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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Fredonia, Kansas Fall Homecoming Parade
Friday - October 3, 2014: For lunch, I tried out the new Fireside BBQ in Overland Park. It is open only 11-1:30 & 5-7:30 Monday - Friday.

The food should have been warmer, but I enjoyed the food overall. The rib tips were outstanding and the cheesy corn was very good.

Thayer, Kansas has a couple of steakhouses. I was disappointed with Big Ed's Steakhouse that last time we ate in Thayer, so this time we tried Poor Boy's Steakhouse. It is typical for places like this in rural Kansas. Very plain, and open only 22 hours a week. The salad bar was uninspired, but fairly high quality. My ribeye was very tender and had a pretty good flavor. Others in our party seemed to mostly enjoy the meal. 


Fireside BBQ - Overland Park, Kansas Poor Boy's Steakhouse

Poor Boy's Steakhouse - Thayer, Kansas Poor Boy's Steakhouse

Saturday - October 4, 2014: The first weekend in October is always Fall Homecoming in Fredonia, Kansas, where both of Linda's parents came from. It is a town of about 2,400 people and has only 2 motels with a total of less than 30 rooms, so we stay in nearby towns. That is for some values of nearby. The communities are far apart and they have few motel choices as well. 

We stayed at the Knight's Inn in Chanute. The rooms were clean and in good repair. Service is unavailable after 11 PM, but both of our requests which were made during office hours were promptly filled.

The continental breakfast was minimal, but we didn't go there for the food. The price was quite reasonable, and that is no longer true at the motels in many small Kansas communities.

We spent Saturday in Fredonia. The parade parade began shortly after we arrived. It consisted of several high school bands, a handful of politicians, every EMS vehicle in the county, trailers filled with alumni from the classes which had a multiple of 5 years anniversary, and floats from every church in town.

The streets around the courthouse were lined with a carnival, crafts & gift vendors and many food vendors, both commercial and run by local churches or civic organizations. I sampled beef burgers from 2 of the three vendors serving them. 

My favorite part of the day was playing bingo at booth on the Courthouse Square.

On the way back to Chanute, we had supper at the Prairie Nut Hut (yes those are what they sound like) in Altoona. It is a small old bar & grill with a counter and about seven tables. In addition to prairie oysters they serve what I think are some of the best burgers in the state, and fresh made fries and onion rings.



Fall Homecoming Parade - Fredonia, Kansas Fall Homecoming Parade

Prairie Nut Hut - Altoona, Kansas Prairie Nut Hut

Monday - October 6, 2014: Linda joined me in a revisit of Freddy T's Restaurant and Cafe in Olathe. The menu and prices were unchanged since out last visit in January. We had the Swiss Burger, True Bleu Burger, hand cut fries and onion rings. I don't believe that the rings were worth the $1.50 up charge, but everything else was quite good. The fries can be seasoned or unseasoned and I was happy with the unseasoned.


Tuesday - October 7, 2014: I learned today that Celebrity's Sidewalk Cafe in Olathe is closed and totally moved out. The 12 year old restaurant was still operating in August.


Wednesday - October 8, 2014: Updated the reviews of Freddy T's Restaurant and Cafe and Neewollah (which is Halloween spelled backwards) in Independence, Kansas.


Monday - October 13, 2014: Science Fiction author and scientist, Dr. David Brin, appeared at Jayhawk Ink Bookstore on the University of Kansas in Lawrence. I was among the 25 or so people who heard his presentation on The Dangerous Impudence of Speculative Fiction and photographed it for our sister web site, the MidAmerican Fan Photo Archive.

I attempted to have supper at Little Saigon Cafe in Lawrence, which has been receiving some good reviews, but it turned out that Little Saigon Cafe is closed on Sunday & Monday.

It turned out that a brand new restaurant is located next door - Hog Wild BBQ. Hog Wild is a Wichita based chain and I have previously dined at their Hutchinson location, across the street from the Kansas State Fairground.

The hot links tasted pretty good, but I wish they hadn't been saturated in their sauce. Hog Wild has two sauces on the table and there is no reason that diners shouldn't be able to select which sauce and how much sauce they want. The curly fries were fine. The corn tasted like it had just been dumped out of a can and heated.


David Brin - Lawrence, Kansas David Brin

Hog Wild BBQ - Lawrence, Kansas Hog Wild BBQ 

Friday - October 17, 2014: The 28th Annual Lenexa Chili Challenge began this evening in Lenexa's Old Town. Several streets were blocked off and there were booths with nearly 200 teams compeating for best chili, salsa and hot wings. Friday night is mainly a party, with live music on a stage, music at many team's booths and fireworks. For the most part, samples are not given out, but we knew members of some of the teams and were invited to sample some of the good food.

I returned Saturday for some daytime photos. On Saturday you are given a plastic spoon as you enter the event space and many of the contestants were offering small samples. With so many teams, it didn't take long to be totally full.

There is no charge for attending the Chili Challenge or for samples, though most booths has tip buckets, with the money this year ($4,266.95) going to Juvenile Diabetes.

Lenexa Chili Challenge Fireworks during the Lenexa Chili Challenge
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