changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- October 2, 2017: We learned that two Kansas City area restaurants
are closing on October 15.
Renee Kelly confirmed today that her Renee
Kelly's Harvest restaurant in Shawnee will close its dining room
after brunch on Sunday, October 15 and that she is retiring from the chefing
BBQ, in the Kansas City, Missouri's City Market, about a mile east of the
State Line is also closing. Winslow's BBQ will a have live music on the
final weekend and a daily buffet special ($13.99 per adult, $4.99 for children
12 and under with a paying adult) until the closing.
Renee Kelly's Harvest
- October 3, 2017: Mary and Nicholas joined us for supper at Stroud's
Restaurant & Bar in Fairway. It is so odd seeing this restaurant
only half full, but since the opening of their third restaurant in south
Overland Park, it has been much easier to get a table. The food is all
served family style and we had chicken fried steak, fried chicken, fried
chicken gizzards, mashed potatoes, French fries and cottage fries. All
were good, as usual. Considering how big the other servings are, the chicken
fried steak seem a little small, but was still large enough.
- October 4, 2017: I dropped into the Nerman
Museum of Contemporary Art on the campus of Johnson County Community
College in Overland Park for an after hours event with the Lenexa Chamber
of Commerce. I took a walk through the museum before the meeting and discovered
that there is presently no art on the first floor. The main gallery on
that floor is closed in preparation of n exhibit which will open later
in the month and the large open area contains no displays.
Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art
- October 5, 2017: I had two of the appetizers at Crazy Good Eats in
Olathe for lunch.
Hanmey was smoked ham salad and crackers for $3.99. The salty ham salad
was ground very fine, giving it a texture like potted meat. The crackers
were not very crisp.
were 6 Chicken wing thirds for $6.99. They had a good flavor from smoking
and the sweet mildly spicy sauce complimented the meat, but they were tough.
Crazy Good Eats
- October 7, 2017: It has been several weeks since I have spent any
real time exploring Kansas and I had several places to visit today.
weekend is the Kaw Valley Farm Tour and I thought that I would visit several
farms along the way, starting at the first farm on the tour which was closest
to my home - Happy Valley Farm on the south side of De Soto. Although there
were several people working at stations on the farm and a musician playing
guitar near the entrance, there was no one greeting people, explaining
what all there was to see & do at the farm, or selling the booklets
which double as a guide to the stops on the tour and the admission ticket.
a short walk around the front near the road, I stopped into a little store
where they were selling produce, honey, eggs and many Amish jellies. The
cashier station was a table outside and I selected a jar of spicy peach
jalapeno. The person was gone from the cashier table and I waited about
10 minutes, but finally left the jar on the table and went on my way.
next stop was on the south side of Lawrence, at the new Baker Wetlands
Discovery Center. The attractive new building has a large display area,
but it doesn't take long to go through that. There are several miles of
trails, including a nice boardwalk near the center.
lunch, I first stopped at the Levee Cafe, just north of the Kansas River
in Lawrence. It is in a cute little building, across the street from the
levee. I ordered a Dam Reuben Sandwich and cheeseburger soup. The soup
was only $2/cup and the broth was good, but it was filled with cubes of
raw potato and I hardly touched it. The Reuben was rather pricey at $9
and was a disappointment. There wasn't a lot of meat and toppings and there
wasn't much flavor to the corned beef, I ended up picking out the meat.
had very little to eat, I decided to revisit a nearby Lawrence restaurant.
It has been about 7 years since the last time I dined at Terrebonne Cafe
and it was better than I remembered. The generous $3 serving ot poutine
fries was OK and I probably would have eaten much more if I hadn't already
had a little food at the first restaurant. The $8.50 jambalaya was very
good with lots of shrimp. chicken, andouille sausage and ham.
I didn't have a guide to the Kaw Valley Farm Tour, I had a little extra
time and revisited a couple of other Lawrence attractions - Watkins Community
Museum of History and Prairie Park Nature Center.
the was out of Lawrence, I stopped at Wells Overlook Park, 3 miles out
of town. The Overlook is a high point with a broad view north toward Lawrence
with an observation tower on top. It had been on my Lawrence leads list
for many years.
on to the one stop I remembered from the Farm Tour, the Heritage tour which
was added this year, with several homes in Vinland, half way between Lawrence
and Baldwin City.
of the Vinland buildings (Coal Creek Library, Methodist Church, Grange
and Barnes Apple Barn) were open for viewing, while others like the former
Vinland Presbyterian Church could only be viewed from the outside. The
Presbyterian Church is an beautiful old church that is now a private residence.
Its biggest claim to fame is the the Inventor of Basketball, James Naismith
preached there for a couple of years.
