changes to KansasTravel.org and Keith's exploration
& photographing Kansas restaurants, attractions, museums, festivals
and art. Contact him.
- February 1, 2014: Linda and I had lunch at Wyandot Barbecue 2 in
Overland Park. here were once three Wyandot Barbeque restaurants, but today
there is only this one and the original location on State Avenue in Kansas
City, Kansas (Wyandotte County).
booths are in rough shape and the "fresh brewed" iced tea looked like it
had been in the dispenser for a few days. But I like the food. The meaty
ribs are tender and have very good flavor. The brisket is also very good.
The bone in chicken doesn't have as much flavor as the other meats.
onion rings are not fresh made, but are still crispy and good. The previously
frozen crinkle cut French fries are cooked perfectly. They are golden and
crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. To my tastes buds, they
are better than the fresh cut fries at many other places.
pages devoted to visiting the Kansas
State Capitol were updated today. After several years, the Kansas
State Capitol dome tours return February 3, 2014.
Exterior of the inner dome of the Kansas State Capitol
- February 2, 2014: Mary & Linda joined me for lunch at Cozy Cafe
in Overland Park. It was the busiest that I have ever seen this restaurant
be, Perhaps there was more business than they could handle handle. The
food was still good, but there were many mistakes and problems, including
the food taking about an hour. I do not recommend dining at Cozy's Cafe
for Sunday dinner. Dishes sampled today were stuffed chicken, gourmet burger
and pork kabobs.
page about the Sternberg Museum of Natural
History in Hays was updated. The Sternberg Museum's 15th Anniversary
Celebration will be Saturday, March 8th, 2014 when they will offer admission
and membership prices from 1999!
Sternberg Museum of Natural History
- February 3, 2014: Linda and I had lunch at KC Grill N Kabob in Lenexa.
Although not quiet unique enough for the list of Unique
Kansas Restaurants, it does rate a spot on the list of Other Kansas
Restaurants at the bottom of the page. The lunch buffet had slipped for
a couple of years, but has been better during our last couple of weekends.
The buffet is now open all day on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
supper we went to Hayward's Barbeque in Overland Park. This 41 year old
restaurant just changed hands on February 1. It is now owned and managed
by Eric Sweeney. Eric and his Pit Master both came from the higher profile
Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. We dined there last night. Most changes haven't been
made yet, but we liked the changes they have made to the food so far.
founder of the restaurant, Hayward Spears Sr., will still be the public
face of the restaurant. The wall of celebrity customers shown in the picture
to the right still greets you near the entrance.
Wall of photos at Hayward's Barbeque
- February 4, 2014: There was a heavy snow fall today, but I was still
able to make it to try a new restaurant, K-macho's Mexican Restaurant &
Cantina which opened in September. This restaurant was a very long time
preparing to open and the interior is very handsome. I was hoping that
it would include some of the dishes from the family's adjacent market,
but the menu had more conventional American Mexican dishes. Still the salsa
& chips was flavorful & good, and the fajitas were similar to other
K-macho's Mexican Restaurant & Cantina
- February 5, 2014: Following up on yesterday's lunch at K-Macho's
Mexican Restaurant, today's lunch was at the adjacent, Bonito Michoacan
7. Despite the number in the title, Meat Market, Produce & Bakery has
five other locations in Texas and in Kansas City, Kansas.
corner of the market has a kitchen and counter where fresh tortillas are
grilled and other dishes are prepared. This is the wonderful food that
I hoped K-Macho would offer. Today I had the parrillada, grilled marinated
beef short ribs and Eckrich sausage with beans and rice. This dish is cooked
to order, sot there was a wait, but the grilled meat, onions and peppers
were excellent. Even the refried beans (which I'm not normally a big fan
of) were very good.
joined be for supper at Burg &
Barrel in Overland Park. By coincidence, this was the third meal within
a block of 75th & Metcalf in 5 days. This neighborhood bar & grill
continues to do a good job on slightly fancy hamburgers and Fresh cut fries.
My only real complaint is that all of the seating except for three booths
is at the bar or at high tables with bar stools.
