Cutie at Food Trucks at the Fountain

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Brian and I ran into a cutie at the Food Trucks at the Fountain event last month. No, I’m not talking about the Flying Stove dude. I’m talking about the puppy.

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She is such a cutie. She’s like the unofficial Kamayan Truck mascot and has been visible at many of their recent events, including the ones at the Pop-Up Urban Park.

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I don’t know what it is about a guy holding a puppy but Brian looks even more handsome in this photo. Facebook even thought he was Chef Jason and insisted on tagging the photos as such. LOL.

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Aren’t they both adorable?

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We had food from the Kamayan Truck that day. Here are some food pics.

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You must try the porchetta. It’s delicious.

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My favorite part is the crispy, crunchy pork skin.

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Brian loves their ribs.

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The papaya salad is very good but too spicy for me. It almost needs its own chaser. Then again, I don’t really eat spicy foods so it could be I’m just not used to it.

If you missed Food Trucks at the Fountain last month, don’t worry. It’s happening again on Sunday, May 22. Brian and I will probably be there hunting down some yummy eats.

I remember when the only food truck we had was the Flying Stove. They’ve really started a revolution. Now there’s like 35 or so trucks that participate in Food Trucks at the Fountain. How amazing is that?

See you on Sunday, May 22!

Scooter’s Downtown

Did you know that there is now a full-fledge Scooter’s location downtown? We’ve had a drive-up Scooter’s for a while but never a sit-down location (complete with wifi) until recently. Brian and I found it last month when we were headed to Food Trucks at the Fountain. Brian, because he is pessimistic about everything, actually didn’t expect them to be open on a Sunday.

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We were pleasantly surprised. Not only were they open, but there were no lines.

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The space is nice and cozy. I usually end up at Mead’s just because it’s so close to my office but I’ve always liked Scooter’s because of their candy bar coffee flavors. I’m glad there’s one down the street now.

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It’s conveniently located across the street from Emerson Biggins on Douglas if you want to check it out. You’re welcome.

Nickira’s First Time at the Circus

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It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon so we decided to take my convertible. Also, Brian got to go with us so I didn’t have to drive. We also got to park in the Lexus VIP parking lot in front of the Intrust Bank Arena so we didn’t have to walk very far. We just had to cross the street. That was nice.

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I didn’t get to take many photos because Nickira wanted me to take videos. The one above is of Nickira with a couple of the Chicago Boys (of America’s Got Talent fame). Nickira was really impressed with their tumbling skills.

Below is a photo of the high-wire act.

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Here they are in action.

We also got to see some elephants do tricks.

Here’s one of the acrobats. She made beautiful figures while spinning around.

Here’s an interesting spin on an acrobatic show. I’ve never seen it done with a motorcycle swing before.

Here are few videos of the Chicago Boys.

And then there was this crazy sphere of death.

And the tigers, because it’s not a circus without tigers.

Here’s Nickira explaining where cotton candy comes from.

I’m actually glad that I talked her down to only getting one bag of cotton candy. She wanted 25 bags at first. The circus is quite expensive. And to think we only bought pretzels and popcorn and drinks. We didn’t even buy one of those light up swords.

Oh, and Nickira was all into the cotton candy until Brian explained how it’s truly made. After she found out it was completely made of sugar, she didn’t want anything to do with it. She decided to just save the rest and give them to her brothers.

Nickira said this was actually her first time at the circus. I forgot that that when I was supposed to take her last year, her dad came into town and so they spent some time together instead. Brian and I went by ourselves. That was my first circus experience. The second time around I knew what to expect a little bit better. Brian and I had fun the first time, but I have to say, it was definitely more fun watching the show with Nickira. When Brian and I went last year, we only watched the first half. We actually stayed for the entire show this time around.

KANSEL Team Trivia

KANSEL Team Trivia was on the same day as the Kansas YP Summit. It’s one of our favorite fundraising events so I didn’t want to miss it. Brian was worried that I wouldn’t be able to attend both events at first because, even though the Kansas YP Summit was during the day and the KANSEL Team Trivia event was in the evening, I might be too tired. I was like, “Watch me!”

