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Posts from the ‘General’ Category

Manhattan – Baan Thai

On a recent work related trip to Manhattan, a coworker suggested that I should eat at Baan Thai, located on 1709 Fort Riley Boulevard. If you know me, you know that I love pork! I believe that pork deserves to be its own food group!  Besides pizza, barbecue and Mexican food, Asian cuisine is a great way to include pork in your diet!

I stopped into Baan Thai early on a Thursday afternoon, and had the entire place to myself. I was thoroughly impressed by the cleanliness and décor of this restaurant. In fact, it is probably one of the cleanest and most orderly restaurants I have ever eaten at.

According to their website, they have two other Baan Thai locations, including one in Lawrence and one in Leavenworth, and an Asian Noodle Shop in Manhattan. The Manhattan Baan Thai location hasn’t always been a Thai restaurant, in fact, it used to be a Taco Casa.  You wouldn’t be able to tell that this place has been anything but Baan Thai when you step inside. The Asian influenced atmosphere of this location is on point.

For my supper, I ordered the delicious pork pot stickers (one of my favorite menu items), as an appetizer, and had the yellow curry with pork as my main course. If you love curry, they also serve up red or green curries.

Until next time,

Chris

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Topeka – HHB BBQ

After working a trade show in Topeka, I decided to grab some dinner before heading home to southeast Kansas. On a tip from fellow blogger Mike, I stopped at HHB (Hog, Herd, & a Bird) BBQ.

HHB BBQ is located at 906 S. Kansas Avenue, which is only a stone’s throw from the Capitol Building.  Although HHB BBQ is located in a downtown building, it has the typical barbecue joint vibe. As you walk in the front door, you will find a dining area to your left, a meeting area to your right, and a counter and bar area towards the back of the restaurant.

For the pork lover, HHB BBQ features pulled pork, pulled pork nachos and baby back ribs. Pulled pork can be purchased by the pound or on a sandwich, and ribs can be purchased on a dinner place or by the slab. I enjoyed the ribs and would order them again if I was in the neighborhood.  Additionally, many of HHB BBQ’s menu items, including meats and sides, are gluten free.

If you find yourself in the Capital City, check out HHB BBQ, and as it says on their lunch and dinner menu, let them “show you how were havin’ fun puttin’ it on a bun!”

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – Mudbug Cajun Po Boys

 

“Mudbug” is a slang term for a crayfish (commonly referred to as a crawdad, in Kansas).  A mudbug is actually not a fish, but a crustacean, similar to a lobster or a crab. These animals are commonly found in the southeastern portion of the U.S. and are the official state crustacean of the state of Louisiana.  As you might expect, the mudbug is a popular feature of Cajun culture.

Mudbug Cajun Po Boys, located in North Kansas City, is a hugely popular Cajun restaurant located in a small north Kansas City location at 4702 NE Vivian Rd.

Owned by Louisiana transplant and longtime Kansas City culinary extraordinaire Christopher Jones, this place brings true Cajun flavor to the area. They serve up a variety of great “Po Boy” sandwiches.

A Po boy is a traditional Louisiana style sandwich on a baguette, and generally featuring some type of seafood. As homage to Kansas City’s barbecue roots, Mudbug’s serves up a phenomenal K.C. Po Boy featuring smoked pulled pork. This sandwich is a feast for the both the eyes and stomach.  The pulled pork has a hint of spicy Cajun seasoning rather than a more traditional barbecue seasoning.  The tiny bit of heat from the pulled pork pairs deliciously with the lemon pepper slaw, and fried union straws. The mixture of flavors work perfectly to create a taste not traditionally found in Kansas City cuisine.

If you love pulled pork but are searching for something different, I suggest you try the K.C. Po Boy from Mudbugs Cajun Po Boys. You won’t regret it!

Until next time,

Chris

Lenexa – Mad Man’s KC BBQ

Mad Man’s KC BBQ is a multifaceted barbecue company that includes catering, food trucks and a permanent location at the Lenexa Public Market. According to their website, “Mad Man’s has a simple philosophy – take food that we like, and make it awesome”.

