Archive | August, 2010

Rostizeria Los Reyes

27 Aug

I, Phil, am doing a solo review here since Steph has gone back to work. My mom and I went to check out Rostizeria Los Reyes located on 21st just west of Waco. So yes we are talking about the “authentic” part of town. Rostizeria is a smaller establishment that advertises its buffet on the exterior signage. But we were not here for the buffet, which in my opinion did not look all that great. We were here to check out the homemade tortillas and the Mole con Pollo or Mole with Chicken.

The interior is extravagantly decorated in a Hispanic theme with bright and vibrant wooden sculptures adorning the dining booths. To top off the ambiance they were playing an old American movie from the 30s in Spanish. After a passing glance on the screen both my mother and I mistook it for Gone with the Wind, but upon further investigation that was not the case.  “Francamente querida, me importa un bledo”.

Anyway, on to why the five people who will read this are actually reading it. THE FOOD. We went at the end of the lunch rush and were promptly seated and given some great homemade salsa and chips(also homemade). The salsa was probably one of  the thinnest salsas I have ever had, even thinner than Felipes. It never ceases to amaze me how many different ways people prepare salsa. This variation did have plenty of the most important ingredient in salsa. I am talking about cilantro of course. The menu is large, but luckily filled with nice color photos to assist you in your attempt to order something delicious. Their menu is probably the most authentic that I have seen in Wichita. There were quite a few dishes that had me scratching my head. The Mole con Pollo came highly recommended, so we both ordered that and were not disappointed. The chicken had been slow roasted with love because the meat fell right off the bone and into the delicious mole sauce. Mole sauce is a difficult one to describe. It is typically made with bittersweet chocolate, so you have some sweet taste working in there, but it is not overpowering. With our dishes, they also brought out a dozen warm tortillas to be used in creating a magical chicken mole wrap. The meals were reasonably priced for the amount of food we received. I belive that the mole was $8 dollars.

So in summation if you are looking for some Jose Peppersesque  Tex Mex queso  blanco nacho nonsense don’t come to this place. If you want to eat some real Mexican food go and check it out. I will definitely come back to explore more of their menu, but before doing so I will brush up on my spanish so as to have some clue as to what I am ordering. 

Stay Hungry my Friends

Rostizeria Los Reyes Mexican Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Dolci and Joes-CLOSED

24 Aug

This past Saturday we visited Dolci and Joes, located at 3425 E. Douglas, for dinner with my sister, her husband, and their two-year old daughter. We chose this place because we had a family member suggest it and also we were able to sample some of their food and drinks at Taste of Wichita. We also met the owner at the event and he informed us that everything served in the store is made from scratch, including the ketchup. This sparked our curiosity since it is pretty rare to find a place that makes even their ketchup from scratch.

We arrived around 8:30 in the evening and thought we would be fine since they close at 9:00. The young woman taking our order kindly informed us that they turn off the grill at 8:30 so we would only be able to order certain sandwiches and none of the burgers would be available. This riled up my (Phil) blood because I had been looking forward to trying one of the brined pork sandwiches. I am still trying to recover from missing out on the sweet, delicious pork. Not getting a pork sandwich is like waking up on Christmas with coal in your stocking.  While we were eating, they began putting chairs up on the other tables because it was after closing time. That is a pet peeve of mine. I believe that if there are still patrons in the restaurant you should not be so worried about looking closed because it makes the people eating uncomfortable. We didn’t even get our food until after 9:00. Lesson learned: be there before 8:30. Now onto the food.

I, along with my sister and her husband, went with the Dolci Tantalizing Chicken Salad sandwich. I am a big fan of the chicken salad my mom makes partly because she cuts up grapes in it so I usually steer clear of it in restaurants because hardly any use fruit. However, I decided to order this one since dried apricots was listed as an ingredient as well as cashews. I turned my sandwich into a combo with fries and a drink. Phil and I were trying to decide if one of us should get the sweet potato fries and the other regular, when the woman waiting on us told us that we could each get a little bit of both. That was a great option and of course we went with it. The next thing we noticed-our sodas were being mixed the old-fashioned way. Our Diet Cokes were filled with syrup and then had ice and carbonated water added. The sodas were quite scrumptious-I had them add some cherry into my Diet Coke and drank most of it before the food came. Once the food came I was a bit overwhelmed by how much food was on my plate. Talk about heaping portions. The bread comes from the Delano bakery and was good, although a bit too thick for my taste. The chicken salad was very good. I loved the apricot in it (not as good as grapes) and the cashews were also a great touch. The fries were also very good. They were large hand cut fries and right out of the fryer. I would say the sweet potato fries were almost as good as the Anchors-definitely comparable. I tried their ketchup and was not a fan. Now I have to admit, I hate tomatoes and this may have been why I didn’t like the ketchup. I thought it had too much vinegar, Phil suggested it tasted too much like tomatoes. I enjoyed my meal but was only able to eat half the sandwich because of the amount of bread. I, Phil, tried the Joshalotta sandwich. It was my third choice and I must say I wasn’t too thrilled with it. The turkey and salami were good, but I felt that they used way too much jalapeño mustard (which by the way is very good) on the sandwich. It really dominated all of the other elements. The fries were good as described above, although I thought they were a bit too soft. I like my fries to be somewhat crunchy.

