Recipe: Honey Sriracha Venison

Now that I’m home for lunch and dinner, I can finally post some recipes! Before Wichita Restaurant Week, my husband and I “grilled” up this new take on Honey Sriracha Beef… with venison.

Remember when I said I had two deer worth of meat in my freezer? Well, I wasn’t joking. I haven’t bought beef yet this year, and I don’t think I’ll need to with the rich, red, clean meat my husband brought home in December.

I imagined slow cooking deer into a delightful barbacoa featured by Tasty by Buzzfeed, but I haven’t quite worked out a time to do it. Instead, I decided to try my luck with honey, Sriracha and soy sauce and grilling indoors.

Venison Recipe

My husband cut the backstrap into inch-ish cubes — mostly because I didn’t want to — and waited for me to mix the marinade, which is really more like a sauce.

Honey Sriracha Deer (1)

Deer Marinade

Honey, Sriracha and soy sauce are all you need for this recipe. And wine — see picture above — because who cooks without wine?

(Note: The wine goes in you, not the sauce.)

Kabob Recipe

I also chopped up an onion and a green bell pepper, dressed in salt, pepper, olive oil and golden balsamic vinegar to grill alongside the meat.

Venison Recipe

Usually, you would want to kabob these nuggets and turn them over an outdoor grill.

When the temperature is 25 degrees F and the Kansas wind is being a mad bro, you don’t really have the option of cooking over open, burning charcoal.

The neighborhood would go up in smoke.

Instead, my kitchen did.

Grill pan
Indoor grill pan doused in olive oil, and I should have used straight vegetable because of the smoke point. Alas!

 

BBQ tongs
Outdoor grilling tongs because the normal kitchen tongs were dirty and also… those things are Hulk mode. Long as my arm.

And with every fan in the house spinning on high, plus a stand fan aimed at the wide open backdoor, the house was still full of smoke.

Kids, don’t grill indoors.

Even if you’re just using  your stove…

Deer Recipes

Smoke or not, these little nuggets were gold.

Honey Sriracha Deer
Ingredients

  • 1-2 lbs. venison backstrap, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 Tbs. Sriracha
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. salt, plus more for the onions and peppers
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 red onion, cut into large sections
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into large sections

Directions

Chop the onion and pepper and toss with salt, cracked black pepper, golden balsamic vinegar (apple cider or white wine vinegar also work in a pinch) and olive oil.

Heat a cast iron skillet with a little olive oil and saute the onions and peppers until they’ve just got a bit of crunch left. You don’t want them to be shmushy.

Salt and pepper the venison, with the white pepper, and then coat it in Sriracha, soy sauce and honey.

Coat a cast iron grill pan with VEGETABLE or CANOLA oil — probably don’t use olive oil unless you have a powerful range hood — and heat to crazy hot.

That pan needs to be hot, hot, HOT — smokin’ before you put the meat on it.

Grill the venison in batches of six to eight pieces to medium rare.* Remove from the heat and set aside.

Once everything is cooked, load the plate with deer and a bowl with the veggies and chow down with your spouse or a friend. Two forks and several napkins required.

*My husband checked both deer to ensure they were healthy, without disease and safe to consume at medium rare. If you have not ensured your venison is consumable at this temperature, please understand that deer is susceptible to the same gut bacteria as beef and needs to be cooked accordingly. 

Aaaannnnd after that lovely note, enjoy!

Venison Recipes

 

Wichita Kansas Restaurants

#WRW16 A gastronomical review

gastronomy (n.) — The art or activity of cooking and eating fine food; the art or science of good eating — Merriam-Webster

Wichita Restaurant Week 2016 was such a blast! I already can’t wait for next year. I visited two of my favorite places and three restaurants for the first time.

Of all the restaurants, including my favorite BBQ joint and the best spot in Old Town (no joke!), I think I have to say that Lou’s Charcuteria truly blew me away.

