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Lawrence – 715

According to the February 2015 edition of Feast Magazine, “Where We’re Dining KS” is at 715 located at 715 Massachusetts St. in Lawrence, Kansas. Coincidentally, former Douglas County Horticulture Extension Agent Jennifer Smith suggested that 715 might have some great pork on the menu, and with that in mind, I should check out the possibility of dining there someday.

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I just happened to walk by 715 one unseasonably warm winter afternoon while hanging out with my friends Phillip and Sydney Pursel.  Phillip and Sydney are father and daughter, respectively, and both are extremely talented Native American artists. We were walking down Mass Street and were looking for a place hang out and kill some time prior to attending a Powwow at Haskell Indian Nations University. As we passed by 715, it was suggested that we should stop, and I’m sure glad we did.

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We ordered off of the happy hour (3:00 pm- 6:00 pm) menu and dined on pork meatballs and the popular menu item prosciutto di parma (one of three prosciutto options). The happy hour menu features some fantastic food and drink specials.

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We were fortunate enough to run into Pam, a local herb farmer, who offered great suggestions and comments about 715. She told us that the meatballs were phenomenal and that she never tires of them.  I could certainly eat plenty of them myself without tiring. They were extremely delicious.

According to the Feast Magazine article, 715 is a “European-style bistro.” Having never been to Europe, I really can’t say. Having been all over Kansas, I can say that the atmosphere is strongly similar to another favorite Kansas restaurant; Bourbon and Baker located in Manhattan, Kansas.  Both restaurants are great places to eat pork, drink, see and be seen.

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – El Patrón Cocina & Bar

As Southwest Boulevard leaves Kansas and enters the western edge of Kansas City, MO, it will lead you to an amazing collection of Mexican restaurants all mashed in about a 2 mile stretch of road. Some might even say if you’re standing in the right place, you couldn’t swing a dead cat and not hit a Mexican place. While that might be a bit of a reach, there are certainly plenty to choose from.KPABlogsJan15 006

The one I want to focus on for now though is El Patrón Cocina & Bar. Located on SW Blvd., just under a mile north of the intersection of 7th St/Rainbow Blvd/Hwy 169 and SW Blvd, El Patrón, like most authentic Mexican places, has a nice variety of delicious ways to eat pork.

While I had the pork tamale on my visit, you also have many other pork choices. Besides tamales, you have the easy options to go with pork in your burrito or chimichanga. There are several pork options when it comes to tacos as well, such as “El Pastor” style tacos, and salsa verde tacos. If you’re in the mood for breakfast at noon, maybe try the eggs and Chorizo sausage. My best advice however is to just check out the menu, and see for yourself!

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Of course, no visit to a Mexican restaurant would be complete without trying a Margarita. I had heard rumors that El Patrón made the best Margarita in Kansas City, and the rumors proved to be fact based. I can’t say it’s the best, but I can’t think you’ll find one any better anywhere else.

Until next time.

Mike

Iola – Bolling’s Meat Market and Deli

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Bolling’s Meat Market and Deli, located at 201 S. State Iola, Kansas is a one-stop meat shop. The same family also owns the Moran Locker in Moran, Kansas, so they are well versed in the meat business.

The meat market has everything you would expect a meat market to have. What they don’t have, they are willing to order for you. I ordered several pounds of meat from them for a barbecue last summer and got a great deal. Keep this mind if you are an area competition barbecue enthusiast. They will also ship meat nationwide, for those outside of the Iola, Kansas, area.

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Alongside the meat market is a fantastic deli. The menu includes sandwiches that come in #8, #12, #24, #36 and #72.  This is not a reference to the length of the sandwich, but to the slices of meat. The #72 features a full two pounds of meat!

I prefer the #12. One of my favorites is the #12, with ham, capicola (a traditional Italian pork cold cut made from the dry-cured muscle running from the neck to the 4th or 5th rib of the pork shoulder or neck) – and bacon. This is a pork lover’s special!

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Bolling’s Meat Market and Deli and Around the Corner Coffee and Eatery are two of my favorite Iola restaurants. Look For Around the Corner in an upcoming blog and check out Bolling’s Meat market and Deli.

Until next time.

Chris

Kansas City – Char Bar

Char Bar is another choice in a string of newly-opened Kansas City Barbecue restaurants. And Like Slaps, Q39 and Plowboys, it is the creation of a former competition barbecue team. In this case the team was Meat Mitch and the award winning pitmaster associated with Char Bar is team captain Mitch Benjamin.KPABlogsJan15 023

The Restaurant is located at 4050 Pennsylvania Avenue in Kansas City. Country music aficionados may recognize this location as it is the home of the former country dance hall The Beaumont Club. A search through the photographs on their website will bring up pictures of their transformation from dance hall to restaurant. Their barbecue certainly puts them in the above average category and their house sauce is one of the best in Kansas City. They also have a sauce that reminds me of Arthur Bryant’s. The atmosphere of Char Bar reminds me quite a bit of Q39.KPABlogsJan15 019

According to the Char Bars website, their “menu will feature southern-inspired items, such as fried green tomatoes, lobster deviled eggs, smoked duck gumbo and buckets of tabasco-honey fried chicken. A sizeable American craft beer list will complement creative southern-inspired craft cocktails and regional aged bourbons.”

