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Overland Park – Rosati’s

If you are in the mood for pizza, but possibly wanting something more unique such as Chicago deep dish pizza, then look no further than Rosati’s Pizza in Overland Park, KS. Around the KC metro, Rosati’s is known as one of the few places that Chicago transplants will trust to feed their deep dish cravings when they’re feeling a little homesick.

If “deep dish” isn’t your thing, you are in luck, as they have all other styles of pizza too. Hot sandwiches, calzones, pasta, and Chicago-style hot dogs are also on the menu if you’re not in the mood for pizza. On my latest stop I had a small “deep dish” pizza with Canadian bacon, sausage, and regular bacon on it. Carry-out deep dish pizza doesn’t photograph very well, but that thing was an incredible combo of pork, cheese, sauce, and buttery crust. Those pictures don’t even begin to describe how good that pizza was!

The one knock on Rosati’s is they are carry-out and delivery only because there is no seating inside. But being located at 9928 College Blvd. (just west of Hwy. 69), they are very close to Corporate Woods, the Overland Park Convention Center, and all the surrounding hotels. If you ever find yourself in the area and want something different and better than the usual delivery food to eat in your hotel room, consider Rosati’s!

Overland Park – Ted’s Cafe Escondido

Ted’s Café Escondido, a small Mexican chain that started in Oklahoma City, moved to Overland Park with much fanfare awhile back. I finally got around to trying Ted’s to see how their pork is. I was excited to go, as Mexican dishes made with pork are #2 only to BBQ when it comes to great ways to eat pork in my opinion! If you’re wondering where to find Ted’s, it’s southeast of the corner of 135th and Metcalf in Overland Park, so it is VERY easy to find if you’re in the area. They also have locations in northern Kansas City, MO (west of Liberty) and in Lee’s Summit if you find yourself elsewhere in the KC metro.

I would recommend finding the place if you like Mexican food. The chips are fantastic and you get complementary cheese dip with your chips and salsa. They also give you complementary, piping hot house-made tortillas too, and they were great too. I was there at lunch and ordered the lunch #1 and chose a combo of a taco and an enchilada. Both were filled with what they call “tender pork” on the menu.

The taco and enchilada were both delicious. The meat was lean and tender (I guess its name is fitting) and seasoned just enough to compliment the all the other flavors you have going on. The nice thing about their pork is you can get it put in just about any type of dish. If you want pork in a different form, they have Chorizo bean dip and Chorizo cheese dip to go with those wonderful chips, and I plan on trying some next time I’m there!

Parsons -Ernesto’s

Those who live in Parsons, Kansas, are fortunate enough to have two Mexican restaurants in their home town to choose from. As you might guess opinions and reviews about which restaurant is best vary quite widely.

One option is Ernesto’s, which is located at 200 N. Central Avenue.

Like most Mexican restaurants, Ernesto’s is a suitable place to go if you have a craving for pork.

On a recent visit, I ordered a pork carnita quesadilla. The chunks of pork in this dish are flavorful and delicious. The guacamole, which came with the dish, was also fresh and delicious. Additionally, our orders came out quickly, and our service was exceptional.

Which Parsons Mexican restaurant is best?  I guess you will just have to try them both and make that decision for yourself.

Overland Park – Dewey’s

Kansas City has lots of good choices when it comes to pizza. Dewey’s Pizza is one of the newbies on the block. According to their website, “Dewey’s is an upscale pizzeria offering gourmet pizzas and salads, with a commitment to providing exceptional hospitality. We are located in the Ranch Mart South shopping center in Overland Park, at the corner of 95th and Mission.”

Dewey’s is a small chain with other locations in St. Louis and scattered throughout Ohio.  The Overland Park location offers a modern vibe and a good location.  We went during suppertime on a Thursday, and the place was hopping!

Our server indicated that we could get any pizzas on the menu in whole or half and half combinations or any custom combination we wanted. Of course, my half had to have the pork….and lots of it!  I ordered the Don Corleone, featuring red sauce, mozzarella, pepperoni, Genoa salami, capicola ham, and oregano. This pizza was good. The refrigerated slice I ate cold for a midnight snack was even better!  I’ve been told that another “can’t miss” is the Porky Fig which has fig jam, mozzarella, fontina, prosciutto, caramelized red onions, and Gorgonzola.  I’ll have to try this one on my next visit!

As I mentioned, if you are a pizza lover in Kansas City, you have lots of choices. Why not give this Dewey’s Pizza a try?!

Lawrence – Biemer’s BBQ

If you’re in Lawrence you need to get in to Biemer’s BBQ and give it a try. It turns out you don’t have to go all the way to KC to get some really good pork in the form of KC-style BBQ! Biemer’s is very easy to get to at the intersection of 9th and Iowa, and is well worth your time in my opinion. It is also rated the 7th best place to eat in all of Lawrence according to TripAdvisor, so other people tend to agree that it’s pretty good stuff!

On my most recent stop I had the 2 meat meal with pulled pork and sausage as my choices, and then added a couple rib bones for $1.99 each. The pulled pork was seriously some quality meat that was cooked right. It was about as good as any pork you’ll find in the KC metro area. The sausage had a really nice flavor to it and the ribs were meaty and tender, but were a tad overcooked.

Overall, Biemer’s is a very nice and clean little place that sports some cool décor and a basic menu full of great smoked pork options and some great sides. I’d absolutely recommend it if you are looking for an unassuming place with simple food that’s outside of the busier parts of Lawrence.

