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Posts tagged with Food

What are Lawrence’s most iconic menu items? Help us decide

MONDAY MORNING UPDATE: Since posting this blog on Friday, I’ve gotten lots more suggestions via email, Twitter, Facebook and comments (below). Following are just a few of the new additions. Anything else, foodies of Lawrence? Let me know today!

• Texas Burrito at Border Bandido • Spring roll salad at Zen Zero • Gyros at Mad Greek • Mini-cinnis from Munchers Bakery • Ricotta pancakes at Mariscos • Hot wings at Henry T’s • French toast at Miltons • Shrimp po’ boy at Terrebonne • Biscuits and gravy at Wheatfield’s • Flaming cheese at Mad Greek • Birria at Mexquisito • Biscuits and gravy at Mirth • Potato pancakes at the Roost • Lentil soup at Aladdin Cafe • Vegetarian biscuits and gravy at Aimee’s Coffeehouse


What would you put on a list of Lawrence's food wonders? The Journal-World is looking for our city’s most iconic, most delicious, most notorious, must-have, can’t-miss, original-to-us menu items (yes, we’re aware this is going to be hard to narrow down).

We’ve talked to some local foodies, chefs and restaurateurs. Now we want your input.

Below are a bunch of nominees — a mix of old standbys and potential new classics. Which of these are worthy? Which aren’t? Which other dishes should be on here? Tell us what you think.

Comment below. Comment on Facebook. Shout out on Twitter @saramarieshep or @lcom. Email Sara at sshepherd@ljworld.com. Bring food item directly to Sara at 645 New Hampshire St. (Kidding — she doesn’t accept bribes.)

• Banh Mizza at Limestone Pizza Kitchen

• Bill Self Pasta at 23rd Street Brewery

• Black Bean Quesadillas at Free State Brewing Company

• Buffalo Chicken Meatballs at Merchants

• Cheddar Ale Soup at Free State Brewing Company

• Cinnamon Rolls at Wheatfield’s

• Cream Cheese Doughnuts at Munchers

• French Dip Sandwich at Free State Brewing Company

• Gnocchi (gluten free) at Genovese

• Goober Burger at Yacht Club

• Habanero Salsa at La Parrilla

• Rock Chalk Jayhawk ice cream at Sylas and Maddy’s

• Iguana Dip at Salty Iguana

• Johnny Wilson burger at Johnny’s

• Kale Caesar Salad at Merchants

• Kansas Roll at Wa

• Mama Keno slice at Papa Keno’s

• Phad Thai at Zen Zero

• Pizza at Johnny’s Tavern

• Rabbit Ravioli at 715

• Sausage sandwich at Bigg’s

• Smoke Burger at Burger Stand

• Smoked Trout Crostini at 715

• Thukpa at Zen Zero

• Tortellini cordon blue at Basil Leaf Cafe

• Truffle Fries at Burger Stand

• Tuna Tower at Cafe Beautiful

• Turkey Cranberry Sandwich at Wheatfield’s

• Wang Burger at the Wheel

The Wang Burger at The Wagon Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

The Wang Burger at The Wagon Wheel, 507 W. 14th St. by Sara Shepherd

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @saramarieshep. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Tasting notes: More palate teasers from Merchants, craft beer dinner, free sweet tea

Here's a couple of food- and drink-tasting opportunities to be had this week in Lawrence.

Tonight

La Parrilla this week will play host to its second tasting event in the wine cellar beneath the restaurant’s new location, 724 Massachusetts St. A dinner featuring beer and food pairings is planned for 6:30 p.m. today. Leading the event is Steve Wilson of City Wine Market who has selected a lineup of American micro-brews and some European samplings. Cost is $48 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 841-1100. There were still spots available as of late Tuesday.

Thursday

McAlister’s Deli is celebrating its fifth-annual Free Tea Day on Thursday, and according to a press release from the restaurant’s corporate office, nationwide the chain expects to give away more than 320,000 32-ounce glasses of their "Famous Sweet Tea." That’s a lot of free tea! The Lawrence McAlisters is located at 2108 W. 27th St. No purchase is necessary to get the free tea, but if you’re hungry the fast-casual restaurant is known for its sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts.

Friday

Merchants Pub and Plate, the new gastropub scheduled to open next month in the space formerly home to Tellers, will again serve samples from its menu at Final Fridays. Owners said they served more than 600 samples to Final Friday-goers at the Phoenix Gallery in June. This week, Merchants is setting up shop at 5 p.m. Friday at the Cider Gallery, located at 810 Pennsylvania St. in the Warehouse Arts District.

