If you’ve not been to downtown Overland Park, KS, you really should go check it out someday. It’s a rare place in the middle of urban sprawl that still feels like you’re standing on Main Street USA. The view from Santa Fe Drive in Overland Park makes you think you could just as easily be standing in the middle of a town of 3,000 people in central KS. It has the clock tower, the water tower, and old store fronts with street parking just like you’d expect. Along that street you will find some good old-fashioned American food just like you’d expect in small town America.
The place to get such food would be “The Snack Shack on Sante Fe”. The Snack Shack is serving up some of the best burgers, fries, onion rings, and ice cream in the whole metro area. Oh, and if they’re serving up that type of food you know that menu has a great pork tenderloin sandwich on it too. So, in my search for all things pork I decided to have one. You can’t just have a tenderloin sandwich either so I ordered the “50/50” which gives you both fries and onion rings to go along with it.
The tenderloin was perfect. They pound them out in-house and get all their meat from McGonigle’s market in Kansas City, so you know it’s fresh and high quality stuff. The tenderloin was sized just right for lunch (not as big as my face) and had a light and crunchy breading on it. The battered onion rings were about as good as any I’ve ever had and the fries were crunchy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside just like they ought to be. I can guarantee I will be making a trip back to The Snack Shack before too long, and I’ll be leaving room for ice cream next time when I do!
As fellow blogger Mike says, “Mexican Restaurants are a great place to find good pork!” A recent visit to my girlfriend’s favorite restaurant, K Macho’s, proves to be no exception. Although K Macho’s gets very mixed online reviews, the completely full parking lot tells another story. Personally, our visit was excellent. We went to the Overland Park location 11741 Metcalf Avenue, which featured a great covered patio. One that I certainly look forward to checking out later this summer! Their second location is located at 1229 E. Santa Fe St. in Olathe.
During our visit, we started with the complementary chips and two types of salsa, including a traditional red and a white with a strong guacamole flavor. For lunch, I ordered the Kansas Burrito, a 12 inch tortilla with three types of meat, including big flavorful pork chunks. As you might expect, this dish was served with beans and rice.
Although the restaurant was very busy during our noontime visit, service was attentive, prices were fair, and our meals were served very quickly. You need to try K Macho’s and give it your own review.
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!
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!
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.
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?!
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,
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,
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,
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,