Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Top 5 Worst Food Decisions I've Made

Given my age, one would think I should be smarter than what some of my actions show. I say that because I like to eat. It's a hobby of mine but some of the "food decisions" I've made in the past don't always say, "Hey Eddy, you're a pretty smart person. You're wise beyond your years."

But on the flipside, the stories I'm about to share could probably give me some credibility on why I could be taken seriously as a food critic. I'm willing to eat anything. I'll try anything at least once. If that show Fear Factor was taking place in Wichita, I'm pretty sure I'd win that competition if it had to do with eating random stuff.

I've titled this blog, "Top 5 Worst Food Decisions I've Made" because I'm about to share with you all what I consider to be the Top 5 worst food decisions I've ever made in my history of eating. Nearly all of them are recent within the past decade because given my age, I've forgotten everything since I graduated college.

So without further ado let the list begin with NUMBER 5!

5.) It was hard to come up with a solid fifth one. So without sharing any stories, I'll just list a few that tied for fifth. 20 Chicken McNuggets in 5 minutes/An Entire Jar of Peanuts in One Sitting/A Plate of Gristle/Eating Little Caesar's every day for a Week.

All of those stories are just equally as bad. Maybe one day I'll go in depth on those.

4.) Beignets. Check the blog out here. Pretty sure I still have mouth burns from this. I'm pretty sure I still have nightmares about these things. If there was a horror movie called "I Know What Beignets Did Last Summer" I would probably have to watch it in broad daylight with someone holding me.

3.) Its no secret I'm lactose intolerant. Certain dairy products do bother me like say a block of cheese. Two of my friends were hosting a wine and cheese party. I get there and it's literally just wine and just cheese. I stuck to only the wine. There were all sorts of cheese there, nothing appealing though. I totally stayed away. BUT as friends who like to be bad influences go, they would try to peer pressure me into eating a block of cheese. I laughed and passed. They pulled out a $50 bill in exchange. So I had this mental conversation in my mind that went like this:

Eddy: What do you think brain? $50 to eat a block of cheese?

Eddy's Brain: Why not? It's $50 JUST for eating a block of cheese. Why pass that up?

Eddy: Well the physical pain later may not be worth the $50.

Eddy's Brain: Eddy, Pain is just a mental thing. I'll be able to deal with it.

Eddy: You sure? Because I'm going to go ahead and do this if you agree. It's a lot of cheese so that will equal a lot of pain.

Eddy's Brain: Yes I'm sure. It's $50, go buy us something nice like one of those cool Sudoku books to help me work out.

Eddy: Deal.

Eddy's Stomach: Wait a moment! Pump the brakes!!! NO! NO! NO! Do I not have a say in this?

Eddy and Eddy's Brain: Sorry Stomach. It is what it is.

So I went ahead and ate the block of cheese for $50 that my friends pooled together. I left the party probably 15-20 minutes after.

2.) Mr. Kapow's Wing Challenge. I wrote an entire blog about this that you can check out here. It was not one of my finer moments in eating history. I paid the price for multiple days after. The only reason this did not reach number one was because I was able to find many other friends as gullible as me to think we could actually complete this challenge.

1.) I'm an avid fan of deviled eggs. If they are within reaching distance, I'll eat one. Probably the worst food decision I've made was a night in Gaylesburg, Kansas. This was after a golf tournament and after a night of visiting some local drinking establishments. We stopped by around 2, 2:30 am at a small gas station that doesn't have a popular name like QuikTrip, Shell or 7/11. A group of friends and I wanted to stop by and pick up some food to munch on like a sandwich, burrito, chips, whatever before heading back to the hotel. I'm looking around for a hot pocket and "it" catches my eye. A 3 pack of Deviled Eggs. It may have been the sleepiness talking but I really think the Deviled Eggs were talking to me. "Buy Me, Eddy. Buy Me Now!" I reached down to pick up the package, the last one left of its kind. There's this sticker on it. Lo and behold it says, "CLEARANCE!" What was $1.49 originally was now only 49 cents! To the normal person this may be a red alert for don't buy but for me it was "~17 cents per deviled egg. How can you pass up this great deal"? So what do I do? I buy them and eat them. Things didn't go well the next day.

