Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wichita By EB's Charity Event: Il Vicino Charity Food Day on March 25, 2015.

If you read "Dining by the Alphabet: Letter V", you'll remember the glowing reviews that Il Vicino received from Wichita By E.B..

Well Wednesday, March 25th, I'm hosting a small little benefit at the Il Vicino at the Bradley Fair and College Hill locations. From 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. if you bring in the attached flyer below, 20% of your purchase will go back to help support the Nathan TenClay Memorial Scholarship, Galesburg Relief Fund and Heather's Camp.

The locations for the Wichita Il Vicino's are:
Bradley Fair
2132 N Rock Road

College Hill
4817 E Douglas Ave

About The Charities
Heather’s Camp: Provides an opportunity for blind and visually impaired children to experience the joy of a camp program.
The Nathan Tenclay Memorial Scholarship: A scholarship designed to provide a legacy to honor Nathan Tenclay and his passion and love for Wichita State.
The Galesburg Relief Fund: A charity in Galesburg, KS to support people and families that have come under a sudden crisis in their life.
These are causes that many of my friends have helped start or be a major part of.

I also want to send a major thanks to Il Vicino who was totally gracious and willing to participate in this event. In talking with them to get this set up, they were nothing but generous.

Happy Dining Folks.


Please print the below image:


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Must Try Menu Item: Da Cajun Shak

Occasionally I get text messages from my friend that say, “Have you been to this restaurant?” or “What do you suggest I get from this restaurant?”

An opinion on food can change drastically from person to person. Try going to one restaurant with six or seven people and you can see it for yourself. But for the purpose of this blog, some of you obviously hold a wee bit of value in my opinion on food in Wichita.

I figured I could start a new type of blog called “Must Try Menu Item” for those who like to try out new restaurants and want to have your choice made for you. Sometimes I’m the same way, I’ll walk into a restaurant and ask what is the most popular item on the menu and just order that.

For the first entry, let’s head out east to Da Cajun Shak. A restaurant whose motto states “Where a Taste of Louisiana Comes to Wichita”. There’s an assortment of Cajun items on the menu that all sounds so good, it makes your choice difficult.

Let me decide for you. The “Must Try Menu Item” at Da Cajun Shak is the Cajun Meatloaf. It’s by far my favorite meatloaf in the city given it’s impact of flavor and uniqueness. To my knowledge, you cannot find this anywhere.

The description on the menu for the Cajun Meatloaf states, “Meatloaf only the way a Cajun can cook it; slow cooked to bring out all the flavor and topped with our Crawfish Etouffee and served with Jambalaya and fried Okra.” The lunch portion is $9.99 and the dinner portion is $11.99.

I’ve had quite a few things on this menu from the Chicken Lafayette to the Gumbo to the Catfish to the Jambalaya and this is by far my favorite item on the menu. I introduced it to a friend recently that possibly loved it as much as I did.

So if you head over to 6249 E 21st St N, I highly recommend the Cajun Meatloaf. It’s worth every penny and will leave you wanting more.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

A First Look into Bricktown Brewery

On the West side of Wichita, there seems to be a major lack of quality bars. The ones my friends frequent the most are all near or off of 21st. For you west siders, there’s a new establishment for you to try out: Bricktown Brewery.

Bricktown Brewery is located at the southeast corner of Tyler and 21st street at 2142 N Tyler Rd. They are located in the old Chapada Chophouse restaurant. The building looks to have been renovated and has a modern upscale look to it. There were a plethora of televisions scattered throughout the building which would give many bar-goers a good view of whatever game they wanted to watch.

For those that don’t know Bricktown Brewery is based out of the great state of Oklahoma. This is their first location in Kansas. Please do note though, the beers they have in Wichita are not brewed on site.

This week they have been doing a soft opening with proceeds going to help out the Children’s Miracle Network. So grabbing some beers, eating some food and helping out a charity was right up the alley for my friends and I.

Everybody was impressed with the new look inside the building. It’s changed a bit from the Chapada interior as the place looks more open now. With it being a soft opening, we knew what to expect in terms of service, food wait, etc. This was all a test of things for them to work on once they open.
We had a good experience at the soft opening of Bricktown Brewery. The one thing that stuck out for us was the appetizers. Between the six of us who went, we had the boom boom shrimp, the nachos and the sea salt caramel fries. Between those three appetizers, they really nailed it. Each of my friends enjoyed the selection we had. I “heard” the nachos were good because I of course avoid extremely cheesy food but the sea salt caramel fries really impressed everybody. The boom boom shrimp had a good kick to it. ProTip: Give the Sea Salt Caramel Fries a try.

Everybody in our group also ordered a sampler of all the beers they had on hand. The six we were able to sample were: Blues Berry Ale, Remington Red Ale, Aught 7 IPA, Bricktown Brown, Single String Stout and a sixth one I forgot to write down. I believe it was the One Eyed Wiley Wheat Beer, but I could be wrong. I do know for sure it was a wheat beer. One suggestion we would make for Bricktown Brewery is to provide a beer list as they didn’t have one on hand for us to look at and order from.

The six of us all also ordered a different entrée item. The items were ordered were: Uber Burger, Truckburger, Sage Fried Chicken and Waffles, Margherita Pizza, The Yard Bird, and Big Mike’s Meatloaf. All in all, we were not as impressed with the entrees as we were the appetizers. It did leave a little to be desired. Not one entree really stuck out as a favorite of everybody's. The pizza for instance was pretty dry upon coming out as though it was done cooking long before everybody's food. 




