The Waffle Iron

The Waffle Iron is a pop-up shop in Lawrence whose decadent waffle variations will leave you speechless.  No doubt about it.  Located off of 7th Street in downtown Lawrence, The Waffle Iron brought in people from all walks of life to share a bite and unforgettable experience surrounding their menu.

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As of right now, The Waffle Iron does not have a brick and mortar home.  While The Waffle Iron tries to narrow down the search for a new location that can better accommodate their following, you can find them on Sundays at The Basil Leaf on 9th Street.


I went with the Hank Benedict.  A poached egg on top of a Belgian waffle served with sliced pieces of pork from Hank’s Charcuterie (another local Lawrence favorite) and hollandaise sauce.  Warning: this choice has a huge kick to it, but is totally worth it.  I have never tasted anything like it.


Pictured below is the Cookie Butter and Banana Waffle.  If you’re feeling more sweet than spicy I’d suggest this route.  Delicious!


Also worth noting is that their house coffee was the best I have ever had.  If you’re going to experience The Waffle Iron you’d be doing it all wrong if you didn’t have a cup!

The Waffle Iron 10/10.




The Roost

YUM YUM YUM.  Want a delicious breakfast with an upbeat atmosphere? The Roost is your place.


The Roost is one of the main breakfast spots in downtown Lawrence.  Founded by a couple that worked at the previous establishment at 920 Massachusetts, a Kickstarter campaign was put in place to help renovate the space to its current glory.

I can honestly say that every option on the menu is great.  Pictured below is the spinach, tomato, feta omelet.  I substituted for an egg-white omelet. SO GOOD.  Pictured with breakfast potatoes, wheat toast and their orange marmalade (my favorite part).


Their coffee is wonderful.  Pictured below is a cup of their mocha, my usual go-to.  The Roost also makes fresh marshmallow in a sheet pan.  You can ask for a marshmallow to put on top of your coffee instead of whipped cream and it will come cut into a square (Second image is their 16 oz with a marshmallow).



If you like iced coffee I INSIST that you try it here.  The Roost’s ice cubes have coffee in them so that when they melt your coffee stays delicious and does not get watered down.  Don’t ask me how they do it, but I am so thankful they do.

I am not very experienced with The Roost’s baked goods but if they reflect the quality of the rest of their menu I would assume that they would be wonderful.  My little brother had the cake pop and was a fan (pictured below).


Something to keep in mind when going to The Roost is that timing is very important.  I would suggest going earlier rather than later because you will more than likely have a 30 minute to an hour wait.  I have never had to wait longer than an hour, though.

I give The Roost a 10/10.  I wouldn’t change a thing!


Papa Keno’s Pizzeria

On Massachusetts Street in downtown Lawrence, you’ll find Papa Keno’s Pizzeria.  Proudly serving since 1991.  The original location is in Westport, Mo. off of Westport Rd.


Papa Keno’s serves pizza by the slice in a variety of options to choose from.  Pictured below is a slice of the Melvin, topped with Canadian bacon, pineapple, spinach, blue cheese and jalapenos.


Also pictured is the breadsticks.  Note: Do not order these unless you are planning to share, there is plenty!


A great stop to satisfy your pizza cravings! Papa Keno’s gets a 6/10.