“We’re having a lot of fun sharing our concept and getting ready for the opening through these tasting events,” chef/owner TK Peterson said in an event announcement.

A note for those interested in more than just the food: This week’s Final Fridays reception at the Cider Gallery will feature large-scale photographic works by Lawrence artist Tim Forcade and indigenous-inspired paintings by Colombia native Majo.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @saramarieshep. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Wining and dining diversions for July: 250 wines in one room, Manhattan beer, fancy meal with French wine

Inevitably July will start acting like July any day now, and it’s going to get hot. A few adult-beverage and food-tasting events in the coming weeks promise to be refreshing diversions. Here’s what’s on tap.

Salute! Grand Tasting

Salute!, Lawrence’s annual wine and food tasting festival to benefit Cottonwood Inc., is next week. The Grand Tasting and Auction is set for 6:30 to 10 p.m. July 13 at the Oread, 1200 Oread Ave. Tickets are $75 per person and include a souvenir wine glass, butler tray and tote bag. Purchase tickets and find more details online at salutewinefest.com.

The event will feature more than 250 wines and food from local restaurants and caterers. Salute! 2012 netted more than $114,000 for Cottonwood, a nonprofit organization that helps people with disabilities.

Salute! Winemaker Dinner

The much-less-expensive Salute! Mass St. Mosey — a $40-per-person wine walk in downtown Lawrence — is sold out (again). But if you can afford it, a more climate-controlled option with fancier fare is the $150-per-person Salute! Winemaker Dinner.

French wine from multiple growing regions highlights this year’s dinner July 12 at the Oread. A reception with hors d'oeuvres and wine begins at 6:30 p.m., and the four-course dinner at 7 p.m. Reservations are required. Purchase tickets and see the full wine list and dinner menu at salutewinefest.com.

Tallgrass Brewery Beer Dinner

Manhattan-brewed beer will boldly breach sports-rivalry lines for Genovese’s annual beer dinner. The five-course Tallgrass Brewery Beer Dinner is scheduled for 6 p.m. July 18 at the restaurant, 941 Massachusetts St. Cost is $49 per person, and reservations can be made by calling 842-0300.

Planned courses include duck confit crostini with 8-Bit Hop-Rocketed American Pale Ale, barbecued pork pizza with Velvet Rooster Belgian-Style Tripel and, for dessert, chocolate Kahlua panna cotta with Buffalo Sweat Oatmeal Cream Stout.

Fun fact — a few years ago Tallgrass abandoned bottles and went all-can, all the time. The “Tallgrass Canifesto” on the company’s website decrees: "Cans seal better than bottles and totally block sunlight, which keeps our beer tasting fresher, longer. Cans are more fun. You can take cans to the pool, concerts, lakes, stadiums, hot tubs, golf courses, and anywhere else you can’t take glass. Last, but not least, the aluminum can is WAY better for the environment than bottles. Cans are 12x lighter than glass, which means it takes less energy to ship the same amount of beer. But the biggest advantage is how easy it is to recycle cans. A recycled aluminum can will be made into another can and back on the shelf in about 60 days."

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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A taste of what’s on the menu for Merchants Pub and Plate (quail panzanella!)

Philip Wilson, left, and chef T.K. Peterson, co-owners of Merchants Pub and Plate, offer samples of menu items from their new restaurant, opening in August at 746 Massachusetts St.

Philip Wilson, left, and chef T.K. Peterson, co-owners of Merchants Pub and Plate, offer samples of menu items from their new restaurant, opening in August at 746 Massachusetts St. by Sara Shepherd

Co-owners of the soon-to-come Merchants Pub and Plate, Philip Wilson and chef T.K. Peterson, were chatting up potential customers while whipping up appetizers Friday evening in the back room of the Phoenix Gallery.

Final Friday-goers got to try two items expected to be on the menu at the new gastropub-style restaurant, on track to open in mid-August in the building formerly home to Teller’s, 746 Massachusetts St. (Previously, Wilson was the operating manager of Teller’s, and Peterson was executive chef at the Oread.)

On the table at Phoenix Gallery were samples of Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves and little boats of Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad, a mix of tender quail slices, arugula, diced tomatoes, fresh onions and bread cubes that soaked up a bright vinaigrette (a decidedly non-woodsy take on quail, and, unlike some at-home versions around these parts, birdshot-free!). I thought both were pretty to look at, fresh, flavorful and season-appropriate — and of course even better with a sip of the sauvignon blanc and IPA they were serving next door at BIAO Designs.

Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves

Black Pepper Mascarpone Crostini with Peach Basil Preserves by Sara Shepherd

Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad

Grilled Quail Panzanella Salad by Sara Shepherd

That’s good, because one of Merchants’ main goals is making seasonal food that goes well with beer, Peterson said. “It’s just kind of the food I want to cook,” he said. “Our restaurant’s going to be heavy on the beer side of things ... we’re beer enthusiasts.”

Merchants plans to have 30 beers on tap — all craft varieties, including Free State and other area beers — with no duplicate handles. Owners say that’s easily the most beers on tap of any place in town.

For updates on the restaurant’s anticipated opening, keep an eye on Merchants at Twitter.com/MerchantsOnMass or like them at facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

Reply

Burger Stand lands on another nationwide ‘best burger’ list

Lawrence isn’t one of the 21 big cities the website Thrillist usually writes about, but somebody on their staff has been here — and been very impressed with one of our burgers.

The Burger Stand’s “Hamburg Burger” (which I'm pretty sure is one of their inventive specials, but not on the regular daily menu) made Thrillist’s list of “the 33 best burgers in the entire country,” published this week. Here’s what they said:

Originally started in the kitchen of an Irish pub in 2009, the burger stand has reached cult status in and around the college town thanks to their custom blend of tenderloin, strip steak, and ribeye; their housemade sauces (cherry pepper or chipotle cocoa ketchup, whole grain guinness mustard); and their duck fat fries. If you're feeling bold (and hell, you're in Kansas, why wouldn't you be?!?), get the Hamburg burger -- a German take with braised red cabbage, whole grain mustard, and homemade pickle relish.

Check out the Hamburg and the other 32 burgers — and find a printable PDF checklist if you have a wild hair to travel around the country and try them all — here. Burger Stand has been voted Lawrence's best burger three years running, and also got a shout out on Zagat's "best burgers in 25 cities" list earlier this year.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Taco John’s now selling build-your-own burritos, $1 off with our secret code

Santa Fe Burrito and Santa Fe Bowl, new items at Taco John's

Santa Fe Burrito and Santa Fe Bowl, new items at Taco John's by Sara Shepherd

This post is for Taco John’s fans, or couponing types who might consider eating there if they're getting a discount.

The “West-Mex” fast food chain is giving Lawrence diners a sneak preview of two new menu items, Santa Fe Burritos and Santa Fe Bowls (you choose your own meat, salsa and other toppings, Chipotle-style but without as many options). They won’t be offered nationwide until July 8, but they’re available in Lawrence starting today.

Taco John’s shared a code for my Lawrence.com readers to get coupons for $1 off the new offerings. To get the coupon, text VIP19 to 35880. The code is valid through July 1. (Starting on July 8, though, it looks like Taco John’s may be offering some items for free, according to their website.)

Lawrence’s three Taco John’s locations are at 2309 Haskell Ave. (23rd and Haskell), 1626 W. 23rd St. and 1101 W. Sixth St. (Sixth and Maine). Taco John's announcement didn't include the price of the Santa Fe items, but I assume that even at full price they'll go for cheaper than the ones at go-to build-your-own burrito joints Chipotle or Freebirds.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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Upcoming tasting event to break in La Parrilla’s new wine cellar

La Parrilla has planned a South American-style christening for the wine cellar in its new, bigger digs at 724 Massachusetts St., the space that formerly housed Tapas.

The cellar, which has been in the building since 2000, belongs to Steve Wilson of City Wine Market, who will lead La Parrilla's first tasting event there. The evening will feature four Argentinian wines paired with South American influenced, small-plate style dishes from chef Alejandro Lule (a Peruvian shrimp and octopus ceviche with a glass of torrontés gets the menu started).

The event is scheduled for 7 p.m. June 19 at La Parrilla. Cost is $48 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations should be made by calling 841-1100.

