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Posts tagged with Restaurants

Hank Charcuterie hosting free butchering demonstrations

In case you’ve forgotten, that burger you’re eating came from a living, breathing animal.

Obvious, we know, but in this day and age, when you can pick up a bag of precooked chicken tenders from the grocery store or chow down on paper-thin slices of turkey at Subway, it’s easy to forget how meat makes that journey from the farm to our tables.

The folks at Hank Charcuterie, 1900 Massachusetts St., are inviting the public to experience part of the process with free butchering demonstrations.

Demand for classes has been so great that owner Vaughn Good decided to simply make the shop’s regular butcherings open to visitors.

“It’s something we do anyway. We’re always breaking down whole animals,” Good says. “People can ask questions and request certain cuts directly off the animal.”

Good and his sous chef, Jay Tovar-Ballagh, supervise the demonstrations at 6 p.m. every other Tuesday and at 3 p.m. every other Saturday. On Tuesdays, they butcher a whole hog; on Saturdays, a whole lamb and/or goat.

They’ve only hosted two classes so far (the next are scheduled for this evening and Saturday) but Good says the response has been positive. People, it seems, are curious to know where their food comes from.

The first demonstration drew just one visitor, while the second attracted a diverse “mix” of about eight people, he says.

Last week, Vaughn hosted the young daughter of one of his regular customers. It was her idea to watch the butchering, and she had her father bring her along.

“She did pretty well,” Vaughn recalls.

Hank will also run specials on food items and products from the counter during the demonstrations. For more information, including a full schedule, check out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Tips welcome!

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

Vaughn Good opened Hank Charcuterie just over a week ago at 1900 Massachusetts St. The shop — specializing in charcuterie products made from Kansas-raised animals that are butchered in-house — offers meats including lamb, goat, duck, chicken and pork. Hank also offers daily sandwich specials.

Vaughn Good opened Hank Charcuterie just over a week ago at 1900 Massachusetts St. The shop — specializing in charcuterie products made from Kansas-raised animals that are butchered in-house — offers meats including lamb, goat, duck, chicken and pork. Hank also offers daily sandwich specials. by Richard Gwin

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Free State Brewing Co. owner reflects on success with induction into Kansas Restaurant Hall of Fame

Free State Brewing Co. owner Chuck Magerl, seen here in this 2010 photo, was recently inducted into the Kansas 
Restaurant Hall of Fame.

Free State Brewing Co. owner Chuck Magerl, seen here in this 2010 photo, was recently inducted into the Kansas Restaurant Hall of Fame. by Richard Gwin

At first, Chuck Magerl was surprised to hear the news.

The longtime owner of Free State Brewery Co., 636 Massachusetts St., is the newest member of the Kansas Restaurant Hall of Fame.

“It was completely unexpected,” Magerl says, remembering the congratulatory phone call from Adam Mills, president of the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association. “And then I thought, ‘Well, I guess I have been in business at Free State a little over 25 years now.'”

In the winter of 1989, Free State Brewing Co. became the state’s first legal brewery in more than 100 years.

Much like the pioneers of Kansas' early years, Magerl says he didn’t know what to expect in the beginning.

“When we opened, there was nobody between Chicago and Denver doing what we were doing,” he says. “We were out there in the wilderness.”

In those days, there wasn’t as much familiarity here in the Midwest with the more flavorful varieties of beer popular in Europe.

The public’s “widespread embrace” of craft beers and microbrews over the past quarter-century has contributed to Free State’s success, he says.

“It’s been gratifying to see what had been seen as perhaps bland American food culture become one of the most diverse and encompassing in the world,” Magerl says.

Free State’s flagship brews (Ad Astra Ale, Copperhead Pale Ale, Oatmeal Stout and Wheat State Golden) have since become legends of the Lawrence dining scene. And, with the recent start of distribution in Iowa, Magerl has “no intention of resting on the past.”

At the induction ceremony last month in Wichita, Magerl received a hand-blown glass sculpture from the Kansas Restaurant and Hospitality Association. He hasn’t found a secure place to display it at Free State, but he hopes to sometime soon.

“It’s a really beautiful piece of art,” he says. “I’d be proud to show it off.”


Tips welcome!

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

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John Brown’s Underground serving weekend brunch; Limestone Pizza now open Sundays

Speakeasies may not be known as brunch destinations, Kate Brubacher admits, but she's hoping to change that at John Brown's Underground, 7 E. Seventh St.

The bar is now in its third week of offering brunch to customers, says Underground manager Brubacher, who explains the move as a way to boost food sales on weekends.

So far, she says, the response has been huge.

The brunch menu, available from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, features a handful of inventive breakfast-sandwich options, from the Jam on JB (eggs, plus fig or raspberry jam with meat and cheese on Texas toast) to the Mac Stack, a mixture of eggs, macaroni and cheese bites, and meat and cheese on Texas toast. There's also the Bourbon Bacon Waffle — Brubacher's favorite — and something called "French Toast in a Jar."

