Prairie Nut Hut, Altoona
1940s wooden building.
6-stool counter. Photo credit Yvonne Hull.
Hamburger and basket of Mountain Oysters. Photo credit Keith Stokes.
A very tasty green chili burger. Photo credit Yvonne Hull.
This one is called the "Hoppin' Nut Basket" - it features frog legs and Rocky Mountain Oysters. Photo credit Yvonne Hull.
1306 Quincy Street, Altoona, KS 66710
[map this location]
Open Tuesday-Friday 4-9 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
The Prairie Nut Hut is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine because of its widespread reputation, since the 1960s, for serving Mountain Oysters, and for being a colorful cafe.
When a person sees the white wooden Prairie Nut Hut for the first time, located at the intersection of Business U.S. 75 and K-47, most people think its small and rather "rustic" looking. With signs all over it, it's obvious that everyone has a bit of fun with the name of the place.
Opened as a tavern in the 1940s, it started featuring mountain oysters (calf fries) around the late 1960s. Today, the Prairie Nut Hut still features its namesake but there are many other good choices if you don't want the "special."
The hamburgers and chicken-fried steak are fresh, juicy, and big. In fact, the Prairie Nut Hut is on the Kansas Explorers Club list of best chicken fried steaks (fresh meat, hand-breaded, and grill or pan fried). This chicken fried steak fills a plate and the edges are all crinkly and misshapen proving that it's fresh. For a terrific burger, ask for grilled onions and Swiss cheese on it.
You can throw peanuts on the wooden floor but you can't squeeze more than about 40 people into the place. Go early! This is one of the early six-stool counter places in the state but it's a good vantage point if you want to watch the waitresses on a frantic pace to get food to the hungry.
This is not for the weak of heart or those on a diet plan but people do come from everywhere to eat here.
"I had a ball at the Prairie Nut Hut" t-shirts are for sale.
| T-shirt says it all. Photo credit Yvonne Hull.|
|Menu Board. Photo credit Yvonne Hull.|