|Sunday - January
31, 2010: Two friends joined me for lunch at the T-Rex
Cafe in Kansas City, Kansas. It is one of the 10 most visited pages
on this web site and it had been about two years since the last time I
checked it out.
The T-Rex cafe is a
dinosaur themed restaurant by Landry's - the same folks that developed
the Rainforest Cafes. This was the first location for the restaurant and
the only other location is at Disney's Market Place in Orlando.
Each meal I have had
at T-Rex has been a bit better than the last and this was no exception
The service was very good - even when compared to some of the finest restaurants
in the KC area. We were all happy with with our food. I had a combination
diner that included chicken, ribs, and shrimp. The ladies had planked salmon
and another combination with two kinds of shrimp plus fish & chips.
The servings we large and we each had excess food to take home. One of
us also had French onion soup for $4.99. It was quite tasty and attractive
and the serving must have been about 8 ounces.
I expanded the review
of the T-Rex Cafe and added an additional
page with the menu. The menu on the Cafe's on web site goes not include
prices and is out of date.
This is the final day
of Restaurant Week and L & I had dinner at the Capital Grille in Kansas
City's Country Club Plaza. It was my first time in the building since the
Bristol left that location years ago.
The Capital Grille,
was busy and live jazz was being played in the bar. We were seated at the
far rear of the restaurant in a small dining room, crowded with 6 tables.
The adjacent tables were quite close and it was hard to have a private
The restaurant was
actively promoting the Harvester's menu. When we were seated, they asked
if we were there for Restaurant Week, and only gave us the special menu.
It was a larger selection than the other restaurants had offered, with
a choice from 7 first rate entrees. In addition to the three courses, each
meal came with mashed potatoes and very good fresh creamed spinach.
L had porcini rubbed
filet mignon with 12 year aged balsamic vinegar. She prefers well done
steaks, and the rub suffered a little being well done, but the meat was
I had double cut lamb
rib chops - a generous serving of some of the best lamb I have ever tasted.
One of the most impressive
things was listening to a server at another table encouraging people to
order from the Restaurant Week menu, saying Harvester's is a great charity
and that it was a good bargain. I think that few people would be willing
to risk giving up over half of their income so that the customers and charity
children reaching for an animatronic dinosaur
double cut lamb rib chops
|Saturday - January
30, 2010: We made an overdue visit to the 1915 Strang Carriage House,
which is the home of the Overland Park Historical Society. It is located
in the Santa Fe Commons park on the edge of downtown Overland Park, Kansas.
The attractive, but small ,building houses a collection of historic photographs
and documents, as well as a few small displays of local artifacts. It is
more a place for researching Overland Park history, than a museum. Added
a new review of the Strang
The trip was completed
with lunch at Bangkok Pavilion
Restaurant which I had recently discovered has a much expanded Thai
buffet on the weekends. It continues to be a real treat. I liked many of
the items we tried, particularly the flounder curry, fried curry rice with
seasoned pork rind, and garlic shrimp (with head and shell on).
Updated and greatly
expanded the review of Museum
of World Treasures in Wichita, Kansas.
Strang Carriage House
|Friday - January
29, 2010: Tonight we finally tried the year old Edokko Japanese Restaurant
in Lenexa. Edokko occupies the corner of a strip mall, next to KC Grill
and Kabob. The restaurant is attractive inside, with two levels of seating.
The dining area is brighter than many of the area's Japanese restaurants.
We started with sashimi,
crab rangoon and spicy crab salad. The tuna was pretty good, but I didn't
care much for the flavor or texture of the eel (which is usually my favorite).
There were 6 large crab rangoon for $4.95. They had a lot of fairly sweet
filling and the tips were not overcooked. There was a generous serving
of spicy crab salad for $5.95. I didn't notice much crab in it, but enjoyed
the flavor. It was my favorite dish of the evening.
L selected the lobster
teriyaki which came with, vegetables, soup and rice for $20.95. An upgrade
to plain fried rice was $2. I had squid teriyaki for $15.95. I requested
brown rice for an additional 50 cents, but when the food was brought, we
learned that they were out of brown rice.
I was not impressed
with any of these items. Of all of them, the squid teriyaki was my favorite.
I liked the texture of the squid, but was only so-so about the sauce.
