Project Best Wichita Burger

On a mission to find the best burger in all of Wichita!

District Taqueria Reviewed

How does Wichita's newest downtown restaurant stack up?

Eastern Cuisine Reviewed

Your chance to try some authentic African food!

Juni's Cafe Reviewed

Our thoughts on some Korean flavor at 29th and Rock

An Exclusive Interview with Joe Lunardi

Talking Shockers, NCAA Tournament, Bracketology and more....

Blue River Mexican Grill Reviewed

Attention Wichita, there's a new build-your-own burrito restaurant in the city. As of last month, Blue River Mexican Grill opened up in Regency Lakes at 2431 N. Greenwich Road right in front of the Cabela's. They are open daily from 11 am - 9 pm.

You can check out their website here (Please note their website looked to be down at the time of this writing. They do have a Facebook Page up)

This is the very first location of what could end up turning into Wichita's next big franchise.

 

Similar to Chipotle, Freebirds and Poblanos, this new restaurant gives Wichitans a another option to build burritos, tacos, quesadillas or salads the way you prefer. By now everybody is familiar with the concept of a build-your-own burrito restaurant so there's no need to explain what it is or how it works.

 

The look and feel of Blue River is very modern. One thing I have noticed is there is a shortage of nice outside patios on the east side of Wichita to eat at. Kudos to Blue River, they have quite the patio outside with ample seating for plenty of diners.

Like Chipotle, they use fresh products to which I can attest to. One of the knocks on Freebirds by many people was that their food didn't seem as fresh and good as Chipotle. When I went in to try out the burrito bowl, I had the carnitas and everything I included in the bowl had a clean, fresh taste to it; all high quality.

Last time I went to Chipotle, they did not offer carnitas because of some outage so for your carnita fans, Blue River Mexican Grill has you covered.

Pricing is very competitive to the nationally owned Chipotle. Most options cost around 20-25 cents more than what you'll find at the National competitor. A very small price to pay if you value supporting a local restaurant than something on the bigger scale.

Between the food, the cleanliness of the restaurant, prices and the quick and kind service, it's nice to have another quality option to have a burrito or taco made for you on the northeast side of town. Options are always good.

I was more than pleased with my experience at Blue River Mexican Grill and give them a recommendation from me.

Have you gone? I'd love to read your thoughts below.

Happy Dining!





Hot Stone Korean Grill Reviewed


For around eight years now, there has been a little Korean restaurant posted up at the deeper corner of northeast Wichita. It’s a restaurant I’ve gone to many times by myself, with friends and with co-workers. It’s a review I’ve been meaning to write about for probably 3-4 years now. It’s a place I always highly recommend to people asking for something to eat at a spot they’ve never been to. It’s Hot Stone Korean Grill.

Hot Stone Korean Grill is located at 3743 N. Rock Road, close to the southwest corner of the intersection. They serve predominantly Korean and Japanese food; have beer, sake and soju (which is a Korean liquor) on hand. Many of your staples like Bibimap, Teriyaki, and Bulgogi dishes are on the menu.

You can view their menu on their Facebook page.

Inside the place is pretty calming; the paint on the wall is a very soothing yellow that isn’t loud or obnoxious. I’m not an interior decorator and rarely notice things like what painting is on a wall, what d├ęcor is sitting on a shelf, or even when a girl gets a haircut, but for some reason the inside of the building struck a chord with me. Moving on………….

They have a great lunch menu that features many popular dishes in a Bento Box that comes with rice, tempura, vegetables, salad and cooked bean sprouts; all priced between $6.95-$10.95. I’ve had every single type of bulgogi dish on their menu from beef to chicken to squid to shrimp (all spicy or not) and every time I’ve been 100% pleased with their offerings.

Their dinner portions are larger and include steamed rice, miso soup, and Kimchi-bean sprouts (or green salad) and are sure to fill your appetites by the end of your meal. You won’t go hungry.
If you’re a fan of kimchi, their offering here is excellent too. I find myself usually getting a plate and knocking it out before lunchtime.

This has been a common lunch staple for my group of friends for many years. If you trust a portion of my judgment, Hot Stone Korean Grill will not let you down; one of the best Korean restaurants in town. The service is always friendly coming in except for the one time I went into lunch by myself and my server asked me, “Do you have any friends or family?” I felt really depressed about life for a short second until I realized she was kidding (or was she?).
Regardless, make it a point to get yourself over to 3743 N Rock Road.

