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Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, restaurants/food — Peg Britton @ 8:13 pm

My friend Lynn and I wanted to try the Blue Skye Brewery for dinner and their brews so we headed that way after Trivia today.  This is a new brew pub  that opened last month.  It’s located at 116 N. Santa Fe and is attractive, neat and clean inside.  There are heavy wooden tables  that can seat 8-10 and a few four top tables. You sit wherever you can find a seat and share the table with others.  There is a side room for private parties.

The line tonight to get inside close to the taps  stretched from the bar two and four abreast out the front door and down the street from about 5 o’clock on.  They open at 4:30 and that would be a good time to arrive.

They currently have five  house brewed beers on tap like pale ale, red ale, stout and wheat beers. They also have 5 other taps. We each got a flight of beer so we could see what they make and which we preferred. They also have a beer from a Manhattan brewery.  Wine and spirits are also available.

The brewers have just introduced their first seasonal crafted beer…the Ebenezer Vanilla Porter.  It’s a robust porter with vanilla and a hint of cinnamon spice.  I found it a little heavy on the vanilla but it’s a good dark beer, which I prefer.


They have an authentic Italian fire brick oven where they make their specialty pizzas that everyone is raving about. Their Chef, Kyle Baxter, originated the recipes on their menu. From Italian to Thai-style pizzas you will definitely find something you’ll like.  The food menu features a dozen or so wood-fired oven pizzas with thin tasty crusts that don’t take long for them to deliver to your table.

We’re going back to try the pizzas, but tonight we opted for hamburgers which are served  with sides of macaroni salad…both spicy and good.  Fries are extra but we had those too.   I haven’t had a good hamburger in ages so I really enjoyed this one.

One of the two women who shared their table with us had a salad that was HUGE and looked wonderfully appetizing.  It was enough to serve four people generously.  I’d like to try it sometime and share with a handful of friends.

Joe and Mary Lou Mackenzie were there and stopped by our table to visit. They were classmates and good friends of Todd’s and we’ve stayed in touch.  Joe IS the Salina Public Library.  We shared our table with people who, as it turned out, Lynn had met when she first moved to Salina.  You’re bound to rub elbows with someone you know.

We hear reports about the other brewery on south 9th where they only serve beer.  If you want something to eat, you can take your own food, sandwich, casserole, crockpot…it doesn’t matter.  At this point in my life, I don’t want to attend potluck dinners or take my own food anywhere…I want to experience what someone else is willing to prepare.   But, I’ll go try the beer, which I hear is very good with many options to choose from.

If you have time to stop by the Blue Skye Brewery for dinner, I think you’ll really enjoy it.  The Brewery has to be a good shot in the arm for downtown Salina.  Maybe some day soon they’ll be open for lunch.  That would be a good thing.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Eat, Pretty Boy Floyd's, Mark Roehrman — Peg Britton @ 12:52 pm


Born     February 3, 1904, Adairsville, Georgia, U.S.
Died     October 22, 1934 (aged 30), East Liverpool, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation     Gangster, bank robber
Spouse     Ruby Floyd (divorced)
Children     Charles Dempsey Floyd

“Pretty Boy” Floyd grew famous in the Midwest as one of a cadre of 1930’s badmen who used the lack of federal laws and strong local friendships to elude capture and prosecution.

The historic City of Ellsworth runs full to the brim with tales of bank robbers, horse thieves, cattle rustlers and other assorted people of note who have wandered this way.  One of the most famous was Pretty Boy Floyd about whom songs were written.

On the morning of June 17, 1933, a mass murder committed in front of Union Railway Station in Kansas City, Missouri shocked the American public into a new consciousness of the serious crime problems in the nation. I was five at the time of the massacre and well remember hearing accounts of it on the radio as my parents listened with rapt attention.  For years after it was the subject of conversations and news accounts across the nation.  It made Kansas City’s Union Station a famous destination to view the site of the murders.  The killings that took the lives of four peace officers and their prisoner are known as the “Kansas City Massacre.”

The Kansas City Massacre involved the attempt by Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Vernon Miller and Adam Richetti to free their friend, Frank Nash, a federal prisoner. At the time, Nash was in the custody of several law enforcement officers who were returning him to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, from which he had escaped on October 19, 1930.

Click here for more about Pretty Boy Floyd’s run in with the law and how he became a legend.

Now that you have an idea of who “Pretty Boy” was, you can turn your attention to the new restaurant named after him that will open soon in the Historic Underground of old Ellsworth.  Although there are finishing touches that need to be made to the lower level dining area, all new cooking equipment, menu and staff are in place.  It will be outstanding in every detail.

