This past weekend was my last free weekend in the KC area for a few weeks, so I decided to revisit a number of restaurants that I haven't visited since before starting my Kansas Travel website.
First up on Friday evening was Fritz's Chili in Overland Park. Fritz's a unique restaurant with a product you won't find many places. The Fritz family has operated the restaurant for 41 years, and it is the only place the current owner has ever worked.
The fixtures all date back to the opening, and give the place high marks for Roadfood atmosphere.
The "chili" is different. Few would call it chili. It is lightly seasoned, crumpled ground beef, served with or without beans. That is it! Anything else is what you add to the plate of hamburger - vinegar, cheese, onion, etc.
They have had enough people unhappy with the product, that they offer newcomers a sheet explaining what they serve. But is it locally popular, particularly with people of a certain age.
This place is worth visiting, for the whole package of what it is. Its not one I want to visit often, but one to remember. I added a page for it as a memorable Kansas restaurant (including the story of the restaurant going back to Dixon's Chili in the early 1900s) at http://www.kansastravel.org/fritzschili.htm
Next up on Saturday was 7th Street Bar B Q in Kansas City, Kansas. Also known as Quick's 7th Street Bar B Q, this little restaurant with old fixtures was started in 1951. One of the original owner's sons operates this place today. Another son has a place I visited later in the weekend.
7th Street holds its own on atmosphere and tradition, but for me, the que doesn't measure up. The meat doesn't have the flavor that I expect in KC pit BBQ. The mild taste may appeal more to folks that only occasionally eat BBQ.
I had a combo beef and pork sandwich, two ribs, fries and beans. The beans and fries were both a bit above average, but not worth a special trip.
Since I would be eating a lot in just a couple of days, I got a pint of the chili to go. I finally got around to the chili last night. It was some of the best chili I have ever had. Just a few beans and lots of meaty flavor. Flavorful, but not hot - but that is fine, I can always had pepper or hot sauce.
If the chili was something featured and served year around, I would be much more interested in 7th Street.
Still to come - a vintage meat market, Tigers, and much more BBQ.