Monday, April 30, 2012

Picasso's Pizzeria: You Must Check It Out!

It was a Sunday afternoon and we were looking for a place to eat. I drove by the Vagabond Cafe and should have stopped in for Letter V that I'm way behind on. Also passed by Reuben's whom I haven't been to in some time but they were closed.

Then I saw it.......Picasso's Pizzeria. Totally forgot it was in the area and having heard good things about it from friends, I quickly hit the brakes as I passed by the building. Made a quick turn and it was on!

Picasso's Pizzeria is one of the newest pizza joints to hit the Wichita scene. The place opened up on March 5th so they are not even two months olds. They are located on 621 W. Douglas in the Delano District. They are open 11 am to 8 pm on Mondays through Thursdays, 11 am to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday and Noon to 7 pm on Sundays.

When you walk in, you follow these yellow footsteps stuck on the floor to the cash register where you order your pizza. Picasso offers all sorts of Pizza by the slice or you can order it in full 16-inch pies or even their "Ginormous" size that run close to $40 for their "Art Specialties" pizzas. They have an assortment of sandwiches, salads, and calzones but let’s be honest..... You will go here strictly for the pizzas. I took a few pictures of their menu for you all to see.





Their pizzas are giant slices of New York style pizza. Tiffany and I were originally going to order two slices a piece but after seeing the size of an individual slice we decided to each order one we chose and then one we'd split or take home depending on our hunger level. I chose the "Hot Island" (Canadian bacon, pineapple, jalapenos, and pepperoncini). Tiffany went with "The Great White" (white slice with olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, no red sauce). The one we would split was "The Picasso" (basil pesto, roma tomato, spinach, feta, Romano). Each of those slices were $5.95 plus tax. The lady at the cash register told us their two most popular pizzas were the Picasso and the Kitchen Sink (their version of the supreme).

For the record they have bottled beers and three beers on tap: Blue Moon, Coors Light and Boulevard Wheat. Probably the only con I have on the place was that they had Coors Light on tap. Yuck! Also of note, they have gluten-free pizzas!

Once you order your pizzas, you just find an open table or booth to sit at. They have a nice patio open outside to sit at as well. The inside has a definite Delano feel. It's not super bright inside; it has the artsy type alternative bar feel. From most booths in the restaurant you can watch the pizza preparers get all the pizza ready and in and out of the oven.




Once your pizza is ready, they will call your name out and you just go up there and pick up your pizza. The smell of the pizzas was wonderful and I was ready to chow down. The first bite Tiffany took and you could tell she really liked it. Dare I say loved it? Her first bite in and she had that look of approval. I picked mine up but it was a little too hot so I went the alternative route until it cooled down: fork and knife. Cut, pick up, bite, chew, swallow, and smile. WOW! The Hot Island was delicious. We both then tried the Picasso and it too was delicious. I am a big carnivore so I'm not sure I'd order the Picasso again but for what it's worth Tiffany really liked it. I thought it was tasty but when it comes to pizza I like to have meat on it. Within minutes, we devoured all three slices of pizza with pure delight. (Editor's note: when I say minutes I should probably specify that I meant many many many minutes not like five or six minutes. That would make us look like pigs!)

"The Great White" next to a fork

"The Hot Island" next to an arm

"The Picasso" next to a jar or parmesan cheese
Once finishing the pizza, I had the crust left. I've mentioned it before. I'm not a crust guy. I usually eat the pizza and leave the crust behind. Picasso offers bottles of honey to pour onto your crust to add some flavor.

Tiffany was quick to mention she could definitely go here again soon. She said Picasso's has quickly jumped to the top of her list as her favorite pizza places in Wichita along with Ziggy's Pizza. I agree, Picasso's was definitely super tasty and I look forward to going back possibly this week. I really like thin crust pizza and this place has it perfected. I would love to try their "Kitchen Sink" as I heard many people ordering that.

Mark it down. This is one of the best pizza's we've had in Wichita. I've heard from many friends and colleagues this place is "legit" so to speak. They were not wrong in their sentiments.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Grinderman Experience

It was a nice and cool Friday afternoon. I just happened to be off and running errands. Was out on the south side of town looking at some used putters at ProLink and thought to myself……….. Man I am getting very hungry.
Asked around on where to go and one suggestion came up that I’ve been meaning to for the past seven years…………….. Grinderman.
To my knowledge, Grinderman does not have a webpage outside of their Facebook site.
510 E Pawnee St
Wichita, KS 67211
(316) 264-3462
A quick look at the menu of sandwiches

The place specializes in sandwiches. Is open seven days a week (M-Sat: 10:30 – 8 pm and Sun 11 – 7 pm). Make sure you only take cash because that’s all they accept. As Randy Moss says, “Straight Cash Homey”
I’ve had many friends go there for lunch and literally for the better part of the decade I’ve been told to try it out. Well Good Friday, I made sure I had some good lunch. Looking at their menu, it’s an assortment of different sandwiches and all sorts of sides to get. For $2 more, you get a platter of food that includes more sides. I figured why not because I noticed one of the sides was “deviled eggs” and it’s well documented my love for deviled eggs.
Browsing through the list of sandwiches, I went with my favorite sandwich of all time: The Reuben. Total ran up to be around $9-10. Pretty expensive for an average lunch but you could easily cut that down by ordering their half sandwich and just one side. I pigged out because who knows the last time I’ll make it out to Grinderman.
Food came out very quickly and the sandwich looked fantastic; the sides not so much. I first dove into the deviled eggs and once again the old age adage of “Don’t Order Deviled Eggs at a Restaurant” held true. The egg was pretty hard as if it had been sitting in a fridge all day which it might have been. The chips were just regular plain chips, the pickle was pretty warm and soggy and the cookies didn’t look appealing so I passed.  Seriously if you go, just order the one side and save yourself the money. Next up was the sandwich………. That alone made the lunch worth the price of admission. The bread wasn’t stale or hard. It was just right in between too soft and too hard; aka just right. I’ve had Reuben’s at many different bars and restaurants because that’s my “go to” sandwich and I’m not even much of a sandwich fan. But I must say this Reuben was one of the better ones I’ve had in Wichita. I think that speaks for itself.
I’ll say the place is quaint and has the atmosphere you’d expect for the location it’s in. The lady at the counter was extremely nice. If you’re in the area, give it a try. I would go again if it was close enough but since I don’t travel in that area much my chances of being a repeat customer are low on the scale.
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AVI Seabar and Chophouse Update

Way back in January, I wrote a blog on AVI Seabar and Chophouse. It wasn't too pleasant and I even had quite the comments on the blog: http://wichitabyeb.blogspot.com/2012/01/avi-seafood-and-chophouse-race-to-100.html

Well early this morning on Kansas.com, an article was posted on the status of AVI. I guess in the first six months of business, the owner has lost $225,000.

Now one has to wonder what if the place had excellent service, could AVI have been more successful? I know for myself, I would never go back there again and have made sure to make my sentiments known. Any time I get a request for a recommendation on fine dining, I'll rattle off a hundred other restaurants before AVI.

I'm sure service wasn't their only issue; location probably had a lot to do with it too. But I really think that a place with excellent food and service can survive in nearly any location in Wichita.