changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- February 1, 2016: We added a new page of photos from Saturday's Freeze
Your Buns Off at Maxwell Wildlife
and I had supper at Fireside BBQ in Overland Park. This was my second recent
meal there as I prepare to write a new review.
Elk & bison at Maxwell
- February 2, 2016: We updated the review of the historic Hays
House Restaurant in Council Grove was opened by one of Daniel Boone's
grandsons in 1857 and is believed to be the oldest restaurant west of the
Mississippi River, adding the new menu and photographs of the recent renovation.
Hays House Restaurant
- February 7, 2016: We added a new guide to Historic
and Beautiful Kansas Churches, bringing together information from 25
previous reviews of houses of worship across the state.
- February 12, 2016: We had our first meal at Johnny Cascone's Restaurant
in Overland Park, Kansas in several years. We were checking Open Table
on a Friday evening to see where we could get a reservation on short notice.
food was average, with my Steak of Italy being the best. It was cooked
medium rare as ordered, but was seasoned with a little too much black pepper
and was tough. The lasagna, chicken parmigiana, fettuccini Alfredo and
asparagus, were all OK, but nothing special.
salad was disappointing, but might have been better if our server had offered
us fresh ground pepper and Parmesan like we saw other tables receive.
were only offered beverage refills once, after a long time with empty glasses.
We had empty glasses again later in the meal which were never refilled
and our server was not checking on us, so we couldn't ask for more. When
the entrees came out the salad plates were still on the table and we had
to pile them on a corner of the table to make room for the food. The were
removed about 5 minutes later when we had our one beverage refill.
best thing I cam say is the servings were large.
Johnny Cascone's Restaurant
Steak of Italy - 20 ounce bone in KC Strip
- February 13, 2016: For lunch we drove to Kaw Drive and Kansas Avenue
in Kansas City, Kansas where two restaurants were located that we were
interested in. There were reviews and little information about either of
them online, but there was enough that I wanted to check them out. We decided
to drive there and decide which one we wanted to to have lunch at, after
we looked at them.
the temperature in the 20s, the decision was made for us when we discovered
that Jones BBQ has no seating, you don't even go inside, but order at a
Q's Restaurant is just a few feet away in an aging storefront. The kind
of place which has character. As we walked in, we noticed a sign saying
no outside food or drink, which we assume is directed at least in part
at the customers of Jones BBQ.
waiting for our food, we had a nice conversation with Suzie, who cashed
in her 401K and bought the restaurant 7 years ago. Many of the staff are
her family. When her husband can retire in two years, she plans to move
to the Ozaks and let her children run the restaurant.
had the $9.25 catfish dinner served with salad, potato, vegetable and bread.
The salad was good, served with a generous serving of what appeared to
be house made blue cheese dressing. The catfish was very lightly breaded
and had a great flavor. The best catfish I have had in two or three years.
had the $8.75 Suzie's Giant Tenderloin, "Biggest hand breaded Tenderloins
in KC!" I don't know if it was really the biggest, but it is large and
(more importantly) very good. I think this may be better than the tenderloin
at Christy's Tasty
Queen. It came with the choice of potato and I was delighted to discover
that the curly fries were fresh cut. They were very thin and some were
overdone, but the serving was generous and most of them were quite good.
asked if the pies were made in house. Our server said that all of the pies
they had this day were from Golden Boy, but some times they have pies of
lunch, I walked across to Jones BBQ to purchase smoked sausage to take
with us. And older man and teen girl were inside at the window. When I
asked how much meat was by the pound, they called in a woman who was sitting
in a running car outside the building (I think to keep warm) and she said
that meat was $17/pound including tax. She prepared a box to take with
us and and went back outside to the free standing smoker to get the meat.
had the sausage for supper. It was very smoky and a little spicy, course
ground, more like the kind of sausage you have on a bun, than sliced as
a stand along meat. The tomato based sauce was more vinegar than sweet,
with a touch of celery and fairly hot.
need to try both of these places again. I particularly want to find out
what Suzie's hamburgers are like.
