Lunches with Dad – Gus’s Fried Chicken

Last weekend my dad was talking to his niece about restaurants (I presume that’s what they were talking about…I wasn’t there) and she suggested a place called Gus’s Fried Chicken that she had visited in Memphis and just loved.

For our lunch adventures today, we had two special guests with us since our school district closed up shop for the day since it was take your child to work day.  Audrey and BFF Carrie joined us!

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It was a little bit of a drive across the state line to get there but well worth the drive.  If you know where the original Kansas City Joes (Oklahoma Joes) location is, its right around the corner from it.

When we got there we were welcomed to sit at any table we liked and our waitress was right over to get our drink orders.  Apparently they have cheap, big draw beers but that isn’t my jam and we all needed to function for the rest of the day so we didn’t partake.  They serve coke products, always a thumbs up from me, and they were well mixed from the fountain.  Dad and Carrie had sweet tea which they said was a very good sweet tea.

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We ordered an order of fried pickles first they and they came fast and were HOT!  They were served with a side of ranch.   Instead of fried “chips” they were fried spears.  I couldn’t tell you how many were in an order because we quickly descended on them and they didn’t last very long at all.  There were some extra spices in the batter, maybe dill and garlic?  They were a great addition and i’m going to try that next time we make fried pickles!  I did have the presence of mind to photograph one before I devoured it…

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This picture ALMOST didn’t happen!

When it came time to order meals Audrey, Carrie and myself ordered the same thing:  Chicken Tenders, baked beans and mac and cheese.  Dad broke the mold and ordered a wing and breast meal with beans and fried okra.

There is nothing fancy about the dishes (plastic/styrofoam plates) or silverware (plastic) but it doesn’t matter.  The chicken is DELICIOUS.  It is fried up perfectly, not leaving it super greasy.  They tout “Hot & Spicy Fried Chicken” and we may have been a little nervous at first, but it was perfectly seasoned.  It had a little bite to it but was a great addition to the flavor profile.  The chicken was super moist and had flavor all the way through the meat and not just in the breading like some places.

As for the side dishes, they were decent too.  Dad enjoyed his fried okra.  Everyone enjoyed the baked beans.  The mac and cheese was decently cheesy but the noodles were a little overcooked reminding us sort of cafeteria mac and cheese.  Still a decent side dish choice though.

After the meal, we decided we needed to also try some desserts.  It’s not every time we do that, but today it seemed necessary and appropriate.  It was a very good choice.  Between the four of us we got a piece of Chess Pie – cold for Audrey and I, a piece of Chocolate Chess Pie – warmed with ice cream for Carrie and  a piece of Pecan Pie – warmed with ice cream for Dad.  They were all yummy.  I think next time I will get the Chocolate Chess Pie for myself.

It was a great meal that we all enjoyed.  Everyone was friendly there and we got great service.  Gus’s will definitely be on my radar next time I want fried chicken out.  I hope they continue to do well and add another (closer) location in town.

Scores?  Me: 4.5, Dad: 4.5, Audrey 4, Carrie 4

 

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Exciting times!

Nerd alert!  New camera talk ahead!

This weekend I jumped in with both feet and went for it.  I upgraded my DSLR after 10 years.

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Meet Betty

Ain’t she a beaut?  I have been thinking about this upgrade for awhile and the photography bug is getting the hooks in me again so I thought I would just go for it.

I took a few first shots in the car on the way home but the battery didn’t afford me much time.  Reluctantly I came home and threw the battery on the charger and started (not so patiently…) waiting for it to be done.  Finally after what seemed to be ages but was in reality only a couple of hours, it was charged!  I threw the battery in her and took it outside with the dogs for a test session.

I must say I am IN LOVE with it.  Its very quick and responsive.  Now I just need to get used to settings and lay out on this camera and tap back into my chest of photography secrets I have packed away.  I can’t wait to show you guys some more shots!

Lunches with Dad – Haywards Pit Barbeque

In the interest of full disclosure, this weeks pick wasn’t technically a new restauarnt for us.  That being said, it has been at least 25 years since and was in a different location when we last visited.