I had the opportunity to enjoy their barbecue at the Lenexa Public Market.

The Lenexa Public Market is worth the trip, all by itself! Fellow Blogger Mike describes the place as a “community within a community”. Opened just last year, and in the same facility as the Lenexa City Hall, the public market is part food court and part farmers market. In the immediate vicinity, you will find brand new apartments, office space, restaurants and a hotel. If you are looking for everything in one place, this is it!

Madman’s KC BBQ serves as a cornerstone of the Public Market. I can’t resist barbecue, so I had the check the place out while at the Public Market! I ordered the two meat sandwich with pulled pork. If I was guessing, I’d say the pork was smoked pork loin rather than pork shoulder. My sandwich was served in a cardboard container, which was required to hold in the giant pile of barbecued meat! The delicious toasty burn just couldn’t hold it all!

My favorite part of the meal was the perfect level of Smokey favor! Often times, barbecue completely lacks a good wood smoke flavor, or the smoke simply overpowers the meat.

I realize barbecue is highly subjective, but Madman’s KC Barbecue smokes theirs just right! Check it out for yourself to see if you agree!

Until next time,

Chris

Lenexa – Jerry’s Bait Shop

Jerry’s Bait Shop is not the kind of place you would go if you actually wanted fish bait. It is the kind of place you would go if you wanted a cold drink and some tasty pork……in the form of a pizza, that is!

Jerry’s Bait Shop has the feel of local small town tavern in the heart of metropolitan Lenexa, Kansas. Jerry’s is located on Santa Fe Drive in a building dating back to the 1870’s. You can almost sense the wagon trains that would pass by out front…..or you can enjoy the sight and sound of the actual trains which run just across the street. With a historical aspect in mind, Jerry’s Bait Shop is highly reminiscent of Sharkey’s Pub and Grub in Fort Scott, Kansas, with similar décor, atmosphere, drinks, and menu.

At Jerry’s Bait Shop, you can get a pizza any way you want it. I want mine with all the meats! I like to order The Lunker, a pizza that includes pepperoni, sausage, Canadian bacon and regular bacon. If you would prefer, they offer a pulled pork pizza, as well.

If you find yourself in the Kansas City longing for someplace out of the traditional big city hubbub, tell your friends you need some bait, and head out to Jerry’s Bait Shop in Lenexa. Be sure to check the place out on weekends, when they feature live music!

Until next time,

Chris

Fort Scott – La Hacienda

La Hacienda of Fort Scott could be considered a dining institution in Fort Scott, Kansas. This locally-owned mom and pop (Jose and Mirna) Mexican restaurant is located in a colorful, old, historic downtown building.

La hacienda is just a stone’s throw away from the Fort Scott National Historic Site. The Historic Site, owned by the National Park Service, features a complete pre-civil war military fort. Additionally, the downtown Fort Scott area features a multitude of locally owned antique stores and specialty shops.

The combination of history, shopping, and great Mexican food makes Fort Scott a perfect location for day trip from Kansas City or Wichita.

As Fort Scott residents, my wife and I are regular customers at La Hacienda. Their menu features several great pork dishes. Some of my favorites include “street style” tacos, make your own burritos, and carnitas with verde sauce.

During my most recent visit, I enjoyed a burro de la roqueta (a pork burrito with a queso and pico de gallo garnish). These can be ordered as a dinner, or as a smaller sized lunch special #15.

A lunch or dinner at La Hacienda of Fort Scott is the perfect way to complement a day of touring and shopping!

Until next time,

Chris

Olathe – Oscar’s Authentic Mexican Grill

It’s time to add yet another name to the growing list of authentic Mexican places in Olathe. The freshest face on the scene is “Oscar’s Authentic Mexican Grill”. Located near the Mur-Len and Santa Fe St (135th St.) intersection, it’s quite easy to get to from I-35 if you’re traveling through the area. Oscar’s is well worth your time too, if you’re looking for something almost as quick as “fast food” but still want to eat real food.

