Category Archives: Dodge City

Boot Hill Antiques, Dodge City Brewery, Boot Hill Distillery, Holiday Inn Express, The Long Branch Lagoon (Waterpark), Tacos Jalisco – Dodge City

We stayed smack dab in downtown Dodge City which gave us a whole new feel for a place we have visited dozens of times while staying nearby with family in the small unincorporated town of Wright, where my husband grew up. The occasion was sad, a belated memorial service for the family matriarch, who died last November shortly before her 97th birthday. But we offspring and in-laws, 33 people including 12 of 15 grandchildren (ages 25 to 39) and 5 great grandchildren, gathering from all over the country, were so happy to be together at long last to honor Evelyn (with masks on in the small country church during a memorial mass) and to catch up, Covid be damned.

Most people stayed at the new Holiday Inn Express, just south of the main drag, Wyatt Earp Blvd, and it was surprisingly contemporary, almost cool. But we opted to stay a five minute walk away in a cool old western bungalow near the Boot Hill museum, on an old red brick road. Great place, well-decorated in not too kitschy western decor, very comfortable beds and a great front porch with a table and old metal chairs where we ate breakfast looking down across the city, the sound of an occasional car rumbling by on the brick streets, a few people next door at the cool modern brewpub and up the hill at the distillery in a Spanish style brick building with a red tiled roof that used to be the city hall/police station..

Sadly Red Beard Coffee was closed, but we ate tacos at our favorite Mexican road house, Tacos Jalisco, which was as busy as ever with Hispanic and Anglo families. Good tacos (el pastor, carnitas, carne asada) and flan! We had a big family dinner at the venerable Cowtown Steakhouse.

I squeezed in a quick visit to Boot Hill antiques on the third floor of an old building downtown. Tons of great stuff packed into dozens of vendor’s stalls, lots of vintage tablecloths, Roseville pottery, old blue glass tumblers, turquoise jewelry, and that was just the stuff I liked in particular.

I wished we had brought our swim suits. The elaborate new waterpark looked very inviting although I’m not sure when we would have had time to visit. We had a little walk downtown on a very quiet Sunday, admiring some of the old buildings in fairly good shape and the beautiful old Spanish-style cathedral.

Sorghum in Western Kansas

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Wheat fields/Lawrence, Guymon Petro and Cowtown steak house/Kansas


Wichita Water Meter Covers As stepping stones in the garden of our Lawrence airbnb

We are on our long drive home from Dodge City (and even passed some cotton fields near Culliston, KS). We stayed for two nights at the Comfort Suites, which seemed very new and was very comfortable, despite the usual sterile chain feel. Our room was enormous. The Best Western seemed pleasant enough too.

In Lawrence, we stopped briefly at Wheatfields for morning pastries (and a killer coconut macaroon that ended up being our lunch in Lucas when we discovered the meat market was closed.)

In Dodge, we gathered with family at a new (to us) bar and grill called Guymon Petro Mercantile (the original name of the brick warehouse that was converted into a restaurant) that had good quesadillas and then dinner at Casey’s Cowtown Steak House. (Note to self: Next time order the Dodge City Strip, not the filet.)

In Wichita, we ate at our old favorite, Saigon Market for Vietnamese.  Still going strong.

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Tale of 3 restaurants: tres amigos/dodge city; saigon/wichita; & story./prairie village

The “El Capitan” cattle drive monument, Dodge City

Our dinner tonight at story., an upscale new American cuisine restaurant, in a fancy shopping area in the Kansas City suburb of Prairie Village could not have differed more from dinner last night at Tres Amigos, on Wyatt Earp Blvd. in Dodge City. But both were good in their own way. story. Has a clean dramatic decor with dimly lit white walls and large pieces of understated contemporary art. I had a beautifully prepared and presented piece of red snapper, with a slightly crispy crust but light and moist inside, atop a bed of sautéed spinach, salty bits of pancetta and a light lemon wine sauce. another stand out was the braised short rib with gnocchi and onion rings. best of all was the company, a favorite uncle who lives in Kansas City.

Tres Amigos is a much humbler place with somewhat ordinary Mexican fare but it easily accommodated our party of nine on a holiday weekday. Today in Wichita we stopped at our favorite Vietnamese restaurant Saigon, which was even busier than usual. but as usual, the service was brisk and the food (#45, bun with charbroiled pork and egg roll!) was fresh and tasty. Discovered the shrimp chips this time and they are much better than the ones I try to make at home. We also stopped at our favorite middle eastern restaurant in Wichita , N&J market, to pick up some hummus and pitta chips to take home.

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Filed under DINING, Dodge City, Kansas, Kansas City, Kansas misc

Boot Hill, Jalisco, bella Italia…dodge city,kansas

i made a rare visit to the boot hill museum in dodge city this morning to pick up some souvenirs for a Peruvian man my son is living with in Lima. Turns out he is a big fan of westerns so figured he’d like some dodge city stuff. Not sure his wife will. I was surprised by how busy the gift shop was. I didn’t stick around for the midday gunfight. Too much of that going on in the real world these days. Tonight we returned to our favorite Mexican restaurant in dodge, tacos Jalisco, where I tried the garlic shrimp rather than my usual carne asana (we had had steak for Sunday lunch…this being Kansas). Shrimp was good and always an interesting scene, full of Hispanic families and even some african Muslims. That’s dodge these days, with lots of immigrants working in the meat packing plant. We also went last night to Bella Italia, Italian food but everyone we saw working there was mexican. Very sweet people. Food, not great. We hit the road for nine hour drive back to Iowa. Word has it Obama will be back in Iowa again this week (and I will be away again during his visit.)