Wheatfields Bakery Cafe

On the corner of 9th and Vermont in downtown Lawrence is a bakery well-known amongst the locals.  A viable option for lunch and breakfast, Wheatfields prides itself in utilizing what they do best: baked goods.  An aroma of fresh bread and comforting classical jazz are just a couple of this bakery’s known characteristics.
Baked goods aren’t the only thing this place is good for, either.  A proud supporter of the local Kansas City coffee distributor, The Roasterie, Wheatfields coffee is spot on.  Pictured below is their latte… it’s as delicious as it is beautiful. I also enjoy the mocha latte.
Pictured below is the primavera omelet.  Inside you’ll find roasted zucchini, caramelized onions, spinach, mushrooms, and herb chèvre with a side of hash browns.  Be sure to mentally prepare yourself for the largest omelet you’ll ever eat or to have to take some home because it’s inevitable here! I will say it was very good.  Also pictured is a side of their olive bread.
So now let’s talk about the baked goods.  I have always held a special place in my heart for fruit tarts.  Growing up one of my favorite holidays has always been July 4th, and whether it was an intended tradition or not, my dad and I always had to have a fruit tart.  Feast your eyes on the massive tart below… Isn’t she a beauty?!
Lunchwise the menu has 16 sandwiches to choose from.  All quirky and served on their freshly baked bread. From peanut butter and jelly to Croque monsieur, their variety of options is wide.
I asked a worker and their most common light lunch sandwich is the #9 Turkey and Cranberry Relish.  I can 100 percent see why it’s a fan favorite.  Made up of turkey that is roasted daily, fresh greens, mayonnaise, cranberry relish and walnut sage bread.  The sweetness of the relish combined with the homemade mayo was perfect.
I give Wheatfields a 9/10.

The Taco Zone

Lawrence KS, you are so blessed.  A recent addition to the Lawrence restaurant scene is The Taco Zone described as Lawrence’s first traditional, Southern California-style taqueria.


You can find Taco Zone on 8th Street sandwiched between Massachusetts and New Hampshire.


I went with the three taco combo, which includes three small corn tortillas topped with any three fillings of your choosing.  I went with the green chile chorizo with potato, pork al pastor, and chicken mole poblano. The green chile chorizo (top) was my favorite! All three had a little kick but were absolutely wonderful.  I would not change a thing.


Also pictured is the baby kale salad.  SO GOOD. Similar to the tacos, the salad also has a little bit of kick, but the dressing is light and hits the spot!


I give The Taco Zone a 10/10.  Great prices and great food.  Can’t wait to go back!

Merchant’s Pub & Plate

Opened in 2013, Merchant’s Pub & Plate is located on Massachusetts Street in Downtown Lawrence, KS. and is a local favorite.

Referring to itself as a “gastropub” (a restaurant and bar that serves high-end beer and food), Merchant’s stays true to the description with its beer selection including 30 beers on tap, which is the largest selection in Lawrence.  Their selection includes local options from Lawrence breweries, Kansas City breweries and West Coast breweries with fresh seasonal food pairings to tie it all together.


Merchant’s, formerly Teller’s restaurant, is a former bank building downtown providing an atmosphere that really can’t be duplicated.


The bathrooms can be found through the old vault as well. A nice touch!


Some appetizers to chose from that you cannot go wrong follow:

The pomme frites (fancy-speak for fries) served with aioli, green goddess, and ketchup.


The local cheese curds. YUM.


Much to my dismay, it appears I did not save a picture of my favorite, the brie and apple crostini.  Fresh brie spread on a Wheatfields baguette (a local Lawrence bakery), with cracked pepper and sour apple relish.  Maybe it’s because brie is my favorite cheese, but this is probably one of my favorite dishes I have ever eaten…EVER.

The buffalo chicken meatballs are also a good choice (also not pictured) but do have a little kick, so be wary!

One of my favorite plates to choose from here is their Kale caesar salad; works perfect for a pairing, too.  I decided to get the crab cakes with mine.  Very very good!


I would give Merchant’s Pub & Plate a 9/10.

Genovese Italian Restaurant

Located on 9th and Massachusetts Street in Downtown Lawrence, KS you’ll find Genovese.  Opened in 2007, Genovese blends Northern Italian cuisine with local produce.


I decided to go for lunch.  Like most places, Genovese does offer bread while you wait for your food (which is always my favorite part, not going to lie).

I chose the spinach and fresh ricotta ravioli.  Seriously, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.  Absolutely delicious and the portion was perfect for lunch.  I’m unsure if the sizing is different for dinner, but I could see it being not enough to fill up the average person. (Also note that the bowl is abnormally large, so it looks like a teeny-tiny portion but is average for lunch!)


Also pictured is the Italian sausage and butternut squash soup.  The butternut squash was not very good, but the sandwich made up for it.  The sandwich is composed of peppers, caramelized onions, Dijon mustard and cheddar cheese.


All in all, I’d give Genovese a 7/10.