So I had to make a trip to Chicago for some training for work. I did a little research and found that there were a lot of restaurants within walking distance.
One was a little joint called DMK Burger Bar. This is actually a really cool place. You get a selection of Burgers with different preselected flavors and then you can add-on other things like my favorite, a fried egg. Also, the truffle fries were really good, they had a lot of flavor.
Their gimmick is that they only server craft beers; no domestic or imported beers are offered. I had one that was supposed to mimic a German Lager, full bodied and flavorful. The beer was actually the best part.
All in all, I will definitely go back before I leave.
I’m thinking of making chocolate cobbler for Brian next weekend. I love peach cobbler but he doesn’t like it. Chocolate cobbler sounds like a good compromise. He loves chocolate-y desserts. And, I got to try it earlier this week while I was in Minneapolis and liked it. There’s a pretty good chance that he will have a chocolate cobbler surprise when he comes home on Saturday. Mmmmm….
We had a full day of Brubakers today. First, we had grandma over for brunch. I had a waxing appointment at Beau Monde so I just picked her up from her place on my way home. Brian had our wonderful breakfast spread ready by the time we arrived.
Later that day Brian’s parents stopped by to borrow the pickup truck. We figured they would come back to return the truck so Brian made dinner for us. Donna brought the ingredients for MaMac’s peach cobbler so she could show me how to make it.
It’s actually really easy to make. I’m posting the recipe here for you guys and also so that I won’t ever forget it.
1 stick butter
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup milk
28 oz can of peaches in heavy syrup (drain and reserve the syrup because you’ll need it later)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons sugar
- Place butter in 9 X 13 pan. Place pan in oven approximately 5-7 minutes so that the butter melts. Remove from oven.
- Mix sugar, flour, and milk. The batter will be lumpy but that’s okay. Pour batter into the buttered pan.
- Spoon peaches over the batter. Pour peach syrup over the peaches and batter. Do not mix or stir.
- Mix sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top.
- Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour (or until done). Ovens will vary so remember to check periodically.
Some coworkers and I had lunch at Taste & See today to vet them for a work function next week. It was really Amy and Faith’s thing but I ended up inviting myself because I had the connection. I was joining them so I could make the introduction. That, and who would pass up Taste & See? Seriously.
Anyway, Mel ended up joining us and then the four of us peer pressured Isaac into going. LOL. It’s been a while since I’d had a fun work lunch like that. I’m really grateful that they let me crash their lunch.
Amy seemed to really enjoy her gaucho churrasco steak. She thought it had great flavor. Mel had a bite of it and thought it was a little chewy. I figured it was the cut of the meat, but she had other theories. She said that it was a strip-lion (instead of strip-loin). I’m pretty sure it’s beef. We’d have had to pay extra for that exotic stuff. LOL.
Faith had the ceviche tacos, which she loved. Her meal came with a side of Chef Jason’s delicious hummus.
I had the ultimate paella, which lived up to its name. It was the ultimate blend of mussels, shrimp, scallops, sausage, and chicken. Yum!
Isaac got the real Cubano, which is the only thing he ever gets at Taste & See. I can’t blame him. It’s really good. It’s actually Brian’s favorite there as well.
Mel had the oceanic mac and cheese, which is my other favorite at Taste & See. Except she found the sauce too rich and was disappointed that it was made with linguini instead of macaroni. Though I think they’re just using the term “mac” to loosely represent the pasta portion of the dish.
We had to sample the dessert, of course. Amy loved the nutellini. I think that’s what it’s called. They’re like banana lollipops.
My favorite, the cuatro leches cake, didn’t fare as well. It’s delicious but it was outshined by the s’mores pie thing. Isaac liked it so much that he actually asked about ordering a pan for his family of four. LOL.
I think the best part of the s’mores thing, besides actually eating it, is watching them torch it. LOL. Though, I think Isaac would have preferred to do it himself probably.
Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal overall. I think Faith is sold. The fact that the chef is “easy on the eyes” (not my words, but I wouldn’t disagree) is just a bonus.
The biggest downside is the location which is kind of far and not really in the best part of town, but I think it will be worth the drive for the group. At least it’s something different. I’m sure many of the people who will be attending the meeting next week have never been.
