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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Tara’s Anniversary Lunch at Larkspur

Posted on August 28, 2016 by under Food and Drink.    

I hadn’t been on many service anniversary lunches at work since heading up Quality Assurance in 2009 so I was super excited when Faith invited me to join her, Tara, and Karen for Tara’s 10th anniversary celebration lunch.

I used to go on these regularly when I was supervising a team of twelve to sixteen reps. Someone was bound to be having a milestone service anniversary (anywhere from 5 to 30 years in service). If the celebrant wasn’t someone on my team, one of the other supervisors would have a celebrant and so we’re constantly celebrating someone’s work anniversary.

In 2010 I was a one-person team. I didn’t end up with a couple of team members until the year after and it was only in the last couple of years that my team grew to three. The last service anniversary that I got to celebrate/organize was Nykole’s 15th service anniversary about six months ago. We went to Outback Steakhouse (celebrant’s pick) and then went bowling at the Alley afterwards.

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Since getting assigned to the CIS (Customer Information System) project back in October, I was back to being a lone ranger. I was actually lucky that I got to go on Nykole’s anniversary because Gwen has been looking after the Quality Assurance team for several months now.

Anyway, it was kind of a fluke that I got to attend Tara’s anniversary lunch. It just so happened that none of the other supervisors were available so Faith asked me on their way out. I’d been listening to the new IVR all week at that point and needed a break so I gleefully accepted her invitation.

I hadn’t been to Larskpur in forever and had forgotten how delicious their food is. Here are some pictures of the food we enjoyed at Tara’s anniversary feast.

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Larkspur Bistro & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I think everyone enjoyed their meal. We shared the dip and crab cakes to start.

Both were delicious. I was almost too full to eat my tilapia entree by the time we were through with our appetizers. It seemed like I ate more that day that I had eaten all week.

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Oh, and I recognized our server that day from Color Party X. She was part of a string duo that played music at the foyer as you entered the party. I caught another picture of her again later in the evening when she was quite happy.

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Of course, everyone thought it was strange and borderline creepy that I had a picture of our server. I got quite a bit of ribbing for that. But it’s a small world and even smaller still for people, like me, who take lots of pictures.

Churn & Burn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

After lunch we went to put gas in the filthy fleet car so we could run it through the carwash. We strategically picked the KwikShop next to Churn & Burn so we could have some dessert. Churn & Burn is currently my favorite place for a cold, yummy treat. Brian and I love their Swiss café mocha Churn & Burn. Anyway, I will never turn down Churn & Burn any time, any day. LOL.

It worked out perfectly because the four of us got to enjoy our Churn & Burn while we waited for the carwash to do its thing. We got back to the office a few minutes late but it was totally worth it. Plus, it’s not everyday that someone celebrates their 10th work anniversary (and not everyday that I get invited to go on the celebration lunch). Congrats to Tara and thanks to everyone for letting me tag along.

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Pre ZINCON Prep and Pokémon

Posted on August 1, 2016 by under Babies, Food and Drink, Games, Things to Do.    

We took last Tuesday off to get ready for ZINCON since we had to fly out at 5 AM the next day. We took the girls to the pet boarding place and then got manis and pedis and even squeezed in some Pokémon hunting.

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Molly was super excited she got to drive to the pet resort. She is such a good little driver. She always looks both ways.

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Before you freak out, I’m only kidding about Molly driving. We were stopped at a light when we took these photos. She looks really cool driving Brian’s car, though. Really gangsta. Just sayin’.

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Then Brian and I were off to Nails and Beyond for manis and pedis.

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I had my toes painted glittery purple to match my prom dress for the theme party.

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After spending a couple of hours at the nail salon, we decided to head over to District Taqueria to support the Dress for Success fundraising event.

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Don’t ask me what three tacos I got because I can never remember.

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Brian is not a huge fan of DT. He’s more of a Qdoba kind of guy. I love the taco selection at DT, though. I also like the thick queso with kick. And, they have great desserts that they serve in cute, little mason jars (like the one the containing the queso in the picture above). We were good and skipped dessert this time, though. Plus, they were really busy. We almost left and ate somewhere else because there weren’t any open tables. I’m glad we waited a bit though, because I really wanted to help Dress for Success even though in a very small way.

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We walked off our lunch by walking along Douglas and hunting for Pokémon. It was over 100 degrees that day so we were a bit nuts but we’re kind of addicted to the game. We got Rita’s Italian Ice to cool us off a bit and I actually managed to talk Brian to checking out Wichita State University campus as well.

The WSU campus was a bit disappointing. They had a lot of stops and there were five gyms but not really any rare Pokémons. Actually, there were hardly any mons that popped up for us. By far, the best place I’ve found for Pokémon hunting is down by the river. The Keeper of the Plains area is always hopping with Magikarp and Psyducks, and has been buzzing with people (fellow Pokémon trainers presumably) since the game was released last month.

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Here are some pictures of us hunting Pokémon downtown. This photo was taken a couple of weeks ago at the ICT Pop Up Urban Park, one of my most favorite places for hunting Pokémon because it’s got four Poké stops all in the same vicinity. I was actually walking back and forth along the block to hatch some eggs and I ran into Rolo when I sat the the corner of Douglas and Main to take a break.

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We’re going to be really busy this coming week so we won’t have time to hit the hot spots but we will definitely keep you guys posted next time we’re out Pokémon hunting and perhaps we can all meet up. Until then, have a fantastic week!

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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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