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Very early morning breakfast, KC to Canton

Ok chowhounds. Let's see what you've got. New Yorkers leaving KC 6am to see bison near Canton at 10am. Where's breakfast?

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  1. KC covers a lot of square miles. What part of town will you be waking up in? And I assume you're going to Canton, Kansas, right?

    7 Replies
      1. re: heatherkay

        We're staying across from Kaufman Stadium, heading west on I-70 and then turning south at Salina onto I-135 to Roxbury. In order to get breakfast in along the way, we'll be leaving at about 5:15am. Any help is appreciated, as getting two teenagers in the car at 5:15 without the promise of decent food is a daunting task indeed.

        1. re: mmarla

          There's a 5:15 in the morning, too?

          That's a tough one. Most of the places I know and would recommend are only open at 6:00. I assume you want someplace nicer than Waffle House (although, coming from NY, you may have never been to a Waffle House -- something to consider if you're into regional diner/fast food chains -- if this is something you're interested in, we could explore it further).

          If you're coming through during the week, you could try Woodswether Cafe. It's right off of I-70, just west of downtown, and it opens at 5:30 during the week (http://www.pitch.com/2006-09-21/dinin... ). It's definitely a joint, but you certainly won't leave hungry.

          Another possibility might be to stuff the still-sleeping teenagers into the car and wake them up when you get to Lawrence, probably about 6:00. Sadly, the best place I know in Lawrence (Milton's) doesn't open until 7:00. You might try Hayes Hamburger and Chili, which is a great hamburger joint, but also served breakfast (http://www.lawrence.com/places/hayes_...

          )

          You'll be in Topeka at about 6:30, but someone else will have to take over from there.

          1. re: heatherkay

            Nothing in Topeka that I could recommend for breakfast. They could do WheatField's in Lawrence slightly later... it opens at 6:30.

            1. re: Katie Nell

              I hesitated to suggest Wheatfields if they have 2 teenagers. My rock climbing boyfriend in grad school used to call them "micro quiches"!

              1. re: heatherkay

                Yeah, I normally wouldn't (especially knowing how my little brother feels about WheatField's lunches!), but when I had the smoked trout and scrambled eggs there, the portion was enormous!!

                Ooh, ooh... just thought of the only place in Topeka that I would recommend for a breakfast food! It wouldn't be a full breakfast, but apple cider donuts that are the best donuts I've ever put in my mouth! You could get that and some cider slushes though, and be good to go! Rees' Fruit Farm, but I think you will need to call for hours, because I'm not sure.

                -----
                Rees Fruit Farm
                2476 Ne State Road K4, Topeka, KS

          2. re: mmarla

            I spotted this thread yesterday and because I was unsure you would be I opted not to post but now you said Salina so I HAD to. My family and I still talk about the best hasbrowns we have ever had and it was at a truck stop kind of place in Salina while we were driving from LA to Louisville. The place is called Russells off I 135 just South of I 70, the food was solid, but those buttery hashbrowns are what we judge all others against.

        2. Well, it's really going to depend on what you have in mind for a "good breakfast"--if you mean traditional country style, there's cafes along the way...or you can eat at like an IHOP or something like that if you prefer. Instead of going through Roxbury (which doesn't have much) you could go through Lindsborg--they have a couple of cafes, or you could eat somewhere in Salina--there appears to be an IHOP just off of I-70 right before you go south on I-135.

          Honestly though, you could eat in KC before you leave--however, if you think they will just go to sleep eating in like Salina or Lindsborg will help you guys stay satisfied until lunch time. Which may be better because you'll not want to go do your thing and then leave in the middle because you are all starving again.

          Lindsborg has: Canton Cafe, the Cookery
          McPherson has: Several chains near interstate, and some cafes scattered through town.
          Galva has: Kountry Kafe
          Canton has: Canton Cafe

          I've never been to any of those, but they all sounded like places that would be open for breakfast--I'd do a yellow pages search and maybe call a couple of them. Nearly all the small town cafes are going to be open early because farmers like to eat breakfast as the sun is coming up...the only disadvantage to this is that it's usually pretty boisterous and crowded.

          Enjoy your trip!!

          1. Ok in all seriousness I went and looked to see if my favorite breakfast place is open early enough for you, and depending what day you are leaving I think you may be in luck. Mama's on 39th. I cannot reccomend this place highly enough.

