Black Hills, South Dakota – Custer State Park and more

After a week of “taking care of business” duties such as establishing SD residency, obtaining SD drivers licenses and transferring truck title, etc.,  Kevin and I were ready to take in some South Dakota culture and beauty.  We booked a tour through “Black Hills Open-Top-Tours“.

It was a great choice!

Our tour itinerary consisted of  Needles HighwayMt Coolidge,        Iron Mt. Road & Pigtail Bridges, and Custer State Park.

The tour was 6 hrs.   The tour offered breathtaking beauty as far as we could see, with many different landscapes (open prairie and meadows, pine and spruce forests, rock formations) and lessons in the history of the hills, land and wildlife.

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The initial travels – Leaving Pennsylvania to Cleveland, Ohio (R&R Hall of Fame)

After living in our RV 5th wheel for the last year while we both finished out our last year of work, I retired May 14th and Kevin on June 30th.   FINALLY!!!!!Continue reading

Orange and Fennel Salad

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Ingredients
1 large fennel bulb thinly sliced
2 large oranges chopped into 1″ to 1-1/2 ” inch pieces
finely chopped cilantro and basil  – about 1 teaspoon each
1/2 medium red onion  finely sliced
dried cranberries – 1/4 to 1/2 cup
1-1/2 teaspoon avocado oil
1-1/2 teaspoon white wine vinegar
optional pumpkin or sunflower seeds for crunch
Instructions
Combine fennel, oranges and onions.  Add avocado oil, and sprinkle vinegar on top.  Dress with dried cranberries, herbs and pumpkin/sunflower seeds.

Hibachi Hut – Manhattan, Kansas

Hibachi Hut serves up delicious Cajun dishes in a cool atmosphere in  K-State land!

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www.hibachihut.com

 

By now you all know Carol and I have been on an extended stay in Manhattan, Kansas waiting for our RV to get all of it’s warranty repair work completed.

This stay has us living in a hotel until certain repair components are completed (like completely rebuilding our shower!).  So I think we have eaten at EVERY restaurant in Manhattan!(Not really, but it certainly seems like it, LOL!)

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The “Hut” dining room

One of our favorites in our stay here has been the Hibachi Hut.  So right away, you think – Asian!  WRONG!  This place serves Cajun food!??!?   I know, that was our reaction too.

This place certainly has a long and interesting history.  It originally opened in 1965 by John and Margaret Anderson, and offered hibachi grilled burgers-hence the name “Hibachi Hut”.  The Hut quickly became a favorite in “Aggieville”(a bar/restaurant area just off of the campus of Kansas State University).

The restaurant was bought and sold a few times in the 1980’s, and the new owners at that time decided Cajun cooking was going to become a distinctive part of the Habachi Hut menu.  Gumbo, Tiger wings, Chicken Orleans and Spicy Shrimp were added to the restaurant fare.

In 2014, the restaurant moved to it’s current location in the beautiful downtown are of of Manhattan, under the new owners, Ward & Brenda Morgan.

So Carol and I decided to give this place a try – 3 times!  We had dinner first, then a Sunday brunch and finally a Crawfish Boil dinner they put on the 1st Tuesday of every month.   And every meal was a home run.  Their service is great and the prices were very good, especially when you consider the quality of the food served.

Our first dinner there,  Carol and I certainly went in different directions – I selected a “Hut Original” cajun dish – grilled  bacon wrapped shrimp basted with the Hut’s homemade BBQ sauce, served atop a bed of sausage jambalaya and sautéed green beans.  I’d have toIMG_1315 say that the jambalaya was outstanding.  Perfectly spicy, and great flavor.   And to top it off they served it with moist, warm, crumbly corn bread.

 

Carol chose the ultimate “stick to your ribs” Chicken Fried Chickenfried double breaded chicken breast, topped with creamy gravy, and served with sautéed greIMG_1313en beans and mashed taters – she NEVER eats like this! Seriously,  Carol is the ultimate vegetable junkie!  (Take notice in the picture below, she tore into her meal before I could even get the picture! LMAO!)  I didn’t have to ask her how her meal tasted, all I keep t hearing was “MMMM”,   “oh, my”,  “Wow”.  Suffice to say it was excellent.

Our next foray at the “Hut” was Sunday brunch.  Of course the best part was the $2(all day) mimosas and bloody marys – and I only had two!  UnfortIMG_1326unately we forgot to take pictures of our brunch FOOD(I don’t think it had anything to do with the bloody marys?)  Carol had two poached eggs atop cajun red skinned potatoes and peppers and i had a new york strip and poached eggs.  I asked for “rare” and I got what I asked for – a treat because many places today won’t serve you “rare” anymore!  I was a little hungry afterwards, because I typically get “leftovers” from Carols plate – but not today!

And last but not least, this past Tuesday we went back for the third time(we are now officially “Hut regulars”), for their monthly Crawfish Broil.

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The placed was packed and their was a line waiting for tables.  We had made a reservation and they had our table ready front and center right in front of the entertainment.  Rob xxxx was the entertainment and was pretty good!  He performed a lot of Dylan and Beatles.  Nice guy too(talked to him a little bit and his family is from Jim Thorpe, PA!)!

 

Click on the picture to watch a short video of Rob performing.

Lets move on to the food! Below are some pictures of the crawfish boil which Carol and I both had. It was again great food – presentation wasn’t the best but flavor was off the charts! Crawfish, shrimp, corn on the cob, boiled potatoes, collard greens, jambalaya, beans and rice – I feel full again just thinking about this meal. Carol behaved herself and ate a normal amount – I didn’t, of course and we(me) actually had three buckets! I know, I know, but it was SO good!

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Oh I almost forgot the best item on the menu!  Their homemade whiskey sauce bread pudding!

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Oh my, was this outstanding or what?  It was served warm, and that rich whiskey sauce added so much flavor. We had this dessert all three times we were there.

Will we go to the Habachi Hut again?   Well, we hope we won’t be in Kansas for a while since we’ve been here for an extended stay – but yes,  we would, because overall the food was very good, the service excellent and the prices were reasonable.

 

Little Apple Brewing Company, Manhattan, Kansas

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http://www.littleapplebrewery.com/

This was a disappointing meal. My husband and I are visiting the area and love trying local restaurants.
This place sounded good and had reasonable reviews. When we first got there we waited about 5 minutes until someone showed up to seat us. There was another couple sitting there as well waiting a little longer. When the girl did show up to seat us, there was no eye contact and no apology for waiting. I can deal with that, we all have bad days. Once seated, the waiter, a young man, very pleasant and personable addressed us almost right away. He took our drink and appetizer order. We ordered their featured salad of beets, goat cheese and pickled quail eggs. DELICIOUS!

We were excited to get our meals because this salad was so good. Sadly, neither of the dishes we ordered were impressive.

My husband’s shrimp and pasta looked good, but the pasta was “sticky and had an odd aftertaste”. I tasted it and thought it had an “old” or “stored in the wrong place” kind of taste. Not good. My salmon was good, but the asparagus was over cooked as was the rice pilaf, it had no flavor. Both dishes lacked attention and detail. Compared to other places in the area, the food was just not as good for the price.

Reviewed by Carol.