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Coco Bolo's (Manhattan, KS)


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One of my all time favorite restaurants is located in Manhattan, KS... yes, I said Kansas! Coco Bolo's, owned by the Cox brothers, who also owned Cox Boys BBQ in Manhattan, is a great restaurant! This weekend, I heard from a not so reliable source that they have closed the BBQ restaurant, but Coco Bolo's is still open. My source also said that they are hoping to expand into Topeka and they already have a restaurant in Kansas City. My searches turned up nothing... I guess I could call them, but does anyone know the scoop? Oh, how I would love it if the KC location were true!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Cox Brothers BBQ was recently sold and will be operated under a new name and management (not a BBQ joint). Business had not been good since the opening of Famous Daves (yech!) about a year ago. Personally, I thought Cox BBQ was OK but the portions were puny by KC standards and the prices were high. I can remember watching the "cook" weigh out miserly portions of brisket for sandwiches, a sin at Bryants or any respectable BBQ joint. At present I am not aware of any KC restaurant but have heard plans of going to KC or Topeka with the Bolos restaurant concept.

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Cox Brothers BBQ was recently sold and will be operated under a new name and management (not a BBQ joint). Business had not been good since the opening of Famous Daves (yech!) about a year ago. Personally, I thought Cox BBQ was OK but the portions were puny by KC standards and the prices were high. I can remember watching the "cook" weigh out miserly portions of brisket for sandwiches, a sin at Bryants or any respectable BBQ joint. At present I am not aware of any KC restaurant but have heard plans of going to KC or Topeka with the Bolos restaurant concept.

I had good BBQ at Cox Brothers and bad BBQ at Cox Brothers... it was very inconsistent. I might just have to call and ask about future plans!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Katie, did you ever find any info? I've pinged a few people with Manhattan connections but have yet to hear back from any of them (insert durogatory joke about KSU alums here :raz: ).

I'm guessing from the name that it's Tex-Mex-ish?

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Katie, did you ever find any info?  I've pinged a few people with Manhattan connections but have yet to hear back from any of them (insert durogatory joke about KSU alums here  :raz: ).

I'm guessing from the name that it's Tex-Mex-ish?

Rock chalk chickenhawk. . .

(ahem)

:raz:

I've never even heard of Coco Bolo's, but it's not a stretch for me to believe there's a truly excellent restaurant in Manhattan. When I went to school there, JD's Pizza was incredible. Their blue cheese salad dressing was to die for. Unfortunately, JD's is long gone, but fondly remembered.

Now where was I...

Rock chalk chickenhawk...

(Judy, if you'd gone to a GOOD school, I bet you could spell derogatory.) :biggrin:

Edited by jgm (log)
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(Judy, if you'd gone to a GOOD school, I bet you could spell derogatory.)  :biggrin:

In the Eden-like city of Lawrence there is no reason to use such a word, hence my mistake. :wink:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Speaking of Lawrence, I had the opportunity to visit Robert Krause Dining (811 New Hampshire) a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic, easily on a par with the best of KC restaurants. We did the six course menu ($65) with wine ($45). An amuse of Osso Bucco, Butternut Squash Soup, then apps of Seared Foie Gras, Smoked Salmon Roulade and Lobster Pot Pie, first course of Sea Bass with Couscous and Tomato Confit, entrees of Rack of Lamb with Polenta and Beef Tenderloin with Potato Puree and excellent dessrts and wines pairings. The menu is very limited (14 total items) and there are really no choices. I imagine as this restaurant matures and broadens it's menu it will compete favorably with Bluestem and other upper drawer KC establishments. Absolutely worth the 20 min. drive from KC.

BTW, I've been to Coco Bolos many times and have had good and bad experiences. Their Tex-Mex cuisine certainly isn't groundbreaking.

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Speaking of Lawrence, I had the opportunity to visit Robert Krause Dining (811 New Hampshire) a couple weeks ago and it was fantastic, easily on a par with the best of KC restaurants. We did the six course menu ($65) with wine ($45). An amuse of Osso Bucco, Butternut Squash Soup, then apps of Seared Foie Gras, Smoked Salmon Roulade and Lobster Pot Pie, first course of Sea Bass with Couscous and Tomato Confit, entrees of Rack of Lamb with Polenta and Beef Tenderloin with Potato Puree and excellent dessrts and wines pairings. The menu is very limited (14 total items) and there are really no choices. I imagine as this restaurant matures and broadens it's menu it will compete favorably with Bluestem and other upper drawer KC establishments. Absolutely worth the 20 min. drive from KC.

I have been dying to get there (actually, kicking myself for not getting there when he was still in his home, before the code police busted him). Thanks for the report. Maybe it will be the inspiration I need.

