Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dining By The Alphabet: Letter J: John Browns

Dining By The Alphabet Letter J..........

I've had a lot of time to sit and ponder where to go for Letter J. There were actually quite a few options out there on where to go. While narrowing down the list, I wanted to aim for obviously something local that you can't find anywhere else. A place unique that maybe not a lot of people have been to before.

Narrowed my list down even further and eventually decided on the following place.

For some reason my left leg must have been longer than my
right leg thus the Leaning Tower of John Browns picture
John Brown's. This is located on Douglas between Hillside ansd Oliver in Clifton Square. Its stuck in the far back so be careful not to pass it. According to their website: "John Browns brings a unique restaurant and lounge concept to Wichita. John Browns serves lunch, drinks and unique desserts."
3700 E Douglas
Suite 78
Wichita, KS 67208
Ph: 316.686.5299
Ph: 316.765.4723
Fax: 316.821.9597
Website Link with Menu

Walking in, the place is a little small. To the point I could hear almost everybody's conversations. I didn't hear any good gossip from others though. I felt as though the inside looked like a country club restaurant inside while my guest reviewer this week, Kim, said it best. It looks like the place where Anchorman played the jazz flute. Hilarious and very very true.



Upon being seated, we were greeted by our server. Very polite, very attentive, you could tell he was working hard. I started off with a draft beer (domestics are only $2 on Monday nights!) and Kim started off with a glass of wine. Our server knew the wines that were on hand but we sort of got the feeling he didn't know much about the wines. That's ok though. We won't knock any points off for that. He's a server and it’s not exactly a "wine restaurant". Hell, I drive cars and only know how to put gas in there, that's it. Does that mean I shouldn't be a driver?


Lactose Pill required!
 Started off with an appetizer. There was an array of choices and it came down to the Spinach Artichoke Dip and the Hummus. I asked our server if he HAD to choose, which would it be. I originally wanted to ask him, "If you were stuck on a deserted island and you were about to die and God asked you which you would rather have to save your life, Artichoke Dip or Hummus, which would it be?" but I think the first question served the same purpose. Our server said Spinach Artichoke Dip. That's what we went with. The artichoke dip was pretty good. It wasn't the best we've ever had and it wasn't the worst either. At just a little under $10, it could be seen as pricey for some people.

Throughout this time, our server was checking up on us and making sure our drinks were filled in a timely manner.

After a while we decided to order our entrees. Our server said the Havana (a Cuban) was the most popular item on the menu. Kim decided to go with that and I went with the Chicken Caesar Wrap which was one of their specials of the day. The sides we were offered: kettle chips, cottage cheese and vegetables (carrots, celery sticks, etc, pretty much the stuff you see in those serving trays at Dillon’s or Wal-Mart). Since we just had the vegetables on the artichoke dip and cottage cheese didn't sound tempting, we each went with the kettle chips.


The best part?
The Pickle
 Didn't wait too long for the food to come out. We split our meals so each of us could try the Havana and the Chicken Caesar Wrap. I took one bite into my wrap and I'm pretty sure the insides just exploded out of the wrap. I had sauce dripping out, a tomato hanging loose. Thing would not stay together. Kim noticed the same thing too. I'm by no means a cook but she said it could have been something that is easily made at home. Canned chicken, Caesar dressing and a random tomato. A random tomato that refuses to stay in its wrap! Unfortunately I wasn't too impressed with the wrap and neither was Kim. To be totally honest, I didn't even finish my wrap. Well I did the pickle!

We'll keep our comments
to ourselves on this one.
The Havana aka the Cuban was next up on the hit list. I take a bite. I chew a bit and swallow the food. I don't smile. I look across and watch Kim take a bit (that sounds creepy just typing it out!) and she doesn't look too impressed either. For the same price she said she's had better Cubans at The Anchor and Granite City. What's more unfortunate is if that's the best thing on their menu, I wonder what their worst thing on the menu tastes like. I don't think I'll comment much on the kettle chips. They could be store bought for all I know. Nothing special whatsoever. It would have been nice if fries were an option or grilled veggies. Kettle chips seemed to be the safest pick between the three side items offered. If another beer was a side, I’d easily have gone that route.

Writing reviews like this sucks sometimes because in a perfect world, we'd all want local establishments to be totally successful and worth every dollar spent. But this is reality and on Wichita By E.B., every restaurant we go to doesn't get a ribbon or trophy like kids do in sports these days.

So to be honest, Kim and I were not fans of this place. We would have been fine with just drinks and the appetizer. I know others who go here for drinks and that's totally fine. Probably served best that way. The food was less than desirable and we can't recommend this place as a food option.

The service was good. Our server did everything he could to make it an enjoyable experience for us but that just wasn't enough. Don Henley or Patti Smith should write a song about how "Sometimes service just ain't enough" to the same tune of "Sometimes love just ain't enough". I'd totally buy that single.

Our total bill for drinks, appetizers and two entrees came out to be $34 not including tip. In a summary of the three ratings factors: Service was good, Price isn't outrageous but for the money the food wasn't that good and the food....well that's already been touched upon.

Kim ended up giving this place a score, a 2.5 and I went with a 1.5 so readers doing that math that is a final score of 2.

I want to thank Kim for being my guest diner for this week's Dining By The Alphabet. Our guest diner for Letter K and L are all lined up and to catch up on lost time, we'll be cranking out some letters in the next week.

If you would like to be a guest diner for Dining by the Alphabet, just shoot me an e-mail at wichitabyeb@gmail.com.

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Happy Dining.


2 comments:

metaillusion said...

We've eaten at John Brown's and enjoyed it very much especially the pulled beef sandwich.

Anonymous said...

When an experience isn't good, I wonder if maybe going a 2nd time and ordering something else might change your mind?