Rachel’s Christmas Eve Excursion in the U Street Corridor

Submitted by Rachel Brekhus, Humanities Librarian.

My parents, brother and sister all live in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC, so when my husband and I visit there for the holidays, there are almost always at least two short trips away from my parents’ park-nestled street in Silver Spring,  one to a museum and one to a beach or wildlife site on the Chesapeake Bay. This year's DC museum excursion was to the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum , followed by lunch at Ben’s Chili Bowl in the U Street Corridor, a longtime center of African-American cultural life in the nation’s capital.

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Manhattan KS restaurant reviews

I checked the health reports for various famous restaurants in and around Manhattan, KS. The Hayes House (1854 building in Council Grove, KS), and Kirby House (Abilene, KS) were scratched off the list because of their bad heath inspection reports. We did not want to take a chance on getting food poisoning while on our trip. There were a few places in and around KC, but they were too far away from I-70.

On our recent trip to Manhattan, we ended up eating:

To Manhattan:
Lunch: Red Robin Restaurant (Independence, MO)
This is one place we like to eat at a lot. They offer good deals if you are a member of their birthday club. They send coupons to their email list subscribers.

Dinner: Brookville Hotel (excellent Fried chicken, cole slaw, mash potatoes, cream-style family recipe corn, baking powder biscuits, home style ice cream). It was way too much chicken but it was really good – not too heavy on the spices and yet it had flavor to it)

They received the James Beard Foundation American Classic Award and it is located right on highway I-70 at exit 275.

It is best to make a reservation and the above items are served with every meal for $13.95 (children ages 3-11 eat for $7.95 and children under 3 eat for $3)

We had a 7:30 pm reservation that we made on the same day because we were not sure when we would be getting there. We got there at 7 pm and they had our table ready by 7 pm (When we were leaving at about 8:15, there were still 92 people in the restaurant). When you get the chance, look at the web site and see the nice paintings they have in various rooms.

We also went upstairs to see the replicated hotel rooms from the original Brookville Hotel – that was interesting. This hotel was originally located in Brookville, KS (Near Salina, KS) and the owners closed that restaurant (in about 1999 or 2000) and relocated to Abilene, KS . The hotel has served friend chicken since 1915. The hotel was originally known as Cowtown Cafe and it traces its roots to the 1870s.

www.brookvillehotel.com (closed Mondays)
I thought this was worth the 1 hour drive west from Manhattan, KS. It is located at 105 E Lafayette, Abilene, KS 785-263-2244

Summer hours:
Tue-Friday dinner 5 pm to 7:30 pm
Saturday lunch 11:30-2 pm
Dinner: 4:30 to 7:30 pm
Sunday lunch 11:30-2 pm
Dinner 5:00-7 pm
Winter hours will be from November to April

Sunday Breakfast:
I ate at the Hampton Inn

Lunch: We ate at a good place (nothing fancy) called Little Apple Brewery. It was way on the other side of town, but I think it was worth the extra drive.

Dinner: We at our friend’s house for carry-in Famous Dave’s BQ.

Das stein Haus (Jefferson City, MO) – Just off of highway 54 west

We ate at Das stein Haus on Sept. 7 2009 (Monday):
This restaurant won the Golden Fork award in 2006.

We were the only customers there the entire time. The service was fast and we got our food quickly. The food was very German and we forgot (at least I did) how unhealthy German food can be with all that fat and salt. The potatoes were good, but they were salty. My chicken Kiev was good and the veggies that came with it were good. Mom had a combination plate and Mary had bratwurst. I guess we like the American version of German food. I am sure anyone who likes “real” German food would enjoy this place.

The servings were big and the people were very nice. There were two restaurant staff sitting in the bar smoking and the smoke from the bar came into the restaurant area. The owner was not in the restaurant that day and his wife is the general manager of the Truman Hotel next door. They owned the restaurant since 1981. They have another smaller version of their restaurant downtown Jefferson City that has been open and closed over the years. The owner once again hopes to open that restaurant soon. They are having trouble finding a good manager to run that place.