“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” - Albert Einstein

Monday, June 16, 2008

Tuesday - Smith Center to Beloit

Our lunch stop was in Cawker City, home of the largest ball of sisal twine in the world. Other cities have balls of rubber bands, yarn or string, but Cawker City has bailing twine. Frank Stoeber's effort to save his scraps of twine back in 1953 has become the central attraction for the town. Businesses are named along with the twine theme. But when I hit town I was more interested in the quality and quantity of food to be found there.
I passed by Jay Bird's Chicken & RV Park on the way into town. It looked like a dive, so I asked a pair of riders exiting whether the food was good. They said it was. I stated my intent to ride on into town and see what else was there. They informed me they had done the same thing.
I parked my bike next to a 6' plywood sign with a painted on chicken that looked a lot like Foghorn Leghorn. As I entered the building I was sure the health inspectors in Johnson county would never allow such a place to operate. It wasn't dirty, but a back window had been put in and the 2x4 studs were never covered over with sheetrock. On my right was a wall about shoulder high. I looked over and directly below were chicken pieces sitting in a tub and covered with breading. A man about my age ran the cash register and cooked and took care of filling the salad and food bar in the 12 x 16 dining room. A young man worked the grill. They both handled the pressure well. Of course, we were used to waiting. We often overwhelm small town businesses who aren't used to the kind of crowd the BAK brings.
The fryer was bubbling with hot oil and full of chicken. The owner informed us that white meat was 20 minutes from being done. Several of us told him we would wait. We stood off to the side and talked among ourselves and with the new people coming in the door. Finally our white meat was cooked and we received just the chicken on our plates. We had to serve ourselves the side dishes of green beans, mashed potatoes & gravy. It was the tastiest lunch I had the whole week.

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