Posts Tagged ‘review’

I’ve been to Hana Cafe a few different times, and can still remember when it was “the” place to go in Wichita for sushi. Now there’s a lot more competition, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I know I’ve said a few times after eating a dish that I’ll know the next day or next week how good it was based on my cravings for it. For example, that Love Roll at Wasabi. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say I’ve fantasized about that roll six out of seven days of the week since I had it. Same for DeFazio’s Italian salad. Gambino’s Italian chicken with tomato and jalapeno pizza (and their salad bar). Po Boy’s pizza rolls. Pho from To Chau or My Tho. The list can go on and on and on. I feel like all I do is daydream about food everyday. I’m pretty sure this isn’t “normal.” But in the words of a psychology professor I have, “Define normal to me because I don’t know what you mean.” Point, psychology professor!

The last time I went to Hana I think was about a year and a half ago. I know, I’m a bad patron. But at least a few times a month I think about bi bim bab. It’s a rice dish with veggies, your choice of meat, and a scrambled egg. It sounds strange to daydream about. But add a little soy sauce, the bi bim bab sauce, and give it a little stir. You have a recipe for disaster. Er, I mean for victory. Y-U-M. As for sushi, I’ve had a few pieces of friends’ sushi, but don’t know that I’ve ever ordered it on my own, and am not sure how varied their selection is. I’m sure the selection is good. And know the sushi is delicious. But I can’t speak to it personally. So I won’t. 

This ISN’T bi bim bab. I know, I’m such a tease. Sorry. (That’s what she said.)

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I used to hate bierocks. My mom made them with sauerkraut, and I thought that’s the way bierocks were meant to be. Well, much to my surprise, I found out bierocks are actually made with cabbage. And a revolution begins! I’ve been making (and freezing) bierocks on and off for the better part of a year. They’re delicious warmed up for lunches. Because of this, I was excited to try a “professional” bierock. And my friend Faye encouraged this adventure. We figured what better place than Bierocks, Brats n BBQ in Delano.

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While I’ve never complained about southeast Wichita’s restaurant selection (since I can’t even make it through my pared down original list), I was originally disappointed by the lack of one-off Mexican restaurants. There used to be a spot at Lincoln and Oliver, in the shopping center near Southeast Carryout. And of course, you always have Felipe’s at Harry and Webb. And the lesser-known La Posada a little closer to Kellogg at Oliver. But I love cheese, and my cheese craving most successfully gets fulfilled at Mexican (or Tex-Mex) restaurants. And for the most part, I had to hit up Felipe’s to get that fill. Not that that’s bad. But nonetheless, I was excited to see a new spot in the old Angelo’s on Oliver. OK, I know it’s been other places since Angelo’s but that’s what I always think of. Man, what I’d give for an Angelo’s vegetable sandwich with extra Italian dressing. But I’m digressing. We’re here to talk cheese. Let there be cheese!

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On my quest to eat better, I’m trying to get fish into my diet three or four times a month. I know, I know, it should be more than that, but a girl’s gotta start somewhere. I LOVE spicy tuna sushi rolls, grilled ahi tuna, halibut and tilapia. For some reason I always seem to butcher halibut, it falls apart on the grill and my $20 piece of fish is reduced to a few crumbled bits. And as much as I WANT to make my own sushi, I’m not there yet. I either eat out or get it at Dillons (hey, their little rolls are perfect, and it’s one of the only places you can get brown rice). And ahi tuna, although my favorite, is out since my grill’s on the fritz. And I’ll be honest, I like ahi tuna better than almost any meat out there. Yes, steak included. A simple marinade, grilled about 45 seconds to a minute on each side. Perfection.

So, if you’ve been following along, this leaves me with tilapia as far as what I keep on-hand at home. I’ve been experimenting with marinades and other ways to keep it interesting. And while I was terrified my house would smell like Lent gone bad, I actually didn’t have a fishy smell post-cook. Win!

Here fishy, fishy, fishy.

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Oh, bagels. You get such a bad rap. Something that started so beautifully, then got “Americanized” (read: supersized) into a 600 calorie, all white flour, bonanza. Well, I’m here to tell you you can have your whole wheat bagels, and eat them too. And they’re similar, calorie-wise, to store-bought whole wheat bread. And you can size them to your preference. I made 12 bagels, but you could also make 15 or so. Plus, they’re homemade! Everyone wins!

New York bagel, schmagel. I’m Kansas-made. And delicious!

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On Super Bowl Sunday, I was unprepared to bring a snack. I’d put off and put off choosing because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to make. This left me scrolling through pictures of cookies and whatnot looking for something that caught my attention. No one will be surprised I stopped at a recipe for “caramel bars.” Although others might be surprised I made them even though they had chocolate in them.


How can a person NOT like caramel? It’s inhumane.

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It seems like all I’ve eaten since it’s cooled off is soup or stew or chili or something very similar. I decided I wanted something different, and Mom suggested chicken and rice. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of the dish when I was younger, but I think it was a combination of the spices used and too much sour cream. Plus, it’s been at least eight years since I’ve had it, so who knows. Maybe it’ll be my new favorite!

Cheese and rice that looks delicious!

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