Lou's Charcuteria Wichita KS Charcuterie

Sharing those delicious deviled eggs, that perfectly pulled Venezuelan pork sandwich, the charcuterie board and decadent Tres Leches cake with a friend was the perfect lunch experience, and I bet sharing one of their larger boards — I mean, have you seen these things? — for dinner would be just as astronomically amazing ;)

Here are quick links to my reviews for #WRW16:

I hope Wichita Restaurant Week has done its job of fundraising for Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas — I can’t wait to hear the results — and I also hope it has shown the Wichita community all the amazing local flavors just around the corner.

Wichita really is a foodie’s city.

I am happy to call it home :)

#WRW Olive Tree Wichita Kansas

#WRW16 A feast at Olive Tree

And on the last day of Wichita Restaurant Week, we feast…

Buffet Brunch

…on a chef-inspired buffet complete with traditional American breakfast items and authentic Mediterranean cuisine.

I ate ALL of the goat cheese.

Piccadilly, Wichita’s favorite holiday buffet spot, moved from its long-time Piccadilly Square location to a larger space in Comotara Plaza, where Olive Tree now serves its banquets and catering. The new space comes with a new name — Two Olives — and opens in February. Until then, Olive Tree continues to serve Sunday brunch and cater events across town.

The last time I ate buffet-style was at Piccadilly two Thanksgivings ago (and it was awesome), but that wasn’t the first time I’d eaten Piccadilly’s menu.

When I was in my undergrad at Wichita State University, I worked catering events at Hotel at Oldtown and the Wichita Art Museum with one of the chefs behind the Piccadilly cuisine — Joumana Toubia. While I mixed drinks behind a bar or served a three course meal to 250 event patrons or held an appetizer tray over my head during cocktail hour, Joumana was in the kitchen leading a team of chefs to produce some wonderful bites.

Of course, the staff got to taste them. How else would we be able to describe them appropriately to guests?

How else, I ask you.

:)

At brunch on Sunday — the final day of #WRW16 — I wanted to try everything so I got little bits of as much as I could eat.

Piccadilly chefs
I call this a salad. That I made myself. By piling everything from the tapas-style table onto one plate.

I liked almost everything on this plate, but there are certain things I tried that I knew I wouldn’t like, such as the grape leaf wrap things — I don’t like grape leaves — and the eggplant — I don’t like eggplant.

But I wanted to try them.

I inhaled the beets and Brussels sprouts salad, which I didn’t expect, but an upcoming smoothie recipe will show you how I’ve suddenly taken to beets… They’re weirdly delicious.

Two Olives Piccadilly Wichita Kansas

The salmon was also delicious, and I think I could have eaten an entire plate of just that, but I saved room for as much of the rest of the buffet as I could.

Olive Tree Catering Wichita Kansas
Salmon — amazing — and charcuterie table with salad and veggies!

 

Two Olives Wichita Kansas
I do not know how I failed to grab anything off this table but get a picture of it.

 

Olive Tree Wichita Kansas
Butter Rum Coffee. zomg. yay.

 

Olive Tree Brunch Wichita Kansas
I had four desserts, but they were REALLY tiny so I think that equals only one piece of cake.

The buffet was delightful, and the food was great, but I wished the areas and items had been labeled more clearly. Some items, like the salmon, didn’t need to be labeled, but others would have helped direct my decisions. For example, my brunch friend and I did not realize there was a waffle station. That would have been dessert, if I had seen it. Some of the tapas-style foods were also unlabeled, and I couldn’t tell the difference between the baba ghanoush and hummus in the muted lighting.

Because Piccadilly recently moved and changed their name and the restaurant technically isn’t “live” yet, I think the look and feel of the location as well as the organization of the buffet will change.

I’m excited to see what they’ll do with the place! It’s massive!

Olive Tree will also now offer its menu on a carry-out basis. Girls’ night? Book club? Don’t want to cook? Get a pint of hummus, a couple pizzas and fattouch salads — my favorite — from the future Two Olives and chow down at home. It’s catering, carry-out style.

My other #WRW16 Reviews:

Public at the Brickyard #WRW16

#WRW16 Words cannot describe… Public at the Brickyard

Last night, my husband and I ate dinner our favorite restaurant: Public at the Brickyard.

Public was busy busy busy because of the KU game, and that always makes me happy. Not just basketball, but also seeing a local place jam-packed full of paying customers who I hope were ordering their local brews with the Wichita Restaurant Week menu!

My husband ordered the local beer on special, a pilsner, and I’m not too fond of pilsners, so I started my meal with the best darn mixed drink I’ve ever consumed.

The Public Smash, ladies and gentlemen.

Public Oldtown Wichita Kansas
Bulleit Bourbon, lemon, mint, honey-infused simple syrup, whiskey barrel aged bitters and jalapeno

I broke the jalapeno in half and smooshed it to the bottom of the glass to give the drink a little heat with every sip, but Public serves it on the side so you can enjoy the remaining ingredients heat-free if you prefer.

Public’s three-course meal was the first true three-course meal I’ve run into during #WRW16: Soup or salad to start, an entree and dessert. Plus, their menu featured items they don’t usually have on the regular menu so it was a completely new meal at a restaurant I frequent and frequently order the same thing. (The burger is so good.)

I brought my husband with me in hopes we could order different things on the #WRW16 menu so I could try everything, but there was no sharing this soup.

Public Oldtown Wichita Kansas
French Onion Soup: Caramelized onions, beef broth, crostini and Gruyere

We both ordered the French Onion Soup and nearly drank it straight from the bowl. All soup, the perfect bite of cheese with deep flavors and the consistency of soup that had been slow-cooked for hours.

I. Want. More.

Public’s #WRW16 menu isn’t an all-the-time menu, which means this soup isn’t an all-the-time soup. I will be starting a letter-writing campaign to get it on the menu permanently.

We did order different entrees.

@publicoldtown on Twitter recommended I get the Five-Spiced Fried Chicken, but my husband was pretty set on getting the chicken. Since neither of us like grits, I ordered the Banana Wrapped Snapper with sticky rice.

Public at the Brickyard Wichita Kansas
Grilled Banana Wrapped Snapper with mild curry and sweet sticky rice with raisins

The snapper was flaky and fresh without a super “fishy” flavor (I like fishy flavors, but some people don’t so snapper is a good option). The banana leaf kept it piping hot, and probably provided its retained moisture. Eaten with the tangy carrot, cabbage and apple slaw on the side, every bite popped with flavor, but I think this fish needed those extra flavors.

Snapper is, after learning from a bit of research, a pretty mild fish.

As for the sticky rice — well, I love sticky rice. It’s like dessert you get to eat before dessert. (Don’t worry, I still got dessert.)

Public Old Town Wichita Kansas
Five-Spiced Fried Chicken with wasabi mashed potatoes, fennel and Bartlett pear slaw, pho gravy and rambo sprouts

And here is the chicken! Let me tell you how much my husband loved me taking photos of his food before he could eat it — ha!

Five-spice, wasabi, pho gravy… this is a dish that should offer some incredible flavors — and, wow, did it deliver.

The chicken was perfectly fried — juicy dark meat with crispy skin that hadn’t been overly fried. The texture of the meat and chicken flavor alone could have carried the dish, but I didn’t get much five-spice in the bites I took from my husband.

Either way, suuuuuuuuper yummy, would eat again.

Now, let’s talk about those mashed potatoes.

On. Point.

Everything you love about mashed potatoes — the comfort, the carbs — but with a little kick and a lot of savory from the pho gravy, which was also On. Point. Piled high in the happiest side dish presentation that ever existed ever.

(The letter-writing campaign for those mashed potatoes will coincide with the letter-writing campaign for the soup.)

Dinner was not to be outdone, but I think dessert outdid it.

Public Oldtown Wichita Kansas

Public at the Brickyard Wichita Kansas
Chocolate beignets with raspberry coulis and doughnut glaze

Somehow, when I read the menu, I missed a key ingredient to these little dough nuggets: chocolate.

Imagine my excitement.

The Public Wichita Kansas

Bitter. Sweet. Chocolate.

I die.

The beignets ARE occasionally on the menu so I won’t have to write any letters about them.

My husband ordered the Chef’s Creme Brulee. The flavor last night? Nutella.

zomg.

