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Fort Scott – Nate’s Place

Nate’s Place Restaurant and Lounge at the Twin Mansions in Fort Scott, Kansas is a truly unique experience. As the name implies, Nate’s Place is inside a historic 1880’s era mansion. An identical mansion next door houses a bed and breakfast. This place is a hidden gem in southeast Kansas. In fact, the waitress indicated that even though they have been open for about three years, not many locals realize that one of the  two mansions houses a restaurant. I’m about to spill the beans here, because this place was fantastic!

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The wait for my order was a bit long but the food was well worth it. I had a deep fried pork chop smothered in homemade country gravy. Many times pork chops end up tasting dry and tough but not this one! It could have been one of the very best pork chops I have ever eaten. This dish came with a side of caramelized sweet potatoes, which were also very delicious!

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Nate’s Place is open for dine in or carry out Tuesday through Thursday from 9 am until 2 pm and from Saturday and Sunday from 8 am until 2 pm. Additionally. their lounge is open on Thursday and Friday nights from 5pm until 8 pm. Cocktails are served daily beginning at 9 am and outdoor dining and private dinner parties are also available. Guest of the bed and breakfast receive a complementary breakfast at Nate’s Place.

Check out Nate’s Place. It’s one of my new favorites in southeast Kansas!

Until next time,
Chris

Overland Park – Hayward’s

Across Antioch Rd. from the eastern entrance to Corporate Woods in Overland Park sits a barbecue joint that’s been in Johnson County since 1972. I’d always known  “Hayward’s Pit Bar B Que” was there, but had not made it in to eat until recently, when I read that it had been taken over by new owners. The new owner talked in a newspaper article I read about an improved menu and renovations to the building, so I thought I should go check out what all the buzz was about. Something else that helped lure me in was the fact that the owner and the pit master both honed their respective crafts at “Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ” (which is never a bad thing).

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I had a two meat sandwich consisting of pulled pork and pork sausage, along with a side of fried okra (can’t get that just anywhere around here!) The meats were really well cooked and the sausage was of extremely high quality, and was definitely better stuff than what you go buy at the store! The okra was fresh out of the fryer and too hot to eat, which is a good problem to have.  I plan on going back for the ribs at some point, because based on the other foods I can’t really see that they wouldn’t be good too!

If you’re looking for some freshly cooked, high quality pork, you’re just a few blocks from it as you drive along I-435 in JOCO. All you have to do is head south on Antioch Rd. a little ways and you’re there! Give the place a chance if you’re in the area. I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

Until next time,
Mike

Hays – TK’s Smokehaus

I’ve seen barbecue restaurants come and go all over western Kansas and with exception, most were average at best.  I’m pleased to report about a new one that is at the very least, above average.  TK’s Smokehaus located at 110 West 11th in downtown Hays, Kansas is one that just might stick around.

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Picture from TK’s Smokehaus Facebook

The restaurant sits in a cool old downtown building complete with high tin ceilings and hardwood floors. What really sets the place apart from many other barbecue joints is that they use an offset style wood smoker rather than an industrial model rotisserie that many competitors use. The difference was obvious and soon as the waitress brought me out the “pitmaster plate”.  I could smell that the meat was wood smoked!  It had a delicious wood smoke flavor as well.  I have to fault TK’s for serving their barbecue wet (with sauce on it), when it could suffice on its own merits, served up perfectly well, sauce free.

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The service wasn’t extremely fast but portion sizes were impressive. The hot links were actually hot, as opposed to the “mild at best” variety found elsewhere. The sweetly flavored beans had nearly as much pork in them as beans and a hint of jalapeno pepper induced heat.

Hopefully, TK’s Smokehaus is here to stay. I look forward to coming back.

Until next time,
Chris

Olathe – Austin’s Bar & Grill

If you happen to find yourself in western Johnson County, and are actually NOT in the mood for BBQ, but do happen to be in the mood for a good sports bar atmosphere you need to check out Austin’s Bar & Grill. They have 2 locations, one in Olathe (151st and Mur-Len) and one in Gardner (just north of Main on Moonlight Rd.) for you to choose from.

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If you’re in the mood for a sports bar AND some pork, then I suggest, while at Austin’s, ordering the hand-cut, hand-breaded Pork Tenderloin Sandwich. The sandwich itself was very good. It was a slice of real pork loin, not just a large, pressed together “pork nugget” that was processed to fit a bun. It is served with parmesan dusted fries (delicious) and a dish of Horseradish sauce that I thought went great with the sandwich. If horseradish isn’t your cup of tea, then you can choose from many other additions at their self-serve condiment bar.