After hearing many
recommendations of Edokko, my expectations may have been too high. I thought
the food was just average. But may be we hit an off night or didn't select
the right items. I am not prepared to write off Edokko and will try it
Edokko Japanese Restaurant
|Thursday - January
28, 2010: Our second Kansas City Restaurant Week meal was tonight at
the American Restaurant at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The American
Restaurant has a high reputation ,and is highly rated with the AAA Four
Diamonds & the Mobil Travel Guide Four Stars ratings. I have dined
there a couple of times in the past, but it has been many years and this
was my first time there since chef Celina Tio left to open her own restaurant.
Entering the multi
level restaurant is impressive. As you walk toward the hostess station,
the elegant restaurant opens out before you. The far walls are two stories'
of windows looking out over Crown Center and the Kansas City skyline. The
hostess was welcoming and we had a short wait near the bar for our table
to be readied.
The menu at the American
is focused on courses, than on separate dishes. Some items have up charges,
but the pricing is primarily: 3 courses $55, 4 courses $65, 5 courses $75,
6 courses $83, 7 courses $90, 8 courses $97, 9 courses $104, and so on.
Tonight's Restaurant Week menu's limited choice of 3 courses would let
me decide if we wanted to return for a more significant meal.
Our server was a bright
young man who was knowledgeable about the menu & how the dishes were
prepared. He was very helpful at first, but appeared to lose interest after
it was clear that we were not going to be running up a large bill.
While we were waiting
for the first course, we were served a complimentary shot of a squash soup
that was tasty, with a strong flavor of nutmeg.
For our first course,
L selected Spinach and Arugula Salad with spiced pear, pecans, orange and
ginger, while I had Pork Belly Dumplings with seasonal mushrooms, smoked
apple and bok choy. The dumplings were my favorite dish of the night. Each
of the elements of the dish had rich flavor, particularly the dumplings
and smoked apple.
While we were waiting
for the next course, I overheard our server tell the couple at an adjoining
table that the restaurant was out of veal, and felt fortunate that we had
For our second course,
L had Campo Lindo Chicken with bacon, fig & cocoa beans, and I had
ordered Braised Quebecois Veal with blood orange, quinoa, chestnuts &
endive. But has the dish was set in front of me (by someone other than
our server) the man said, "and here is your pork" (Slow Roasted Berkshire
Pork with Anson Mill grits and pear).
Since the veal that
I wanted was unavailable (and the pork wasn't bad), I didn't lodge a complaint.
L liked her chicken
a great deal, but was unimpressed with the tiny bits of bacon fat that
Our selections for
the final course were Peppermint "S'mores” with homemade graham cracker,
marshmallow, magic shell & peppermint sorbet, and frozen "baklava"
with honey, pistachio financier, crispy phyllo & pistachio gelato.
These were both good, but I wasn't tempted to have more than just a taste,
the way I was at the Hereford House two nights earlier.
Overall, it wasn't
a bad experience, but it wasn't the kind that makes me want to return and
drop a couple of hundred dollars on a meal for two.
The American Restaurant
Pork Belly Dumplings
|Tuesday - January
26, 2010: L and I are taking advantage of Kansas City Restaurant Week
to help Harvesters while visiting some of the nicer Kansas City restaurants
that I have been wanting to try for this web site. Tonight we had supper
at the Hereford House in Shawnee, Kansas. Even though it is two years old
and located right off I-435, this restaurant is west of the freeway and
most people in the area have not known it is there.
The Restaurant Week
special supper was a three course meal for $30. L chose artichoke &
spinach dip, a 6 ounce fillet dijon, and cheesecake, while I had Kansas
City strip steak with peppercorn au poivre sauce, white chocolate bread
pudding, and seafood stuffed mushrooms. The entrees came with the choice
of a side dish (L had twice baked potato and I had seasonal vegetables),
but no salad.
I thought the artichoke
& spinach dip was pretty bland, but enjoyed the four large mushroom
caps stuffed with crab & shrimp with a cream cheese filling. It is
definitely a dish I would have again. I thought the dijon & brown sugar
sauce was the best of the two sauces, but think both steaks would be better
without the sauces. My KC strip was perfectly cooked - medium as I ordered.
Really too nice a piece of meat to cover with the sauce.