            Just read the review in the provided link.

            http://www.pitch.com/2008-01-24/dinin...

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jakevol2

              Not if she wants to leave KC at 5:15 am

            2. Looks like about a 3 hour drive, with teenagers, I would let them sleep, and hit Hardee's on the turnpike :)

              1. Topeka looks like a good place to stop, timewise. Cider doughnuts are a nice snack, but my boys will be looking for more. does anyone have any Topeka suggestions?

                7 Replies
                1. re: mmarla

                  Born and raised in Topeka and I'm sad to say, it is not known for it's food! There's a few places that you could go for a decent hot breakfast, but it's not going to be anything to write home about. My husband's family likes both Heartland Cafe and Banjo's... Heartland is terribly smoky, and neither one is particularly great. My parents like Margie's, but I haven't eaten there, I've just had drinks. You'll have to check on hours at all of them, but Heartland and Banjo's both cater to truckers, so I'm betting on them being open. Good luck!

                  -----
                  Heartland Cafe
                  5701 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66619

                  Banjo's Cafe'
                  5824 SW Topeka Blvd, Topeka, KS 66619

                  Margie's Java Cafe
                  4036 SW Huntoon St, Topeka, KS 66604

                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    Thanks. Just as I was reading, the lightbulb went on. Kansas has no "no smoking in restaurants" laws, does it? Oh boy, my kids are gonna flip! Are there at least no smoking sections, or are we eating in the car? Please regard all of this tongue in cheek! How about any towns between Topeka and McFarland?

                    1. re: mmarla

                      It's on a town-by-town basis. Lawrence, for example, does ban smoking in restaurants, but Topeka does not. And, of course, some restaurants ban smoking on their own initiative. Of those that don't, most restaurants have no-smoking sections, but there don't seem to be any special requirements for separate ventilation, etc. That being said, the level of smokiness varies a lot based on the regular clientele, the clientele at the time you're visiting, and how busy the restaurant is.
                      ***
                      ETA -- FWIW, I checked Wikipedia, and it looks like Abilene and Salina both have some level of smoking restriction in restos (unless you plan to eat in a bar or bowling alley).

                      1. re: heatherkay

                        Is there anything heading towards McFarland?

                      2. re: Farmgirl22

                        Really, Lawrence is just 20 minutes east of Topeka. I would stop there (especially for your non-smokers). I haven't breakfasted in Lawrence in about three years, but I used to go to Ten at the Eldridge Hotel, Teller’s for brunch buffet and Wheatfield's.
                        If I remember correctly, Ten had a more substantial breakfast menu than Wheatfield’s. I agree w/ previous posters, the quality of food at Wheatfield's is high, but you definitely won't get a lumberjack portion. Teller's is a buffet (or used to be) and it was decent. None of these places are greasy spoon-types.

                        1. re: amy_rc

                          I'm not lobbying for Topeka by any means, but there really aren't that many smoky restaurants... Heartland just happens to be one of them.

                          1. re: Katie Nell

                            Lawrence would be fine, but now we're back to are these places open at 6am?

                  2. Thak you all for your ideas. This kind of exchange is what makes chowhound the best! the kids have decided to go to Wheatfield's in Lawrence because they can have breakfast at 6:30 and get some goodies to go. Who knows? Maybe we'll stop in Salinas or Abilene on the way back to take my older boy to the Eisenhower Library. We'll be back in KC after dinner and the next day will have breakfast at 39th St. Momma's. You've been wonderful! I just hope I've gotten the timeline correct.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mmarla

                      Make sure to get some pastries to go for the road trip! The Palmiers are wonderful, but I also love the chocolate eclairs! Have fun!

                      Here's their website, so you can check out their breakfast menu if you want to: http://www.wheatfieldsbakery.com/

                      1. re: mmarla

                        It's an excellent choice -- I love Wheatfields. I'd also recommend their signature version of biscuits and gravy. The sausage gravy is spicy and unusual. If you're driving through on a Saturday, you should also check out the farmer's market next door. Not a lot in season yet (unless you just want a bag of field greens), but they usually have vendors selling some excellent value added products like honey, cheese, etc.

                        1. re: heatherkay

                          Thank you both for all of your help. This trip will be more comfortable because of your guidance. One mom and two teenagers in a car would be just horrible without the promise of good food. Thanks again!