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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,


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,


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,


Pamona – Leroy’s BBQ

If you ever find yourself going through Pomona, KS, you should really make plans to eat at Leroy’s BBQ. Located on the north side of Hwy 68 in the middle of town, you can’t miss it, and you won’t want to miss it. I had the pleasure of stopping in there recently, while on a day trip with my 4-year-old daughter. She wasn’t in the mood for BBQ, but she can now attest to the fact that Doug (the owner) makes a pretty good grilled cheese sandwich!

I like a good grilled cheese too, but I stopped to eat BBQ, and I’m glad I tried it. I found the ribs to be right up there with some of my favorites back in the KC area. The pulled pork was tender and smoky, and it was served dry (the way I like it). The fries, beans, and the house-made sauces were all great too.

If you’re feeling the urge to eat pork, but aren’t in the mood for BBQ, there’s always the pork tender, and for those a bit more adventurous, consider trying the “Ultimate BLT” (BLT with egg and ham on it) or the “Memphis Burger” which is a beef patty (I know, not pork…) topped with pulled pork, cheese, BBQ sauce and an onion ring! They serve breakfast too for all you early risers. You might miss out on this awesome BBQ, but then again, you can always ask for some ribs for breakfast. The worst Doug can say is no!

Until next time,


Kansas City – Snead’s BBQ

Snead’s Bar-B-Q, located right near the border of Kansas and Missouri at 171st and Holmes, is an iconic Kansas City Classic. Bill Snead built the restaurant and brick pit (still used to this day) in 1956. Two additions later, and the restaurant will seat 200 people!

sneads.jpgWhile the interior takes you back in time a bit, so does the barbecue. It is on par with two other Kansas City classics, Gates Bar B-Q and Arthur Bryant’s.

Fellow blogger Mike and I ordered as much pork as we could eat, including ribs, pulled pork and ham. We also had sides including the beans, which according to their website “The smoke flavor in the bar-b-que beans and sauces is obtained by cooking them in large kettles in the brick pit.” Speaking of flavor, their sauce is “is an original recipe of Mr. Sneads dating back to 1956.”

If you are into Kansas City barbecue, you owe to yourself to try this iconic barbecue legend!


Pittsburg – Mall Deli

Mall Deli is an iconic restaurant in Pittsburg, Kan.  People flock to the deli, located at 202 E Centennial Drive, which has been a fixture in the area since 1979. A quick look online shows rave reviews about the place.  My visit was mid-afternoon on a Sunday, and I was very surprised at how busy the place was…..a testament to its popularity!

It’s not a typical deli, where you purchase meat or cheese by the pound, but more of a restaurant, where you order your deli sandwiches from the wait staff.  The atmosphere is classic vintage 70’s / 80’s.

Although the Mall Deli was very busy during my recent visit, the staff was very pleasant and quick. I was surprised how inexpensive my tasty, heated submarine sandwich was. My delicious sandwich was served with a huge helping of potato chips, which a friend states are phenomenal when you dip them in the Deli’s secret sauce.  Speaking of the secret sauce, man does that stuff have some zing! It was similar to a ranch dressing, but with an added kick of flavor! I enjoyed the sauce on my sandwich, but will have to make a return visit to try it on my chips…..a return visit I’m certainly looking forward too!

Until next time.


Shawnee – Anita’s

If you’re in the mood for quick Mexican food, but want a slightly different twist on it, consider trying some Salvadorian cuisine. If you’re looking for a place to try such food, then think about trying Anita’s Cuisine in Shawnee. Anita’s is located just north of Johnson Drive on Merriam Drive on the west side of I-35 (across the highway from IKEA), so it is very easy to get to.

While most of the ingredients are the similar to those in Mexican food, there are some major differences among the actual dishes they prepare. One big difference between Mexican and Salvadorian cuisine is the “Papusa”. A Papusa is a large handmade tortilla (can be either corn or flour) that is stuffed with cheese and refried beans and sometimes meat before it is thrown on the flat top (think of a quesadilla that has its edges sealed).