So there you have it folks. Some insight in the eating life that is me. I was thinking about doing a 5 Best Moments in my Eating Life but that just didn't seem to have the same zing to it.

Otherwise still looking for suggestions on Letter M.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Need Suggestions for Letter M

This next letter should be a pretty tough one to decide.

Letter M. I'm needing your help. Just browsing through the directory of restaurants, there's a good number of M spots to check out. Some of them, I've never even heard of.

Sometimes when a letter is coming up, I'll have a good idea of a few places I'd like to choose from. For letter M, I'm still clueless.

What do you guys suggest?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Quick Hits - 08/28/11

Quick Hits 08/28/11
  • Just received word that the westside Timberline Steakhouse & Grill has closed after 14 years in business. Some people may have not liked it but I always enjoyed Timberline. Everything was reasonably priced and I always received good service there. It wasn't an Outback Steakhouse but when Outback was too busy, Timberline was always a short drive away and would seat you promptly. Looks like the owners are now focused on Freddy's Frozen Custard which is probably a better business decision given the economy.
  • Intrust Bank Arena holds another event Tuesday night and it's sure to be filled with children and possible River Fest attendees. WWE (previously known as the WWF) comes to Wichita to host their tv show WWE Smackdown which will be aired on television. I'm actually going to be in attendance with a group of friends. No, I will not be wearing a wreslting t-shirt. No, I will not be supporting a mullet. No, I will not be bringing a long a bunch of kids in all in matching wifebeaters. But will I bring a sign that says, "WichitaByEB.com"? Doubtful. I'll go and enjoy myself in the men's soap opera that is the WWE. I have fond memories of my father taking me to see the old WWF when they would come to Wichita. Plus with nothing on TV for me to watch Tuesday, it's a good filler until the Labor Day weekend.
  • Stopped in by Bob and Luigi's on Sunday night for some post fantasy football draft dinner. It's located at 37th and Woodlawn. I guess it's a big Heights High School lunch stop, I wouldn't know. Let's just say I was less than impressed. After having pizza during the fantasy draft, I went the lasagna route and was unsatisfied. One of my buddies had a Club sandwich or something of the sorts. When it arrived he was actually quote as saying "Did I order the vegetarian sandwich?" There was seriously just one very thing slice of meat on there. Horribly priced for what he got. Two other buddies split a pizza and enjoyed it. I should have went that route for with eating pizza on Sunday afternoon and knowing I'm going to eat it Monday night at another draft, I passed.
  • We're about a month and a half away until Shocker basketball. I'm anxiously awaiting the season. We have a much better non-conference schedule ahead. With the loss of Graham Hatch, JT Durley, Gabe Blair and Aaron Ellis, we're going to new many new faces to contribute and some returners like Ehimen Orukpe and Garrett Stutz to improve. My group has already purchased our season tickets and are even headed to Puerto Rico for the Tip Off Tournament. How cool would that be to play Turgeon in the second round? November can't get here soon enough. Go Shox!
  • Were any of you readers in attendance at the Wichita Crawl for Cancer? I was, absolutely great time. I'm definitely always game to participate in a cause for cancer for personal reasons. There was a great turnout on Saturday afternoon for it. This was my first year participating and I already can't wait for next year. I think I've finally recovered from it...............

 Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dining By The Alphabet: Letter L

Readers you are in for a treat today. Your fourth blog this week. Before I start, wish me luck for Saturday afternoon, I'll be attending the Wichita Crawl for Cancer. It's a charity fundraiser that involves drinking and money going to the KU Wichita Center for Breast Cancer Survivorship and Make-A-Wish. Two things that are near and dear to me.

I'm on Team Beat Cancer. So if you're attending this weekend be on the lookout for us.

With that said Thursday was a pretty good day. Started off with a nice cool 66 degree breeze going, temperatures didn't reach over 100 surprisingly enough. If it did, I wasn't in it. All this is a good enough reason to head out and start on Letter L. Thanks to everybody who threw out some suggestions; I received quite a bit of them. In the end, I wanted to choose a place that was A.) Locally Owned. B.) A place I've never been to. and C.) Not a spot in town that everybody and their mother have been to. After narrowing down all the choices given, we settled one on spot finally.

(Drumroll please)

(Wait, you can't hear a drumroll in a blog. so disregard)

For Letter L, we decided on...