Both desserts were
huge. Either one would have been plenty for two people. The cheese cake
we selected was strawberry, but they brought raspberry instead - which
was doubly odd, since raspberry was not even one of the options. It was
still good, though I didn't think it held a candle to the New Orleans style
served warm with white
chocolate ganache and caramel sauce and flambé with a shot of rum.
It was not flamed at the table, but the flavor was complex and wonderful.
It took a lot of discipline to have only a taste of the bread pudding and
Service was good, attentive
without being intrusive. When we asked what the au poivre sauce was like,
the waiter brought a taste of it to the table.
This was, by far, the
best experience that I have ever had at the local chain of Hereford House
|Sunday - January
24, 2010: I spent the night at the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham just
off East Kellogg, near the Kansas Turnpike east Wichita Exit. After finding
a good rate for pre purchase on the Travelocity web site, I had checked
the Hawthorn Suites site and found the same $53.10 rate, without paying
This was the best room
for the price that I have found in 15 - 20 stays in Wichita over a number
of years. The room was a nice studio apartment with a complete kitchen
- it even had an ice maker. The room came with a breakfast that I didn't
have time to sample, but it included sausage, scrambled eggs and biscuits
& gravy. I will be checking on this motel for my future stays in the
The first stop of the
day was at the Sedgwick County
Zoo. It had been a couple of years since I last visited this zoo and
I wanted to photograph the new penguin exhibit. It is nice, but a
little less than I expected, considering
the overall caliber
of the Sedgwick County Zoo.
It was a cold morning
(35 degrees) for taking photos outside, so after taking some shots at the
penguin exhibit, I moved on into some of the buildings.
When I arrived at the
Jungle building my camera fogged up and took about 10 minutes to warm up,
and I found a comfortable spot to sit and watch the Giant Indian Fruit
Bats. They were fascinating and once my camera warmed I spent about 30
minutes trying to get some photos I could be proud of. And failing. I would
probably need to work at it for a coupe of days.
The large bats (many
over a foot long) look particularly big when they extended their wings
to fly. It is nothing creepy like watching and being close to small bats.
When they moved around the trees it alternately reminded me of monkeys
and sloths. I guess there are only so many ways to hang. I quickly learned
to not stand under them and did see one man hit on the head by falling
I can tell that some
movie makers have modeled the movement of their flying dinosaurs on large
Leaving Wichita, on
the way to Newton, I stumbled across a set of great sculptures when I stopped
to get gas in Park City. Right across the street from the gas station there
were a set of Frank Jensen plate steel sculptures titled "Chisholm Trail."
Frank is the mostly retired artist who has Henry's
Sculpture Hill in the nearby community of Augusta.
Continuing north to
Newton, Kansas I stopped for lunch at the Breadbasket. Though the restaurant
was previously closed on Sundays, they now offer a 5 meat buffet on Sunday
from 10:30AM - 2PM for $11.99 including beverage.
Although this isn't
the special treat that the Breadbasket's Friday and Saturday German buffets
are, it was still pretty good. For the most part, I liked the side dishes
and deserts more than the meats, with the fried chicken being my favorite.
The breaded fried shrimp appeared to be a hit with other customers.
Than out to the Chisholm
Trail shopping Center south of Newton where the Kansas
Sports Museum moved earlier this month. There are currently no signs
for the museum at the entrance to the shopping center or on the nearby
The new building isn't
as interesting as the lovely old building the museum shared with the Kansas
Sports Hall of Fame in Wichita's Old Town, but the new museum setting
is spacious and light. The museum touches on all levels of Kansas sports
history, but I suspect that folks are most interested in exhibits devoted
to Kansans like Lynette Woodard, Gale Sayers, James Naismith, and Wilt
The Kansas Sports Museum
is a must stop for alumni of Wichita State, Kansas State and the University
The drive back toward
northeast was mostly uneventful, though I did stop to photograph one of
the huge flocks of geese near the highway. I saw many such flocks during
The final stop of the
weekend was in Lawrence, where two friends joined me for supper at Paisano's
Ristorante, which has been called the most romantic restaurant in Lawrence.
I'm not sure if it is the most romantic, but it one of the darkest. It
was too dark for photography without using a flash.
We had the bruschetta
($5.99) and eggplant fritta ($7.99) appetizers. I wasn't impressed with
the bruschetta but liked the eggplant wedges topped with spinach and Italian
cheese then lightly breaded and fried.
