We ended up eating at the Talk of the Town because Hoyt's brother and sister-in-law graciously gave us gift certificates for watching their dog, Porter. Just a regular weekday night, a Wednesday if I recall correctly, so it wasn't too busy. I ordered Fish and Chips that turned out to be really tasty and a lot more than I could eat. At first I thought it wasn't much because it only had two breaded fish pieces on the plate, but they were filling! I barely made it through one, and the fish was excellent. I had a root beer float with it, in a vintage root beer float glass. While a glass of soda was two dollars, refills were free so I forgave Hoyt for going over what the certificates covered. :-p Overall, it has a nice atmosphere, definitely a bar and grill, or grill and bar as Kansans seem to like it, and friendly waitresses. I would recommend this place, at least on a weekday as I couldn't imagine how it is very busy. Decent priced tasty food and not far from where I live. Great combination. 🙂
Haywards was the first barbeque restaurant we went to here. Hoyt had remembered its uniqueness and class from when he was a child (twenty years ago). It has definitely fallen since then. Not only was service horrible, the furniture was substandard and food was very dry. We stood at the entrance for over five minutes waiting to be seated before we peeked in the kitchen for assistance. The lady looked at us as if she had never seen hungry customers before… but we eventually were seated and our waitress found us. The wait wasn't long, but that could be from only three tables being used. We were also there on a weekday (Tuesday or Thursday, cannot remember), so we were hoping that it was this reason they were understaffed and serving old meat. Ick. Definitely paid too much for what we got… we both ordered ribs. That's about what it was too. Ribs, and fat. Hard to find actual meat on it, but the sauce was pretty good. Overall, highly NOT recommended. Hoyt was really sad about this, it was a fond memory that will unfortunately stay in the past.
On our way to Union Station, we heard over the radio that Mark Wood, the violinist from Trans-Siberian Orchestra, would be performing at a local high school. The auditorium at the Shawnee Mission North is decent, and for it being a high school, I was impressed by the sound and lights they were able to program and use. Mark Wood displayed the power of his created instruments using primarily the Viper, a 7-string violin/guitar hybrid. He worked with the Kansas City Strolling Strings, a group of dedicated high school orchestra students from what I could tell, to give a very creative second half performance. I must say that I am amazed and moved by the efforts both by the school and Mark Wood in order to interact with high school students, hopefully making more active music learners out of the newer generations. I was impressed by the students' skill in accompanying Mr. Wood, and found the concert well worth the ticket price (I hope it goes towards the music program). He also gave us an opportunity to watch a premiere performance of the latest Pepsi commercial he stars in that will be used during the Superbowl. Wicked. 😉