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Taco Y Mas Review: "Or Should It Be No Mas?"

- May 30, 2015 No Comments

With the popularity of Churn and Burn (reviewed here), a common question I receive is "Have you been to the Mexican restaurant next door?" Today I can say I've been there. The restaurant is called Tacos Y Mas. They are located at 552 S Oliver and serve your basic authentic Mexican staples. (I'll post the menu at the end of the blog).

They are open from Tuesday thru Sunday 10 am to 10 pm and closed on Mondays. 


Inside, there are bright yellow and green colors all over the building, from the walls to the tables to the bench seating. I walked in and sort of stood there until an older gentleman sitting with his family told me I could sit anywhere.

After sitting for a few minutes, that same older gentleman left his table to tell a lady behind the counter a customer was here. The lady eventually came over to me with the menu and chips and salsa. I ordered a water and asked for a few minutes to glance over the menu. Once looking at it, they had a little bit of everything one could want from a Mexican restaurant. I decided to go with the tacos and ordered four (barbacoa, pork, chicken and chorizo) along with a side of rice.


While I waited for my order, I jumped right into the chips and salsa. You are given two options when you come in, a mild and a hot. The hot was as advertised; very hot but no flavor to them whatsoever. The mild was more bearable but had the texture and feel as if it were watered down. And the chips? They tasted stale but since they were there, I kept on eating them.

$2.25 a piece
My waitress brought out my food and sat at the table in front of me with her back facing me and played on her phone.

The first taco I had was the chicken. The tacos were all stuffed with a lot of meat unfortunately there wasn't any flavor to the first one I had. The chicken was well cooked but lacked any seasoning. It's as if they grilled the chicken with no spices and put the chicken in the taco. Next was the pork which is my favorite meat in a taco. I finished it but the pork tasted dry. The last two were the barbacoa and the chorizo. I ate half of each one and didn't finish them. Just picking up the taco, grease would begin to spill out. When I was picking up the barbacoa taco, juices the color of blood would just come oozing out turned me off from finishing it. 

This was the first time I've ever gone to eat street tacos and not finish my meal. The only part I would really enjoy was the rice that I put down with ease.


I should also note, the entire time I was eating, my waitress stayed seated in her chair the entire time. Halfway through dinner, my water was empty and not one time did she get up to ask how dinner was, refill my drink or even a courtesy turn over her shoulder to check on me. I even had to get up to grab my own ticket to pay. I was surprised they didn't make me run my own card either. 

Overall just a horrible experience. I won't be visiting this place again. No Mas.

Happy Dining.




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Must Try Menu Item: Newport Grill

- May 29, 2015 No Comments
Newport Grill is considered one of the finer dining establishments in Wichita. It's no secret that Newport Grill is one of my favorite places in Wichita to eat, although it's a place I don't eat at often.

So for the next installment in the “Must Try Menu Item”, let's head over to 1900 N Rock Rd in Bradley Fair and check out Newport Grill.

Their menu items aren't for everybody. Some people out there, don't like fish. Some people out there, don't like meat. But who here doesn't like dessert?

That's where we are headed for the Must Try Menu Item at Newport Grill. Let's start off by saying, I'm not much of a dessert guy. Being lactose intolerant, my tolerance for lactose is somewhere in the middle but sometimes taking a pill can help. I really don't eat ice cream anymore and when dining out, I'm usually stuffed by the end of my meal. So for me to suggest a dessert for a Must Try Menu Item means a lot to me.

Love in the Shape of Dessert
One of my favorite desserts in all of Wichita is the Banana Bread Pudding at Newport Grill. From what I've been told, it's the pastry chef's grandmother's recipe. It consists of banana, nuts, and a vanilla custard base.

It's hard to explain how much I love this dessert. It's the only dessert in Wichita that I will order 100% of the time I'm at any restaurant.