There are no low carb
options on the menu, so I selected the Steak Pizzaiola (pan seared 8 ounce
sirloin with onions, garlic & bell peppers, simmered with plain tomatoes
and red wine sauce) which was served with spaghetti for $14.59. Certainly
reasonable and fairly good (particularly the wine sauce), but I would probably
not order it again. My friend had the "taste of Italy" (chicken parmigiana,
lasagna & fettuccini alfredo for $15.49) and the "pesce vino bianco)
(shrimp, langostinos & scallops in a parmesan, wine, cream sauce for
$16.99). I thought the lasagna was the best.
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham
Giant Indian Fruit Bat
Frank Jensen sculpture
Kansas Sports Museum
|Saturday - January
23, 2010: On the road to Wichita again this Saturday, with no weather
or traffic problems. I had cheeseburger at Bomber
Burger for a late breakfast. The $5.50 2/3 pound burger was every bit
as good as the first one that I had last June. I had it with "everything"
which was onion, pickle, ketchup and mustard.
I was the only customer
in the the joint at 10AM, though the owner, Chris, was semi entertaining
two boys whom I assume are his sons.
The first attraction
revisited was Museum of World
Treasures which is in Wichita's Old Town. It had been about 3 years
since I first went to the museum and there have been many changes. The
museum's Marketing Assistant, Caitlin Muret had come in on her day off
to take me on a tour. The most visible change was the addition on Ivan,
a nearly complete Tyrannosaurus Rex skeleton. In addition to exhibits that
have been replaced, many of the existing exhibits have been updated and
have much more information.
Finishing up at the
museum, it was time for a late lunch at my favorite place for BBQ - B&C
Creations, which is also in the Old Town area and only open for lunch.
It had been two years, since my last meal at B&C Creations, and I am
thrilled to say that the food is still every bit as good. Everything on
the simple buffet is better than average and the ribs, brisket, hot links,
spicy beans and garlic coleslaw were all outstanding!
The atmosphere in the
old garage has fallen off a bit, the large old wooden bar is now gone and
the decorative items and art that used to be offered for sale in the front
of the building are now gone.
Before leaving central
Wichita, I drove east looking for a folk art environment that was once
visited by Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations. I didn't have the address,
but knew roughly where it was located and sure enough, encountered the
environment at 1st Street and Grove Street. This turned out not to be the
house itself, but an extension of the rock gardens running from the Dan
Beck home around the corner at 225 North Poplar Avenue. Although extensive
and unusual, this wasn't the time of year when the environment is worth
visiting. I need to return when the plants are growing.
Through, for the time
being, in Wichita, I headed south out of town on highway K-15, driving
through Derby and on to the Mulvane Historical Museum in Mulvane. The local
historical museum had been unexpectedly closed when I stopped there in
2007 and I had been wanting to try again.
Although (based on
the guest register) I was only their second visitor all day, but the two
ladies in the office ignored me. I walked through on my own and took photos
for this site. The old railroad depot the museum is housed in is great,
but the museum itself appeared to have little to interest people that don't
live in Mulvane. There was another building and old caboose, but both were
locked and I do not know if there was anything more to see.
My last stop on this
southern swing was Wyldewood Cellars Winery which is located next to I-35
(Kansas Turnpike). The large retail operation sells wines from a wide variety
of fruits and is know for its elderberry wine. They were not offering tasting
today, so I decided not to make a purchase.
After checking into
my hotel back in Wichita, I went to supper at Thai Tradition restaurant
where I previously dined in 2007. The attractive, sophisticated Thai restaurant
was busy, but they were able to find a both for me along the wall.
I had an interesting
appetizer which I had never seen before - 2 pork stuffed chicken wings
for about $8. They were large, about 7'' long, and had the meat from the
first two bones and the entire wing tip The meat was wrapped by a mixture
that reminded me of an egg roll in taste (though not texture), then rolled
in a batter and deep fried. I don't think I would order them again, but
I did enjoy them.
Finished with a Seafood
Volcano. Shrimp, scallops, mussels, veggies & mushrooms in a wonderful
spicy sweet sauce. I had ordered my meal spicy and been warned that it
would be very hot, but felt this was just a medium. I am guessing that
they don't trust people that aren't regular customers, not to order hotter
than they will really want.