La Parrilla owner Subarna Bhattachan, in the event announcement, describes the cellar as an intimate space featuring exposed hardwood beams and decorated with Persian rugs. He said he plans to collaborate with Wilson on more cellar tasting events in the future, highlighting primarily Spanish, Portuguese and South American wines to complement the restaurant’s Latin American cuisine.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know about something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

Reply

On National Donut Day, try a doughnut-bacon sandwich … or just get a normal doughnut for free

Even as fast-food chains tout their healthy offerings, they're also coming up with fatty new treats to keep customers interested. Case in point: Dunkin' Donuts is adding a doughnut breakfast sandwich to its national menu beginning June 2013. (AP Photo/Dunkin' Brands, Inc., James Scherer)

Even as fast-food chains tout their healthy offerings, they're also coming up with fatty new treats to keep customers interested. Case in point: Dunkin' Donuts is adding a doughnut breakfast sandwich to its national menu beginning June 2013. (AP Photo/Dunkin' Brands, Inc., James Scherer) by Sara Shepherd

Dunkin' Donuts is now on board the making-new-things-with-bacon train. This year on National Donut Day, which is Friday, the chain is launching its new creation, the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich.

It's got smoked bacon and a fried egg with a sliced, glazed doughnut for a bun. The executive chef for Dunkin' Donuts says this in a Q&A on the company's website: "The glazed donut is light and fluffy and gives you just the right amount of sweetness. Combined with the lightly salted, smoked bacon, the texture and flavors marry together in a wonderful way. It’s a delicious bite of the perfect harmonization of sweet and savory flavors."

OK then. And if a plain ol' doughnut is good enough for you, Lawrence Dunkin' Donuts locations are celebrating National Donut Day by offering a free doughnut of choice with purchase of a drink all day Friday. Stores are located at 521 W. 23rd St. and 1400 W. Sixth St.

According to the definitive source on all things Donut Day, donutdayusa.com, the celebration — always the first Friday in June — was created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served doughnuts to soldiers during World War I.

Tips welcome!

Try something unusual or know of something interesting going on at a Lawrence restaurant? Send me an email at sshepherd@ljworld.com or contact me on Twitter @KCSSara. For more local food and restaurant news, click here.

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West Coast wine pairings coming to a restaurant near you

West coast wineries — one in Oregon, one in California — will provide the wine part of two upcoming wine dinners in downtown Lawrence.

On June 5, the Eldridge is playing host to a dinner featuring wines from Jax Vineyard in Calistoga, Calif., at the foot of Mt. St. Helena. The planned five-course menu includes roasted duck breast with ginger-glazed carrot and slow-braised beef cheek with Iwig buttermilk mash.

The Jax Vineyard Wine Dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Eldridge. Cost is $60 per person, and reservations are required. Contact Lindsay Robinson at 785-749-1005 or lindsay@oliviacollection.com.

Genovese’s June wine dinner will prove that seafood and red wine can go together, especially when you’re talking about pinot noir. Each course will be paired with wine from Oregon’s Willamette Valley Vineyards — two whites and two pinot noirs. Planned dishes include a parmesan breadcrumb crusted diver scallop and pancetta-wrapped seared ahi tuna.

The Willamette Valley dinner is set for 6 p.m. June 6 at Genovese, 941 Massachusetts St. Cost is $45 per person. Call the restaurant at 842-0300 for reservations.

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‘United States of Caffeine’: Lawrence coffee shop represents Kansas on Zagat list

Brenna McKedy, a Kansas University junior from Garden City, left, works on homework near the cereal bar at Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St. Sarina Geist, right, store manager, says cereal bars are popular on the coasts and suit Java Break’s college-age clientele.

Brenna McKedy, a Kansas University junior from Garden City, left, works on homework near the cereal bar at Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St. Sarina Geist, right, store manager, says cereal bars are popular on the coasts and suit Java Break’s college-age clientele. by Mike Yoder

For the second time in two weeks, Lawrence has landed a spot on a Zagat list.

Our very own Java Break, 17 E. Seventh St., is representing Kansas on Zagat’s latest online roundup, “The United States of Caffeine: 50 States, 50 Must-Try Coffee Shops.” It's No. 16 on the slideshow list, revealed Wednesday on the Zagat blog.

Here’s what caught the judges' attention:

“Lawrence has no shortage of cool-kid coffee shops, but Java Break is unique thanks to the 24-hour coffee-flowing-though-your-veins service. The ultra-kitschy decor is loved by hipster college kids sticking Starbucks to the man, and their drinks, like the cult-ish Hazelnut Chai, are made from scratch without preservatives or corn syrup. Bonus: there’s a cereal bar with a slew of toppings.”

I'm an almond milk latte gal myself and haven't tried the chai, but I'll vouch for the rest of this writeup. If you missed our recent Off The Beaten Plate feature on their Cereal Bar, check it out here.

The other Zagat mention? That would be Burger Stand making its "Best Burgers in 25 Cities" list.

Java Break’s Minty Hot Chocolate.

Java Break’s Minty Hot Chocolate. by Nick Krug

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