Although it has a $9 price tag, it's big enough that it can be shared by 2-4 people depending on how much you want to eat. Let's be honest though, anybody who loves this could probably put one down completely by themselves but the option to share is there.

It's so good that if I don't have any lactose pills with me, I'll still order it and just pay whatever price my body gives me later.

You cannot go wrong with this dessert. Everybody I've had dinner with at Newport, I have forced this dessert upon them and they really like it or are just playing along. I like to tell myself it's the former of the two.

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

Check out Past Must Try Reviews:
Tsunami
The Store

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Yo-B Yogurt and Burgers Review: Featuring Cylee and Bella

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For over a year now, Yo-B Yogurt and Burgers have been serving people of all ages, yogurt and burgers all in a little one spot shop in the middle of Old Town. Located at 303 N. Mead St, just south of the Downtown Warren Theatre, Yo-B has picked up quite a following. I've heard from many people that I should include Yo-B's burgers in my Project Best Wichita Burger, so that will remain to be seen.

Yo-B Yogurt and Burgers is open seven days a week. Monday to Thursday 11 am - 9 pm. Friday and Saturday 11 am to 10 pm and Sunday from 11 am to 8 pm.

They have a very bright and vibrant building. Inside there is plenty of seating including little small tables seen below with the white circular tables. If you close closely, you can pull out white little chairs perfect for kids......and apparently me to sit at. Outside, there is a quaint little patio for when it's nice not raining in Wichita which happens oh.....ummmmm............ never.


For my visit to Yo-B Yogurt and Burgers, I decided to take my nieces out on National Burger Day where they of course would forgo the burger and opt just for yogurt. Yo-B has no lactose free options and I'm lactose intolerant and occasionally can take some medication to help me but I did not have any on me that afternoon so I was going to sit this review out and leave this review in the words of Cylee and Bella.

They've been with me on other excursions such as Rita's Italian Ice. So I'd like to formally introduce two 4-year old girls who could have a long future on this blog with me and will be taking over the reigns on this one for me. Ladies and Gentlemen, I bring to you my guest reviewers: Cylee and Bella.

Cylee has been to Yo-B many times before. Having known that it was Bella and I's first time to this establishment, she would give us a quick tour of what to do and how it operates.


(A rough summary of how she explained it). The first stop is where you grab your cups to put the yogurt in (it's all similar to competitors like Orange Leaf). But before you get your cups, you can use tiny little tasting cups. These tiny little cups are used to get FREE samples where you can try anything you want for FREE before you buy it. You need an adult to pour you the sample so you don't make a mess. (Reason #1 of why I was there).




The next step is walking over to all the cool things you can add in your yogurt. The best thing to add are the little bubbles (technically called Bobas). And there is also a place to get sprinkles and other candy to add in your yogurt.

Bella's expressions can be summed up in one word: "Wowwwwwwwwwwwww".

I try to keep a low profile when I go in to review a restaurant; not the girls. Cylee introduced herself to the lady running the register and asked if she knew who she was (since she's been in before). Apparently, Cylee thinks she's already a regular and celebrity. Bella would inform the lady they were cousins which Cylee would also repeat which then in turn Bella would repeat again which then in turn Cylee would repeat yet again. Then they would end with, "We are best friends!". At no point, would I receive any sort of introduction. Story of my life.

The girls would then sample a couple of the yogurt options. There was a large assortment to choose from like chocolate custard, strawberry cheesecake, tiramisu, cappuccino, chocolate, among others. Bella settled on blueberry and Cylee settled on green apple. For their toppings they both wanted cherry "bubbles" aka bobas and sprinkles. I was shocked that they did not want any other options. With such a wide range (85 to choose from), they surprisingly kept it simple.


The next step I was told was to pay. At this point, the girls just walked away and seated themselves leaving me stranded to pay for it all. (Reason #2 of why I was there). The frozen yogurt or custard is all 42 cents an ounce regardless of what you get.

With such a small amount of what they got because they had to still eat dinner at their parents, it didn't turn out to be much; a small price to pay for love literally.

