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GIVEAWAY!

giveaway

Who loves a giveaway? We sure do!

For a chance to win, tell us how many times a week you eat pork!

Winner will be chosen on Tuesday, February 16, so check back! See you then!

Topeka – The Burger Stand

A Yelp search for top restaurants in Topeka, Kan., will bring up a place called The Burger Stand. This name sound familiar to foodies, because there has been a very popular location of the same name in Lawrence, Kan., at the Casbah for several years. The Topeka location is located at 1601 SW Lane St., in the historic College Hill neighborhood near Washburn University.

Being curious as to if one of the top rated Topeka eateries would have any pork on their menu, naturally, I checked the place out! As expected, The Burger Stand offers a bacon cheeseburger, but deliciously unexpected, they also offer bourbon bacon cheddar cheese fries! Available in either a side or a basket, they make a bacon cheeseburger meal even better.

According to their website, “The Topeka location features outdoor patio seating, seating for over 150 and two fully stocked bars – one of which is in the back dining area referred to as ‘The Pong Bar.’ The Pong Bar offers Ping Pong Tables, Pool Tables, Foosball Table, a pinball machine and digital bar gaming.”

The Burger Stand is fun and the food is good. Check it out yourself the next time you’re in the capital city. Bring a big appetite and add an order of bourbon bacon cheddar cheese fries.

Kansas City – The Sundry

The Sundry, part grocery store, part restaurant, located at 1706 Baltimore Avenue near downtown Kansas City, bills itself as “the modern expression of a time proven tradition: the local grocery.”  They ask customers to “drop in for a tasty bite or shop for later. Discover something new or take home a familiar favorite.”

The Sundry is a new business providing locally grown and produced upscale goods and services to the Kansas City area. They have an eclectic mix of hard to find products and a changing variety of menu items inspired by different regions around the world. One day you might get Carolina inspired barbecue and the next day Brazilian style foods.  One thing that you will find at the Sundry every day is pork. In fact, they source their pork, as well as many of their other products, from a 4-state radius around Kansas City.

During my visit, I picked up some chocolate made locally fresh in Kansas City and purchased a shredded pork meal served on a large roll. The store also had an ample supply of locally ground pork and fresh bacon.  Some of their other fine swine meal options include one of my favorites, the Cuban. Which is described on their website as “Of The Earth Farm roasted pork & house cured ham, house-made half sour pickles, swiss cheese & dijon mustard on a Le Monde Bakery baguette.”  Another menu option is described as “Of The Earth Farm Berkshire pork sausage with house made sauerkraut on house made focaccia.” Sounds delicious!

Additionally, the store offers classes like making your own cheeses and making your own bacon. How can you not want to be a straight A student in classes like these?!

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange

The Rieger Hotel Grill and Exchange, located at 1924 Main in Kansas City is, in my opinion, one of the coolest restaurants in the Kansas City area. The beautiful restaurant is in the lobby in a once very posh twenties era hotel. It’s been said that even famous gangster Al Capone was there at one time. My cousins and I ventured in just as the restaurant opened at 3:00 p.m. on a Tuesday. Since the place was fairly empty at this time of day, we got exceptionally phenomenal one-on-one service from the staff. Our server was obviously very passionate about the place and she shared with us many fascinating details of the historic location.

We learned that The Rieger Pork Soup takes as long as three days to create, as the flavorful pork confit takes a tremendous amount of time, skill and love to produce. Any meal that takes this much time to create is worth savoring! Some of the other pork menu items include a mini pork tenderloin, and Carolina style pork sliders served on a plank.

The Reiger Hotel is also a great place for libations. In fact, they have their own brand of locally produced “Kansas City whiskey.  The basement of the historic building houses the very trendy and upscale Manifesto, a speakeasy style establishment.

I would recommend making date night reservations to both Manifesto and The Regier Hotel Grill and Exchange.  Try the pork. I don’t believe you will go home disappointed.

Until next time,

Chris

Kansas City – Ponak’s

Here at “In Pursuit of Pork” we’ve touched several times on how many places there are to eat along Southwest Blvd in KCMO, but eating there and writing about it never gets old so I went back for more. My most recent trip took me to “Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen and Bar” (2856 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Missouri 64108).

Ponak's photo courtesy of Ponak's Facebook page

Ponak’s has been located in the food hotbed of SW Blvd for about 40 years, and once you eat there you can see why it has staying power. Looking at the menu you’ll find pork served in several great ways, including shredded pork tacos, pork tamales, pork burritos, and the “Huevos Con Chorizo” if you’re in the mood for breakfast food at lunchtime.

