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Posts tagged with Restaurants

New restaurant now serving in Sixth Street gas station

After a short-lived fried chicken joint recently closed, a new restaurant called Eats — their slogan is “real food fast” — is now serving inside the Phillips 66 Miller Mart at 3300 W. Sixth St.

Owner Anthony Cannon, a Lawrence High School grad, said he’s worked in a number of restaurants around town over the past 10 years, including WheatFields Bakery Cafe and Merchants Pub and Plate. Eats is the first restaurant he’s opened, Cannon said, and he liked the gas station’s track record — while D-Lux Southern Fried Chicken didn’t last, Biemer’s BBQ, Tortas Jalisco and Basil Leaf Cafe all found success there before expanding to bigger locations in town.

Eats is located inside the Phillips 66 Miller Mart at 3300 W. Sixth St.

Eats is located inside the Phillips 66 Miller Mart at 3300 W. Sixth St. by Sara Shepherd

The Eats menu features burgers, sandwiches, grinders, salads, pastas and a few kids items (including peanut butter and honey sandwiches). Cannon said the menu is likely to change as he determines what’s popular with customers — offerings are displayed on a chalkboard wall, which not only looks cool but should make updates convenient.

Cannon said his goal is to use fresh ingredients and that he’s chosen menu items that can be prepared in five minutes. “It’s just about doing things right every time, and doing it fast,” he said.

Just like past gas station restaurants, the dishwasher-less kitchen means everything’s served in to-go containers with plastic utensils. Eats opens at 11 a.m. daily and has been closing around 6 or 7 p.m., though Cannon said he’s hoping for more dinner business and may eventually stay open later.

I grabbed lunch there today. The kids peanut butter and honey sandwich was tempting (I’ve always loved those!), but I went grown-up instead with the Spicy Avocado BLT. It’s served with grilled jalapeno halves and sliced avocado — both excellent ideas.

The Spicy Avocado BLT at Eats.

The Spicy Avocado BLT at Eats. 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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Name that oven: Soon-to-open pizza restaurant taking submissions for wood-fired ‘behemoth’

At the centerpiece of the soon-to-open Limestone Pizza Kitchen and Bar is a 20,000-pound, white-brick-on-the-inside, local-limestone-on-the-outside wood-fired oven that reaches 1,000 degrees and can cook a pizza in 90 seconds. This thing is a “behemoth,” Limestone says on its Facebook page, “but she’s gentle as a dove.”

And she needs a name.

Limestone, 814 Massachusetts St., is taking suggestions on its Facebook page now. They plan to choose 10 finalists then announce the winner when the restaurant opens, expected sometime in early April, executive chef and owner Rick Martin said.

The newly installed wood-fired oven at Limestone Pizza Kitchen and Bar, 814 Massachusetts St. (Contributed photo)

The newly installed wood-fired oven at Limestone Pizza Kitchen and Bar, 814 Massachusetts St. (Contributed photo) by Sara Shepherd

Not only is the massive cylindrical oven a focal point of the restaurant, it’s key to creating the Neapolitan-style pizza Limestone will specialize in. The French fire-on-hearth (wood is burned inside the chamber right next to items being cooked) oven was installed and its exterior finished by local stone artist Karl Ramberg.

When it comes to picking the perfect name, Martin said, keep in mind that “we’re making a product that’s perceived as being authentic Italian, but we want to be very Kansas.” And in Italian tradition, ovens get female names. Last but not least is the hot factor. How hot? When I stopped by this afternoon, the inside of the oven was still hot — from a fire that burned out on Saturday.

Here’s a smattering of the 80-ish name suggestions Limestone has gotten so far: Aretha ("large and in charge and hot as hell”), She-Ra, Paytah ("Sioux name meaning fire”), Bernadette ("Or Burnadette”), Glinda ("after the good witch in OZ”), Elda ("Norse for Fire Woman”), Amelia, Pearl, Betty and, of course, Bertha. To add your own suggestion, go to Limestone's Facebook page.

The wood-fired oven at Limestone Pizza Kitchen and Bar, 814 Massachusetts St. gets hot. (Contributed photo)

The wood-fired oven at Limestone Pizza Kitchen and Bar, 814 Massachusetts St. gets hot. (Contributed photo) 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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Intorno closes, another restaurant may already be eyeing Round Corner spot (via Town Talk)

Intorno Italian restaurant — located in the cool, window-lined corner space at Eighth and Massachusetts streets — has closed after a year and a half.

