If you like the concept of places like Qdoba or Chipotle, but want pizza instead of tacos, go check out MOD Pizza when you get a chance. MOD Pizza is a Seattle-based chain that was started by husband and wife Scott and Aly Svenson. They call their product “individual artisan style pizzas” and the way it works is they build it right on front of you just like the burrito shops; the only difference is the pizza then goes in a wood-fire oven for a few minutes after it’s assembled.
Now branching far from Seattle, MOD recently moved into the shopping and dining area near I-35 and 151st St. in Olathe (20152 W 153rd St, Olathe, KS 66062) so it’s very accessible from some major roads. They also have locations in Missouri in Raymore, Liberty, and North KC.
I timed the process on my stop at MOD Pizza, and it was about 8 minutes after I paid before my pizza was ready. I had time on my hands, but it looked so good I couldn’t wait and got a good case of mouth roof peel from my piping hot pizza, but it was worth it. The pizza is very good. The crust is crisp, yet a bit chewy still and the toppings I had were very good quality and had great flavor. I had sausage, bacon, and Canadian bacon along with some mushrooms and black olives on my pizza.
The subject of toppings leads me to another cool thing about MOD Pizza. No matter how many toppings you choose, the price stays the same ($7.87 plus tax at the time of my visit). With over 30 toppings to choose from and a set price, the flavor combinations are practically endless and also wallet-friendly! I think the idea of a flat rate is pretty neat, because you can only fit so much stuff on a pizza, so if you want 12 different things on it, you just don’t get a lot of each one, but all the flavors are there and you don’t get gouged for 50 cents per topping like some other places.
All in all, MOD Pizza appears to be a great mixture of the speed and fun of the burrito places with the satisfaction of a nice wood-fire pizza as your meal. When affordability is considered, I see MOD Pizza as a strong player going forward in the new “artisan” fast food scene.
Until next time,
In the old Armourdale district of Kansas City, Kan., sits one of the best Mexican grocery stores and taco shops I’ve ever set foot in. If you’re looking for cheap, good tacos on days of the week not named Tuesday, then look no further than Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio! These tacos are legit “street taco” style tacos and right in front of the counter are all the self-serve taco fixings a person could imagine.
The tacos were excellent the day fellow blogger Chris Petty and I ate there. Obviously we both went for the pork, so I had the carnitas and he had al pastor tacos. Everything about them was perfect. The meat was tender and had so much flavor I hardly needed to add anything else to them, and the fresh tortillas were incredible as well.
The store also has about every meat, side dish, fruit, and drink you could possibly need to prepare a traditional Mexican meal. They also have huge bin of hot Chicharróns (pork rinds) that are scooped out to order, if you’re into those! Overall I can’t recommend this place enough to anyone looking for authentic tacos and other Mexican foods. Located just south of I-70 and few blocks east of 10th street on Kansas Avenue, it is very easy to get to from I-70 or from I-35 (via 7th Street).
Until next time,
If you’re a fan of old school drive-in food then make sure to stop at “Bobo’s Drive In” next time you’re going through Topeka. It’s just south of I-70 on MacVicar Ave. at the 10th St. intersection, so it is quite easy to find if you’re going down I-70. There are no fancy screens or buttons to push and microphones to order through. You pull in and someone will come out and take your order. There is some limited seating inside too if you’re not looking to eat in your car.
On my stop there back in the summer I got the pork tenderloin and onion rings, which are solid choices to eat anytime you’re at a place like this. The tenderloin was not huge which doesn’t make an impressive picture, but it is a reasonable sized portion for someone on the go without the ability to take home leftovers. The tenderloin was really good though. It didn’t have too much breading and had a very nice amount of seasoning in the breading. The rings were good too, though maybe a bit messy to eat in the truck cab!
If you do find yourself wanting to try Bobo’s, be patient if you’re there around lunch hour, as there aren’t very many parking places, and the spots are fairly small. If you can work through these issues, you can experience a great local eatery that Topeka residents have been enjoying since the 1950’s!
Hidden in a small strip mall in a part of Lenexa you almost have to accidentally get to is some of the best pizza you will find in the KC metro. While there is seemingly a new pizza place opening somewhere in the area every day, “Pizza Man” in Lenexa has stood the test of time by staying true to its Chicago-style thin crust pizza since 1988. After trying a pizza from there it’s hard to argue with their formula for success.