Finishing up at Thai
Tradition, I raced across town and arrived at the Keeper of the Plains
statue with just enough time to take a dozen photos of the nightly "Ring
I would have finished
the evening at the Wichita State University Lake Afton Public Observatory
and looking through their 16" telescope, but it was an overcast night.
Tyrannosaurus & Daspletosaurus at the Museum of World Treasures
B&C BBQ buffet
Dan Beck art environment
Thai Tradition restaurant
Ring of Fire
|Thursday - January
21, 2010: I tried the new Wei's Super Buffet in Olathe for a second
time. This time going for the lunch buffet and avoiding the Mongolian BBQ
where the chef was so rude during my first visit to the Chinese restaurant.
They must be getting over the opening jitters, the food was better this
time. But there was still nothing to make me select this restaurant in
a community with so many nearby Chinese restaurants.
There were still service
issues. It took a very long time to get a bill and pay for the meal. One
diner at a nearby table became so impatient that he stood until they would
bring him his change.
Supper was a real treat.
L and went to the new 75 Cafe near Quivira and 75th Street in Shawnee.
It was recommended on the Kansas City Lunch Spots web
site. 75 Cafe is another nicer lunch spot, settling nicely into
a niche which has been growing in Johnson County.
75 is open for lunch
Monday through Saturday, and is only open for supper on Thursday and Friday
nights. It is operated by the Executive Catering company. The food we ordered
tonight may be the most expensive that I have ordered at a counter in Johnson
County, but it was also some of the best food that I have ordered at a
counter. The food was brought to our table by a server who also did a fine
job of maintaining our drinks and bussing the table.
In addition to their
regular lunch menu, there were 4 dinner specials priced from $14 - 19.
L had the pan seared Pacific snapper with garlic mashed potatoes and grilled
vegetables for $15.99, while I had the fillet with the same sides for $18.99.
I took a chance and ordered the fillet the way I wanted it (medium), and
that was the way it came. That may not sound like a big thing, but I have
grown accustomed to meat coming far over cooked. The sides were both good
. L loved them more than I did, and was also quite please with her fish.
We returned to the
counter to purchase a dessert - They offer a variety of elaborate cupcakes.
We settled instead on a cupcake sized pumpkin cheesecake for $4. I thought
it was the best part of the meal, but L thought there should have been
more pumpkin flavor.
75 Cafe does not have
liquor license, but you are encouraged to bring your own wine.
Wei's Super Buffet
|Wednesday - January
20, 2010: With very little time to have supper, I got a double Winstead
Steakburger and onion rings at Winstead's in Lenexa. It was my first time
dining at this location of the KC area chain and the first time at any
in over a year.
Even though there is
a drive through window, this is not fast food. My meal was cooked fresh
and it took about 8 minutes. The cheeseburger was good. At Winstead's "everything"
is mustard, ketchup, pickle and onion. There are up charges for cheese,
lettuce, tomato or bacon, but mayo and grilled onion are available for
no additional charge. But the onion rings were the standout. Some of the
best that I have had at a (small) chain restaurant.
With a large soda,
the tab came to $8.23.
|Tuesday - January
19, 2010: L and I tried Cafe Augusta
in Lenexa, Kansas again for lunch and for the first time, there were no
major miscues. I had the Caesar salad with chicken, while L had the daily
special of chicken pot pie. Both were very good, though the minimum service
lunch was a bit pricey at over $26 including sodas and tax.
The kitchen is still
slow and it took an hour for us to complete our meal.
|Sunday - January
17, 2010: Two friends joined me for lunch at Granny's Chicken Ranch
in Kansas City, Kansas. Granny's has a new menu, but we ordered old standbys
- fried chicken gizzards and pan fried chicken.
I can't help comparing
Granny's to Stroud's, they have such similar food and serving styles. For
me, Stroud's has the edge several ways, but Granny's does very well and
is better in some things. Particularly with the bread. Stroud's is known
for its cinnamon rolls. but Granny's has larger, more traditional cinnamon
rolls and provides good drop biscuits as well.
|Saturday - January
16, 2010: I left town early this morning heading to Wichita to revisit
some restaurants and attractions. There was dense fog, and with the temperature
just a little above freezing, I-35 was slick.
