Idle-A-While Bar and Grill - Cherokee, Kansas
At first glance the Idle-A-While Bar & Grill in Cherokee, Kansas looks like it is more about being a bar than about the food, but the Idle-a-While has only a cereal malt beverage license and sells no hard liquor. It may still be a fun place to visit on a Friday or Saturday evening, but the Idle-a-While is largely about the the fresh made, reasonably priced food.
Idle-a-While has been in operation since 1935, but the current owners (Dan and Michelle) have operated the bar and grill since 2005. Dan retired from the construction business and this is their first restaurant. There is only one grill and Michelle is working the kitchen alone, so if there are other orders ahead of yours, the food may take a while. It is worth the wait.
Dan and Michelle make as many of their dishes themselves as possible, from the desserts to the fresh made fries, onion rings and mountain oysters. The batter used for breaded item appears to be just flour and fresh ground pepper and that works great.
I've only had a few dishes at Idle-A-While and it is hard for me to get very far through the menu, because they tend to offer such attractive daily specials. On my first visit the special was a Tex Mex Burger - 1/2 pound spicy ground sirloin burger patty topped with a slice of pepper jack cheese and 2 pieces of bacon on Texas toast. With grilled onions, it was a tasty burger.
On my next visit, that special was a hand cut strip steak with two farm fresh eggs diced fried potatoes and a slice of their own fresh baked bread.
On my most recent visit I had the Colossal Dog - hot link on hoagie topped with kraut, cheese, onions, jalapenos and cayenne. Actually, I didn't notice much cheese or onions, but it was very good. The hot link really had a good smoked flavor. Dan told me that he hasn't found a regular supplier of the link and it could well be a different one the next time I was in.
Of the regular dishes tried tried so far, my favorites are the mountain oysters (deep fried, skinned and sliced calf testicles) and the onion rings.
copyright 2010-2017 by Keith Stokes