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Archive for "Reviews"

Rio Grill & Cantina

Posted on June 13, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

Finally had the opportunity to check out Rio Grill & Cantina in Andover. They took over the old Las Palmas space in the strip at Central and Andover Road. I can’t believe I’ve never been here before. The food is great!

I went for an Andover Rotary Club board meeting. It was our first in person board meeting since the pandemic began. We’ve been holding the board meetings via ZOOM until this one. The funny thing is, I’ve been on the board for a year now and I could never make the meetings. I think I’ve only attended one meeting during my first year as PR chair because something would always come up. That is, until the pandemic began and then we had a state-wide stay-at-home order. The ZOOM meetings were a lot easier to attend because then I didn’t have to budget in the drive time, which always seemed to be the challenge on days that meetings were back to back. For instance, if I had a meeting from 11 o’clock to 12 noon, there was no way I could drive to Andover to attend attend a meeting so I would just have to miss it. With the ZOOM meetings, I could quickly go from one meeting to the next without having to worry about driving.

Anyway, I’m still working from home so, even though this last one was in person, I was able to attend. Rather than having to drive from my office in downtown Wichita, I came from my house which is only about 5-10 minutes from almost anywhere in Andover.

I’m so glad I was able to attend this one because, not only is the food good, but it also happened to be Alison’s birthday. Huge thanks to Stephanie for picking up birthday cake on her way to the meeting.

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Besides celebrating her birthday with us, Alison also celebrated her final board meeting. After ten years of being on the Andover Rotary Club board (in one role or another), she finally gets a much-needed break. We are sad to see her leave the board because the club wouldn’t be what it is today without her service. She’ll still be part of the club so I’m pretty sure she’s still be helping us with lots of things but at least she won’t be required to attend the board meetings. At least for the time being. We are a very small club so who knows how long this break will last? She might be back again before too long. LOL.

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I always try to take pictures of food whenever I eat out and most specially if I’m eating somewhere for the first time but I didn’t want to be too nerdy so I only got a couple of pictures this time. I got a picture of Norm’s nachos (above) and my California burrito (below).

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My burrito was amazing. Easily the best burrito I have ever had. It’s got pork inside (which we all know how much I love pork), smothered in delicious green sauce, and topped with some avocado slices. It was so good, I can’t wait to have it again.

Once grandma is finally able to venture out of Victoria Falls, we’re going to have to eat lunch here because I think she’ll really like it.

Until next time. GNG.

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My Tho with Teresa

Posted on March 14, 2020 by under Reviews.    

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I met my friend Teresa at My Tho a couple of weeks ago. I have to say, even though it’s been over ten years since I’d last eaten there, not much has changed. They still don’t take cards. So take note, if you are eating at My Tho, remember to bring cash for payment.

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I got a picture of the menu and the restaurant interior but forgot to take pics of our food. #FAIL We ordered the exact same thing (pho with pork) though, so the pics would not have been that exciting.

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It was fun catching up with Teresa. I do not get to see her enough and we should catch up more often. Speaking of catching up, our friend Jason was supposed to join us but something came up at the last minute and he couldn’t make it.

I wouldn’t mind going back to My Tho. Their food is quite good. Perhaps next time we’ll have a full group with us.

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HomeGrown, Finally

Posted on February 2, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

I met Jan for lunch at the Bradley Fair HomeGrown on the first day of my holiday break. HomeGrown has been around for a while now. Their first location on the West side of Wichita opened a few years ago. I’d heard plenty of people say how great it is but since it was all the way out West, we just never got around to going.

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The Bradley Fair location opened some time ago but because it’s so popular the waits on the weekends are always longer than we have time or patience for. Anyway, it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I finally had an opportunity to go. I figured since I was going on a weekday the wait wouldn’t be as bad. There was still a wait but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.

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Here are some of the delicious drinks they offer.

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I had a chicken and noodle soup. It was great!

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I can’t remember what Jan had but it looked good too.

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Anyway, I liked it so much that I talked my friend Chris into walking over to the downtown location with me and having lunch there. I had the Cuban this time.

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Here’s a better pic.

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Chris decided to have breakfast.

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Then, since Brian and I were both off on MLK day, we decided to meet at the Bradley Fair location so he could try it. Here’s a pic of his meal, which is what he usually gets at most breakfast joints. Brian said the biscuits were delicious! He said they were the best he’s ever had.

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I had the carnitas breakfast which was excellent. I would totally order it again.

