People recommend restaurants for me to visit daily. There are some places suggested more than others. I keep a mental note of every restaurant I’ve never been to thrown my way. If I had to choose the most recommended one it’s easily The Lumber Yard Steakhouse in Zenda, KS. It’s always been on my radar but being an hour away has limited my opportunities to make the drive. Fortunately, some time cleared up on my calendar and I hopped in the car and made my way west.
311 N Main St.
Zenda, KS 67159
Tuesday – Wednesday: 11am – 2pm
Thursday: 11am – 2pm; 5pm – 9pm
Friday: 11am – 2pm; 5pm – 11pm
Saturday: 11am – 11pm
Closed on Sunday & Monday
I took K-42 west and was literally the only car on that path the entire hour drive. Around the hour mark, I was kindly greeted by a “Welcome to Zenda” sign.
It was only a minute from the sign to the front of The Lumber Yard. I never read a single thing on the history of the restaurant so when I walked in, it hit me why they were named that. The building was an actual working lumber yard until twenty years ago.
I stopped by over lunch so there was only a smaller lunch menu available. Steaks were highly recommended by readers but that was only available at dinner. The lunch menu though was extremely affordable; everything under $8. It was very cool to see a restaurant located out in the middle of no where offer prices like this to give families in the surrounding area an opportunity to dine out at a low price point.
For lunch, I went with their chicken fried steak which came with a roll, corn and mashed potatoes. Not knowing when I’d make it back to Zenda, I added a gizzard basket to try more of their food.
I’m not particularly sure if the chicken fried steak I received was a lunch portion or what their regular dinner menu option looked like but I loved it. For starters, it’s nice to be able to order a chicken fried steak that isn’t the size of Kansas. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a cool sight to see but it’s a dish I rarely finish in its entirety and don’t feel like spending $15-20 every time.
At $7 and change, I received a wonderful plate of comfort food which was perfect given the cold blistery day. The breading was the perfect thickness for the chicken fried steak. It wasn’t overly breaded to give the dish a false appearance of how big it was. The gravy over the mashed potatoes and CFS was creamy, not too salty and flat out delicious. It enhanced the dish without overpowering it. I’m not the biggest chicken fried steak fan but really loved The Lumber Yard’s.
As for the gizzards, it’s not an extremely popular dish for many but I’m a fan. My gizzards had a dark chicken meat flavor to it but was obviously chewier and tougher in texture which I love. If you’re a fan of gizzards, you’d love these.
There were many regulars that came in after I arrived. It was heartwarming to hear the banter between the employees and guests as everybody was counting down the days before Christmas. The Lumber Yard gave the small-town appeal and vibe that was inviting not just to regulars but those passing through. I thoroughly enjoyed every second I was there making my two-hour drive there and back worth it.
Here’s the menu:
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