At the top of the menu will be certified Angus Beef of the highest quality.  Meat will be hand cut to order and will include Porter House, Fillet, K.C. Strip and Ribeye steaks.  There will also be certified Angus Beef chicken fried steak and burgers. Also on the menu will be swordfish, mussels and linguini, smoked cheddar salmon, roasted chicken halves, grilled chicken and prime roast of pork, all served with special homemade sauces.  I’m not sure what else will appear on the entree menu, but surprises are in store.

There will be appetizers, house and specialty salads and Cheesecake Factory and Chocolate Lava Cake.

On the drink side, there will be a full bar with three levels of liquor from which to choose:  well, call, and top shelf. With over 30 wines to choose from, as well as a large assortment of domestic and premium beer, they will be able to meet the most discriminating tastes.

To add to the luxury of fine food and wine service, tables will be set with linen table cloths and napkins, glassware and silverware with the restaurant logo.

I’m sure there is much more to add to this list.

And finally, but not least, “Pretty Boy Floyd’s” is owned and operated by Mark and Josie Roehrman who also own the historic Wellington Building in which the restaurant is housed.  It will be located on the lower level of the Downtown Village Mall.

Mark, who is responsible for the restoration of several downtown buildings, lost all the tools of his construction business about a year ago when fire engulfed another downtown building he owned.  He and Josie  lost all of the contents of their residence in the basement, all the tools of his construction business and much of their future loft residence upstairs.  Rather than try to replace and rebuilt his construction business, he turned to something he has always enjoyed and felt was a good fit for him and Josie at this stage in their lives. Pretty Boy Floyd’s will be an outstanding addition to the food service they also offer on the main floor of the Village Mall.


Josie and Mark Roehrman, in their Village Mall.  Entry to the restaurant is through the alley.

By Dr. Kurt Williams, DDS:

Lucky enough to enjoy what will soon be Ellsworth’s latest establishment for weekend dining–Pretty Boy Flloyd’s–on Saturday night with some friends. We were “official” taste testers. Let me tell you, if what we experienced was indicative of what will be served, I will just have to have a standing reservation each weekend. They will be opening as soon as they get their tables in (always a glitch in the construction process). Very cool atmosphere, great service and great food. Their slogan is “Pretty Boy Flloyd’s, Steaks and Shine; Premium Dining 6 feet Under.” Their entrance is through the alley and it resembles a “Speakeasy” from the 1920’s.

Stay tuned for further details…



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Lucas — Peg Britton @ 9:49 am

As of tomorrow, May  1st, Michael Dougherty will take over management of the K-18 Café in Lucas. Many changes are planned from the previous management and will take place during the next few months. The new manager is the son of our friend, Connie Dougherty.  Michael invites you stop in for a meal.  You’ll be glad you did.



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Wilson — Peg Britton @ 5:43 pm


Ally and I went to Wilson today and had lunch at Made From Scratch.  When we walked in Jane Reilly’s restaurant we saw a cream pies cooling on a table…chocolate, banana cream, peanut butter, coconut cream and raisin cream.  This is only a small sampling of the 180 pies she had baked since yesterday afternoon.  Most were special orders and only because of a stroke of good luck did I land the coconut cream pie pictured above on the right with the toasted coconut on top.  I’ll take it to Karen and Todd’s tomorrow.

Jayne makes excellent pies…her crusts are brown and layered-flaky, the fillings excellent.  Her meringues are sky high which doesn’t show up too well in this picture.  She also baked Dutch apple, three berry, gooseberry, rhubarb, pecan, pumpkin, cherry…and I can’t remember what else.    I splurged and had a piece of chocolate pie for dessert today…still slightly warm.


Ally had homemade (as everything is at Made From Scratch) ham and bean soup for lunch.  And, I had one of her famous hamburgers made from 3/4 pound of fresh 90% lean ground beef, with cheese, trimmings and homemade chips.


It’s by far the best cheeseburger in the county, in  my opinion.  It’s the only thing you’ll need to eat for two days.

This is pomegranate season and here are a couple Karen found for me in Salina that are really something to write home about.  It’s hard to capture the size of these with a camera, but  they are huge in comparison to most that are available.  Oh, to live in California during pom season.


Thanks for tuning in…and…have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat — Peg Britton @ 6:43 pm

The other day I blogged an article  I called “On the Side”.  There was some criticism leveled, yet it was well-intentioned.  Now, after my grumbling over it for years, Orozco’s policy has taken a new and positive turn.