Until next time,

Mike

Kansas City – Artego Pizza

Artego Pizza, located at 900 W.39th Street in Kansas City, (in the same strip as Q39) is a phenomenal joint. According to their website, they are “not your average pizza joint and not your average crust.” They then go on to explain something about fermentation and spice blends…. I’m not a food scientist, but whatever they are doing certainly works great. The crust is delicious and the pizza is as beautiful as it is tasty. The drink menu includes an extensive list of beer and wine to wash down all the deliciousness of the pizza.

Be prepared for loud rock music, which is fitting given the huge paintings of the rock and roll legends adorning the walls. The artwork is for sale, if you like it as much as you’ll undoubtedly like the pizza. For the pork lover, I recommend the Stockyard, which includes pepperoni, salami, Scimeca’s Italian sausage and bacon. If that’s not enough pork, they also offer Canadian bacon.  If you like cold drinks, rock and roll and great pizza, you’ll love Artego Pizza.

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – Jones BBQ

If you are looking for authentic “hole in the wall” type BBQ, you need to visit Jones BBQ in Kansas City, Kan. It’s not a place to sit down and eat, as there is no place to sit other than a picnic table outside, but if you’re looking for takeout, or to put something in the cooler to save for later, this place is absolutely worth checking out. Located at 6706 Kaw Drive in KCK, Jones BBQ is only about 5 minutes from I-70 via Turner Diagonal south or less than 15 minutes from Bonner Springs on K-32.

Jones BBQ is run by 2 sisters, Deborah and Mary. They used to operate their restaurant in downtown KCK but after a brief hiatus from the BBQ world, they are back at it. After you order, Deborah pulls the meat straight from the smoker and slices it to order. This stuff is fresh, smoky, and authentic. I had a half rack of ribs, as well as some sliced pork and pork sausage. The ribs don’t have a lot of rub, but the smoke more than makes up for it. The sliced pork was smoky and tender and the sausage had great texture and had a little kick of spice to it you don’t see coming at first!

You can get the meat either served dry or with sauce depending on what you want. The sauce is really a very good KC style sauce so be sure to take some with you to use later. The menu is very simple but has good ways to get a good sampling of the full array of their BBQ. Overall it may not be the best location, but it gets a lot of business which suggests that the food is the real deal.

Until next time,

Mike

Scammon – Josie’s Ristorante

 

Josie’s Ristorante is a hidden Southeast Kansas gem. It’s a gem that people either seem to love or hate. The haters don’t like the location, the fact that they are cash only, or the older small town atmosphere. The lovers rave about the delicious food. If you are willing to go a little bit out of your way for a fantastic meal, Josie’s will not disappoint. In fact, I once heard a rumor that when folks from Italy come to the Midwest, this is where they eat.

A couple of the delicious pork offerings on the menu include a spicy Italian sausage and a very nice double pork chop. I over indulged and ordered both! I also had a side of fettuccine alfredo, which was some of the best that I have ever eaten.

To find this hidden gem, check a roadmap (cell service is spotty in the area, so don’t count on GPS), and head slightly southwest of Pittsburg, Kansas. Make an afternoon of it, and check out Big Brutus, a gigantic coal shovel, now a museum and monument to southeast Kansas’ coal mining history.

Are you going to love or hate Josie’s Ristorante? Head down to Southeast Kansas and find out. If you are a foodie, like I am, I’m betting that you will love it, like I do!

Until next time,

Chris

Olathe – Strips Chicken Strips and Pork Burgers

I know one wouldn’t normally think of going to a place known for its chicken strips to get some good pork, but in this case you have to take my word for it! Back in September “Strips Chicken Strips and Pork Burgers” opened near downtown Olathe (1110 East Santa Fe, Olathe, KS 66061) and it is serving made from scratch chicken strips, pork burgers and sides. While I can’t vouch for the chicken at this time, I can say for sure that the pork burger with bacon is absolutely delicious. Check out all the menu items here or follow them on Facebook in order to get the full grasp of what all they serve!

The locally ground pork meat is perfectly cooked and of the highest quality. The smoky bacon on top creates a perfect flavor marriage. I had a side of their homemade potato chips which are perfectly salted and seasoned as well as being nice and crispy. Even the bun and burger fixings were just perfect quality. To top it all off, Strips makes fresh mini doughnuts on site and you can get one of those with your combo meal (or buy a whole box of them for later), which is a nice treat.

The old Wendy’s store Strips now inhabits has had its interior changed to more of a rustic country/farm décor. They even went so far as to turn a cupula from an old chicken house into a LED light fixture (see picture) which just adds to the experience. Actually, everything I’ve seen and tasted involving this place has been spot on so far. If you’re in Olathe and need a fast but GOOD meal, do yourself a favor and check this place out!

Until next time,

Mike

Overland Park – Hot Basil

I learned long ago that one can’t live on BBQ alone, so when you’re looking to eat some pork you have to branch out at times. As far as I’m concerned, one great way to do so is by going with Thai food. That’s what led me to “Hot Basil” in Overland Park recently.

Hot Basil is located in a strip mall in the Rosana Square shopping center near 119th and Metcalf (7528 West 119th Street Overland Park, Kansas 66213) and is very easy to find. While its outside appearance might be a bit non-descript, the flavors they’re churning out inside are anything but boring!

I tried the “Basil Fried Rice” which allows for the addition of one meat. Pork was the obvious choice here, so I ordered that combination to try. I can see why the reviews of this place are so positive! That food was delicious. Tons of flavor, a lot of heat, and tender slices of pork. What’s not to love??

I would mention that you’d better be able to handle some spice if you ever plan on getting it, and DO NOT add any extra hot sauce until you try it in its original state! Go try it out sometime if you’re in the area. If you like this type of food you won’t be disappointed.

Until next time,

Mike