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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Karen’s Homemade Lasagna

Posted on April 25, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Life.    

Life is pretty dull these days. There’s not much for me to really look forward to besides #ZumbaVirtual classes (basically Zumba classes held on the ZOOM platform) and some ZOOM happy hour socials.

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The one positive thing that’s come out of this pandemic is I finally made one of the Women of Rotary Wichita socials. I’ve been missing them for several months because I was teaching Aqua Zumba at South YMCA on Wednesday nights last summer and then, after that was over, I joined a Wednesday night pickleball league at Chicken N Pickle. There was always something going on each Wednesday that they’d have the social that prevented me from attending. Now that we’re pretty much on lock down, I have nothing to do so I was actually able to attend.

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Besides ZOOM happy hours and ZOOMba, I really had nothing going so I was super excited when my friend Karen invited Brian and I over for homemade lasagna night. She makes amazing lasagna!

Here are some pics of our dinner that night.

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Dinner was amazing and Karen was a fabulous host. I really enjoyed our visit that night. I’d been really depressed because of the whole stay at home thing so I really needed it. Thank you so much for the delicious dinner and wonderful conversation, Karen! Until next time. GNG.

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Did You Know?

Posted on April 18, 2020 by under Food and Drink, Life.    

Did you know that several local restaurants are serving customers via delivery and carry out during the extended stay-at-home mandate? There’s actually a Facebook group specifically for connecting local consumers with restaurants that are currently open for business. Wichita FOOD TO GO During COVID-19 has several local restaurant owners posting menus and promos. It’s a great way for them to reach people and keep business going during this crazy time.

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Last weekend Brian and I decided to take advantage of the Easter special at Carrabba’s. For $50 we got fresh bread with herbs and oil, Caesar salad, penne pomodoro, sautéed broccoli, chicken piccata, and two slices of the sogno di cioccolata dessert. And then for an extra $18, I got a blackberry sangria kit with a giant bottle of wine. It made so much that I drank sangria for at least three days. We also had enough food for four people so we had plenty of leftovers for the next day. It was an awesome deal.

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I didn’t get pics of our food because we were so hungry we just scarfed it right up. However, I did get a pic of the bottle of wine they gave me and the sangria kit instructions. It was just as good as what they serve at the restaurant and way cheaper. This is one thing about the whole pandemic that I hope doesn’t change. I would totally buy this every weekend.

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I did switch it up this weekend and decided to try the margarita kit from Felipe’s Jr. It’s also a great deal. You have to supply the tequila (which is no problem because I have plenty at home) but their $5 kit makes four margaritas. It’s also another great deal. The whole booze-to-go situation is probably my most favorite part of this pandemic. Restaurants would never have been able to do this stuff had the world not been in crisis.

Anyway, you just have to find the silver lining in things because times are pretty crazy right now and if you don’t laugh or drink it off then you’ll really be depressed. Until next time. GNG.

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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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Shock ‘N Clause at the New Neighbors

Posted on January 25, 2020 by under Community, Food and Drink, Things to Do.    

I can’t believe I completely forgot to blog about the one of the best things that I was part of in 2019. Our friend Marc discovered the Shock ‘N Clause movement and organized one for our group.

There are many variations of this random act of kindness but our group agreed upon $50 per person (or $100 per couple). It basically works this way: All the participants pool their cash, use the funds to pay the meal, and the remaining cash goes to the server as their tip.

Our group consisted of the #VacayWithJayJay #CostaRica2019 gang plus Mama Dill and two other couples. One of the non #CostaRica2019 couples was friends with the Huntees and the other couple was friends with the Shooks. Here’s a group photo of the most generous bunch of people I know…

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We ended up taking our Shock ‘N Clause to the New Neighbors because none of the other diners could accommodate our large group (we had 15 people total) for brunch. Neighbors holds a special place in my heart because we used to play “bar” poker there back in the day. This was back in our Amateur Poker League (APL) days about fifteen years ago. I actually thought we were going to that same restaurant where we used to play but Brian and I hadn’t been there in years and we didn’t realize they moved. The restaurant is in a new spot and now called the New Neighbors Bar & Grill, instead of simply just Neighbors Bar & Grill.

I think the move to the new location happened a few years prior but the name change happened only a few months ago. After the owner was murdered back in July, the restaurant was closed for some time. The restaurant reopened in October under new ownership and that’s when the name change to the New Neighbors Bar & Grill happened.

Anyway, we were lucky to have a great server who seemed truly deserving of the gift. The restaurant isn’t a fancy place and the menu items are quite reasonably priced. Our group’s entire meal cost under $200. Since we brought $750 with us, our server ended up with just slightly over $550 as her tip. It felt really heartwarming to be able to pay it forward and bless someone’s life in this way specially around the holidays. I’d have to say this was the most gratifying meal I’ve had ever in my entire lifetime.

Speaking of meal, I’d be remiss if I didn’t share pictures of our food. That’s kind of my thing and I’m not about to let you down.

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I had their corned beef hash which was refreshingly very different than any other corned beef hash I’d ever had. I think it’s the best ever compared to all the other ones I’ve had in town, and I’m not just saying that because my heart was full.

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I couldn’t take pics of everyone’s food, because there were two other couples in attendance who I didn’t know very well and I didn’t want to seem weird, but I took as many as I could.

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At least our #VacayWithJayJay pals knew better than to start eating before I could take a photo of their meals. LOL. Seriously though, we have the most amazing and generous bunch of friends. I hope that Brian and I are able to participate when we do this again later this year. Until then, keep paying it forward and GNG.

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Dinner at Xin-Gao

Posted on December 27, 2019 by under Food and Drink.    

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Becca arranged for us to have dinner at this amazing teppanyaki grill at the resort on one of the evenings.

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Here are some pictures of the restaurant interior and furnishings.

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We were waiting for Jay, Tina, and Justin to return from XPLOR. Becca took the afternoon off and didn’t go with them. The three of us — Becca, Brian, and I — went to Xin-Gao to hold our reservation.

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Here’s a video of the elegant water feature in the middle of the restaurant.

Here are some pictures of our food.

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This is the miso soup, which was presented beautifully.

Our fried rice was delicious.

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These were the most beautifully plated hibachi dinners I’d ever seen.

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Pictures of desserts that were as good as they looked.

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We ate a lot of great food while on vacation. This was another wonderful dinner on our immensely memorable trip. Until next time. GNG.

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