Playing the role of server, I brought the girls or in their minds, princesses their yogurts. As usual, they tried their owns, tried each others, mixed both of them together and tried them at the same time. If a stranger was sitting by us, I'm pretty sure they would have tried theirs as well.

As they were eating, I asked what their valued opinions were of the yogurt. Both responded with the exact same thing, "Good!". Such descriptive young minds.

I asked what their favorite part of the yogurt was and they both responded with the exact same thing, "Bubbles!".

Bella then elaborated on the bobas, "I suck on them and they POP!" (Please note the emphasis on pop.)

Cylee carried on the point by noting, "Whenever you bite them, They pop and there are juices in them. It's good!"

Of the two kids, Cylee scarfed hers down in what felt like minutes and Bella nibbled away at hers in what felt like hours.

Once finished, I wanted to get their final opinions of Yo-B and here's what they said.

Cylee: "OK, I have a plan. Let's come again tomorrow."

Bella: "I don't know if I can come back, I have a brain freeze" (How a kid gets a brain freeze after taking 10 hours to eat a small cup is beyond me.)

Cylee: "I really like it"

Bella: "I do too!"

Me: "Bella, I thought you said you had a brain freeze."

Bella; "It's gone."

So take it from Cylee and Bella folks. Sounds like there might be a return visit to Yo-B Yogurt and Burgers.

I should note, that the floor plan is so open at Yo-B, there's plenty of room to dance. Since the girls just finished with dance practice, they couldn't stop moving and dancing when Ellie Goulding's "Love Me Like You Do" came on. I can't blame them, it's a really catchy song. So I apologize to anybody who tried to have a peaceful dinner and couldn't with two girls shaking their booties.


This is the first time that a food review on here has not really had my opinion on it. So if you trust two 4 year old girl's opinion, get your butt over to Yo-B Yogurt and Burgers.

Happy Dining.

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YO-B Yogurt & Burgers on Urbanspoon

Jack's Coffee Shop Review

- May 28, 2015 No Comments
Is this a home or a restaurant?
May 28th is National Burger Day so it only made sense to write a burger review even though I'm in the middle of Project Best Wichita Burger. This morning, we head way down south to Jack's Coffee Shop.

Where? What? Who?

Yes, there is probably a huge percentage of you all that have never heard of Jack's Coffee Shop. I was one of those until I started looking up burger places in Wichita. I think there was only one friend of mine who's actually been here before and he made sure this restaurant was added to my list of burger places to venture out on......

...........and so we did.

Jack's Coffee Shop is located at 6154 S Hydraulic which is right at 61st and south Hydraulic. Don't drive too quick or you will miss this place while driving down the road. I know I did as did another friend.

Jack's Coffee Shop is open Monday thru Saturday from 11 am to 2 pm and closed on Sunday. They have a limited window of time for you to come in and try one of their burgers.


Inside the place is not that big; probably around 9 tables inside. It has the look of an old house with beams literally keeping the place up. Jack's Coffee Shop has been open for roughly 40 years. They used to be a bar back in the day but has changed to just a burger shop since.

To be honest, I didn't even ask if they served coffee (it wasn't on the menu) or why they were called Jack's Coffee Shop. So let's make something up. "Jack's Coffee Shop was opened many years ago by a gentlemen named Jack who loved making burgers and selling coffee.". Sound good enough? Good. Let's move on.

Their menu is very limited. You can order one of two things to eat; a hamburger or a cheeseburger. To multiply those options, you could order a large or a small. The larger burger is a full pound patty while the small burger is a half pound burger; not exactly my definition of small but we all went with it. Except for one friend who ordered the large cheeseburger.


Our burgers came out immediately after the burgers were done. They came right off the grill and were still piping hot when they arrived at our table along with a full bucket of chips. The lady also brought us a plate of grilled onions to put on our burger.