Public Old Town Wichita Kansas

He pushed his dessert toward me, and I nearly dove in with my spoon before he stopped to remind me to take a picture.

He’s so supportive, that husband of mine :)

Public at the Brickyard Wichita Kansas
This is what the inside of heaven looks like.

We have never had a bad experience with food or service at Public. Our server last night walked us through the entire Wichita Restaurant Week menu in such a way as to encourage us to order from it because it benefited Boys & Girls Clubs. Five stars to her, for sure, for pushing the menu and the cause even though she was super busy.

Service? On. Point. As always :)

I already can’t wait to go again.

Other Wichita Restaurant Week reviews:

District Taqueria Wichita Kansas

#WRW16 My first lunch at District Taqueria

I started this morning with the perfect mix of yoga, coffee and croissants (but I only had one).

If you haven’t worked out in a while, or if you’re starting to run again after taking a hiatus, it might be difficult to get back into the swing of things.

For me, yoga is like riding a bike. Sure, it’s a little more difficult to get into some poses I used to fall into easily, but I remember all the postures. I remember when and how to breathe. I remember where my feet are and where my hands are and how to move them.

Yoga is my bike.

Coffee is my fuel.

Reverie Coffee Roasters Wichita Kansas

After yoga, I stopped by Reverie Coffee Roasters for a fresh brewed coffee and snack — a butter croissant from heaven.

I needed the fuel to write my review of District Taqueria for Wichita Restaurant Week.

District Taqueria Wichita Kansas

I love tacos. I love anything shaped like a taco. You could probably put mushrooms in a taco, and I’ll still eat it — so I was super excited to try District Taqueria for the first time.

District Taqueria Wichita Kansas Downtown

Three friends joined me for lunch so I got to try both the salsa and the guacamole on the #WRW16 menu. We also got the queso — and I think I might be addicted to it.

The chips were light and airy, but they could have used some salt. The salsa was a bit mild for me without layers or pops of flavor I look for in a salsa. The guac was good, too, but it was a bit plain.

I think all three could have benefited from more salt… except the queso. Perfect as is. Of course, I put enough salt in and on nearly everything (only when it’s cooking!) to skew my taste buds.

Real quick — look at that food placement. My friends and I have missed our calling as food-stagers ;)

Considering I ate pork at Lou’s and pork at Delano Barbeque, I decided to order the Chicken Achiote Tacos.

Wichita Kansas District Taqueria

Two corn tortilla topped with chicken, Queso Cotija, avocado crema and — my favorite part — pineapple habanero salsa. Hello, heat!

All together, it was an incredibly flavorful taco. The crema wasn’t overpowering, the salsa wasn’t too spicy (bummer for me) and the tortillas were perfectly chewy.

Eat the chicken alone, though, and it left me wanting. The spice blend on the chicken wasn’t discernible, and, while it wasn’t dry, I couldn’t actually taste chicken. I don’t know. Maybe I got an off-chicken — not like it was dangerous to eat, but like it wasn’t the best-of-the-best on the flavor scale.

Reviews on the Pork Carnitas Tacos (ordered by all three ladies I had lunch with): Delicious. They knew something I didn’t.

I should have swung another pork lunch just to taste those! Oh, well, I’ll definitely be going back — even if only for that amazing queso.

Gracious, I love cheese.

Overall, District Taqueria did not disappoint!

Side note: I would tell you about the Tres Leches cake, but I left without it. They didn’t bring it to me, and I forgot I was supposed to get it. Oops — but probably a good thing since I’ve eaten WAY too much cake to feel good about my snack decisions this week.

white cake and frosting
From Instagram: I got up to refill my water bottle and came back to my desk with cake. I swear I don’t even know how I do this.

I have two days left of #WRW16! I already have my chosen destinations, and I cannot wait for dinner tonight and brunch tomorrow. Remember, you only have two days left of #WRW16, too, so get out there and eat! Ten percent of the meal benefits Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas.

Other Wichita Restaurant Week reviews:

Delano BBQ Wichita Kansas

#WRW16 Delano Barbeque Co., a District classic

Wichita’s Delano District is home to some amazing shops, including Hatman Jacks, and serious food treasures — not limited to #WRW16 participants Delano Barbeque Co. and Monarch.