The restaurant couldn't produce the volume of business it needed, chef and owner Jim Vaughn told my colleague Chad Lawhorn, who reported the closure in this morning’s Town Talk blog. "We just couldn't fill the seats, and the overhead was just too high," said Vaughn, who previously was part of the successful Charlie Gitto's Italian restaurant in The Hill district of St. Louis. "It is really stiff competition on Mass. Street. It seems like the staples are busy, and the other guys get to try."

Chad’s post also includes information (or at least speculation) on what might be coming to the space next: A second Coal Vines or another restaurant concept by the same owners. Coal Vines, a pizza and wine bar, opened on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza in 2010. Before Intorno, 801 Massachusetts St., was home to Esquina restaurant and the historic Round Corner Drug Store.

In closing, RIP Intorno crab cakes and peanut butter pie.

Italian fare at Intorno, 801 Massachusetts St., includes seafood dishes such as the Linguini Monte Mara and the Crab Cakes appetizer. The linguini comes with jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops and cherry tomatoes in garlic cream sauce. The Maryland crab cakes are served with dill and adobo sauces.

Italian fare at Intorno, 801 Massachusetts St., includes seafood dishes such as the Linguini Monte Mara and the Crab Cakes appetizer. The linguini comes with jumbo shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops and cherry tomatoes in garlic cream sauce. The Maryland crab cakes are served with dill and adobo sauces. by Richard Gwin

Peanut Butter Pie at Intorno, 801 Massachusetts St.

Peanut Butter Pie at Intorno, 801 Massachusetts 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: Irish whiskey and St. Pat’s eats (starting now)

A few upcoming drinking and dining notes for the coming week — and with St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, Irish is naturally a common theme. If you know of other St. Pat’s food and drink specials (ideally, something cooler than green beer?) share with the group by posting in the comments section.

Irish Lamb Stew

Irish Lamb Stew

Now: Mr. Bacon BBQ has their once-a-year smoked corned beef sandwich on today's menu. Henry T’s St. Patrick’s Day food specials include Irish Stew with lamb and prime rib and corned beef with smashed potatoes, according to their Facebook page. Brit’s is highlighting Irish snacks, too.

Saturday: Irish whiskey tasting at the Oread, according to their monthly email newsletter. For more information or to RSVP call 830-3921.

Monday: St. Patrick’s Day feast, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Eldridge (the Jayhawker) and the Oread (Ten Restaurant). Festive specials will include beef and Guinness stew and corned beef and cabbage. Also available will be the hotels’ March “cause” martini, the Gilded Shamrock (citron vodka, white chocolate liqueur, melon liqueur), with $3 from each sale benefitting Tiny-K Early Intervention.

Wednesday: Irish whiskey tasting, 6 p.m. in the La Parrilla wine cellar. The evening will feature five styles of whiskey paired with Irish-inspired foods including duck prosciutto with grilled apples, Ardrhan cheese, Irish soda bread and Irish beef stew. Cost is $55 per person. To reserve a seat call 841-1100.

Thursday: Pinot noir tasting, 6 p.m. at Genovese, featuring wines from Pali Wine Co. The planned four-course tasting menu includes prosciutto-wrapped shrimp salad, Wakarusa Valley mushroom crostini, duck ravioli and stuffed pork loin. Cost is $51 per person. To reserve a spot call 842-0300.

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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Mexican or Chinese? Yes, at odd Eudora restaurant

Salsa and crab rangoon, together at last.

Actually, the two have been in a steady relationship the past 14 years at what's easily one of the area’s oddest (and most genius?) restaurants, Jasmin in downtown Eudora. Jasmin serves both Mexican and Chinese food, and has since the restaurant opened in 2000 at 719 Main St. We’re not talking some kind of gourmet Mexican-Chinese-fusion cuisine, just Mexican and Chinese — Mexican in the front of the menu and Chinese in the back, a gilded dragon relief sculpture on one wall and Mexican blankets and sombreros on the other.

Chips and salsa, chilaquiles and the Chinese Combination Platter appetizer (crab rangoon, fantail shrimp and one hot wing already eaten — all sans salsa) at Jasmin Chinese and Mexican restaurant in Eudora.