Ally had dinner at Orozco’s tonight and, Voila!, she was given a ticket with prices on it.  Way to go, Gabe. Maybe it was just coincidence after all these many years that my comment and his changes occurred at the same time, but whatever reason, it was a very pleasant, positive change to Ally and will be to me and many others.  It’s the right thing to do.

Thanks, Gabe, Jesse and other Orozco family members, who serve some of the best, homemade “from scratch” Mexican food in the state.  They make everything from raw ingredients…tortillas, refried beans, salsa, tamales, etc…AND, their Huevos Rancheros are not to be matched anywhere.  They serve the classic dish made for many years by the senior Orozco.  If you haven’t tried it, order it my style….with soft fried eggs, extra pork and “juice”.   You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks for tuning in…and thanks for enjoying the Mexican food at Orozco’s in Kanopolis.



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Ellsworth Steak House — Peg Britton @ 10:12 am

One more thing to mention that may seem strange to you city folk…. at our Ellsworth Steak House we get a printed ticket with the prices …and total…of the meal at the table to review before paying.  Voila! I mean, this is a big thing around here.

It’s a simple ticket that can anyone can understand and easily  check….like you receive at almost every restaurant  in the civilized world.  Generally,  ESH meal items are priced with a variety of options so there aren’t “extras” except for beverages.

This may seem like a simple thing, but for many of us, it has been a constant source of aggravation not to be presented a ticket at all, or one with hen scratches the waitress made for the order with no prices on it.  At KCs, we never know what our breakfast meal, in particular, is going to cost until they total it at the cash register off the ticket with the scratches.   Paden’s is the same although not quite so bad.  Orozco’s is the worst of all, in my opinion.  You have no idea what they are charging you and are at the mercy of whomever is running the cash register as to whether or not it is accurate.  It is not a question of honesty as we know they are honest folk, but it’s a burr in my side not to have a ticket that has the items purchased and the price beside it.  Suggestions for change have fallen on deaf ears.  I don’t think it’s unreasonable to know for what I’m paying.

Maybe other restaurants will step up and get computerized machines that will compile information for customers or they will write legible checks with prices that  customers can review for accuracy before paying.

ESH has a website with a video of their steaks that will make your mouth water.  Scroll down and you’ll find the various breakfast, lunch, dinner menu options.  Prices aren’t included but they are very reasonable.  It’s a great menu with plenty of options that begs you to return.  In the past, if we’ve wanted a meal for a special occasion, we’ve gone out of town.  Now, it’s time for people from Salina and elsewhere come to Ellsworth to experience our fine food.

And this goes for other restaurants in the county as they each have their specialties to offer.  Made From Scratch in Wilson has wonderful cheeseburgers served with homemade potato chips or homemade curly fries and an assortment of homemade pies made daily that are as good as they come.  It’s hard to beat KCs chicken fried steak and smoked meats.  Paden’s are famous for their homemade pies and the best tomato beer around.  Orozco’s Mexican food is famous all over the state.  Gambino’s make wonderful pizzas and have very good sandwiches.  There is also the Pizza Hut, Dairy Queen, Am-Pride, etc.

Several reports came back to me that all the restaurants that were open Sunday were very busy…including the Midland and Made From Scratch.  Paden’s isn’t open on Sunday but KCs was very busy with their noon buffet followers.

This speaks well for all our restaurants.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Eat, Ellsworth Steak House — Peg Britton @ 10:35 am


The new Ellsworth Steak House had the first day of its grand opening yesterday, the other is today.  Six of us made reservations for a table at 6:00 and were seated promptly.  The place was full and the wait time was from 30 to 45 minutes without reservations.  Can you believe food being so good in Ellsworth you’d wait 45 minutes for a table?

We had a great time experiencing their evening menu.  We started off our dinners with an assortment of appetizers sharing lettuce wraps, fried onion rings and bruschetta. They were all very good. They also offered shrimp cocktail and three kinds of  soup.

Friday is prime rib night so that was a popular item, and very good, according to Todd and Ally.  It was also served at the right temperature, one rare, one medium.  They had run out of rib eye steaks (a small glitch that can be remedied) so steak lovers opted for other cuts which were also good.  Karen said her sirloin steak was prepared to perfection.  Their claim to being a “steak house” was successfully launched last night.

I spied liver and sauteed onions on the menu so that was my choice.  All the meals were served with fresh  romaine  lettuce combination salads plus two “sides”.  Sides included steamed veggie melange, mashed potatoes, twice baked or baked potatoes, French fries, baked beans, cooked apple slices, etc.  And we had baskets of thick slices of warm crusty bread and real butter.

