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.