While those would have all been excellent choices, I chose to try the “Carne Con Chile”, which is a generous serving of slow-cooked pork hunks in spicy red sauce, served over refried beans, all in the confinement of a bowl. You get that and a pile of corn tortillas to eat it with! It is overly simple yet totally delicious and satisfying. Throw in some tasty margaritas served by the pitcher along with some chips and salsa and you have about all you need in life!

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Until next time,

Mike

Lawrence – Ramen Bowls

Ramen Bowls, located on a downtown Lawrence side street at 125 E. 10th, was recommended by my friend Bekka as a place to find good pork in Jayhawk country.

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As the name suggests, Ramen Bowls features bowls of ramen noodles. However, these are not the starving college student cheapo pack varieties you are probably familiar with. These are humongous steaming bowls of oriental noodles that come in many varieties and flavors not found in bulk at the big box store. One of the possible additions to your noodles includes pork.  Ramen Bowls also has free pork wontons during happy hour (beginning at 2:00 p.m) and pork tacos.

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For the adventurous (and heat tolerant), they have a ghost ramen challenge. The official rules state “You have exactly 30 minutes to finish the challenge. If you puke you are disqualified and YOU clean it up! And you owe us ONE MILLION DOLLARS (kidding about the dough). If you share your bowl or secretly pour your broth into someone else’s bowl you will be disqualified and forced to wash dishes for two days. There is no milk. No trips to the bathroom or outside.” 

I’m not that brave, so I ordered pork belly tacos instead. The three tacos were so pretty to look at that it was almost a shame to eat them….but only almost.  My friend Phillip and I did devour them and they were as delicious as they were pretty. The pork was spot on and the sriracha aioli drizzled on top was the perfect complement to the tasty meat.

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Ramen Bowls in not where you would expect to find good pork, but it certainly a good option.

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Until next time,

Chris

Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations Sarah Blackwell, you are the winner of the October Pork Month Giveaway!

Email us here to claim your prize!

Thank you to everyone who participated!

Oct winner

Pork Month Giveaway!

Hey pork peeps!

October is National Pork Month–time to celebrate all things pork! We want to hear from you and in return, you’ll have a chance to win this fabulous basket of goodies!

October Giveaway

To enter to win, please reply to this post with the answer to this question:

“What is your favorite pork cut and how do you like to prepare it?”

I’ll randomly draw a winner next Monday (October 26) at 8:00 a.m. (Central) and announce the winner. Be sure to check back!

See you then!

– Kim

Salina – Blue Skye Brewery

Prior to a round of meetings in Salina, Kan., I needed to find a place for lunch. Salina has most of the fast food restaurants you would expect it to have and also an above average barbecue joint (Hickory Hut). On this trip, I wanted to try something different. A quick check of the internet led me to Blue Skye Brewery and Eats.

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Blue Skye Brewery and Eats is a small microbrewery located at 116 N. Santa Fe, in downtown Salina. They feature a small handful of craft beers and a wood fire pizza oven (both of which deserve your consideration).

For the pork lover, you can create your own pizza, complete with sausage, bacon, pepperoni etc. During happy hour, from three to five p.m., you can order up a plate of pulled pork sliders.

For me, I chose the pulled pork sandwich.  The pulled pork is what you would expect, but the sauce is the real story here.

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Rather than a traditional sweet Kansas City style sauce, the homemade sauce has a heavy whiskey infused, pasta sauce flavor. It created a sweet, yet unusual combination with the pulled pork that I certainly did not expect. If you are a whiskey lover, try the pulled pork sandwich. If you’re not, it’s hard to go wrong with a wood fired pizza. Whatever your pork pleasure, you should check out Blue Skye Brewery and Eats.

Until next time.

Chris

Lawrence – Merchants Pub and Plate

Merchants Pub and Plate is located in the old Merchants National Bank Building at 746 Massachusetts St. in the heart of downtown Lawrence, Kan. Many people may remember this place as Teller’s.  As the names imply, this gastropub is located in a big, beautiful and historic bank building. If you are into architecture, it is worth a trip to this restaurant just to admire its beauty.

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The food at Merchants Pub and Plate is a lesson in eclectic artistry and the drink menu features the best from many local area breweries. For the carnivore with pork in mind, some of the options include pork belly brochettes, salads topped with bacon and pork belly, fried pork tenderloin made from locally raised pork.

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My friends and I dined on the pork belly brochettes (beautiful pieces of fatty pork meat) and a snack plate featuring a deliciously seasoned pork sausage. We also sampled picked eggs and a pickle martini.

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Merchants Pub and Plate and 715 are two Lawrence restaurants I would put on the list for nice places to take a date out to dinner and drinks.  Make a point to check either restaurant on date night, or to celebrate a special occasion, and I don’t think you will be disappointed.

Until next time.