Friday, April 21st con’t…
As we pulled up in front of Kitty’s Café
, there was one thought running through most minds. After three consecutive stops and the driving and drinking and eating involved, we were all in search of bathrooms…and things got downright testy! Kitty’s
was another in long line of restroomless stops and that meant everyone was left to their own devices to solve the problem.
Once the issue was privately resolved, a group purchase was made with sandwiches cut in quarters. Kitty’s
represents our only encounter with the Asian version of the BPT. Instead of one large hubcap sized BPT, the Asian version is tempura battered, cut in wide strips and piled high on a pillow soft bun. I really enjoyed this version but was unable to continue as it was quite spicy hot. It almost seemed that one of the condiments was sirracha sauce.
This was a fairly quick stop and it was here our group split up again. My car full of beefcake headed to the underground city known as SubTropolis
. We stopped at security where Joe Rogo
deftly avoided detection and we were cleared to enter.
Recommended by the esteemed KC historian Bill Voss
is located in a portion of a previously mined salt cave. It’s currently 6 million sq ft with another 8 million to grow. There are so many businesses (55) located here due in part to the constant temperature (Energy Star rating = 100) and therefore, low costs. There are a maze of roads, a railroad, a 30-acre Ford Assembly plant and so much more. Massive pillars bigger then my car support the tunnel system which is smoother than most interstates.
As I concentrated on driving and navigating, ChiBears15
promised to post these photos….but has anyone ever seen a ChiBears15
photo? Is there film in the camera? Only the screamingchicken
knows for sure… SubTropolis
was a much quicker stop then the museum the remainder of the group was visiting, which meant we had some free time. A small break was really nice after the whiplash frenzied pace Chris
had us on. We choose a make-up stop from our KC arrival…
…that we had temporarily cancelled two days earlier, Andre’s Confiserie Suisse
. A modern pastry, chocolate and coffee shop, it provided the perfect unencumbered environment for a relaxing hour. Discussions covered news, weather, sports and even a Roadfood Trip to Japan.
Each of the four of us made individual selections and then we all sat down to relax for an hour. My haul included a lemon tart, chocolate covered orange peel, chocolate covered cherry, chocolate dipped apricot, a raspberry bar and one of my favorite childhood candies whose name escapes me. A cappuccino completed the snack.
The staff was super friendly and was disappointed to see us leave until they caught Joe Rogo
putting back on the Red Slippers. Back to Miss Gulch’s
home state we went…
…arriving at a desolate highway intersection with a lone building standing on one of the corners – Ricky’s Pit Bar-B-Que. We entered and were greeted like family. Everybody was so happy to see us and that feeling just rippled through the crowd.
We split up into smaller tables with our group of five consisting of ChiBears15, Big_G, Joe Rogo, Davidsanders
and myself. While discussing our order, the staff at Ricky’s
brought out complimentary small cups of their awesome chili. This was delicious but a bit too spicy hot for me to finish. My cup was gone in seconds. The chili was so good that Big_G
ordered up a full sized serving. And it vanished!
As smoked catfish was a special and list on the door, we ordered up a plate of catfish. It arrived with very good baked beans and some more white bread. The catfish was meaty and extremely moist.
Our group opted for the sampler platter which arrived a few moments later. Ribs, sausage, brisket and our first appearance by Mr Pit Ham. Pickles and another plate of white bread plus a full bowl of sauce completed the platter. I love smoked or bbq’d ham and quickly ordered a full ham sandwich which disappeared in seconds after arriving.
The chatter was animated as the staff as having as much fun as us. They loved all the facial and body contortions everybody was making trying to get that perfect shot… ChiBears15
with a top secret photo…. Davidsanders
trying for the aerial viewpoint…
As we mopped up the last drops of sauce with our white bread and pickles, the staff brought out mini slices of Sweet Potato Pie for the group! So sweet of them to extend this kindness to a roving band of vagabonds who minutes before were complete strangers. Another OMG moment ensued as this was one mighty super fine slice of pie!
We left Ricky’s
with lots of thank-yous and goodbyes and headed to downtown Overland Park for our next stop. As we approached town, we noticed that things were really hopping. It seems on Friday evenings, stores stay open a bit later and bars, restaurants and food purveyors keep it rocking.
Elvis was singing in the town square and we all got a chance to see ChiBears15
do his best shake, rattle and roll. Lots of emotional scarring there! Our destination was only a short block or so away, The Upper Crust.
Previously located in the location now housing Ashleigh’s, Upper Crust
had grown into a full service pie shop and bakery. Chris
had timed this one perfectly so as to coincide with their Friday night pie flights. For $8, you pick from a list of approximately 8 pies. Slices are halves, but like Ashleigh’s
, quite generous.
One difference here, you had to stay on the list meaning if there was a pie choice not on the list, it was purchase the entire pie or hope for a mini. David Sanders
played this out extremely well! The grasshopper is quite fast on his feet!
As the Friday night downtown gathering draws a lot of folks, The Upper Crust
was pretty crowded on its own and when 20 more walked in, it was overflowing. Tables were at a premium but locals, sensing a pie uprising not seen in these parts since buffetbuster
was shorted a slice of SCR in the spring of '40 (the best pie in the galaxy Monsieur Buddy
) and with genuine fear reflected in their eyes, began taking orders to go right from the counter as well as half eaten portions at tables.
I had about a 20 minute wait before my turn arrived at one of the twin ordering stations. Now you think I’d have lots of photos to show for all this time spent in one place, but not one photo survived.
As I approached the moment of reckoning, I knew Sour Cream Blackberry was a must, Cherry Rhubarb for comparison purposes and a slice of double crust Blueberry because crumb top was NOT an option. After executing my purchase, most places will give you a number. Upper Crust
had just implemented a new “card” program. I was given my card and grabbed a seat with Chris
. I turned the card over and found I was now – My Grandfather
! A short while later, a young girl appeared from the back room with a flight that resembled my order. I waited…patiently. Finally, she said in a timid voice, My Grandfather
? I waited for a louder version and replied, yes granddaughter, have you brought me pie? She was bright red and we were both laughing so hard. For the rest of the night, comments were exchanged with every pass by. It concluded when someone else became her, My Grandfather
and I told her she couldn’t have it both ways.
We were pretty full by this point and the hotel was looking mighty good at this point. But off in the distance, we heard an excited voice broadcast over a public address system….
Kansas City International would like to announce the arrival of Southwest Flight #3462 from Baltimore via parts unknown. With the darkest of sunglasses to protect his identity, fog machines bellowing and the theme from Rocky blasting, THE wanderingjew
was in the state! Days 5 & 6 still to come…including the Great Cortado Meet-Up