Burgers, Barbecue and Pie

Change Page: 123456 > | Showing page 1 of 6, messages 1 to 60 of 305
Author Message
buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 2:53 PM
5
Cousin Johnny and I just got back from a week+ vacation through the central part of the country.  We did eat plenty of burgers, barbecue and pie, but if there was a fourth item added to the list, it would be fried chicken..... 
 
Friday April 20, 2012
 
While looking at flights for this trip, the fares were across the board, ridiculously expensive.  We knew we would be spending most of the time in Oklahoma and Arkansas, but prices put flying into Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Little Rock or Memphis unaffordable.  Widening the search to include Wichita, St. Louis, Shreveport, Dallas, etc., we finally found something reasonable using Kansas City.  And this was a nice bonus, since Johnny had never been to KC and it meant at least one trip to Stroud's.
 
We both had to work on this Friday and even leaving a little earlier could only get us on the ground around 8:50PM.  Since Stroud's closes at 10:00, everything would have to go perfect for us to get there.  In fact, I was already anticipating Gates BBQ and Town Topic being our stops for the night.  Fortunately, the Roadfood gods were smiling that day as the flights were on time, we waited less than five minutes for our luggage, the rental car shuttle was there when we walked out and there was no line at the counter.  We walked into Stroud's at 9:35.  Both Johnny and I are very conscious about not arriving at a restaurant right before they close, but Stroud's was still 3/4 full and at no time during our meal did we ever feel rushed.
 
I have written about Stroud's in these forums on many occasions.  After doing some thinking, I would name it my second favorite Roadfood restaurant of all-time.  (Santa Fe's Bobcat Bite is a clear #1)  Johnny was eagerly anticipating this visit, having heard about it for years from me, plus seeing it many times on tv food shows.  The interesting thing about Stroud's is that although it is consistently very good, it isn't consistently great.  Last year, The Travelin Man and I ate there together and even though we have both been there many times, we agreed it was the best meal either of us had, yet.  Especially spectacular that night was the mashed potatoes.  Yeah, I know, how could mashed potatoes be that great?  I don't know either.  Just trust me, the mashed potatoes were so good, it clearly aced out the famous fried chicken, cinnamon rolls and everything else for best of table.  But, when we went back two days later, everything was good, but nothing like the previous visit.  For Johnny's sake, I was hoping Stroud's was going to be on this night.
 
If you order the chicken dinner, you get your choice between salad or chicken noodle soup.  This is officially the easiest choice ever. 

The chicken soup features lots of small bits of chicken and soft noodles.  The broth is salty, hearty and has an intense chicken flavor.  If there is better chicken soup somewhere, I haven't tasted it.
 
The rest of the meal is served family style.  You do get a choice of potatoes and since we ordered different ones, we get them both.  Johnny went with the mashed,

which was light and fluffy, with some big lumps in it.  Very good, but not as special as that occasion last year.  My cottage fries,

which came out scorching hot were on the greasy side and were made for being covered in the cream gravy.  Speaking of the cream gravy, this night was it's turn to shine.  This is such a thick gravy that as you spoon it up to put on the potatoes, it won't pour.  You have to knock it off the spoon.  And I always remember it as being peppery, but it seemed especially so on this night.  If you had told me before the meal that the cream gravy would be the best thing on the table, I would have never believed you.  But, in this case, it was true.  At one point, Johnny said, "Oooooh, the gravy is really good on the chicken.  But, this gravy would be really good on my shoe!"
 
The green beans,

which come sitting in pork juice seemed lifeless.  We both agreed that it was the weak link to this meal.  The pan fried chicken was as excellent as ever. 

Incredibly tender, the meat spurts juice when fork or finger pressure is applied and easily pulls away from the bone.  The skin seemed a little thinner than I remember and was super crispy.  With all the terrific sides here at Stroud's, it can be easy to forget that this just might be the best fried chicken in the country.
 
Another typical strong contender for the best thing here is the cinnamon rolls. 

Sometimes, they just bring them to your table, sometimes they ask if you want it before, during or after your meal.  The correct answer is, deliver when the cinnamon rolls are hot out of the oven.  These showed up not long after the rest of the food and required immediate attention.  The bread part is as soft as can be, while covered with a dense layer of cinnamon.  I have no idea how to desribe them other than perfection!
 
Our server, despite the late hour, was friendly and kept the iced tea glasses constantly filled.  For our part, we did our best to eat quickly and get out of their way.  As often happens, the owner stopped over to see how we were doing.  Before we left, the waitresses brought out some more hot cinnamon rolls for the road.
 
Needless to say, cousin Johnny is now also a big fan of Stroud's.
 
Stroud's
5410 NE Oak Ridge Drive
Kansas City, MO
816-333-2132
 
With the late hour and how full we were, we drove straight to our hotel in Overland Park, KS and called it a night.
 
Much more to come.....    
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 05/24/12 9:43 PM>

hatteras04
  • Total Posts : 1070
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/14/2003
  • Location: Columbus, OH
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 3:21 PM
0
Very few things can make me happy in the middle of a long boring Monday afternoon.  But a new trip report from buffetbuster with the promise of great pics and narrative spread out over the next few days did the trick.  Great start and I can't wait to see what's coming.

kland01s
  • Total Posts : 2835
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/14/2003
  • Location: Fox River Valley, IL
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 3:36 PM
0
Looking forward to this report! I agree with hatteras04!

rumaki
  • Total Posts : 967
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/1/2008
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 3:45 PM
0
I am going to Kansas City for a meeting on Thursday, and am planning to go to Strouds on Friday afternoon before I go to the airport to fly out around 7:30 p.m. -- Friday being the only weekday that they are open for lunch and continue to serve through dinner.  I've been to both the Oak Ridge Drive and Fairway, KS locations, and from where I'll be driving (the Incontinental at the Plaza), it's sort of six of one, half dozen of the other in terms of ease of the trip -- at least that's what I think.
 
I had the cottage fries the last time I was there (about 3 or 4 years ago) and they were great.  The only problem with Strouds is that they serve much too much food for one person to eat at one sitting -- even if you take the cinnamon rolls home.
 
One other quick comment -- I had Sunday dinner (at 12:30 p.m.) at Hollyhock Hill in Indianapolis this weekend. The last time I was there, I went to lunch on Saturday (when they allow smaller parties to dine provided they have already booked larger parties for wedding showers and so forth), and the food really wasn't up to snuff. But I am happy to report that everything I ate was fabulous on Sunday -- relishes, pickled beets, salad, hot homemade biscuits, mashed potatoes, gravy, and especially the wonderful fried chicken.  (I did not eat the green beans or corn -- they didn't look that good to me, as the green beans are no longer slow cooked and I never eat the corn, anyway.)
 
