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Apr 7, 2008 02:33 AM

Roadtrip notes: Kansas

For what it's worth...

ARTHUR BRYANT'S LEGENDS: 1702 Village West Parkway, K.C., KS,

Driving from MCI to Manhattan, we didn't have time to visit the original Arthur Bryant's, so we stopped at this spinoff by the speedway. My burnt ends sandwich ($9.50 with fries) wasn't up to much: the smoke level was barely detectable, so the meat was essentially overcooked brisket. Trying my friend's dishes, the ribs were much better, while the pulled pork was acceptable. Fries were fine. The table sauces were interesting: I liked the tart Original and the sweeter Rich & Spicy about equally well.

The original AB's is still on my list for my dream KC-to-Memphis-to-San Antonio BBQ tour.

LITTLE APPLE BREWING COMPANY: 1110 Westloop Pl, Manhattan, KS,

I ordered my burger medium-rare and it came out medium-well, would've sent it back if I was the kind of guy who sends back dishes. This aside, it was a good burger, with well-seasoned, quality beef. Prairie Pale Ale tasted bad to me: stale-tasting and too sweet, gave it away to a friend who didn't mind that. Their stouts made up for it. The better of the two I had was the XX Black Angus, which was very smooth with some bitterness. I forget the name of the other, a seasonal which was a more easy-drinking Guinness type. Friendly enough place.

AL'S CHICKENETTE: 700 Vine St, Hays, KS, 785-625-7414

Established 1949, this is one of the longest-running restaurants in NW Kansas. The draw is the eccentric fried chicken, which is crisp and dry. One of us had the chicken-fried steak instead and enjoyed that. Good fries, lots of skin. The salad was the least fresh I've ever finished, but I was glad to have it.

If you find yourself taking the I-70 across Kansas, stop here (though not on Sundays and Mondays, when it's closed). If you're deciding between the I-70 and some less godforsaken route, this place shouldn't be enough to sway you towards the I-70.

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  1. Next time you're in Hays, you might try Gella's Diner and Lb. Brewing Company. I haven't been there yet, but my parents adore this place. They love the food and the beer. They live in Topeka, but they actually took a day off recently just to drive down and eat at Gella's!

    8 Replies
    1. re: Katie Nell

      And let's try linking the place again...

      Gella's Diner & Lb. Brewing Company
      117 E 11th St, Hays, KS 67601

      1. re: Katie Nell

        I've been to Gella's at least twice, maybe three times in the last year or two. I didn't think it was all that great - just your standard "upscale" brewery fare, not especially well prepared, and served by college students who obviously don't have a clue how to serve. The beer was decent. Of course, I can't really recommend any better places to go in Hays, either. (I grew up there.)

        We never went to Al's Chickenette when I was growing up because my parents thought it was too smoky. That should have changed with the new no smoking rules in the county. My friends all liked it.

        1. re: 2FlyingYorkies

          I think it was mostly about the beer, but I'm not sure. I just thought a recommendation other than IHOP or McDonald's would be nice, especially for those on their way to Colorado. They've always had good things to say about the servers too.

          1. re: Katie Nell

            I guess I get stuck with the servers when I go. I've had "guy who forgets to bring the extra side dish my sister ordered even though we reminded him about it when the food arrived and again halfway through the meal" (it never arrived), and "guy who is more interested in talking to girl server, causing both to forget to refill drinks".

            Even with all that, it's still one of the better non-chain places to eat in Hays.

            I also had a surprisingly good dinner at a place called Jalisco Mexican Restaurant. We've only been there once, so I don't know if it's consistent, or clean, or anything like that. Anyway, we had some sort of house fajita plate, which had shrimp, beef, chicken and pork with peppers and onions and possibly mushrooms. It was good, and the serving was HUGE. The margaritas were also quite good.

            1. re: 2FlyingYorkies

              Actually, I think my husband has mentioned Jalisco's- he went to Ft. Hays several years ago, so it must be somewhat consistent!

      2. re: Katie Nell

        We will be stopping in Hays this summer on our way to Colorado, nice to have a recommendation of someplace to eat/drink when you get in late on Friday night.

        1. re: Katie Nell

          I don't plan to be in Hays again... ever, but thank you on behalf of my Manhattan-born friend!

          1. re: bradluen

            Yeah, I don't blame you! It's only a pitstop for us on the way to Colorado.

        2. Pat's Blue Ribbon BBQ in Manhattan, KS is pretty good. I just moved here, and haven't tried many restaurants - but my husband and I really like Pat's!

          1 Reply
          1. re: ex.libris.lady

            Love lots of places in Manhattan, too bad it is so far off of I-70