The ambiance at Dolci and Joe’s is relaxed and retro, with nice vivid colors and small chalkboards on the wall.

Before we pass ultimate judgment on this establishment, we would like to try it again so the pork and perhaps the burgers can be sampled.

Dolci and Joe's on Urbanspoon

Taste of Wichita

20 Aug

It is no secret that we love food. We would think that is obvious since we have a blog all about it. Every now and then we are given the chance to eat food to help support charity. One of my favorites is when Dairy Queen has their blizzard day to support the Children’s Miracle Network. When these opportunities arise, we tend to jump at the chance since we can now justify having some terribly high calorie, bad-for-you-yet-oh-so-tasty food. Today’s event: Taste of Wichita. Taste of Wichita was in support of the Lord’s Diner and the Kansas Food Bank’s Backpacks for Kids program. For those of you unaware of the backpacks-they are bags of food given to low income children on Fridays at school so the children can have food for the weekend. So away into the blistering heat we went.

We had an unlimited amount of food we could eat and 5 tickets for alcohol. The restaurants we sampled were: NuWay, Stroud’s, Hanger One Steakhouse, Carraba’s, Dolci and Joe’s, Monica’s Bundt Cake, the Linkhaus, Freddy’s Frozen Custard, and some other places. It was a fun event and we had plenty to eat but it was just so hot out. Someone also needs to tell Freddy’s about the invention of dry ice. They were having issues making ice cream cones with melted custard. We also spotted a couple of women who had obviously mistaken the event for a renaissance festival and came wearing their finest corset tops.

What was great about the event was that we discovered some new places to add to our list and were reminded of some oldies but goodies that we had forgotten about. We have decided to add Dolci and Joes and Linkhaus to our list. And NuWay made us remember why we love it and then laugh that we never go there even though we live half a mile down the road. They were serving some of their burgers and root beer! I could have just stayed at that booth.

We were a bit disappointed that several restaurants said they were going to be there and either weren’t or were only VIP. Sorry but $50 per person is a bit steep to get in the air conditioning. We understand it was for charity but we really wanted some Cocoa Dulce!

One thing we did learn is that we will not be in a  hurry to eat at Hanger One Steakhouse on west Kellogg. If the “steak” they were serving at the event was in any way representative of what they typically serve I question why in the world they are still in business. They claim that they dry age their beef, but this junk tasted like they were serving the manager’s special select grade flank steaks at Dillons. YUMMY. Ok now that is out of my system, let me take this time to talk to you about Linkhaus. I have heard mixed reviews of this place and we will get over there some day to pass judgement, but what I sampled today was great. They had a Chicago style dog that was very tasty, but the wiener winner was the Kimchi dog. Yeah, not gonna lie,  it was strangely delicious. Kimchi is a fermented mixture of veggies that is sweet and spicy and plain magical when you add a hot dog.

One other note is that we had some delicious beers from Tallgrass Brewing, located in the Little Apple(Manhattan,KS). If you have never tried this beer or any other regional brew, shame on you! You can’t go through life buying Bud Light every weekend, mercy.

We hope that the Taste of Wichita returns next year, but it will need an organizational overhaul and perhaps adding a few more vendors wouldn’t hurt either.

Manna Wok

20 Aug

Today Phil and I went to Manna Wok for lunch. It is located just to the east of Harry and Oliver, the actual intersection is Harry and Elpyco. This works out great for me since my school is just down the street. If you like eating in a restaurant that would be dwarfed by a single wide mobile home this is your place. The seating area can hold at most 25 people and a simple  curtain is all that separates you from the kitchen, where one of the owners is always getting his wok on. The restaurant is owned by a Korean couple who you will see each time you go in. Both are incredibly sweet and appreciative of your business. The absolute best part of this restaurant though (besides the food) is that all of the walls are covered in pictures of people who have eaten here . We are not talking about a wall of famed, overrated celebrities or in Wichita’s case our local news anchors, but actual customers. Stephanie has a picture with her mom and two brothers below the cash register. It is from high school so that should give you an idea of how long we have been eating here. There is also a random collection of books and plants on one side of the restaurant.  I have never asked, but you may be able to check the books out and bring them back the next time you’re in the area in case you find a good read while waiting for your freshly made chicken teriyaki(which by the way is groin grabbingly good).

