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Archive for "Food and Drink"

BRGR Kitchen + Bar

Posted on December 3, 2016 by under Food and Drink, Travel.    

When we were in Kansas City last week and trying to decide where we wanted to have our first meal of the trip, I wanted to try somewhere I’d not been before and suggested Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop. It’s just around the corner from Boulevard Brewing and it had great reviews. I also had an ulterior motive in that, since I’d have to drive to get to Lulu’s (and I hate driving), I wouldn’t have any other opportunity to check it out except at that very moment.

Brian, who is not adventurous and can be a party pooper, didn’t want to go there. The place didn’t look like much on the outside and the area didn’t look like the best part of town (forgetting that sometimes that’s where the best restaurants are). Anyway, he wanted to go back to Power & Light where things are familiar and asked to eat at one of the restaurants I’ve tried and enjoyed.

He’s not much of a risk-taker so, rather than roll the dice, he wanted to eat somewhere that’s already been vetted.

I get it.

Because of our shared love of truffle fries, I decided to take him to BRGR Kitchen + Bar which was just a short walk from our hotel by the Kauffman Center. He had seen pictures of the food I’d eaten there and had been wanting to try it for a while. This place serves all sorts of fries and tater tots (regular, truffle, sweet potato) and also serves onion straws and onion rings and they have various delicious sauces for dipping. I highly recommend getting “the combo” (which is a fantastic deal for $9) and trying three different ones and then going back twice and doing the same thing until you’ve tried them all. I have to warn you though, the sweet potato tater tots are like crack. They are so sweet and delicious that they almost taste like dessert. At least, they’re just as enjoyable to eat.

Quick side story: For some odd reason I kept thinking that this restaurant was related to Rok:BRGR in Hallandale. I told Kelsey that we’d eaten at BRGR before when we were in Florida. I was wrong. I guess I saw “BRGR” in the name and assumed they were related but they are two completely separate restaurants. And, BRGR Kitchen + Bar is tons better than that restaurant in Florida. Then again, I’d only eaten there once so I could have ordered the wrong thing. I could also be very biased because I’ve eaten at this other one a few times now and all of the experiences have been great. For the sake of this post, and so we can move on, I’m going to say this BRGR is the better one.

Are you ready to see some pics?

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This is what the place looks like inside. So, as you can see, it’s got a really neat ambiance. They also have these glass doors along Main that can open when the weather is favorable so it feels like you’re outside while you’re dining inside.

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There’s several sets as you can see from this photo I stole from the BRGR web site. I had to steal this photo because I didn’t get a good photo of the doors when we were there. You can kind of see the doors behind Brian in the picture below.

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These doors are all along the side of the restaurant so they can pretty much open the entire place up. Of course the weather was fantastic up until last week. Just our luck! We didn’t let the cold winter weather spoil our fun, though.

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We started our BRGR dining experience with some fried deviled eggs. Not the best when you’re trying to diet but these are amazing.

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They’re “When Harry Met Sally” o-face AMAZING!

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Here’s a better picture of them up close. I love deviled eggs anyway (not the Dillons kind, but definitely the ones that my mother in law makes) but when you fry something it just kicks it up a notch. I mean, I hate eating veggies but, when you bread it and fry it and make it crunchy, I’ll eat them all day long. LOL.

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These delicious deviled eggs are not just fried, though. They wrap them in prosciutto (something Brian and I both LOVE) and some kind of crispy sausage first and then fry them. The end result is this great crunchy texture and amazing flavors. It definitely set the bar high for all of our meals on this KC trip.

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Because we blew all of our calories (and then some) on the fried deviled eggs, Brian and I decided to just split a burger rather than each getting one. We agreed on the Big Hoss. The burger patty is made of a half pound of ground chuck and short rib blend and served in a salt and pepper bun with a fried egg, bacon, Wisconsin cheddar, steak sauce and onion straws.

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Their burgers are enormous but you don’t get the full effect in these two photos above. I think next time we should just ask for the burger and split it ourselves because the whole burger will make for a better picture.