Luca Italian Kitchen
301 N. Mead in Old Town Square

They are located in the old Uptown Bistro at the northwest corner of 2nd and Mead. You can't miss it. Kansas.com has a copy of their dinner menu here:
They are open every single night of the week. M-TH 11 am to 10 pm, F-Sa. 11 am to 11 pm and 11:30 am to 9 pm on Sundays. So you have options and the place isn't closed on the one night you just happen to be free like other restaurants in town. That bugs me for whatever reason.

My guest diner this week was Katie. She too is a fan of food. To prove that she is a fan of food, I found out she actually eats food on a daily basis. She says it runs in her family.

I've heard VERY mixed reviews on Luca thus far. Some people absolutely hated it, others loved it. So it's time for me to decide what I think.
Upon arrive at Luca Italian Kitchen it looked pretty upscale inside. All the tables were well decorated. The colors inside were very soothing if that's your thing. Katie was worried we'd be underdressed in jeans since the time we arrived there most of the patrons were in suits, summer dresses or their Sunday best. I told her as we were being seated, if a guy comes up playing a violin, "we're leaving". But it's not your snooty place whatsoever, people started pouring in less dressier clothes, jeans, dress shorts, etc.

We were greeted right away and seated immediately. Greeted by our friendly server who brought us out waters. A carafe of water was also placed by us but she filled our drinks for us with it and made sure it was always cool. (That’s right; we're sophisticated folks, that's how we roll!) She brought us out bread and a plate of olive oil. Don't ask me why but I took a picture since it fit the whole scene of the place.

Best part of the meal
We decided to start with an appetizer of Ortomare (calamari rings, tentacles, and zucchini lightly breaded and fried. Served with a spicy Marinara sauce.) The marinara sauce was excellent as were the calamari rings and tentacles. They aren't as big as what you would get at the old Uptown Bistro but the flavor was still good. Katie was weary about trying the tentacles but I eventually got her to try one. She threw up shortly after. OK, I’m totally kidding about that. She really didn't have much of an opinion on it. The look of a purple tentacle didn't look appealing to her but she enjoyed the rest.

We also had a glass of wine and a beer, both very reasonably priced.

It took us a while to decide what to order. All the menu categories were not in English. For instance, appetizers were listed as "Antipasti", salads were "Insalate", pizza was "pizza", pasta was "paste" but let me interject if the 5 year old me saw paste on a menu, I'd be all over it! Our server came over to take our order and Katie ended up on the Di Arugula (Arugula, crispy pancetta, and parmesan cheese. Served with a fresh lemon dressing). Having never been to Luca, I asked our server what the most popular items on the menu were and what she'd recommend. She immediately pointed out the Gnocchi Al Pesto and the Rigatoni Bolognese (Homemade rigatoni with a classic Bolognese sauce). She actually pointed out that the latter was her favorite so I said, "what the hell, let's go for it." I should have said hey instead of hell in a setting like that. Dangit!

Moments go by, our server comes out to check on us, fill up on drinks. You know, the usual. Then our entrees come out a little after that. Smelled fresh, was very warm (well not Katie's salad). So we dug in.

Jarod from Subway better watch out,
this looks healthier!

Katie immediately said her salad was very good. The bacon was cooked right; the salad was very green and had a fresh look. Fresh as in new, not cool. She found it very tasty. Seriously though, I can't tell you enough how green it was. Probably the greenest salad I've ever seen. It's like the cook took a green crayon and melted it over the leaves.

I, on the other hand, was less than pleased with my Rigatoni Bolognese. The meat was good but the sauce just had an awkward flavor that didn't appeal to me. Maybe someone else but it just wasn't my thing. The homemade rigatoni was cooked perfectly but it too had a different taste to it which didn't appeal to me either. Total matter of opinion. But I didn't finish it and had it boxed up. If any of my neighbors are reading this, you're free to swing by and pick it up. I kind of wish I ordered something else so I just dug back in to the appetizer.

I can't cook but I think I could do better.
We had a chance to discuss our thoughts on Luca after the meal and we both agreed the service was truly excellent. Our server constantly had our drinks filled, was very friendly, came by and checked up on us but did it at perfect time intervals (not too much, not too little). The prices are comparable to what you'd pay at other Italian stops. The pasta meals all ranged from $13-18. The salads were $9-11. The entrees like KC Strip, chicken breast, halibut, lamb chop all ranged from $18-29. Our dinner total came up to $52 and that's with a glass of wine, beer, appetizer and two entrees. We both felt very differently on our dinner items. She loved hers, I wasn't too pleased.