I have this thing about wanting to attend every event and do everything. I wish I could be at multiple places at once. If I could, I’d probably be even more involved and attending more stuff. Plus, my coworker/friend Karen Smith invited us and we love her and don’t want to let down.

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Pardon the crappy photos and raccoon eyes. It had been a long day.

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Here’s a picture of me with Bonnie Bing (above), she co-emceed the event with Sierra Scott (below).

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Here’s a picture of our team. We didn’t win but at least we weren’t dead last. Thanks to Karen’s friends Nancy and Marv, and Marv’s awesome trivia skills.

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We may not have won at trivia but we won a bunch of silent auction items. LOL.

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Brian got this goofy hat from the Cowtown silent auction basket.

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We got a couple of new tumblers from the Westar silent auction basket.

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Shane actually ribbed us for bidding on the Westar basket because we probably could have gotten a bunch of that stuff for free if I were to ask the “right” people nicely at work. But it’s for a great cause so what they hey. We bid on the stuff anyway.

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We got a wheeled cooler bag, a Westar umbrella, and a folding blanket that we already had one of, so now we have two of them. LOL. The cooler is cool, though. (See what I didn’t there?) And, you can never have too many umbrellas. We like to leave one in each car and at home, so we always have an umbrella no matter where we are.

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The Cocoa Dolce basket is pretty much all gone. We did share the truffles with grandma when she was over for breakfast and cards on Saturday, though.

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We ate the truffles while the three of us played Uno one Saturday.

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April 22 was a full day with two major events: the Kansas YP Summit all day and then KANSEL Team Trivia in the evening. I was exhausted but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m very grateful for the opportunity to attend both.

Kansas YP Summit

Every time I feel like I’m almost caught up with the blog, stuff happens and I’m behind again. So, we’re almost caught up but we were busy this weekend so there’s still a lot of stuff to catch you guys up on.

Here are some pictures from the Kansas YP Summit last week.

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I’m so glad work approved me to attend because they had some fantastic speakers lined up: Stephanie Sharp, Armando Minjares, Heather Morgan, my friend Aaron Wirtz, Richard Rierson, Christina Long, Ted Kriwiel, Mark McCormick, and keynote speaker Jon Acuff, author of Do Over, Start, and Quitter. Some friends of mine had breakout sessions in the afternoon as well.

I wanted to go to the pre-summit social at the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park but I didn’t end up leaving Topeka until 6 PM. The mingle was only scheduled to run until 8 PM so I was too late. At least I got to go to the actual summit.

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Retired educator, Jan Davis, did an ice breaker activity in her opening remarks.

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She asked us to form groups for three. This was my first group. That’s Kat on the left and Amy in the middle. Amy is with the Kansas Leadership Center and actually had a breakout session in the afternoon on storytelling.

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This is my second group.

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My friend Ebony did a wonderful job as the event emcee.

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I also got selfies with a couple of the speakers — Stephanie, pictured above, and Aaron, pictured below. You might recognize Aaron from his TV commercials. He’s brilliant.

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I remember meeting him when he first started working for the car dealership. Four years later, he’s an icon. I’m not surprised because he is a marketing genius. And, he’s super talented to boot.

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I also some selfies with my coworkers.

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Here’s a photo of Amy at her breakout session.

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I paired up with Chelsea from our Topeka office for the activity. This is a picture of her “leaning” into her story.

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Here’s a picture of our keynote speaker, Jon Acuff, who was both insightful and funny.

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Here’s a selfie with my friend Ryan and his daughter, who was a wonderful breakout session assistant. I walked into the session a little bit late and she walked over and gave me a handout. She was on top of it.

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Here’s a selfie of me with my activity partner.

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Christina, below, has inspired me to design my own decade.

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Ted, has inspired me to be more selfless.

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And then we had closing remarks by Mark McCormick.

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It was a truly amazing day and I feel very grateful that I had the opportunity to attend.

