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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Dixie Court Display - Lansas City, Kansas
Thursday - January 4, 2024: I hadn't been back to Grandstand Burgers in Overland Park, Kansas since early in 2020, so I returned for lunch today. The main changes are the sandwich prices have gone up up about 10-15% and the short counter where 2 or 3 people could stand and eat is no longer available so there is no longer any inside dining. Business was steady, with many orders called in, in advance.

I got a fire burger and onion rings to eat in the car. The Fire Burger is a pepper jack cheese burger topped with grilled jalapenos and covered in buffalo sauce for $9.25. Both the burger is still very good and the and rings are good for made from frozen.

 

Grandstand Burgers - Overland Park, Kansas Grandstand Burgers
Friday - January 12, 2024: This seems to be the month for revisiting restaurants that I haven't been to for a while. Today's lunch was at Cronin's Bar & Grill in Lenexa. It had been over three years since I last dined here. Although Cronin's is more bar than grill, the kitchen does a great job.

At lunch time the bartender is the only server. Table service can be eratic, so it is much easier to dine at the bar. I ordered the 1/3 pound Basic Burger and onion rings. The burger was great, much better than the one from Grandstand Burger earlier this month. I got the onion rings because I saw some on another customers plate and they looked great. They tasted great as well.

It was a cold snowy evening, but we went to supper at Buck Tui BBQ in Overland Park. The weather didn't seem to be keeping business away and nearly every table was full.

We arrived during happy hour and decided to share the appetizers: Butterscotch Wings, Chili Crunch Nachos, and Mini Garlic Ribs. At Happy Hour pricing they came to only $29. I like these dishes, but it doesn't quite live up to my expectations. The mini ribs were our favorite item.

 

Cronin's Bar and Grill - Lenexa, Kansas Basic burger & rings
 
 
 
 
 

Buck Tui BBQ - Overland Park, Kansas Buck Tui BBQ

Friday - January 19, 2024: It is another cold, snowy night, but we drove to Shawnee, Kansas to have supper at Wandering Vine at the Castle. We enjoyed dining in this neat old stone farmhouse when it was Renee Kelly's Harvest, but the restaurant closed in 2017. The building changed hands in 2019 and this new restaurant opened in November of 2020.

The food has been good, but the menu has been a bit limited and the entrees which appeal to me have been combined with sides which did not appeal. At those prices, I would rather that I select which items go together. I'd reviewed the online menu again and found a couple of options which I was willing to try.

I ordered the $46 Cedar River Prime Flank Steak. It game with gigante beans, charred red onions, roasted delicata quash, blistered peppers and mojo verde sauce. The steak was good, but I didn't appreciate the sauce. I wish there had been more of the onions & peppers and less of the beans, which I actively disliked.

Linda had the $38 Grilled Rainbow Trout. It was herb & citrus stuffed and came with salt crusted farmer potatoes, braised fennel, Castelvetrano olives, ridicchio and gribiche sauce. She was happier with the mix of dishes.

We shared a caramel praline cheese cake which was quite good and a generous serving.

Wandering Vine prides itself on its wine selection and offers wine flights. I prefer hard ciders - none were available and none of the cocktails on the menu captured my fancy.

 

Wandering Vine at the Castle - Shawnee, Kansas Wandering Vine at the Castle
 
 

Steak & trout - Wandering Vine at the Castle Flank steak & rainbow Trout

Saturday - January 20, 2024: We had lunch today at Jack Stack Barbecue in Lenexa. This is the final weekend of Kansas City Restaurant Week and we decided to do a restaurant week special Cue for two, $40. We chose Honey Glazed Combo 1/2 Chicken + ½ Slab Babyback Ribs, with the choice of three regular sides and a choice of dessert.

It was a lot of good food and we had plenty left to box and take home. We got the Triple Chocolate Brownie to go.

 

Jack Stack Barbecue - Lenexa, Kansas Jack Stack Barbecue 
Thursday - January 25, 2024: We made another visit to Buck Tui BBQ in Overland Park. I wanted to have another meal there before adding a page about this restaurant to our Kansas City BBQ Restaurant Guide. We had Mini Garlic Ribs. Brisket Rangoon and Red Curry Brisket Burnt End. The Rangoon are my favorite dish there so far. The flavors of the smoked brisket and marinated cream cheese work well together.

The burnt ends had several positive comments in online reviews and I expected to really enjoy them, but I would not get them again. The red curry tasted good, but the burnt ends were tough and tasteless. I had to request steak knife to cut the large cubes into bite size morsels. I really couldn't taste the beef with it coated in the curry. Also $32 was too much for this dish.

 

Buck Tui BBQ - Overland Park, Kansas Red Curry Brisket Burnt End
Tuesday - January 30, 2024: We had supper at Mad Greek in Lawrence. It had been several years since I last dined here. I loved their weekend lunch buffet, but it didn't return after being stopped during Covid in 2020. I really enjoyed the souvlaki. The meat was flavored very well.

The table really enjoyed the Tour of Greece, a sampling of 4 traditional dips: hummus, spicy feta, melitzanosalata, & tzatziki, served with pita bread for only $9.99.

After dinner, we went to Allen Field House to watch Oklahoma State University play the University of Kansas Jayhawks. We were surprised to learn that star player Kevin McCullar Jr. was not suited up and playing tonight, but he has had a bruised knee and it was a night when he probably wouldn't be needed.

It has been a tough year for the OSU Cowboys and KU lead the entire game, winning by nearly 30 points. I'm sure it was hard for the television announcers to find ways to keep the game interesting and I bet they appreciated the Kansas City Chiefs offensive linemen attending the game. We learned later that they also visited the team in the locker room.

 

Mad Greek - Lawrence, Kansas Tour of Greece

University of Kansas Allen Field House KU students holding up University Daily Kansan newspaper while ignoring the introduction of OSU basketball players

 
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