Grilling parrillada at Bonito Michoacan 7
- February 6, 2014: Today's lunch was at Wai-Wai
Thai Place Express in Overland Park. There had been menu changes since
my last visit 11 months ago and my favorite dish had been removed from
the menu, but at least the prices had not gone up on the other dishes.
had the Marinated Garlic Pork Rib appetizer and Moo Phad Phet (stir fired
pork with mushrooms, bell peppers, jalapenos, onions and scallions in spicy
red curry sauce served with jasmine rice. The flavors on the Moo Phad Phet
combine nicely. It was milder than I like, but a little fish sauce with
Thai peppers from the spice bar perked it up nicely.
Linda joined me for supper at the original Thai Place on 87th Street in
Overland Park. Although I first dined at the Thai Place shortly after it
opened in 1991, it had been three or four years since I last visited this
started with crab Rangoon's and grilled chicken satays. The eight small
fried wantons were good, but I felt let down by the chicken. The satay
didn't have much flavor on its own and the peanut sauce had coconut in
it. That doesn't sound bad in theory, but I didn't think it worked well.
golden crab rice made with fresh crab meat, garlic and scallions, was mostly
rice. Fine as a side dish, but without enough other ingredients to satisfy
as a main dish. My seafood phad thai is called their signature dish and
the stir fried rice noodles with jumbo shrimp, scallops, mussels, squid
and crab meat with eggs, bean sprouts, cabbage and scallions, topped with
roasted peanuts lived up to it. It was ordered hot and I had to pace myself,
but that just meant that I had a good meal and had a generous serving leftover
to take home.
Wai-Wai Thai Place Express kitchen
- February 7, 2014: Continuing to update the review of Freddy
T's Restaurant and Sports Bar, I returned there for lunch today. They
have added charred chicken wings & double dipped wings, so I tried
the charred wings and the beer batter onion rings.
wings were good. Tanner's Bar & Grill has offered them for some time
and these are equally good.
sure some people love the onion rings, but I like lightly coated rings
so I mostly tasted the fired onion and the beer batter taste predominated
in the rings.
Freddy T's Restaurant and Sports Bar
- February 8, 2014: We drove to Kansas City, Kansas to revisit Fritz
Railroad Restaurant. It had been nearly four years since the last time
we ate at this fun old hamburger joint where the food is delivered to the
table by a by "Skat Cat" from an overhead railroad track. We were nearly
the only party in the place without children.
food was better than I remembered. The chili was good as always, but the
"Gen Dare" (single hamburger topped with hash browns, grilled onions, melted
cheese, ketchup, mustard and pickles on a seeded bun) was really quite
supper we hit Elsa's Ethiopian Restaurant, which is listed in the Overland
Park Restaurant Guide. Ethiopian restaurants serve the food on flat,
spongy sour bread called injera, which doubles as the utensils for picking
up the food.
Key Wat (spicy beef stew) was good as always. I have a harder time finding
side dishes which I like, but the misir wat (spicy lentil stew) was much
better than I expected.
Fritz Railroad Restaurant
Elsa's Ethiopian Restaurant
- February 9, 2014: Linda and I had lunch at Los Tres Compadres Mexican
Restaurant, which recently opened in the Lenexa location which was formerly
tried the $11.99 Carne Asada (thinly sliced, seasoned, char broiled skirt
steak served on a bed of of sautéed bell peppers, onions, tomatoes
and fresh mushrooms and the $13.99 Los 3 Compadres Platter (crab meat,
fresh shrimp and chicken sautéed in wine with onions and cilantro,
then topped with Monterey jack & cheddar cheese and baked). Both dishes
were good, but not necessarily better than that available at so many Mexican
restaurants in the Kansas City area. It wasn't obvious that the platter
service was very attentive and the meal came with complimentary chips and
supper, we returned to Kanz's City Pizza
& Burger, which had brought out a new menu just a few days after
our recent review. It turned out to mostly contain the items from the previous
menu, plus four sandwiches which had been available from a small sign on
only new item we spotted was a Kanzone (calzone) which we ordered for $10
with pepperoni, Italian sausage and bacon. At first glance, it was enormous,
but it is mostly big around, not as thick as some. The $9.50 Hudson Burger
with fresh cut fries was my favorite dish this night. The 8 ounce burger
is covered with bacon, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, a onion ring and
onion ring sauce, but the server asked which cheese I want and I think
I enjoyed it more with the cheddar cheese.