In the end for me rating the place, it came down to the food. Service. Great. Prices. Very Comparable. Food.....ehhhhh..... I'd like to try it again and hopefully get something better. I was hoping at an Italian place, they'd have the pasta part down.

Katie in the end was so happy with Luca, she gave the place a perfect score of a 5. After some thought, I decided to go with a 2.5 since the food was the biggest part of my review. Please note, this could easily change for you if you order something differently. Service and Price are spot on and the food; don't go the Rigatoni Bolognese route. So according to Wichita By E.B.'s super scientific scale, Luca Italian Grill gets a 3.75.

I'd like to thank Katie for coming out to Letter L and all of you for taking the time to read this. If Sesame Street taught me anything, Letter M is next up on the list.

Leave a comment!
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

37th and Woodlawn: The Asian Haven

I eat out for lunch quite often. I can probably count on one possibly two hands the number of times I've brought my lunch to work.

Let's face it, I don't cook often and when I do, it's not that good. I stick to the basics like spaghetti and meatballs, frozen pizza, spaghetti and chicken, pasta and chicken. If there was a TV show called "Can you cook better than a fifth grader?", I'd lose. Hell if there was a show "Can you cook safer than a fifth grader?", I'd lose that too. This is coming from a person who started fires at his parents’ house on two different occasions while cooking. Only one they knew about.....well until now.

I noticed on my lunch adventures that 37th and Woodlawn is a food haven for Asian food. There are five different places to go if you're craving some of that high sodium delicacy. Tsunami, China Go, Great Wall, Samurai and Dillon's. I've been to all five and I thought it'd be nice of me to rate all five of them from least favorite to most favorite. Notice I kept the glass half full and said least favorite instead of worst to best. I'm turning over a new leaf readers and readettes! Stay positive or try to at least!

Let the countdown begin

5.) Samurai Japanese Grill
Menu - http://www.urbanspoon.com/u/menu/1336119?p=0

This place is located a block east of Woodlawn at the SE corner of 37th and Woodlawn. Near the Taco Bell and connected to the Dollar Tree building.

Samurai is the only place of the bunch that serves sushi. They have four different rolls (California, Samurai, Dragon, and Snowcrab). Avoid. Avoid. Avoid. While it's not horrible, it's not that good either. Their sushi lacks flavor. Most people who go their stick to their Entree menu which consists of Teriyaki Chicken w/ Broccoli, Hibachi Chicken w/ mushrooms, Teriyaki Steak w/ broccoli, Hibachi Steak w/ mushrooms, Shrimp w/ broccoli, and scallops w/ broccoli. All of those meals come with fried rice and sweet carrots. It's very Americanized Asian food. Stuff you could easily make at home. For instance, fry some rice, cook some chicken, and steam some broccoli. You're done. Samurai's entrees, which I usually order if I'm there, is also pretty bland. No stand out flavor that makes me really want to go back. For a while there, when Samurai was one of the few spots at that corner, I did eat there if I was in the area. But since more options came up, I've changed my mind.

If you're looking for good Asian food, read options, 4, 3, 2 and 1.

4.) China Go

Located at the SE corner of 37th and Woodlawn just south of Walgreens.

China Go is like your typical Dillon's Chinese food in my opinion, except it has its own storefront with seating. The people there are very nice and friendly. They have your typical array of Chinese food like teriyaki chicken, Szechuan chicken, sweet and sour chicken, kung pao beef, etc. You get very good sized portions for everything you order.

But why did I rate this below Dillon’s? For the simple lack of side items. The prices are about the same as Dillon's except at China Go there are two things missing. You don't get an egg roll, spring roll, or crab rangoon. And worst of all, they charge you for a fortune cookie. I love reading my fortunes and look forward to that more than the meal itself!

China Go is still a good spot to go but if you want those extras, go across the street.

3.) Dillon's

Located at the SW corner of 37th and Woodlawn. You can't miss it. BIG BIG BUILDING that says Dillon's on it. Walk inside and stay to your right.