I saw many cars off
the road, but was able to safely drive at about 50 mph. Until I approached
the Wellsville exit, where road crews first forced the traffic into one
lane and then off of I-35 at Wellsville. The freeway was closed because
of a 30 vehicle pile up about 40 minutes earlier.
Giving up on the Wichita
trip, I decided to stay in the KC metro area. After visiting my office,
I drove to downtown Kansas City, Missouri to try The Farmhouse, a fairly
new restaurant in the River Market area that has been getting a lot of
Recently opened by
chefs Michael Foust and Zeb Humphrey, The Farmhouse uses local ingredients
to produce creative comfort food. It turns out that on Saturdays, they
do not offer their lunch menu - only breakfast items are available before
I settled on a 3 egg
omelet with spinach, gruyere, bacon and caramelized onion. Listed as a
"large plate" for $6.50 it didn't seem very large and came with no sides,
not even toast. The taste was OK, about like I make at home.
Then over to Bartle
Hall to the big combined Mid-America RV and Boat Show which now runs over
two weekends. The crowd was larger than I have seen at the RV show in several
years. Most of the people appeared to be exploring the motor homes, trailers,
and 5th wheels. This show does offer a couple of entertainment options,
but they do not run very often and I think this show is really only going
to interest people fairly seriously interested in a RV or small boat.
Before calling it a
day, I did some exploring in Kansas City, Kansas, concluding with a meal
at Woodyard Bar-B-Que which has expanded its hours until 8 PM on Tuesday
- Saturday. They used to be open for lunch only.
Woodyard BBQ has received
positive press, but my experiences there have never been very good. I like
the unusual aspects of the restaurant, which is located in an old house
next to an actual wood yard which sells various kinds of wood for smoking
and grilling. The large brick smoker is in the front yard and you get to
walk past the smoker going into the restaurant.
Going up to the counter,
the young woman expected me to order without seeing a menu. There is no
menu posted anywhere. After I explained that I hadn't been to the restaurant
recently and didn't have their menu memorized, she dug around and handed
me a badly grease stained paper menu.
I selected the 4 wing
combo which comes with 2 sides for $7.95 and set down to wait for my food.
And wait. After nearly 15 minutes I went back up to the women to ask how
much longer it would be. She looked at me blankly and had no idea what
I had ordered or that I hadn't been served.
Finally someone from
the kitchen intervened and asked what I had ordered (and already paid for).
After a couple more minutes wait, that person brought out my food with
just a "sorry about that."
The wings were, luke
warm, small and not very meaty, but at least they were the entire wings,
not the jointer thirds that most restaurants call a chicken wing these
days. The meat was tender and VERY smoky. The smoke taste pretty much overcame
any other seasoning. The taste was not bad, but I still had the smoke flavor
in my mouth hours later. The sides (cheesy corn & coleslaw) had little
flavor and I took only a couple of bites of each. The cheesy corn tasted
and looked like canned corn with just a hint of cheese sauce.
I want to like Woodyard
Bar-B-Que and keep going back every year or so, but just don't understand
the raves it receives from some BBQ aficionados.
|Thursday - January
14, 2010: Today I dined at 54th Street Grill & Bar in Olathe for
the first time in over year. I wanted to update its listing in the Olathe
Kansas Restaurant and Attraction Guide. I've been happy with 54th Street
before, but had never tried anything from the "South of the Border" section
of the menu.
I had the "The Street's
Sizzling Fajita Skillet" (A sizzling skillet of fire grilled meat atop
a bed of sautéed red and green peppers and onions served with rice,
flour tortillas, pico de gallo, sour cream, shredded cheddar, lettuce and
salsa, With 11 ounces of chicken this is $11.49.
This dish did not live
up to my previous experiences at 54th Street grill. The meat serving did
not seem nearly 11 ounces and the meat, onion and peppers had little flavor
- as if it was pre-cooked and just reheated before serving. I definitely
wouldn't have this dish again, and need to go to 54th Street again to make
sure the kitchen hasn't slipped on other items.
54th Street Grill & Bar
|Wednesday - January
13, 2010: Lunch was a second meal at Bash Riprocks Restaurant and Bar
in Olathe, Kansas. I was sorry to learn that the Wednesday special of half
price burgers listed on Bash Riprocks' web site is only available at night.
