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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
Somehow, when I read the menu, I missed a key ingredient to these little dough nuggets: chocolate.
Imagine my excitement.
Bitter. Sweet. Chocolate.
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.
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 :)
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: