Friday, April 29, 2011

Quick Hits - 4/29/11

Quick Hits - 4/29/11

First a little celebration of sorts! We've had 5000 hits in a month's span on our blog. Glad to see people are actually reading us!

I thought it'd be pretty nice to sometimes do a weekly "Quick Hits" blog with small little updates of what's new in Wichita, a quick place Tiffany and I may have gone to. So without any further ado.....read on.

Let's hope this weekend is pretty nice outside. I'll be headed to the Sedgwick County Zoo on Saturday afternoon for an event. We recently purchased a nice Canon Ti2 SLR camera and hope to put it to some good use this weekend. I'm a big fan of the zoo and have had a membership there the past two years. It actually just expired and I'm now deciding if I want to renew it. If you haven't ever been to our zoo, it's worth the price of admission. The penguin exhibit is cool as is the tiger one. By far my favorite one is checking out the Apes. It's literally mesmerizing watching them either stand there, sit there, beat on the glass walls, or pick their butts. Last time we were there, we were pleasantly surprised to see two rhino's doing the hibbidy-dibbidiy. This is a family friendly site so if that happens again, expect no pictures.

Some quick hits to read over to help you all get through the day:
  • I've heard lots of talk that people are excited for Sephora which opens up May 6th in Bradley Fair. The first 100 customers to show up for the grand opening will have a chance to receive Sephora gift cards valued at up to $100. I guess they sell beauty products..... Don't think I'll be going there often unless forced to since i'm on a shopping excursion with someone........
  • FroYo fans - a new yogurt shop is opening up May 4th near Buffalo Wild Wings on North Rock Road right by Buffalo Wild Wings between 29th and the NE expressway. I'm guessing this is just like OrangeLeaf. They will have 16 flavors of yogurt and more than 40 toppings. And brace yourself!!!!! They will offer cupcakes direct from the Cheesecake Factory! The lady opening the place is just all of 21 years old but she'll have some help from her father who is the former owner of Emerson Biggin's. The name of the place? Yogurt Xplosion!!! How Xciting! How Xillerating! How Xtreeeeeeme! Not sure what all to make about this place yet. Worried the market may be spreading itself too thin in Wichita. Froz was opened just west of the location and closed down immediately. I wish them the best and will definitely give them a try out to see how it compares.
Drove by today. Located just around where the old Sumo's used to be.
    
  • We had some delicious Noodles and Co. to go this past week. On their website, I signed up for the Noodlegram club which gives you a coupon for a free meal. So we cashed that in. We've both been there before so knew what to expect. I ordered the Japanese Pan Noodles and Tiffany had the Wisconsin Mac & Cheese. She swears its the best thing ever. I had a bite and thought it was good but didn't have the same sentiment. But don't take my word for it; I'm a "cheese-hater". She on the other hand loves cheese and loves it. My Japanese Pan Noodles were delicious. I love the taste of Udon noodles, they are very filling. If you are not a fan of bean sprouts, make sure you order them without it because they really pile them on. I've also had the pad thai there before. Good stuff but I still believe the best pad thai is at Thai Traditions over on east Central. Nearly all the meals at Noodles come in either a Regular or Small bowl. I don't have the menu on me right now. But the regular bowl which I strongly recommend runs around $5.25 (small runs $4.25). To add a meat like chicken, beef, etc, it runs an additional $2.25.  Since we had a birthday coupon, our total ended up being five dollars a change which is great for two. Here's the menu. We will have to go in sometime to give them a full review with service included.
  • Look at that b.a. presentation I set up at home!!!
  • There's also new Noodles and Co opening soon inside Towne East Square. May 16th to be exact. They will have their own external facing entrance so you don't have to deal with the high schoolers walking through the malls 24/7 while skipping class. 
  • Are you on Facebook? Like us today right here. We have our own official page. 
Up next this weekend, we hope to knock Letter H out of the park with a great choice. Fingers crossed. Well since its letter H..... Hingers crossed.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Help Celebrate More Birthdays

Its a fact. 1 in 3 people will contract cancer in their lifetime. I'm sure we all have been affected by cancer in one form or another.

This Sunday is your chance to help out while listening to great music and eating on some delicious pizza.

On May 1st at all Il Vicino locations (21st & Rock - Bradley Fair along with Douglas & Hillside) will be donating 25% of all sales for the day. This will be given to directly fighting cancer. I'm all for supporting a good cause and cancer's definitely one I'm willing to help fight in any way. Even if its going to a restaurant, buying dinner and having part of those proceeds help out the American Cancer Society.


I hope this blog is here not only to inform you all about the great (and bad) restaurants out there in Wichita while sneaking a laugh or two out of you but to also help spread the word of any great charity event going on.

"Come help create a world with less cancer & more birthdays".

If you "facebook like" this particular blog, it'll post the event on your wall to help spread the word.

For more information on the May 1st charity event, Head Here

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Suggestions Needed For Letter H

After an average at best Letter G followed by an excellent special dining excursion, its time to focus on Letter H.

A few places already off the list for this letter? Hometown Buffet, Hooters, and HuHot Mongolian Grill. Its unfortunate on HuHot because I'm actually a fan of the place and have a free birthday dinner there still to cash in on.

For this letter, we're keep all options open. There really isn't anything we will turn down. Of course we have preferences. A place we have never been to would be nice so it'd give us a chance to give them a fresh start and a new review. Going to places we've been to before is sometimes hard to not give a review with preconceptions we've had from prior visits.

So readers, help us out.

What's on tap for Letter H? You decide!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Special Dining Excursion: Newport Grill

 
So we had a special dining event this past Friday. It just happened to be my birthday, Good Friday, Earth Day, and Easter weekend. So many events rolled into one so dining out seemed like a good idea. I was tasked to pick one place I would want to eat.

Immediately, one place came to mind. Newport Grill. I've been here before but Tiffany hasn't along with some other friends who joined us.

Borrowed from Kansas.com -
Thanks guys.
1900 N Rock Road
Wichita, KS 67206
(316) 636-9555
Menu: http://forms.360wichita.com/83252/food.pdf

Newport Grill is located in Bradley Fair in the old Cibola restaurant. (21st and Rock vicinity). They are owned by the same people that own Yia Yia's. They specialize in seafood. They are one of the few restaurants in Wichita that fly their fish in fresh daily (I know Bonefish Grill  here in Wichita does as well). I love seafood, might be my favorite type of meal so we just had to go.

Called two weeks before and set up reservations for the following week. They told me they can take reservations as late as the last date in their calendar, so that was nice. The lady at Newport called me up to verify reservations the day of. Confirmed and we're set.

We arrive a little before seven and we wait for the rest of the party to arrive. We are seated probably a little after 7, maybe 7:10 or so which is pretty good for a party of 14 at 7 pm on a Friday night, holiday weekend nonetheless. Many places could take 30 minutes sometimes an hour to be seated for a large party even if your entire party has arrived *cough*Sumo's*cough*.

We all grab our seats and we are met by two gentlemen who are our servers for the night. They fill our glass with either sparkling or distilled water. Don't ask me what the difference is besides the bubbles. Tasted the same to me. One person at our table was amazed by the bubbles though, he also happened to be the oldest of the group. One of our servers then goes through the specials, an introduction of Newport for those who haven't been. All very descriptive. Only problem when someone makes one of those spiels to me, I have probably say.... oh.... zero recollection of what was said. I'm reliant on others after that. Wait, one server did mention they infuse their own vodkas. So vodka stuck out in my mind but that doesn't make me an alcoholic, does it? Servers then take our drink orders.

Note, they do not put more than a 30% markup (I believe is what they said on their wines). A bottle of Dom Perignon (which I might add is delicious) is ~roughly $175 at Newport Grill. At Press Wine Bar (located in the Waterfront) its $275. Another reason why I don't give Press more than three to five months to still be in business. Too expensive. But back to Newport......

We order our drinks and a friend orders a side of fried calamari for us to share. Cost around $11 and we were all pretty sure it was the biggest serving of calamari in any Wichita restaurant. Not total size but individual pieces of calamari. I totally forgot to take a picture because we dug right in. But my phone probably wouldn't have been able to fit one piece in a single picture. Huge exaggeration though. But you get the picture (not literally).

Tiffany and I decide to split a Caesar salad. When they bring everybody's salads out, they forget to bring one out. Of course it’s their luck the only people they forget to bring a salad to are the ones reviewing them. Ha ha. So we ask about the salad and they apologize to us. Something about not being able to read the handwriting on the food order. They bring us one out quickly and that salad would later be comped from the meal. They have three different salads which all run $7. We ate the salad and a couple bites in Tiffany says, this isn't as good as Cafe Bel Ami. It wasn't. But the salad was not bad at all. Still pretty good. Didn't have the overpowering dressing taste. Was light on the dressing but not too light.

Melts in your mouth, not in your hands
Our meals come out next. Tiffany had the Grilled Mahi Mahi. I almost ordered the Seared Scottish Salmon but figured since I've had it there before I should change it up. I ended up choosing the Seared Ahi Tuna. Both came out with nice place presentations if you're into that sort of thing. I'm not. If the food is good and comes out on a Hannah Montana cardboard birthday plate, I’ll still eat the food and be pleased. The first bite of the tuna I had melted in my mouth. It was cooked to perfection. Tiffany enjoyed her meal too. She didn't say too much about it. Not sure if she was too busy focused on her bottle of wine or if the food left her speechless but one comment did stick out. "I could eat here everyday." So by that comment, let’s just assume she was enjoying it.

Leaving people speechless
Others around us ordered different items from the Seared Scallops, Seared Scottish Salmon, Grilled Filet Mignon, and Colorado Striped Bass. To be honest with everyone, one person did get a little sick after their meal. Not sure what happened as another person ordered a similar item and appeared well. The server came that person some pills and apologized. So take that for what its worth. I've known many people to eat at Newport before and not one person gets sick. But I had to throw that in there to keep it an honest review.


(insert Monroe:)
Happy Birthday Mr. President
Happy Birthday To You!!!!!!!!
 After dinner, the server comes up to me and tells me he heard it’s my birthday. At this point, I'm getting scared like he was going to sing happy birthday Mr. President Marilyn Monroe style to me. I was in luck. He was offering me a free dessert item off their menu. There was only one thing I came for. The banana bread pudding. Its banana bread with a side of ice cream. Easily my favorite dessert ever. Chester's Chophouse has a similar if not same thing. They brought that out with a candle in it (nice touch) and didn't sing one of those cheesy Applebee's "Attention Customers, we have a birthday in the building" song. Classy. I've been raving about this dessert to Tiffany for a while so I was glad she was able to finally try it. Just like Renee Zellweger to Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, banana bread pudding completes me.

Another friend ordered the chocolate cake and had maybe one or two bites before giving it out to everyone. He said it was a little too rich which it was. And for the size of the cake, not sure it was worth the $15 price tag my friend told me he paid. It was no bigger than a ding dong LITERALLY.
He's just a little guy!
We receive our check and after a comped salad and dessert, our bill came out to roughly $57, after tip, $70. Great service I must say. Absolutely friendly, knowledgeable and on top of everything. A friend paid for our drinks and another for the appetizer. So if you wanted to do the full course meal of salad, app, drinks, entree and dessert, I'd say you're looking to spend about $110-120 before tip. If you're going there just for dinner and order waters, probably between $50-60. If you value good food, it’s worth it.

Newport Grill is already one of my top three favorite restaurants in Wichita. Tiffany and I have been to Bonefish Grill many times, home of the best app in Wichita, the Bang Bang Shrimp. People I've spoken too are split on which they like better. You can't really go wrong with either one. But I choose Newport Grill. What sets them apart because both offer great service and have the same price of food is the ambience. The inside is wide open and not too dark. They have an outside patio that offers a great view of the back of Bradley Fair. A walking area, you don't seem too crowded in there. Plus its a local chain. Gotta support the local stuff.

I give this place a rare 5 stars out of 5 and Tiffany gave this a 4.5, docking it half a point due to price. So on our super scientific scale, this place gets an official 4.75 from WichitaByEB.com. Service and Food was top notch and the value was just a smidge below perfection. I'm going to have to break it to Tiffany that it’s just not economically smart to eat there everyday as much as we'd like to.

This place definitely receives our seal of approval. Go check it out. "Like" this blog post today to help spread the word.

Next up Letter H. So those suggestions will be needed shortly.

Newport Grill on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dining By The Alphabet: Letter G


Letter G.

Here it is. We must say, we went back and forth on trying to decide where to go. We looked through the small list we had of non-chains. One place we almost tried was Grinder Man. Read some good reviews on the place but in all honesty, we're not big on sandwiches and subs. Next up was Gindi Thai and Japanese over on west 21st street. We love sushi but we've also gone there plenty of times that the mystique was ruined. Had a coupon for a buy one get one free meal there too. Don't take that as a sign that Gindi isn't worth going to, we just weren't feeling it.

Then we nearly went to Great Harvest Bread Company but lo and behold, the place is a chain. We never knew!

So let me show you the menu pic of the place we ended up going to.

Yes, its a Mongolian Grill. And no, its not Genghis Grill. Our place of choice was Gobi Grille (http://www.gobigrille.com/)
2319 North Ridge Road
Wichita, KS 67205-1033
(316) 425-7999

Gobi Grille is located on Ridge Road just north of 21st street. Its the only non-chain of the three Wichita Mongolian grills. Locally owned and independently operated. A Mongolian grill is pretty much creating your own stir-fry. You select your type(s) of meat, your vegetables, seasonings, sauces, and starches.

I've been to the other two Mongolian Grills in Wichita (Genghis and HuHot), this was Tiffany's first outing to one. She was rather hesitant because of the worry of messing up a bowl and not liking it. I told her, worst case, I'll finish the bowl she made unless it was full of cheese and/or Mr. Kapow's DragonFire wings.

Sausage Party
Server comes out and gets our drink orders. Just water today, have to hydrate ourselves! Nice lady, pleasant, friendly. Could not ask for more relaly. So we go up to make our bowls. Tiffany is grabbing some chicken and shrimp. I settle for pork, marinated beef, shrimp and calimari. We each season them with cajun spices, teriyaki spices, all sorts of different ones. Step up to the vegetables. They have tomatoes, pineapple (is that a vegetable?), lettuce, water chestnuts (which have ZERO taste!), green onions, peppers, etc. For whatever reason that day, they had no mushroooms which I found awkward.

Then its over to the sauces. They have about 8 or so difference sauces to choose from. You can make it spicy, light, whatever. Tiffany goes for simple sauces like Gobiyaki. Get it? Its Gobi Grille's version of Teriyaki. If I ever open up a grille, you can definitely expect an Eddyaki. I got for spicy garlic, gobi glaze, anything I can get my hands on that makes it hot.

We head over to the grill and hand our bowl to the cook who asks us for our name and type of starch. Tiffany asks for linguini and fried rice. I go for white rice and linguini.

Soup of the Day
Leave that area, notice some soup that's out. Its twice baked potato soup. At least I think it was. We ate there a couple days ago and my memory is already giving out on me. So we grab one bowl to share to see what its like. Note, if you eat the soup you have to pay the "All you can eat" price. The soup was just decent. Nothing special. Kind of hoping for something a little more "asiany" like hot and sour soup, wonton soup, eggdrop soup. Nope. Its potato soup. Had a very cheesy taste to it that I thought was overpowering. But, you don't go to a Mongolian Grill for their potato soup. So we'll disregard that from our rating.

You can just feel the
heartburn coming!
The server brings out our food and we dig in. The one thing we noticed was missing was my white rice and Tiffany's linguini. We didn't bother asking for server to fix it. Wasn't worth the hassle. The linguini is nice. I definitely prefer that over the rice that she had. Its about as good as the udon noodles over at Hu Hot. After eating a few bites, its honestly nothing overly special. Your typical mongolian grill you can find anywhere...... except this is the only one on the west side of town.

We went a second time and prepared similar bowls to what we made last time with a few differences. We once again asked for two starches to see if we'd get it. And we actually did the second go around.

So in closing, The meat seemed fresh, the service was friendly, the time it took to get your food from the grill was on par with what you'd find anywhere else. But like we figured, nothing special. It didn't stand out above the rest of the grills in Wichita. For all you can eat for dinner, it runs $11.99 and for just one bowl, its $9.99. So about $25 for two for all you can eat.

So what does that mean for our super scientific rating. We actually both gave it the same scores out of five stars...........3. This was about as average as you can get. Not great, not bad. Just is what it is.

Next up should be Letter H. But before that we're having a special birthday outing night where we are choosing any place in Wichita to go to. What will it be? We're headed there tonight to review it! Be on the lookout for that!

Happy Earth Day

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick Hits: 4/20/11

Yes, we are still alive. Thanks to all you who have asked where Letter G is at. It feels like its been forever since we've Dined by the Alphabet. Feels like it cause it has been!

Letter G will be taking place tonight and the review will follow that this evening as well. To be honest with you all, this letter hasn't even been decided. We have some options we are throwing out but really nothing stands out as a must try.