I decided to have burger anyway and ordered the Builders Pride Burger which
offers the choice of cheddar, pepper jack, American or Swiss. Choice of
bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, jalapenos, guacamole, sour cream or fried
egg. Garnished and served on an egg kaiser bun with the choice of seasoned
fries, potato salad or cottage cheese for $7.99.
Sounds great, but my
medium rare burger came well done and the burger was only average. I did
enjoy the seasoned fries.
Service was haphazard
again. Good at first, but I had to wait a very long time to pay my bill.
Fortunately I had my computer and was taking advantage of the free wifi
to work while I waited.
Supper was at Mi Ranchito
Cocina & Cantina Mexicana in Lenexa - the restaurant that had the misfortune
of becoming famous last summer when a former employee poisoned the customers.
There are fairly few
low carb offerings at most Mexican restaurants and I chose the Mi Casa
Fajitas with steak, chicken, shrimp and chirozo sausage grilled together
for $13.49. Like all of Mi Ranchito's fajitas, it came with onions, bell
peppers, refried beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream, pico de gallo and
The meal was very good.
I liked the flavor of the meats, onions, peppers and refried beans. The
complimentary chips and salsa were also good. The salsa was very mild,
but hot sauce was already on the table to perk it up.
Bash Riprocks Restaurant & Bar
Mi Ranchito Cocina & Cantina Mexicana
|Monday - January
11, 2010: Had supper at Talk
of the Town Grill & Bar in Overland Park, Kansas. Mondays they
have a wing special of 5 thirds for $2.50. I had the Caribbean jerk, which
wasn't as tasty as the last time I was there.
My entree was Chicken
Caesar Wrap (Grilled chicken with romaine lettuce, tomatoes, parmesan cheese
and Caesar dressing, wrapped in a sun dried tomato tortilla) which is $7.99
with the choice of chips or seasoned fries. It is a very good value, but
I would have liked it more if there had been more dressing.
I do appreciate the
free wifi, which worked well.
Talk of the Town Grill & Bar
|Sunday - January
10, 2010: Lunch was the Sunday brunch buffet at Tannahs Restaurant
in Overland Park, Kansas. Tannahs' Asian fusion theme was represented in
a large selection of mostly spicy dishes. The breakfast dishes on the buffet
are more traditional. Dishes that I liked included Szechwan beef, Szechwan
chicken, vegetable stir fry, and the spicy but sweet sriracha chicken wings.
Added a new page of
photos and a review of St. Fidelis Cemetery
in Victoria, Kansas with its interesting old iron "Volga" crosses. Victoria
is better known for St. Fidelis Catholic Church, better known as the Cathedral
of the Plains.
St. Fidelis Cemetery
|Saturday - January
9, 2010: Two friends joined me for lunch at 715 Restaurant which opened
3 months ago in Lawrence, Kansas. 715 is located at 715 Massachusetts Avenue
and opens each morning at 7:15 AM. The chef Michael Beard and manager Matt
Hyde both worked formerly at Tellers, another slightly upscale restaurant
located down the block and across the street.
The restaurant is long
and narrow and the furnishings are simple and modern. It seems to work
well in the 150 year old Anderson Building with its 14" thick stone walls.
It was a very cold day and I didn't want to sit close to the front door,
so we sat near the back of the restaurant. That worked, until some of the
employees used the emergency exit at the back to step outside to smoke.
We began our meal with
a $7 cheese plate. 715 Restaurant attempts to use local and regional ingredients,
and in this case that turned out to be Maytag blue cheese from Newton,
Iowa and Musser's Aged Private Stock ( a delicious white cheddar) from
Milton Creamery in Milton, Iowa.
The lunch menu was
mainly individual pizzas, pastas and panninis. My low carb options were
limited to quiche and three salads. I chose the “rare hare barns” (rabbit
confit, arugula, grilled radicchio, and fresh orange with citrus vinaigrette)
for $9. I enjoyed the rabbit, but otherwise didn't care that much for the
rather small salad.
My friends were happier
with their pizzas. One had house pepperoni, red onion, & fresh mozzarella,
while the other had house pork sausage & stracchino cheese with added
house smoked bacon. The pizzas were each $9. with an additional $3 for
The pizzas were fairly
thin crust, except for the large outer edge. The crust had good flavor
and the toppings were tasty, though a bit sparse.
At the conclusion of
the meal, our server brought us a complimentary custard tart that was my
favorite part of the meal. When we thanked her, she explained that they
have a baker who formerly worked at Spago.