There were beautiful pies in the display case along with assorted Danish pastries and muffins.  Ally chose pecan pie which she said was very good.  There were also slices of thick fruit pies that were flying out of the case to waiting patrons.  I opted for my favorite creme brulee that was topped with wonderful caramelized sugar and a strawberry.

There were a few glitches that come to be expected with new restaurants and wait staff that I’m sure will be corrected in time with more training. There certainly wasn’t anything to complain about the food as it was all very good at our table.

We finished our meal and 8:30 and I don’t think, right now, it could go any faster.  But, in time they should be able to turn the tables in an hour.  They had a very good test last night with a huge turnout for their grand opening.  Our congratulations to Rick and Tina for a project well done.  They have done a lot for the city of Ellsworth.   Keep up the good work and your following will be there.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Eat, Drink — Peg Britton @ 3:16 pm


“McAtee’s 45″  Restaurant reborn.  An Ellsworth landmark gets a new lease on life.

Many of us old-timers remember well when Frank and Bert McAtee took the plunge and built a restaurant on the very lonesome stretch of  the newly constructed 45 highway that skirted Ellsworth.  It later became highway 156.   It was a huge gamble for the McAtee’s who had owned and operated a very successful restaurant in downtown Ellsworth for many years.  With four sons to feed and educate, it was a proposal that also shouldered a great deal of apprehension.  The city fathers encouraged and supported the McAtees.  It was a bold move for them, but one that was well-taken. Somewhere they are smiling.

Now, in another bold and adventurous move, Tina and Rick Davis have taken the old restaurant that has been in operation all these years under other owners and completely rebuilt the inside and changed the exterior appearance.  Everything inside is new, shiny clean and …well…classy.


Last evening the new owners had a soft opening for some of their friends to give the employees an opportunity for training experience.  It was a very nice teaser for the guests who enjoyed appetizers and drinks from the bar.


Machelle McAtee Connally, granddaughter of the original owners, thoroughly enjoyed the renovations particularly the unveiling of the old ceiling that once again displayed its original beauty.


The interior design and paintings throughout the restaurant are the creation of the multi-talented Tina Davis.  The dining rooms and lounge are very comfortable and inviting.   And, a nice sideline is that you can talk without being heard throughout the room.


The buffet area is in the corner of the main dining room.  Chef  Anthony and Ally talk shop about their days working the kitchen at the Salina Country Club.   There is also a pastry/baking chef from Capers with a lot of experience who will join Anthony in the kitchen to create specialty items. They have a first-class kitchen staff.


The restaurant has a new look, new roof and new sign on the exterior which was being erected as I took the picture.  The grand opening is February 4th and 5th.  It should be a gala weekend and opportunity for people wanting a new place to eat, with a new and exciting menu and excellent chefs working the kitchen.  Prime rib and steaks will be among their specialties.  And, as one of my friends observed, it’s the only place in town where you can get a glass of red wine.  There is a well-stocked bar.

The Davis’s have contributed a lot to making Ellsworth a better place to live by giving us a new and exciting dining opportunity.  Stop in for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They have earned our support and we wish them well in their new endeavor.

Their hours are:

Monday through Thursday 6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday and Saturday 6:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Sunday 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m

Phone 785.472.3043

The restaurant is located on Highway 156 at the intersection of highway 1-40 at the northeast edge of Ellsworth.

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Ellsworth, Eat — Peg Britton @ 2:00 pm


Tina and Rick Davis, owners,  say:  “Cafe will be open on January 31st - GRAND OPENING 2/4 AND 2/5.”



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Drink — Peg Britton @ 10:18 am

Three of us had dinner at the Midland last night and overall, it was a most pleasant  dining experience.  The dining area was very attractive with nice table settings, linens, large white charger plates and railroad lanterns to lend a warm glow to the ambiance. We were welcomed politely and seated without any wait.

We were told we could order anything off the various menus and weren’t limited to just the dinner menu.  A bar service menu was provided.

After a lot of deliberation and searching the menus, we made our selections.  Service came in a timely fashion. The salads were fresh and the dressings served separately so that we could choose as much or little of whatever we liked. We were told the chef will soon be making his own special dressings.  The homemade cole slaw was very good.  Delicious warm biscuits, butter and a small pitcher of honey were served with the salads.

The food came out earlier than we anticipated, but we failed to tell the waitress to hold the entree until we had finished our salads.  There really wasn’t any room on the table for the entrees until we had finished our salads and had those dishes removed.   The servings were very generous and the chef’s presentation of the food was well done.

