If your schedule permits, on the way down to Parsons, swing west through Yates Center and have weakday lunch at Frannie’s. I think it would be one of the most memorable meals on your trip: http://www.kansastravel.org/frannies.htm
On your way from Iowa to Kansas City, stop at Galvin s Dinnerhouse in St. Joseph, MO. Galvin s is a small out-of-the-way restaurant which began 70 years ago as a Phillip’s 66 gas station. The Galwins raised chickens in the back and started selling fried chicken on Sunday afternoons.
The front reception area looks like a 1890’s bordello parlor (I don’t think that was the image they were trying to inspire), but the rest of the restaurant is elegantly decorated. They do not have a printed menu, serving only fried chicken, steak, a couple of fish dishes and pork chops. The pork chops need to be ordered when the reservation is made, as they take two hours to prepare.
The signature fried chicken came with soup, choice of salad, bread, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn, green beans and choice of dessert. When I was there, the tomato basil soup (which I would never of selected) was wonderful. My spinach salad with warm honey mustard dressing was both a lovely presentation and delicious. It came with a yummi cheese biscuit on the side.
The chicken was as tasty as I have had, though the (4) pieces were tiny. None of the servings were very large, but with so many items, I wasn’t complaining. The corn was wonderful!
When it came time for dessert, I wished there were more people with me, as every desert sounded good. I settled on the baked fudge with ice cream, nuts & chocolate syrup. Wonderful! Other choices included Amish cream pie, peppermint ice cream, cheese cakes, and a custard that sounded divine.
Galvin’s is located at 6802 South 22nd (State Route 371). Reservations are STRONGLY RECOMMENDED at 816-238-0463 Two years ago when I was there, the chicken dinner was $13.95 complete. Other items ran from about $17-25. Open only 5PM-8:30PM Tues-Sat and Sundays 12-5