The chicken was really, really good yesterday. They use excellent tasting chicken, and fry it just right (I think maybe in lard) -- crispy skin, tender and juicy meat. It is not highly seasoned, but it doesn't need to be because the chicken itself is flavorful.  I ate much more than I should have (two wings and two "pulleybones"), plus all the other stuff, including the make your own sundae dessert.  I didn't eat the rest of the day.
 
Having a Strouds meal this close to Hollyhock Hill will give me a good chance to compare, so I'm glad to have this update.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 3:49 PM
0
Thank you so much for the generous words.  The best news is that wanderingjew also just returned from a trip, so we have that to look forward to.

wanderingjew
  • Total Posts : 7381
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/18/2001
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 5:14 PM
0
buffetbuster


Thank you so much for the generous words.  The best news is that wanderingjew also just returned from a trip, so we have that to look forward to.


And perhaps at the rate things are going, I may be able to begin my report sometime around Christmas.
 
Buffetbuster
 
fantastic start - with Strouds- probably one of my all time favorites (in the top 10 if not the top 5)

CheeseWit
  • Total Posts : 1393
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/10/2003
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 7:50 PM
0
Once again, and like I am with WJ's trip reports, you have me waiting for the rest of your report with bated breath. And, it has me very excited for my upcoming Tucson, AZ to Eastern Pennsylvania trip in a week and a half.

BuddyRoadhouse
  • Total Posts : 4074
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 12/10/2004
  • Location: Des Plaines, IL
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 10:26 PM
0
bb,
Thanks for some happy memories!  We were just at Stroud's over Christmas, but anytime is a good time to dream.
 
Hope the rest of the trip was as successful as the start.
 
Buddy
 
P.S. I'll be posting soon my summer tour plans which include two trips to Cleveland.  Hoping you and your entourage will be able to join me for at least part of the trip.
 
B.
<message edited by BuddyRoadhouse on Mon, 04/30/12 10:27 PM>

Yetti Spaghetttti
  • Total Posts : 8
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/15/2010
  • Location: Bandung, XX
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 10:41 PM
0
Ooooh,  drool & swoon.  I'm going to be dreaming about that gravy!

the grillman
  • Total Posts : 624
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/27/2005
  • Location: Saint Charles, MO
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Mon, 04/30/12 11:05 PM
0
Whenever I make a trip to KC; Stroud's is the easiest decision to make.  I may agonize over which BBQ joint(s) to go to, but for chicken, it begins and ends with Strouds.  Simple and excellent, always.    Last visit, in addition to chicken, we had half an order of the livers as an appetizer; totally awesome; best livers ever.  My doctor wouldn't approve, but my stomach sure does.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 7:54 AM
0
rumaki-
Hollyhock Hill and Stroud's in the same week?  Now that's some good living right there!  I have only been to the Oak Ridge Manor location (other than one visit to the original before it was torn down).  From what I hear, the food is pretty much the same quality at both.
 
Please report back and let us know how the two places compare.
 
CheeseWit-
I thought about you several times in the trip, knowing you would be passing through this area in the not too distant future.  Hopefully, you get a few ideas from the trip report.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 10:05 AM
0
One segment in and I am already making mistakes.  The first post should have been from the Detroit Airport.  We both flew Delta Airlines, (he from BWI, me from PIT) which put us in Detroit about the same time and then would fly on together to Kansas City.  We made a deal that whoever got to DTW first, would buy coneys and bring them to the gate.  This ended up being me, so I made a quick stop at National Coney Island for four to go. 

Even though Johnny's plane technically landed first, they sat on the tarmac long enough that I had my two coneys put away before he even got to the gate.  Don't worry, he quickly caught up.
 
The coneys from National are nothing special.  They use the typical Greek coney sauce, but it just doesn't seem to be as full flavored as, say, a Lafayette Coney Island.  I am curious how others feel.  But, my biggest gripe is that they don't sell Vernor's Ginger Ale.  How in the world can any self respecting Detroit coney shop not have Vernor's?  Anyway, it was still really nice to start the trip with some hot dogs.
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/1/12 12:28 PM>

wanderingjew
  • Total Posts : 7381
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/18/2001
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 10:18 AM
0
Buffetbuster
 
I agree with you about National Coney Island-
I didn't even bother to include them in my Coney Smackdown back in 2008.
Did you try the Coney Special? It's a  coney/loosemeats combo and is a slight improvement over a plain Coney.
 
When I first visited National Coney Island at the Detroit Airport they did have Vernor's,  but that was back in 2005. When I returned last Summer during a layover it was no longer offered.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 12:06 PM
0
Over two years ago, I was trading texts back and forth with Chris Ayers of ayersian.  When he found out I was in Kansas City, he asked if I was going to visit RJ's Bob-Be-Que for burnt ends hash at breakfast.  Wh-wh-what?  I never heard of the place, but how good does burnt ends hash sound.  Unfortunately, I wasn't able to make it to RJ's on that trip, but I socked that little nugget of information away for a future day.  This was that day!
 
Saturday April 21, 2012
 
RJ's

was a short drive into Mission, Kansas for us.  We were the first car in the parking lot and as soon as we pulled in, we could see the closed sign being spun around to read open.  Don't you love when that happens?
 
We were seated in a booth towards the back, where we could watch baseball highlights from the previous night on ESPN.  One wall was decorated

as a tribute to John Wayne.  What really caught my eye was the different framed posters for the Annual Royal Barbecue.  This one

is certainly a nod to the famous Beauty and the Beast poster.  Here,

the pig and the chicken have "Cook Me" on their backs, as if they know they are all going down together.  They also have a big sign advertising the Butt Burger,

but maybe I am better off not knowing what that is.
 
Before we even ordered, our pleasant waitress brought over a couple of small cinnamon rolls. 

They were very soft, while the inside was gooey and so hot, we had to be careful not to burn our tongues.  A nice way to start our meal.
 
Of course, Johnny went with the burnt ends hash.   

This was his first experience with KC burnt ends hash and he was very pleased.  As you can see, there were lots of chunks of meat in the hash, along with potatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms and bacon.  Interestingly, the meat provided plenty of that charred, crispy, smoke flavor, without it being very fatty at all.  I'm not sure how they do it or even if that is advisable.  Aren't burnt ends by nature supposed to be fatty?  It is possible to order pork burnt ends as part of the hash, but it is just assumed by us and the waitress that burnt ends is going to mean beef.  A couple of fried eggs and toast came on the side.
 