WAM Contemporaries’ Color Party X

This is the blog post that Brian’s grandma has been anxiously waiting for. And, to be honest, COLOR PARTY X was the event that Brian and I were most looking forward to this year. We found out about it from my friend Teresa who is the PR Manager at the Wichita Art Museum. She said if we paid $150 each by a certain date, Brian and I could be listed on the invitation as “party hosts” and we wouldn’t have to do any work on the night of the event. We could just show up and enjoy the party. Well, after experiencing the Second Wave Party last December, she didn’t really have to tell me anything more. She just had to say party at the Wichita Art Museum and I was sold. WAM parties are amazing. Now that I have discovered them, I am determined not to miss any going forward.

The COLOR PARTY is this awesome party by WAM Contemporaries, hip and energetic supporters of the WAM and Wichita community, to further public programming and art education at the museum. Every year a theme color is announced. Brian and I knew it was going to be awesome because this year marked the party’s 10th anniversary. The theme was going to be revealed on the party invitations so we couldn’t wait to receive ours. That, and Teresa talked us into listing our names as FLIP + CHING on the invitation so we wanted to see if they would really do it. LOL.

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Sure enough, they did. See if you can find our name in the long list of hosts above.

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For the COLOR PARTY’s 10th anniversary, they decided to bring back all of the previous colors: RED, BLU, ORANGE, PURPLE, ONYX, JADE, NEON, MIDNIGHT, and ROUGE. Take your pick or wear them all.

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Brian and I were also super excited about the band KC FLO. They were great at the Second Wave Party last year.

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The day the invitation arrived in the mail was the same day that Brian’s “colorful” shirt (ordered from Amazon) was delivered. We couldn’t believe it. His shirt matched the invitation perfectly. We couldn’t have planned it better if we tried!

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I decided to splurge a little and scheduled hair and makeup at Planet Hair on the day of the event. So that was another weird coincidence. Suzie, pictured above, did my hair. Her station just happened to be next to Maria‘s, my long-lost hair stylist from almost 20 years ago! Maria (below) used to cut my hair when Brian and I first started dating.

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I’ve had a few hair stylists that I’ve liked over the years (Man at Planet Hair was one; she did my hair and makeup for a few events including my wedding) but no one quite like Maria. I’ve jumped from stylist to stylist ever since. I guess she’s been back at Planet Hair for a few years and our paths just now crossed. What a weird coincidence, right?

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The best part was that Maria and her husband attended the party as well.

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Oh, I forgot the post a picture of the finished product of my hair and makeup. This is our “waiting for Uber on our driveway” selfie. Anyway, Suzie did my hair but Emma did my makeup. She’s done my makeup for a few events. I love her!

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Emma attended the party as well.

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Brian was really proud of the fact that he was one of the party hosts for COLOR PARTY X. He just had to point it out.

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He was also proud of the fact that he matched the decor, most notably the museum steps which were specially decorated for the event.

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Here’s KC FLO, with several band members missing. Teresa joked that they were on a limited budget and could only afford half of the band. I think she was kinda sorta serious.

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Here’s a picture of the super tall woman that greets you as you walk in.

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Lamphouse Photo Booth was was there. Of all the photo booths we’ve tried, I think they have the coolest set up of all. I like that you don’t have to be enclosed.

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I’m not sure what they’re supposed to be but we got a photo with them because they looked cool. Also, Brian recognized the two women from one of the short films that we saw last year at Down to the Wire.

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Neither of us wanted to stay out too late but we had to stay long enough for the after party because (a) you don’t want to miss DJ Carbon, and (b) we wanted to know where the “secret museum location” is.

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We went to the lowest level of the museum, a place that most people never see. Brian and I had never been to that part of the museum before.

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Here’s another picture of those two costumed women.

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There were also these ballerinas that greeted you as you came in. Anyway, who I really wanted to see were those cupcake girls from the Second Wave Party. I was totally disappointed that they weren’t there.