Yesterday, I went to lunch at Delano Barbeque with two good friends, and we pigged out.

Get it? Pigged.

Delano Barbeque Co. in Wichita

Delano Barbeque Co. made a lunch and dinner menu for Wichita Restaurant Week. Lunch featured my favorite — Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich with Coleslaw (and spicy onion rings!).

skinnyshae and Delano Barbeque Co. in Wichita
I am not ashamed. I ate that whole thing.

I love Carolina Pulled Pork, but Delano Barbeque’s is something special. Not only is the pork flavorful, tender and delightfully pungent (thanks to the Pecan) — I’ve never had dry barbeque at Delano, BTW — but it’s also just the right amount of spicy.

And I love spicy.

Thanks to Delano Barbeque’s Hawg Sauce, some concoction of spices in a vinegar-based, bold and spicy sauce, any menu item can be the exact level of spicy customers want.

I swear, I could drink it. (Delano Barbeque also has hot and mild BBQ sauce for classic sauce lovers.)

Pit Man Cedric Taylor knows what he’s doing with the smoker, and I totally regret not asking to meet him. Sorry about that, blog readers. Maybe next time!

Aside from the food, I really love how Delano Barbeque is involved in giving back to the Wichita community. Owners Michelle and Jon Suddeth organize “Community Give Back Nights” for charitable causes selected by customers.

That’s right, folks. You could choose the next Community Give Back Night just by contacting Michelle.

Delano Barbeque does half the work of promoting it, too, via their website and social channels (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

Here’s how it works: You choose the Thursday, Delano Barbeque promotes it (and you should, too), and then 10 percent of dine-in and carryout sales from 3-8 p.m. are donated to the cause. Easy peasy! Plus, they’ll have a free S’mores Bar with meal purchase for participating customers, and the non-profit can set up a table with their information.

Delano Barbeque also holds special events, including Live Blues and Final Friday shows, and you can keep up with all the happenings on the website: www.delanobbq.com.

Tonight, I’m going to Delano Barbeque for Final Friday to get photos of and quotes from Newman University student Emilie Leivian whose photography will be on display — this is for my actual job, not my blog.

I hope to see a bunch of BBQ-loving, arts-supporting Wichitans there!

Other Wichita Restaurant Week reviews:

Lous Wichita Kansas

#WRW16 Lou’s Charcuteria flavor adventure

Better late than never, right?

Wichita Restaurant Week started last Friday, but I haven’t had a chance to visit any of my selected restaurants!

Until Wednesday.

For lunch, a friend and I went to Lou’s Charcuteria & Cocktails (and didn’t partake in any of the cocktails because work). Instead, we shared an appetizer, both entrees and dessert from the #WRW16 menu benefiting Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas — 10 percent of which will help support their programs.

Lou's Wichita Menu

First, we’re going to talk about those pickled deviled eggs…

I do not like deviled eggs. In fact, I pretty much despise deviled eggs. (Preface the following explosion with this statement.)

Lou's Charcuteria Deviled Eggs

THEY WERE SO GOOD YOU GUYS OMG
— Deviled Egg Hater

I could have eaten a plate of those deviled eggs. I don’t know what’s in them — I vaguely recall the words “sour cream” and “whipped” — but I will find out and I will make them and I will eat these every day for the rest of my life.

Lou's Charcuteria Wichita

The first round of entrees was the Venezuelan Pork Sandwich, which comes with chips and an adorable pickle. Pictured is only HALF the sandwich.

The whole thing would have taken me two meals to eat so I was glad to share.

Tender pork, tons of flavor and a chimichurri sauce that, when ordered on the side, leftovers can be used to dip your chips. Totally worth it. (Apparently, this sandwich also comes in taco form. I have my excited face on.)

12424470_513191662186565_954836521_n

We also got the “Baby” Charcuterie and Cheese Board, which featured smoked gouda, pepperoni, fancy ham, sliced mozzarella, green and kalamata olives, more adorable pickles and a raspberry dipping sauce I nearly forgot to try.