Austin's Olathe (pic courtesy of Austin's website)(photo courtesy of Austin’s Bar & Grill)

Overall, Austin’s is a pretty good place to catch a game and hang out with friends, and it just so happens to have some things on the menu that don’t quite fit into the “sports bar food” category if you’re in the mood for something different (and good).

Until next time,
Mike

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Grilling season is upon us friends!

To start off the season we are giving away three prize packs, yes I said three!

These prize packs include a “Keep Calm and Eat Pork” apron and a “Cooking for Comfort” pork recipe book. Both prizes are pictured below.

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Here’s how you can win:

What is your favorite pork dish to throw on the grill?

Leave a comment to let us know your answer on this post.  The contest will close on Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm CST. Winners will be selected at random and notified via email, as well as announced in a comment on this blog post. The winner will need to respond to our email no later then Tuesday, May 6, 2014 at 5:00 pm CST to be eligible to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed we will select another winner.

Interested in more recipes for bacon?’ Head on over to our new site, eatpork.org, for recipes, coupons and more!

 

Overland Park – Burnt End BBQ

As the name implies, Burnt End BBQ specialty is brisket burnt ends, but like any good Kansas City barbecue restaurant, they have plenty of pork! The pork items on the menu include hickory ham, pulled pork and ribs.

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This relatively new restaurant located at 11831 Metcalf Avenue in  Overland Park, KS is a part of the PB&J Restaurant’s, Inc, family of companies which includes the Newport Grill, Red Robin and YaYa’s.

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Like many good barbecue restaurants, Burnt End BBQ offers catering for large and small events and gift cards for those foodies on your gift list.  For the internet savvy, they have a Facebook page and can be followed on Twitter.

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Check out Burnt End BBQ on your next barbecue crawl through Kansas City!

Until next time,
Chris

Overland Park – Brobeck’s

Brobeck’s BBQ in Overland Park is a place I first heard of as I talked with a friend that grew up around Louisburg, KS. He told me of a place that used to be on Metcalf, near Stillwell, KS that burned down years ago, but all the people in the area thought it was the best BBQ around. He went on to tell me they moved up to Overland Park after the fire and opened back up. It took me a bit by surprise, because I’d lived here a few years at the time and had never heard of the place.

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I looked them up, and there they were, nestled in a small strip mall near the Overland Park Convention Center. They are just north of I-435, on the east side of Roe Ave. Brobeck’s BBQ doesn’t apparently advertise heavily, since I’d never even heard of them, but apparently they don’t have to. I went in there awhile back a little ahead of noon, and felt lucky just to get a place to sit down it was so busy!

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I did my homework before I went and had read several times that their ribs were to die for, so I made sure to try those on the visit. I have to say they did not disappoint. You can see from the picture that there is a nice crust of dry rub on them, and a beautiful pink color to the meat. Some people might have found them to be a bit dry, but they were about perfect to my taste. They were as tender as ribs get, and the dry rub gave the meat all the added flavor it could ever need. The pulled pork was average at best, but the steak fries were awesome! I’d say the long story short for this place is you come for the ribs, but stay for the ribs!

Until next time,
Mike

Hiawatha – Gus’

While out on the road for work a few weeks ago I ran into beautiful Hiawatha, Kan., to grab a bite for lunch. I decided to go to a place I’d been to before and liked, a place called Gus’ in downtown Hiawatha.

I walked up to the door and saw that pulled pork was the special that day, and became immediately intrigued. I asked the waitress about the pulled pork, and it turns out it’s something the owner has recently gotten into doing. While it was the “special” that day, it is available most other days, but there are no guarantees, due to possible supply shortages.

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I decided to take the bait and try the pulled pork. I chose the pulled pork tacos with chips as my meal. I figured I might as well step outside the box and try something besides the usual white bread bun with my pulled pork.

The tacos were very good it turns out. They were nothing but pulled pork, BBQ sauce and freshly cooked onion straws in a soft taco. While some people might prefer other additions to the taco, I found it to be fine the way it was. The meat was very good, as it was not just some overcooked gruel spooned from a crockpot, but rather real, smoked pork shoulder that had been separated by the use of human hands using metal utensils!

