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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Party at the White House

Posted on July 10, 2016 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

Tom White’s house, that is.

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Tom had his house warming party last weekend. House is a massive understatement, though. It’s more like a mansion as you’ll see from the pictures that follow.

Tom bought the Lakepoint house months ago and I’d been watching the renovation unfold on Facebook. He gutted the kitchen and pretty much updated everything but the basement. Every time he would post a picture of a completed section such as his kitchen counters or his light fixtures I would tell Brian, “I hope we get invited to his housewarming party because I really want to see this amazing house in person.”

You all know how much I love the Parade of Homes. Well, this would be like that but better because there will be food and booze. Come to think of it, that’s really what’s missing at most open houses. LOL.

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Took a picture of the dining table as they were setting it up for the feast.

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This is one of Brian’s ultimate selfies. Almost everyone congregated around Tom’s amazing kitchen.

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Brian and I made a new friend. This is Elissa, a friend of Tom’s from university.

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This is Jessie. He is a master at delivering the ultimate customer experience. He’s going to be my “Taxi Terry” example when I finally hit the speaking circuit.

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Yes. We are dorks who wear matching shirts. Mostly my doing. Brian just humors me.

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Tom’s perfectly cooked ribs.

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Dinner at Tom’s #didnotsuck.

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We had a great time at Tom’s open house/house warming party despite the storm. Brian and I almost decided not to go but I’m glad we went. We got to check out Tom’s new house and try his cooking. Both were phenomenal.

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Coco Bolos – Again

Posted on July 4, 2016 by under Food and Drink.    

Some of my coworkers and I were in Manhattan, Kansas for a leadership conference last week. We normally just walk down the street to Old Chicago but we wanted to try something different this time so I gave them a couple of choices based on restaurants in Manhattan that I’d tried before and liked: Wahoo or Coco Bolos. It’s been a long time since I’d dined at either restaurants but I recalled that I liked them both so it didn’t really matter to me which one they picked.

They picked Coco Bolos, which is also where everyone else in Manhattan wanted to have dinner that night. There was a 45 minute wait when we got there. Although, the host conveniently forgot to tell us this when we first arrived. I only found out because I heard him tell the length of the wait to some of the groups that came in after us.

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I’m thinking the $5 sangria carafes might have had something to do with how busy they were that night. Because the sangrias were so cheap and it took a while to drink an entire carafe, diners tended to linger. It took quite a long time to get a table. There’s not really a good place to wait so the five of us (Mike, Gwen, Alicia, Alex, and I) were huddled just in front of the door, trying to stay out of people’s way.

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I guess since we were waiting a while, host guy decided he should take drink requests. Because I live in la-la land and I always think something fantastic is happening in the world, I thought he was buying us all free drinks for the inconvenience. Little did I know that he was keeping track of everything. I didn’t realize this until the check came. Silly me. This reminded me of the time that I walked back to my car after work and saw a card on the windshield and my first thought was that someone was inviting me to a party or rave of some sort, rather than “I’m getting a ticket,” which is what the card actually was. There were actually three “cards” so they must have really wanted me to go to that party but who’s counting?

You know how some people are so negative and they always assume the worst? Well, I am the exact opposite. I always assume the best. It’s kind of ridiculous. I try not to be overly optimistic but I can’t help it. It’s just the way my brain is wired, I guess.

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So there we were, waiting. Trying not to get in the way but waiting and waiting. It had been several years since my last dining experience at Coco Bolos so then I started thinking “the food better be good to make the wait worthwhile.”

I could feel my eternal optimism starting to wane. That happens when you’re starving and you have to wait almost an hour to eat. It was specially hard seeing plates of food go by with regular frequency. LOL.

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Host guy was smart, though. He kept the drinks flowing so we were all pretty mellow and, despite having to wait a super long time, we remained considerably patient.