So we admit, Manna Wok is one of our absolute favorites. We have yet to visit this place and be disappointed in the food. Today, Stephanie went with her traditional sesame chicken and salad. The salad isn’t anything to scream about except for the dressing. It is a delicious ginger dressing that will make you want to slurp out every last drop. You can also get egg drop soup (kick butt!), but seeing that is was over 100 degrees in ICT today that did not sound appealing. Now for the sesame chicken, banish all thoughts of that fried dough with a little bit of chicken you get at Dillon’s or Great Wall that makes your stomach do flip flops. Think instead of stir fry with chicken, zucchini, onions, bean sprouts, and other veggies that I can’t remember currently. Add to that a small bowl of some kind of sauce that is heavenly. Next to the sesame chicken is a heaping pile of very sticky rice. I have a confession. I have been coming to this restaurant for over 10 years now and only once have I ever ordered anything other than the sesame chicken. I know, I know. I should venture out and try something new on the menu especially with a food blog, but that sesame chicken is so dang good that I just can’t pass it up.

I, Phil, branched out and tried the Korean Beef Bul Go Gee(or Kee) this time around. Bul Go Kee is a sweet marinade that is used on thinly sliced pieces of meat and then served with their signature thinly sliced mixed veggies and great steamed or fried rice. Of course it was delightful and I would highly recommend it.

To top off the meal we were given fortune cookie and two pieces of bubble gum. The thing about Manna Wok is how delightfully quirky the owners are. I doubt there is any other place in the city where they bring you fortune cookies and gum along with your check.

You may drive by  and think we are nuts and there is no way you are going in, especially with two bars in the same parking lot. So you will just keep on driving to get some Dillons Chinese that has been sitting in the warming pan for 4 hours and that is just fine, but if you have that attitude you aren’t probably reading this blog. Hey Manna Wok is actually pretty mainstream now because they finally accept debit/credit cards after so many years of cash only. Remember, to find some of the best food in town, you have to go to the places that make you uncomfortable. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Manna Wok Oriental Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Mike’s Wine Dive

11 Aug

To celebrate/commiserate the beginning of a new school year, I went to lunch yesterday with several of my fellow teachers. Someone in the group suggested Mike’s Wine Dive  (probably because his brother is in charge of the marketing). I agreed since it was a new place for me and just hoped Phil wouldn’t be too enraged that I tried a new place without him.

Mike’s Wine Dive is located at Douglas and Oliver. The inside of the restaurant is about as opposite of a dive as you can get unless you want to go to a high-end steak place. One coworker put it nicely when he said, “I don’t know about this place. There is a chandelier.” Mike’s of course strongly advertises its extensive wine list as a selling point. Unfortunately, I was on the clock so we didn’t even look at the menu. We all decided to go with a sandwich since we had less than an hour before we were to be back in our seats at school. Also, the sandwiches were on the more affordable end of the lunch menu compared to the entrees. I decided to go with the roasted turkey sandwich with cranberry apricot relish. It was served on ciabatta bread with swiss cheese, arugula, and scallions. I thought perfect, there are no tomatoes for me to have to pick off of this sandwich, plus the relish and arugula sounded quite tasty. For my side I chose the sweet potato fries. The sandwich came out nice and warm and the cheese was melted throughout. There was a good serving of turkey, however not enough of the relish which was a disappointment since that was half the reason I picked it. It was  a good sandwich, but a $9 sandwich? No. The sweet potato fries were like shoe string fries. They had some seasonings on them as well too much oil, which made them a tad soggy. Soggy and fries are two words which should never go next to each other. To sum it up, all I could think of was how much better I like Cafe Moderne’s sandwiches and how the Anchor’s sweet potato fries knock these out of the park.

In the end, we came to the conclusion that it isn’t a bad place to eat especially if you are in the area. We just aren’t sure we will return for lunch. We ended up having to pay while we were still eating to get back on time. (FYI, my school is just down the road about 2 miles.) I would be curious to go back and try some of their entrees. I hear the boar ragu and the lobster, shrimp, and crab mac n cheese are great. Also, then I can at least let myself look at the wine menu.

http://mikeswinedive.com/

Mike's Wine Dive on Urbanspoon

Double Header

5 Aug

Anchor Bar and La Bamba

Alright then now that we are off and running I am starting to get the hang of the blog thing.  I have come to the grim conclusion that these blog entries have been pretty dry so far.  I am going to attempt to insert some of my witty humor where available. One thing I would like to mention is that there will probably be no pictures of the actual food we eat on this blog. I’m a self diagnosed foodie, but even I must draw the line somewhere. To me, taking pictures of the food you are about to eat gives me this dirty feeling inside. And then to turn around and post it on this fine blog that I think perhaps 4 people may read is just too much for me to handle. So, if it is food porn you are seeking you might want to check out some other place.  Enough of this diatribe and onto the reviews…

For obvious reasons we will skip over our recent visit to Red Robin with the extended fam a few Sundays ago. Let me just say this: Any place that employs someone to parade around as a costumed red bird  in addition to a balloon animal making Dead Head hippie clown is just too weird for me.