Why they called it the “Baby” board, I do not know. Almost makes me fear what a grown-up board would look like…

With the many items on this board, I wish pepperoni hadn’t been so prominent, but that’s just me considering pepperoni pizza food and not real food.

The “Sweety Drop Peppers,” the little red, tear-dropped shaped peppers on the right were sweet and tangy with an interesting texture. Eaten alone, really powerful and sort of crunchy-soft. Eaten on a mini sandwich, less powerful. Either way, I could have eaten them like candy or on a pizza, in fairness.

Lous Charcuteria Wichita Kansas

And for dessert?

Actual candy.

My friend and I shared the Tres Leches, a cake I don’t think I’ve ever had. I do not recall eating anything like this cake before, but I do recall — immediately after finishing my half — that I decided that I will be eating it again.

It was rich and moist [insert groans about how horrible that word is here — I know! I know! But it was!]. While the whipped cream might have been overkill, I did eat all of it.

Like all of the food.

I shared, but I think I might have been bad at it.

Overall, Lou’s Charcuteria & Cocktails has a laid back atmosphere, great food and really amazing service. Our server was awesome — super knowledgeable about the menu and really chill.

Outside of the #WRW16 menu, prices are in the $$ range with sandwiches at $10 and boards at $20-25. The Venezuelan Pork Sandwich was huge so I think $10 was reasonable.

For a normal-sized board, I don’t know, but they are meant “for sharing.” The smaller board we ordered and didn’t finish (I got the leftovers to put in last night’s dinner salad) was shared easily.

I’m not sure if dessert is a regular part of the menu. I didn’t look at the regular menu closely, but, if it is… or even if it isn’t — go find that cake and eat it.

Lou’s gets five Shae stars (these stars are worthless, I’m sorry).

Eating at local restaurants participating in Wichita Restaurant Week is a great way to help Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas. Just order off the#WRW16 menu! Plus, it takes all of the menu hunting and food deciding out of the dining out experience. Like I just ordered the piece of paper.

FTW.

Other Wichita Restaurant Week reviews:

Latte Art (4)

Live action latte art at Reverie Coffee Roasters

Reverie Coffee Roasters in Wichita hosted a latte art competition for area baristas last night, the fourth of its kind at Reverie.

I have never attended a latte art competition. Before last week, I didn’t even know about latte art competitions.

Owner Andrew Gough said, historically, there haven’t been many organized events for the coffee community in Wichita.

“So I think, first and foremost, it was really for the baristas to get together and spend a little time hanging out,” he said. “We want to raise the overall appreciation for the art and the craft that goes into making coffee.”

Gough said baristas and their supporters came from Garden City, Kansas City, Manhattan, McPherson, Hutchinson and Wichita to participate.

“We got people who drove three and half hours,” he said. “That’s pretty cool.”

The reason so many baristas from out of town come to Reverie for these competitions is because Reverie baristas travel out of town to compete, too.

“Some of our employees went a couple nights ago to Oklahoma City and just blew their minds that we went there,” he said.

Reverie baristas also go to Tulsa, Kansas City, Lawrence and Manhattan for throw downs like these. According to Gough, coffee shops and baristas support each other.

“And they hang out and have fun.”

With enough room for elbows, a crowded shop of friends, family and fans watched more than 30 competitors show off their skills at Reverie’s newly renovated bar.

Latte Art (33)

In a picture, latte art is…

Latte Art (4)

Baristas poured steamed milk into espresso (to make a latte) in such a way to make a design. The design had to be poured, not drawn, so competitors had one shot — ha! like espresso — to make it.

Judges determined which latte would move on to the next round in bracket-like style, and all the lattes were handed out to the crowd.

Latte Art (5)

With standing room only and me not being taller than 75 percent of the room, I hopped on the bench with a friend to get a better view.

Latte Art (36)

View from the bench.

But I did have to get a few close-ups.

Latte Art (19)
The pour.

 

Latte Art (20)
The presentation.

 

The judgement.
The judgement.

Reverie also had a live action camera hanging over the judging station so the entire shop could see the art before it was judged and consumed by the crowd.