The steak was excellent, cooked to perfection.  The baby back ribs were exactly as described…”boiled and topped with barbecue sauce, very tender”.  If you like lean, pulled pork with barbecue sauce this is your dish.  These aren’t ribs served in the traditional “baby back barbecued style”, smoked or baked.

The glazed carrots were good, served in a separate dish.  The baked potatoes were very large but weren’t fully baked and weren’t hot.  They were replaced but they still weren’t “mealy done” or steaming hot as they should have been to melt the butter. That’s correctable.  The excellent part was that they weren’t wrapped in aluminum foil.

All in all, it was a delightful evening, the food was good and only small improvements need to be made.  Any good restaurant always can benefit from fine tuning here and there.  The Midland menu which is rather limited would be improved with the addition of a “chef’s special” to let him create what he might like that day and give frequent diners another option.

Heddy Mahoney made the round of tables meeting people and making them feel welcome.  It’s a very good sign when the owner with such a delightful personality is there to make sure the restaurant operates according to her wishes.  She has created a very warm and attractive atmosphere for the Midland.  Our meals were very good.  It was a very nice evening and we’ll make a return visit  soon.  If you haven’t already been there, you might want to have a special night out at the Midland.

Thanks for tuning in…I regret that I forgot my camera last night.  Pictures always help my words.



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat — Peg Britton @ 8:48 pm

Owner, manager, chef William Justice took a break between orders and visited with Ally and me.  He posed for a picture for Ally in front of his message board that credits the various area farms that contribute fresh, organic foods for his cafe.  William uses local and natural ingredients whenever possible.  His menu changes seasonally, or whenever the notion strikes.  Substitutions and suggestions are welcome.  And…tax is included in all his prices.


This is what I had for lunch…”Horn of Plenty” Quesadilla.  It was made from many and various veggies, mushrooms, chevre, and pesto.  I had a choice of salad or beans and rice.  The salad greens were exceptional…maybe the best I’ve ever had.  They were light and “lacy”, very delicate and topped with almonds, shredded carrots and blackberry vinaigrette. The meal was $6.50.

There were three quesadillas other than the one I chose:  Cheese ($5.00), Spicy Chicken ($7.50) and Autumn Squash ($6.50).  The Autumn Squash Quesadilla was made from squash, cheddar or chevre and salsa. Add chicken or pork for $1.50.


Ally ordered a Classic Hot Dog that had been highly recommended. It was $4.00.  They are all natural pork hot dogs and the buns are homemade at one of the supplying farms.  In addition to this hot dog, there were others:  Ginger Dog, Radish Dog, Classic Dog and Spicy Dog.  The Spicy Dog is served with sriracha sauce, onions, hot peppers and weibe cheddar cheese.

In addition, there was a variety of rice bowls:  Thai, Spicy Chicken, Grilled Salmon, Rosemary Garlic Chicken, Portabella and Pesto, and Steak and Sweet potato. Rice bowls are $8.50 and they looked delicious.

The special today was a barbecued beef sandwich.  They also had Autumn Squash Chili made from beef, chicken, red beans, hominy, veggies and spices and served with bread and butter.

William’s breakfasts look equally as interesting and delicious.  His use of spices and herbs is very, very interesting and delectable.

For reader comments about the cafe and words from William, click here for his FaceBook page.   And read this!

Thanks for tuning in…



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Joshua Svaty — Peg Britton @ 11:07 am

I never thought I’d see the day when Ellsworth residents had available to them a traveling Oriental restaurant. That shouldn’t come as any surprise as Garden City is full of traveling Mexican food restaurants operated out of the back of cars and vans.

The Dragon House Concessions featuring Chinese Cuisine is a splendid example of ingenious entrepreneurship in these difficult economic times and is located in the parking lot of the American Legion Hall by ALCO on Highway 40 on Sunday and Monday. Those are good days of operation since some of our local restaurants are closed.

The folks who operate this concession, I understand, are very friendly and helpful and want to provide another source of food that is currently not present. When Ally was running the deli she said she had constant requests for her homemade Oriental food. The Dragon House home base is Concordia. They feature low fat, low cholesterol Szechuan, Mandarin and Hunan cuisine.

They offer six different types of soup including hot and sour seafood soup or house specialty soup for two for $6.50. Other soups are $2.00.

The ever favorite Moo Goo Gai Pan is $9.75 as are other chicken, pork and beef selections. Some dishes are less. Seafood and house specialty dinners run slightly more.