I chose Haywards Pit Barbeque which now resides in Lenexa, KS.  I barely remember going there as a kid, but seeing the hanging on the wall helped bring it back.  That I remembered once I saw it.

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When we got there we were quickly seated and got menus.  Dad had a hankering for okra so we got a fried okra appetizer.  It was a plentiful portion!

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Fried Okra Appetizer, it was packed full! (We had already started in on them before snapping this)

Dad and I both went with the lunch special which was  regular sandwich with you choice of one or two meats, your choice of two sides and a drink for $11.

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My sausage and brisket sandwich with fries and cheesy corn.

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Dads brisket sandwich with beans and cole slaw.

We both were definitely full after our meals!  The meat was good and served dry, which I prefer so I can add the sauce myself.  I thought the slaw was kind of bland.  The beans had good flavor to them as did the cheesy corn.  I am still pondering over the spicing of the cheesy corn and need to do some investigating.  I liked the spiced up twist on the usual cheesy corn.  The fries were my favorite part I think.  They were big meaty fries that were fried up perfect so they had a crispy bite but the middle was so soft and pillowy and perfect.  MMMMMmmmmmmmm!

All in all it was a great meal with good service.  While we were there, I did overhear someone (the manager maybe?) go up to the table by us to inquire about their ribs and if they were overdone and when they agreed that yes, maybe they were, she got them fresh ribs and apologized profusely.  That’s not something you usually see without the customer having to mention it first.  Kudos.

Scores?

Me: 4, Dad: 4

 

Lunches with Dad – The Majestic

As I mentioned in my last post, we hit too spots this past week and both were repeats that we wanted to introduce Grandma to.

Thursday Dad picked the place and it was The Majestic.  Its a classy old joint on Broadway in downtown.  Dad has a thing for classic old buildings and this one doesn’t disappoint.

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We were greeted at the door and sat a table/booth.  We all sat in the booth portion so we could admire the scenery 🙂

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Our server, Brandon, was fantastic.  Warm, friendly and attentive.  We all chose different things off the menu and none of us were disappointed!

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Top – My meal which was the Four Cheese Mac and Cheese with Chicken and golden beets as a side dish.  I had never had (or even heard of!) golden beets but thought I would give them a shot.  I still am undecided about them.  They weren’t bad but they weren’t amazing either.  But I did try something completely new!

Middle – Grandma’s meal.  She got the Turkey on Ciabatta sandwich that was on the specials menu with a side of asparagus.  We all tried the sandwich and it was delicious.  Both Dad and Grandma said the asparagus was good too.

Bottom – Last but not least is Dad’s meal of a soup and sandwich combo.  His sandwich is a French Dip (yes, again) and his soup is broccoli cheddar.  Both were good and seasoned well.

I was perusing the website and I didn’t really think about where they do the jazz music but apparently the downstairs of the building is the “Jazz Club” where they have local live Jazz musicians every night and you can dine down there too.  During prohibition, there was a speakeasy down there.  Must splurge sometime and go in the evening!

Scores?

Me: 4.5, Dad: 4.5, Grandma 5

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Lunches with Dad – Harvey’s at Union Station

Dad and I went to lunch twice this week, but they were both repeats.  BUT!  Grandma was up visiting and we wanted to show her some cool places that were sure bets.  Plus we went there before I was writing these little reviews so we needed another try, right?

Our first pick of the week was Tuesday was mine and we went to Harvey’s at Union Station.

When you go, ask to sit upstairs.  Since its in the “lobby” of Union Station, you get a great view of Union Station from up there!  Its a beautifully restored old building and I’m glad its part of our wonderful city.

When we sat down and was perusing the menu my eyes were drawn to the onion rings and I decided those needed to happen first.  I didn’t get a picture of them before they were devoured.  It was a generous helping of perfectly breaded and cooked onion rings with generous sides of ranch (my fave) and ketchup.  I think we all give the appetizer alone a solid 5!

There were lots of yummy things to choose from on the menu and I was struggling with making a decision.

