Saturday, December 27, 2014

Five Guys

We are on the search for the best burger in Topeka. Here is how we rate the burger joints that we will review. First we put heavy emphasis on where the joint is headquartered, Local (Topeka) will garner an automatic 10 bonus points. Kansas owned chains (headquartered in Lawrence, Wichita, etc) an automatic 5 bonus points and National chains (those headquartered outside the state) will garner an automatic 0 bonus points. The ten categories that we will use in our search for the best burger in Topeka will be 1.Burger Patties Quality, 2. Bun Quality, 3. Customer Service, 4. Garnish Quality, 5. Fries Quality, 6. Atmosphere, 7. Order Accuracy, 8. Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dinning area, Entrance, etc), 9. Building Accessibility and 10. Price. All categories will earn a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the poorest.

 On December 19, 2014 the very first Five Guys opened in Topeka. Having ate at this National Chain (headquartered in Massachusetts) when I was last in Austin, TX.  So I was glad to see it was now in Kansas. Better yet, it was coming to Topeka. Unable to make it on opening day, the wife and I made a stop in on December 26th.  When we entered the place was packed.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Bonus Points: 0
Since this burger joint is a national chain the restaurant earned zero bonus points.

1. Burger Patties Quality: 10
 The burger quality was very moist and was fully cooked. Making the burger very tasty. The flavor was enhanced with the best soda brand, Coca-Cola ™. Even better the restaurant offers the Coca-Cola ™ Freestyle ™ machine. 
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

2. Bun Quality: 10
 The bun was a fresh toasted sesame seed bun.

3. Customer Service: 10
 We found the customer service excellent. All the employees were friendly and willing to take time to explain their menu to new customers.

4. Garnish Quality:  8
The tomatoes were a little green. Lettuce was fresh. No complaints with the pickles or onions.

5. Fries Quality: 10
Cooked in peanut oil these fries were excellent. Very fresh and hot. This is one of the very few places that actually make their own fries. No frozen potatoes at this restaurant.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

6. Atmosphere: 10
Busy fast food restaurant with people waiting for a table. This is also the only burger place I've seen that brings in the peanut concept that some sit down restaurants have used over the years. Behind the counter, employees are lined up prepping burgers assembly line style.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

7. Order Accuracy: 10
They got our order correct. We always special order our burgers to see how the burger place does. We both ordered what they call the "Little burger." Pat ordered hers with mayonnaise, lettuce, pickles, tomato and grilled onions. For mine I ordered ketchup only. 

8. Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dinning area, Entrance, etc): 9
Entrance was well kept and clean.
Dining Area was littered with the discarded shells that the restaurant patrons had discarded on the floor and trampled under foot.
Neither of used the restroom on this visit, so we are unable to comment on their condition.

9. Building Accessibility: 9
The building was accessible. However, the ramp to access the building was done in a way that was more costly to the construction. Not only that it is done in a way that makes it harder for some people with mobility issues. The construction could have been done with the entrance on the ground level, instead when they built this building over the last few months  with steps and a long ramp to access it. 

10. Price: 7
For two burgers, one large fries and two regular size drinks we paid $18.73. The burgers were tasty and there is something about paying for quality. However, I still have a problem with paying more then I have to.

 I also felt a little deceived by the menu board. The burger at the top was simply called hamburger for $5.69. Turns out that burger is a double, even though the menu board doesn't say so. On down towards the bottom what one would think is a children's burger, the "Little Burger," is actually the single.  The "Little burger" sells for $3.99. Fries and drink not included.  So Pat and I shared  large fries ($4.69) . We each had our own regular size Coke™ product ($2.19 each).
Overall, we were disappointed that they didn't have any meal deals.
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Total: 9.3

1191 Suite B SW Wanamaker
Topeka, Kansas
(785) 273-1730
Today 11:00am - 10:00pm

Friday, December 26, 2014

Winter Wonderland 2014

Winter Wonderland's drive through light display is still going on nightly 5:30-10 pm until Dec 31, 2014.
The display is a fundraiser for TARC.
$10 per car
$20 per bus/van
(please feel free to add your own prayer in the comments below this prayer)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Carols at the Capital

This past weekend (December 13, 2014) was the second annual Carols at the Capital.  An event held each year at each of the fifty (50) State Capitals. Here in Topeka, a small group of about 100 people gathered at the first floor rotunda to sing Christmas Carols.  Photos from this years event can be found below.
Video by Kevin Surbaugh

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

photo by Kevin Surbaugh

Friday, December 12, 2014


I just learned of a great event happening tomorrow at the Quincy Street Conference and Event Center.

Join Norman The Nutcracker For a Fun Filled Afternoon Watching 3 Classic Christmas Movies That Have Not Been Shown Together In Topeka Since The Orpheum Theater Closed in 1968.

Admission Is Only A $5.00 Donation Which Gets You These 3 Great Films, A Bag of Popcorn and a Drink.


The 3 Films That Will Be Shown Are:

Phineas T. Prune is an old miser who holds the deed to the North Pole. It seems that Santa Claus is behind in paying his rent. Prune plans to have Santa, Mrs. Claus, and the elves evicted and keep the Christmas toys. Santa asks Sam Whipple for help. Can Whipple and the children around the world help Santa and prevent Christmas from being canceled?

Santa Claus is Kidnapped by Green Wet Suit wearing Martians to bring Christmas Presents to Martian Children who are not having fun. Without a doubt the cheesiest, low budget Christmas Movie ever made. It is so bad that it is joyfully good fun. Stars an 8 year old Pia Zadora.

"One Snowflake Two, Three Snowflake Four, You'll See The Snow Queen If You Count A Million More." Thus goes the intro by Art Linkletter of this marvelously animated Russian rendition of the classic Hans Christian Anderson Tale. The dark and moody version of The Snow Queen features the voices of Tommy Kirk and Sandra Dee. Full of beautiful art and wonderful music you will not want to miss Gerda's quest as she searches for her friend Kay who has been kidnapped by the powerful and lonely fairy; The Snow Queen.


- Family Fun Festival Facebook Page

Dec. 13, 2014 at 1 pm

Quincy Street Conference and Event Center
707 SE Quincy Street, Suite 300
Topeka, Kansas 66603

Handicapped Accessibility:
There's an Elevator that can take visitors to the event center on the top floor.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Miracle on Kansas was Spectacular.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
The night of November 29, 2014 was a fun night for all those that attended the festivities of Miracle on Kansas in downtown Topeka. Rhe night started out at 5 pm with the annual Rescue Mission Run. At 5:30 the Christmas tree was lit. Normally in front of Westar, the tree was moved this year to the Capitols north lawn due to the construction that has been happening on Kansas Ave.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh
Followed by the parade, which this year made a loop around the Capitol complex. According to the promotional press release, spectators would be allowed to park along the parade route for the first time ever.  Making it sound as those with mobility issues would not have to try to walk or move about in pain for 2-3 blocks.  However, while it was technically true, what one would have to do is to be there and parked prior to the 3 pm shutting of the roads.  The closest we were able to get was the state parking lot (by the Judicial Center) on the South side of the state house. Then make our way to the North side.  Which is fine if a handicapped person is in a wheelchair or other mobility device, but for those who use crutches and whose knees don't bend, that creates a lot of pain. The last thing I want is to sound negative, but with this blogs ite also focusing on mobility issues, it is important to be openly honest in the facts. 
photo by Kevin Surbaugh

With that I hope that you enjoy these pictures from the night.  The tree was beautiful and the the parade was spectacular.

photo by Kevin Surbaugh