I didn’t venture into any of the southern inspired dishes, but I did have the pork, was impressed by the drink options and will go back to this place again!

Until next time.

Chris

Sedan – Buck’s BBQ

I first heard about Bucks BBQ about four years ago when I asked the good folks at the Kansas Sampler Foundation to put the word out as to where I could get barbecue in Kansas. A few people mentioned Bucks BBQ and Steaks, located just outside the ranching community of Sedan. Sedan is located in a small but unique geographic region of the state known as the Chautauqua Hills. This area is a must-see for geography and geology buffs alike.KPA Blog Pics 009

Bucks BBQ offers a respite for travelers, as you will find rental cabins and an r.v. park located adjacent to the restaurant.  The restaurant offers a cozy cabin style atmosphere complete with deer heads and a fine license plate collection.

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My meal consisted of the three meat combo and two sides.The sides were certainly above average.  I like to order combo platters when available because they give me the opportunity to try a larger variety of pork offerings. I was pleased to see bologna on the menu at Bucks BBQ. For more information about smoked bologna, see my blog entry about Phelp’s Hog Heaven in Coffeyville, Kansas.

I was told that Bucks BBQ offers some fantastic pie, but I was too stuffed to try any. Next time I may go ahead and try the pie and then roll myself out the door and into one of the cabins!

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Until next time.

Chris

Fort Scott – Common Ground

Common Ground, as the catchy name implies, is a coffee shop. It is the only coffee shop in Fort Scott, Kansas, and is located in the historic downtown area, just a couple of blocks due south of the Fort Scott National Historic Site.

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Like any good coffee shop, the java is above average, the wireless internet connection is good and the music is eclectic. Unlike many other coffee shops, they have BACON! Specifically, they have maple bacon pecan muffins that are out of this world. These yummy bacon beauties are typically made in very small batches on Sundays and are sold out very early in the week.  I tell you this so you can be sure to come in on a Sunday or Monday morning and get one that fresh.

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Common Ground also offers great Panini sandwiches with delicious thin sliced bacon.  They offer several food and drink specials including text message deals, happy hour specials and frequent drink purchase cards where every eleventh drink is free. Throughout the year Common Ground hosts many entertainment opportunities including a wide range of musical acts. One of my favorite acts was a wonderful Caribbean steel drum band that passed through the area last summer.  In addition to food, drinks and music, Common Ground holds an artist display featuring works from many local and area artist and host an active weekly knitting group.

IMG_0479_1IMG_0477_1These events and activities make Common Ground a community hub, which is a goal of the coffee shop as an outreach of the local Nazarene Church. Since the coffee shop is a part of the church, Common Ground is home to a non-traditional Sunday morning worship session that features a recorded message and a comprehensive discussion of the message.  Whether you need caffeine, bacon or the good Lord above, Common Ground is the coffee house for you.

Until next time,

Chris

Hallowell – Angelo’s Deli

On a recent trip through southeast Kansas, a particular restaurant I wanted to try was not yet open for the day. I called my friend Mike, originally from the area, and asked him for some other suggestions. He told me that I should try Angelo’s Deli in the rural community of Hallowell, Kansas.  Hallowell is located in an area once heavily stripped mined for coal. Angelo’s is the perfect place to get a bite to eat after a visit to Big Brutus, a gigantic electric coal shovel, visible for miles around and just a short drive northeast to West Mineral, Kansas.

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Mike described the place, quite accurately, as the “last outpost in Cherokee County”.  Angelo’s Deli does have all that you would expect a deli to have in the way of your basic meat and cheeses, but they also have a kitchen with hot foods (including a pork tenderloin), cold beer, snacks and fishing bait and tackle. I began to order the Angelo’s Special, a sandwich with ham and two types of salami. Before finalizing my order, I noticed that it also came in a “super” with 30 percent more meat. If you know me, you know I’m all about more pork, so I couldn’t resist the attempting the super! This sandwich comes with a “secret sauce” that is somewhat similar to what you would find on a big mac. I was unsure if I would like the sauce or not, but as it turns out, it pairs extremely well with the pork filled deli meat selection you get with the Angelo’s Special.

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The afternoon of my vist, the deli had a lively crowd of friendly locals, with much discussion of the day centering on recent wet conditions.  While researching the place, I came across a quote about the deli also being a good place to get information about fishing and even your love life.   Whether you need a bite to eat after a trip to Big Brutus, want to know where the fish are biting, or if you should bite the bullet and ask for date, Angelo’s Deli is the place for you!

