Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Shake Shack

We tried a new place in Downtown OP this weekend, the Shake Shack. I guess it's only been open for a week or so. It's in the building where Wheat State Pizza used to be. Crowded for lunch on a Saturday. The operation is just getting up and running, and you can tell.

Cash only. Yummy burgers on a flatiron grill. Fresh fries and onion rings (a little bit soggy). We had a chocolate shake too. Not bad. But for a place called the Shake Shack, I expect a shake that'll make me need to have a seat afterwards. Should be called the Burger Shack at this point. I want to try it again after they've been open for a little while, to get the kinks worked out.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cafe Augusta

Café Augusta
Yuki and I went to hear a good friend sing at Café Augusta on Friday night. I'd been hearing good things about their lunch selections at work, and Yuki had been wanting to go, too. It was busy-to-crowded when we showed up, but we didn't have any trouble getting a table. At first, the service was good. The menu looked great. Anyplace that has Lagavulin on the menu is off to a good start in my book.

As I looked over the menu, I didn't really see anything that would match a smoky, peaty scotch. So I went with a vodka martini instead. Amazing dinner. I had the chicken piccata and rice pilaf.

The service was bad. Slow. Our girl seemed to be more interested in running credit cards through the machine and collecting her tips than paying attention to her future tips. It got so bad that I had to pop into the kitchen to get a plate, while our server was nowhere to be found (which was actually a cool experience). The dessert seemed pre-made and frozen.

We'll be back for the food, but probably for lunch.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Panera and 'the end of overeating'

We went to Panera last night, with O and my parents. The food was pretty good, but I was really reminded of The End of Overeating, by David Kessler. The food was delicious, but while I was eating it, it seemed too good. After generally abstaining from fast food for so long, the flavors, specifically in the salad dressing, were explosive. So flavorful and indulging that I found myself wanting to keep eating the salad to get at the dressing. Some sort of sticky teriyaki flavor.

The portions were huge! I got the 1/2 and 1/2, the you-pick-two, with a salad and half-sandwich, and the salad was twice as big as a bowl I'd use at home.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Your turn to comment. Have you been, have you heard, what do you think about Cafe Augusta?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm so sad that S wasn't with us when we dined at Andre's today. This was my first time ever visiting. I couldn't have been more pleased. O and I split a smoked salmon napoleon--divine! It came with pickled beets, cucumber salad and carrot salad. Raspberry chocolate cake and a cappuccino to go... We will return. Soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dennis posted a comment on my review of Korma Sutra. He raves about Ruchi's. We ate there about six months ago. Since our visit, I've thought many times about the mango cake of which I ate three pieces--yum! The food was the spiciest of the Indian restaurants of which I've dined. That's not a problem for me, but when O likes his food blander so we haven't returned. It's another great option for Indian food, but the service at Korma Sutra still stands.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Greek / Mediterranean food

Yuki and I have been to Mr. Gyros a few times, and it's always amazingly good. I usually get the gyro platter. It's basically a plate of lamb, feta, pitas, tomatoes, and taziki sauce. Mmm. The service is always fast, and the place looks crowded but you can usually find a place to seat and the line doesn't take too long to get through.

One more thing about Mr. Gyros. They've got big tvs, but the tvs are always showing a Greek travel video, or something, so it's nowhere near as obnoxious as those sports-bar places that have distracting tv on.

We've also been to Caspian Bistro, over on Metcalf. They've got more variety, but I stuck to the gyros there too. Caspian Bistro has good service and good food, and it should be more supported than it is. Both times we've been there, there have been only a few people eating.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

S's written a post about Indian food earlier, but I wanted to address Korma Sutra where we had lunch yesterday. We ate at the Overland Park location.

The service at Korma Sutra is outstanding--the best. From the moment we sat down to the moment we left, our every need, plus, was met. Dining with a toddler can be challenging, but O was welcomed and doted upon. I had three mango lassis. We took naan home. Owen got a balloon, chicken fingers and ice cream.

The food is exceptional as well. I gorged on the butter chicken as part of the buffet. This dish could make me come back every week. Everything looked fresh. The buffet was clean. Perfect.

The atmosphere was bustling, but not overcrowded. I didn't feel rushed.

Overall, this may be my new favorite Indian restaurant.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

"Welcome, this is a Farmhouse"
--quote from Phish song :)

3rd and Delaware, River Market

cool looking venue
arrived early
seemed a bit sad
but got busy--changed the mood
business lunchers

salads, sandwiches and fries
feeling adventurous--pork sliders
pleasantly surprised
homemade fries
homemade ketchup!

local ingredients
warm, wafting air
feeling sleepy after the full meal

did I mention Mexican coke!!!

The most important thing about eating at Farmhouse is that the owner/chef buys organic and local.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Korma Sutra (Indian) and Haywards (BBQ)

Two things this time. Another Indian place to add (partly because Hadrian was complaining), and a review of the new Haywards.