Los Tres Compadres Mexican Restaurant
- February 11, 2014: We has a nice supper at Tanners Bar & Grill
in Lenexa. It doesn't meet the bar for our listing of Unique
Kansas Restaurants, but they do serve good food of the type which is
expected in a sports bar. There are 30 TVs of various sizes, scattered
around the dinning room.
marinated, grilled steak tips were well prepared and a nice size serving
for $9.49 including fries. The $8.99 "Tanner-loin (tenderloin sandwich)
is hand breaded and really very good. One of the better pork tenderloins
in Johnson County.
Tanners Bar & Grill
- February 12, 2014: In the evening, we drove south to Fort Scott and
had supper at Nu Grille Cafe. Nu Grill opened
in 1946. The front room has a nice old counter where you can watch the
food prepared and there are three additional dining areas.
$6.09 grilled chicken, bacon & ranch sandwich was very good, while
the $6.09 pork tenderloin was OK, not as good as the one I had the previous
night at Tanners in Lenexa. The $2.89 sides of fresh made onion rings are
the standout and worth a visit on their own.
stayed the night in the most popular room at the Lyons Twin Mansions in
Fort Scott. We dined at this B&B a few years ago and had been there
for a wedding just last fall, but this was our first stay.
third floor room was called the Mandalay boasted a therapeutic massage
tub on a glass pedestal and 52" plasma TV. It was quite attractive and
a lot of effort was put into the room design, but it really was not very
were many minor inconveniences like no place but the bed to set and open
a suitcase, or no towel bars or hooks.
bathroom had no windows and was very poorly lighted. With the shower curtain
pulled, the shower stall was almost pitch black.
the bedroom had no blinds or curtains. The windows were fairly high on
the the walls and we were on the top floor, so that hadn't bothered us
too much the night we arrived, until morning when the sun poured in on
the bed, making it impossible to sleep.
Grilled chicken, bacon & ranch sandwich
Mandalay room at the Lyons Twin Mansions
- February 13, 2014: Breakfast at the Lyons Twin Mansions was the best
part of the stay. There is a fairly large menu and the meal was included
with the room. The bacon was very good, as was the fried potatoes. The
omelet was a little unusual, with the ingredients just folded within the
omelet as it was finished, rather than being cooked into the omelet.
highlight of the day was discovering that like a Phoenix, Memory
Lane Marketplace is the newest incarnation of the former Scotty's Classic
Cars in Arma, Kansas. The Marketplace is a unique combination of antiques,
Kansas products & crafts and classic car restoration. The surprising
store is just a couple of blocks off of the I-69 Bypass.
of the artists exhibiting work in Memory Lane Marketplace are from southeast
Kansas and Phyllis Bitner is still finding new artists and Kansas made
products each week. She is a big booster of Kansas and the Pittsburg area.
were back in the Kansas City area in the evening and paid our second visit
to the Thai Place in Overland Park. The $18.95 Hurricane Seafood was a
real treat, with shrimp, scallops, squid, mussels and imitation crab meat
stir fried with onions, bell peppers, jalapenos, mushrooms and scallions
in a spicy red curry & tamarind sauce.
the server's urging, I went with medium, rather than hot on the spicy and
I believe that it was a better choice. While I am capable of eating a hotter
dish, the medium really was more of a pleasure for me.
eggs, potatoes & bacon
Memory Lane Marketplace
- February 14, 2014: I revisited The Rub Bar-B-Que in Olathe for lunch
today and was disappointed to learn that they have discontinued the smoked
meat loaf, which had been my favorite meat. I settled for a $9.99 two meat
/ one side platter made up of burnt ends and chopped chicken, with a side
of the fresh made fries. The burnt ends have been very good in the past,
but this day they were over done and dry. The chicken was surprisingly
2 meat / 1 side platter
- February 15, 2014: We spent most of the day in Lawrence, Kansas,
beginning with a screening of the movie, Jayhawkers, at the
Leid Center at the University of Kansas. The art movie about the period
that Wilt Chamberlain was at the University of Kansas, and the changes
in race relations in Lawrence, premiered the night before and was showing
just this weekend. Current KU senior, Justin Wesley played Chamberlain
and did a creditable job for his first movie appearance.