Who here hasn't had Dillon's Chinese food once in their life? It's much better than people would expect. I'm not sure if it's a mental thing but I think Dillon's Chinese food tastes better than China Go and possibly better than some of the stuff you find at a Chinese Buffet! They have all the staples, you get Dillon’s gas points with your food order, they offer extra sides AND they have fortune cookies. For free. Hey did I mention they give you a fortune cookie for free?

The menu items are your basic staple of Chinese food items you find anywhere. If you go around lunch time, it's all pretty fresh too since they get busy. If you're eating there, the seating is limited. I believe there were 3-4 tables last time I ate there for lunch. And worst of all if you're eating there by yourself for lunch, sometimes little kids shopping with their parents may point at you and laugh like you have no friends. It makes for a sad lunch :(

2.) Great Wall
http://www.greatwall37.com/
Their website has coupons and music you can really jam to!

Located at the NE corner of 37th and Woodlawn in the same little area as Subway.

What sets this place apart from all the other places is their extensive food menu. Nearly anything Asian will be on this menu outside of Jackie Chan. They offer a lunch menu, wings, many different appetizers, seven different types of soup, three different Moo Shu Dishes (which I have no clue what that is), tea, yogurt drinks, shaved ice, and milkshakes which I don't believe brings all the boys to the yard.

Seriously, this place has nearly everything. The food quality is fresh, everything is cooked upon ordering. Some people are turned off by their atomic yellow rice. I'm not, if I get sick, I get sick. It happens. I've been meaning to ask why their rice is such a different color but part of me may not want to know.

Its great food and a place I've frequented many times. Not just that location either. Some of my favorites there include the Pepper Steak Meal, Hot and Sour Soup, Wonton Soup, and their spicy Singapore Rice Noodle which is excellent.

People there are very friendly as well and they have a box of fortune cookies so you can take as many as you'd like! I only take one cause two fortune cookies might equal bad karma!

That brings us to the obvious number one.

1.) Tsunami Char-Broiled Teriyaki
http://www.tsunami-teriyaki.com/

I have lost count of all the times I've been here. Absolutely love this place and when I go eat lunch with friends, this is one of the main places we frequent.

They offer a variety of different dishes. Their menu is online too to check out. My favorites there are the Pad Thai, Night Market Noodle, Thai Basil Pepper dish, Teriyaki Bowl, salad rolls and Pho. Now their Pho isn't as good as the Pho-specialty spots in Wichita but it’s the only option I have at 37th and Woodlawn.

I usually call my orders ahead and they have it all ready for me when I arrive and bring it to my table. Great service there as well. They offer tea for free and their ice is the crushed ice you can eat. It's like its own built in desert! The worst part about Tsuani? No fortune cookies.

If I had to choose a place to go eat for lunch and they wanted Asian food, 8 times out of 10 I would vote for Tsunami. It's that good and the most recommended place of the 5 by Wichita By E.B.com

That folks is our Lowdown of 37th and Woodlawn's Asian Haven of Food.

While not located at that corner if you drive all the way down to 37th and Rock, check out Hot Stone Korean Grill. That place too is absolutely delicious and their lunch menu has all sorts of options. Stay away from the Spicy Octopus meal, I didn't feel so hot after eating that and my stomach can take almost anything outside of super dairy foods.

Would love to hear your thoughts on what your favorite is!

Hopefully the next blog that'll be up is the official Letter L.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining!





Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quick Hits: 08/23/11

What two blogs in a row???