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We invited my new friend Sharmin to join us. This is her avocado toast. Anyway, buying her lunch was the least we could do since she was nice enough to bring me along as her guest to her pickleball sessions that morning at the Wichita Country Club. I will have to tell you about that in another post because it deserves its own write up. And this post is all about HomeGrown.

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Later that same week I was back at the downtown HomeGrown location again. This time with Jenni. Yes, I liked it so much I actually ate HomeGrown food (albeit different locations) three times in seven days.

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This is Jenni’s benedict (above). I wanted to try one of their omelets this time (below). It was great. I’ve yet to get anything on the menu that I didn’t enjoy.

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Anyway, HomeGrown is fabulous. The only downside is that, because it is so good, the wait to get a table is atrocious. However, if you get on their waiting list on Yelp, it’s not so bad. I didn’t know this when we went to Bradley Fair on MLK day. We had to wait almost an hour for a table. Well, I think it was 30-40 minutes but it seemed like forever. At least it gave Sharmin time to run her errand across the street at Trader Joe’s.

The time that I went with Chris to the downtown location, we just ate at the bar so we didn’t have to wait for a table. When I went with Jenni, she got there early and was already seated. Regardless of the wait, HomeGrown is totally worth checking out. Even if you have to wait, the food is worth it! Until next time. GNG.

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The Wheel Barrel

Posted on March 30, 2018 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

Finally got to try the Wheel Barrel.

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My coworker Tom, who lives in there area, has been talking it up for weeks. However, I’m not usually in Topeka and, when I am, I’m usually hitting up the Burger Stand. We carved out some time on this last trip to Topeka for the Wheel Barrel, though. Sarah, Chris, Tom, and I went on Monday night.

Here are some pics.

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Sarah had a half sandwich and soup combo. I can’t remember what kind of sandwich she got, though. I think she might have gotten the “luau” because I remember us talking about how much she loves ghost peppers.

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Tom had a full sandwich and soup. I can’t remember what kind of sandwich he got for the life of me. He also got the tomato bisque soup. I heard their tomato bisque is really good. I’m not really a tomato bisque soup person but Brian loves that stuff. I may have to bring him here.

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Chris and I both got the same thing — the “hangover” grilled cheese sandwich. It consists of smoked gouda, sharp cheddar, bacon, two fried eggs, and sriracha aioli on sweet brioche. It is amazing. This was, hands down, the best grilled cheese sandwich I’ve ever had.

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This is the Wheel Barrel’s take on bananas foster. It was the perfect size dessert of the four of us to share.

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So, I have newfound respect for Topeka and a new favorite restaurant. I’m definitely hitting this place again the next time I’m in town. I may even bring reinforcements (i.e. Brian).

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8° Below

Posted on July 4, 2017 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

Ice cream is another great way to beat the heat. There’s a new shop that opened up at Union Station just down the street from my work. I got to check it out with a couple of coworkers, Tony and Theresa, a few days ago.

It was actually Theresa’s idea. We had planned to go as a group but, when the day came, some people backed out so it ended just being the three of us. Theresa originally wanted to drive over but Tony and I talked her into walking. It’s really not that far of a walk from work.

We walked to Heroes first for cheap lunch. Friday is .99 cent tacos day. Then we walked over to 8° Below for dessert.

We have many ice cream shops in town and there’s plenty of good ice cream to be had. What’s novel about 8° Below is that they serve rolled ice cream. It looks really pretty but it does take forever to make.

Let me show you pictures and then I yak at you some more.

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You can pick from the signature flavors or create your own from the vast array toppings, mix ins, and drizzles.

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Then you get to watch them make your ice cream. That is, if the store is not too crowded. The shop isn’t very big.

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Here’s a picture of Theresa, Tony, and me that was taken while we were waiting for our ice cream. There wasn’t a line at lunch but it still takes a while to get your ice cream because they make it to order.

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That was definitely a down side for me. Rolled ice cream is cool and all but I’m not a fan of waiting. I prefer the places that have the ice cream already made so, when I tell them what I want, I have my ice cream in my hand within a matter of seconds.

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I had the mango tango. Theresa had the thanks a latte. Tony had the brownie mix, which I believe is what is pictured above. I didn’t take pictures of all of our ice creams because you’d only be disappointed. The ice cream was tasty but the presentation never looks as good as it does in the pictures.

The verdict? I didn’t like the wait and I thought the ice cream was overpriced. I suppose you are paying for the experience and novelty of watching your ice cream be made and rolled right before your very eyes. If you don’t care either way, then it’s pretty pointless. Just go where they have delicious ice cream at a cheap price like Braum’s or Baskin Robbins.

I probably won’t go back unless Brian just absolutely wants to go.

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