Johnny and I try very hard not to order the same thing.  Knowing he would allow me to generously sample his dish, I went with the Smoke House Breakfast. 

This is the Polish sausage, smoked and sliced into long, thin pieces.  The sausage tasted fine, but I thick it could have been juicier if it hadn't been cut up in this fashion.  My eggs came scrambled, so I could mix in a healthy dose of the bbq sauce sitting on the table.
 
As a side dish, we split an order of the pit ham,

which was thick cut and tasted perfectly porky, but was no match for the burnt ends.
 
RJ's is only open for breakfast on weekends and wasn't very crowded during our time here.  Burnt ends hash is such a good idea, you would think there would be more customers and other bbq parlors would have stolen the idea by now.
 
A big thanks to Chris & Amy for making me aware of this place.
 
RJ's Bob-Be-Que Shack
5835 Lamar Avenue
Mission, KS
913-262-7300

We got back in our car and headed southwest into Kansas.
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 06/18/12 2:14 PM>

CheeseWit
  • Total Posts : 1393
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/10/2003
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 12:17 PM
0
As soon as I saw the photo of the burnt ends hash you posted on facebook, I made both a mental note and a written note about RJ's. This just reinforced the need to try this dish.
Love burnt ends and will have to get here someday.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 12:31 PM
0
BuddyRoadhouse

P.S. I'll be posting soon my summer tour plans which include two trips to Cleveland.  Hoping you and your entourage will be able to join me for at least part of the trip.

Glad to hear that the famous BuddyRoadhouse tour is on this year.  I can guarantee at least one trip to Cleveland for us and a meal together with you.  And I will even bring the Graeter's this time!

BuddyRoadhouse
  • Total Posts : 4074
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 12/10/2004
  • Location: Des Plaines, IL
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 2:00 PM
0
That's a deal on the Graeter's.
 
It looks like I'll be in Cleveland in May (16-20) and June (20-24).  Friday nights have already been set aside for Sokololowski's.  I'm looking at at least one trip to Babushka's on a Saturday, and a stop at Cuisine de Cambodge.  Mt. Pleasant BBQ is usually my first stop upon late arrival on Wednesday.  I'm thinking I'm going to skip Flat Iron this year due to lack of interest (mine).  There's at least one Jewish deli calling my name, but I'm not sure which one yet.
 
I've still got a little research to do, but I'll keep you posted.
 
Buddy

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 2:03 PM
0
Saturday April 21, 2012 cont.

During a previous trip to central Kansas, I tried to visit Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ in Hutchinson.  Just to make sure they would be open, I decided to call to find out what time they close.  The woman who answered told me they close when they run out of meat.  Since it was a several hour drive, I asked how the meat she was selling on this day and she thought they would be all out by 1:00PM.  Sadly, I had no chance of making it by then, so I punted and went in a different direction.  On this day, we had the opportunity to get to Roy's earlier in the day.
 
After the long drive from the KC suburbs, we showed up hungry just a few minutes before noon.  Luckily, we arrived when we did because shortly after, there was a long line out the door, which stayed that way for the rest of the time we were there.  Roy's

is obviously very popular with the locals.
 
All the meat that is available is sitting in a glass case

by the register and when someone places an order, the meat is taken out, chopped up and plated.  The menu

offers ribs, beef brisket, turkey, ham, pork, hot links and Polish sausage.  So that we could try several different meats, we both got two plate combos.
 
After ordering our food, I needed to use the facilities.  The men's room is located down a short, narrow hallway, right next to where they are preparing the food.  As soon as I go in, someone starts knocking on the door.  I yelled out, "Be out in a minute."  The knocking stops, but very quickly starts up again.  A little aggravated, I yelled out with attitude, "Hold on, I'll be out when I can."  This time, I could hear the woman at the counter say (to Johnny), "Your buddy thinks someone is knocking on the bathroom door."  That's when I realized the knocking was actually the sound of the cleaver coming down cutting the meat.  Okay, so that's a little embarrassing!  I would have just hid in the bathroom for a while, but some bbq needed attention.   
 
Johnny ordered the beef brisket and the ribs. 

Surprisingly, the brisket was chopped in small, rugged little bits and had wonderful beefy flavor.  The ribs came heavily sauced, which is usually something we don't normally like.  But the sauce here is dark, sweet and really did add to the meat.  Johnny

gave the meaty ribs a big thumbs up!
 
My plate was the hot links and the pork. 

The pork was chopped into coarse little chunks and covered in lots of sauce.  That was good, but the spicy hot links

were even better.  These were fatty, juicy, flavorful and providing a serious bite.  I loved them!  By the way, I was fortunate to get the hot links, because as soon as my order was placed, the man grabbed a few out of the meat case and yelled, "No more hot links."
 
You can order sides here individually, but if you order the dinners like we did, you get to hit their salad bar

as much as you like.  On the bar, is the potato salad, macaroni salad, cole slaw, etc. 

One of the items was something called an Italian slaw, which was a mixture of cabbage, green pepper, onion and Italian dressing.  It was okay, but we both liked the regular cole slaw better, which still wasn't anything special.  You don't go to Roy's for the sides.  The one exception is the beans, which are sitting on a seperate table next to the salad bar.  This is also help yourself.  The beans were on the sweet side, with plenty of sauce, just how we like them.  Also coming with dinner were four slices of thick, buttery Texas toast.

 
The last time Roy's has made it into a Roadfood book was in 1992.  In it, Jane and Michael mention that there is just one big table for patrons to sit down.  Now, there are two smaller rooms

off to the side and there is plenty of seating.  This was greatly helped by the fact that many customers were getting their food to go.  The interior is comfortably decorated in sports equipment and vintage signs.  This

particular Roy's sign caught my eye.
 
Roy's Hickory Pit BBQ
1018 W. 5th Avenue
Hutchinson, KS
620-663-7421
 
From there we headed south towards Wichita.
 
Much more to come.....   
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/1/12 7:41 PM>

MetroplexJim
  • Total Posts : 3704
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/24/2007
  • Location: McKinney, TX
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 3:04 PM
0
BB,
 
How does Stroud's compare with Babe's Chicken Dinner House down here in DFW?  Rumor has it that Babe's took Stroud's are their model.

Ralph Melton
  • Total Posts : 782
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 9/15/2009
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 8:07 PM
0
Great report!
 