The Large Cheeseburger was so large it nearly reached the edges of the plate it came on. I was impressed and intimidated by the pure size of that thing. It really put the small burger to shame. My buddy who ordered the Large Cheeseburger put it down quicker than the remaining two of us who had the "Small" burgers and I use small lightly.

The Large!
The Small.......


At the table was a little tupperware container of pickles and then spicy peppers and carrots. We all tried one of them and they were indeed spicy; spicy enough that I finished my glass of water. 



My friend who ordered the large cheeseburger was a big fan of his burger; he's also just a big fan of the place. My other buddy really liked his burger and sentiments were shared by both, they would go again. I, for one, liked the burger. Did I love it? Was it one of the best in Wichita? Everybody will have to wait to find out when the Project Best Wichita Burger results are revealed.

The service was beyond friendly. The lady who ran the place was so nice to us and catered to every single need we had. She made the experience of it all that much more enjoyable.

If you are a big fan of dive restaurants and love visiting establishments that have been around a long time and have a great feel to it, places with lots of character, Jack's Coffee Shop is for you; one of the hidden gems tucked away in south Wichita. I'm glad my buddy Damon introduced me to this place and came along for the ride. It's truly an experience every "foodie" would enjoy.

For the people who love to eat, order a Quad. It has four patties on it with cheese. The owner told us about it and sent me a picture of one that a guy ordered and finished it. If you think the Large was big, check this out:


I'm getting stuffed just looking at it.

Otherwise Happy Dining and Happy National Burger Day!


Jack's Coffee Shop on Urbanspoon



Lou’s Charcuteria and Cocktails Review

- May 26, 2015 No Comments

Lou’s Charcuteria and Cocktails is a unique experience in Wichita. You won't find another restaurant like it in Wichita.

They specialize in charcuterie. What is that you ask? According to my friend Wikipedia, a charcuterie is the branch of cooking devoted to prepared meat products, such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork. Charcuterie is part of the garde manger chef's repertoire. Originally intended as a way to preserve meat before the advent of refrigeration, they are prepared today for their flavors derived from the preservation processes.

Lou's is located at 220 S Commerce in the old Walker's Bar building essentially next door to Intrust Bank Arena and attached to The Hungry Heart (reviewed here). They are open Tuesday thru Thursday 11 am - Midnight and on Friday and Saturday from 11 am to 2 am.

My friends and I went over the weekend just to see what the place looked like and grab a couple drinks. For those familiar with the short lived Walker's Bar, not much has changed from the inside of the building. It has an almost exact look and feel as it's previous tenant.

They have a wide assortment of bottled beers to choose from, one of my friends stated you rarely find drink specials that cheap on that side of town on the weekend.

We had no intention of eating but after glancing at the menu, it was decided we might as well turn this into a food review and see what Lou's was all about. It took us a while to decide what to order so in the meantime, I started off with some pickled eggs for myself. Those of you who know me, know that when I see deviled eggs on a menu or even in a gas station, I will order them without hesitation. For $2, I felt like I was LOSING money not ordering them. So I did and so they arrived. I'm a big fan of the deviled eggs at Redrock Canyon Grill but the ones at Lou's may have just topped them.  With a little sausage, onion, peppers and some spices, it was already assured that these deviled eggs would be the highlight of my life.... night.


After much discussion with our server, we eventually decided on going with the "Home on the Range" board. It included Buffalo sausage, Venison summer sausage, Pheasant, Turkey, mustard, sauerkraut, bread all for the price of $22.

Between the four of us who split the board, the pheasant was the overwhelming favorite of everybody. The girls in our group thought the buffalo sausage was too gamy. Personally, I kind of liked it. The chips and bread were excellent. The board came with a mustard sauce and a peppery sauce, both which were completely gone before we were even done eating. We definitely could have used a little more sauce with our board.


