The Neosho County seat community of Erie, Kansas is a pleasant and clean little community. This riverside town is well kept and the people are friendly. One of the little community’s only real drawbacks is very limited amount of eating establishments. Food choices consist mostly of a bar, a gas station, a pizza and sandwich shop and a bowling alley. While none of the aforementioned places are bad, I can say with confidence that there is another restaurant in the community that stands out in the pork department.
Horizon’s at Prairie Ridge, as the name implies, is a restaurant overlooking the local golf course. At the suggestion of a friend, I wondered in over the lunch hour one summer day for a burger. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my favorite pork delicacies on the menu and quickly decided that I had to come back. Fast forward to December, and my friend and I had the opportunity to return.
Although the cold weather kept us from eating on the patio and enjoying the lovely golf course view, the upscale interior provided a pleasant place to dine. We called ahead and ordered the pork wings (actually, a tender and delicious piece of meat from the shank). Only a handful of Kansas restaurants serve these tasty treats. (See the review of Taco Lucha in Manhattan for another.) Our pork wings were served up with sticky barbecue sauce and a side of amazing battered French fries. If you love pork like I do, you owe it to yourself to try some pork wings. You won’t be disappointed.
Until next time,
I’ve seen barbecue restaurants come and go all over western Kansas and with exception, most were average at best. I’m pleased to report about a new one that is at the very least, above average. TK’s Smokehaus located at 110 West 11th in downtown Hays, Kansas is one that just might stick around.
Picture from TK’s Smokehaus Facebook
The restaurant sits in a cool old downtown building complete with high tin ceilings and hardwood floors. What really sets the place apart from many other barbecue joints is that they use an offset style wood smoker rather than an industrial model rotisserie that many competitors use. The difference was obvious and soon as the waitress brought me out the “pitmaster plate”. I could smell that the meat was wood smoked! It had a delicious wood smoke flavor as well. I have to fault TK’s for serving their barbecue wet (with sauce on it), when it could suffice on its own merits, served up perfectly well, sauce free.
The service wasn’t extremely fast but portion sizes were impressive. The hot links were actually hot, as opposed to the “mild at best” variety found elsewhere. The sweetly flavored beans had nearly as much pork in them as beans and a hint of jalapeno pepper induced heat.
Hopefully, TK’s Smokehaus is here to stay. I look forward to coming back.
Until next time,
While out on the road for work a few weeks ago I ran into beautiful Hiawatha, Kan., to grab a bite for lunch. I decided to go to a place I’d been to before and liked, a place called Gus’ in downtown Hiawatha.
I walked up to the door and saw that pulled pork was the special that day, and became immediately intrigued. I asked the waitress about the pulled pork, and it turns out it’s something the owner has recently gotten into doing. While it was the “special” that day, it is available most other days, but there are no guarantees, due to possible supply shortages.
I decided to take the bait and try the pulled pork. I chose the pulled pork tacos with chips as my meal. I figured I might as well step outside the box and try something besides the usual white bread bun with my pulled pork.
The tacos were very good it turns out. They were nothing but pulled pork, BBQ sauce and freshly cooked onion straws in a soft taco. While some people might prefer other additions to the taco, I found it to be fine the way it was. The meat was very good, as it was not just some overcooked gruel spooned from a crockpot, but rather real, smoked pork shoulder that had been separated by the use of human hands using metal utensils!
Walking away that day, I felt like I would gladly come back to Gus’ and eat the pulled pork again, which usually means they’re doing something right. Feel free to give it a try if you’re up that way sometime!
Until next time,