Chips and salsa, chilaquiles and the Chinese Combination Platter appetizer (crab rangoon, fantail shrimp and one hot wing already eaten — all sans salsa) at Jasmin Chinese and Mexican restaurant in Eudora. by Sara Shepherd

Mexican menu items include entrees like guisado (beef chunks in red sauce), chicken en mole and several shrimp dishes, plus the usual tacos, tamales, burritos and combo plates. Chips and salsa are complimentary if you order something Mexican. Chinese offerings include soups, dumplings, lo mein, fried rice and three pages of chicken, beef, pork, shrimp and vegetarian entrees. I officed at the former Eudora News my first job out of college and remember particularly liking Jasmin’s Hot and Sour Cold Noodles for lunch on hot days (when I actually left the office for lunch).

Husband and wife J and Maria Ramirez opened and own Jasmin. They’re originally from Mexico, but J cooked for a long time at Chinese restaurants in Lawrence, so when they opened Jasmin they decided to serve both, Maria said.

The restaurant’s dishes are either-or. But Maria said she often sees people putting guacamole on Chinese food or dipping crab rangoon in salsa. She shrugs and laughs, “they like it.”

Jasmin Chinese and Mexican restaurant, 719 Main St. in downtown Eudora.

Jasmin Chinese and Mexican restaurant, 719 Main St. in downtown Eudora. 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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Sherry gets less granny, more chic behind select Lawrence bars

If you look in the right spots, sherry suddenly seems a lot less stodgy than stereotypes would have you believe.

As such places have for eons, a handful of Lawrence’s nicer restaurants have a sherry or two on their drink menus, usually grouped with dessert cordials. A small few are following a trend from the coasts by increasing sherry offerings, even incorporating the Spanish fortified wine into craft cocktails.

One is Pachamama’s, 800 New Hampshire St., which is planning it’s first-ever sherry dinner Wednesday night — though chef/owner Ken Baker says he’s not sure what’s taken him so long to do one. (See menu below, and call the restaurant at 841-0990 to reserve a seat. There were a few left late this week.) Another is 715, 715 Massachusetts St., where bar manager Margie Hogue said guests can choose from about five or six sherries by the glass or order one of several craft cocktails featuring the wine.

On 715’s cocktail menu now is the Jerez, made with Campari, cream sherry, sweet vermouth and orange. A featured drink Hogue hinted may land a spot on 715’s next cocktail menu is the Imperial Suitor, with Guatemalan aged rum, aged sherry (about 25 years on both) and blood orange liqueur, stirred with ice and served with a cherry.

The Imperial Suitor at 715, 715 Massachusetts St. Contributed photo from 715.

The Imperial Suitor at 715, 715 Massachusetts St. Contributed photo from 715. by Sara Shepherd

“We really liked how rich and raisiny it (the sherry) was, so we used that instead of a sweetening agent as a variation on the old fashioned,” Hogue said. “It’s rich, and sherry gives it a nice nutty nuance.”

Admittedly, I’m a sherry newbie (it turns out there are styles and levels of sweetness, just like champagne or German rieslings — who knew?). Baker kindly answered some questions this week to help bring me up to speed. Now, about those stereotypes...

Sara Shepherd: Convince me sherry is not just for people of the 1800s (or for soaking the spongecake in my grandmother’s trifle recipe)?

Ken Baker: Sherry has a long and storied history. It’s a drink that travels well, and it has resilience. But the most important thing about it is that it’s super versatile — it has so many different flavors. Everybody identifies sherry with the sickly sweet after-dinner drink, but most of your best sherries are bone dry, umami-rich, very savory. Those are the kinds of wines that blow court out of the water, and they go with so many different foods.

SS: My cabinet’s always stocked with a bottle of bottom-shelf sherry I use for cooking. I’ve tried drinking it (even in a cobbler with muddled fresh fruit), and it’s not good, not good at all. What kind of sherry is actually worth sipping?

KB: I don’t want to say cooking with sherry is a terrible idea, but it’s a terrible idea. I come from the standpoint that beer and wines are for drinking! You’re going to spend a little bit more money, but with sherry — aside from being versatile and having a huge range of flavors — the prices are all over as well.

SS: So if you’re really trying to appreciate this wine, it’s worth paying for something from higher than the bottom shelf?