Following lunch, we
went over to the Kansas River (locally known as the Kaw) to where the water
tumbling over a dam keeps the river surface free of ice all year. At times
like this when there is no other local open water, this is a gathering
place for eagles. But there were no eagles around today.
|Thursday - January
7, 2010: Lunch was a revisit of Austin's
Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas. I had the grilled chicken Caesar
salad. The chicken was very good. The overall salad would have been better
if the romaine lettuce hadn't been quite so cold. It was almost like putting
ice in my month.
For supper, L joined
me for a second meal at Johnny Cascone's Italian Restaurant in Overland
Park, Kansas, which we both enjoyed in December.
We began with Calimari
Fritti (battered and deep fried squid, dusted with grated Romano
cheese and served with tomato sauce. It was typical, except for the few
slices of deep fried pepperoncini, which were good mixed with the squid.
My entree was italian
sausage dinner (grilled sweet Italian sausage served with grilled bell
peppers, sweet onions and potatoes). I loved the peppers, onions &
potatoes, but the sausage was a little sweet for my taste.
L had one the daily
specials - shrimp fettuccini & chicken fettuccini. I really enjoyed
my taste of their traditional fettuccini alfredo sauce.
Added a new page of
photos and a review of Mariscos
Veracruz Restaurant in Olathe. A great place for seafood dishes from
Veracruz, Mexico and tongue & beef head soft tacos.
Austin's Bar & Grill
|Wednesday - January
With the start of the new year, I am slowly verifying and updating all
of the reviews on this web site. I am also trying to revisit the Olathe
and Overland Park restaurants and
check for current menus or other changes.
Lunch was at Pickering's
Pub & Eatery in Olathe, Kansas. I went for the Wednesday half price
burgers, but decided to have the chicken wings as well. They are pricey,
a half order with 5 wing thirds is $5.99, but they have excellent flavor
that comes from the cooking rather than just dipping in a heavy sauce before
serving. I think these are the best wings I have had in Olathe.
Pickering's Pub & Eatery
|Tuesday - January
5, 2010: Lunch was Buffalo wings and spinach salad at Bash Riprocks
Restaurant and Bar in Olathe, Kansas. The large $4.95 salad was quite good
and I enjoyed the wings. Service wasn't very good in the dining area. With
only a couple of tables of customers, the server wasn't paying enough attention.
The dining area is very dark, but sports fans may enjoy the small tvs placed
at some of the booths.
Added a new page of
photos and a review of Shawnee
Mission Park in Lenexa and Shawnee, Kansas.
Bash Riprocks booth with personal tv
|Monday - January
3, 2010: Added a new page of photos and a review of Schermerhorn
Park and the SouthEast Kansas Nature Center in Galena, Kansas.
|Sunday - January
2, 2010: Today's lunch was dim sum at Pine & Bamboo Garden in Shawnee,
Kansas. I've been told that Pine and Bamboo Garden is very authentic Chinese
food. I don't know how accurate that is, but I was about the only person
speaking English in the whole restaurant.
The selection isn't
as large as the dim sum at Bo Ling's. My favorite item by far was the shark
fin soup, which I have never had before, so I can't compare it to others.
With a little soy & hot sauce, the bok choy dumplings were very good
In the afternoon I
went cross-country skiing in Shawnee Mission Park in Lenexa and Shawnee.
Shawnee Mission Park was full of other skiers, sledders, orienteers &
2 misguided bicyclists. There are many good places for sledding in Shawnee
Mission Park, but the longest run appears to be on the back side of the
I saw no deer and the
volunteer at the Visitor's Center said that he has seen no white tail deer
in Shawnee Mission Park since the herd was culled last fall. But I did
find a place under an evergreen tree where a couple of deer had bedded
down the night before.
L and I had supper
at Stix Restaurant in the Legends in Kansas City, Kansas. We did the hibachi
grill. The teppanyaki style cooking was typical of Japanese restaurants
in the Johnson and Wyandotte County area. The large scallops were tender
and had very good flavor but I thought the chicken was so-so .
The onion soup that
came with the meal was quite flavorful, rather than the clear tasteless
soup that often accompanies teppanyaki in the Kansas City area.
Pine & Bamboo Garden
Shawnee Mission Park Lake
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