In my experience moving from one state to another for college can really be a big change. You no longer have family close to you, all your friends have most likely gone off to a different college, and now all your favorite places to eat are gone as well. It’s a big change and moving away really made me miss some of my favorite places, such as Pei Wei, Hop Doddy’s, and Whataburger. Here are some of the biggest differences between Texas and Kansas food.
Tex-Mex for anyone who doesn’t know is a fusion of Mexican and Texan cuisines. It’s something Texans grow up eating and knowing exactly what we like about it. When I moved from Dallas to Lawrence finding a good Tex-Mex restaurant was hard. I ended up going all the way to Kansas City just to find some, but it was definitely worth the 30-minute drive. For anyone wondering On the Border in Lawrence, and Chewy's in KC, are some great places to get some tex-mex and authentic queso.
2. Food Chains
There are a lot of food chains and restaurants that only exist in the south. Sadly, some of them happen to be my favorite. These include Pei Wei and Hop Doddy's. It's sad to move someplace that doesn't have the places you once frequented with your friends. Recommendations are as follows, Sonic, Panda Express, and Chick-fil-a are some great food chains that we have at home and are perfect for a sense of Texas in another state. But, for a Hop Doddy's equivalent go and try The Burger Stand on Massachusetts Street right here in Lawrence.
If you grew up in Texas, you know the rite of passage that was taking your order tent number and then keep in somewhere showcased in your room. When I was growing up it was definitely the place to hang out after a home football game or even a place to go to all dressed up after prom. Whataburger is just one of those places that I think everyone should try when passing through the south. Unfortunately, I don't have a recommendation that would match Whataburger quite yet, as its just very unique in its flavors.
BBQ is life for most Texans and we all have our way of making our rubs and sauces, but the noticeable difference between Texas BBQ and Kansas BBQ is that Texas is a dry BBQ and Kansas is a wet BBQ. In Texas, our BBQ is “dry” meaning that it is made with a dry spicy rub that can be cooked or smoked in a few hours. In Kansas, the BBQ is “wet” which means that the meat is lathered with BBQ sauce before being cooked for 4 hours or more. Now being from Texas, I've had some good BBQ, but trying Kansas BBQ for the first time was interesting. It was nothing like what I was used to and had a different flavor. For those who love Texas BBQ, Dickey's Barbecue Pit and Biemer's BBQ, both located in Lawrence, offer the everlasting taste of Texas BBQ
All in all, as hard as it was to get used to missing all my favorite food and places, through exploring my own little college town I was able to find good equivalents, if not better in some cases. As for my favorites, I enjoy them even more when I go home for break than I did when I lived in Texas. Sometimes it takes finding the new to appreciate the old.