was a little long, but was enjoyable.
had lunch at the nearby Biemer's BBQ. The sausage and ribs were good, but
the burnt ends were a standout. Some of the best I have had.
six year old restaurant is in a building which formerly was Bucky's Drive-In
for 40 years. It isn't much to look at and the booths aren't very comfortable,
but it is the best BBQ which I have had in Lawrence.
the afternoon we attended the KU versus TCU men's basketball game in Allen
Fieldhouse. THe 95-65 blowout was fun for a Kansas fan to watch, but we
also got a kick of Barbara Eden being at the game. It turns out that her
husband is a KU Alumnus from Topeka and she has become a big KU basketball
fan. The big screen on the scoreboard cut to her or referenced her several
were tempted to have another meal in Lawrence, but were afraid that the
waits would be very long on a Saturday night after a home basketball game.
Instead, we revisited Anthony's Diner
in Eudora. Anthony's is a little Pop restaurant which specializes in Italian
food is consistent and very reasonably priced. I had never had their pizza
and tonight I had a 10" thin crust pizza with 3 toppings for $9. It was
a good value and really quite good.
Crowd waiting for the theatre doors to open at the Leid Center
Barbara Eden and her husband on the Kiss Cam
- February 16, 2014: We revisited The Basha in Overland Park. We had
dined at the Mediterranean restaurant shortly after it opened last year,
but things were not clicking that day. The strangest thing had been when
we ordered iced tea. They didn't serve iced tea at that time, but the waiter
suggested we try their flavored hot tea on ice. That was a flop.
to the point, the descriptions of dished in the menu did not appeal and
we didn't care for those we tried.
The Basha now has a buffet lunch on Saturday & Sunday and seemed like
a good time to try a number of dishes.
were about 10 hot items in chafing dishes. Getting food was awkward since
the dishes were packed side by side and all had lids, but we managed to
fill our plates without an incident.
food we had was enjoyable, but we still don't know what to order of the
menu, since these dishes had names like Basha beef or Basha chicken and
are not on the menu. The $13.99 price was reasonable for this buffet.
they now have iced tea.
- February 17, 2014: Continuing the update of the Olathe
Restaurant Guide, today's lunch was at the previously reviewed Downtown
Diner in Olathe. This Mom & Pop restaurant does a fine job on many
dishes. They have a large selection of specialty hamburgers and this day
I repeated having my favorite, the $9.99 Downtowner Burger - two beef patties,
Swiss cheese, corned beef and coleslaw served with one side dish. Excellent!
& owner Rich Caines is always experimenting with new dishes and this
day he brought me a taste of the bacon he was experimenting with making.
He has also started smoking hams, though that is a slow process. It is
fun to stop in and learn what new things he is doing.
supper, we went to New York Dawg Pound in Overland Park. The quality at
this hot dog stand is consistent and they have managed to come up with
unusual combinations which actually work well together.
Dalmatian has grilled peppers & onions, jalapenos and hot mustard.
Ol' Blue (Kansas City style) has onion straws, BBQ sauce and pickle. Either
one is $3.75, or you can get both, plus one side and a drink for $9.75.
Dalmatian & Ol' Blue
- February 18, 2014:
Today's lunch was at Nick & Jake's in Overland Park, Kansas. The 13
year old upscale bar & grill has earned a very good reputation.
lunch was the $11.00 'Shrooms burger, which is topped with wild mushrooms,
Swiss cheese, grilled onions, lettuce & tomato. Some people would have
been very happy with this burger, but I ordered it medium rare and it was
served well done.
burger came with a choice of sides and the house made chips were very good.
They would be even better with a coating or dip.