I had a small pizza (9”) with about all the pork he could put on it (bacon, sausage and Canadian bacon) along with a few veggies. I must say, the combination of crust style, sauce flavor, and quality of the toppings made it one of the better pizzas I’ve ever eaten. It was so simple, yet so satisfying!
The large menu behind the counter says right on it “A taste of Chicago.” The walls of the place are lined with Windy City-themed sports figures and you can also get Chicago-style hot dogs that the KC area Chi-town transplants say are the best Chicago Dogs in all of KC. Along with the dogs and pizza they have Italian Sausage sandwiches and Polish sausages too. Check out the picture of the menu to get a full grasp of what all they have since they do not have a website.
Pizza Man is located on Pflumm Rd., right near 103rd St. at 10212 Pflumm Rd, Lenexa, KS 66215. If you picture the gigantic I-435/I-35 interchange, it is right next to that interchange in the NE “quadrant” of the crossroads. It’s not the easiest place to get to, but well worth your time in my opinion. The day I was in there his lunch special was Deep Dish pizza by the slice. I do plan on looking into how often he does that and going back for a piece or two of that stuff one of these days.
Nestled in the “Little Russia” area of northeast Topeka you will find CW Porubsky Grocery and Meats. Since 1947 Porubsky’s has been there serving meals to the small German community and to passing railroad workers at times as well. The Little Russia area of Topeka actually has German heritage, as the “Russians” were actually the Volga Germans (from Russia technically).
In the winter they are known for their chili, and year round they are known for their hot pickles (horseradish hot) and their pimento cheese spread (which also comes in a hot version too). If you want to feel like you stepped back in time about 30 years all while grabbing some spicy pickles and a deli sandwich with copious amounts of meats and cheeses, then this is your place.
They also carry basic groceries and necessities and have a small tavern built onto the east side of the building where you can grab a beer and look at the pictures (with autographs!) of all the big name Kansas politicians that have frequented the place over the decades. Their rule on having your picture on the wall as a politician is you have to come in and eat there and meet them first. You have to earn your spot on that wall!
While there earlier this year I grabbed a sandwich from the deli and headed through the doorway down into the tavern to eat it and wash it down with a cold drink. The sandwich was piled high with ham and salami and cheese. Fresh sliced Fanestil pork products (from Emporia, KS) really hot the spot that day!
If you want to learn more about Porubsky’s this article from the Topeka Capital-Journal is a great read! My next goal is to get in there during chili season and have a bowl of that and try some of those hot pickles too.
A work trip to a farm near Sycamore, Kansas, ended around lunchtime. I asked the farm family for suggestions, and they stated that I needed to check out Buster’s BBQ, Homecooking & Catering in nearby Neodesha.
Buster’s, located at1223 N 8th Street, is currently in the process of expanding their business building. The kitchen is still open for business, and there is picnic table seating available under the shade tree’s outside.
Buster’s BBQ, Homecooking & Catering has a limited, but reasonably priced menu that features “The Buster”. The Buster is a pork eater’s delight! It is piled high with enough pulled pork, pork belly and bacon to feed two hungry people. In fact, it is a one pound sandwich! The buster comes with “baconator sauce” a bacon infused special topping. While not a typical barbecue sauce, it is still enjoyable.
Buster’s BBQ, Homecooking & Catering is a place I look forward to trying again, once their remodel is complete, and I suggest that you do too!
If cooking sausage is something you enjoy then checking out Krizman’s House of Sausage in Kansas City, KS is an absolutely must for you. It’s fairly easy to get to at 424 N 6th St. near downtown KCK, and definitely worth the trip if you enjoy a great selection of old-world sausage recipes. Krizman’s was opened originally as a grocery store in 1939 by Joseph Krizman and his brother in-law. The 2 men were Croatian refugees that had worked in the Kansas City packing plants for some time before starting the business. They used their old-world sausage recipes to make and sell sausage out of the store to the residents of KCK’s Strawberry Hill area.
When I was at the store I was looking for a few ways I could try out their pork products. I bought a pound of ground pork shoulder, a stick of summer sausage, and a package of what they call “Barbequed Polish” sausage. The Barbequed Polish is a sausage that dozens of big name BBQ restaurants around Kansas City buy wholesale and cook themselves to serve off their own menus.