My own Stroud's story: as rumaki mentioned, they served far too much food. Lori and I split a chicken dinner, and it was still too much for us to eat. At the end of our meal, when we were gorged, the waitress asked if she could package any of the food for us to take home. We answered mournfully that we were traveling through, and would have no place to store our leftovers. The waitress looked as disappointed as we were. I mused that maybe we could take the cinnamon rolls. Her eyes lit up. "I'll get you some more!" She dashed off and returned with a plastic bag of cinnamon rolls fresh from the oven. Before we left, we walked around the grounds for a bit watching the swans, and as we did so we would pause from time to time to open the bag and huff the splendid aroma of the warm rolls.

pepsifan4576
  • Total Posts : 3
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/1/2012
  • Location: Montgomery Village, MD
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Tue, 05/1/12 10:54 PM
0
I have eaten at Stroud's twice and must say that both times the mash potatoes have been really the best. 

mr chips
  • Total Posts : 4715
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2/19/2003
  • Location: portland, OR
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 1:21 AM
0
As always, i am eagerly waiting for the next installment.
 

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 7:55 AM
0
BuddyRoadhouse

It looks like I'll be in Cleveland in May (16-20) and June (20-24). 

Thanks for the dates.  Unfortunately, the weekend in May is out, since we will be in Massachusetts as part of the Worcester Roadfood get together.  But, the June date looks like a great fit.  We have been wanting to spend some time in Cleveland, so we may make a weekend of it and join you both nights.  Maybe Daddy Roadhouse will be with you on the trip. 


buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 12:30 PM
0
Saturday April 21, 2012 (cont.)
 
Once reaching Wichita, we headed for Jack's North Hi Carryout,


a great looking little burger stand that appears in the Hamburger America book.  Jack's is located directly across the street from the gorgeous Art Deco Wichita North High School, which some of you may remember I visited in a previous trip report.  It was a good thing we headed straight to Jack's when we got to town, because they close at 3:00PM on Saturday afternoons and it was already a little after two.  We certainly didn't want to be youknowwhated!
 
Jack's opened up in 1951 and the place still looks great.  Love that retro sign outside!  Just inside the doorway is a yesteryear cheerleader

and a mural celebrating the high school's 75th anniversary. 

Just above the grill is a painted menu

with prices from the 1950's and a teepee scene, since the school's nickname is the Redskins.  In the small dining area, all the seats are at two counters, while the walls and chairs are in red and white and the tile floor is done in black and white.  It is all very attractive, clean and obviously, well cared for.
 
The only one working this day was the owner Austin Herron. 

If Austin looks young to you, that's okay, because he looked young to us, too.  But knowing how much hard work a place like this is, I give him all the credit in the world.  While the menu

does mainly focus on burgers, there are other things for non beef eaters.
 
Both Johnny and I ordered double cheeseburgers,

which automatically come with mustard, pickle, ketchup and lettuce.  You also get your choice of either raw or grilled onions and we both choose grilled.  Johnny and I thought this was an excellent burger.  The patties are about a 1/4lb. each and have a distinct grilled onion taste, which we like.  The grilled buns are another nice touch.  We also each got a side of the hand cut french fries. 

These beauties are skin on, thin, with a glowing golden brown hue.  We loved them! 
 
While we were eating, we got an excellent view of the architectural marvel across the street. 

And because this is Kansas, everyone who walked or rode by on a bicycyle waved at us through the window.  This was an all-around wonderful stop!
 
Jack's North Hi Carryout
603 W. 13th Street
Wichita, KS
316-264-2644
 
When I visited the high school previosuly, I failed to notice the bridge right next door, which had the same Art Deco/Native American motif.  This gave me the chance to walk over and check it out. 



And since we were so close, I walked across the street and got some more photos of the high school.




The courtyard area was locked, so it limited the amount of photos I could get, but we did enjoy the few moments we had here. 
 
After putting away these big burgers, both of us needed a break from eating.  So, we were off to do some sightseeing in Wichita.
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/2/12 1:04 PM>

ScreamingChicken
  • Total Posts : 4712
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 11/5/2004
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 12:59 PM
0
buffetbuster


While we were eating, we got an excellent view of the architectural marvel across the street. 
 


And a bonus shot of a...Bitchin' Camaro!!
 

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 1:13 PM
0
MetroplexJim-
Sorry, I have never been to Babe's Chicken Dinner House.  There are so many places in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, I just haven't been able to squeeze it in, yet. 
 
Anyone out there been to both Stroud's and Babe's and willing to share an opinion?
 
Ralph-
Stroud's really does love sending people away with extra cinnamon rolls.  I'm guessing they think that if your car or house smells like cinnamon for the next few days, then will you will subconsiously start planning a return trip.  I know it works on me!
 
pepsifan4576-
Glad to know it isn't just me with the mashed potatoes.  Seriously, how can mashed potatoes be that good?  It doesn't really make sense, but for some reason, they are just much better at Stroud's.
 
Brad-
That may be a bitchin' Camaro, but it's no Screaming Chicken! 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/2/12 1:18 PM>

1bbqboy
  • Total Posts : 4542
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 11/20/2000
  • Location: Rogue Valley
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 2:05 PM
0
BB, always love your reports. Wichita North was always one of 
our main rival high schools, also, in typical Kansas fashion, named the Indians. :)
(Shawnee Mission North)
Lots of Native American stuff and hamburgers in the Sunflower State.
<message edited by 1bbqboy on Wed, 05/2/12 2:14 PM>

Tony Bad
  • Total Posts : 5114
  • Reward points : 0
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 2:43 PM
0
ScreamingChicken


And a bonus shot of a...Bitchin' Camaro!!


 
I noticed that too!
 
As usual, great report Mr. Buster! Thanks for taking the time to report back to the masses. 

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 3:15 PM
0
Saturday April 21, 2012 (cont.)
 
Before we left, I did a little research on what to do in Wichita and the Museum of World Treasures

looked interesting.  Still, the name is a little vague.  When we walked in, I asked the bored teenage girl at the register if this was a Natural History Museum.  She said, "No, it's a museum of world treasures."  Well, thanks for clearing that up for me.
 
Once we paid and were about to start exploring, I realized I owed my girlfriend a phone call.  So, while I was doing that, Johnny was looking around the gift shop.  And boy, did he find some world treasures in there!  How about an extension fork? 

This could come in handy for a lot of Roadfooders out there.  And what carnivore wouldn't enjoy the bacon wallet? 

My favorite item was the different mustache for every day. 

Because, I surely don't want to be caught in public with a naked upper lip.  Don't worry ladies, you aren't being left out.  There are daily mustaches for you, too!