Kansas City area photographer, Kevin Anderson, was also visiting the barn.
We have encountered each other online on Facebook and Fine Art America,
but this was the first time we met in person.
to Johnson County, I made just one more stop, in downtown Shawnee where
a Scarecrow Festival had been held earlier in the day. There were just
a few scarecrows to be seen and most were not very interesting, but I did
take photos of a few.
the evening, we made a return visit to C.
Frogs in Prairie Village, Kansas. The upscale BBQ opened a little over
a year ago and we dined there 3 times in the first part of this year, adding
it to our Kansas City BBQ Restaurants page.
The service was spectacular during our previous visits, but not so good
this time. We had to make requests repeatedly and wait a long time for
things like drinks, to go boxes and the check. The food was still good!
Amish jellies at Happy Valley Farm
Wells Overlook Park
Former Vinland Presbyterian Church
- October 9, 2017: We added a new page devoted to one of the Vinland
buildings which we visited on Saturday, Coal
Creek Library, north of Baldwin City, Kansas, which may be the oldest
library in Kansas, but is now more of a museum.
Coal Creek Library
- October 10, 2017: I had lunch at Smokey's
on the Blvd in Overland Park. It was a chance to update the menu on
its listing on the Kansas City BBQ Restaurants
page. I had the BBQ egg rolls and a pulled pork slider. Both tasted good,
much like previous visits, though the presentation was not very good. In
particular, the egg rolls don't look nearly as good as they do in the previous
photo which is on the review.
also added a new page devoted to Fox
Still's Art Environment in Sharon Springs, Kansas.
Smokey's on the Blvd
- October 11, 2017: Today, I continued to revisit Johnson County restaurants.
The first one was Master Wok in Olathe. It doesn't have a page of its own,
but is listed on the Olathe Restaurant Guide.
Master Wok has may very reasonable combination lunches, but today I had
the Pad Thai for $10.50. It was OK, but not as good as the less expensive
Chili Chicken or Pork with Garlic Sauce.
supper I went to Talk of the
Town Grill & Bar in Overland Park. It had been nearly 3 years since
the last time I dined there. It had been nearly three years since the list
time I went to Talk of the Town, ut the menu seemed little changed. It
was half price burger day, so I tried the Mushroom burger (half pound hamburger
with grilled mushrooms, Swiss cheese, sour cream & green onions) and
waffle fries. They were OK, nothing special.
Talk of the Town
- October 12, 2017: We added a new page devoted to another of the buildings
we visited on Saturday in Vinland, north of Baldwin City, Kansas. The Vinland
Grange Hall has been a bank, a cream station, a barbershop and an art
gallery. The 1884 stucco covered limestone building housed those operations
downstairs, while the upstairs was used for Grange meetings for more than
Vinland Grange Hall
- October 14, 2017: My family accompanied me to Fredonia, Kansas to
for the Homecoming Grand Parade. Homecoming is not a high school sports
related event, but an annual event which welcomes back former residents
of Fredonia from around the world. My wife's parents both came from Fredonia
and the parade was an extra treat this year, since Uncle John Parker was
one of the two Grand Marshals. The parade also includes floats with Fredonia
High School alumni from many of the classes for whom the year is a multiple
of their 5th anniversary.
the parade we visited the various venders around the courthouse square
and we bought the local specialty sandwich, Beef Burgers, from the VFW
stand. We were disappointed the Beef Burger Bob's (a Neodesha restaurant)
did not have a stand at Homecoming this year.
of the more interesting venders was the (apparently temporary) Country
Market in a building across the corner from the square. They had a variety
of items including baked goods, free apple cider, produce, and crafts.
stopped for supper at The Feedbunk, the only non chain restaurant open
in Yates Center on a Sunday evening. The salad bar, chicken fried steak,
chicken tenders and fried chicken livers were all good. A couple was performing
music. Some of our party enjoyed listening to them, while others found
it hard to have a conversation.
Serving up beef burgers
- October 15, 2017: We added three pages of photos of the Fredonia
Homecoming Grand Parade.
- October 18, 2017:
I made another visit to Crazy Good Eats in Olathe, Kansas, having the Insanely
Good combination plate with 2 ribs, sausage & brisket, plus fries and
cheesy corn. With the additional photos and checking out the additional
meats, we added a new review of Crazy
Good Eats to our Olathe Restaurant Guide and
Kansas City BBQ Guide.
