Kansas Travel Blog

Chronicling changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration & photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals and art. Contact him.
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Four Mile Creek Bridge - Augusta, Kansas
Saturday - August 1, 2015: Linda and I traveled to Kansas City, Missouri to try a BBQ restaurant which has been on my list to try for a few years. It would have happened much sooner, but it is on the far side of the metro area and is just a few blocks from one of the best BBQ restaurants in the region - LC's BBQ.

Big T's Bar-B-Q on Blue Ridge Boulevard is one of two Kansas City restaurants with the same name. I tried the other location on Blue Parkway several years ago and had not been impressed, but latter learned that this location has a much better reputation.

We sampled the pork ribs, beef, ham sausage, fries, corn on the cob and onion rings. The servings were generous, for example a 4 rib dinner had 6 large ribs. The ribs and sausage were our favorite meats. The sauce was spicy and distinctive, with a flavor which I could not identify. I liked it, but Linda did not.

The sides were all very good, even the corn, which few BBQ places do a very well. The fries would have benefited from being crisper. The onion rings were the best part of the entire meal.

 

Side dishes at Big T's Bar-B-Q in Kansas City, Missouri Fresh cut fries, corn on the cob, fresh made onion rings and house made BBQ sauce
 
Saturday - August 2, 2015: Family business took us to Topeka and we took advantage of being there to try a different restaurant - Annie's Place. The family restaurant has been in operation since the 1980s, though not with the same owners. The menu, style and service reminded me of Santa Fe Cafe in Overland Park, but with a larger selection.

I went there to have a burger, in particular, and selected the downtown burger, with $8.49 with potato chips. A little expensive, without a more genuine side. It came wit teriyaki sautéed mushrooms, onions and Swiss cheese. The first taste of the mushrooms was good, but there was nothing special about the meat.

The best part of the meal was desert. The berry tart and the sour cream raisin pie were both above average.

With there being other places in Topeka which I want visit, I probably will not be trying this one again. THough this is one of the few places that look interesting and are open past 2PM on Sunday.

 

Annie's Place - Topeka, Kansas Annie's Place
Thursday - August 6, 2015: It has been over three months since Crazy Good Eats, opened in Olathe and I returned today, to see how the BBQ restaurant has settled in. I ordered two of the dishes which I liked the best on previous visits, the Mad Meatballs and the onion strings.

The bacon wrapped meatball are pretty good, but expensive at 5 fairly small meatballs for $5.95. The total for the meal (including a soda) was $14.19, a little pricey for lunch.

I requested a plastic cup to take my soda to go. The lady did eventually give me one, but made me know that finding one was a big inconvenience.

 

Crazy Good Eats - Olathe, Kansas Crazy Good Eats
Friday - August 7, 2015: The page devoted to Powell Observatory in Louisburg, Kansas has been updated.

They continue to offer programs every Saturday night through October, which include a look through the big telescope and a chance to see smaller rigs belonging to members of the Kansas City Astronomical Society. $6 for adults, $4 for children.

 

Kansas City Astronomical Society - Louisburh, Kansas Kansas City Astronomical Society
 
Friday - August 21, 2015: Linda met me at work and we headed off to Wichita about 4:30 on Friday. Part of this trip was too try places which have been recommended for their hamburgers and that evening we tried Fizz Burgers and Bottles. The food was good, but it wasn't one of the best burgers in Kansas. One of the hooks for the place is the selection of pop in glass bottles. We had Peach Nehi and Hanks Diet Root Beer. 

It did turn out that one of the two recommendations we had received had come from the owners.

 

Fizz Burgers and Bottles - Wichita, Kansas Some of the bottles at Fizz Burgers & Bottles
Saturday - August 22, 2015: Saturday morning we drove on to Kingman, where the art of the late grassroots artist Glenn Stark has been moved to a city park. Glenn did fantastic wood carving and created humorous statues from painted concrete. His family kept his carvings, but gave many of the more or less life size statues to the city. They are moved, but at this time, the setting has no charm.

We also stopped at the Kingman County Historical Museum which occupies a beautiful 1888 firehouse. I really appreciate the dedication of these local historical societies. The main floor is between exhibits, but there second floor is packed with permanent exhibits.

After photographing the exterior of a few more buildings, we stopped for lunch at Smitty's Carry Out. This place does have a top burger! It was juicy and flavorful. The house made onion rings were nearly as good, but the fresh cut fries needed a little more frying. They did offer several house made sauces and the Kicking Horse went well with the fries.

On the way back to Wichita, we stopped at Souders Historical Farm-Museum in Cheney. There are many places across Kansas where buildings have been moved and farm equipment has been collected. This is different, Floyd and Norma Souders constructed their own buildings to recreate a small rural town and moved the artifacts into them. Their chapel even has a small graveyard with tombstones which were donated to them.

Floyd died in 1996 and Norma in 2005. The farm the museum is on was purchased by Tom Gronniger and after a few years, he began opening the buildings to the public. In recent times, he has even started adding new buildings and last year he built a livery stable. There isn't much information (if any) about the items on display, but this is something.

Back in Wichita, we visited the two year old Wichita Toy Train Club Museum and the Blacktop Nationals car show which was being held downtown.

We went on to visit Santa Fe Lake near Augusta, where we had been told there was a neat waterfall in the spillway from the lake, but there was no water flow at this time. Not wanting to waste being in the vicinity, we also went to the stone arch bridge over Four Mile Creek. It was not as scenic as many, with a crumbling side and orange cones to keep vehicles from getting close to the side.

As we left town, we tried one more place for burgers, Big Larry's Burgers in Valley Center on the north side of Wichita. One of Linda's cousins met us for supper. While this place will not make the top 10 burger list, it has a number of cool features, including a wall where tiny pictures are posted of those who eat the 2.25 pound Triple Big Larry Burger. This place actually had the best fresh fries of the weekend.

We made one last stop on the way back home, at the remains of the 1875 Drinkwater & Schriver Flour Mill in Cedar Point. I already have a page with photos of this crumbling mill and dam, but we took additional photos as the sun went down. 

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Smitty's Carry Out - Kingman, Kansas Smitty's Carry Out
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Blacktop Nationals - Wichita, Kansas Blacktop Nationals
 

Four Mile Creek Bridge - Augusta, Kansas Four Mile Creek Bridge

Monday - August 24, 2015: Linda joined me for lunch as we tried the new Ginger Sue's Restaurant which opened in Olathe in March. The Country Fried Steak is actually pork tenderloin, but it, the sausage gravy and the garlic mashed potatoes are good. Linda enjoyed the salmon salad (a sautéed salmon filet sitting atop a blend of romaine lettuce & spinach with red pepper, cucumber, carrots, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

The Breakfast & lunch only place is a little pricey. Our lunch, with only one of us having a beverage, came to $28.
  
  

Ginger Sue's Restaurant - Olathe, Kansas
Tuesday - August 25, 2015: We added a new page devoted to the Wichita Toy Train Club and Museum in Wichita, Kansas.
 
 
Thursday - August 27, 2015: We added a new page devoted to the Geary County Historical Museum in Junction City, Kansas.
 
 
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