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Despite this, Brian and I had a great time. Everyone else seemed to have a great time as well, specially this woman. LOL.

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Brian and I took a bunch of selfies throughout the evening.

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Here’s one by the colorful steps.

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But the selfie that Brian is most proud of is this one with a couple of members of the band. I wish I had a reason to throw a big party. I would totally hire these guys.

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You definitely will want to hire the whole band, though. They’re better when they’re at full strength. All in all, it was a fabulous party! I can’t wait until COLOR PARTY XI!

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Rok:BRGR Burger Bar + Gastropub

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This is supposedly the best burger joint in Hollywood/Hallandale. I would have loved to have confirmed this but we only had a few minutes before our ride to the airport showed up and I like my burgers well done. We didn’t have enough time, unfortunately.

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The restaurant had ample seating outside, which is a must if your are located in Florida. You have to allow people to enjoy the beautiful weather.

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The decor inside was pretty cool. I liked the indoor-outdoor bar.

Ginger, Darcy, and I were walking around looking for a place to eat when we ran into the rest of our group. Their ride to the airport was much earlier than ours so they only had time for a drink.

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I think Darcy had the ahi tuna burger and truffle fries.

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The first picture didn’t do the burger justice.

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Ginger had fries.

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I had the famous mac n’ cheese with bacon.

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Rok:BRGR Burger Bar + Gastropub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Tomato

I would have loved to try one of their handcrafted burgers but we didn’t have enough time. I like my burger well done so we would have been waiting for our food forever, and the service was slow enough as it was already. We couldn’t afford to slow them down any further.

I’m not sure that any of us were really happy about our food orders. The mac n’ cheese was just okay. The presentation in the cute, little cast iron pan was cute, though. The fries also came in these cute little baskets.

Anyway, we scarfed up our food as soon as it came because we had to walk back to the hotel to meet our ride to the airport. We got there early but the van beat us and was there already. Good thing we didn’t lolly gag at lunch.

I wish I could have tried their specialty because it almost seems unfair to rate them based on my limited, not-so-great experience. I guess we will just have to check it out again next time.

South Beach, Miami

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This just goes to show you how long it took to get our food at Larios. After we placed our food order, we actually had time to walk across the street to walk on the beach.

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This was super high on Darcy and Kelsey lists of things to do while in Florida so they actually went and dipped their toes in the water.

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Thanks to Rahima, we managed to experience the beach even for just a few minutes. Darcy and Kelsey were super thrilled to cross this one off the list.

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Group selfie!

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I completed one of my must-do items earlier that day so I was content to take pictures.

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And watch the sun set.

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These next pictures were taken on our way back to the restaurant.

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Ocean Drive is just so vibrant.

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Lots of interesting restaurants and boutique hotels line the street.

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Of course, you already saw pictures from dinner on yesterday’s blog post. These are just some extra pictures I had of South Beach that I wanted to share.

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Our hotel was about an hour away so they hired a party bus to chauffeur us to and from dinner. It was a brilliant idea. I’m not sure most of the people in our group would have had the patience for an hour long drive to dinner if they didn’t have drinks to enjoy on the way. As for me, I couldn’t drink any alcoholic beverages because I was still on antibiotics after recovering from pneumonia. Thankfully, they had soda on the bus. I just drank my Coke and enjoyed the view, which wasn’t as interesting on the drive back because then it was dark. I enjoyed seeing all the high-rise condos and the boats on the way to dinner, though.

At least, dinner was delicious and we got to see the beach and we had good company. That made the long drive to dinner worth it.

Larios on the Beach

I got to experience South Beach, though briefly, a couple of weeks ago while on a work trip. We were actually in Hallandale Beach, FL. However, since we were in such close proximity to Miami, we decided to go to South Beach for dinner.

One of our consultants wanted us to experience Cuban food, and not the watered-down variety that you get in Wichita either. She picked Larios on the Beach, Gloria Estefan’s Cuban restaurant. I was hoping that we would run into Ms. Estefan during dinner but no such luck. The closest I got was her image on the mosaic on the wall.