Being the pigs we are, we went ahead and ordered a second board. This time, I was outvoted on what to get and was forced to get the Charcuterie Board which is a chef's selection of five meats, pickled (deviled) eggs and bread. We were given the option of creating our own board with our five selections at $22. So we told our server to give us any five meats but to include pheasant again and that we wanted three cheeses: cheddar, mozzarella, and manchego cheese which would be an additional price.

Once again the pheasant was just devoured on like lions on a rare steak. As for the cheeses, they were a hit especially the mozzarella and manchego cheese. One of my friends couldn't stop raving about the manchego. The little baby pickles were great along with another order of the pickled eggs. The other meats included in our board were pepperoni, salami calabrese, chorizo, and venison. The chorizos were my favorite besides the pheasant.

When we received our ticket for the second tray it came out to be roughly $42. Apparently, adding the three cheseses onto our tray cost another $20 on top of our $22 tray which seemed way too pricey for what we received as seen in the picture below. We didn't dispute the charge. Figured, since we went ahead and ordered it we might as well pay it.


There are also sandwiches on the menu but we didn't try them at all.

The entire evening, our server was excellent. From explaining the boards to us, to taking care of us, she was just outstanding.

I should add that the same evening, another table was having dinner which included a friend of mine. She came up to me and I asked how her evening at Lou's was going and it had a different feel than what we had. She mentioned they ordered the Italian Board which came with chorizo, Colby-Jack cheese, and other incorrect meats which they would fix later only after something was said. They were also told many wines on their wine list were not in stock including any white wines which was disappointing for them. They were not also aware that you could create your own board if you wanted to. She said the service was great just like ours but between the order being messed up, no white wines on hand and the quality of some of the food they received not being great charcuterie.... her experience was probably more of a thumbs down based on the discussion I had with her.

Everybody in our group was pleased with what we received. The range of opinions for Lou's varied with the best being she really liked it a lot; nobody disliked it. I wouldn't call it great or awesome. If one of my friends were to text me and ask my opinion my reply would be, "It's not bad."

It was something different and unique to Wichita. Some of the foods were really good but not sure I'd go back to spend the money on the boards again. I'd try the pickled eggs again or one of their sandwiches on the menu. I can see this place getting lots of mixed reviews. It may not be for everybody

The main take away everybody had was it's pretty pricey for what you get; it's certainly not an exceptional value if you're looking for one. Great concept but if you're going with the board options, you could pay a pretty penny if you're looking to get full.

The restaurant is in a VERY tough location to get business from outside of events at Intrust Bank Arena. I wonder how successful this place could be come. It was not busy at all on the Friday night my friends and I went in. One of my friends was hoping it would be busier.

I guess time will tell. Happy Dining!

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Lou's Charcuteria on Urbanspoon

Project Best Wichita Burger: Update #6

- May 25, 2015 No Comments
I can see the finish line to the Best Wichita Burger Project!
Don't Drop That Bun Bun Bun

My total tally is now 18 burger restaurants. That puts me with just 10-12 restaurants depending on how my list turns out when I'm finished.

Looking at my calendar, my goal is to be finished by no later than June 30th and starting the results in a blog on July 1st and releasing the list one by one, day by day, so the month of July would be the Month of Burgers here at Wichita By E.B.

As for the locations left, I'm completely done with all burgers on the northeast side of town so all places I have left will be a longer drive and travel for me.

One thing I've noticed is I feel fine after 2 burgers but if I try to surpass that and go a third burger in one week, I start to feel sick. Although I can say I still enjoy a good burger and my taste buds still haven't quit on me, I'm getting to the point that after this Burger Project is over, I'll be done eating burgers for quite some time.

Between this and determining the best hummus, I've already started thinking about the next fun project to do. One thing for sure is, whatever it is, it won't be as comprehensive and as in depth as this project is. Not sure my body will allow me to do anything on a large scale like this for some time.

Until then this burger project continues!

Happy Dining All.
=========================================

Past Project Best Wichita Burger Blogs
The Startup
Update #1
Update #2
Update #3
Update #4
Update #5

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Wichita By E.B.'s Costco Giveaway!

