Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Another Classmate + Revisiting a Favorite Food Memory

Eventually our leisurely drive along US 50 westward through Missouri brought us to our destination for the night…the Kansas City area.  Laurie had set up a visit with a classmate from her high school in Maplewood Missouri who now lives in the KC area.  I’d planned to take us all to dinner at one of the restaurants in town that I’ve had in my mind for a revisit for many years…

Here is Diana, Laurie’s former high school classmate, posing with Laurie at Diana’s home.  Social media had been instrumental in bringing them together again.  Even so, they spent a lot of time catching up and remembering other classmates… We visited for a while and toured Diana’s new home before heading out to have dinner. 

I spent many years working for different retailers and at least 3 of them had stores or other facilities in the Kansas City area that I would visit in my capacity as the head of those company’s loss prevention efforts.  First there was Venture Stores, then T.G. and Y. Stores and finally, there was Montgomery Ward.

In any case, I spent a lot of time in this market and I ate at a lot of restaurants.  Laurie and my favorite BBQ is Kansas City style and that’s always been a source of conflict for me.  If I was in town for a night, did I go for the great BBQ or did I eat at Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor? (Photo above) 

As proven by the many folks waiting outside for a table, Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor is a long-time favorite dining establishment in the Kansas City area.  The original Stroud’s started as a BBQ restaurant in 1933 and remained as such until World War II.  During the war, because beef was being rationed, Helen Stroud started serving pan-fried chicken! 

The two room log cabin that is the core of Oak Ridge Manor was built in 1829! In 1977, the original Stroud’s was purchased from the founder.  After inheriting a couple of Helen’s cooks and recipes, the new owners came up with the menu they still serve today.  In 1983, the owners purchased Oak Ridge Manor and they’ve been operating at this location now for almost 32 years.  

The inside of Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor is decidedly casual with 3 or 4 dining areas.  Despite the size of the place, waiting for a table is part of the scene.  They do not take reservations…

We waited in the bar…and the ladies got chatting with some patrons who had been waiting a while.  So when those folks’ names were called, Diana and Laurie got a couple of seats in the small and crowded bar.  That was a good thing as our wait took over an hour.

Note: We almost never wait anywhere for more than a half hour.  We usually just go elsewhere.  In this case, I didn’t have a backup plan and the wait gave the ladies more time to catch up.  Besides…I was determined to have another meal at Stroud’s!

This was Laurie’s entrée…the Chicken Fried Steak with creamy pepper gravy.  ($16.95) Cottage cheese was chosen for her side dish.  She enjoyed her meal but it was way too much food!  Diana ended up taking half of it home.  

Knowing that the portions at Stroud’s are huge, we didn’t order any appetizers… Besides, all dinners come with a salad or homemade chicken-noodle soup and a choice of potato.  I didn’t bother to take photos of the soup or salads…but the chicken-noodle soup was just as good as I remembered!

Diana ordered the Chicken Dinner…with dark meat and a baked potato on the side. ($17.95) She had plenty of leftover chicken to take home for the next day!  Both ladies had salads instead of the soup.

I ordered my long-time Stroud’s favorite...a pair of 10 oz. Pan Fried Pork Chops. ($22.95) They came with applesauce.  Maybe you just can’t go back or perhaps the recipe has morphed…or my tastes have changed.  The chops were juicy but the crust was so thick that it was like a shell around the chops instead of being an integral part with the meat.  I admit disappointment…   

Did I mention a couple of the sides that come with everyone’s meal?  The cottage fries were pretty good if not great.  But, as per my memory, I really did enjoy the ‘sticky buns’!  They just kept coming…and I must admit to eating more than 2 of them…

OK… Once again I’ve proven that one usually can’t go back and completely recapture their memories.  Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor’s food didn’t ‘ring my bell’ or Laurie’s either…like it had in the past.  The good news is that we had a great time with Diana and I’ve now determined to focus on BBQ the next time we return to the Kansas City area.

Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor is located at 5410 Northeast Oakridge Road in Kansas City Missouri.  Phone: 816-454-9600.  Their website is at

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. I have that happen often and never know if the food is not as good or it's what Chris Grove calls nostalgia creep.

  2. Hi Dave! Yes, I think sometimes you just can't go back, I think probably, our tastes change. We just had that happen the other day at a burger place we used to love, we wondered what happened to them. This food all looks delicious though, and it is definitely the wrong time of day for me to be looking at all of it, drooling non-stop! Those chops look fabulous and so does the Chicken Fried Steak. And the sticky buns, who can eat just one or two of those! Yummy post!

  3. Oh boy does that food look amazing and well worth the wait!!! Those sticky buns are calling me. Looks like the ladies had a great time :)