 
This actually turned out to be a terrific museum.  Lots of interesting things to look at, like dinosaur bones,


ancient coins,

part of the Berlin Wall

and other cool things collected from around the globe.  Among my favorites were the masks

and drum

from Africa and an impressive display from ancient Egypt,


including a creepy mummy.

Cousin Johnny and I spent a very enjoyable couple of hours here.  Which, of course,  meant our appetites had rebounded!
 
You can't possibly pass through Wichita without a stop at local favorite Nu Way Cafe
 

There are five locations around the city and we visited the one on West Douglas, which I believe is the original location.  The inside has a long "L" shaped counter

and rows of plastic booths.  Most of the counter was taken up when we arrived, so we sat in a booth in the back room.
 
The specialty here is a loosemeat sandwich, similar to what you would find in Maid-Rites in Iowa.  In fact, the ancestory of Nu Way can be traced back to Maid-Rite.  On the menu board,

the loosemeat is referred to simply as original, but when delivered to your table, they come wrapped in paper with crumbly burgers

written on it. To make matters even more confusing, some people also call them Nu Ways.  No matter what they are called, this is a fine sandwich. 

I need to declare up front that the few Maid-Rites I have had were unimpressively bland.  But these crumbly sandwiches are much moister and even though they are not supposed to be spiced up at all, provide much flavor.  They come dressed with onion, mustard and pickle on a really soft bun.  And they do come pre-sliced in half for convenience,

which allows a nice cross section photo.
 
Because we had eaten so much already today, we passed on the onion rings, which I have had before and are quite good.  But, Nu Way also carries that locally loved Wichita side dish, known as garlic salad. 

This is nothing more than cole slaw with lots of garlic.  And, oh boy, was this garlicky.  Both of us are fans of the stinking rose, but this was much too strong for us.  Actually, I only took a few bites and it was too much for me.  Johnny did finish it, but was glad that the portion size wasn't any bigger than it was.  My previous experience with garlic salad was at Doc's Steakhouse and I don't remember it being nearly as strong. 
 
Finally, the best reason to visit Nu Way is for the homemade root beer,

something we are both big fans of.  And they do not disappoint, because this is some seriously great tasting root beer!  While the mug is indeed cold, it could be frostier, but that is minor quibbling.  Johnny thought that it wasn't heavily carbonated, but in no way flat, either, which I didn't notice.  We both agreed it had a strong caramel flavor.  Our only complaint was that we only got one glass of it each, when we should have gotten refills.
 
Nu Way Cafe
1416 W. Douglas Avenue
Wichita, KS
316-267-1131
 
It was nearly time for us to leave Wichita, but still had a couple of quick stops to make.
 
Much more to come.....  
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/2/12 4:55 PM>

wanderingjew
  • Total Posts : 7381
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/18/2001
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Wed, 05/2/12 10:46 PM
0
Buffetbuster
 
You know I don't share the same enthusiasm as you for the Nu Way Cafe since I'm simply not a fan of the loosemeets/tavern/maid rite type of sandwich it offers, however I did try that garlic salad when I was there back in 2010. Although it  had been 10 years since I had been to Docs at that time, I do recall the garlic salad at Nu Way being way more pungent.

ChiTownDiner
  • Total Posts : 2625
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/9/2006
  • Location: Westmont, IL
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 7:41 AM
0
bb - Did anyone try the chile at North Hi?  The burgers looked fantastic!
 
With regard to the mustache kit, might be helpful in returning over and over again at any places offering free pie samples!  You could double your pleasure and opportunity by also purchasing the ladies kit...

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 7:47 AM
0
CTD-
No, neither one of us tried the chili.  Partially because we knew we had a couple of chili stops coming up in the next few days.
 
I knew I should have bought the fake mustaches!

ann peeples
  • Total Posts : 8317
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/21/2006
  • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 8:20 AM
0
What a fun report, so far, BB!

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 9:08 AM
0
I should have mentioned previously that one of the reasons we chose to visit these particular states on our trip was because Johnny had never been to Kansas, Oklahoma or Arkansas before.  After this trip, he has now been to the 48 contingent states, with only Alaska and Hawaii remaining. 
 
Saturday April 21, 2012 (cont.) 
 
Even though we didn't have the appetite for a full meal, we did want to check out a place reviewed on the Roadfood website called NJ's Cafe & Bakery.  Based on what we read, it looked like we would be able to stop in and grab some goodies for the hotel room.  I was thinking this would be a small, cozy little place, but it was actually quite big.  Somehow, I managed not to take an exterior view of the building, but there was this nice mural

on the wall.  The inside has multiple rooms with lots of booths.  The bakery case is in the back and there appears to be a small grocery store to one side.  Not a big selection,


but what they had looked good.  This was Johnny's turn to pay (on our trips we always alternate paying, figuring over the course of a week it will work out even), so he did the ordering.  We ended up with two pistachio baklavas and two each of the cookies.  We set them aside for later.
 
NJ's Cafe & Bakery
5600 East Lincoln Street
Wichita, KS
316-681-3975

One last stop in Wichita and it was to see the Keeper of the Plains.  This is a nice park on the Arkansas River that features a 44' tall Native American statue. 


As if that wasn't cool enough, at 9:00PM they light some burners around it so it is surrounded by a ring of fire.  Unfortunately, we were several hours too early to see this, but we did still enjoy walking across the pedestrian bridge and checking out this scenic little park.

In a plaza area, there were some interesting Native American

displays worth seeing.  As this was prom season, there were several teenagers posing for photos on the bridge.
 
Getting on I-35 south, we left Kansas, entering into Oklahoma.  Dinner was at a place called Enrique's, listed in the 500 Things To Eat book.  One of the things that made me put Enrique's on the "must visit" list is that it is located inside the Ponca City Airport. 


There is a tiny airport waiting area, but everyone we saw was there to eat!  The leather bound menu

features the house motto, "Hottest Jalapeno on the Runway!"
 
When the waitress asked for our drink order, I asked if they had anything interesting like horchata or some kind of agua fresca.  She gave me a strange look and said she didn't know what those things were.  An ice tea it is.  In the book, the Sterns recommend the pollo loco chicken soup, but it is only available at lunch time.  The main thing the Sterns wrote about is the fiery hot beef burrito only offered on Friday or Saturday nights.  I told the waitress this is what I wanted, but she didn't know what I was talking about.  She pointed out an item on the menu called the Hot & Spicy Texas Burrito, but that was always on the menu.  I know I should have probably pursued it further, but I ended up just ordering the Texas burrito.
 
It wasn't a total loss, because this was a really good dish. 