Happy Dining!
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Hot Stone Korean Grill on Urbanspoon

Jason's Deli Reviewed

It's not too often I review a place that is on a national level but in some cases I do because it is very good or it is not my choice to go to.

Last week it was the latter. Seeing as it was my father's birthday, my parents made the decision for the entire family to have his birthday dinner with the kids and grandchildren at a healthier option than something overly greasy or fatty. And well my mother wanted a salad and what she says, usually goes!

Jason's Deli was the choice. They are a national chain with two locations in Wichita. One in Bradley Fair at 2000 N Rock Road and another at 7447 W 21st St N. It's a deli that specializes in sandwiches, salads, and pastas. Both locations also feature one of the bigger salad bars you will see in the city.

You can view the Wichita menu here.

For dinner, three of us had the salad bar options along with a cup of soup. They usually offer ten soups on the menu. Of all the soups, the chicken noodle, fire roasted tortilla, southwest chicken chili, chili and spicy seafood gumbo are among my favorites. I've honestly never NOT enjoyed one of their soups there (how's that for a double negative?).





My father had the The New York Yankee (3/4 pound combo of corned beef and pastrami, swiss on toasted rye) while my brother and sister-in-law each had the Beefeater (1/2 pound of hot roast beef, provolone, mayo, toasted on New Orleans French bread with a cup of au jus). To round out the dinner, my niece had the kids Mac & Cheese and my 2½ week old nephew was too hungover from partying the night before and slept through dinner.



All in all, everybody was very happy with their dinner. The salad bar, I believe, is one of the best values in the city. It's not too often my mother eats out so when she does, it's usually a place she really likes. She won't waste her time eating at a place she's not a fan of. My father really liked the huge monstrosity that was the New York Yankee and both my brother and sister-in-law liked the Beefeater. I couldn't get a gauge on how good the kids Mac and Cheese was because it seems to take twenty hours for a four year old to eat. After three bites, she couldn't wait for the free ice cream offered. I don't eat ice cream but dipping their mini-muffins in pudding is an excellent alternative!


Overall, Jason's Deli is a quality establishment. It's very clean inside and is a constant option for work lunches, random dinners or the occasional stop for a soup in the winter time. They have a great selection of items to choose from such as super sized potatoes to the penne pasta and meatballs that I really love.

If I had to make one complaint about Jason's Deli, it'd be this. No Ducks Allowed Inside.


Happy Dining Folks!

Jason's Deli on Urbanspoon

Project Best Wichita Burger: Update #2

I lay in bed, two weeks into Project Best Wichita Burger, wondering can I truly finish this? At what point do I get really burnt out on burgers? What am I gaining out of this?

All questions that I do not have the answers to. What I do know is that on my ever changing list of 30 restaurants, I have 8 of 30 places knocked off the list. Slowly but surely getting closer to the finish line. Each day I eat a burger, I immediately review the burger within 6 hours of eating the burger so it's all fresh in my mind.

I want to thank all my friends who have been joining me on theses excursions. Some who have gone multiple times and are already starting to get tired of burgers. If they think they are tired, I'd love to see them in my shoes after three months of this.

I've gone back and forth on whether to blog about my full list of restaurants I'll be going to but decided against it. I'd rather the places I choose not to be aware that I'll be coming in. I want my experience to be authentic and real. That coincides with why I don't even put my own picture on this blog, I'd rather not be recognized by restaurants. I look at someone like Denise Neil who is a great writer for the Wichita Eagle. I'm sure she's recognized all over by restaurants in the city. So when she goes in, she's always getting exceptional service and attempts by them. She'll get each restaurants best effort. That's not what I want, I want their honest unbiased effort when I step in. That way, it's a genuine experience. Something every eater should have.

With that said, the list of restaurants I'll be attending will be kept of the blog with the full results coming later. I'll be posting pictures of the burgers I'm eating periodically through any one of the Wichita By E.B. social media sites for you to guess who is who but at no point will I reveal where I've gone.

I have about 22 restaurants left to go. At a rate of 2 burgers a week, I'll be finished after July 4th.

Otherwise, I always enjoy reading your comments and suggestions for this project.

Happy Dining Folks.

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Past Project Best Wichita Burger Blogs
The Startup
Update #1

Lastly, if you could take two seconds out of your day to like us on Facebook. We are inching close to 500 likes. That'd be fantastic! www.facebook.com/wichitabyeb

Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi Reviewed


One of the more recent Japanese restaurants in Wichita is Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi. They are located at 327 N Hillside in the old Yamasa Japanese Grill location near Hillside and 2nd street.