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We had truffle tots as our side. The truffle tots tasted amazing but the presentation wasn’t as cool as that time I ate there and shared “the combo” with Michelle and Selena. We had (from left) truffle fries, truffle tots, and sweet potato tater tots.

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I just realized I didn’t get a picture of the cool metal containers that they came in so I had to steal this picture from another site.

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When Michelle, Selena, and I dined there, Michelle had the chicken not-so-burger. She let me try a piece of it. It was delicious!

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I also enjoyed the Roadhouse burger that I split with Selena. It’s similar to the Big Hoss except they use barbecue sauce instead of steak sauce, there’s no fried egg, and it’s served in a corn bun.

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That’s another thing that I love about BRGR. Other places serve their burgers in the same boring bun. At BRGR they have all sorts of buns to choose from so you can really make your own perfect burger combination.

I like BRGR so much that I’m already thinking about what I will order on my next visit. So, yes. Even though I didn’t get to try a new restaurant as I’d wanted, I was completely satisfied with our meal at BRGR. You can never go wrong there!

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Vacation Time

Posted on November 25, 2016 by under Events, Food and Drink.    

Brian and I took the week off (well, most of the week – Brian actually has to work today) for Thanksgiving and so we started our celebration on Friday evening. We wanted to celebrate the fact that we wouldn’t have to go back to work for a week. And we decided to take our celebration Carrabba’s.

Neither of us had been to Carrabba’s in years. Brian and I figured it’s because we no longer live on that side of town. Besides that though, the restaurant is on a really busy street and we, like most people, like to stick within a few miles of our comfort zone. Whatever the reason, Carrabba’s ended up not making the restaurant rotation. But that changed last Friday.

When we ran into Joe at Brew Ha-Ha a few weeks ago, he talked up their new apple cider sangria. And you know me. Sangria is synonymous with celebration so I talked Brian into going their for our first meal of officially being on vacation.

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It doesn’t look like much but this is the most delicious sangria I’ve had in a really long time. You all know how much I love the blackberry sangria at Carrabba’s. I drink pitchers of it at a time. This recipe is even better than that. You all will have to try it. You won’t be disappointed. I promise.

Another thing I like about Carrabba’s is their fresh bread and flavorful dipping oil. I had to get a picture of our bread basket and the oil and herbs.

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Then we started with a couple of small plates. Joe really talked up their small plates too, so we had to try some of them. Naturally.

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This is the arancini. They’re crispy risotto balls. Brian loved these so much that he wanted to order a few more and make a meal out of them.

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We also ordered the meatballs and ricotta. Now this, I could have made a meal out of! The meatballs were so good and I love who the ricotta and romano cheese worked with the pomodoro sauce. Incidentally, the pomodoro sauce is my favorite type of sauce at Carrabba’s. I always get it on my pasta.

Anyway, this is the small plate that keeps on giving. Even after you finish eating the two meatballs, you can still enjoy the sauce by dipping your bread in it.

One of the servers tried to take it away and we told him no. I wanted to enjoy every last drop. Our server confessed that the sauce is her favorite part as well and she makes a meal out of this on some days.

Brian and I agreed that on our next visit, we’re just going to get several small plates and dessert. And maybe a pitcher of that apple cider sangria for me. LOL.

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For our meal we decided to go back to our old standby, the Chicken Bryan. We like not not because it shares Brian’s name but we really do like the flavors. You can’t beat wood-grilled chicken and goat cheese.

I always ask for capellini pomodoro (angel hair pasta in their pomodoro sauce) because the pomodoro sauce is my favorite. And then Brian and I usually just split that. We also split a Caesar salad before the entree so between that and the appetizers we are usually too stuffed to each get our own meal. Doing it this way ensures we don’t have to take home any leftovers. It works perfect.

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We finished our celebratory meal with the sogno di cioccolata (chocolate dream). It’s my favorite dessert there. I liked the dessert Rosa also, which was a light, fruity cake but I think they quit making it years ago.