We've already nixed out Gaslamp Grill from our option list. Just way way way way way too many bad reviews I've seen and heard from many friends who's opinion I trust. I've heard overpriced for the quality of food you get, the service has been mixed on everyone, I've heard one waiter say they are struggling. Take that all for what its worth. Maybe one day, we'll go see for ourselves but that one day certainly isn't going to be April 20th, 2011.

Some quick hits to read over to help you all get through the day:
  • Tanya's Soup Kitchen opened up the other week. I've heard many people give this place the title of "Best Soup in Wichita". Before they closed down, many people raved about them and unfortunately I never got around to trying them out. Might have to make a special exception to try Tanya's out like a "Special SOUPer Saturday Blog".
  • Mike's Wine Dive. We went there for dinner with friends recently. I told Tiffany I wouldn't blog about this so i'll just say this. Mike's Wine Dive is definitely in the mix for Letter M when that comes around.
  • Is it Crawfish Boil Season? I've heard of a few big ones coming up like the Mudbug Madness Crawfish Boil and another at Whiskey Dicks Bar. Not sure off the top of my head what the dates are though. I can find out if anybody is just dying to go.
  • Froyo Fans! A fourth Orange Leaf is opening up. This time on the west side of town at 119th and Maple in the same center at Shorty Small's and Kanai (which I strongly recommend).
  • On top of "Dining By The Alphabet: Letter G", we'll have another food blog review for the weekend. It just so happens to be Easter weekend, Good Friday, and Earth Day, so we're going to pick out one place that we both either 1.) Love or 2.) Want to go to really bad and check them out. It won't follow the letters as its a special exemption for good reason. The place has already been selected. Oh yeah, it just so happens to be my birthday so that could be another reason as well.
Otherwise all, be on the look out tonight for Letter G. Will it be GREAT or GHASTLY?

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Hottest Thing I Have Ever Eaten In Wichita

(Update: Letter G will happen in the next four days. We promise!!!)

Man vs. Food is a very popular show on the Travel Channel where host Adam Richman goes around from place to place trying food competitions. Sometimes he wins, sometimes he loses. I've become fascinated with the show. Tiffany actually introduced it to me a while ago and its always on the Netflix queue.

While not advertised all over Wichita, there are some food challenges around Wichita that challenge your total food intake talents or your pallet for spicy foods. I think it'd be cool to complete a real food challenge. Its at the lower end of my bucket list. Buffalo Wild Wings Wing Challenge does not count.

On of my friends turned me to Mr. Kapow's. Its an Asian restaurant. Located at:
4734 S. Broadway
Wichita KS, 67216
(316) 522-5276
http://www.mrkapows.com/

They have a Wing Challenge there. Eat 12 traditional DragonFire wings in 6 minutes or less. Wings must be completely eaten, no sauce or meat can be left on the bone or plate. No other food or drink during the challenge or for five minutes after.

They even have you sign a waiver form (as many restaurants with challenges do).

Will this even hold up in court?
I had this bright idea to grab seven of my friends to join me in this little adventure. If I was going to go down, I was going to take some friends down with me. Plus whats better than watching a friend miserably eat some hot wings? Watching multiple friends miserably eat some hot wings! Unfortunately, I wasn't doing much watching during the challenge.

So we arrive at the challenge. We called the owners ahead of time to let them know of our arrival. Sit at our seats, sign our waivers, wait for the food, (by the way, they have a gong. If you are ready to quit the challenge and don't want to go on, you hit the gong.)

My survival kit
Food comes out. Honestly, this is not for dramatization of the story, but when they opened the doors to the kitchen, we could smell the wings. The owner goes through the rules, pulls out the timer and we are off.
One of the participants takes no more than one bite of the wing and he's OUT! Another ate just one wing, he's OUT!

If these wings were a movie, it'd
be called "Death Becomes Her"
I had a plan going into this challenge. A gameplan that I thought would be fool proof. 1.) Before each wing, I would wipe as much sauce off with my hands and deal with it later. 2.) Block out all the noise and totally focus on the wings. 3.) Eat as fast as I can.  If I can focus on all of these three bulletpoints, I think this could be the easiest wing challenge ever. LETS DO THIS!

I put the first wing down. Boom! Second wing down....easy peasy! Third wing, the pain is starting to come in. Between the third and fourth wing, I heard one of the participant's daughters say, "Mommy, I think Eddy is crying."