Of course I tried one at Anita’s, and you know I got pork in it. The style of pork they use is called “chicharrón,” which is finely ground pork and not to be confused with pork rinds that are sold in the U.S. that are called “chicharrónes.” I also had carnitas flautas and they were absolutely delicious. They were crispy on the outside and contained perfectly cooked carnitas on the inside. The salsa was outstanding too, and it paired well with the homemade tortilla chips. To learn more about Anita’s, see their specials, or see more pictures of food, go to their Facebook page.

In summary, all I can say is go try this place if you’re in the area. If you like it, you’ll probably want to try “El Pulgarcito” as well, which is another highly rated Salvadorian restaurant that is just south on Merriam Drive. I have not tried that one yet, but will be doing so soon!


Overland Park – Fireside BBQ

One of the (relatively) new kids on the block in the KC BBQ scene is Fireside BBQ in Overland Park. Fireside opened in 2014, so it’s been around just long enough to gain a good reputation in the area, and for good reason as I found out on my visit there awhile back. It is owned and run by a former Overland Park firefighter who has a history of successful BBQ competition, as well as cooking for his fellow firefighters on a regular basis!

The place is tucked away at 10400 Mastin St. (just NE of the Hwy 69/I-435 interchange) in a location you’d have to be looking for to find, but it’s worth the effort to get there as far as I can tell. While it sits in an unassuming strip mall, the inside of Fireside is neatly decorated with lots of firefighting related memorabilia and décor (notice the lights are made out of fire extinguishers) that you’d just have to see in person to appreciate.

On my recent stop there, I had a sandwich with pulled pork and pork sausage on it, and added a couple rib bones to my meal ($2.45 each) just for good measure. I’m glad I did, as the ribs were terrific. All the meats were served dry, and tasted great. They paired well with the different sauces they had to offer. The fries were excellent too (and also good with all the sauces). I really can’t say enough that this place is a hidden gem that deserves to be held in the same regard as many of the other top BBQ joints around the area.

Dodge City – Taco Trucks

Dodge City is an iconic American city with historic western heritage. It is the ending point of the great western cattle drives and the location for the classic western radio and television show Gunsmoke.  It’s a city that still retains, and is proud of its western flavor. The area is surrounded by cattle feeding companies, dairy farms, ranches, and beef processing businesses.

Dodge City also has a vibrant, thriving Hispanic culture. With that in mind, I was happy to take a recent business trip to this Southwest Kansas community, because I knew I would be in for some great Mexican food! My friend Andrea Burns and I visited several food trucks, located throughout the city. These food trucks are a fun an inexpensive way to grab a quick meal! For consistency, we tried the pork tacos at each location. Unique differences were noticeable at each food truck. Some tacos were spicier, some juicer, and some noticeably more mild than others. All were very good!

If you’re looking for a fun way to try out some inexpensive and authentic Mexican food, get the heck into Dodge, and check out the food trucks!

Until next time,


Louisburg – Timbercreek Grill & Bar

While there aren’t many non-fast food places to eat in Louisburg, they do have Timbercreek Grill & Bar, so maybe quality over quantity is the way to go for them. I can’t say I can argue, as I found Timbercreek to be a one-stop shop for food and drink needs. It sports a menu filled with all sorts of basic “bar and grill” meals and comfort food, a full range of BBQ (and BBQ catering), and even brunch on Sundays. Throw in a bunch of TVs, a small concert area for the weekends, and a full bar and you have the entire array of food, drink, and entertainment possibilities that a town could need.

On my recent stop there I tried the Pork Tenderloin Sandwich (as it was the lunch special that day). This tenderloin was amazingly good, and wasn’t the size of a dinner plate either, which I liked. It was seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. The breading was crisp like KFC chicken and seasoned perfectly. The meat was a tender and juicy whole cut of tenderloin and not one of those chicken nugget-like pressed together things like you might find in a school cafeteria.

If you find yourself going through the area plan to stop in and try it out. I don’t think you’ll be sorry you did. I am for sure going to head back down to try the pulled pork and the ribs some weekend, or perhaps the “chicken fried pork” dinner if I’m not in the mood for BBQ!

Until next time,