Anyway, Brian was like, “This is amazing! I don’t think I’ve ever had this before.”

I was like, “Yes, you have! You’ve had it several times and you like it so much that we ordered an entire pan of it for my birthday one year.”

It was my 35th birthday and we bought dessert for everyone. Thus, we ordered the entire pan. Anyway, I searched and searched my Flickr albums for a picture of that pan of the dessert but the next set of pictures were all I could find.

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It was 2011 and I had just started losing weight so I guess I was more concerned with getting pictures of myself than pictures of food in those days. LOL.

Speaking of birthday celebrations, we’re coming back to present day now.

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We went to Margarita’s (another place we haven’t been in a long time) to celebrate Andrea’s 30th birthday on Saturday night. Margarita’s is a popular place for celebrations. I think there must have been a dozen different birthday celebrations going on there that evening.

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Here are a few more pictures from that evening.

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Missy took her shoes off to get down on the dance floor. Naturally, I took a picture with it. They were some cute boots.

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Here’s Missy and Charis together.

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This photobomb by the guy at the next table (found out his name is Corbin) was by far the funniest. I think everyone at their table tried to be part of our picture. LOL.

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And then Brian and I didn’t make the group photo because we had already left by then. We are old and, after dancing a few times, were pretty much done.

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We gave Andrea her birthday present and card, and had a wonderful dinner with friends, and we danced a few times, and then we were pooped. I guess that’s what happens when you get old.

Oh, to be young and 30 again! I miss those days.

That’s pretty much how our vacation started. Come back soon for more of our time off adventures. I have lots to share!

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Sakana Japanese Grill & Sushi

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

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Brian and I discovered a new sushi joint last weekend. It’s in the space that formerly housed the Pink Boa in the strip by the Dillons Marketplace in Andover.

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The interior of the space, which sat empty for a long time after the store closed, has been completely remodeled. It definitely no longer looks like the Pink Boa.

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They have a pretty extensive menu.

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They also have really good lunch specials.

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I thought their miso soup was good but Brian didn’t think it had enough flavor.

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I only had a taste of it though because I ordered the seafood soup for myself.

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Here’s a picture of their delicious seafood soup. I thought it was an excellent value with lots of yummy shrimp, crab, scallops, and pieces of squid all for less than $7.

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Of course, Brian and I had to try the sushi.

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We ordered the specialty roll called the Lion King.

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Brian had the chicken teriyaki box, which was also an excellent deal.

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All of their prices are actually pretty reasonable and the food is fabulous. Brian and I have already talked about returning to try some other things on the menu. We may even take grandma on our next trip there.

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And, in the event you’re looking for something different to do on Thanksgiving, they’re open. If we weren’t already hosting Thanksgiving at our house, this is probably where we would be. LOL. It’s definitely nontraditional.

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That Time I Ordered Room Service

Posted on November 20, 2016 by under Confessions, Food and Drink.    

This is a blog about that time I ordered room service and it was actually good. I thought it’s worthy of writing about because it doesn’t happen often. Most of the time when I order room service it’s overpriced and pretty mediocre. This time proved otherwise so I thought I’d share the experience along with pictures.

There’s so much good food to be had in downtown Kansas City that I really prefer to go out and about and take advantage of all the city has to offer. This time however, I couldn’t put shoes on so I was stuck in my hotel room.

Kelsey and I had our nails done at Polished (my new favorite nail salon), after work that day. Kelsey who just had a polish change finished sooner than I did. She left to go take care of some errands at Cosentino’s as I put my feet under the lamp.

When she returned, I felt my toenails and the polish felt dry. I sprayed it with the quick dry spray, felt it again, and figured I was good to go. My feet had been under the lamp a while after all.

I put my shoes on and we walked back to the office to grab our stuff. When we arrived at the office, I immediately took my shoes off and inspected my nails. Both of the big toes were ruined!

Kelsey suggested that I return to the nail salon and have them fix it. I originally thought against it, thinking no one will really see my feet and the main reason I get pedicures is for the callous removal bit and not so much for the polish. However, she said I paid so much and it would be worth it to get them fixed.