They are open from Monday – Thursday 10:30 am – 9:30 pm, Friday – Saturday 10:30 am – 10:00 pm and Sunday from 1:00 pm – 8:00 pm. They feature dine-in, carryout and delivery with a minimum $15 order. You can order online at http://www.fujiwichita.com/ (Their menu is also located on their site and will be posted at the bottom of this review).

Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi is best described as “fast food” Japanese food but higher quality than what you will see at a place like Dillon’s. It’s quick to order and very convenient for those on the go.
As for a description, their website says
Our restaurant offers a wide array of authentic Japanese Food, such as Teriyaki Chicken, Yakisoba Beef, Crab Rangoon, Kani Salad, Rainbow Roll, Salmon Lover, Shrimp Sushi, & etc.
Fuji Japanese Grill features freshly cooked Japanese cuisine with no MSG added, using fresh chicken, beef, seafood and fresh garden vegetable, all prepared on our teppanyaki griddle.
We stir fry and assemble all our specialties in front of the customer, the Fuji Japanese Grill meal is Healthy, Fresh, Fast and Fun.

I went in for dinner this past week and was very pleased with everything. To be honest, my expectations were low on the food but they really exceeded everything. The quality of the food was great. I ordered the chicken teriyaki meal with an order of spicy salmon sushi.

The chicken was not too salty, the fried rice was above average and the mini-salad was a nice addition to make myself feel as though I was eating healthy. The sushi there was slightly better than what you can get at Dillon’s which honestly isn’t that bad in itself. For the price, the sushi there is a good value.

I went there a couple times when it was Yamasa and was not really happy with the product there. Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi is a major upgrade for those that live in the area looking for Japanese food. In addition, the people there were very friendly. I’ll definitely go again.



Happy Dining!



Fuji Japanese Grill & Sushi on Urbanspoon

Pig In! Pig Out! BBQ Reviewed

When visitors, clients, friends or whoever it may be comes into Wichita for a visit, a question I've heard many times is, "Where can I go for good bbq?" Since they are in the Kansas, they assume three things:
  • There's a Yellow Brick Road Somewhere
  • Everybody is a KU fan
  • We have great BBQ
Unfortunately I have to break the news to them that only one of those three is true; the latter of course. While this isn't Texas, Kansas City or anywhere else, Wichita is home to some really good BBQ. So usually one of the first options I'll tell everybody is (drum roll please):

Pig In! Pig Out! BBQ

They are located at 1003 E 13th St. That is near 13th and Washington, also close to McAdams Park/Barry Sanders Football Field. They are open Tuesday-Friday 11:00 am - 7:00 pm and Saturday from Noon to 6:00 pm. You can visit their website here

I'll admit that when it comes to BBQ, I'm no professor of meat. I don't grill out much or smoke meat, I just eat what people make and serve out. What I do know about is if my taste buds approve of the food I'm eating and in this case, it does.

This is one of those places that is always in the discussion as the best BBQ in town and it's hard to disagree with it. They display all the ribbons and awards they've won and it's quite numerous. They have a very loyal following. Even when I went in there for lunch, it seemed like the workers knew everybody that came in. Almost like a "Cheers" but for bbq where everybody knows your name.

Pig In! Pig Out! BBQ can draw a really busy lunch crowd but the line moves pretty quickly. Don't be intimidated by all the cars in the parking lot or the long lines if you go.

They specialize in ribs, pork, brisket you name it. Whatever you order, I'm fairly certain you'll be pleased.

When I went in for lunch a couple weeks ago, I had the turkey, pulled pork, beans and pasta salad. As with any great BBQ place, they serve their meats without the sauce. You get it yourself if you want it. I used their sweet sauce because it was conveniently located at the table and I was too lazy to get up and grab any other sauce.

Let me tell you all, the meat was absolutely sensational. The beans had a nice zesty taste to it and the pasta salad is something I'll order every time I go in.

I have yet to try the ribs and that is high on my list of "restaurant things to do".

If you're all looking for really good BBQ, this is one of the first destinations you should try. 

Happy Dining!
Pig In! Pig Out! on Urbanspoon

College Hill Deli and Catering Reviewed


If there’s one thing Wichita does right, it’s Mediterranean food. There is an assortment of restaurants in Wichita listed on Urbanspoon to fill your appetites. At last check, there was over 25 places listed that were classified as Mediterranean.
This past weekend, a few friends and I gathered for lunch at College Hill Deli and Catering.