As always, booze is readily available — though the meals come with a choice of coffee, orange juice or tomato juice.

• • •

Popular downtown eatery Limestone Pizza is now open on Sundays, co-owner Debbie Rascoll says.

Plenty of downtown businesses are open Sundays, she says, so why not Limestone? Rascoll hopes the expanded hours will better accommodate "late risers" from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Don't expect the pizza joint to turn into a full-fledged pancake house, though. Limestone is sticking with what it does best, mostly. In lieu of an official menu, the restaurant offers rotating specials like biscuits-and-gravy pizza and other brunch-y creations.

"We're not trying to be a breakfast place," Rascoll says. "We're starting small, trying to figure things out right now."

Bahn Mizza at Limestone Pizza Kitchen + Bar

Bahn Mizza at Limestone Pizza Kitchen + Bar by Sara Shepherd

Tips welcome!

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

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BurgerFi now open in downtown Lawrence

A meal from BurgerFi, featuring the restaurant's hand-dipped, freshly prepared onion rings. 
Photo courtesy Charlie Guzzetta/BurgerFi

A meal from BurgerFi, featuring the restaurant's hand-dipped, freshly prepared onion rings. Photo courtesy Charlie Guzzetta/BurgerFi by Joanna Hlavacek

A bright-green sign has adorned the windows at 918 Massachusetts St. for at least six months now, promising us a new hamburger joint called BurgerFi in the space formerly occupied by Chutney’s Indian Diner and Bar. Today, it appears, is the day BurgerFi makes good on that promise.

Franchise owner Josh Kurzban confirmed the news this morning. The restaurant opened at 11 a.m. today, he says, and a ribbon-cutting ceremony with the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce is planned for tomorrow afternoon at 4:30.

The Florida-based chain has about 40 locations nationwide, clustered mostly on the East Coast and in Texas. The Massachusetts Street store will be only its second foray into Kansas after a Leawood location opened in May.

Journal-World reporter Chad Lawhorn first reported the arrival of BurgerFi in his Town Talk blog back in March. At the time, Kurzban and his wife, Michelle, also a co-owner, said they expected to open the Lawrence location by mid-spring of this year. Now, several months later, Josh cites construction issues as the cause of the delay.

“The building, or parts of it, are 100 years old,” he says. “We definitely wanted to preserve some of its architectural elements.”

The restaurant boasts an original tin ceiling and an exposed brick facade along a passageway to its back end. Much of the furniture is made from upcycled materials, Josh says.

As for the food, BurgerFi makes its patties from free-range, hormone-free, never-frozen Angus beef. Customers can also choose from five different types of hotdogs, hand-cut fries (ordered regular, well-done or limp), and frozen custard made with pure cane sugar. There’s also a quinoa-and-lentil-based veggie burger that’s made fresh daily.

Josh says the restaurant plans to source as much produce as possible from local providers in season. Free State Brewing Company, 23rd Street Brewery, Boulevard Brewing Company beers will be on tap; selections from Paola-based Somerset Ridge Vineyard & Winery are also on the menu.

“Basically the message is, we’re a gourmet kitchen hiding in a fast-casual environment,” Josh says. “We’re very excited to be in a college town like Lawrence.”

BurgerFi’s hours are 11 a.m to 11 p.m. Sunday to Wednesday, and 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. Thursday through Saturday.

Tips welcome!

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

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Food trucks multiplying, driving for more freedom in Lawrence

Lawrence’s food truck population has tripled this year (from one to three!), and interest in them is growing, too. In case you missed the smattering of recent mentions in the Journal-World, here’s a roundup of what’s going on with the local food truck scene.

Regulations

Journal-World city reporter Chad Lawhorn has been tracking an effort to give food trucks more freedom in town. Currently, trucks are not allowed to operate more than three hours a day in Lawrence, and locations where they’re allowed to park are restricted. Last week the City Commission discussed changing that, but no decision was made. Commissioners plan to talk about it again next week. (Read Chad’s most recent story here.)

Trucks

There are three Lawrence-based trucks on the road, that we know of:

• The Blissful Bite, specializing in healthy food made with locally grown produce, appears to have just transformed itself into the Purple Carrot. (Here’s their Facebook page, and a feature on them I wrote last year.)

• Torched Goodness relocated here from Arizona (where Smithsonian.com named them one of the country’s 20 best food trucks) this spring and specializes in gourmet creme brulee. (Here’s their Facebook page, and more on them in Town Talk.)

• SnoFlower Shaved Ice, another new truck, operated this summer at Sixth Street and Monterey Way. Now that school has started, they’re switching to events only. (Their Facebook page, and a mention in Town Talk.)

Locations

The first Kansas Food Truck Festival happened in May, drawing a handful of trucks from the area and a big crowd to east Lawrence. (See Party Pix here.)