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Walking away that day, I felt like I would gladly come back to Gus’ and eat the pulled pork again, which usually means they’re doing something right. Feel free to give it a try if you’re up that way sometime!

Until next time,
Mike

Manhattan – Coco Bolos

Coco Bolos has always been one of my Manhattan favorites. Located in a small building on the northwest corner of Aggieville, it has a unique southern flair. According to their website, the atmosphere includes “tastes from the Gulf Coast, South Texas and Southern New Mexico.” However, it’s certainly not a traditional Mexican restaurant.

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Some of their pork menu offerings include chili verde and chili con carne, both featuring pork shoulder, and thai pan bbq pork. I chose to eat Bud’s Cuban grilled pork sandwich. This was a deliciously spicy sandwich featuring seasoned pork shoulder slices on a grilled bun. It also came with a side salad and a wonderful homemade dressing.

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I enjoyed my meal on a nice warm heated covered patio, watching the game on the big screen TV’s.

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The owners of Coco Bolos also own the popular Manhattan barbecue restaurant Cox Brothers. I would encourage you to try out both of these establishments the next time you are in Manhattan.

Until next time,
Chris

Manhattan – Harry’s

Harry’s , located on Poyntz Avenue in Manhattan, is one of those places I always wanted to visit when I was a college student but I never the the opportunity (money).  It’s certainly not the kind of place you would eat at on a regular basis, however for a special occasion, this place can’t be beat.

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In fact, it is the number one rated restaurant in Manhattan, according to Trip Advisor.  The white tablecloth restaurant is located on the ground floor of the old Wareham Opera House.  It is a beautiful example of early twentieth century architecture. My service at Harry’s was excellent, and my meal, pork roundelay (seafood stuffed pork loin), was also beautiful. It was almost too pretty to eat;

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Presented on a delicious bed of potatoes and under a heaping helping of greens.  Other pork menu item includes specialty pizzas and bacon wrapped chorizo stuffed dates.  Additionally, they have an abundance of fine wines to pair with any meal.

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Although they take reservations, I had no trouble getting seated on a Tuesday evening without one. My wife and I  cannot wait to try more pork offerings from Harry’s on our next dinner date!

Until next time,
Chris

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As we approach the holiday season and prepare to celebrate Thanksgiving this week, the folks at In Pursuit of Pork and the Kansas Pork Association have a lot to be thankful for, including bacon. Yes, we said bacon. It’s been a good year for bacon and we are anticipating lots of bacon wrapped turkeys and other bacon wrapped goodies to be gracing many tables this week.

We are also thankful for our loyal readers and want to give away this great “Bacon Power” t-shirt (size large) that our friends at The Bacon Nation sent us.

bacon shirt giveaway

Here’s how you can win:

What is your favorite dish to wrap in bacon for the holiday season?

 Leave a comment to let us know your on this post.  The contest will close on Tuesday, December 3, 2013 at 4:00 pm CST. A winner will be selected at random and notified via email, as well as announced in a comment on this blog post. The winner will need to respond to our email no later then Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 5:00 pm CST to be eligible to claim their prize. If the prize is not claimed we will select another winner.

Interested in more recipes for bacon?’ Head on over to our new site, eatpork.org, for recipes, coupons and more!

Manhattan – Call Hall Dairy Bar

If you have ever enjoyed an ice cream cone from the Call Hall Dairy Bar located on the campus of Kansas State University, than you already know about the best place in Kansas to get ice cream. They have many wonderful selections including purple pride, 150 (celebrating the birthday of K-State), vanilla, chunky vanilla, chocolate and strawberry.

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Did you know that the Call Hall Dairy Bar is also one of the best places in Kansas to get pork? They have cooler after cooler of “Wildcat Brand” frozen meats including all your traditional pork favorites of ribs, bacon, pork burger, chops and roast. These delicious pork products are processed right on campus by college of agriculture students.

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They also carry a lot of specialty items like sausages, por-con (pork and bacon) burger, pig’s feet and other hard to find items. Some of my personal Call Hall pork favorites include German bologna and pepperoni snack sticks. Next time you are in Manhattan for a game or just stopping in for an ice cream cone, be sure to pack your cooler and go home with a generous supply of pork. Not only will you support Kansas State University, but your stomach will thank you too!

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Until next time,
Chris

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