I had two…

I also had this delicious little ice cream nugget by Little Lion Ice Cream. Two scoops of stout ice cream and a shot of espresso — called an affogato. Holy… so good.

Complete with my lipstick on the spoon. Couldn't wait to take a bite!
Complete with my lipstick on the spoon. Couldn’t wait to take a bite!

So I was appropriately caffeinated with some of the most delicious, delightfully smooth espresso I’ve ever had.

I consume a ton of coffee daily, and, most of the time, I’m not too concerned with the taste — I happen to like the bitter bite and sludgy consistency of what I brew at home — but this espresso was unreal it was so good.

Take it from me, I get coffee wherever I go — Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, gas stations, the break room, etc. — and Reverie’s espresso tops the list in flavor and texture.

It was straight up velvet in a cup.

Latte Art (35)
Even after being poured out of the coffee cup and into a to-go cup it still looks pretty.

I got the final round on video! Tom and Ian went shot to shot.

And the winner is…

Latte Art (30)

Ian!
Tom and Ian, second and first place, at Reverie’s latte art competition

I’m happy I got to see this show of skill and learn a little more about the coffee community in Wichita. I will be partaking in a cup or two at Reverie in the future — you can count on it.

TIME FOR FOOD

#WRW16 skinnyshae Preview

Wichita Restaurant Week starts today!

I already have lunch plans with a friend next week to eat for the first time at one of the participating restaurants downtown — you’ll have to wait and see!

Unfortunately, I will not be able to make it to every restaurant. Full-time job, full-time house, full-time not leaving my house very often…

(Some day I’ll write a blog about how much I love being in my house and not in public.)

Since I can’t eat at every restaurant this week, I have a preview of restaurants I’ve eaten at in the past and can say  for certain that I love the food and support them with all my food-loving self.

Delano Barbeque Company

If you know the Midwest, you know about our barbeque. If you know about me, you know I love barbeque.

Evidence (again): This bucket of ribs.

Ribs

One of my favorite places to get barbeque and my absolute favorite place in Wichita is Delano Barbeque Company.

It’s on my list for Wichita Restaurant Week — I’ve never met the pit master, and it’s about time I had another Carolina Pulled Pork Sandwich. During #WRW16, at lunch, it comes with two onion rings and choice of side. (Hint: I’m getting cole slaw.)

Jon and Michelle Suddeth, owners
Jon and Michelle Suddeth, owners

Here’s hoping I can find some BBQ-loving friends to go with me!

The Monarch

Not the butterfly, but I love those, too.

The Monarch is chill, has a great patio, great sandwiches made with smoked meat and cheese THAT THEY SMOKE THEMSELVES and a fantastic beer selection.

They have Gutch on tap. I love Gutch.

They also have this giant cheese ball — not on tap, on the menu.

Monarch Cheese Ball

While the cheese ball isn’t on the #WRW16 menu, all of the other greats are:

  • Peppadew Hummus (recommend)
  • Fried Green Beans (seriously recommend)
  • ANY OF THE SANDWICHES — My favorite is The Roundabout.

And, apparently, on Monday, it’s $2.75 Mystery Beer, and that sounds like the most fun game in the world.

It’s $30 for two people, excluding drinks (get the Gutch), tip and tax.

Public at the Brickyard

Oh, Public, I love you — as a restaurant.

Public at the Brickyard
…because without beer, things do not seem to go as well…
I have about 3,000 pictures of this drink. You know, about.
I have about 3,000 pictures of this Bloody Mary. You know, about.
Salmon Benedict at Public at the Brickyard
I have eaten this dish approximately 3,000 time. Pretty sure on this number…
And I've read "user comments" in their ticket books too many times to count :)
And I’ve read “user comments” in their ticket books too many times to count :)

I. LOVE. Public.

It’s my favorite public place. Hah!

My husband and I are deciding where we want to go together to dinner, and Public is at the top of the list. It’s always on the list. Every day.

I MEAN HAVE YOU HAD THE PICKLES?

You should. (They’re not on the special menu, but just remember that you need to go during #WRW16 AND again just for the pickles.)