They are inspected by Josh’s arm of the Department of Agriculture. I’m sure they would appreciate you giving them a try. They are also spending two days each in Lindsborg and Abilene.



Filed under: prairie musings, family, friends, Eat — Peg Britton @ 2:20 pm


Meredith, Cindy and I get together as frequently as possible to have huevos rancheros at Orozco’s.  That isn’t very often….every few months, at best.  Now that they are retired, they are busier than when they were teaching.  Or so it seems. We usually arrive at 9:00 and stay until the lunch crowd arrives.  It was my turn to pay so we gathered at 8:00 and added to our numbers so the airmen and Ally could be included.  From left: grandson Tyler, Meredith (The Crystal Queen) Vargo, daughter Ally, Lew McAtee, Cindy McAtee, Moi with my steriod moon face, and Greg Jones.  The best of friends for years, Greg and Tyler were off for recruitment duties in Salina after breakfast.


Gabe Orozco and Tyler.

If you haven’t had the huevos rancheros experience at Orozco’s, you might want to give it a try.  I have mine served with scrambled eggs and extra sauce on top.  It’s Gabe’s parents special dish and a local favorite. The Orozco’s are a wonderful family and each one is special.  Gabe has two nephews in Harvard med school.  Smart group they are.



Filed under: Eat, Area Sites, Deli — Peg Britton @ 9:36 am

Today Ally is serving open-faced hot turkey sandwiches with dressing and corn for $6.50.

Speaking of food, as frequently I am…Ally and I went to Lyons to chase down the Chinese Restaurant.  It’s on the main floor of the LyKan Hotel and pretty dern good. They had a buffet last night but you can also order off an extensive menu.

There wasn’t any beef on the buffet, but plenty of chicken, shrimp and fish dishes.  I always enjoy the boiled shrimp…and they had crayfish as well…and I can make a meal on them.  They also had some interesting pickled veggies that I really liked.

These are the folks that Meredith chased after in Ellsworth so I thought I’d mention that to the young girl who was taking my money…but she spoke no English.  She had not a clue what I was talking about.  Our young waiter who looked like a native of Lyons interestingly enough spoke some Chinese.  Hard as he would try, he couldn’t get her to say they had been visiting in Ellsworth.   She kept saying “Salina”,  but there was no mention of Ellsworth.

Finally, they called in the reserves and another cute young oriental woman came to the rescue.  She couldn’t speak English either but the three of them, with a lot of help from the young man, finally realized what I was saying.  Meantime, Ally is trying to drag me out, knowing I’m not giving up on this, and is saying over and over…”Mom, it doesn’t matter.”

Then….Voila!   They jumped with joy, grabbed my hands and with smiles galore said “yes, yes, yes”.  They loved that woman (Meredith) and their visit to Ellsworth.  So, I told them how much we appreciated them coming to Ellsworth and that brought more jumping for joy and grabbing my hands and arms across the counter.  They are delightful people and soooo cute.  I wish they had settled here instead of Lyons.  I want to go back just because they are so nice.

Thanks for tuning in….



Filed under: prairie musings, Eat, Ellsworth Sites, Deli — Peg Britton @ 10:21 am


This photo is by Michael O’Conner.  It shows the detail of the wall mural painted by Rene Pennington that is in the Ellsworth Antique Mall. It’s located in Maypo’s Deli which is opposite the mural.  Isn’t it a dandy?  He must have taken this after closing as the tables in the Deli are usually filled with people who are enjoying the wide assortment of deli sandwiches, soups and homemade ice cream.

Changes are always happening in the Antique Mall.  Stop by and take a look.



Filed under: Eat — Peg Britton @ 1:45 pm

The Orozco Family, owners
117 N. Kansas
Downtown Kanopolis


Orozco’s is a family-owned and operated Mexican restaurant on the main street in Kanopolis. It’s a favorite of those who appreciate good Mexican food that is made from scratch….the best ever refried beans, tortillas, tamales, sanchos (smothered or plain), tacos, tostadas, burritos, huevos rancheros, etc.


Early every morning you’ll find area farmers filling a couple of long tables in the front section of the restaurant….close to the kitchen. They pass around all the weather and farming news of the day and catch up on what’s going on around the county. I was a little late this morning and caught only Steve Donley and Monte West in a lingering conversation.

Never at a loss for words, Meredith Vargo corners Gary Donley for a good-humored exchange.


You can order a hamburger and fries, but why would you?