Really? That's news to me. I might have been but I wouldn't know. My face was numb, I couldn't feel any tears coming down my face. For a small six minute span, I officially could say my face was as numb as Joan Rivers post 49 plastic surgeries and botox. So back to the wing challenge. I had just finished my third and started on my fourth. Took me a little longer for it to go down.

I'm pretty sure around this time, two other competitors quit. I think that because I heard the gong go off two more times. It was either that or my stomach making those noises. After my fourth wing, I'm still blocking out that noise. EXCEPT for the person to the left of me who was hiccuping like it was going out of style AND the person to the right of me who was making dry-heaving noises. So yeah, those two noises were too hard to block out. I was so focused on those noises, I stopped eating and listened wondering what was going to happen next.

During this time, my mouth officially caught on fire. If I was a cartoon, smoke would be coming out of my ears. Then my hands went numb and shaking. I literally could not even hold a wing or move my fingers. It felt like I was being electrocuted. I tried to grab somebodys waters but my fingers wouldn't open up. So I had to hold the cup of water up with my wrists to drink.

I was done. I wanted to kick the bong because my hands were still shaking from the wings, I couldn't hold the stick. At this point, I was in immense pain. I went over to the soda fountain and pounded away sierra mist. Milk was offered and I think I would take stomach cramps from the lactose over the pain I was going through. I was sweating, could finally feel tears falling from the eyes, was not in a good situation.

One of the participants who quit after one, washed his hands, came back out, rubbed his eye.......... he didn't wash his hands well because his eye started to swollen up.

In the end, the other three participants left quit after 7-8 wings. One would end up throwing up an hour after the competition.

So we went 0-8 as a group. Then had to pay like $20 for the wing challenge. A little pricey for a 12 wing challenge. And to add insult to injury, nobody was right for the next few days.

I write this all because Mr. Kapows is having a charity event on May 31st. A 100% of the proceeds go to AGI (Alternative Gift International) which is a global humanitarian organization. The person who eats the wings the fastest will get $300 cash. 2nd place is free wings for a year and third is a $100 gas card.  There will be many other prizes and everyone will get a goodie bag. Its something you all should consider if you haven't been to Mr. Kapows and like spicy foods or just food challenges in general. To enter the event its $30 and like I said all proceeds go to charity. If you don't want to do it, you can always sponsor someone. I haven't decided if I want to put myself through that pain again. We'll see........

For more information head to: http://wichitainperson.com/getfiredupforgiving.html

What's the hottest food in Wichita you've ever eaten? Comment away! Otherwise we'll be back soon with Letter G!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Cable Television Competition In Wichita

Wichita cable television services are quite limited I think. I'm not sure what its like in the big cities but here in lowly Wichita I really think there's only two options to choose from.

I'm not sure if I'll ever change or put a serious consideration into satellite tv. Part of the reason is because I don't want a big satellite dish installed at my house and second, I don't want to be locked into any contract.............for cable television. Cell phone contracts are bad enough and cable television contracts seem even more ludicrous to me.

Tiffany and I looked over the prices between AT&T U-Verse and Cox Communications. Cause lets face it, in Wichita you really only have two main choices for cable services outside of Direct and Dish. Its unfortunate we don't have more competition in Wichita to drive down prices and increase customer service. No Comcast, No TimeWarner.

Why not just cut off cable completely and watch everything online? There are many good options out there like Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, etc. But I can't do it. I need my cable. I want to be able to watch all the sports I want at my disposal when its on LIVE. So that's why I'm keeping cable. Plus Tiffany needs to have her TLC, Food Network, and A&E.

Every single person who's had cable service probably has their horror stories with their provider. Everybody at one point is unhappy with their provider. People complain and always talk about switching. Well we did.

I've been a Cox Customer for close to ten years. I've dealt with all their price hikes, downtimes, bad service, etc. At times, they took care of me and discounted my bill and such. When I moved into my current house, I had planned a football watch party with the kickoff of the NFL season. That was a Sunday. Saturday was the day of installation. Guessed who no showed the installation? Cox. I was so frustrated I called to just go ahead and cancel service. Of course at this point Cox was extremely apologetic and bent over backwards to keep me.

Free service, discounted bills for six months, all sorts of stuff. But in the past few months, I've noticed my bill going up and up and up and up. Didn't make sense to me so I called to see what was up. They informed me of the price increases which I never received notification of. I'm on paperless billing so I didn't receive it with my bill. I then called to disconnect my cable (not internet) and they told me they refuse to do anything until I bring my boxes and end the call.