Overall despite the underwhelming entree items, we were fans of the place. The service was excellent as was the timing of the food even though it was a soft opening. I’m sure we will be back on the West side of Wichita to try it out again once they are officially open. Most of the times when my friends and I go out for drinks, we stick to appetizers and that is something Bricktown Brewery has a good offering of.

We look forward to seeing the future of the new restaurant in town because the West side could definitely use another good place to drink besides someone’s garage. 

Have you been? What do you think? Feel free to comment below.

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Friday, February 27, 2015

El Agave Reviewed

Adding new spots for my lunch rotation with friends is pretty hard to do. A restaurant has to be able to please 4-6 taste palates. Most times we will know after the first couple bites if whichever new restaurant we choose will go into the rotation.

The most important detail is the restaurant has to be on the northeast side of town as that is where most of us work at. The second most important detail is……well there is no second important detail besides the fact that a restaurant has to be liked by all.

Our new prospective restaurant was decided on a whim. Introducing the newest review on El Agave Mexican Restaurant. They are located at 3236 North Rock Road in the same building strip as Buffalo Wild Wings. They used to about a block north but moved into this building recently.

El Agave is a near match of most Tex Mex restaurants you’ll see in Wichita from the décor inside to the menu to the music and to the speed of the service.

Upon seating, our drink orders were promptly taken and served. We were given plenty of chips and salsa to snack on before our meals came out. The salsa was good. We went through an endless amount of bottles of salsa. Most of us rated it below On the Border’s salsa, better than Carlos O’Kelly’s salsa and on par with Playa Azul’s. We also ordered a side of guacamole that by the end of lunch was still 80% full. We were not pleased with the guacamole at all.

How about the meals? Between the four of us we ordered the fajitas, two enchilada combo, the chimichanga, and a burrito. My chimichanga was ok; it was very small compared to the chimichanga lunch sizes I’ve seen at other places. The beef was seasoned well and the tortilla wasn’t too hard. The rice was a little bit of a letdown. My friend wasn’t too pleased with his enchilada nor was my friend who ordered the burrito. My friend who ordered the fajitas did like his meal though and said he enjoyed the place.

So in the end that was 1 of 4 of us who gave it a thumbs up. The service was outstanding, the price were on par with what you find elsewhere but the food left a little to be desired. Unfortunately it may be unlikely we’d go back.

Here lately on the reviews, it’s been more misses than hits. Hopefully I can find another gem of a restaurant soon. 

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Monday, February 23, 2015

Meddy's Reviewed

Sometimes the best way to get a grasp on the quality of a restaurant is to gather a bunch of friends and grub on an assortment of menu items. Go on, order a variety of items and see what everybody thinks.

That was my goal in checking out one of Wichita’s latest Mediterranean restaurant: Meddy’s.
Meddy’s is located at 7906 E Harry St at the northwest corner of Harry and Rock. (Website: http://meddys.com/)  For us, it was best described as “fast food” Mediterranean. You order your food at the counter; they give you a number and bring you your food fairly quickly. Their menu posted on their wall includes falafel, chicken and beef shawarma, salads, kabob wraps, and more.

My group went in the late afternoon when it wasn’t too busy. We ordered the following items off of the menu: Build your own bowl with chicken over rice, a chicken shawarma wrap, a shawarma and hummus combo, beef shawarma wrap, fries, fattoush salad and the Mediterranean salad.

The staff at the time didn’t seem too knowledgeable on some items. For example, when ordering the shawarma wrap, we asked if it came with shoestring fries and the young lady nodded but we didn’t realize the shoestring fries came INSIDE the wrap. We would later find out it was one of the ladies first day there. We gave her a pass on that.

The time it took to order food to receiving food was only about 10 or so minutes; fairly quick. It should be noted that out of the five of us who went, only 3 have had Mediterranean food at other Mediterranean restaurants in Wichita. So this was a new experience to two people in our group.
After thirty minutes of eating, talking Shocker basketball, people watching and eating some more, everybody reached a verdict.  
  • The Build Your Own Bowl was not tasty. My friend didn’t finish it at all and wasn’t sure if she’d ever go again.
  • One friend had the chicken shawarma with fries and liked his food. His food and said he’d give it a go again. He commented that he really loved their fries.
  • Another friend had a beef shawarma and wasn’t sure he really liked his meal. He also had a Mediterranean salad and it wasn’t his preference for salads. He also had the rice and was done after two spoonfuls. He’s not the most adventurous eater though and sticks to what he likes. He too commented on how great the fries were.
  • Another friend had the chicken shawarma and felt it was pretty average and wasn’t sure she would go out of her way to make it to Meddy’s in the future. To keep with the consistency, she mentioned the fries were really good.
  • I had the beef shawarma and hummus combo. It’s best described as ok. The hummus wasn’t amazing but it wasn’t bad. The beef was pretty dry. I also ordered the fattoush salad and it was pretty delicious. I actually finished that compared to my combo meal. The fries? I had to admit they were good.

Build Your Own Bowl

Chicken Shawarma

The Fries

Fattoush Salad

Mediterranean Salad

Beef Shawarma and Hummus Combo

Judging by all comments, we all came to a conclusion the place was average to below average. The best part of the meal was the fries and that’s a problem if you’re going to a Mediterranean restaurant for fries. There are plenty of Mediterranean options in Wichita and this one would be lower on our list of places to try. Overall a thumbs down by our group. If they removed the “M” from their name, we may be inclined to give the place a thumbs up though.

Have you been? Were your experiences better? We’d love to read them.

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