Home of the Good Eats
1306 S. Kansas / 785.354.9115
Hours: Mon – Thurs: 11 am – 8 pm / Fri & Sat: 11 am – 9 pm / Sun: 11 am – 4 pm
Forgive me, mother, for I have sinned. I devoured Sweet Pea’s pork tender sandwich, emitted a muffled “Fabulous!” with a mouth full of food and licked my fingers without remorse. Don’t worry, though, I still love YOUR fried chicken…I hope.
Sweet Pea’s, the new inhabitants of the old Lane’s Grocery a.k.a. Lane’s BBQ is serving up homestyle good eats for us all to enjoy. Advertised as locally-owned, serving homemade southern cooking, made from scratch, my stomach begged me to try out the new lunch spot on the dreary mid-weekday, and I was able to tug a lunch mate along, too. It didn’t take much convincing.
The place looks similar to the old Lane’s layout when you enter, albeit the half-wall divider is gone and sans the liquor behind the bar area. The tables are snuggled up to each other, there are a couple small booths off to the side and then larger booths upstairs. I giggled when I viewed the servers’ name tags, i.e. “Sweet Pea’s Alice,” and wondered if it was a prereq for employment to be a “sweet pea.” Thankfully, our server was just that: an extremely sweet and attractive young lady with a nice smile and demeanor.
The Sweet Pea’s special of the day looked appetizing enough – spinach lasagna with white sauce. However, I prefer the consistency of the daily menu and steered clear of this course. It’s a control issue. I know, I’m working on it.
So my lunch mate and I ordered off the menu and promised to share: the pork tender with fries and the club sandwich with a side salad. The club sandwich was good with plus signs coming from the ham cut from ham log which reminded me of Easter leftovers and the fact that the bread wasn’t overly toasted, saving the roof of my mouth. The salad was beige – not amazing, but nothing wrong with it. However, I did enjoy the crunchiness of the celery chunks – something that is left off in too many dishes, IMHO. The true star of today’s meal, however, was the pork tender sandwich. Served on a soft Kaiser bun, it was obvious that this was hand-cut, battered, fried and delivered specifically for my stomach’s satisfaction.
Gone are the days of 360 degree, flat pork tenders that hang naked outside the bun. This juicy, plump, oddly shaped sandwich demanded to be my last bite choice. There was no contest….that is, until my sweet pea server asked…if I’d like dessert.
Just behind me was a hot cherry pie still in the cast iron skillet (can you bake pies in a cast iron skillet? I’m Googling that right after I’m done with this blog entry). (Update: yes, you totally can) I then followed my nose to find a coconut pie, cheesecake with blueberries and…apple pie. The warm slice was brought out in haste and I almost had an anxiety attack deciding whether my last bite would be the pork tenderloin sandwich or the mound of apple pie filling and flaky crust on my new fork.
Time [from entering to exiting]: 45 minutes
Avg. cost per person: $6.50 plus $2.99 for a slice of pie
Stomach report: Content. Sweet, southern, wrap-me-in-a-blanket on my mother’s couch while she bakes, content.
Leftovers: None. Although the Pecan Pie came out while I was paying and I almost boxed up a slice of that. Sweet Pea’s makes pies daily, so you just have to see what’s on the baker’s mind – and go back often.
Is there a return visit / order: Yes. After having the pork tender sandwich, I must return and try their chicken fried steak – or fried chicken. Please don’t tell my mom.
Seen + Noted items: Lane’s Grocery art hangs on the wall. Homemade Pies are great. Family owned and operated – seriously, Mom & Dad and the kids (although the kids are moms & dads now, too).
If I could change one thing or had a suggestion: I wish the pork tender sandwich was a little bit bigger to fill the whole bun and I could have used just a few more fries. They were great – obviously hand cut, peeled potatoes fried. Just a few more next time, please.