A Day Without a Woman

Today is International Women’s Day, and women across this country will celebrate by participating in A Day Without a Woman — taking a day off from paid and unpaid labor; purchasing no goods unless from a small-, woman- or minority-owned business; and (or) wearing red in solidarity.

I woke up this morning and went to work.

I work for a woman-owned business. We’re a small team, and I have a lot of work to do coming back from six weeks off with a new baby.

I guess, with an infant at home, I won’t be taking the day off from unpaid labor either. He requires a lot of labor (and it’s all of love).

Last night, I attended a Junior League of Wichita Diversity & Inclusion Committee panel discussion with local female leaders in the community — some truly amazing women from public service, higher education, law, non-profit and small business ownership. The panel discussed careers, obstacles women face in the workplace, including themselves, and — a recent topic for me — “mom guilt.”

The Wichita Eagle recently compiled a collection of survey responses from women in the workplace: Wichita women talk about workplace obstacles, which addresses obstacles, such as maternity leave, breastfeeding and child care — all things we talked about in last night’s panel discussion.

I almost did not attend the panel discussion, even though I’d been looking forward to it for a month, because of mom guilt. My husband had been home all day with our son who was suffering from gas and discomfort.

So he was fussy.

When I got home, I nursed him, burped him and gave him back to my husband so I could leave again.

He was still fussy.

My husband told me to go knowing I’d stand there staring at them with keys in hand fretting… and feeling guilty.

“Mommy guilt is real,” the panel agreed, and it’s a challenge women face in the workplace, in our home life and in our relationships.

One woman said, when her children were young, she feared the Kindergarten teacher would judge her seeing her son in the same T-shirt two days in a row “because we like that T-shirt” and some mornings can be difficult.

Another woman lamented about being asked how she could open her own business and plan her son’s birthday party at the same time.

“I can do it,” she told them.

Whether it’s the guilt we put on ourselves or the guilt we put on each other, listening to these women talk about their own mommy guilt assuaged my fears leaving my son — missing developmental milestones, not being there to comfort him, not being there to feed him.

I am going to miss things happening in his life, and that’s OK. He’s going to be OK. One of the women made a point to say: “You’re children will be fine.”

A small business owner on the panel with four children said she couldn’t do what she did every day — working, managing her business, mom-ing — without her husband. As a woman, a business owner and a mother, she wasn’t doing it all all of the time all alone.

Her message was of support — whether from a spouse, a family member or a community.

Years ago, I wrote about how my village raised me. Today, my village empowers me to be a mother, a wife and a woman.

Without the women and men who support me, throughout my pregnancy (and during the fourth trimester, especially), I could not do what I do every day — working, writing, mom-ing.

My husband, who is an amazing husband to me and father to our baby…

My mother, who taught me hard work and who loves my son so much…

My mother-in-law, who gives and gives of her time so my husband and I can go to work knowing our son is in good hands and loving arms…

My sister-in-law, who flew in just to meet him (and make us dinner — thank you!)…

My friends, who called or texted to check in on me weekly after he was born…

The women who gave so generously of new and used baby gear so I didn’t have fork over an arm and a leg to keep him diapered, clothed and soothed…

The women who became my tribe and who never passed judgement on me or my decisions.

I went to work this morning.

Wearing red.

Because — even though I went to work — I stand with women.

For an end to violence and harassment.

For reproductive rights.

For equal pay, affordable childcare and paid family leave.

For civil rights.

For women.

St. Patrick’s Day celebrations

Because St. Patrick’s Day fell on a Thursday — figures — Wichita held its festivities the weekend before with bar crawls and a parade.

I avoided the bar crawls and missed the parade (on purpose… crowds) because I really only wanted one thing.

Corned Beef Hash.

Where does one go to get a great Irish-themed meal on St. Patrick’s Day?

One goes to the Public.

Public celebrated Opening at the Brickyard Saturday, March 12, welcoming spring-like weather in early March and crowds of green-clad patrons excited for Irish fare and Irish beer.

Public Oldtown Wichita KS
An empty patio, but wait…

 

St. Patrick's Day crowd in Wichita Kansas
Full patio! With bagpipers!

But I did not get an Irish beer.

I know, I know! I should have ordered a Guinness or an Irish Red or something… but I really wanted an IPA, and Sculpin IPA by Ballast Point out of San Diego was on tap.

Craft Beer Dedicated to the Craft
So delicious IPA by Ballast Point.

Of course, I had to have one. (It was awesome, by the way.)

I also had to have Corned Beef Hash, and I’m a lucky duck because I got to watch my meal being made by Public Chef and Owner Travis Russell in the Brickyard’s super awesome food truck — a refurbished trailer that I think really needs a name.

Public at the Brickyard Food Truck Trailor in Wichita Kansas
What do you think? Betty? Stella? Frank? I’ll have to ask if it already has a name…

 

Public Oldtown Chef Owner Travis Russell cooking in Wichita Kansas
Hash on the grill!

 

Public Old Town Wichita Kansas
Looking at this menu makes me hungry again.

 

Corned Beef Hash at the Brickyard
zomg. Corned Beef Hash.

Super tender beef. Amazing flavors. I want to eat this everyday forever.

I happily also ran into a friend and listened to some pipers!

skinnyshae St. Patricks Day

 

Bag pipers play at the Brickyard in Wichita Kansas

 

 

My husband and I also celebrated St. Patrick’s Day on the actual St. Patrick Day with a kilt, a checkered hat and a Wichita State University game.

St. Patricks Day Date in Wichita Kansas
We went out. In public. Together. That nearly never happens. Go couple!

Neither of us wore green.

Oops…

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Er… late.

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 :)

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:

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.

#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.