Nick & Jake's
- February 19, 2014:
I revisited Austin's Bar and
Grill in Olathe. It has been part of the Olathe Restaurant Guide for
several years and over that time, I have had many meals there.
meal was a dish which I hadn't had before, the $14.99 half slab of baby
back ribs which comes with baked beans and fries. The menu lists it under
the heading of Kansas City BBQ, but there was none of the flavor which
that heading supplies. They tasted as if they had been just baked in a
oven, with sauce add near the end. They were tender and the sweet sauce
was god, but these were the ribs that could be found in many chain restaurants.
beans were fine, with the same sweet flavor as the BBQ sauce and no discernible
meat. The battered and parmesan covered fries try to be something special
and many people enjoy them. I don't think that the parmesan adds anything
service was good, as usual.
baby back ribs
- February 20, 2014: Linda joined me for lunch at the new Simply Reinspired
in Olathe. The combination antique shop and restaurant has good sandwiches
and salads, but the cheese cake may be the best we have ever had. Open
only for breakfast & lunch, plus family style chicken dinners on Thursday
did learn not to order a half sandwich & half salad. The whole sandwich
came with the same size salad at the same price.
new page devoted to the Flint
Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan, Kansas was added to this site.
We visited it shortly after it opened, two years ago, but by oversight
the page was never created.
- February 21, 2014:
Today's lunch was the second revisit of Dodge City Distillery in Olathe.
This time I sampled two appetizers.
$8 fried tobacco onion straws was a huge serving, pilled high with bacon
and bleu cheese. Way to much for one person. The onion strings themselves
were quite good, but as good as the combination sounds, I think the bacon
and bleu cheese detracted from the flavor. I would be much happier with
a $5 serving which was half the size and did not include the toppings.
$9.49 incineration wings did not seem that hot in the first few bites,
but by the third wing there was pretty good heat. The look very big on
the plate, but there was a lot more bone than usual in those wings. The
blue cheese dressing which I had them substitute for the rustler's ranch
was the best blue cheese dressing which I have had in some time.
Diet Coke has tasted funny both times I have dined here and had them replace
it with iced tea.
supper, Linda and I returned to Longbranch Saloon on Metcalf in Overland
Park. Linda had the $9 catfish sandwich. She wanted potato skins instead
of another potato and after the manager came over, he agreed to let her
substitute a partial order of the skins, just this ones. The Longbranch
skins may be the best in the area.
$16 trail's end ribeye 12 ounce, hand cut and charcoal grilled. Really
a nicely prepared steak. It is a good value with garlic toast and the choice
of two side dishes.
tobacco onion straws
trail's end ribeye
- February 22, 2014: We had lunch at the Bloomsbury Bistro in the Mission
Road Antique Mall. We just learned of it on Thursday and had been
told that the carrot cake may be the best dessert anywhere.
found a busy, fairly large cafe at the far end of the Antique Mall. Although
it is located where it could have its own entrance, diners must walk the
length of the mall to enter.
Bistro has a relatively large menu for a cafe which is only open from 11AM
– 3PM on Monday through Saturday. I had the meat loaf sandwich, chicken
noodle soup and corn parmesan, while Linda had a sweet onion & smoked
gouda quiche with a roasted pear & goat cheese salad. All of the dishes
were very good looking and tasted nearly as good as they looked.
split the toasted carrot cake, which was the main reason for the visit.
The house specialty is carrot cake layered with a pineapple cream cheese
filling, than toasted and topped with a brown sugar glaze. It was very
good, with the layers and topping reminding me of elements of a German
supper was a revisit of The Burger Stand at the Casbah in Lawrence. The
Burger Stand is a stand along gourmet burger stand within a Massachusetts
we arrived about 4:30PM, there was already a line nearly to the door. It
took about 25 minutes to place our order and another 25 minutes for the
food to be prepared.
menu consists of just a few burgers and other sandwiches, including several
vegetarian options. Sides include several varieties of fries, onion rings
and fried pickles.
had the $8.79 Black & Blue Burger which was topped with blue cheese
& granny smith apple chutney, while I had the $8.99 The Smoke Burger
with apple wood smoked bacon, smoked gouda cheese and chipotle cocoa ketchup.