There are plenty of very good options on the menu, but their most popular breakfast item, and my favorite dish is huevos rancheros, Mexican ranch-style eggs. They surpass the usual and are distinct from others. Locals gather there to start the day with the traditional mildly spicy dish prepared in the same way Grandpa Orozco made it in the “old country”.

Order it Grandpa Orozco’s way and you’ll get a lipped-plate full of scrambled eggs, special refried beans and hash browns topped with green pork chili like pictured above. Homemade tortillas are served warm on the side. I like it topped with their extra-hot salsa, but most people find it spicy enough as is. I don’t think you’ll find better anywhere else.

Grandson Tyler’s favorite Orozco breakfast was a full order each of huevos rancheros, biscuits and gravy and a stack pancakes. Now the Air Force gets to feed him. Be there before 10:00 am as that’s the cut-off time for breakfast.


The Orozco’s have a large, beautiful family and you’ll find either Jesse or Gabe (pictured above) in the kitchen cooking on that great stove of theirs. There is a host of brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and other relatives who also work there as the need arises. They are also wonderful about giving jobs to middle and high school kids.


Their carry out business is very brisk.

If you haven’t yet been to Orozco’s and like Mexican food, give it a try.



Filed under: Eat — Peg Britton @ 1:40 pm

Donna Behrens, owner
119 East 1st
Downtown Ellsworth
7:30 -1:30 Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday
7:30 to 3:30 on Thursday and Friday


Donna Behrens has been operating her bakery since November 2001. She is proud to say that after selling lots of bakery items, she has her building paid for and is well on schedule to having her house debt free in 18 months. That speaks well of her perseverance and work ethic. she’s earned community support.

She makes donuts, twists, long johns, honey buns and donut holes daily. On Thursdays she makes bierocks, kolaches and sticky buns. She’ll make any of her bakery items to order.


She has seasonal cookies, plus a wide variety of popular other cookies…chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin, oatmeal chocolate chip, sugar cookies, date pinwheels, etc. On certain days she makes sweet rolls filled with fruit.

As special orders she’ll make cream puffs, sheet cakes, angel food cakes, birthday cakes, cupcakes, but she’s quick to add that she doesn’t bake wedding cakes. That would call for her attending a special school that she doesn’t have time for right now. She will recommend others who do make wedding cakes.

In one corner she has shelves of craft items, but isn’t specializing in them.

Donna has a morning coffee group who regularly gather for coffee and donuts…Dan Ted, Dorothy, Jane and Bob, Alan Bill, Dick, etc.

Stop by to see what she has in her cases, or ask about special orders. She tries to accommodate everyone.



Filed under: Eat — Peg Britton @ 1:50 pm

Karen Paden and Curtis Wilson, owners
606 West 15th St.
Ellsworth, Kansas
Tuesday – Sunday 7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Tuesday – Saturday 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.


Located on the highway across from the Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Karen Paden and Curtis Wilson provide customers a clean restaurant, friendly atmosphere and good home-cooked food.


Located on the highway across from the Ellsworth Correctional Facility, Karen and Curtis provide customers a clean restaurant, friendly atmosphere and good home-cooked food. They serve home-smoked beef, turkey, pork and ham sandwiches, a variety of other sandwiches, full meals, bison burgers, chef salads and great breakfasts options. There is something for everyone.


Check out the coconut cream pie, above, that Brit, my main squeeze, has waiting for dessert. He’s one of their best customers for biscuits and gravy in the morning and pie at some point during the day.

Karen doesn’t make her own pies, but they are very good. She serves MarCon Pies that are made in Washington County and famous state-wide.
Their all-you-can-eat buffets are very popular and served on Friday and Saturday evenings. She has Mexican food and steak buffets. Their Sunday noon fried chicken buffet is popular with the after-church groups. Steaks are available every evening.


Karen’s chicken fried steak meets the criteria of the Kansas Explorers Club: the meat is fresh and purchased locally, then hand-breaded with special seasoning and grilled. The award, granted in August 2003, is displayed by the kitchen door and on their menu. Their “chicken fry” is huge, delicious and served with all the traditional trimmings. It’s a top-rung customer favorite and I highly recommend it.

A bowl of Karen’s chili topped with lots of chopped onions and grated cheese is one of our favorites.


Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day and Karen makes wonderful to-die-for blueberry and buttermilk pancakes, large enough to fill a platter. With crisp bacon, ham or sausage and a couple of eggs on the side, it’s enough to last hungry folks the entire day. They have 3 egg omelet platters of every variety, French toast, breakfast sandwiches and biscuits and gravy to tempt anyone.

