Specks Bar and Grill in Topeka, Kansas began as the Seabrook Tavern in 1957. The Seabrook Tavern was sold a few years ago, but the food stayed good. Unfortunately the Seabrook Tavern closed in the spring of 2010.
But Carl Maichel and his wife Debbie (daughter of the original owners - Franklin "Speck" Benge and Lou Benge) have returned and reopened the Tavern as Specks Bar & Grill. The menu is much the same, though already slightly out of date and a new menu is due soon. For example, they no longer have the homemade cookies shown in the menu.
Specks is famous for serving burgers up to 3 pounds in size, on their own homemade buns. They also have such treats as mountain oysters and house made fries, chips and onion rings.
We recently sampled the house burger (which includes Swiss cheese, American cheese and shaved ham), potato chips, onion rings, mountain oysters and the fresh ground pork tender sandwich. The only disappointment was the chips, which didn't seem different from those from a bag.
The biggest hits were the burger, pork tender (not "pork tenderloin") and oysters. Although I believe they were not made from scratch, the mountain oysters were more tender than they are many places and went well with the cocktail sauce.
My favorite items from previous visits include the homemade
fries and Speck's Bomber Hot Dog - a grilled all beef hot dog on a
A three pound Speck Burger comes with a family sized order of onion rings, fries or chips (or some combination of the three) for $24.99. Or $27.99 with cheese. Yes, that could be a challenge burger, but most people order it as a bargain way to serve an entire family.
The nicest change to Speck's, came when Kansas went smoke free. The building is pretty small and smoking was an issue in the old tavern. They have added a huge patio where smokers may enjoy the food and drinks. There is nothing fancy about this place.
Speck's Bar and Grill also offers free wifi. Service at the tables is often done by the bar tender. Although you may not have the kind of service you would have from a dedicated server, they really do work at doing their best. When you are ready to leave, just walk up to the cash register and they will close out your bill.
copyright 2008-2014 by Keith Stokes