We had the great pleasure of getting to eat at two unique places in the ICT this week. First up was the Anchor.

I admit, we have frequented the Anchor before but thought it was worth a blog because not many people go here to eat. The place is located in a great old storefront complete with old school ornate ceiling. We have always gone either around lunchtime or about 6 in the evening. It can be crowded, especially if there is a Justin Bieber concert going on at Wichita’s premier arena.  The place is a bar so they serve beer and lots of it. Those wankers over there at Old Chicago have nothing on this place,  besides the Anchor specializes in regional craft brews. They have a large selection of beers on tap and an ungodly amount of bottle beers. My only beef is that they do not carry PBR on tap (you have to head over to the Lizard Lounge for that sweet nectar).  I had myself some of the delicious Ad Astra from the Free State Brewery in Lawrence.  

Now to the food. First off, it is a requirement that you order their sweet potato fries. These are hands down the top reason we love the Anchor. They are sweet, crunchy, and well seasoned. This past time I ordered the Haystack burger. It is an open face burger that is piled high with fries and smothered in queso naturally.  It is big, greasy, messy, and perfectly delicious. I have tried it before with the sweet potato fries-this would be the one time I would suggest not ordering them as queso and sweet potatoes are a bit odd together. I have also tried Artichoke burger which was great as well. I, Phil, had the ribeye sandwich, which as I recall was delicious. It was tender, thin sliced ribeye with cheese served on a toasted wheat bun. I have tried many sandwiches at the Anchor and have never been disappointed. The next time I am there I will go after the double piggy sandwich which comes with bacon and pork loin. Mmmmm Pork.

The Anchor can sometimes be crowded, but most of the time we haven’t had problems getting a table unless we had a large group. If anything just stop by for some beer and those sweet potato fries!

La Bamba

I know, the first thing that pops into your mind is that terrible song made popular by Ritchie Valens. Well purge those depraved thoughts from your mind, because this is a badass eatery my friend. We only had about an hour before I had to be at work, but luckily this newly opened  place is inside the Petroleum Building off of Broadway and Williams (near my place of employment). It was extremely quick service and the staff certainly brought their A game. I was a bit surprised by their menu when we first looked at it. They serve traditional American breakfast and lunch fare but also have a Mexican food menu. Phil and I both were craving Mexican (we are both huge fans of Mexican food) and ordered two of their specials for the day. We started off with chips and salsa. The chips were standard, something out of a bag. However, the salsa is homemade and had a strong taste of cilantro. Which pleased me too no end, because being the salsa nazi that I am, I insist in cilantro being used in salsa.  It was wonderful! I ordered the enchilada plate. It had two enchiladas (I ordered beef, but chicken is an option), beans, and rice. The enchilada red sauce was very tasty and was the best part of the meal. The sauce makes the enchilada in my opinion. I would have liked to have seen more cheese with my enchiladas but the sauce made up for most of that. The beans and rice were also tasty. I like to compare all Mexican restaurants to Felipes because it is my absolute favorite (DISCLAIMER: I do not share my wife’s opinion on this matter) . La Bamba definitely won the salsa battle (to be honest salsa from a jar is better than Felipes salsa), however Felipes has the better enchiladas.

I, Phil, took the waitress’ advice and tried the steak bombazo. It was a toasted flour tortilla that was filled with steak, melted cheese, lettuce, pico de gallo, sour cream, and guac. Good Lord it was good! I normally try not to get too stimulated before work, but this dish was crazy good. Almost as good as the piratas at the recently closed Frida’s. Yes that’s right I said Frida’s has closed, but hopefully only temporarily. I think if we all light a candle and pray to the patron saint of delicious mexican food they will reopen. Anyway back to the Bombazo. What makes this dish is the way that they take the steak and cheese and melt it on the grill before placing it in the flour tortilla.

I would say this is a great place if you are in the downtown area and need something very quick. We were in and out within 30 minutes no thanks to the awful parking debacle that besieges downtown Wichita. We ended up parking at Century II, but it turned out to be well worth the wait.

Until next time.

Peace, Love, Pork

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