Crazy Good Eats
- October 19, 2017:
Linda joined me as I paid a second visit to K-Macho's Mexican Grill and
Cantina in Olathe, Kansas. Linda had a Taco al Carbon (chicken fajita taco)
and beans, while I had the Cabo Shrimp Tacos, which were sloppy, but oh
Cabo Shrimp Tacos
- October 20, 2017:
We added a new page devoted to the 2 year old Baker
Wetlands Discovery Center in Lawrence, Kansas.
the late afternoon, I stopped by Lenexa's Old town to take photographs
of the team setting up for the Lenexa Chili Challenge. There was nice weather
today, but stormy weather late the following afternoon closed the event
a little early on Saturday.
Lenexa Chili Challenge
- October 21, 2017:
Linda and I had lunch at Sommerset Hall
Cafe in Dover, southwest of Topeka. It had been about 4 years since
my last visit to this restaurant. Today wasn't the best experience. The
buffet was so-so and they were out of their famous pies at 12:20PM.
lunch, we drove to the nearby Echo Cliff Park. The park area was cleared
the 1920's and eventually deeded to the Dover Grange to be preserved for
the public. There are unusual folk art signs, picnic tables and a shelter
which were built from scrap metal and concrete by Earl Hepworth, a local
farmer who has been a caretaker of the park since the 1960s.
followed up with a visit to the new Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka, which
opened n June. A large part of the museum is devoted to the motorcycle
jumps he made, with displays devoted to many of the jumps he attempted.
The displays sometimes include videos of the jumps and always say if the
jump was a success or not and include a skeleton showing the injuries on
the particular jump.
second floor of the museum has interactive exhibits and (my favorite) a
huge display of the Evel Knievel licensed items which were the largest
portion of his income: toys, games, bicycles, lunch boxes and even several
the way home, we made one final stop, a revisit of Kroegers Country Meats
in Lecompton. The selection of fresh meats and sausages has been significantly
reduced. I had intended to buy sausage, but there was little to choose
from and my only purchase was some beef jerky.
Echo Cliff Park
Evel Knievel Museum
Kroegers Country Meats
- October 22, 2017:
We added a new page devoted to Echo Cliff
Park near unincorporated Dover, Kansas.
- October 23, 2017:
Linda and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with supper at Pig &
Finch, a gastropub in Leawood Park Place, operated by the Clayton, Missouri
based 801 Restaurant Group. My favorite dish was the Korean Style Chicken
Wings. I wish they had come with more of the spicy kimchi!
server really pushed the desserts, so we tried the Banana Bred n Mason
Jar with chocolate ganache, candied pecans and salted caramel ice cream.
It was OK, but not nearly as good as the description sounded. We never
did find the candied pecans.
Pig & Finch
- October 26, 2017:
Friends joined me for lunch at Anna Mae's Cafe in Olathe, Kansas. The restaurant
is in a Victorian house, a couple of blocks south of the Johnson County
had the lasagna, which has been added to the menu as a Thursday special.
It was good, though a modest serving for $11, It comes fruit and a slice
Anna Mae's Cafe
- October 28, 2017:
Today was mostly spent exploring Kansas City, Kansas. I photographed several
locations in the downtown, including a number of murals which have been
made by local high school students in recent years.
I visited nearby Kaw Point Park where the Lewis and Clark Expedition stopped
on June 26, 1804. In addition to photographing the park, I hiked a little
of the Riverfront Heritage Trail including the .7 mile long Woodswether
Bridge over the Kansas River doing photography of some of the other bridges
which are more or less jammed together here. One of those photos, of the
Point Railroad Bridge has already been posted to my online
a late lunch, I crossed over to North Kansas City, Missouri to pay a second
visit to Hawg Jaw Brew & Que.
I arrived at the BBQ restaurant, there was only one car on the street and
I was afraid that it was closed, but it was open and was half full by the
time I left at 2PM. Today I had the regular sausage and the smoked corned
beef. I was blown away by the corned beef, much better than expected.
Kaw Point Railroad Bridge
Hawg Jaw Brew & Que
- October 29, 2017:
We added a new two page review of the Evel
Knievel Museum in Topeka, Kansas.
- October 30, 2017:
I revisited Smokin' Joe's BBQ
in Olathe, Kansas. I had the challenge sandwich which the owner created
when he was trying to get the restaurant onto the Diners, Dinettes and
Dives tv show, the Big Bad Joe - a 1 lb sandwich with beef, turkey, pork,
sausage, 2 pieces of bacon, pepper Jack & American cheese, spicy sauce
and French fries on the sandwich.
not large enough to be a true challenge, it is still large enough to be
lunch for 2-4 people. It is pretty good, though the fries are too soggy
to add to the sandwich and I think it would be better with something different,
perhaps 2-4 onion rings.
I didn't try to eat all of it, but did eat half of the sandwich, which
was still more than I should have.
Big Bad Joe
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