I took my mouthwatering haul home and started trying it when I got chances. I started with the pre-cooked summer sausage. It is part pork and part beef like a lot of summer sausage recipes. The sausage was great quality and had a perfectly balance of seasonings and of course paired well with some sharp cheddar cheese!
The ground pork was the next thing I tried when the weather let me fire up the Weber and grill some pork burgers. I hit them with some cherry and pecan smoke before throwing them over the coals and finishing them up. The grind on that stuff was just right and the ratio of lean to fat was on point, like you’d expect from ground pork shoulder. It made some truly delicious pork burgers and my only regret was not buying more of it.
After a few weeks I FINALLY got to try the Barbequed Polish sausage. I smoked them in the Weber using indirect heat and a blend of apple, cherry and pecan wood. I sliced them up and gave them a quick dip in Joe’s KC BBQ sauce and it was absolutely wonderful. They were smoky, tender, and most importantly high quality, which is something I really appreciate with ground meats.
Outside of the things I bought that day you can get many other sausage types from Krizman’s, such as knackwurst, andouille, Italian, and Chorizo. They also sell sour kraut, a few cheeses, and some old world breads so you can make a whole meal if you want!
Until next time,
If you’re looking for “hole in the wall” type, old school fast food, then a place worth checking out is Christy’s Tasty Queen in Kansas City, KS. Located at 1405 South 55th St., Christy’s isn’t exactly easy to find, but once you study up on this place you might see that it is worth your time.
Christy’s doesn’t do much advertising, so their popularity usually only grows by word of mouth. It tends to be a local favorite in the old Turner community of KCK, but most around KC will tell you though that Christy’s serves one of the best, if not the best, pork Tenderloins in the city. After hearing that, I decided it was time to go check it out. One day back in March, fellow blogger Chris Petty and I stopped in and split a tenderloin and onion ring order. Thankfully it wasn’t too cold of a day, because Christy’s has no indoor seating. In fact, the only seating they have is a picnic table outside!
While the seating was Spartan to say the least, there was nothing frugal about that tenderloin or the amount of those delicious onion rings you get. I can now see why this place has been going strong for over 50 years now! They serve up a giant tenderloin that was, as far as I can tell, about perfectly cooked. It could have perhaps used some more seasoning on the meat or in the breading, but it was thick and juicy, and crispy on the outside which made up for the possible lack of seasoning.
Aside from a wide variety of “fast food” products, Christy’s also serves ice cream in many various forms, so you really can’t go wrong with this place! Check out my pictures of the menu and of our order, and you may soon be figuring out how and when to go try this hidden gem of Kansas City.
Until next time,
When asked what the best restaurant in Winfield is, many local residents will tell you that it is Biederman’s Bistro. The downtown restaurant, located in a building built in 1872 and remodeled into a restaurant space in 2004, is named after a pet turtle.
My visit took place during a busy Friday in April. The lunch crowd had filled the place nearly to capacity, and therefore service was a bit slow, but it was worth the wait. Everything looked and tasted as it was prepared fresh, rather than being quicker (but less tasty) food service fare.
I had a one of my favorite sandwiches, a Cuban. A Cuban is a pressed sandwich, featuring two types of pork, pickles, and cheese. What sets the Cuban sandwich at Biederman’s Bistro apart is that it features smoked pork, rather than the typical pork loin. The addition of smoked pork adds a flavor profile far above and beyond the average Cuban.
My meal also featured and appetizer of spicy fried pickles and concluded with a great slice of pie.
Winfield, Kansas has a handful of promising brand new restaurants that will have to work hard to serve pork as deliciously as Biedermans! I can’t wait to return to Winfield and see what the others offer my taste buds, as well.
Until next time,
Grandstand Burgers, located at 4942 Merriam Drive in Overland Park, KS (very close to two other KC suburbs of Shawnee and Merriam) is your classic old school burger joint…..but they also serve up one heck of a good pork tenderloin!
It’s tiny place, so I recommend going when the weather allows you to enjoy one of the many picnic tables located outside. Also, plan to spend a little time there, as they don’t claim to be fast food.
Did I mention the pork tenderloin?! I don’t normally order these, because in my opinion, if you’ve tried one, you’ve tried them all. That’s not the case at Grandstand Burgers! The pork tenderloin that they here serve is better than most! The combination of seasoning sets their pork tenderloins above many others.
Does Grandstand Burgers serve the best pork tenderloin in the Kansas City Metro area? I guess you’ll have to try it yourself to make that decision!
Until next time,