 
It's been a while since we've had one of these hasn't it? There have been lots of rumblings since the last one so let's put these bulletpoints to work:
  • One of Wichita's oldest Chinese Buffets, Kwan Court, will be closing it's doors down on Sept. 18th. I used to frequent this place quite often for sushi and their lunch buffet back in college and a few years after that. Not sure why I never frequented it more but its pretty sad the place is closing it's doors down after 21 years. Since then, tons of new sushi spots have opened up and a new Chinese Buffet seems to open up everyday. I will definitely stop by there one last time before the 18th of September and load up on some sushi. At least at Kwan Court, I won't have to wait a couple hours to just be seated like at Sumo's.
  • The Chick-Fil-A is probably about 5-7 months away from opening in Wichita. I must admit to you all that I have never had Chick-Fil-A. I've heard everything from its like heaven to it'll change your life. So be forewarned the expectations have been set very high. The new free standing location will be at Central and Rock at the old Coastal gas station or as many east siders called it, "Kapaun Coastal". I'm pretty sure the parking lot behind the gas station had its very own Fight Club for many high schoolers. I look forward to the new Chick-Fil-A opening up and seeing if it's worth all the hype.
  • I stopped by Bonefish Grill last night for dinner. I haven't been there to eat since Newport Grill opened up but figured I should give it a chance. Dinner began with crab cakes and the very famous Bang Bang Shrimp. Both were to die for. Very delicious. For dinner I had the Grouper with mashed potatoes, brocoli, and Pan Asian sauce. I was let down by it. I'm not sure what Grouper is supposed to taste like, but it wasn't that tender and lacked some flavor. The music was pretty loud and annoying yesterday but that could possibly be attributed to the long weekend I had in Missouri. Service was excellent as usual. The ambiance I still feel is better at Newport. I'm sure had I had the ahi tuna or salmon at Bonefish I would be more pleased.
  • I was asked what my favorite spot for sushi was. I'll give two answers. For the West side: Kanai. For the East side: Wasabi. I've been to pretty much every major sushi spot in Wichita so I think that's a fair answer to give.
  • I heard Andover Days has a hot dog eating contest coming up soon. Let me tell you, I am VERY tempted to enter it and represent "Wichita By E.B.". I have two fears though. Death by choking. Or throwing up and having it filmed.

I would also like to give some thanks to everybody who's been sharing the blog. I've had lots of positive e-mails in the past couple weeks. They are very much appreciated.
 
Leave a comment! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

A Pre-Cursor to Letter L

Some weekends have been busy and I did not make it to my original destination for Letter "L" but randomly enough (not really random), there was a birthday party for me to attend at another "L" establishment.

I still plan on heading to my Letter "L" spot but I felt it was probably necessary to write a pre-cursor of sorts for another "L" spot I attend regularly.

Everybody has their "home bar". The place they could go to and as the Cheers song goes, "where everybody knows your name". A place you can stop by and know of at least another person there, a place conveniently located that your friends are all within a short driving distance. You walk inside and have your favorite spots to sit, spots where not to sit, the servers will have an idea of what you want to drink, etc.

For the longest time, that place was The Cedar for me. It closed down many years ago and I do intend to write up a blog on The Cedar because of all the fond memories I had of that place. When I refer to The Cedar I'm referencing the spot over on 13th street, not the disaster that took place when they moved to 21st and Woodlawn.

Anyways, that new "home bar" for me has been Larry Bud's. It’s located at the northwest corner of 21st and Woodlawn in the old Tanner's building (then The Cedar building).
http://www.360wichita.com/Restaurants/SportsBars/LarryBudsSportsBarAndGrill.html


Let’s get some things out of the way. No bar is perfect. Every bar you will get bad service, your typical bar food, etc. I'll be the first to admit I've had some horrible service at Larry Bud's before but on the flipside I've also had great service. The food is what it is, bar food. The menu changes every so often. Steaks were removed from their menu last year I believe which was unfortunate because Tanner's Steak night used to be awesome.

Some people don't like their draft beers, others do. I usually stick to bottles at any bar I go to anyways. Does that make me a diva?

The service there has its ebbs and flows. Just like any restaurant, some servers you have are much better than others. If you ever stop in to Larry Bud's and Maggie is serving you, you're in luck. She is far and away the best at Larry Bud's. Tell her "Wichita By E.B." sent you. The owners are very friendly and are always willing to talk. They have a guy who works the door like once a year who's one of the coolest guys I know. He works the door very randomly though.

There is biasness to my opinion of the place though. They've donated to events I've thrown together whether they are golf tournaments or chili cook offs. I've come to know many of the staff there but yes, that comes with the territory when you frequent any establishment.

What's the biggest downfall to Larry Buds? It’s predominantly a KU bar. Yeah you'll have people up there for a K-State game every now and then, the place can get pretty packed right before a WSU basketball game but when KU is playing football or basketball I tend to avoid that place. Not because I dislike Larry Bud's but cause KU fans "can" be the most obnoxious fans when gathered in flocks. Notice I said "can" because I do have KU friends that are not too obnoxious but this is a Wichita blog so that's all I'll comment on that.