Until next time,
Chris

Marysville – Wagon Wheel

The Pony Express may be what makes Marysville famous to Kansans, but the city has managed to survive just fine since the closure of the storied equine-based mail system in 1861. In my opinion, part of a small town surviving is its ability to keep a hometown restaurant in operation, and Marysville has succeeded in that. A block south of modern day US Hwy 36, you’ll find the “Wagon Wheel Restaurant”. It’s pretty much the epitome of a small town diner as far as I’m concerned.

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Like most small town diners, you will find a quality pork tenderloin sandwich on the menu, and if you’re lucky it might even be the lunch special! When it happens that you’re on a mission to eat pork, you order this sandwich and eat it! The pork tenderloin sandwich at Wagon Wheel is definitely worth ordering if you ever find yourself in Marysville, USA.

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If you are lucky enough to find yourself there, you should also consider the more adventurous “Kill Bill” sandwich. It is nothing more than pork tenderloin, sliced ham, bacon, pepper jack cheese, and chipotle mayo all on a toasted pretzel bun. While I was not quite hungry enough to tie that one on the day I was there, I walk away from Wagon Wheel thinking that if you tried it, you would not be disappointed (or hungry).

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Until next time,
Mike

Kansas City – Grinders Pizza

Grinders Pizza located at 417 E. 18th St near downtown Kansas City is a local favorite. According to their website, they are “located in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District, serves up great food and drinks seven days a week. Check out our specialty New York-style pizzas, authentic Philly cheese steaks, homemade burgers, deli sandwiches, fresh salads, house-smoked specials and world famous Death Wings. Wash it all down with a selection from the most eclectic beer list in Kansas City.”

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They have another restaurant, Grinders West, located immediately next door.  Directly behind Grinders is the famous Crossroads, an outdoor music venue featuring some of the music industry’s most famous acts. This place is a one stop shop for cool.  What is even cooler?  They have a pizza on the menu called the Le Hog.

This pizza is described as;

“A serious flesh feast! Creamy white sauce, 100% real crispy bacon bits, canadian bacon, ham, and meatballs.”

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It would be pretty hard to pack more pork onto a pizza than you can get with the Le Hog.  They also have burgers, wings salads, and an extensive drink menu. Additionally, Grinders has been featured the Food Network television show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives and the Destination America television show Barbecue Pitmasters, where they proudly represented Kansas City Style barbecue.

The Le Hog is delicious, the beer is cold and the concerts rock. This is a place in Kansas City you can’t miss.

Until next time,
Chris

Kansas City – SLAP’s BBQ

The Kansas City BBQ scene is littered with literally dozens of places that tried to stake a claim in an already busy arena, but could just never get a foothold, and slowly disappeared into thin air. On my latest quest to try all things BBQ in this city, I think I found a real keeper in SLAP’S BBQ (SLAP is the acronym for “Squeal Like A Pig”). Located in Kansas City, KS, SLAP’s is absolutely worth your time, and hopefully won’t be going away anytime soon. It might seem a bit hard to find, found at 533 Central Ave. in KCK, but it really is easy to get to. It’s just a few blocks west of I-70 on Central Ave., situated very close to the I70/Central Ave. interchange.

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While finding SLAP’s is no big deal, finding a place to park might be. The parking lot is a bit limited on what it can hold, but there is enough street side parking that you can make it work. Trust me; you’ll want to go through the effort to park, as the food is worth it. These people put some serious thought and work into the meat (including pork OF COURSE).

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The ribs were hands down as good as anything I’ve had in the KC area. The pulled pork was excellent as well. You can tell with smoked pork shoulder when the meat is fresh or not, and believe me, this stuff is fresh and of the highest quality. The selection of sides is pretty unique too, as they have twice-baked potato casserole, and hush puppies, two things I have not seen at any other BBQ places around here.

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I’d recommend if you’re in from out of town perhaps trying the place at a time other than right at noon (and it’s not open in the evening), as finding a place to park and a place to sit will be a bit easier. Getting the meat to go is always an option too. Either way, if you’re into trying new and uniquely good Kansas City BBQ, you‘d be doing yourself a disservice by not trying SLAP’s.

Until next time,
Mike

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It’s time for a contest!

We are giving away three prize packs, yes I said three!

These prize packs include a 4-piece EatPork.org grill set and a “Baconologist” t-shirt. Both prizes are pictured below.

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Here’s how you can win:

Our bloggers are always looking for new places to go and try pork dishes.

Tell us, where would you recommend they eat at in Kansas? What pork dish should they order?

Leave a comment to let us know your answer on this post.  The contest will close on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 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 Thursday, February 12, 2015 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 healthy recipes to help spice up your New Year’s resolution?’ Head on over to our site, eatpork.org, for recipes, coupons and more!

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