The setup at Oscars is similar to places like Chipotle or Qdoba, in that you see all the food choices there behind glass as your order them and can pick and choose what you want and how you want it. Like the other “burrito places” you can get burritos or a burrito bowl with various toppings, and of course you can get tacos and quesadillas!

The meats are the real stars of the show, however. You know if you’re at an authentic Mexican place you’ll have some good choices of pork on the menu, and Oscars doesn’t disappoint in that department. Your two pork options there are Carnitas and Chili Verde pork. You can get the burrito, tacos, taco salad, burrito bowl, and quesadillas with either of these meats in them, and of course they have chicken and beef too.

I went with a carnitas taco and a burrito bowl with the chili verde pork, on my stop there, in order to get a good cross section sampling of the pork. The carnitas were tender and flavorful, just as you think they ought to be, while also being very lean. The chili verde pork has some of the best salsa verde I’ve ever had, and the meat chunks were perfectly cooked and fall-apart tender.

Oscars excels at customer service too. Oscar and his brother Delfino are a joy to talk to when you come in and they’ll help you figure out what you want, tell you all about the ingredients, and give you samples to help make your decision. The choices of sides and toppings are abundant too. The chips and queso are delicious, and both kind of beans they have (Charro and refried) are excellent as well. If you’re looking for “slow food” served at a fast pace, then check this out place sometime if you have the chance.

Until next time,
Mike

 

Kansas City – Doughnut Lounge

Inside Kansas City’s trendy Westport neighborhood is a hidden gem. This hidden gem shines morning and night. I’m talking about the Doughnut Lounge. Donut shop by day, Lounge by night.

They have all the regular morning classics like glazed and chocolate donuts, but that’s not what attracted me. I wanted the bacon! On their signature menu, I found a maple bacon long john, complete with a full slice of premium thick cut bacon.  This is what I’m taking about!

As you would expect from any good donut, it was soft and delicious….like a party for the taste buds. The salt of the bacon is a perfect complement to the sweet of the donut.

The Doughnut Lounge also features the Irish Breakfast, a Bismarck style donut filled with a whiskey orange marmalade and a bacon square.

Speaking of whiskey….the donut lounge features a full drink menu, featuring alcoholic drinks, teas and coffees. If you would prefer something besides a donut, the kitchen serves a light menu of breakfast options. A big breakfast includes two eggs, fried potatoes, toast, and not two, but three slices of delicious bacon!

Doughnut Lounge has a food truck located at 1250 Burlington in North KC, and is expected to open a Kansas location in early 2018. Look for them in downtown Overland Park, across from the farmers market.

Check out the Donut Lounge anytime day or night, to get your donut (and bacon) fix!

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – Ninfa’s

It seems like when I’m looking for good ways to eat pork I can never go wrong with authentic Mexican food, so back I went to Kansas City, Kan., which is pretty much the best place around to find good Mexican food. This time we went to Ninfa’s, which is a place I’ve heard about since moving to the KC metro in 2009 and have always wanted to try. Ninfa’s doesn’t look like much from the street, but inside is some downhome Mexican comfort food and probably the best flour tortillas I’ve ever eaten.

When you’re looking to eat pork at an authentic Mexican place it’s hard to top just going with Tamales, so I ordered the “Tamale Spread Plate” and it didn’t disappoint. Pork tamales smothered with cheese and more chunks of tender pork are pretty hard to beat! The neat thing about Ninfa’s is you can pretty much have pork in any of the dishes if you want. You can also buy their handmade tortillas right there in the restaurant and take home. The tortillas alone are about enough reason to go there, but to really experience the tortillas I think I’ll go back and have a few fried flour tacos with some more of that pork in them.

If you’re travelling on I-70 through Kansas City, KS, you are just a few blocks from Ninfa’s. Located at 964 Kansas Ave, Kansas City, KS 66105, it is on Kansas Ave. right between 7th St. and 18th St. (both streets have interchanges on I-70), so it really is very easy to find. Once you’re in the area just take yourself on a little mini taco tour of KCK and hit up El Pollo Rey, California Taco Shop, and San Antonio Carniceria y Tortilleria!

Until next time,

Mike

Topeka – Bobo’s Drive In

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!