They are busier doing football and basketball season. During the week, their busiest night is probably Thursday. They have drink specials and food specials throughout the week. Their Facebook page keeps you up to date on their deals and specials.

Does it compare to "The Cedar" back in the day? No. But it’s also a difference scene. Larry Bud's is more like Tanners if you ever frequented the place during your young adult days. It’s a place you can sit down with a group of friends, have some drinks and just talk about whatever. Sometimes it's hard when there's karaoke going on but that’s later at night and I must say, I cannot stand karaoke. It seems like every place has it now. Even APPLEBEE's of all places has karaoke. What's next? Wal-Mart Karaoke on Saturday afternoon?

I could share so many stories and experiences I've had at Larry Bud's but this blog is PG.

All in all, it's a great place to relax. It's a great gathering point if you're with a crowd of people. I've been going there for years and at times considered bringing a cot with me to sleep there. I know people who hate Larry Bud's and love Larry Bud's. But I also know people who love Bar A but hate Bar B. It's all a matter of opinion which is why I blog. Check it out sometime if you're in the area.

Leave a comment! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining

Monday, August 8, 2011

Two Recent Closings In Wichita

Some of you may or may have not heard but there were two closings in Wichita lately (One for sure is closed now; the other is closed or about to be).

These two were so obvious I'm about 99% I received a fortune cookie that predicted it. Press and Linkhaus.

These are both places I've been to many times and probably would have given them both bad reviews had I gone there for Dining by the Alphabet on my first experience. Why did they close? Here are my opinions.

Press.
This was a wine bar out east in the Waterfront in the old Sabor building and before that the absolutely horrific Pizztro's. It was like an Oeno of the East. When I say "Oeno of the East" it reminds me of the Saved by the Bell episode where "Jessie tries to get into Stansbury, The Harvard of the West." (yes nothing says loser like Saved by the Bell references). Anyways Oeno was dimly lit inside had a limited menu of finger foods that couldn't fill a newborn baby. Many of the finger foods or as most of us would call them "appetizers" were still priced high and not worth it. The place tried to pull itself off as an upscale wine place that just didn't draw well. Other times I would go in, the place was dead.

Linkhaus
Upscale Hot Dogs. Talk about a horrible business plan. If you've ever driven by the building at 37th and Rock near the QuikTrip, its quite a site to see. Very eye appealing. I was excited when I heard about the place opening up with all their TV's, selection of beers, etc. The very first time I went in with a group of friends during a lunch hour it was a total disaster. The food took a long time to reach us (we all ordered hot dogs, how long does that take?) And worst of all everybody spent about $10 for a cup of tots and a single hot dog that had a few toppings that would continually fall of the bun. Then from there the word of mouth went around work, friends, everybody. It spread like wildfire. I heard from so many people about their disagreement with the place. Much later they would lower their prices but it was all too late. Their fate was sealed. $10 hot dog and tots is not going to do well in Wichita especially when next door at QuikTrip you can get a dollar hot dog that taste the same.

Hopefully other restaurants coming to Wichita will learn a lesson or two from Press and Linkhaus.

Makes me want to go to all the froyo places in Wichita and drop off fortune cookies that say, "Law of averages state one of you guys will not last through the Froyo Craze." Who will be the first to go? I dunno but that's my uneducated guess.

Leave a comment! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dining By The Alphabet: Letter K

When you spend most of your week on Jury Duty, it really puts you behind on everything. Work, Laundry, Dishes, and even Blogging. Why did I capitalize almost every word in that last sentence? I don't know, your guess is as good as mine.

But here we are again, another day, another letter. K was loaded with many good options. But I wanted to go a route I had not been through the previous however many letters. Something I love: sushi. So that definitely limits the options down. You all probably know where this is headed, so I bring to you Letter K:

Borrowed from their website: http://www.kanaisushi.com/
12111 W. Maple, Suite 131
Wichita, KS 67235 | Map
Phone: (316) 719-2929


This is located at the southwest corner of Maple and 119th in that little shopping area even though I don't think there are any shops in that little strip. Walking inside you are greeted with an Asian greeting. Unfortunately being half-Asian doesn't give me the inherent ability to translate Chinese, Korean, Japanese or any Asian language for that matter. Regardless its a greeting, it gave me warm fuzzies inside (ok, just kidding there). The place is pretty small. There are roughly 12-14 tables inside. Six 2 person benches (could probably) and 6-8 four tops.