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Judy, please do go. The night I was there, a Thursday, there were only 16 covers in the house. I don't know if this typical business for him, but my feeling is that he needs all the support he can get. The space is a bit spartan by some standards but nonetheless cozy and comfortable. Service was attentive and informative but could be a little friendlier. Not sure how often the menu changes but I'll be heading there again soon and will report in more detail.

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BTW, I've been to Coco Bolos many times and have had good and bad experiences. Their Tex-Mex cuisine certainly isn't groundbreaking.

I would have to politely disagree! It certainly is groundbreaking for Manhattan, KS, or the rest of Kansas in general for that matter... excluding Lawrence and Kansas City. I've always had excellent food there.

Judy,

I wouldn't exactly call it Tex-Mex... it's no On the Border! I don't really know how to describe it... there's a little bit of Caribbean/ Jamaican influence, but some Mexican as well. Their specials are always outstanding, and my boyfriend claims the best steak he ever had was at Coco Bolo's! Their taters are TO DIE FOR! It's definitely worth the trip to Manhattan, for us. Of course, then we have to go to Chapman Fly Shop, but I'll suffer for the food! :wink:

No info yet... I just need to call them... might do that this afternoon!

Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Katie, did you ever find any info?  I've pinged a few people with Manhattan connections but have yet to hear back from any of them (insert durogatory joke about KSU alums here  :raz: ).

I'm guessing from the name that it's Tex-Mex-ish?

Rock chalk chickenhawk. . .

(ahem)

:raz:

I've never even heard of Coco Bolo's, but it's not a stretch for me to believe there's a truly excellent restaurant in Manhattan. When I went to school there, JD's Pizza was incredible. Their blue cheese salad dressing was to die for. Unfortunately, JD's is long gone, but fondly remembered.

Now where was I...

Rock chalk chickenhawk...

(Judy, if you'd gone to a GOOD school, I bet you could spell derogatory.) :biggrin:

I'm afraid I didn't get to try JD's Pizza... the pizza scene is a sorry one in Manhattan now! So Long Saloon is also a good restaurant... I love the patty melts!

And I hate to admit this, but even though I went to K-state, I'm a KU fan! My dad made me take my KU license plate cover off before I went! :sad: Sorry Jenny!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Judy, please do go. The night I was there, a Thursday, there were only 16 covers in the house. I don't know if this typical business for him, but my feeling is that he needs all the support he can get. The space is a bit spartan by some standards but nonetheless cozy and comfortable. Service was attentive and informative but could be a little friendlier. Not sure how often the menu changes but I'll be heading there again soon and will report in more detail.

Will do. I mentioned his restaurant at a birthday dinner Friday night (9 of whom were Lawrencians) and no one had heard of it but all seemed interested. I hope they go, but only in parties of 2 or 4 (not 11). But that's another topic. :wacko:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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And I hate to admit this, but even though I went to K-state, I'm a KU fan!  My dad made me take my KU license plate cover off before I went!  :sad:  Sorry Jenny!

Truthfully, I only pretend to be a K-State fan (usually whenever I can use it to stir up a conversation). I did spend 4 years there, and was bestowed a degree. That was the last involvement I had with the place.

My decision to go to K-State was based on my father's fears of turning his passionate, politically involved daughter loose in a place where she could actually have an opportunity to get into trouble. He perceived K-State as a tame campus, having evidently forgotten about the building that was burned down (by arson) a couple of years before I arrived.

K-State's a good school for certain things. But in retrospect, I suspect I would have been better off elsewhere. Or maybe not. My whole reason to go, was simply to get out of my parents' house, and that was accomplished; but that was about all. But damn, that was some good blue cheese salad dressing at JD's! If I remember right, it was a combination of blue cheese, salad oil, whipped cream (you saw that right, yes, whipped cream) and black pepper. I'd say that dressing made it worth 4 years of not being able to find much trouble to get into.

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  • 4 months later...

Updating my own thread...

From a KC Restaurant Guide e-mail:

CoCo Bolos, a New Mexican Wood Fired Grill and Cantina is opening mid-June  at 151st and Nall in Leawood. The unique menu has a large selection of choices featuring tastes from the Gulf Coast, South Texas and Southern New Mexico. Lunch and dinner will be served 7 days a week including brunch on Sunday. For more information, please call 913-681-0400 or visit our website at http://www.kcrestaurantguide.com/cocobolos.htm

So excited! And it's close by for me!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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No Coco Bolo's in Topeka as of now, but god only knows what else is going to pop up on Wanamaker in the future. My daughter used to eat there when she was at KSU, and liked it.

Katie- If you consider On the Border (the TGI McFunsters of Mexican) good Mexican food, you really need to eat at one of the many fine family owned REAL Mexican restaurants when you're in Topeka. See, outside of JOCO, there are non-chain restaurants. Heck, you may even want to venture into wildest KCMO and go to Ponak's!!

