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Shawnee – Anita’s

If you’re in the mood for quick Mexican food, but want a slightly different twist on it, consider trying some Salvadorian cuisine. If you’re looking for a place to try such food, then think about trying Anita’s Cuisine in Shawnee. Anita’s is located just north of Johnson Drive on Merriam Drive on the west side of I-35 (across the highway from IKEA), so it is very easy to get to.

While most of the ingredients are the similar to those in Mexican food, there are some major differences among the actual dishes they prepare. One big difference between Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine is the “Papusa”. A Papusa is a large handmade tortilla (can be either corn or flour) that is stuffed with cheese and refried beans and sometimes meat before it is thrown on the flat top (think of a quesadilla that has its edges sealed).

Of course I tried one at Anita’s, and you know I got pork in it. The style of pork they use is called “chicharrón,” which is finely ground pork and not to be confused with pork rinds that are sold in the U.S. that are called “chicharrónes.” I also had carnitas flautas and they were absolutely delicious. They were crispy on the outside and contained perfectly cooked carnitas on the inside. The salsa was outstanding too, and it paired well with the homemade tortilla chips. To learn more about Anita’s, see their specials, or see more pictures of food, go to their Facebook page.

In summary, all I can say is go try this place if you’re in the area. If you like it, you’ll probably want to try “El Pulgarcito” as well, which is another highly rated Salvadorian restaurant that is just south on Merriam Drive. I have not tried that one yet, but will be doing so soon!

 

Overland Park – Fireside BBQ

One of the (relatively) new kids on the block in the KC BBQ scene is Fireside BBQ in Overland Park. Fireside opened in 2014, so it’s been around just long enough to gain a good reputation in the area, and for good reason as I found out on my visit there awhile back. It is owned and run by a former Overland Park firefighter who has a history of successful BBQ competition, as well as cooking for his fellow firefighters on a regular basis!

The place is tucked away at 10400 Mastin St. (just NE of the Hwy 69/I-435 interchange) in a location you’d have to be looking for to find, but it’s worth the effort to get there as far as I can tell. While it sits in an unassuming strip mall, the inside of Fireside is neatly decorated with lots of firefighting related memorabilia and décor (notice the lights are made out of fire extinguishers) that you’d just have to see in person to appreciate.

On my recent stop there, I had a sandwich with pulled pork and pork sausage on it, and added a couple rib bones to my meal ($2.45 each) just for good measure. I’m glad I did, as the ribs were terrific. All the meats were served dry, and tasted great. They paired well with the different sauces they had to offer. The fries were excellent too (and also good with all the sauces). I really can’t say enough that this place is a hidden gem that deserves to be held in the same regard as many of the other top BBQ joints around the area.

Dodge City – Taco Trucks

Dodge City is an iconic American city with historic western heritage. It is the ending point of the great western cattle drives and the location for the classic western radio and television show Gunsmoke.  It’s a city that still retains, and is proud of its western flavor. The area is surrounded by cattle feeding companies, dairy farms, ranches, and beef processing businesses.

Dodge City also has a vibrant, thriving Hispanic culture. With that in mind, I was happy to take a recent business trip to this Southwest Kansas community, because I knew I would be in for some great Mexican food! My friend Andrea Burns and I visited several food trucks, located throughout the city. These food trucks are a fun an inexpensive way to grab a quick meal! For consistency, we tried the pork tacos at each location. Unique differences were noticeable at each food truck. Some tacos were spicier, some juicer, and some noticeably more mild than others. All were very good!

If you’re looking for a fun way to try out some inexpensive and authentic Mexican food, get the heck into Dodge, and check out the food trucks!

Until next time,

Chris

Louisburg – Timbercreek Grill & Bar

While there aren’t many non-fast food places to eat in Louisburg, they do have Timbercreek Grill & Bar, so maybe quality over quantity is the way to go for them. I can’t say I can argue, as I found Timbercreek to be a one-stop shop for food and drink needs. It sports a menu filled with all sorts of basic “bar and grill” meals and comfort food, a full range of BBQ (and BBQ catering), and even brunch on Sundays. Throw in a bunch of TVs, a small concert area for the weekends, and a full bar and you have the entire array of food, drink, and entertainment possibilities that a town could need.

On my recent stop there I tried the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich (as it was the lunch special that day). This tenderloin was amazingly good, and wasn’t the size of a dinner plate either, which I liked. It was seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. The breading was crisp like KFC chicken and seasoned perfectly. The meat was a tender and juicy whole cut of tenderloin and not one of those chicken nugget-like pressed together things like you might find in a school cafeteria.

If you find yourself going through the area plan to stop in and try it out. I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did. I am for sure going to head back down to try the pulled pork and the ribs some weekend, or perhaps the “chicken fried pork” dinner if I’m not in the mood for BBQ!

Until next time,

Mike

Kansas City – Danny Edwards

Danny Edwards Blvd Barbecue is located at 2900 SW Blvd. in Kansas City and is one of the city’s iconic barbecue joints. Danny’s father started Jake’s Barbecue during the late 1930’s and Danny started his own place in 1980. After a few name and location changes he wound up at his current location, where he has been since 2007.

Danny Edwards Blvd Barbecue is open Monday through Saturday from 11-3 only, so the clientele is often made up of area workers, who are quick to fill the place up.  I suggest arriving early in order to get a good seat. This place offers all the traditional meats and sides you would expect to find in a Kansas City style barbecue joint. For pork lovers, this means meaty ribs, ham, and pulled pork, all of which can be ordered by the plate or on a sandwich. (See the menu here.)