Our wait wasn't long. My guest eater for Letter K was my friend Megan. A fan of food and a person who relies on the power of food to survive daily (not that the regular human doesn't either).

When you are seated, they give you a sample appetizer of seaweed salad as seen below. Do not let the look fool you. It's absolutely delicious. The correct term for this is Wakame Salad. After trying this, I went ahead and ordered the full size which ran $4.50.
Absolutely delicious!

Along with the Wakame Salad, you're given this warm little cloth to clean your hands with. Megan did not its not very "green" and Earth friendly. While I noticed, they don't offer these in the bathroom to wipe with.... for babies that is...... for BABIES!!!

There were three appetizers ordered, some edamame which is self explanatory. Came in a rather large bowl that probably feeds 2-4 pretty well. Salted nicely. Megan ordered the vege tempura which were nothing too special to me but Megan really liked the variety of veggies offered. She was a fan! And a couple that was with us ordered the Invader. What is the Invader? According to their menu, its "Deep fried jalapeno, cream cheese and spicy tuna plus grilled e-dako (baby octopus). No rice." I'm going to post a picture of the baby octopus so brace yourselves.

The picture to the right is one of a baby octopus which is totally edible and once again I'm going to use the phrase, absolutely delicious! When its served its not moving so I know it's not alive. The baby octopus have a nice little marinade to them that adds a ton of flavor. If you aren't a fan of "texture" or even "appearance", I'd still urge you all to give this a try. You won't be disappointed. One of my friends who hates things like this even gave it a thumbs up. The invader also comes with deep fried jalapenos which aren't too bad either.

Between Megan and I we ordered three different rolls. Fisherman's Wharf (Shrimp, crab and masago topped with fresh salmon.), Melanie's Pumpkin (Spicy tuna and avacado rolled with seaweed and soy paper topped with cream cheese and seaweed salad.) and Roppongi Roll ( Spicy tuna and shrimp roll topped with tuna, masago, scallions, mayo and tataki sauce.)

Roppongi Roll
Fisherman's Wharf
Melanie's Pumpkin
 Between the three, my favorite was Melanie's Pumpkin. It's something I'd definitely order again, Fisherman's Wharf....I'm not so sure on. The Roppongi Roll was delicious too.

One common thought during the "devourment" of sushi (yes I made that word up) was that the sushi rolls were big. You really had to open your mouth to fit a single piece in. Megan needed to cut hers in half to eat them making the use of chop stix more difficult. You can look at it either as a "more bang for your buck as in more sushi" or "the sushi is just too big". Megan also did comment that the sushi was VERY tasty and the menu provides a large variety of different rolls to choose from. If you like sushi, you'll find something you like.

Price wise, its all pretty affordable and comparable to many other hot sushi spots in Wichita. around $7-11 for most of their main rolls. They have some higher offerings that will run you over that amount. But for your basics, its all in the aforementioned range.

The service was good. One low note is they bring you the sushi I believe when its done, so you may have one or two rolls brought out to you and stuck there waiting for your others. If you're with a group of people, one couple may be sushi-less while the others are starting theirs. But other than that, drinks were refilled in a timely manner, service was friendly and our questions were answered.

After the appetizers, three rolls and a couple beers, we spent $50 before tip. I know $50 for a meal might be high for some but for quality sushi thats the price you have to pay!

After sleeping on it and thinking about what rating to give this Megan ended up giving Kanai a 4 for the service, price and food. She gave the company a rating of 5 but I won't let that get to my head! I, on the other hand, gave Kanai a 4.5. So the Wichita By E.B.'s Super Scientific Rating official score is a 4.25. By far the best sushi on the west side of town. If you think there's a better one out there, let me know and I'll give it a try.

I want to thank Megan for coming out with me for Letter K.

..........on to the next letter!

P.S. - I didn't proofread this whatsoever so I'm sure there are errors here in there. If I was paid to do this then I'd probably proofread or hire someone too.

P.P.S. - Leave a comment! Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and Facebook! Happy Dining.



Kanai on Urbanspoon