The only thing that could’ve made this a better fit would have been if the Old Town location was already open because then it would be walking distance from the meeting. The new location is still under construction, though. Chef Jason keeps posting progress pics to get everyone amped. I know I am. I can’t wait for the new location to open.
Some of my coworkers and I were in Manhattan, Kansas for a leadership conference earlier this week. While there we had an opportunity to try a new restaurant — Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill. None of us had dined there before.
We ordered a couple of starters to share. Sally picked the Mojave Desert shrimp, which is basically just bacon-wrapped shrimp drenched in barbecue sauce, but it was yummy. You can’t really go wrong with bacon-wrapped shrimp. Actually, you can’t go wrong with bacon. Bacon makes everything better. LOL.
We also had the crab rangoon dip with a generous helping of fried wonton chips. These were delicious and filling. I seriously could have made a meal out of the appetizers.
Teresa and I both got the Wahoo stir fry. You have to order the dish that’s named after the restaurant, right? I mean, it’s got to be something special if they’re going to put their name on it. The dish was really flavorful. It probably had almost too much flavor. The rice was drenched in the teriyaki ginger peanut sauce, which is a delicious, sweet sauce with just a hint of spice to it. Again, very good but somewhat overwhelming halfway through the dish. It made me wish that I had some steamed rice to tone down some of the flavor.
Sally had the salmon BLT. I think she had the healthiest meal of the group. The picture of Gwen’s mixed grill (sirloin, fish, and chicken) didn’t come out very well so I’m not posting it. The dish looked fantastic, though. If Brian and I eat here, that’s probably one that the two of us could share.
Sunni had the Bimini Island pasta. I think we were all happy with our entree choices. Everything looked really good.
Wahoo is a restaurant that I’d love to take Brian next time we are in the area. I’m not sure what was in this space on the corner of 11th and Moro before Wahoo, but I think Wahoo fits. I’d totally bring Brian here next time we find ourselves in Aggieville. Maybe we’ll have to attend a Wildcats game or something.
Misty, Brian, and I were hungry after the Labor Run so we decided to have lunch at Pei Wei. Doc Greens next door was a contender, but Misty doesn’t like “rabbit food” as she calls it. She’s missing out. Doc Greens has some really good food.
Anyways, here are some pictures of our lunch…
Eggrolls were good but greasy. I think we are getting spoiled because we’d been making lumpia here at home and we are always really careful to drain all the oil off.
I had the spicy Korean with chicken. It wasn’t as spicy as I was afraid it would be so that was good. The crazy thing about Pei Wei is that the actual dishes look exactly like they do in pictures. At least this one looked like it went from the poster to the table.
Brian had the chicken fried rice. It was just okay. Not as much flavor as the other fried rice we’ve had. I think as far as fried rice goes there are several great options locally. This doesn’t really rank.
Misty had the Thai coconut curry with shrimp. It looked and smelled good. Perhaps I will try that one next time.
The food at Pei Wei won’t blow you away, but it’s not bad. I wouldn’t mind eating there again. If you are looking for authentic Asian, this isn’t the place to go. There’s lots of other options in town. Definitely try some of the local mom and pop joints because they’re usually better than the chains.
Now, if you are looking for fast Asian food that’s not a hole in the wall then you’re probably at the right place. The concept is a lot like Noodles & Company where you have signature dishes and then you pick what kind of meat (or none at all) you want added to it. Then they also have small plates and combos — lots of options. I’d say it’s worth checking out if you’ve never been.
I finally got to try College Hill Deli thanks to Jay and Becca. I can’t believe I’d never been there before. Here are some pictures of their delicious food.
Ever notice how most Mediterranean restaurants are owned by men named Ali? LOL.
Seriously though, this place is legit. The hummus with chicken shawarma is the best hummus you can get in Wichita for $6 and it is substantial enough to eat as a meal. The fattoush salad has great flavor. I appreciate that they don’t skimp on the feta.
I can’t comment on the bierock pie, which is what Jay had, because I didn’t get to try it. It looked good though. My chicken shawarma wrap was also good. Brian got to eat my leftovers when he arrived back to Wichita the next day. Of course, it’s not the same. I’m going to have to take him there to try the delightful food fresh.