Even though this is the small size, it sure looked rather big to me.  It had big chunks of chuck roast and lots of beans, all covered in a very hot jalapeno sauce.  And on the top of the burrito was a ridiculous amount of gooey cheese.  I like cheese, but this might have been too much.  Both the rice and the guacamole were better than average, but the burrito itself was quite filling on its own.
 
Johnny ordered the fish tacos,

which looked like a good choice.  He said good things about the freshness of the ingredients and the soft tortillas.  He wasn't 100% sure which fish they used, but said he thought it was catfish, which would be an interesting, but undoubtedly delicious way to go.  The salsa on the side was very hot.  While we were eating we had a nice view of the runway

and we did get to see a couple of planes take off. 
 
Enrique's
2213 N. Waverly Street
Ponca City, OK
580-762-5507
 
From there it was on to our hotel in Oklahoma City for the night.
 
Much more to come.....
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 05/16/12 7:21 AM>

MetroplexJim
  • Total Posts : 3704
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 6/24/2007
  • Location: McKinney, TX
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 9:16 AM
0
I'm not much into "modern art", but that "Keeper of the Plains" statue is a true thing of beauty.
<message edited by MetroplexJim on Thu, 05/3/12 9:18 AM>

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 9:16 AM
0
Somewhere between Wichita and Ponca City, we saw this motel sign. 

Hospital? 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Thu, 05/3/12 9:31 AM>

Howard Baratz
  • Total Posts : 445
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/3/2000
  • Location: ,
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 9:36 AM
0
Buff,
 
If you and Johnny ate at Enrique's and didn't have these housemade puffy tortilla chips you really missed out on something unique. They are both crunchy and chewy and you can bite a hole in a corner and drizzle in a little salsa and/or queso to create a messy but delicious treat.


<message edited by Howard Baratz on Thu, 05/3/12 10:45 AM>

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 9:51 AM
0
Howard-
We indeed missed out on the puffy tortilla chips.  Those look delicious!  Now that gives me another reason to return.  Thanks!

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 2:19 PM
0
Sunday April 22, 2012
 
Breakfast was at an old Roadfood favorite Classen Grill

The first thing I noticed was the specials board, when they offered pancake on a stick for kids. 

Hey, some of us big kids want some pancake on a stick, too!  Classen Grill is a worn, comfortable spot and judging by the crowd, a very popular breakfast destination in Oklahoma City.
 
A great start to the meal is that the orange juice is fresh squeezed. 

I did think fresh squeezed would be more pulpy.  So, how do I know the oj is fresh squeezed?  Because our table was right next to this

mechanism.  As a matter of fact, I spent a good portion of my time here just watching it go and if you stare long enough, it becomes rythymically hypnotizing.  Anyway, we both really appreciated the fresh squeezed touch, especially in a place like Oklahoma, where it has to be a rarity.
 
The menu has all kinds of good sounding options. 

It was tough to decide, at least for me.  Since they are known for migas, it was an easy decision for Johnny. 

A mixture of scrambled eggs, strips of corn tortilla, cheese, tomato and green pepper, Johnny generally enjoyed this dish.  His big complaint was the cheddar cheese as he thought a different cheese would have been better.  He also would have liked it if the salsa on the side would have been hotter.
 
I eventually settled on the chicken fried steak. 

It had a rugged outside texture and the meat was tender enought that it easily cut with a fork.  The very thick gravy came on the side and it was definitely better with the gravy. 

But then, what isn't?  Unfortunately, the biscuit that came with the gravy went uneaten, as we both got full from our meals.
 
The service wasn't unfriendly, just very businesslike.  Considering how many tables she had, we certainly couldn't hold it against her.  On the wall, there was what looked to be some kind of cuckoo clocks for sale, averaging about $100.00. 

They were attractive and if I had an easy means to get it home, I might have bought one.
 
Classen Grill
5124 Classen Circle
Oklahoma City, OK
405-842-0428
 
We had lots of sightseeing to do in OKC, but it was still too early for them to be open.  So, we started out at the Centennial Land Run Monument.  Strangely enough, this place can be a little difficult to find.  It is down by the river and to get to it, you need to drive through the parking lot of one of those huge hunting/fishing stores, go under an underpass and then there is a big parking lot.  We didn't notice any signs until we arrived right there.  Which is a shame, because this is really something to see.  
 
They have an impressive assortment of statues, which include people, horses, wagons, dogs, even a jackrabbit.  




Notice in the first photo there are even horseshoe prints in the mud by the river.  This is really well done.  Although, this bird

doesn't seem particularly impressed.  In the background of this photo,

you can see the new Devon Tower being built.  What a great looking building and at times it appears to be at least three different shades of color.  Anyway, we basically had this area to ourselves and were wondering why more people didn't come enjoy this lovely urban park. 

That is until a bus showed up and people were suddenly everywhere.
 
Much more to come.....  
<message edited by buffetbuster on Tue, 05/8/12 8:31 PM>

lleechef
  • Total Posts : 6212
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/22/2003
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 5:33 PM
0
awesome!
but then that's why you (and Wanderingjew) got trophies in Nashville for Best Trip Reports!
So when are you taking Cousin Johnny to ALASKA? 

will_work_4_bbq
  • Total Posts : 398
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/11/2006
  • Location: Birmingham, AL
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 9:07 PM
0
Oh yeah....he's on his way to another trophy with this one!  Great report so far.....cannot wait for more.

Tex-Max
  • Total Posts : 103
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 12/15/2011
  • Location: Saratoga County, NY
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Thu, 05/3/12 11:22 PM
0
Great Report.  Thanks for sharing.  What a variety of food, architecture, and history.  Can't wait to read more.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 7:03 AM
0
Thank you to Ann, lleechef, will_work_4_bbq and Tex-Max for the nice comments!
 
Lisa-
There is no doubt that Alaska will eventually be in the mix.  My regret is that we didn't go while you were still there.  I can't imagine a better tour guide!
 
 

CheeseWit
  • Total Posts : 1393
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 4/10/2003
  • Location: West Chester, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 7:03 AM
0
Cliff, a great report as always. I'm enjoying this very much.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 8:31 AM
0
Sunday April 22, 2012 (cont.)
 
In the 500 Things to Eat book, the Sterns call Oklahoma City's National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum the Louvre of buckaroo life.  I thoroughly enjoyed the museum during my last visit here and I wanted to make sure Johnny saw it, too.
 
As soon as you enter the building, your eyes can't help but be drawn to this immense sculpture.  

