Lunch (yes, there was nothing but driving between breakfast and lunch) was at The Kirby House, a restaurant in a restored Victorian home in Abilene, Texas. Lori had the Celebration Chicken Salad; I had the Tropical Chicken Salad which was a traditional chicken salad with nothing tropical about it. We both had the chilled strawberry soup, which was quite nice and light. I also enjoyed the coconut walnut bread that came with the salads.
The house offers a romantic table for two on the fourth-floor cupola--but there would be challenges for romance there. The stairs were really steep, so it would be tricky to get up there in heels or a long dress. And because it was two floors above any other diners, you'd be likely to either get abandoned by waitstaff or have waitstaff interrupting in your romantic moments. (I would suggest a tinkling silver bell with which one might summon waitstaff.)
Fifty miles down the road from Abilene, we stopped in Wamego, Kansas to see the Wizard of Oz Museum. There weren't actually many (if any) artifacts from the making of the movie; it was more of a collection of memorabilia of the books and movies--which was sort of interesting in its own right.
A couple of blocks down the street from the museum, there was a gourmet food shop named The Emerald City Market. I was a little surprised. There's no reason that residents of rural Kansas would not want Scharffen Berger chocolate, but I wouldn't expect many small towns to be able to support such a store.
For dinner, we ate at Stroud's in Kansas City, Missouri. Oh my stars, that place was splendid. In a display of uncommon wisdom, we decided to split a dinner of pan-fried chicken, paying the $6.95 to get sides for both of us.
The chicken noodle soup was tasty, with the thick noodles that I like--but in retrospect, I might have skipped it in favor of the splendors to come.
The fried chicken was splendid, rich and crusty and tender, bursting with juice at every bite.
The green beans stewed with bacon were juicy and flavorful, and the mashed potatoes with cream gravy were quite nice.
And the cinnamon rolls were amazing. Big yeasty rolls, completely covered with a dark brown crust of cinnamon and sugar. I'm drooling again just thinking of them.
When we had eaten all we could possibly eat, the waitress asked if we wanted boxes to take food home. We answered a mournful no, because we had no refrigeration in our plans, then realized that we could conceivably take along the last cinnamon roll. The waitress said "I'll get you some," and returned with a plastic bag of three cinnamon rolls piping hot from the oven. They made a wonderful breakfast for us the next morning.
Afterwards, we took a walk around the old farmhouse of the restaurant, met the happy stray cats feeding off the scraps behind the restaurant, and saw the swans in the pond nearby. I occasionally opened the bag just to huff the scent of hot cinnamon rolls.