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Here’s a picture of the bar that greets you as you walk into the restaurant.

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Since it is Florida, there’s seating both inside and outside the restaurant. You can see the tables outside through the window. This way you can enjoy the food, music, and weather all at once.

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Here’s a picture of the fancy waiting area, which also doubles as dancing area when the DJ gets the music going.

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We had such a large group so we ended up at two separate tables.

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The table next to the wall with the picture was part of our group as well.

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This is a picture of the Estefan Cuban combo appetizer sampler. It consists of breaded stuffed potatoes, pork tamale, bacon-wrapped maduros, traditional ham, chicken & cod fish croquettes, and black bean hummus with plantain chips.

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The restaurant offers three varieties of baked Cuban empanadas: “award-winning” slow roasted pork, minced beef, and roasted chicken. I tried a little bit of each. They were all great but I liked the pork one the best.

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The food took forever but there were several of us so that might have contributed to the delay. We enjoyed some appetizers and munched on plantain chips while we waited.

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The group also enjoyed some drinks while we were waiting. I couldn’t drink because I was recovering from pneumonia and was still taking antibiotics. I wish I could have drank though, because this mojito with the sugarcane garnish looked so good.

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I talked Kelsey into trying the sugarcane.

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Here’s a pictures of the dishes that others in our group ordered.

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I got the fresh whole red snapper, lightly floured and flash fried. They got me at fresh. You can’t really get fresh fish here in Wichita.

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I think this might be the famous criollo seafood combo with lobster, shrimp, scallops, calamari, fish, baby claims and mussles in a cuban criolla sauce. I got to taste a piece of squid from this dish and it was so good. I think it might be the freshest squid I have ever eaten. Usually squid tends to be rubbery. This melted in your mouth.

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We got to try several desserts.

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This is the tres leche: homemade cake soaked in three-milk Botran Reserva Rum sauce and finished with torched merengue.

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This traditional Cuban flan is probably the smoothest flan I’ve ever had.

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This was my favorite dessert of all. It’s tres leche de chocolate. Just when you thought tres leche couldn’t get any better. It’s exactly the same as the tres leche but in chocolate flavor. Brian would love this one.

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This was one of the assorted sorbets. I’m sure it was very good but I didn’t get to try it because I was more interested in the other desserts.

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I think this is the café con leche. I didn’t get to try this one either.

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Larios on the Beach Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had a great time at dinner. Can you tell?

Larios was super busy when we were there. There wasn’t an empty table in the restaurant.

The fact that they were so busy and there were so many in our group affected the service somewhat. I had to wait for my food forever because the server made a mistake when he was taking our order. One of the people in our group changed their mind and when they switched their order, my order got scratched off in error. This happened to a couple of people at our table so the two of us had to wait for our food while everyone had theirs already.

The server felt bad for the mistake and tried to offer me a free drink on the house to make up for it. I told him not to worry about it. Of all the times to be offered a free drink, it’s when I can’t drink. LOL.

Anyway, my red snapper was totally worth the wait. It was so good I didn’t even need any soy sauce. I’m definitely going to have to bring Brian to South Beach and take him to dinner at Larios. All things considered, this is probably one of the best meals I’ve ever had (Cuban or otherwise). I’ll be back!

Wouldn’t You Like to Work Here?

If you thought that Zumba Home Office was cool, wait until you see this next office I had the opportunity to set foot in while in Florida a couple of weeks ago. It was originally BGT Partners’ award-winning headquarters. It was pretty cool back in 2012 but it’s even way cooler today. Since PwC acquired BGT Partners in 2013, the office is now the PwC Experience Center.

I’ve only visited one other PwC office and the look and feel of the Hallandale office is completely different. I’m thinking it’s the BGT influence. Even though it’s been a couple of years since the acquisition, the essence of BGT is still everywhere which makes sense. Very formal, boring offices don’t exactly foster creativity and innovation.

Anyway, I was completely in awe of their awesome office. I had to take a bunch of pictures, naturally. Enjoy.

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