Wine Dive

Wine Dive is in my neighborhood. So, of course, I’ve eaten there. Often.

For #WRW16, they’re featuring an Italian tasting menu with wild mushrooms, arugula salad and tiramisu with a choice of one of two entrees — and the Tuscan Grilled Strip Steak sounds like a little piece of food heaven.

I’ve also eaten at The Hungry Heart, The Hill Bar & Grill, AVI, Chester’s Chophouse, Playa Azul and River City Brewing Co.  (another favorite).

There are 25 participating restaurants on the list, and I think I’m going to get to five.

Ugh. Decisions…

I am taking non-biased recommendations.

Wichita

Wichita Restaurant Week #WRW16 #ictdining

Last night, I attended the launch party for Wichita Restaurant Week 2016 by Visit Wichita to benefit Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas.

So.

Much.

Fun.

During Wichita Restaurant Week, local chefs and restaurants serve a special menu – for example, a three-course dinner for two for $24 – and 10 percent of the meal goes to Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas.

Boys & Girls Clubs across the country “nurture young people’s self-esteem by instilling in them a sense of belonging, competence, power and influence, and usefulness.” They do this “by providing young people with one-on-one relationships with caring adult professionals and fun, age-appropriate, well-rounded programming.”

Not only do children have a safe, secure place to go after school and during the summer, they also get a meal at the end of the day, help with homework  and experience in performing arts, computer training and sports.

An amazing cause supported locally by some seriously amazing restaurants.

See the complete list of participating restaurants and pricing >>

Wichita is the foodiest, eats-loving city in the world – OK, at least in Kansas – and, starting Friday, Jan. 22, I cannot wait to blog about all the food I’m about to consume – with no kitchen effort on my part. I will select a handful of restaurants to visit during Wichita Restaurant Week 2016 and post my reviews on skinnyshae. Media and other Wichita foodies will also be posting to social so follow along with #WRW16 and #ictdining!

PHOTOS FROM WICHITA RESTAURANT WEEK 2016 LAUNCH PARTY

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L-R: Guy Bower and Beth Bower of The Good Life; Paul Freimuth, executive chef at Hyatt Regency Wichita; Denise Neil, reporter and columnist at the Wichita Eagle; and then me… (and I make this same face in every photo).

 

Debra Fraser and Sarah Jane Crespo of my favorite public radio station KMUW 89.1
L-R: Debra Fraser and Sarah Jane Crespo of my favorite public radio station, KMUW 89.1

 

L-R: Me, Cindy Kelly of Two Olives and Phillip Warren of Chain Free Eating
L-R: Me, grad school bud Cindy Kelly of Two Olives and Phillip Warren of Chain Free Eating

 

Brook Russell, co-owner and the woman behind the Public Pickles at Public at the Brickyard
Brook Russell, co-owner and the woman behind the Public Pickles at Public at the Brickyard

 

Stacy Ward Lattin and Torrey Lattin, co-owners of Hopping Gnome Brewery
Stacy Ward Lattin and Torrey Lattin, co-owners of Hopping Gnome Brewery

I failed #justonejanuary last night with these crafty brews…

Hopping Gnome Saison
Steampunk Saison was my favorite.

 

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John David Payne, the chef behind the Ahi Tuna Nachos at The Hungry Heart

 

Delano Barbecue Co.
Jon Suddeth and Michelle Suddeth, owners of Delano Barbeque Company

 

Andrew Gough of Reverie Coffee Roasters
Andrew Gough of Reverie Coffee Roasters

 

Tia. She's a SAINT.
AND TIA – the woman who saved my sanity once when I was in grad school – she found and returned my lost wedding ring – and now she’s supporting Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas as a member of the board. Saint.

 

J.D. from Visit Wichita, Dena from Foodie Wichita and me
J.D. from Visit Wichita and Dena from Foodie Wichita

Finally, I would like to say thank you thank you thank you to J.D. and Jamie (not pictured) from Visit Wichita for inviting me to the event!

If you want to review a Wichita Restaurant Week participating restaurant for skinnyshae, contact me!