I could tell my coworkers’ patience was wearing thin. We were all quite relieved when our table was finally ready. I’m not sure how much longer we could have waited.

We were all hungry so it didn’t take us long to decide what we wanted. We had chips and queso to start. No picture because we annihilated it before I could grab my phone. We were starving, remember?

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Alicia and Alex both had the carnitas special. It was quite popular that night. We saw several plates of it go by while we were waiting. The both agreed it was very good.

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Gwen got the Key West chicken special. She said it was delicious as well.

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Mike and I both had the Thai Pan BBQ pork except he got his unadulterated. Naturally, I had to make modifications to meal. It was a pretty minor change, though. I asked for plain rice instead of the rice noodles that normally come with the dish.

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Coco Bolos Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Our server was nice enough to warn me that the peanut/chile sauce they coat all over the rice noodles is spicy so I asked for mine to be served on the side rather than over the rice. The skewered pork loins had more than enough flavor. I’m glad I got the sauce on the side because I didn’t need any of it. Dinner was delicious and was completely worth the wait. I also had a nice time visiting with my coworkers.

I really like Coco Bolos and I still highly recommend it despite the lengthy wait. It seems to be very popular with the locals, $5 sangria carafe night or otherwise. I’m pretty sure they’re busy regardless of what day of the week it is. Next time you’re in Manhattan, you have to go check it out.

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The Hungry Heart

Posted on July 3, 2016 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

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Brian and I finally got around to checking out the Hungry Heart by the arena. It’s in the space formerly occupied by Jettys Pizza, which didn’t last very long. You can kind of see the Jettys sign faintly coming through in the photo above. I’m hoping the Hungry Heart doesn’t share the same fate because they’re actually really good. I would hate to see them close specially since we just now discovered their amazing food.

Brian and I started with the award-winning Asian wings.

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Our very nice server told us that the wing recipe won a prize at last year’s Wingapalooza. Naturally, we had to try it. We weren’t disappointed. I think, out of everything we tried that night, these wings were our favorite.

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Brian had their pulled pork sandwich for his meal. He said it was amazing. The sandwich consists of 20-hour smoked pork shoulder with tangy coleslaw and house-made BBQ sauce on a pretzel bun. You can select from various side options. Brian opted for the house-cut fries. They are homemade and awesome. They rank up there with some of the best fries I’ve had in town.

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I had the Korean short ribs, which had excellent flavor. It normally comes with regular rice but I subbed it with the cilantro rice. I think I should have stayed with the regular rice though because the cilantro flavor didn’t work as well with the sweetness of the ribs.

I wasn’t sure how I would like the spicy cucumber pickles so I ordered the Asian green beans at first. However, after getting a small sample of the cucumber, I decided they actually weren’t too spicy for me. I kind of liked their sweet, spicy flavor so I ended up getting them anyway.

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Hungry Heart & Whole Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The green beans were really good too, but the flavor of the cucumber went really well with the short ribs. It’s clear that they put a lot of thought into what kind of side dishes to serve with each entree. If and when you go, my suggestion would be to stick to exactly how it’s prepared and not make any substitutions or changes unless you have allergies or specific dietary restrictions.

I plan on going back and ordering the Korean short ribs again without messing with the dish. I want to try the food just as the chef intended and I’m sure I won’t be disappointed. The seem to know their stuff.

Here are some pictures of the restaurant’s interior.

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This is the host desk.

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Brian and I like to eat early supper so we were the one of the first people in the restaurant for dinner that day. It picked up a lot as Brian and I were finishing our dinner.

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There’s not much to their decor but the food is phenomenal.

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Brian and I thoroughly enjoyed our dinner at the Hungry Heart. Not only was the food great but the service as well. Everyone was super nice, not just our server. If there’s anything that I was disappointed about, it’s that we didn’t try this place sooner. We will definitely be back.

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Uno Mas

Posted on June 21, 2016 by under Food and Drink.    