If you are not familiar with this area of Kansas City, but you love great food, you owe it to yourself to spend some time on Southwest Boulevard. This area is also home to Rosedale Barbeque (another Kansas City classic) and El Patron along with several other great Mexican restaurants.  Additionally, this neighborhood is very close to the Crossroads District, one of the area’s most popular food, arts, and entertainment centers.  Check it out next time you are in Kansas City.

Shawnee – Blind Box BBQ

Recently I had the pleasure of trying a new BBQ place here in the KC metro called Blind Box BBQ. It’s pretty easy to find if you’re in the area, as it is about 2.5 miles east of I-435, located off Shawnee Mission Parkway and Pflumm, in the Mill Creek Shopping Center. (3214 w 62nd Terrace, Shawnee)

People had been mostly raving about it online so I was pretty excited to get up there and try it out. I must say, if you enjoy lots of drink options, a lively atmosphere, and a nice clean place to eat, you maybe should be interested in Blind Box. I should also mention that the food was excellent.

I had the Combo #1 from the menu which included pork sausage and pork ribs, along with burnt ends and 2 sides. My wife had a pulled pork sandwich and my daughter had a ham sandwich (not pictured). I sampled the meat from both of their sandwiches and though it was awesome. The ham really stood out to me for some reason. It was way above average as far as ham goes in KC BBQ places! On my plate I found the ribs to be cooked perfectly and the sausage to be made with good quality meat and seasoned about right. The sides we had (onion straws, fries, beans) were all very, very good too.

I really wish I lived closer to Blind Box because it’s the type of place I could see myself going to regularly, but I do live close enough that I will for sure be back pretty soon to start trying some more of the menu items.

Kansas City – The North End KC

 

The North End KC, located at 910 E. 5th St in Kansas City, is rapidly gaining in popularity. In fact most of the reviews for this place are pretty stellar.  As the name implies, the restaurant and bar is located just north of the downtown area, in the historic Columbus Park neighborhood, an area with heavy Italian influence. In fact, the entire building is pretty noticeable, as it is painted with the colors of the Italian flag. The building is the former home of the La Sala Deli, and according to the North End website, has been an eatery of some sort for 90 years.

The North End has a menu with a lot of variety and they offer delivery.  Much of their recent popularity relates to their weekend specials. With this in mind, fellow blogger Mike and I had to check the place out. We ordered two of their pork offerings including the giant pork tenderloin and a sandwich called the trap, which includes capacola, genoa salami, mortadella, provolone cheese, and is topped with giardiniera.

According to Wikipedia, “The Italian version (of giardiniera) includes bell peppers, celery, carrots, cauliflower and gherkins. The pickled vegetables are marinated in oil, red- or white-wine vinegar, herbs and spices.”

I’ll admit that I was a bit skeptical of the salad on my sandwich at first, but I’ll be honest with you, it was one of the best sandwiches I have ever tried. If you find yourself near downtown Kansas City, it’s worth the short trip to the North End KC for the trap!

Kansas City -Hawg Jaw Que and Brew

I’d been hearing about Hawg Jaw Que and Brew up in Riverside, MO, for quite a while, and reading some rave reviews of it, so I decided to go try it. While the place is on a fairly major road (address is 4403 NW Gateway Ave. Riverside, MO 64150 but Gateway Ave is also U.S. Hwy 69), it isn’t exactly easy to get to from the interstates. However, if you follow the directions of your GPS, you will get there without issues.

Hawg Jaw is located in an eccentric little building that looks like it could be a pretty fun place, especially when the weather is nice and you can take advantage of the abundant outdoor seating. They have a great selection of bottled craft beer and a creative menu that has a little more to it than just regular old BBQ.

On our visit we tried the “Hawg Trough Sampler” which is exactly what it sounds like. It contained a lot of pork (pulled pork, sausage, ribs and ham) along with a few other meats (turkey and beef). The meat was all pretty good stuff, but was highlighted by the ribs, which had a good rub on them and were cooked just about right. The fries tasted great and I thought the sauce was good too. An added touch as far as the food goes is that they serve it with Texas toast instead of room temperature white bread which you normally get with BBQ!

Hawg Jaw is also pretty close to the Argosy Casino, so consider checking it out if you’re ever staying at the casino or looking for a place to eat other than the casino. There’s some other stuff on the menu that sounds really good and there’s a cooler full of ice cold longnecks in there, so in my world that means it worth checking out again one of these days!

Until next time,

Mike

 

Wichita – Bricktown Brewery

If you find yourself in Wichita and are looking for a fun environment to grab a beer and get your pork eating on, consider Bricktown Brewery. Bricktown is an Oklahoma City based brewery and eatery that actually has two locations in Wichita. On this trip to Ta-town I went to the “Wichita west” location (2142 N Tyler Rd) and tried one of their wood fire pizzas.

The pizza was appropriately named “The Carnivore,” as it was loaded with Italian sausage, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, hamburger and regular bacon for good measure. Needless to say, it was loaded with some pork, and it tasted great. All the meats had awesome flavor and the crust was just what you’d want from a wood fire pizza.

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If you find yourself near Bricktown Brewery go check it out. It has nice drink selections and food that is several notches above normal “sports bar” fare, but still has a sports bar atmosphere.  If pizza isn’t your thing, perhaps consider the “Pork on Pork (bacon and pulled pork on a pretzel bun) or the pulled pork nacho appetizer!

Until next time,

Mike

 

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