Suzie's Giant Tenderloin
- February 14, 2016: We added a new review of Suzie
Q's Restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas.
- February 15, 2016: We added a new page about the Stockade
Museum and Carry Nation's Home in Medicine Lodge.
- February 16, 2016: We added Jones BBQ in Kansas City, Kansas and
Fireside BBQ in Overland Park, Kansas to our Kansas
City BBQ Restaurants Page.
- February 18, 2016: Hayward's Pit BBQ recently moved to Lenexa. We
waited a couple of weeks, but tried them tonight. Hayward's was a solid
BBQ restaurant for many years, but has slipped in recent years. The restaurant
changed hands two years ago, but really had not improved, so we were hoping
that this might be a reset, with a good new start.
I rate our experience slightly below average. The best dishes were the
onion rings, followed by the cheesy corn. The fries were underdone, slightly
oversized, and apparently cooked from frozen. The Texas toast was what
the new owners had served at the previous location. Just barely toasted,
more like dried bread.
smoked chicken and sausage were both good. The burnt ends were average,
with some of them being overcooked. The ribs were our least favorite dish.
They were smoky, but the smoke did not taste good at all. It left and unpleasant
taste in my mouth which lingered for hours.
rate the experience a C-. It isn't the worst BBQ around, but it is well
down the list. I will be returning to give them a second try after a few
months to write a review, but wouldn't be returning otherwise.
Hayward's Pit BBQ
- February 19, 2016: We headed to central Kansas after work today,
going to Asaria to what has been one of my very favorite Kansas restaurants,
the Renaissance Cafe. Executive Chef
Kevin O'Brien left the restaurant in December, after 9 years and the restaurant
closed for a few weeks.
January 21, the Renaissance Cafe reopened with a new menu under Shana Everhart,
who also operates the Swedish Crown Restaurant in Lindsborg, and we waited
a month to try out the new menu. The menu has just ten entrees (same as
# as the previous menus) and there were a couple of specials. There was
a steak special which sounded good, but since I can only get to this restaurant
a couple of times a year, I went with items off the regular menu.
favorite dishes from the old menu are gone. They were the crispy calamari
steak, gorgonzola salad and the steak Venato. Tonight we sampled the fritto
misto (shrimp, artichoke, red onion & saffron-red chili aioli), both
of the salads, chicken Saltimbocca (prosciutto wrapped airliner chicken
breast with roasted butternut squash & garlic sage Jus), porcini dusted
filet (6 ounce filet with Madeira sauce & mascarpone whipped potatoes),
and limoncello-ricotta cheesecake.
of it was good, but nothing blew me away. My favorite part of the steak
entree was the Madeira sauce which went well with both the steak and the
potatoes. The chicken breast had a good flavor, but the prosciutto added
nothing and might as well be left off.
Renaissance Cafe continues to get our recommendation, but not as enthusiastically
porcini dusted filet
- February 20, 2016: We wanted to do as much as possible before meeting
family in Topeka at 5PM to watch the Jayhawks-Wildcats basketball game
north out of Salina, the first stop was in Glasco, to photograph the 1910
stone St. Mary's Catholic Church. We also took some current photos of the
main street, though it does not appear to have significantly changed since
2008 when the first ever Bring Your Own Lawn Chair (BYOLC) meeting of the
Kansas Explorers was conducted there. Held on the sidewalk next to the
Glasco post office, the BYOLC was designed as a opportunity to support
and encourage the tiny community's dream to save three derelict old buildings
by turning them into a National Highway 24 Museum. So far, that has not
farther north, we passed through Concordia, to POW
Camp Concordia which added a museum last summer. The World War II prisoner
of war camp does not have regular hours, but one of the volunteers, Paul
Rimovsky, met us there to open the museum. The museum occupies a small
room in one of the four original buildings, with additional displays in
the area they do not think of as the museum.