Pictures from my first Uno Mas experience. I tried them a couple of weeks ago. I believe it was their first time at the ICT Pop-up Urban Park.

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I’m not sure if they’ve been back at the park. I haven’t been by because it’s either raining cats and dogs or it’s way too hot to walk over. That’s Kansas weather for you.

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They gave me a sample of agua de melon while I waited for my to-go order. It reminded me of the melon juice we used to drink in the Philippines. Except we put actual strings of cantaloupe in ours. The familiar flavor brought back fond memories.

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I really wanted to try the jalapeño cilantro fries but it didn’t look like you could order them separately. From looking at their menu, it looked like the only way to get them is to order one of the two sandwiches. I really didn’t feel like eating a sandwich that day.

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I wanted to try their tacos. I got one barbacoa (shredded beef) taco and one carnitas (braised pork) taco. They were a pretty good deal for only $3 each. The tacos were on the small side (compared to the tacos I get from Funky Monkey Munchies and the Flying Stove) but they were packed full of flavor. I definitely get why they named their truck Uno Mas. After eating the two small tacos, I definitely felt like I eating one more.

Fortunately for me, I got my order to go so I couldn’t get another taco without having to walk back to the park. I say that’s fortunate because, while I was craving one more taco, I really didn’t need it. LOL.

Looks like they were back at the ICT Pop-up Urban Park yesterday. I’m not sure where they will be the rest of the week. I highly recommend checking them out, though. You can follow their Facebook page to get updates about where the truck will be next.

Judging from the recent pictures, it looks like portions have gotten bigger since opening week. That’s a good thing because I eat a lot. I’ll be seeing you again soon, Uno Mas!

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Riverfest Sundown Parade

Posted on June 9, 2016 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

Both Westar Energy and the Kansas DUI Impact Center participated in the Wichita River Festival Sundown Parade again this year. Last year Brian and I both walked with Westar. Since the two groups staged right by each other, I actually thought of walking with both — walking with one part of the way and switching to the other the rest of the way. However, I realized that they were actually going to be far apart in order. The Kansas DUI Impact Center was toward the front of the line, while Westar Energy was almost at the very end. Realizing this, we decided to split up.

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Brian walked with the Westar group.

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My little sister Nickira and I walked with the Kansas DUI Impact Center.

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Figured she would like it better because (a) they had a cool ballon arch, bead necklaces, and noisemakers, and (b) they ha fun tailgate with hotdogs and chips. Nickira had some chips but passed on the hotdogs because she said, and I quote, “I’m picky about hotdogs and these have cheese inside.”

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Who knew my little had such discerning taste? LOL. 😉

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Nickira rode in the trailer, which was completely packed. I walked the route and was starving by the end of it. I opted out of the hotdogs too because I knew, according to the schedule, that Kamayan Truck would be at the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park. I totally underestimated the time it would take to walk in the parade, though. It was almost eight o’clock in the evening by the time we finished. It didn’t help matters any that we started a little late. Though I’m not really sure. Maybe the groups ahead of us just moved very slow. We might have started on time. The only thing I know is that it was almost seven by the time the Kansas DUI Impact Center group started moving.

It was well past eight by the time we got to the park. Lucky for us, the Kamayan Truck was still there and they still had food to sell.

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Predictably, Brian got ribs and I got porchetta.

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Nickira got the Asian tacos.

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And, the mango watermelon salad, which she thought was weird.

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And, some watermelon juice.

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It’s been mayhem downtown due to Riverfest week so neither Brian nor I have been back. Plus, I was supposed to be in Topeka this week so I didn’t schedule anything with Nickira. Besides that, we actually have something going on just about every night.

Nickira and I pick back up again next week. Until then, I hope you guys enjoyed the photos. (NOTE: The first two are Joe Montiel‘s photos. That’s why they’re good. I highly recommend hiring him if you need family, engagement, senior, or wedding photos. He does an amazing job.)

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