I thought about it and realized that I really had nothing else going on that evening so I might as well go back and so I did.

When I came back, they knew exactly what I needed. The nail tech who did my pedicure did not look pleased. LOL. The reception girl was like, “We normally don’t recommend you put shoes on for three hours.”

Three hours! That’s a long time! That would be well after their closing time. After the nail guy repainted both of my big toes, I decided to stay for 30 minutes with my feel under the drying lamp. After that I was still worried about ruining my pedicure again so I walked back to my hotel in the disposable flip flops.

I knew I looked pretty ridiculous in my flimsy throwaway flip flops and Converse sneakers in my hand so I cut through our office building to return to my hotel room across the street. That was convenient but I still had to figure out what to do about dinner. I’m not that fond of pizza so I called every Oriental food restaurant I could find close to downtown to see if any of them would deliver to my hotel. No such luck. I was stuck with room service.

As I mentioned earlier, I generally try to avoid room service because my experiences in the past have been pretty lackluster. Anyway, I figured it would be the same this time so I ordered dessert also to make up for what I was already expecting to be a crappy dinner.

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I ordered the chicken sandwich and, much to my amazement, it was actually really good. This had all of my favorite things — bacon and avocado — and none of the things I don’t like so I didn’t have to modify it at all.

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Here’s another view of my delicious sandwich. The chips, which I think were homemade, were very good as well.

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Here are a couple of pictures of my delicious dessert that, in hindsight, I really didn’t need to order after all because my sandwich was satisfying enough.

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This dessert, fittingly called the Bermuda Triangle because of its shape and also because you get lost with the first bite, was so delicious that it took a lot for me not to eat all of it. I was good and only ate one corner, though.

I was dreaming about that cake for days.

This meal totally changed my perspective about room service. I totally don’t mind ordering this sandwich and cake combo again. I won’t be dreading the next time I end up cooped up in my hotel room all evening because I know I will have this meal to look forward to. I may even purposely stay in one evening.

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Opera House Coffee and Food Emporium

Posted on November 19, 2016 by under Food and Drink.    

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I found a new place to eat while I was in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago. It’s called Opera House Coffee and Food Emporium. I’d seen it a few times while riding the KC Streetcar but I hadn’t bothered to stop and check it out until this last time. But then I liked it so much that I ate there twice that same week.

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I love that they are right next to a streetcar stop (City Market), which makes it super convenient. I also love that there’s both indoor and outdoor seating so when the weather is nice, such as we’ve had the last few weeks, then you can dine outside.

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I also like that the food menu is posted on the window so then you can decide what you want to eat (or even whether you want to eat there at all) before going inside.

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Here are some pictures of the restaurant’s cozy interior.

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I love the ambiance and can’t wait to take Brian there.

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They have a pretty good menu and the food is good.

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Here’s what I had on my first visit.

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I was by myself that day and decided to eat somewhat healthy. I had the strawberry spinach salad with berries and I added salmon.

On my second trip I brought reinforcements. I met Michelle, Selena, and Kelsey there for dinner the evening of the election. I ordered a the grilled chicken panini, which was delicious. I would totally order it again.

I was pretty happy with the food I had both times. The service is pretty iffy, though. It took forever to get my panini and I probably would never have gotten it if not for Michelle noticing that the cook was just hanging out with a couple of the other workers watching the election updates on TV.

The three of them, Michelle, Selena, and Kelsey, had gotten there ahead of me and they all got their food pretty quickly. Michelle was like, “Isn’t that the cook? How do you not have your food yet when he’s out here hanging out?” Which prompted me to ask about my food. Turns out the guy who took my order completely forgot about it. The cook had it done a long time ago and set it on the counter to be delivered and it just sat there because the other guy forgot to bring it to me. He didn’t remember at all until I asked for it.

Anyway, the food is fabulous. The service not so much.

I still want to bring Brian there, though. Hopefully, the service will be better this next go around.

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