KB: Yeah, absolutely.

SS: Any tips for pairing sherry with food?

KB: For the fino or manzanilla sherries, the first thing that comes to mind is olive spreads or nuts. The manzanilla is going to have more of a briny, salty component to it so it’s just awesome with seafood. The more full-bodied sherries take on super nutty caramelized notes. They have such a strong backbone, these wines are really good with game meats and sausages, a wide variety of foods. Amontillado up to oloroso, then the super-sticky ones like moscatel or Pedro Ximinez, that’s the kind of stuff you can pour on a bowl of ice cream and it’s unbelievable.

SS: Have you noticed more people ordering sherry at your restaurant?

KB: It’s not a top seller, but there’s definitely an upswing. I think part of that is because my bartenders are getting into it more, taking it away from the old-ladies-playing bridge image. The Midwest is always a little slow on the uptake, but it’s definitely huge in New York, Charleston and out on the West Coast — they have bars where that’s what they do.

Menu for the March 12, 2014, sherry dinner at Pachamama's, 800 New Hampshire St.

Menu for the March 12, 2014, sherry dinner at Pachamama's, 800 New Hampshire 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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‘All-natural’ burger chain coming to former Chutney’s space (via Town Talk)

My colleague Chad, our city reporter whose Town Talk blog brings us the scoop on all kinds of businesses before they even open, today reports that an "all-natural" hamburger chain is coming to the space formerly occupied by Chutney's Indian Diner and Bar, 918 Massachusetts St.

According to Chad's latest post:

Franchise owners Josh and Michelle Kurzban plan to open their restaurant, called BurgerFi, by mid-spring. The Florida-based chain has 36 restaurants nationwide but expects to have 75 by the end of 2014.

The restaurant says all its hamburgers are made of free-range, hormone-free, never-frozen Angus beef. Also on the menu: a brisket burger made from dry-aged ground brisket; five different styles of hot dogs; hand-cut fries that can be ordered regular, well-done or limp; beer and wine; and frozen custard desserts made with sugar cane. One especially unique item to watch for, Chad notes, is the Breakfast All Day Burger, with hickory bacon drizzled with maple syrup, a fried egg and hashbrowns.

A screenshot from the BurgerFi website, burgerfi.com.

A screenshot from the BurgerFi website, burgerfi.com. by Sara Shepherd

The BurgerFi website is splashed with phrases like "locally grown" and "farm to tray." Since it's a national brand, I'm interested to see whether they'll serve food that's actually local to us (Remember Local Burger? All their various meats came from named farms within a few hours drive.) or "local" to some other place. One last notable I spotted on their menu: bottles of Mexican Coke.

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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Gluten-free wine dinner planned at Merchants (and other Tasting Notes)

Merchants Pub & Plate will highlight its less-glutenous side (recall, this is a gastropub that hangs its hat on having 30 craft beers on tap) next week by offering a special gluten-free wine dinner.

“Inherently we’re a beer place, but we do offer within our menu several conveniences for people with dietary restrictions,” chef/owner TK Peterson said. “We’re taking it one step further by kind of dedicating a night to those people.”

The dinner is at 7 p.m. March 6. Cost is $70 per person. Reserve a seat by calling the restaurant at 843-4111. The planned menu includes appetizers, three dinner courses and dessert (sticky toffee pudding cake, FYI) paired with Chilean wines from Emiliana Organic Vineyards.

Merchants’ regular menu notes items that are gluten-free or modifiable to be, which Peterson said helps diners feel more comfortable ordering them without having to ask for special favors or feeling like they’re disrupting the whole table.

“They don’t want to be the people that show up and say, ‘I can't do this and I can’t do that,’” Peterson said.

Find Merchants Pub & Plate at 746 Massachusetts St., 785-843-4111, merchantsonmass.com.

Find Merchants Pub & Plate at 746 Massachusetts St., 785-843-4111, merchantsonmass.com. by Jessica Pauly/Special to the Journal-World

Other upcoming drinking/dining events:

Thursday: Tuscan wine tasting, 6 p.m. at Genovese, featuring a five-course menu paired with selections from Brancaia Winery. Cost is $59 per person. Call 842-0300 to reserve a seat.