The burgers were well prepared, but for my taste, they try to be a little
too original. I would be much happier with building a combination of my
split a $7 basket of beer battered onion rings. The coating overwhelmed
the onion and we left over half of the order.
The Burger Stand at the Casbah
- February 24, 2014:
We traveled to Eudora to have supper at Cutters Smokehouse where we sampled
pork tenderloin, pork ribs and fries. The Fresh cut fries were a little
thinner than I would prefer, but very good. The ribs were tender and had
a decent flavor. Above average.
hand breaded pork tenderloin sandwich was a disappointment. Dry and really
no flavor at all.
pork tenderloin sandwich
- February 27, 2014:
Today's lunch was at Smokin Joe's
Bar-B-Q in Olathe. I finally tried the Big Bad Joe, the specialty sandwich
which Matt Sander created while trying to get on Diners, Drive-ins and
Dives a few years ago.
$13.99 sandwich consists of 1 lb. of Beef, Turkey, Pulled Pork & Sausage,
plus pepper Jack & American cheese, 2 pieces of Bacon, Smokin Joe's
Spicy BBQ sauce and French Fries on a large bun. It looks even larger when
served, but that is largely bun. I don't believe there was any more meat
than there is on a sandwich at Arthur Bryant's and there is far less than
a full serving of fries. With not eating the bun, it was a generous, but
not over the top meal. I would have liked more cheese, but the combination
was very good.
had never had the turkey before. It is something I rarely get at BBQ restaurants,
but it was quite good. So was the spicy BBQ sauce which is not on the tables
or offered. It is only available on this sandwich or by request (at no
additional charge). The spicy sauce really made this sandwich and should
be readily available.
evening, a new page devoted to the Stuart
House City Museum on Mackinac Island, Michigan was added to our sister
web site www.MightyMac.org. The
Stuart House was built in 1817 to house the resident agent of John Jacob
Astor’s American Fur Trading Post. Today, the City of Mackinac Island operates
the museum during the summer, with admission by donation.
in the week, we learned of a new restaurant in western Lenexa, so we tried
out ASA Sushi Hibachi & Lounge this evening. The large restaurant is
very attractive. It looks as if a lot of time and money was put into preparing
this Japanese restaurant before its opening last fall.
asked for the Japanese Steakhouse Hibachi and were surprised when the seated
us immediately and started the meal without waiting to fill other seats
at the table. They continued to do the same at other grill/table combinations
for every party which came in.
list of items on the hibachi menu was a bit longer than many Japanese restaurants
in the Kansas City area, offering various combinations of chicken, shrimp,
filet, rib eye, KC Strip, salmon, lobster, calamari, sea bass, scallops
and swordfish. Prices were a bit higher than most, with most single item
meals being more than $20. Fried rice is $2.50 additional
performance during the preparation was fairly short, but there were only
two of us and we have seen them many times before. The most unusual thing
about the performance was that after the chef made the onion volcano, he
discarded that onion, instead of cutting it and adding it to the vegetables.
They could have used the additional onion.
about the meal was fine, but I can't say that we noticed anything to bring
us back to this restaurant, rather than one of the closer and slightly
less expensive ones.
Big Bad Joe
Stuart House City Museum
Sushi bar at ASA Sushi Hibachi and Lounge
- February 28, 2014:
Jesi joined us for dinner at Renee Kelly's
Harvest in Shawnee. The menu changes with the seasons, so it is hard
to stay current on this farm to market restaurant in a handsome stone building.
started with the $8 braised beef bacon with barley and apple. We were all
surprised at how well the barley went with the meat.
entrees were the $23 rabbit ravioli, $21 happy chicken and $34 ribeye.
I enjoyed the grilled ribeye with horseradish and herb butter, barley and
seasonal vegetables more than any dish I have had before.
of us ordered the potato soup, but ate very little of it. The server noticed
that the soup was hardly touched and removed it from the check with no
menu is now significantly shorter than it was the first couple of year
the restaurant was open.
chalk board listing where the ingredients come from
Month Kansas Travel
February March April
May June July
August September October November December
April May June
July August September
April May June
April May June
April May June
June July August
Hornbaker's Travels Notes
Kansas Sampler Foundation blog