It's name is End of the Trail by James Earle Fraser and it is really something to see.  This 18' tall plaster sculpture was originally made for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco.  There was a docent nearby who told us the piece's interesting history and how it got to the museum.  Unfortunately, the midmorning sun made getting a good photo difficult.  From there, you walk down a long hall, filled with smaller, but impressive sculptures until you reach Canyon Princess by Gerald Balciar. 

I may like this one even better.
 
There is a wonderful art gallery (no pictures), incredible displays of Native American culture, rodeo,

saddles,

firearms

and just about anything else you can think of associated with cowboy life. 


Since both Johnny and I are big movie lovers, we spent quite a while in the Western Performers Gallery,

which focused on cowboys in movies and on tv.  Some of my favorites here with prominent displays are John Ford,

Will Rogers

and Tom Mix,

who, like me, is from western PA.  Even Jean Arthur,

an actress I have long admired, gets a mention.  Certainly, John Wayne deserves a display all his own

and this case is filled with his personal items.
 
In the other wing (which I failed to see on my previous visit) is a spacious conference room that has several large series of three paintings. 



I'm thinking these photos fail to show the scope of the works, but we came away very impressed.
 
After two+ hours of sightseeing, we were ready for some lunch.  So we drove a half hour west of OKC to El Reno for some onion burgers.  Only two of the places are open on Sundays, but this would be our only chance to get to El Reno.  
 
First up was Robert's Grill

This place is small and not much to look at, but it still possesses plenty of Roadfood charm.  There were two people working here and they looked like brother and sister teenagers.  Maybe the owner's kids?  Not sure.  We grabbed seats underneath the one menu board

hanging against the back wall, at the short end of the "L" shaped counter. 

When the young woman came over to get our order, I told her this would be Johnny's first onion burger and she enthusiastically replied, "And it's going to be made by a girl"!
 
First up, we shared a coney with slaw and chili. 

They pile on so much toppings that it has to be served open face.  This dog needs to be eaten with a fork!  The wiener itself is cheap and forgettable and I can't tell you much about the chili.  That is because the primary taste of this coney is the slaw.  Along with the onion burgers, this particular style of slaw is El Reno's own.  It is mustard colored, has a strong sweet taste and is what I would call a wet slaw.  I could see where this would not be for everyone, but I enjoy these coneys.
 
When I visited Oklahoma the last time, I ate at the big three fried onion burger joints and thought that Robert's was the best.  I was curious to see if that opinion would hold up.  While our burgers were on the grill,

I had to lean over the shoulders of some teenagers to get the shot, which they found amusing.  Finally, the onion burgers arrived


and they were every bit as good as I remember.  What I think they do better here than the other places is the extent to which the onions are ingrained into the meat.  They really do become one.  The carmelized onions add so much flavor that condiments aren't necessary.  To drink, I had a can of root beer, Johnny had a Dr. Pepper.
 
Robert's Grill
300 S. Bickford Avenue
El Reno, OK
405-262-1262
 
We could have walked to our next destination, since it was only a few blocks away, but we decided to drive.
 
Much more to come.....               
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 05/4/12 8:45 AM>

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 10:43 AM
0
Sunday April 22, 2012 (cont.)
 
Johnnie's Grill

is the biggest of the El Reno onion burger joints and looks more like a typical restaurant. 

In this case, cousin Johnny and I sat in a booth way in the back corner.  If I had it to do over, we should have sat at the counter to watch the grillman in action.
 
Once again, we started with a coney with chili and slaw, which we shared. 

This hot dog was very similar to the one we just consumed previously, with this one maybe having a slight amount more chili and less slaw.  Taste-wise, they came across as identical.  
 
The onion burgers


here at Johnnie's definitely had more onion than the one we had earlier, but the one at Robert's meshed the onions and beef better.  Still, this was a good burger that we enjoyed eating.  As a little experiment, I tried putting some ketchup and then some mustard on small areas of my burger and there is no doubt that the mustard was much better.  Still, with the strong onion flavor, you can easily eat it without any condiments.
 
To wash it all down, we both got milkshakes. 

Even better, you can mix two different flavors together.  Johnny went Elvis style by drinking a peanut butter/banana.  These shakes were thick enough that you needed a spoon as a straw wasn't getting it done.  He liked his shake very much.  Unfortunately, mine was less successful.  The cherry/banana flavor was good and it did have quite a bit of small cut up banana, but there were so many ice crystals, I gave up after just a few sips.
 
On my first visit to Johnnie's Grill, I completely whiffed on getting pie.  Determined not to make the same mistake again, we looked over the list on the board. 

Lots of good ones to choose from, we had to inquire about chocolate mystery pie.  Our young waitress told us she was not allowed to divulge the details, but was obligated to tell us it does contain nuts, just in case we have allergies.  While I do not have any nut allergy, I am not a fan of nuts in food, so I moved on.  Still, this intrigued Johnny enough that decided to try to solve the chocolate mystery pie. 

This slice had a beautiful uneven, rugged look, with a healthy layer of whipped topping on top.  There was plenty of nuts in the pie, but they were cut up so small, I hardly noticed.  There was also lots of chocolate chips in both the top and bottom layers.  We both really liked the pie.  My Reese's pie was also a winner. 

As Johnny pointed out to me, it had four distinct layers, including graham cracker crust, chocolate, peanut butter and a thin layer of whipped topping.  This pie was very dense, sweet and rich.  I would not have been able to eat this large slice by myself, but Johnny was more than happy to chip in.
 
Johnnie's Grill
301 S. Rock Island
El Reno, OK
405-262-4721
 
Our young waitress was very nice, but she was also slow and disappeared for long stretches of time.  We were here way too long.
 
Now very full, we drove back to Oklahoma City for some more sightseeing.
 
Much more to come.....  
<message edited by buffetbuster on Fri, 05/4/12 10:48 AM>

ces1948
  • Total Posts : 1499
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/6/2003
  • Location: Port St Lucie, Fl
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 11:05 AM
0
Thanks for the great report!. The "End of the trail" statue sat at Mooney's Grove park which is located between Tulare and Visalia, Ca for many many years. I was born and raised in Tulare and Mooney's grove park was one of my favorite places. The statue was donated to the cowboy museum sometime after I left the area and it may have suffered earthquake damage while still at Mooney's Grove. I understand there is a replica of the statue still at the park.

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 11:20 AM
0
ces1948-
Thanks for chiming in and that is exactly what the docent told us.  It looks so natural at this museum, it is easy to think it has always been here.  Considering the size, it must have been especially imposing in a small town park.

ann peeples
  • Total Posts : 8317
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/21/2006
  • Location: West Allis, Wisconsin
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 11:25 AM
0
I think I will try this method at home, somehow. Your pics made my stomach grumble!! I am also enjoying your history, my friend. Things I didnt know about Kansas!