Korma Sutra - Metcalf and 435. Overall: 95. Atmosphere: 92. The last time I was in, it seemed super-crowded, but this time, it was ok. Nice, very clean, and delicious-smelling. It was busy, which is always a good sign. Friendliness: 97. The owner, or manager, is strikingly friendly. He's super-nice and made me feel welcome. My dining companion was meeting me there, so I was waiting for a few minutes, and the fine fellow brought me a chai tea, and a pakora, while I waited. Freshness of Food: 95. Very fresh. They had a good variety of dishes, too. The only part I didn't like was that the naan wasn't on the buffet. They brought it to our table in a basket, and it was delicious, but I like to put the saucy dishes over my naan. I know that's nit-pickey. Spicyness: 99. The spices were perfect for me, which is to say, not super-spicy, but enough to know that it's there, and a little bit of a runny nose. Desserts: 90. Great desserts, but nothing new or fancy. Price: 95. Regular buffet price.

Haywards - west of 87th and Antioch. I have fond memories of the old Haywards, on College and Antioch. When I was young, my extended family often went out for barbeque. So I was excited to see the Haywards move so close to where I work. Yuki, LG, and I went there for lunch last week. We came in and saw the menu, which was hard to read (there was stuff stacked up in front of it). There weren't really any combos. If I'm paying 8.99 for a sandwich, I'd like some fries or a side. We ordered and went to sit down. The place has been open for a few weeks now, and it seemed like there was one girl who really had a handle on things, but the other staff didn't. They said they'd call our order number, and after 5-10 minutes, I hadn't heard them call any orders. So I went to the counter. They'd given our order to another table. Not good. So we got our order, and the food was ok. The fried mushrooms, which are amazing at Zardas, were bland at Haywards. The sauce was good. And the dill pickle was good. The sandwich was ok, and the potato salad was too sweet.

I don't recommend it. Zarda's always a good experience, and always delicious.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I've heard about this place--The Farmhouse--in a couple of different places. Anyone been?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

...terribly disappointed that the Nerman's cafe doesn't have lunch made-to-order on Saturdays. Well, the Walt Bodine critics gave it such high marks that it's my pick for lunch this week. i'll let ya know how it is...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

two scotches

Went to McCoys last night. Delicious food with Yuki's brother's family. I think I'm going to turn this into a scotch post, though.

I tried two, the Glenmorangie 10, and the Cragganmore.

I had the Cragganmore with dinner, because it's a more full-bodied, punchy variety. The last couple of times I've had it, it hasn't really wowed me. But it's been a few years, so I thought I'd give it a chance.

Cragganmore 12
The color: amber
The nose: Floral and medicinal.
The body: Thin, not really syrupy. Spicy at the end.
Big and peppery, woody without much smoke. And spice. Undernotes of floral and citrus.
It's a complex malt that I'm not overly fond of.

I waited until after dinner with the Glenmorangie, because I knew it had sweeter, more delicate notes. More of a mild dessert scotch.

Glenmorangie 10
The color: pale yellow
The nose: fruity and hints of cinnamon and toasted marshmallows.
The body: syrupy and smooth.
Mild and sustained, like brown sugar and vanilla. Creamy.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Indian in KC

We've been trying out Indian places in town. Six months ago, we were India Palace loyalists. Now, we'll see. I've got three different places to compare, and the comparisons will have certain categories:
  • Atmosphere
  • Friendliness
  • Freshness of Food
  • Spicyness
  • Desserts
  • Price
India Palace - 87th and Switzerish. Overall: 93. Atmosphere: 90. Great. Sometimes we run into people that we know from work. Clean and nice tables and buffet. Friendliness: 100!. The main guy, usually the cashier always makes us feel welcome, is nice to O, and is generally in a pleasant mood. The other staff are always courteous. Freshness: 85. It's great food, and I would eat there without any problem. India Palace is my gold standard for good food. Spicyness: 95. Not too spicy, not too bland. Perfect. Desserts: 95. Rice pudding and honey-drenched dough balls. Mmm. Price: 95. It's a buffet. Around $10/person.

Flavor of India - 87th and Quivira. Overall: 93. Atmosphere: 90. It was a little intimidating walking in, because we were the only ones at the restarant. It seemed a little dark. Friendliness: 90. Once we got in, the staff made us feel welcome. The only reason I give an A- is because the guy at India Palace is super-nice. Freshness: 100. The food tastes totally fresh, the sauces are the right consistancy (see Ruchi entry). Spicyness: 95. Food is well seasoned and not too spicy. Desserts: 85. Rice pudding here was great, but not much variety. Price: 95. Same as India Palace.

Ruchi - College and Antioch. Overall: 88. Atmosphere: 85. Nice place, not quite as fancy as the other two. And super-crowded when busy (which is a good thing for the food). Friendliness: 85. Okay. Freshness: 85. Definitely nothing wrong with the food, but not as fresh as Flavor of India. The sauces, for me, were a little thin. Lots of variety, though. Spicyness: 85. A little too spicy. Desserts: 100. Wow! The cake is amazing, and they had little sugary pastries that were great too. No rice pudding though. Price: 90. A little bit more than the other two.