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Archive for "Food and Drink"

Fancy Dinner at the Larnengs

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

Remember when we were at the Boo and Brew Ball and Rune bought a private dinner for eight prepared by Chef Jason? Well, that private dinner happened a couple of weeks ago. Here are some pictures…

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Becca and Kristen

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Rune and Becca

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Our great looking group getting ready to chow down.

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Chef Jason prepping us for our six course meal.

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Leave it the Larnengs to have fancy napkins.

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Our first course…

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Here’s Chef Jason describing the dish…

This dish was right up Brian’s alley. He was like, “Yes! I love tomato bisque!” LOL.

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Our second course…

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I would describe it to you but I’m afraid I’d butcher it.

Best to leave the explaining to the chef.

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Bacon-wrapped stuffed jalapeño. I was a little bit worried about this one because I can’t handle too much spiciness but Chef Jason reassured us that this is “gringo hot” meaning not so spicy. I’m glad I tried it because, as with the first two courses, it was delicious.

Here’s Chef Jason preparing the quail dish.

Here’s a picture of the finished product…

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Here’s Chef Jason describing the dish…

Here’s Rune enjoying the quail… immensely.

Lobster! Yes!

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Here’s what my plate looked like after…

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Here’s Chef Jason describing the dish…

Here’s Rune eating the flower… I did not eat mine.

And then here’s the pièce de résistance… It was the most delicious dessert ever.

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Here’s Chef Jason describing it…

I loved all six courses. Everything was delicious. But, I have to admit, the dessert was the best course of all. If you ask Brian, he could care less about all of the courses in the middle. He liked the first and final courses the best.

Even though the courses seemed small (intentionally so for the sake of presentation), they were all very filling. I was regretting all of my soup because, by the third course, I was already full. This was an amazing and memorable dinner. I’m so grateful to Rune and Kristen for inviting us.

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Cocos Asian Bistro and Bar

Posted on February 7, 2016 by under Food and Drink, Reviews, Travel.    

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

Brian and I had dinner with our friend Glynda on the eve of the Zumba cruise. We invited her cruise roommate Kate also, but she was too tired from all the shopping they did at the mall. Only Glynda was able to join us.

I remember craving Thai food that evening but Brian wasn’t in the mood for it and Glynda had never tried it before so we decided to play it safe and picked Gilbert’s. We got our Uber driver to pick us up at the hotel and drop us off at Gilbert’s only to find out that they’re closed on Sundays. We looked around the shopping plaza and there weren’t many restaurant options. There was a very loud bar across the parking lot which seemed like fun but it did not appeal to Brian. As luck would have it, Cocos was just a few doors down from Gilbert’s and they were open. The three of us agreed to eat there instead so I got my wish of eating Thai food after all.

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We got to the restaurant early enough that we beat the crowds. The restaurant was considerably busier when we left.

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Glynda was having problems with the Uber app so Brian helped her install and set it up. And then he explained how to use it and gave her a code for her first ride free.

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Here are some of pictures of our meal…

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We splurged a little bit and had a few samplers. The calamari was a little spicy for me but otherwise fantastic. I wish that Brian like calamari because he would have enjoyed the sweet, spicy flavor of this dish.

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The chicken satay was delicious.

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The fried dumplings was another great starter.

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Glynda had some miso which she said she enjoyed.

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She also wanted a salad but I’m not sure that the soft shell crab papaya salad was quite what she expected. I think she found it a little odd.

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We already had several starters so Brian decided to have lettuce wraps for his meal.

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I always try the yellow curry everywhere that I can get so I ordered the chicken massaman. At $30 it was a bit more expensive than I’m used to paying. I usually get curry around town for about $10 or maybe $15 if it’s a nice restaurant. That said, this was the best massaman curry I’d ever had. It had just a hint of spice and ample sweetness. I felt it was worth the higher price.

Overall our Cocos experience was pretty good. The menu prices were a tad high but it’s a pretty minor complaint considering the quality of the dishes I tried that evening. If I had some time to spend in Fort Lauderdale, I wouldn’t mind eating here again.

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Rediscovering an Old Classic

Posted on November 24, 2015 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

We first discovered Riverside Cafe seven years ago and then had completely forgotten about it since Wichita has had a slew of breakfast type restaurants open. We rediscovered it recently when we were looking for somewhere close to work to eat breakfast on the weekends that Brian and I were working on packing up and moving my office.

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Riverside Cafe, amazingly enough, always seems to be really busy despite the plethora of breakfast options available in town. That was the case the two Saturdays that we went and were told that wasn’t even their busiest. If you go on a Saturday morning, the trick is to get there early – say around nine or even earlier. We got there about ten o’clock one day and there was already a long wait. We ended up sitting at the bar because we were in a hurry and we were very hungry. It wasn’t too bad. The place does get really packed as the morning wears on so be prepared to wait if you’re not an early riser.

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One of the things I like most is a nice, warm cup of hot chocolate with whipped cream. Riverside Cafe makes a delicious one. I like their whipped cream also. It tastes homemade rather than out of a can.

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Another thing that’s cool about Riverside Cafe is it’s very homey. They don’t have fancy mugs or anything. They just have random mugs that have been collected over the years. It’s really a lot like having breakfast at home, except the food is better and you’re around a bunch of strangers.

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Here are some photos of Brian drinking his coffee. See what I mean about the mugs? They are totally random.

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Here’s a picture of what I always get.