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 12:52 PM
0














 
<message edited by buffetbuster on Mon, 05/7/12 6:47 PM>

Michael Hoffman
  • Total Posts : 17805
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 7/1/2000
  • Location: Gahanna, OH
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 1:42 PM
0
Absolutely fantastic report. But did you have to post photos of those onion burgers?
 
Mouth still watering!

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 2:03 PM
0
Thanks Michael!  Sorry if the onion burger photos are having that affect on you.  The scary thing is, the best burgers are still to come.
 
Thanks also to annpeeples and Cheesewit.  Your comments are very much appreciated.

chickenplucker
  • Total Posts : 160
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/28/2010
  • Location: Louisville, GA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 2:08 PM
0
I'm really loving this report. Cant wait until you post the Arkansas stops. I travel there for work quite a bit.

ScreamingChicken
  • Total Posts : 4712
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 11/5/2004
  • Location: Stoughton, WI
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 2:52 PM
0
So is it possible to get a burger without onions in El Reno?
(I think the sound I just heard was a collective gasp from the RF community.)
<message edited by ScreamingChicken on Fri, 05/4/12 2:54 PM>

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 3:42 PM
0
chickenplucker-
Unfortunately, I didn't get to spend as much time in Arkansas as I would have liked.  But, there was two full days there and some seriously good eats.   I know I can't wait to write about them!
 
Brad-
Troublemaker! 

leethebard
  • Total Posts : 6070
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/16/2007
  • Location: brick, NJ
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Fri, 05/4/12 3:52 PM
0
What a great report.  Oooooh those pies!!!!

wanderingjew
  • Total Posts : 7381
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 1/18/2001
  • Location: East Greenwich/ Warwick, RI
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Sat, 05/5/12 11:21 AM
0
Buffetbuster
 
I visited Roberts  Grill in 2010, I thought their onion burger was too dry. Not sure if that's par for the course or just an off day.
 
I'll probably check out Johnnie's when I hope to revisit Oklahoma next year.

ayersian
  • Total Posts : 897
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 8/16/2003
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Sat, 05/5/12 8:13 PM
0
BB, have you eaten loosemeats at the original Maid-Rite in Marshalltown, Iowa?  Locals say it's the best and a completely different taste from the franchises -- and I wholeheartedly agree.  Amy & I are so glad you made it to RJ's; we have a bottle of their hot BBQ sauce in the fridge!    Chris

buffetbuster
  • Total Posts : 9776
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 5/9/2002
  • Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Sun, 05/6/12 12:22 PM
0
ayersian-
No, I have only been to the Newton, IA Maid-Rite and one somewhere in Illinois.  I have also read that the Marshalltown location had the best ones.  On the list for next time in Iowa!

rumaki
  • Total Posts : 967
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 3/1/2008
  • Location: Minneapolis, MN
Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie - Sun, 05/6/12 1:15 PM
0
In response to Buffetbuster's request to report back, I wanted to let you know how my visit last Friday to Stroud's in Fairway, KS went.
 
I left my conference early and arrived at Stroud's at about 3 p.m. (Stroud's serves continuously starting at 11 a.m. on Fridays). There were quite a few people there, even at an odd hour. I got a window booth easily, but there were at least 8 other parties eating.
 
I ordered chicken noodle soup, white meat fried chicken dinner (2 wings, 2 breasts), mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and cinnamon rolls, with iced tea.
 
The tea and soup arrived almost immediately.  The soup was very good, but had just a little too much black pepper for my taste.  I ate about half of it.  I would have finished, but I knew there was lots more food to come.
 
The rest of the food was a bit slower in coming -- I'd say at least 25 minutes after I ordered.  The green beans and the mashed potatoes and gravy were excellent.  They were much better than the versions at Hollyhock Hill on April 29.  I ate most of them -- and the portions are very generous, so that was a lot of food. 
 
The fried chicken was a mixed bag. The breast that I ate was delicious -- crispy skin, and moist, but still thoroughly cooked, white meat. The wings were not quite as done as I like. The way I gauge that is how easy it is to disjoint the wing. If the cartilege at the joints is hard to separate, then I don't think the chicken is as "done" as I prefer.  I'm not saying it was  undercooked, objectively, and I'm sure it was safe to eat.  But I like my wings really done -- some would say overdone -- and these weren't quite there. So for me, Hollyhock Hill still has the edge in terms of the chicken itself. 
 
I couldn't eat the second breast.  The breasts they serve are huge, and one was enough.
 
Although my iced tea was refilled promptly, I had to ask for the cinnamon rolls. (I mean my initial portion, not extras.) Two were brought to me shortly after I asked for them, but it seemed odd that I had to ask at all, based on the service I've received in the past both at this Stroud's and at the one at Oak Ridge Manor.
 
I ate one roll; it was delicious.
 
When I was about done, I went to the restroom (I was heading for the airport), and while I was away from the table, the waitress brought containers for me to take away the leftovers.  I put the remaining cinnamon roll in a small plastic bag.  When the waitress came by the pick up my check, she said she'd been waiting for me to box up the rest of the food; I explained I was traveling by air and couldn't take the other food with me, but was taking the cinnamon roll to my husband in Minneapolis.  She said "oh," and didn't offer any additional rolls.
 
Overall, the experience was fine.  The restaurant itself is at the side of Shawnee Mission Parkway and is a pretty unprepossessing building -- functional roadhouse-style, but not charming like the Oak Ridge Manor restaurant.  The waitress was brisk and reasonably friendly, but didn't really engage with me.  This is in contrast to when I visited the Fairway Stroud's in 2010; on that trip, the waitress couldn't have been more accommodating, and voluntarily brought me extra rolls to take home to my husband.  There were fewer people there on my visit in 2010, though, so that may have been a factor.
 
In short, I would go back, especially when I'm staying near "the Plaza" in Kansas City, MO, as I was this time and the last time.  It's only about three miles from the Intercontinental Hotel on the Plaza to the Fairway Stroud's.  And it is quite easy to get to the Kansas City airport from the Fairway Stroud's by driving up through Kansas.   But if I were staying farther north or on the east side of Kansas City, I'd return to Oak Ridge Manor.
 
  
  
<message edited by rumaki on Sun, 05/6/12 1:18 PM>

Change Page: 123456 > | Showing page 1 of 6, messages 1 to 60 of 305