The Warehouse Arts District, which organized that festival, has ideas about involving food trucks in redevelopment there. One executive told the City Commission that developers want to create a “food truck garden” — permanent pad sites for multiple food trucks, accompanied by an area where operators could grow their own herbs and vegetables.

Lawrence doesn't have the nightly hungry, on-foot, food-truck-fueling crowds like, say, Westport in Kansas City, Mo. For now our food trucks appear mostly at outdoor events like the farmer's market, last weekend's Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships or occasional collaborations with other businesses. Following the trucks on social media (see links above) is the best way to track them.


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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What are the best dishes from new Lawrence restaurants? Give us your picks for future food icons

Last week, with your help, we compiled a list of the top 10 Lawrence food icons. New restaurants — no matter how awesome — didn’t really stand a chance compared to these famous longtime favorites. (Miss the story? Check it out here.)

So this week we're going to highlight some of the best dishes from Lawrence newcomers. Think catchy, yummy menu items with a shot at being our town's next-generation food icons.

Any last-minute nominations before we shore things up? Comment below. Comment on Facebook. Shout out on Twitter @saramarieshep or @lcom. Email Sara at sshepherd@ljworld.com. Again, this isn't a scientific survey or anything. But make sure to get your say in by Wednesday afternoon.

Bonus category: All this got us thinking about favorite menu items from bygone Lawrence restaurants, too (Paradise Cafe, Tin Pan Alley, Fifi's, Esquina, Molly McGee's ... the list goes on). What delicious, famous dishes do you miss the most?

715, at 715 Massachusetts St.

715, at 715 Massachusetts St. by Nick Krug

KU alumni miss doughnuts from Joe's Bakery, according to an
informal poll by the Journal-World and the KU Alumni Association.
In this file photo, students form a late-night line at the shop at
616 W. Ninth St.

KU alumni miss doughnuts from Joe's Bakery, according to an informal poll by the Journal-World and the KU Alumni Association. In this file photo, students form a late-night line at the shop at 616 W. Ninth St. by Journal-World File Photo

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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First Lawrence Restaurant Week set for Sept. 14-20

Prepare yourselves, foodies: The first Lawrence Restaurant Week is set for Sept.14 through 20 in downtown Lawrence.

Downtown Lawrence Inc. is organizing the new event and expects at least a dozen downtown restaurants to participate, said Sally Zogry, DLI director. Each restaurant — representing cuisine from Pachamama's fine-dining to Jefferson's sports bar fare — will offer a special prix fixe menu throughout the week in addition to its regular offerings. Prices for the prix fixe Restaurant Week meals will be $35 or less, depending on the restaurant. More participating restaurants, menus and reservation information will be announced later; watch for details at lawrencerestaurantweek.com.

“We have such a great food scene here,” Zogry said. “Whatever your tastes are, and whatever your budget allows, we want people to experience what we have to offer.”

Since Downtown Lawrence Inc. is organizing the event, they’re sticking with downtown restaurants this year, Zogry said. But she hopes the event will be popular enough to grow in the future.

The Lawrence event is modeled after the wildly popular Kansas City Restaurant Week. Kansas City has been doing restaurant week the last couple of years and had close to 150 restaurants participate in January.

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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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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Magazine honors wine lists at Lawrence hotels

Two Lawrence restaurants made Wine Spectator’s 2014 Restaurant Wine List Awards, the magazine announced today. Five 21, inside the Oread Hotel, and Ten, inside the Eldridge Hotel, received Awards of Excellence (the lowest of Wine Spectator’s three tiers of rankings).

The same two restaurants made Wine Spectator’s 2013 list. They are among 12 Kansas restaurants on this year’s list. The awards list will be featured in the magazine’s Aug. 31 issue, which hits newsstands July 22.

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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Ephemeral local ingredient du jour: the chanterelle mushroom

At some of Lawrence’s more creative restaurants, the daily specials menu is a great — if not the only — place to find dishes featuring ephemeral local ingredients. (Think about it: putting produce with unpredictable availability on a permanent menu doesn't really work.)

Right now, one of those unusual ingredients-du-jour is the chanterelle.

Restaurants are featuring the aromatic wild mushroom in dishes from pizza to sliders. Here’s a few of the entrees spotted on social media in recent days, though there's sure to be more — keep your eye on those specials boards.

At 715, fettuccine and chanterelles. At Merchants Pub & Plate, a local chanterelle and gruyere slider and linguine with local chanterelles. At Limestone Pizza, chanterelle pizza (of course). At Pachamama's, locally raised tilapia with ricotta herb tart and chanterelle herb vinaigrette.

Linguine and local chanterelles at Merchants Pub & Plate (Photo from facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass)

Linguine and local chanterelles at Merchants Pub & Plate (Photo from facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass) 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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