- May 24, 2015 No Comments

We are excited to be giving away a big basket of Costco goodies! If you'd like to win this basket, head over to www.facebook.com/wichitabyeb for instructions on how to win.

Contest will end sometime Tuesday where a winner will be notified.

Good luck. And a big thanks to Costco who is gracious enough to supply the gift basket of great stuff. I've sampled many of those items and they are all wondering.

Happy Dining.........and Winning.

The Best Hummus in Wichita!

- 3 Comments
Determining Best Hummus!
For the past two months, I've been trying to get the logistics put together for my friends and I to determine where the best hummus is in Wichita.

Over roughly 60 days, I worked on putting together a list of peoples most favorite hummus spots around the city. I called every single place to see the hours they were open. I needed to coordinate a time that every restaurant would be open at the same time for people to pick up hummus at and get it to a central location in a good amount of time. When it comes to logistics, I'm really anal about the details and wanted to make sure everything was done right.

Well......it finally happened sort of. Looks like nearly every place was open on Saturday at 11 am. After calling back again it looks as though only once place was closed over Memorial Day weekend and that was M.I.F. Deli. By this time it was too late, I had already gathered friends together and determined a meeting point. So of all hummus that was purchased, M.I.F. was purchased the night before, stored in a container and within a ziplock bag and refrigerated.

I'd like to thank Jason, Emily, Kim, Nicole, Justin, Kristin, Luke, Greg, Deanna, Samantha, and Brandon for all assisting me in driving around town purchasing hummus from various locations. And once again to Brandon for getting me the location to have this little shindig at. Everybody was given a location or two to pick up hummus from and have it at our meeting point in an hour.


The hummus was transferred from the container it came in to a plate that was numbered. Everybody was given a voting sheet and told to rank their favorite six hummuses. The key was to vote just on flavor alone. They were allowed to use a pita chip to taste test each hummus or use spoons set out. So after $160 of hummus, an hour of tasting and never wanting to eat hummus again for the longest time, here are the results of the Best Hummus in Wichita as decided on by a dozen people:

In order from worst to first:

15. College Hill Deli and Catering

Voter Comments: Just ok - Oil is Flavored - Lack of Spices - Good but not distinct enough - Oily

This was the only hummus that received a single Top 6 vote.

14. Adrian's Cafe

Voter Comments: Too Thick - Very Tahini - Cumin!!!

13. Mediterranean Grill

Voter Comments: Kind of bland but smooth - Salty - Pretty Creamy - Nice bite to it - Good enough, nothing special.

12. Le Monde

Voter Comments: Pretty decent - Mix of flavors was great - Very beany - Nothing memorable - Starchy taste

11. Zaytun

Voter Comments: Good but nothing else to say really - Pickly Vinegar Taste - Sour and Not Bad but Not Great - Lemony - Very Assertive Taste

10. Dillons

Voter Comments: OK but too chunky - Grainy pre-packaged taste - Bland and too thick - Garlicky - Nice and Thick - Great - Way Too Thick

9. N&J Cafe and Bakery

Voter Comments: Plain - Dill Flavor Maybe? - Really Good Flavor - Smooth and Interesting - Too much oil - Thick!

8. The Monarch

Voter Comments: Very tasty - Nice spice and bite to it - Flavorful - Sweet - Spicy - A lot of red pepper - Good spice

7. Rain

Voter Comments: Good, not just a plain hummus - Really like the heat - Spicy but good and bold - Good flavor - Peppery, Smokey, Spicy - The only one with a kick.