Really? Come on man!

So I looked into AT&T's U-Verse package. I've heard bad things about them here and there. Also heard good things about them. Like you would with any cable service or cell phone provider. Some love them, some like them.

What I found with AT&T was this: A $20 cheaper cable bill. 3 DVR's compared to 2 DVR's which I was getting from Cox. Free Total Home DVR (Cox was trying to charge me $80 installation for this for what work? Why is there an $80 charge just to install this service? Excuse me while I bend over for you) Free HBO/Cinemax for three months which i'll likely disconnect anyways. More channels.

Sold.

The price is only for six months so we'll see what they have to offer during this time. Its summertime coming up and no big sporting events are on and no major shows I watch are on. It'll be a good time to determine whether we like what AT&T has to offer.

Wait.......some might ask. "Whats going to happen when WSU Basketball season rolls around and you don't have Channel 22?" Simple. I have two cable outlets set up in the mancave. During WSU Basketball season, I'll add Cox basic service to that extra outlet specifically for WSU basketball.

So that's that. AT&T vs. Cox Communications. I've been a Cox customer for such a long time and dealt with a lot of their BS but had to because I had no real option to go to that I'd consider. Now with AT&T, i'll get to be the judge of who's better.

I think its smart to be price conscious of stuff. Always be aware of what you’re paying for things especially if that adds up to the thousands in dollars of years of time.

Who will win Wichita's Best Cable Service as voted upon by WichitaByEB.com?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

AppeTuesdays: Return of the Hummus Challenge

First off, congratulations to the Shockers on winning the NIT in Madison Square Garden! What a way to cap off a season and turn lemons into lemonade. I'm absolutely proud of everything they accomplished. They literally ran through the tournament and won it in what I'd call dominating fashion. On to business.......

Well instead of going out to eat which we literally did all last week in the absolutely beautiful city of New York (an entire blog dedicated to that is in the works), figured it was best to just grill out in the nice weather Wichita had to offer.

............but what could we eat before that to hold off the impending hunger? Wait, what day was it? Tuesday! And that could only mean one thing. APPETUESDAYS!

Todays review will be a little different and shorter than usual, just totally based on the food. No pictures of the inside of the building, the ambience, reviews of the service because we decided for just carryout.

Our choice of appetizer was something we haven't had in some time....... hummus. Lets review the current competition rating for best hummus:
1.) Cafe Bel Ami
2.) N&J Cafe

Remember we've had hummus from other places but since the inception of this blog, we've only been to the two places. Lined up this week to see how they would fare against the other hummus. None other than M.I.F. Deli. They are a deli located at Central and Woodlawn that serves mainly Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. We stuck solely with hummus but we hope to be back to try out some of their other offerings.

M.I.F. Deli and Catering
5618 E. Central
Wichita, KS 67208
Ph: 316.684.7431
Website
Menu: http://www.360wichita.com/Restaurants/Mediterranean/MIFDeliAndCatering.html

So I called in the hummus as I was leaving work so it'd be ready for pickup. Took the 10-15 minute trek to the Deli, picked it up with no troubles, place was pretty dead around 5 pm. The hummus ran $4.99 and came with pita bread. Headed home and unpacked it all.

Our first thought upon opening it all up was..... "That's it?" The portion size looked pretty small compared to what we received with N&J and Cafe Bel Ami. It all came in a small container
Little dinky cup, I'd compare it to the size of the pasta salad at Bardnrds

Cup wasn't even filled up most of the way! Boo!!!!
Took the first bite and we both had that "Wow, quite impressive" look on our faces. We were not let down. I've spoken with just one person who I know's been to M.I.F. Deli and she said, "Its the best hummus in Wichita." I don't know if I'd go that far yet but it was really good. Tiffany liked it quite a bit. Its been a while since she has been to Bella Luna so she wasn't able to make a solid decision if it was better.

Regardless we both liked it a lot. I wish the size was a little bigger considering the price is the same you see at nearly all restaurants.

No star rating for M.I.F. Deli because it was just carryout but to update our Hummus Rankings, it stands as is:
1.) M.I.F. Deli
2.) Cafe Bel Ami
3.) N&J Cafe

Who's next on the Hummus Challenge? It might be time to finally put Bella Luna to the test against the current best: M.I.F. Deli.

That's all for now. Coming Soon: The New York Experience Blog!