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Here are pictures of what Brian always gets.

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Riverside Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I really like Riverside Cafe. I’ve been to lots of different diners and breakfast joints and I really like the feel of this one. It makes me feel really relaxed.

We always end up at the Good Egg, which is Brian’s favorite breakfast place. The good is great but the place is little too yuppy for me. Brian is a bit of a snob so it’s right up his alley; whereas my style is more relaxed and down to earth. I enjoy fancy food every now and then but, when it comes to breakfast, I prefer it to be pretty basic. It doesn’t even have to look pretty because it will be in my belly in a matter of seconds.

We used to live by the Good Egg so it made sense for us frequent the restaurant. Now that we’re in a different part of town, it’s going to be a drive either way. The closest non-chain breakfast joint is Livingston’s Diner, which is another one of my favorites. I really like eating there as well. I just prefer the more relaxed atmosphere where I don’t think people will judge me for having gone straight from the gym or bed. LOL.

The last time we were at Riverside Cafe, we ran into local restaurateur Melad Stephan. He owns several restaurants and his own breakfast joint downtown. Either he lives around the corner and it was easier to get to or the food is good. I have no idea where he lives so I’m going with the latter.

They’ve since expanded so there are three locations now, including one in Derby. I’ve only ever eaten at the one on 13th Street so I can’t speak for the other locations. I really like the original one on 13th Street. If you’ve never been to Riverside Cafe, it’s worth checking out. Let me know how you like it in the comments.

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Juli’s Coffee & Bistro

Posted on November 15, 2015 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

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I found a great place to eat while I’m in Topeka, Juli’s Coffee & Bistro. It’s just across from our Topeka office on 8th Street. I eat there almost everyday, whenever there’s enough time to grab lunch.

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It’s got unique decor and really cool ambiance.

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Even their salt and pepper shakers are cute. There are different ones at each table.

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And, they serve breakfast and lunch.

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Here are some pictures of food from Juli’s.

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Juli's Coffee & Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I would have more pictures of food except most of the time I’m grabbing my food to go and eating while I work. As you can see from my parking voucher below, ten-hour days are not unusual. I think we’ve had a couple of thirteen-hour days already so ten hours is about average.

I’m still straddling my regular job and my role in the CIS project right now so I’m kind of doing my old work while I’m working on the project. Fridays are pretty much dedicated to getting caught up on what’s happening with the Customer Relations Center, and training my coworkers and team members who have been gracious enough to take care of some of my duties while I work on the CIS project. I’m finally at a point where my major responsibilities are covered so I can start focusing most of my attention on the project.

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I’ve been spending most of the week (Monday through Thursday) in our Topeka office. While I’m starting to get used to driving from Wichita to Topeka, I’m not really fond of driving so I’m glad I found a place within walking distance of the office that serves great food. I highly recommend Juli’s if you’re ever in downtown Topeka.

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District Taqueria

Posted on November 8, 2015 by under Food and Drink, Reviews.    

I found out about this restaurant from my then hygienist at Wichita Family Dental, Rebecca. She’s moved on but we keep in touch on Facebook. One day last year, while she was cleaning my teeth, she told me that her brother was about to open a taqueria on Douglas. We didn’t really have a restaurant specializing in tacos so I thought it would make an excellent addition to the collection of restaurants in downtown Wichita.

If I remember correctly, opening was delayed a bit. Then I forgot all about the restaurant. And then it finally opened. But, as these things go, they’re always so busy during the first few months. Inevitably they’re understaffed and I end up with bad service and then the negative experience colors my impression of the place. I didn’t want that to happen so Brian and I decided to wait. And then we forgot all about it except for the occasional reminder each time someone we know mentions that they went.

I’d been wanting to check the restaurant out since before it even opened but the opportunity never came up until Nykole suggested that we eat there after our team building activity at the Kansas Food Bank. OMG. I’ve been seriously missing out. The tacos are unlike any other tacos I’ve ever had. The tacos at the Hill come close but you have so much more selection at District Taqueria. If you’re craving tacos, District Taqueria is the place to go.

Here are some pictures of the various tacos we got to try.

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As you can see, all of the first timers tried a variety of tacos. They’re $3 each when you mix and match. I wish that I could have tried them all but there’s no way I could eat more than three in one sitting. I suppose this is how they keep you coming back.

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Nykole had been there before so she knew exactly what she wanted.

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You can also order a bucket of chips to eat with their salsa. You can also get a jar of their queso which is quite different than any other queso I’ve had. Their queso is thicker in consistency and has a bit of a kick. The guacamole was very good but it wasn’t really that different than the guacamole at other restaurants I’ve tried. I do like that everything is served in cute jars, including dessert.

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We had the tres leches. It was just as tasty as it looked.

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I liked it so much that I decided to take Brian there a week later for my birthday lunch. We both took vacation days off work that Friday. I wanted him to experience District Taqueria because besides the great food, the ambiance is really cool. They even have a shuffleboard table.

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This was his plate.

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Here’s mine.

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District Taqueria Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Tomato

We were both too full for dessert. We will have to go back though, because I really want Brian to try that tres leeches. I know he will love it.

If you’re wondering if you can have beans or rice with your tacos, you can’t. As far as food choices go, there’s really not much else which I think is smart because then the focus is on the wide variety of tacos offered.

Anyway, I highly recommend District Taqueria. Brian and I thoroughly enjoyed our lunch and are ready to go back to sample more tacos.

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