

I had the oysters, which were stuffed with shrimp, Spanish octopus and blue crab. It tasted quite good, but I wouldn't put it among my favorite dishes at Jarocho. The oysters were rather small. A paired them with a second appetizer, Ceviche Jarocho, which the menu describes as a sweet, sour & spicy combo of fish and veggies. I had requested that they go light on the lime juice and was very happy with the flavor and fairly large serving size. The spices were just right for me, but may be a little hot for some tastes.

Linda had the Stuffed Trout, grilled trout stuffed with shrimp, octopus and crab. which she enjoyed very much.

We finished the meal with Flan and Churros.

 


 
 

Stuffed Oysters and Ceviche - Jarocho Stuffed Oysters & Ceviche

Flan and Churros - Jarocho Flan & Churros

Monday - February 28, 2022: It had been nearly 2 years since I had last visited Imo's Pizza in Overland Park, Kansas. While we do not have a page devoted to Imo's, it does have a listing on our Overland Park Restaurant Guide. Imo's is a small St. Louis based chain and serves St. Louis style very thin crust pizza, which is topped with provel cheese (a blend of cheddar, Swiss, and provolone cheeses).

I had an all meat 10" pizza and a half salad, topped with provel and sweet house made Italian dressing. Both were good, but they used to let me cut the salad from the lunch special at a discount and they no longer offer that option. The resulting meal was a little larger and more expensive than I liked.

 

Imo's Pizza - Overland Park, Kansas Imo's Pizza
 
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