Catering is a big part of their business, from family reunions to corporate meetings. They catered our granddaughter’s rehearsal dinner and did an excellent job. They can serve buffets, sit-down, or picnic style meals with a wide variety of menu choices. Ask Karen for details as they are willing accommodate everyone and serve parties within 100 miles of Ellsworth. Private parties and business meetings are also welcomed at KCs.

They give you a 10% discount if you are 60 or older and ask for it.


Karen and Curtis go the extra mile to give you what you want to eat, the way you want it. They are very accommodating and serve some mighty good home-cooked meals.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering: Karen Paden and Linda Siemsen, who owns Paden’s Place Restaurant, are sisters and the daughters of Errol and Elsie Hunter. They feed the hungry masses in town and do it very well.



Filed under: Eat — Peg Britton @ 1:58 pm

Connie Terry, owner
105 N. Kansas
Downtown Kanopolis
Monday-Saturday 5:00 am to 8:00 pm
Sunday 6:00 am to 2:00 pm


Mom’s Diner is the place to be on Sunday if you have a hankerin’ for pan-fried chicken (breast and leg), real potatoes, mashed with pan-drippings cream gravy on top, creamed corn, Brookville-style Cole slaw, roll, dessert and drink for $7.00, as of today.

Everything Connie and her daughter, Shawnka, (pictured above), prepare begins with basic raw ingredients. Her lemon meringue pie that she’s holding is so good and very lemony, like I remember my mom’s. That’s my piece that is missing from the pie. Pecan pies are also her specialty.

Chicken-fried steak is made the Kansas Explorer way with fresh, locally purchased meat, hand-breaded and cooked on the grill.

Breakfasts are served all day and include omelets, jumbo cinnamon rolls and the all- time local favorite, biscuits and gravy.

All their breads, rolls, buns, biscuits, etc. are homemade. The same goes for ice cream and other desserts. The only thing they throw in a deep-fat fryer are potatoes, onion rings and cheese sticks.

It’s good to have a new restaurant in Kanopolis. The food at Mom’s doesn’t compete with Orozco’s….they complement each other by having entirely different menus. Give them a try.



Filed under: Eat — Peg Britton @ 11:05 pm

Chad and Jennifer Roehrman, Mark and Josie Roehrman, owners
210 North Douglas
Downtown Ellsworth


At the main entrance of the Antique Mall is a delightful coffee shop where you can meet a friend or take a break from shopping the stores on Douglas Avenue or the Mall and sample freshly ground coffee made into a scrumptious cup of latte, espresso, cafe au lait, cowboy coffee, breve, cappuccino or any number of other wonderful concoctions.

The Roehrmans use only the best Grade A and B coffee beans that are selected and carefully hand-roasted by Mark’s brother, Rick Roehrman, in Colorado Springs. The house coffee is a blend of French, Costa Rican and Sumatran coffee beans.

You’ll also find a selection of smoothies, chai tea, hot chocolate and Italian cream sodas. There are homemade muffins and a half dozen varieties of awesome cookies.

They usually have 10 flavors of homemade ice cream available but they change on the whim of the ice cream maker. There are different flavors like mint and chocolate walnut, but you’ll usually always find cinnamon and yellow cake as those are customer favorites.


Maypo’s Deli, also Mark’s creation, is fashioned after his obsession with Maypo hot cereal as a kid. You’ll have to ask him about it. The Deli offers a wonderful selection of homemade soups, sandwiches, salads, ice cream, cookies and muffins to make you cry for more.

Everything in the Deli is fresh and you select what you want and how you want it. You can have a plain meat and bread sandwich or have it loaded with all their toppings. The wide variety of salad options include whatever you want and you pay by the pound. There are fountain drinks, tea and coffee options as well.

The deli breads are baked fresh daily and there are several varieties to choose from. You can also have your sandwich in a wrap if you prefer. Sandwich meats are available and include ham, turkey, roast beef, corned beef, pastrami, bacon, etc., a wide variety of cheeses, egg salad, seafood salad, pasta salad, potato salad, and a couple dozen selections of toppings for both salads and sandwiches. You can have the best salad in town, in my opinion, by building it at Maypo’s. They have soup and sandwich specials everyday.

There are tables and chairs in the Espresso - Maypo area for people to gather for lunch and special treats during the day. It’s a good place to sit and rest after browsing the 50-60 dealer booths at the mall.

During special events, the Drovers bar is open downstairs where food and drink is also served. You should try to participate in those events if you possibly can. You’ll find all the old-fashioned hard-to-find soft drinks like cream sodas, root beer, sarsaparilla plus some good suds.

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