"Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives": An update


OK, so if you'll recall, I heard from a producer at the Food Network's "Diners, Drive-ins and Dives" a few weeks ago. She wanted to know if there were any restaurants in Lawrence that fit the bill for the show: Cheap, tasty and original.

I asked you all for suggestions and shipped them along, hopeful that we'd see host Guy Fieri's spiky blond head in Lawrence sometime soon. Well, the producer loved our responses, but the two restaurants she pushed to her bosses didn't make the cut because of two criteria of which I was unaware:

• The restaurant has to have been open at least a year.

• The restaurant has to make 90 percent of its food from scratch.

Therefore, her top two: The Basil Leaf Cafe (only open since October) and The Burger Stand at Dempsey's (which buys their fries pre-made and then spices them up) don't count.

So, she called me for some more suggestions. And though I was bummed that The Basil Leaf and Dempsey's didn't qualify, I told her I'd meditate on it some more. I also asked her for some more of the show's hidden criteria for its restaurants of choice. Here's what she had to say:

• The restaurant can't have had major national media exposure already (Therefore some KC BBQ staples — Gates, Arthur Bryant's and Oklahoma Joe's — are being skipped on the show's trip.)

• A meal at the restaurant can't cost more than $15.

• It can't be too fancy, obviously, because the show is all about diners, drive-ins and dives.

• It can't be a chain.

So, what are your favorites in Lawrence, K.C. and Topeka that fit the bill? Somewhere that's been open awhile but isn't TOO well known, makes almost everything from scratch, isn't too ritzy or expensive and is one-of-a-kind?

I'm getting hungry just racking my brain over this one...


PatrickJoseph 13 years, 2 months ago

Biemers was pretty damn delicious when I went there three weeks ago.

bloozman 13 years, 2 months ago

Guy & Mae's Tavern in Williamsburg? Don't know if it's been on some other show.

Megan Green Stuke 13 years, 2 months ago

Johnny's North for sure. Also, what about Local Burger?

If they are interested in other Kansas eats, they should check out Susie's Chili Parlor in El Dorado, KS.

awas1980 13 years, 2 months ago

In North Lawrence there is El Matador (Locust Street), they've been open for over 50 years, great food and a dive. (in the best way possible!) Get the home-style enchiladas.

meowllory 13 years, 2 months ago

Taco Lopez in Wichita is amazing as well. A "dive" for sure.

chewyfally 13 years, 2 months ago

Local Burger is awesome.
And outside of Lawrence, Salina has two gems: Bogey's (they'll make a milkshake out of ANYTHING!) Cozy Inn (crazy tiny burgers)

I love being a vegetarian, so Local Burger picks up where Bogey's and Cozy Inn dropped off with me. :-)

awas1980 13 years, 2 months ago

in Salina they also have the Scheme (local pizza place)

laur 13 years, 2 months ago

A&B's crepes off Mass street is amazing!!!! cheap, home-style, friendly and cheap!

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