6. M.I.F. Deli 

Voter Comments: Extra Kick and Yummy - Good nice oregano flavor - Creamy and Smooth - Classic and Traditional but good

5. Byblos

Voter Comments: Different and good; complex - Sweet I really liked this one - Very good flavor - Nice additional flavors; a little pasty - Tomato and garlic stand out

4. Cafe Maurice

Voter Comments: Smooth - Nice consistency, lemony, freshness - Very clean and well balanced - Nice mild flavor - Creamy and flavorful - Great mix of flavor

3. Kabab's

Voter Comments: Lots of chick pea flavor - Really like this one - Good spice and balance - Extra creamy - Very tasty - Refreshing - Good flavor - Good garlic

2. Meddy's

Voter Comments: So good - I liked this; nice texture and balance - Very well done - Mayo flavor with pickles - Good flavor and blend of spices - Is this Bella Luna? - Great balance of flavor

which leaves us at the best hummus as determined by the voters:

1. Bella Luna 

Voter Comments: Creamy - Good consistency - Great mix of spices - Great texture and taste - Great flavor - This is Bella Luna - Smooth and balanced

Bella Luna received a top six vote from 10 of the 12 people. The most of any hummus.
===========================================

You can see opinions ranging everywhere on the hummuses. I think most people will be shocked that Meddy's finished second on this list; I know I was.

Before I started the project, I was told that Byblos, Cafe Maurice and Bella Luna would all score very high on the list. Oddly enough, the lady who told me was correct as all five would finish in the Top 5.

I'm sure people will have some differing opinions. My reply to you would be, go get all 15 hummuses yourself and try a blind taste test and see what happens.

Overall it was an interesting project to do. I guarantee most people won't even be able to decipher what hummus is from what location. Having all 15 hummuses was nice to taste and be able to distinguish which ones tasted better than others. By the end of of it, I believe everybody was hummus'd out and not wanting to have hummus again for a long time!

I want to thank everybody for helping make this event and blog possible. My friends are all awesome. Its nice to have people around who will assist me in blowing money, time, and stomach pains to answer questions I have like where is the best hummus in Wichita.

Rest assured, I won't be eating hummus again for a LONG LONG LONG time.

Until then, Happy Dining!

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Must Try Menu Item: The Store

- May 23, 2015 No Comments
I'd like to welcome you all to the next installment of a regular blog feature we have here called Must Try Menu Item; a blog entry where I essentially tell you what to order at any particular establishment. This time, we head to The Store. Read on folks.................

There's an annual event at Botanica called Blooms, Brews, and Bloody Mary's. It's a event that allows you to see Botanica, listen to live music, sip on some beer and vote for your favorite bloody mary from restaurants and bars in the city.

This year's winner was a little south side bar called The Store. It's located at 3210 E Osie street which is near the southeast corner of Harry and Hillside; a little bar tucked away behind the Dog N Shake near that intersection.

After a round of golf at Clapp Golf Course, a few buddies and I decided it could be a worthwhile stop to see whether a little bar on the south side of town was worthy of enough of being crowned winner of Best Bloody Mary.

The Store is a nice little quaint bar that seats roughly 60 people, has comfortable seating inside, a pool table, dart board, a coupe TV's and a beautiful patio outside. I'll even mention that the bathrooms were extremely clean. But all that wasn't the point of our visit. We immediately walked up to the bar, mentioned we heard they were the winners of Best Bloody Mary and would like to order four.......... along with a round of jello shots for the entire bar. They were only a dollar that day so it just made sense to be generous that afternoon.

Soon after, this is what we received for a $5 per drink investment, not including all the jello shots of course:


It all looked good but did it taste good? We would find out very soon. First sip in and there was a really good flavor to it. One of the first things we all noticed was there isn't much of a bite to it. It's not a spicy bloody mary if you're into that. One of my friends who's a big fan of spicy bloody mary's said he liked it but wished it was spicier. Yet he was also the one who downed his the fastest and was quick to order another one........then another one.

There was a unique flavor, one that was still good. The owner there said she used a spice called Cavendar's which could have been the reason for the unique flavor. It wasn't too tomato-ey (I feel like I've been using that description a lot lately) and it wasn't too strong on the vodka. It was a good mix in between that was done just right.

