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Arkansas City – Big-N-Small’s BBQ

Unfortunately this restaurant is no longer open.

My favorite barbecue restaurants have always been in or around Kansas City…until now.  I’ve found a place with smoked meat to rival much of what Kansas City has to offer.  The place is Big – N- Small’s BBQ located in Arkansas City, Kansas. bignsmalls5 The first time I had their delicious food, it came from a concession trailer they have set up during the warmer seasons in Winfield, Kansas, the home of the famous Walnut Valley Music Festival. It was so good that I had to try the original location at 1438 N. Summit, Arkansas City, Kansas. This place isn’t very big, and the service wasn’t extremely fast, but I wouldn’t let that stop you from checking it out. bignsmalls1The first thing I noticed was the fantastic aroma of wood smoke rolling out of a covered shelter behind the restaurant. The shelter holds their homemade smoker. Once my combo platter arrived I was excited to taste the same delicious wood smoke permeating through the meat. While the ribs were too tender for Kansas City Barbecue Society standards, they were still delicious. website snap shotThe pulled pork was way above average and my baked potato salad (with bacon) was an extremely good side. If you like your barbecue wood smoked, this is the place in southern Kansas for you!

– Chris

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Hays – Gutch’s Bar and Grill

Gutch’s Bar and Grill in Hays, Kansas could be one of my new favorite pizza places. It certainly ranks high on my list of Hays restaurants.  Their specialty is wood fired pizza.gutch's1It is very similar in deliciousness to what you will find at another favorite, Dave’s Pizza in Coldwater, Kansas.  I would call Gutch’s décor half fine Italian restaurant, with the dark woodwork and Italian inspired photographs, and half sports bar with the metal ceiling, big screen TV’s and centrally located bar. This place is located in Downtown Hays within walking distance of Fort Hays State University. The prices are low enough that a college student could probably afford the occasional meal here.Gutch's2 I took my wife and son out for a meal and the ticket was only about $25 bucks!  We had a pork lover’s dream; a pepperoni, sausage and Canadian bacon pizza and a side of cheesy bread sticks.  I asked my host how long they had been in business, because the place looked relatively new, and he said about 10 years.Gutch's4 I can’t believe I had not been there sooner, but I guarantee I will be back again soon!

– Chris

Manhattan – Early Edition

Early Edition, a breakfast restaurant in Manhattan, Kansas is one of those places that people either love or hate….just check out the reviews.

EarlyEdition

Personally, I like it.  If you want a good traditional American breakfast, this is the place. In fact now they have two places.  One of Kimball Avenue in the Candlewood Shopping Center ( where my wife and I regularly ate while we were in college) and a new location in southeast part of town near K-Mart on . E. Poyntz.

EarlyEdition2

On a recent visit, I enjoyed the Wildcat Skillet. The dish has all kinds of pork, including ham, bacon and sausage. When I included coffee and toast, it was more than I could finish! They also serve up all the other breakfast favorites, like omelets, pancakes, etc.

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The west location is a favorite of many Manhattan residents and the east location is very convenient to those staying in area hotels. It sure beats eating at the chain breakfast restaurant down the road.  Try it next time you are in the neighborhood and give it your own review!

– Chris

Leavenworth – All Slabbed Up

Back in the fall I stopped in at a relatively new BBQ place in Leavenworth, Kan. called “All Slabbed Up” to see what it was all about. It turns out it was a great decision, as I found one of the best sandwiches known to mankind. It was pulled pork, bacon, and ham together with cheddar cheese in a Texas toast sandwich! I added a little BBQ sauce to it and it was close to divine.

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You pair this sandwich with some of their fries (more like skillet-fried potatoes) and you have something that is last-meal worthy! In fact, I considered going up there the day before our latest supposed apocalypse just so I could have an excuse to eat it.

I really have nothing more to say about this sandwich. I think the picture says enough! Overall, “All Slabbed Up” is a great place to eat. I like the atmosphere, and was really impressed with the quality of the food. The place is easy to get to, as it is on the west side of Highway 7/73 in Leavenworth at Muncie Rd. (across from the Ford Dealership).

photo 1It’s a fun little place that is putting out great food, and is a viable spot to keep in mind if the world is about to end and you have the desire to eat a lot of pork in a short amount of time!

– Mike

ATTENTION BACON LOVERS: Only six hours until our contest giveaway to Bacon Fest KC is closed! 

Yes it’s true. We are giving away 5 VIP tickets to Bacon Fest KC!

Head over to last week’s post, Studley – Cooking on the Cottonwood to learn how you can win.

Entries must be submitted by today, July 9th at 5:00 pm CST.

Studley – Cooking on the Cottonwood

Each fall, the Friends of the Cottonwood Ranch hold one of my most anticipated yearly events; Cooking on the Cottonwood. The Cottonwood Ranch, located near the small agricultural community of Studley, Kansas is a historically significant sheep ranch once owned by wealthy British immigrants.

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The Friends of the Cottonwood Ranch host many fun activities including sheep dog trials and Christmas festivities, but as a serious foodie, my favorite yearly activity is the cook off.

Ranchhouse

Not only do they have a barbecue contest, but this year, they had a pie contest, cookie bakeoff and a chili contest. It’s a food lover’s dream!  Proceeds from the event go to support a very worthy cause.  Money raised is used to support, maintain and conserve the historic property.

ALeslieBBQ

This year, I was fortunate enough to judge delicious barbecued pork ribs from thirteen different teams, on the back lawn of the beautiful ranch house.  If you ever have the opportunity to take a fall road trip in northwest Kansas, be sure to check out the Cottonwood Ranch. The cook-off is a barbecue (and pie, cookies and chili) lover’s delight!

cottonwood pies

BBQTeam

– Chris

So we know that Chris loves contests. In fact, he is going to be judging the  Bacon Recipe Contest at this year’s Bacon-Fest: The Other Fundraiser  in Kansas City on August 24.

And we also  know that our readers love bacon, so guess what…

We are giving away 5 VIP tickets to Bacon Fest KC!

That’s right. These VIP tickets come with admission into the festival, food, beverage, a t-shirt, a commemorative  drink cup, a swag bag and access to the air conditioned VIP area. Here’s how you can win:

Leave  a comment on this post  below telling us three words you would use to describe your love for bacon. The contest will close on Tuesday, July 9 at 5:00 pm. Winners will be selected at random and notified via email and announced on the blog.

Ready…Set…Describe bacon!