to Concordia, we photographed the National Orphan Train Complex, which
is dedicated to the preservation of the stories and artifacts of those
who were part of the Orphan Train Movement from 1854-1929. The movement
relocated 250,000 children from New York City to rural locations across
over 4,000 children were relocated to Kansas, Concordia was not one of
the locations where the orphan train stopped.
west out of Concordia, we made a brief stop in Rice, where the huge cottonwood
tree no longer stands next to the 1899
Stone Arch Bridge. Continuing on, we pause briefly to photograph a
number of sights, including the miles and miles of railroad cars stored
along the highway.
knew there was a beautiful old church in St. Joseph, Kansas, but had found
nothing but its location online. It was locked up, but Jolene Girard, who
lives across the street, saw us and asked it we would like to see the interior.
While I took photos, Jolene explained that St, Joseph Catholic Church is
no longer consecrated and that a few years back, the diocese was going
to demolish the building, but the community came together, pleased with
the the diocese and formed the Guardians of The St. Joseph Church Foundation
which is preserving the church.
continued on to Clay Center, to tour the Clay County Museum, which occupies
a building which was the hospital in 1925. It was later a nursing home
and has been the museum since 1975. They museum gift shop sells T-shirts
which say, "I was born in a museum!" The museum is preparing to move into
a large building which had been a furniture store, across from the County
leaving town, we checked on the Utility Park & Zoo, which was built
as a WPA project and does not meet the standards of animal care expected
today. There was a recent drive to raise $500,000 to bring the zoo up to
standards. The drive fell short by $170,000, but work supposedly has begun.
We could see no signs of change at this time. The work is projected to
take five years.
had planned to have lunch at Nelson's Landing in Leonardville, which had
been recommended for its burgers. We were running late and it was after
2:30PM. Pulling up in front, we discovered that it was a Kansas State University
sports bar. We were wearing University of Kansas shirts, and KU was playing
KSU in just a couple of hours, but we went in anyway. Everyone in the building
was wearing K-State apparel and when I sat down, the wall in front of me
was covered with K-State memorable. The wall which Linda faced was covered
with Green Bay Packers memorabilia.
we waited to order, we noticed that there were items on both walls with
the last name "Nelson," so we asked the server if he was connected to the
bar. I think she was a little taken aback that we asked (we do not follow
football). The football player is Jordy Nelson and his mother owns the
bar. We found three Sports Illustrated covers with his photo on the wall,
so we figured out that he isn't just any player.
the Nelson's Landing isn't going to make our Kansas Best Burgers List,
the food is good and it will eventually appear on the Unique Locally Owned
Restaurants page. My favorite dish appears to be Green Bay Packers influenced
- fried cheese curds.
asked where the pies were made and told that they were made in a second
kitchen in the same building, by the owners parents. I think that the raisins
and been flavored with something and the sour cream and raisin pie wasn't
quite what I was hoping for, but the chocolate peanut butter pie was very
on to Topeka with a couple more stops for photos, we listened to the first
few minutes of the game on the radio and saw the rest on TV. The game was
closer than expected, but KU won 72-63.
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Future home of the Clay County Museum
Jordy Nelson memorabilia
- February 23, 2016: We added a bew page devoted to the unusual Our
Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Concordia, Kansas. The castle
like church was once a cathedral.
- February 24, 2016: Although the website and recorded message on the
phone for Hillsdale Bank BBQ in Hillsdale,
Kansas says that the restaurant is normally closed for winter and will
reopen in the spring, there have been continued reports that it is closed
the building today, the signs are still in place, and there is no notice
that it has closed. The windows are covered. That may be normal when closed.
It is possible to see a little of the main diningroom. It appears that
the chairs are gone and possibly some of the tables. The decorations are
still on the walls.
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