They are located at 3407 E Douglas in College Hill right next door to Fork and Fennel. They’re open from 11 to 9 pm Monday through Saturday and from 11 to 3 pm on Sundays. They’ve been open in that location for five years now and surprisingly, Sunday was my first time there. They have a small little quaint building with a small patio that seats a rough count of 12 people. They were too busy inside so I didn’t get a chance to see how many seats were inside. Besides the weather was nice enough to spend a lunch time under the sun.
Of the four of us who went for lunch, only one had been to College Hill Deli and Catering and enjoyed his earlier experiences to go again. Looking through the menu, there are all sorts of items from salads to soups to sandwiches to pasta dishes and other Mediterranean options.

To start off, we ordered some hummus and tabouli. It was served with pita chips and pita bread. Both were delicious. The tabouli was very fresh and tasty. I can’t remember the last time I’ve had tabouli but really should start ordering it more.

For our lunch we ordered the Fattoush Salad with chicken, the soup of the day which happened to be the Creole Chicken, the Beef Gyro, the Biryani Chicken Spinach Wrap, and the Chicken Shawarma. Our lunches were served rather promptly.

While we waited, we did notice that there was only one server for the entire place and it was pretty packed that particular Sunday. We were quite amazed with her ability to be able to handle all tables with the look of zero stress on her face.

Digging in, all first bites were very positive. I thoroughly enjoyed my Fattoush Salad with the chicken. The chicken was seasoned very well and the Fattoush itself had a lot of flavor to it. As for the soup, I loved it. I could have had five more bowls of it if I truly wanted to. All other opinions on the food were very positive. My friend gave his Chicken Shawarma two thumbs up and my friend who had the Biryani Chicken Spinach Wrap really liked what he had and wants to go back already. As for the Beef Gyro, my other friend noted it was a really good gyro. College Hill Deli cuts their meat thicker so it was not dry at all. He liked the Fattoush Salad and how they put a slight pickle on the cucumber to give it crunch and extra flavor.





With only one server, the service was a little on the slow side. It took around 15 minutes to just get our server’s attention for our ticket. With how small the place is, we understood why they would only want to staff one server. We were ok with it because the food was good. The owner did however show face later in our lunch and was willing to help out and made us feel good about eating there.

After a run of some bad restaurants, we've recently been on a run of some real good choices lately. It’s time to add College Hill Deli and Catering to the list of fantastic eateries in the College Hill area if you haven’t done so already. For sure it will not be our last visit there.

Have you been? Please comment below, I’d love to read your thoughts.

Don't forget to check out our updated Past Blogs page to see anything you may have missed.

Happy Dining.

College Hill Deli and Catering on Urbanspoon

Must Try Menu Item: Ziggy's Pizza

One of the really popular areas of Wichita in recent years is College Hill. New restaurants have been popping up revitalizing the neighborhood. There is one restaurant in particular that has really pushed that movement and I still blame for the upstart of what could be a great mecca of dining in College Hill and that is Ziggy's Pizza.

Ziggy's Pizza is located at 3700 E. Douglas in the Clifton Square Shopping Center. I wrote about Ziggy's roughly three years ago and have since spent many evenings inside eating dinner after a night of playing basketball or out on the patio during a warm summer evening. It's a good bet that I've nearly had every single item on the menu at some time or another.

From an arrangement of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and pizzas, it can be quite overwhelming on what to choose. So I bring to you the next installment of the blog feature, “Must Try Menu Item”. This is my attempt to help you, the loyal patron, order some tasty and delicious off the menu. It's for those who like to try out new restaurants (or even something different off the menu) and want to have your choice made for you.

For the third entry in this feature, we're going with Ziggy's Pizza and I'm going to highly recommend my favorite pizza there: The Classic Ziggy. It's Pepperoni, Italian sausage, green peppers, onion, fresh mushrooms, black olives and marinara all filled into one 9x13 dish and made with love and care.

It's their version of a supreme pizza but in contrast to most major pizza chains, their pizza is made with fresh ingredients and bread dough that is made from scratch daily. The service is always excellent and the ambiance is undeniable.

If you haven't been there in a couple years, they've expanded and can now take in more seating. Please note, they are not open on Sundays.

Otherwise I hope this helps you all out. Happy Dining!