March 6: Exploring Argentina wine dinner, 6:30 p.m. at the Eldridge. Cost is $65 per person. To reserve a seat call 749-1005 or email lindsay@oliviacollection.com. (Here’s the menu)

March 8: Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition at Abe & Jake’s Landing. Tickets are long sold out, but if you nabbed some, don’t forget to go!

March 11: Rogue beer dinner, 7 p.m. at Mariscos. Oregon-based Rogue Ales is known for some off-the-wall brews, even for craft beer. The planned menu for this dinner includes duck-fat-seared scallops paired with Morimoto Soba Ale, roasted carrot and almond soup with Hazelnut Brown Nectar, steak and ale samosas with Brutal IPA and cherry and stout upside-down cake with Double Chocolate Stout. Cost is $65 per person; to reserve a seat call 312-9057.

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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Thursdays only, the Roost transitions from day to night

You can’t get the Roost's full breakfast for dinner, but now you can get the restaurant’s signature breakfast-y cocktails, beers, baked treats, coffee drinks and a handful of bar snacks into the evening hours one night a week.

The Roost, the breakfast/lunch spot that opened last summer at 920 Massachusetts St., is now open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. The restaurant stops serving its regular food menu at 3 p.m. (when it normally closes for the day), gets all kinds of laid-back (no lines for tables, no loud crazy bar scene) and starts serving a limited menu with featured drinks and small plates that change from week to week.

Soft pretzels with beer-cheese dip from the Thursday night small plate menu at The Roost, 920 Massachusetts St.

Soft pretzels with beer-cheese dip from the Thursday night small plate menu at The Roost, 920 Massachusetts St. by Sara Shepherd

Tonight’s drinks, for example: The Amore Latte (latte with vanilla-infused vodka, chocolate sauce, strawberry syrup and a heart-shaped shortbread cookie), Boulevard Chocolate Ale, Free State Burroughser Weisse, Boulevard Rye on Rye. And snacks: Meatballs, kale chips, roasted nuts, soft pretzel sticks with beer-cheese dip. The Roost’s usual cocktail concoctions, bloody marys, coffees, juices and sweet treats are always available, too. (Pictured: Today's pretzels with a glass of cucumber-apple-pineapple-kale juice — yours truly was still on the clock.)

Staying open late on Thursdays is a way to participate in a downtown tradition and highlight, in particular, some of the restaurant’s creative adult beverages, co-owner Kenny Pingleton said. “Thursday nights are kind of traditionally a downtown night. It gives us a chance to do our bartender thing.”

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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And the next restaurant in the Sixth Street gas station will be …

The Basil Leaf Café is the most recent restaurant to occupy the Phillips 66 Gas Station.

The Basil Leaf Café is the most recent restaurant to occupy the Phillips 66 Gas Station. by Richard Gwin

Basil Leaf Cafe has barely launched out of its original home inside the Miller Mart at 3300 W. Sixth St., and plans for the gas station’s next restaurant are already underway.

Basil Leaf left Miller Mart in August and opened about two weeks ago in its first standalone home, the former Joe’s Bakery spot at 616 W. Ninth St. (More on that Thursday — watch for it here on Lawrence.com.)

Robert Douglas took over the lease for the entire convenience store and closed the building for renovations last week. The convenience store half should reopen this weekend, he said, and he hopes to open his planned restaurant in November.

The name will be D-Lux Southern Fried Chicken, and in addition to fried chicken (obviously) Douglas plans to cook up comfort food such as braised greens, pickled beets and baked macaroni and cheese. He’s moved the counter formerly home to the convenience store’s frozen drink machines to significantly increase the size of the dining room, and he plans to reopen the restaurant’s drive-thru window.

Douglas said he’s worked at hotels, restaurants and private clubs — including a golf and recreational property where one of the seven dining outlets was a pizzeria in a convenience store — in several other states. While living in California, he said he met Jeff Stehney, owner of Kansas City’s famous Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Que (yep, their original location’s in a Kansas City, Kan., gas station), who suggested he check out our area.

Originally, Douglas said, he and his partner were looking at spaces in Kansas City. But the Sixth Street Miller Mart with it’s little restaurant on the side — where before Basil Leaf, Tortas Jalisco and Biemer’s BBQ also started before successfully moving into standalone properties — piqued his interest.

“That’s what drew us here, because we think it’s pretty cool,” Douglas said. “This thing’s a gold mine — we love this place.”

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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