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The top picture is my meal.  It was Panko crusted chicken with ham and cheese over mashed potatoes and served with green beans.  The chicken was great but the ham and cheese on it made it too salty so I pushed that aside.  It was a good change of pace.

The middle is Grandmas meal  She went for the baked potato soup and a house salad.  She said the soup was a bit too salty and the salad was not cut up enough (what is up with that when you order salads at restaurants these days?!?).

Dads meal was the bottom picture.  He opted for a French Dip sandwich with a side of fruit.  He’s not even a horseradish fan but said the sauce was decent.

Scores?  Last time Dad and I both gave it a 4.  This time?

Me:4, Dad: 4, Grandma: 2.5

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After lunch we went across to the World War 1 museum at Liberty Memorial.  Another great place to visit!

Lunches with Dad – The Firehouse on 20th St Bar and Grill

Lunch log: Thursday April 7 2016, The Firehouse on 20th St Bar and Grill.  Dad’s pick.

After going to another North Kansas City restaurant last week, Dad was inspired to explore NKC a little bit and came across The Firehouse (also known as Christines Firehouse) on the interwebs.  It’s in an unassuming building behind the CVS in NKC.

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Its a cozy atmosphere inside with mostly high top seating at tables.  They were busy at 11:30 when we got there and had to wait for them to (quickly) clear a table so we could sit.  There were three people rounding the room and providing quick and friendly service in tandem.

They have daily specials, which Thursday was $1.00 tacos.  I saw some come out and it was tempting to order the tacos but upon perusing the menu, the Pulled Pork Nachos were calling my name louder than the tacos.  Dad had read about the tenderloin there and wanted to try that.

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Pulled Pork Nachos

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The tenderloin…on a huge bun and plate…

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the tator tots were hiding under the cover of the tenderloin

As you can see, the portion sizes were HUGE.  My pulled pork nachos were delicious.  I have been craving good pulled pork nachos since Josh and I went to the Ozarks last year and I had my first brush with that magic.  These had lots of delicious pulled pork and cheese on crispy chips..  Yummmmmmmmmmmm.

Dad’s tenderloin also did not disappoint.  It was GIGANTIC.  They didn’t make it that  big by pounding it super thin, either.  It was seasoned well and at least 2/3 of it was left after dad was well past full.  You can even order and extra bun and condiments to share with someone else.

It was certainly a meal that surprised me for such a hole in the wall place and I will certainly be going again…maybe even later today…

Scores?  Dad: 4, Me: 4.5

Lunches with Dad – Tay’s Burger Shack

Another week, another lunch date with Dad!  Since we were playing catch up, it was my decision again.  My BFF had told be about this burger place, Tay’s Burger Shack,  in Northtown and I decided it was time we tried it out.

It’s in a tiny little building that I have always noticed and never visited.  Well, thats not true i’m told.  In 1981, a bar inhabited the building and I was in it with my dad, after he had gotten laid off from his job.  I was 5 months old at the time.  My memories of it are unclear, naturally.

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It’s a clean and quaint little place.  You walk in and order/pay at the counter then sit down and they bring your food out to you.

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Top – My double with cheese fries. Bottom – Dad’s single with chili cheese fries

At every table, along with the usual condiments, there was a bottle of house made Sriracha ketchup and sriracha mayonnaise.  A little too spicy for our tastes, but was still good.  Our food came out quickly and was clearly fresh.  The fries were hand cut with a delicious seasoning on top of them.  The cheese on mine was a yummy addition.  Dad got chili and cheese and the chili had some spicy tang to it.

After we finished our meal we were contemplating our next move when we were brought a cup of ice cream and a comment card.  When he brought it to us he said he was trying out a new flavor and wanted our honest opinions.  The new flavor was root beer ice cream.  It was pretty decent.  Our suggestions were to add more root beer flavor and maybe make it a little creamier.  I would buy it if it was on the menu.!

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free ice cream!

It is definitely a place I will be visiting again.  Josh needs to try it too and so should you! 🙂

Scores?

Dad: 4, Me: 4