One of my favorite places to eat at when I was growing up in Hays, KS was Professor's. The entire name was, Professor Pittewurst Panaceatic Inn, but that was a mouthful so it was just called simply, Professor's. The restaurant was originally opened in 1976, by Professor Pittewurst and became known for its amazing sandwiches and unique atmosphere.
An original portion of the restaurant is actually an old train depot and was moved from Yocemento, KS in the 1920s. After the building was moved it originally served the community of Hays, KS as the American Legion. Growing up, my dad told me a story or two about going to the American Legion while he was attending Fort Hays State University. He told us about the variety of games and even slot machines that were part of the "unique" atmosphere in the building!
When Professor's closed I was devastated, the Panacea Supreme with a side of BBQ sauce was one of my favorites and I was so sad that I would never have it again! Thankfully, in 2017, the Jensen Family reopened the restaurant and I could not make the trip home fast enough! As soon as I stepped in the door I was transported to my childhood, the sights and the smells are why I have to stop every time I am home.
The restaurant's menu features several of its classic sandwiches, soups, and salads, but thanks to the Jensen Family, it has added some amazing dishes using their homegrown mushrooms and also their Jensen Family honey! Patrons can also enjoy a glass of the Jensen Families' signature honey lemonade, which is seriously so freaking good!
Now, normally I am always changing my order at restaurants, but not here. My order is now a tradition for me, the Panacea Supreme with a side of BBQ Sauce and a cup of Green Bean and Dumpling soup. The toasted buttery bread with melted Swiss cheese and warmed turkey dunked in their bbq sauce is one of the most perfect bites of food ever! Even now, my mouth is watering just thinking about it.
My sister and I are partial to the classic German soup, Green Bean and Dumpling, but my parents love their tomato soup. Both are truly amazing, but since not many restaurants near us serve green bean and dumpling that is our go-to! As I mentioned above, the Professor's menu also has several dishes featuring their families' locally grown mushrooms. Their mushroom stir-fry and mushroom taco salad are full of flavor and perfect if you are looking for vegetarian or lighter dishes.
One of the best surprises of the re-opening by the Jensen Family has been their homemade honey drop cookies that come at the end of your meal! These cookies are made with their family honey, they are so soft and have the perfect amount of sweetness to end your meal, they are almost worth the trip by themself!
If you happen to find yourself in Hays, KS, or maybe driving out West, my advice is to time your trip so you can enjoy lunch at Professor's. To keep up with them, follow them on their Facebook page or on their website. If you are a mushroom enthusiast or honey connoisseur, you can also order directly from their website!
Professor's is truly a special place in Hays, KS that should be enjoyed by as many people as possible.
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