Another friend of mine called it the best bloody mary he has ever had; that's very high praise from him considering he's a huge fan of bloody mary's. A third friend said he really liked his as well and was another recipient of two more additional bloody mary's after drinking his so quick.

I shared the same sentiment as the first friend I mentioned. I like a little bite to my bloody mary's and this doesn't have much of one but the flavor is still there which is good. I had two before I just needed to switch drinks and get something different. I don't want to take anything away from the bloody mary; it was very good and something I'd come back for again. To be honest, I'm not sure who I'd vote for best bloody mary. I just may have to attend the Blooms, Brews and Bloody Mary event next year and vote myself.

The garnishes on the drinks are always a nice addition and doesn't do much to take away from the drink. It's a good amount and not overdone.

Overall one person thought it was the best bloody mary in town. One person loved it and the remaining two really liked it. It was well worth our visit and having a very friendly group of patrons and staff was just the cherry on top.

The Store's Bloody Mary is totally worth this entry's featured Must Try Menu Item.

Otherwise, I hope this helps you all out. Happy Dining and Drinking!
Check out Past Must Try Reviews:
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Quick Hits: 5/22/15

- May 22, 2015 No Comments
Haven't written one of these suckers in close to three years.

Nonetheless there have been lots going on and lots coming up that I figured you readers should know.


Garcia's Tacos
One of my old high school classmates father-in-law owns Garcia's Tacos and told me last month that they were planning on closing in May. Looks like it's now come to be. May 31st will be the last day at Garcia's Tacos. When I reviewed this place back in January, I gave it a glowing review. It'll be sad to see this place go. If you haven't tried it before, read up on the review and make it a point to go there before they close at the end of the month.

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Food Trucks at the Fountains takes place this Sunday at the WaterWalk for those interested. Outdoor Yoga starts at 10:00 a.m. followed by food service starting at 11:30 and ends at 2:30. Let's hope it doesn't rain out. For those unfamiliar with Food Trucks at the Fountains, you can check out my first hand experience at the event

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I spoke with an employee at Molina's and I think the hope is for the location at 37th and Rock Road to be open by the end of May. Here's hoping. I'm really looking to having some good Mexican food in close proximity to work. Taco Bell just isn't cutting it. 

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The big day to determine the Best Hummus is tomorrow! I've gathered my group of friends and we are ready to grub. We've determined the list of places and they are as follows:

Adrians
Bella Luna
Byblos
Cafe Maurice
College Hill Deli
Dillons
Kababs
Le Monde
M.I.F. Deli
Meddy's
Mediterranean Grill
N&J's
Rain
Zaytun

14 different locations and a great sample size of hummus options in Wichita. My friends and I are all really excited to do this. For those who were wondering, we are using store bought Pita chips to keep everything consistent. Everybody will also be allowed to use a spoon to taste the hummus without the use of a pita chip.

You can read more on the Best Hummus Project here.

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I've been on a pretty good run of fantastic restaurants. If you haven't had a chance to check out some of them, please do. You're missing out on some great food options out there. Just a sampling below:

Angela's Cafe
Fried Rice
Flying Donuts
M.I.F. Deli
Mr. Taco
Pho Hien
Sweet Basil

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On my Project Best Wichita Burger, which Walts do I go to? There seem to be a lot of options for Walts in Wichita. Any specific one stick out as the best?

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169 days until Wichita State basketball returns against Hawaii Pacific at Charles Koch Arena!

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Otherwise that does it from me. I would say enjoy your Memorial Day weekend but it looks like lots of rain. I've always wanted to go to Seattle but I guess Seattle is coming to me instead.

Thank you to all the loyal readers out there. It's been a pleasure writing more lately and messaging back and forth with readers over e-mail, social media, etc. My new goal in life is to become one of the Top 10 food bloggers in Wichita. I think I'm a fourth of the way there.

Happy Dining