Thank you to Jay and Becca for dinner but, most of all, for introducing me to a wonderful new place to eat near work. Oh, yeah!
The warm up and cool down workshop was my final one of convention. After that I could finally relax. That meant only one thing: pool time!
We got there just in time to secure three lounge chairs before the rest of the convention attendees showed up. While we were waiting for Christina to join us, several people tried to ask for the lounge chair that we reserved for her.
The Peabody Orlando pool was really hoppin’ on Sunday night. That’s where almost everyone was, including Zumba celebrity Gina Grant. An impromptu Aqua Zumba session even broke out.
I would have preferred a less crowded pool, but I didn’t mind the Zumba music pumping and the people gyrating. My drink helped me chill out. LOL.
After laying around for a while, Brian and I decided that we didn’t want to leave to shower and get dressed for dinner so we ended up eating at the pool. The Peabody Orlando has a poolside restaurant called Coconuts. Prices are still on the pricy side as can be expected considering where we were, but at least they offered a bit more selection than Mallards.
We had the hummus and pita, which you can’t really go wrong with (we order it everywhere we go), and the $20 appetizer sampler. On the plus side, the hummus and pita at Coconuts is cheaper than the one they serve at B-Line Diner and you actually get more grilled pita chips.
Here’s the one they serve at B-Line that costs almost twice as much.
Here’s the hummus and pita platter served at Coconuts.
Had we known this ahead of time, we would have just ate dinner poolside at Coconuts the entire trip. Seriously. The drinks are universally expensive throughout the hotel premises, but the food prices at Coconuts were far more reasonable than anywhere else at the hotel.
Here’s a close up of the appetizer sampler which consisted of chorizo and corn arepas, chicken wings, coconut shrimp, chips and dip.
Yes, I realize that the coconut shrimp is almost the size of my head but you only get two of them. This appetizer would have cost only half as much if we were back home in Wichita. By Sunday I was actually ready to go home and put the breaks on all the spending. Whew. Thank heavens the Zumba instructor convention in Orlando only happens once a year or I would be completely bankrupt.
On a side note, I’m actually thinking of checking out the Zumba conference in LA next year. LOL. It’s only a couple of days instead of four so I’m hoping it will be less expensive. I am starting to save now though, just in case. I’m thinking it will still cost me quite a bit. However, I plan on going about it the smart way and rooming with another instructor on this next trip so that I can at least reduce the cost of lodging to half. Here’s to hoping I get a good deal on airfare. Until next time!
While Ching was in one of her classes I decided to go roam around outside the hotel and see if I could find a good place for lunch. I was really wanting to find some Cuban restaurant but there weren’t any close. I ended up going to a place called “The Pub”. I looked it up on Urbanspoon and it had high ratings so I figured why not.
Once I got in there it ended up being a really nice place. The bartender was really nice and helped me choose a really good beer. Luckily they bottle it and I can get it here in Wichita. Unlike the Sam Adams Brick Red that I really like that you can only get on tap and only in Boston Bars.
The beer the bartender suggested was really good. The only down side was I had not eaten in few hours and the Beer went right to my head. Luckily the food balanced me out for the walk back to the hotel.
I wish there was a Pub here in Wichita. I think it would make places like Fox and Hound step up their game.
The Crepe Factory is probably my favorite food stand at the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC). The crepe options are limited but they are good. Then again you can’t go wrong with crepes. You can put just about anything inside and it’ll turn out delicious. I don’t think the Crepe Factory is as good as the Crepe Cafe, the crepe place that we tried when we were in Fishermans Wharf in San Francisco. It is pretty good, though. If they’d given us enough time for lunch, I probably would have eaten there every single day. LOL.
Be prepared to spend some cash at the OCCC, though. The crepes cost $10-$12. There are no cheap lunches at the convention center. That’s for sure.
Brian had Korean tacos from another food stand the first time that I had the crepes. I’m sure they were good, but I bet they weren’t as good as my cordon bleu crepe.
The next time I had a hankering for a crepe, he decided to try it with me. He got an American, which is basically a breakfast crepe. I wanted to go for the gusto that time though, so I added tomatoes to my regular cordon bleu. I also ordered a banana + Nutella crepe for dessert. It’s my favorite kind of crepe. Yum!