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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No Coco Bolo's in Topeka as of now, but god only knows what else is going to pop up on Wanamaker in the future.  My daughter used to eat there when she was at KSU, and liked it.

Katie- If you consider On the Border (the TGI McFunsters of Mexican) good Mexican food, you really need to eat at one of the many fine family owned REAL Mexican restaurants when you're in Topeka. See, outside of JOCO, there are non-chain restaurants.  Heck, you may even want to venture into wildest KCMO and go to Ponak's!!

I think you must of misunderstood me... I HATE On the Border! And I know plenty about REAL Mexican food... just come to my house! We get out of JoCo often, actually. But, still glad to see some Topekans on the board!

Edited by Katie Nell (log)

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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I just want to know.....has Zona Rosa heard about this and when are they planning to break ground for THEIR location?

Interesting menu, I'd definitely give it a try. I can't see any way this will not be money in the bank at that location. You could open a hot dog cart across the street and get rich just from the overflow. I predict the need for crowd control will be unprecendented, the likes of which has not been seen since the newest Cheesecake Factory opened on 119th with their whopping five parking spaces surrounding the building.

In all seriousness, will they be doing call-ahead seating or anything? That place is going to be BUSY.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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In all seriousness, will they be doing call-ahead seating or anything?  That place is going to be BUSY.

I don't know, but I hope it's bigger than their Manhattan location! It is t-i-n-y! I would bet it sits around 60 max!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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Katie-

My bad. I thought you liked On the Border.

Actually, I'm a New Yorker who has lived in Topeka for 19 years. And no, I'm not in the witness protection program (One of the guys at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago asked me if I was)

"Leave the gun. Take the cannoli."

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Katie-

My bad. I thought you liked On the Border.

Actually, I'm a New Yorker who has lived in Topeka for 19 years. And no, I'm not in the witness protection program (One of the guys at the Billy Goat Tavern in Chicago asked me if I was)

No problem... just wanted to clarify... wouldn't want anyone to think I actually liked On the Border! :wink:

I was born and raised in Topeka, so I definitely am aware that there are lots of wonderful Mexican restaurants there!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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I just want to know.....has Zona Rosa heard about this and when are they planning to break ground for THEIR location?

Interesting menu, I'd definitely give it a try.  I can't see any way this will not be money in the bank at that location.  You could open a hot dog cart across the street and get rich just from the overflow.  I predict the need for crowd control will be unprecendented, the likes of which has not been seen since the newest Cheesecake Factory opened on 119th with their whopping five parking spaces surrounding the building. 

In all seriousness, will they be doing call-ahead seating or anything?  That place is going to be BUSY.

Z,

I thought I had you pegged but now I can't tell when you're being sarcastic. Could you use italics or something? I do think you're right in that those two areas on either side of KC are going to be mirror images of one another, at least in terms of tenants.

Five will get you ten that they'll present you with a house-arrest-style buzzing object when you arrive and sell you drinks while you wait for a table ala CF.

I'll be over at the hot dog cart. Actually, I may be working at the hot dog cart :laugh:

Judy Jones aka "moosnsqrl"

Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.

M.F.K. Fisher

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Z,

I thought I had you pegged but now I can't tell when you're being sarcastic.  Could you use italics or something?  I do think you're right in that those two areas on either side of KC are going to be mirror images of one another, at least in terms of tenants. 

Five will get you ten that they'll present you with a house-arrest-style buzzing object when you arrive and sell you drinks while you wait for a table ala CF. 

I'll be over at the hot dog cart.  Actually, I may be working at the hot dog cart :laugh:

Don't worry Judy, you're still just reeling from your Zona Rosa post-traumatic stress. Actually, I can't even tell when I'm being sarcastic anymore. I really do think it was a genius move to open the restaurant in that location, it will make millions. I forgot about the house arrest pagers. No question there will be a three hour wait at the beginning. If I can plan a very early or very late lunch at some point I'll venture out there with Mike to check it out.

Jerry

Kansas City, Mo.

Unsaved Loved Ones

My eG Food Blog- 2011

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  • 3 weeks later...

Bumping.

This has been open for a couple weeks now. Has anyone taken a bullet for the team? If so, please post a review. If not, I'll try and get there sometime in the next week or so.

That's the thing about opposum inerds, they's just as tasty the next day.

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Bumping.

This has been open for a couple weeks now. Has anyone taken a bullet for the team? If so, please post a review. If not, I'll try and get there sometime in the next week or so.

Why would one have to take one for the team if I've already said the Manhattan location is good? Just curious!

"Many people believe the names of In 'n Out and Steak 'n Shake perfectly describe the contrast in bedroom techniques between the coast and the heartland." ~Roger Ebert

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