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unexpected trip to dodge city kansas and the cowtown for steak.

We made an unexpected trip to western Kansas for my father-in-law’s funeral, sadly, and I haven’t made it out of the small town of Wright Kansas, where he lived, much. we did have dinner last night at “the Cowtown” – a popular steak house that didn’t disappoint (although next time I’ll have the t-bone instead of the nystrip and I’ll ask for it rare rather than rare/medium rare.) If only our father-in-law could have been with us – a man who sold and bought many a cow, he loved a good steak. And, of course, his family. We miss him.

I’ve left the house for a little fresh air today and may drive over to see the new casino that everyone is talking about here in Dodge. There’s also a vietnamese restaurant called Saigon Cafe that my niece tells me is good.


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From Wright,Ks. back to Des Moines

No weather problems this time – and smooth sailing the entire nine hours, for which we were grateful, especially given what friends and family are dealing with on the East Coast. We stopped in the slowly reviving town of Greensburg – which was devastated by a tornado several years ago – at a hip looking coffee shop, then onto Wichita where we opted for our favorite Vietnamese restaurant, Saigon, which was packed and has the world’s fastest service, and pleasant service, and mighty good Bun (all around us people seemed to be ordering what N and I ordered #45  Bun – noodles, shredded lettuce – with char-broiled pork and a fried spring roll. We stopped at N&J, our favorite middle eastern place, to pick up some humus and homemade chips and one, just one, piece of baklava, to bring home. In Kansas City, we dropped by Gates to pick up ribs to take home for dinner. Yes, it’s all about the food. Good to be back here, although it’s at least 20 degrees colder and a lot snowier than Kansas.

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Christmas in Kansas

I’m typing from the “bird room” at  the  nursing home in Dodge City where my in-laws live. The birds are quiet today – as is the rest of this place. Outside, it’s sunny and windy. No snow. The ground is hard, dry, flat, shorn of wheat so stubbly and tan. The sky is mostly blue with a few clouds. It always takes me aback how stark and harsh this landscape is, beautiful in it’s own way – so vivid and plain. You can really see for miles with little to block your view but a white concrete grain elevator or some unknown industry, liquid something-or-other, billowing out smoke. The “overlook” at the edge of Wyatt Earp Blvd. looks out onto a sea of cattle in a feedlot. No need to put “scenic” in front of outlook.

Wright, the unincorporated town where my in-laws live, about ten miles east of Dodge, even quieter than usual today. The only signs of life we saw during a brief walk this morning were a few dogs roaming around like the owned the place.

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Three great fall drives – one obvious; two not

Couldn’t help but be amused by three perfect fall drives recommended by People Magazine. I’ve been on all three – which is not what many could claim, I’d guess. The first is a no-brainer: Highway 1, must-see stop: Big Sur. The second isa drive along the Mississippi River, with a must-see stop : Dubuque, Iowa, which is one of my favorite cities in Iowa (and this is a drive I wrote about for the New York Times travel section several years ago.) The third drive was even more of a surprise: Highway 50 through the middle of the country. Must-see stop: Dodge City, Ks.  (With all due respect to my in-laws who live in and around Dodge, I don’t buy this one…)

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Christmas in Dodge City

We made it with no problem from Des Moines to Dodge City (technically the small town of Wright, outside Dodge) and it’s a good thing we’re not traveling today. It is bitter cold, with fierce winds, making an already harsh landscape look even harsher, the trees even more battered and windswept, the land flat, frozen,empty, the sky a dull, slightly menacing shade of blue-gray (is there snow in them there clouds.)

Emma, my trusty computer tech, is here with me at the wonderful new Cup of Jo-nes on Wyatt Earp Blvd. (the kids here “drag Earp” for fun) which has great chai and much-welcomed WiFi. Thank you, thank you. Our drive yesterday featured various forms of precip – starting with the worst, frozen drizzle (is there such a thing a “freezing fog”?) outside Des Moines, then rain in southern Iowa and northern Missouri, brief sunshine in K.C. then dense fog, which ruined my favorite part of the trip – the scenic Flint Hills of Kansas, which were shrouded beyond recognition. By Wichita, we just had wind, a lot of fierce wind (which just blew open the heavy wooden door to this coffee house) . The wind also knocked out the heat at D’s mother’s house so we had a very cold night and morning until some neighbors came and started fiddling with the boiler.

Who knows what weather comes next? Doesn’t look like much snow but we may get more ice – and the wind is likely to remain fierce. We will probably try to get to a movie in the mall and maybe our favorite mexican restaurant in Dodge, otherwise we’re not likely to check out the  tourist hotspots which include A reproduction of Boot Hill (my husband had a friend who had a summer job playing the part of the “Drunken Indian” there in in the 1970’s. I’m thinking that part has been eliminated these days), the “Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame & Gunfighters Wax Museum” (no joke), and the Bridle Bit Museum.” We’re rather much-welcome spend time with family!

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