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Posts tagged with Restaurants

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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Coming soon (very soon): Merchants Pub, new-and-improved Basil Leaf Cafe

Interior of the new Basil Leaf Cafe. Contributed photo from Basil Leaf Cafe.

Interior of the new Basil Leaf Cafe. Contributed photo from Basil Leaf Cafe. by Sara Shepherd

UPDATE (2 p.m. Tuesday): Pushed back again! A new press release from Merchants says that instead of Thursday, they'll open at 11 a.m. Saturday.

UPDATE (4:30 p.m. Monday): Merchants will open for business at 11 a.m. Thursday, according to a press release that just came in. Reservations can be made online at www.OpenTable.com or by calling the restaurant at 785-843-4111. “At Merchants you’ll find an upscale pub atmosphere featuring food inspired by the region,” co-owner Philip Wilson said in the announcement. "Our doors are open to all who wish to eat and drink well."

Merchants Pub and Plate, the new gastropub in the former Teller’s location at 746 Massachusetts St., plans to open this week. Merchants has one inspection down and two to go, according to an update today on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Merchants originally hoped to open in mid-August, but as restaurant openings are wont to do, that date got pushed back. Owners said last week they are now hoping to open Wednesday (see "UPDATE," above), as long as the final inspections go as planned.

Philip Wilson and chef TK Peterson, formerly chef at the Oread, own the new restaurant. See their latest updates at facebook.com/MerchantsOnMass, where I’m sure they’ll post the firm opening day as soon as it’s official.

Meanwhile, Basil Leaf Cafe is putting finishing touches on its new location in the old Joe’s Bakery storefront, 616 W. Ninth St.

“If we’re not open by the weekend, we’ll be open the first of next week no matter what,” owner Brad Walters told me today. Basil Leaf stopped serving in its old home, a corner of the Miller Mart convenience store on Sixth Street, last month to prepare for the move.

Walters has completely transformed the old Joe’s space — for one, knocking out the wall that once confined the public area to the doughnut counter and just enough space to walk back and forth in front of it. It’s now a cozy sit-down restaurant full of rough-hewn wooden tables, pendant lights made of wine bottles and a bar (with a liquor license). In the new, bigger restaurant, Walters plans to expand his menu offerings as well.

Basil Leaf also is posting daily updates on its Facebook page if you want to tune in, facebook.com/TheBasilLeafCafeKS.

P.S. While we’re talking restaurant musical chairs, if you’re wondering why the big yellow Blissful Bite food truck isn’t serving lunch today at 11th and Massachusetts, they — like a lot of Lawrencians soon will be no doubt — are in Winfield. Any hungry folks reading this from the Walnut Valley Festival, be advised, the Blissful Bite is on the ground now.

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: Sandbar Subs, grape stomp, wine dinner, Free State fries and squealers

The newly opened Sandbar Sub Shop: 745 New Hampshire St., 785-842-0111, sandbarsubs.com

The newly opened Sandbar Sub Shop: 745 New Hampshire St., 785-842-0111, sandbarsubs.com by Jessica Pauly/Special to the Journal-World

A few notes from Lawrence's food and drink scene.

Downtown Sandbar Sub Shop

The new, downtown Sandbar Sub Shop is up and running at 745 New Hampshire St., across the street from the Sandbar. Mrs. Mass checked it out for this week’s edition of CheckOut and gave the shop’s fresh, unprocessed ingredients a thumb’s up. Besides sandwiches with names like The Cyclone and the Pirate Steak, Sandbar Sub Shop has mini-mart stuff downtown-goers might need (gum or aspirin, anyone?).

Rock Chalk grape stomp

Kansas University’s student body president, Marcus C.L. Tetwiler of Paola, will represent our town at this year’s Kansas Grape Stomp, according to an announcement from the Kansas Department of Agriculture. The annual stomp — designed to celebrate and highlight the state’s grape and wine industry — goes down at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson. For the first time this year, the stomp also will be open to fair visitors who want to give it a whirl.

Wine dinner

Genovese’s September wine dinner is set for 6 p.m. Sept. 17 at the restaurant, 941 Massachusetts St. Cost is $49 per person, and reservations should be made by calling 842-0300. Featured wines will come from Dierberg Winery of Santa Barbara, Calif., and be paired with a four-course menu of shrimp, scallops, salmon and squab.

Fry switch-a-roo and Free State 'squealers'

Larryville Chronciles reports that Free State has changed its fries. And Chip is less than thrilled about it. Change is tough! In a change probably no one will complain about, Free State is now selling 32-ounce beers to-go — these adorable mini-growlers of beer are called "squealers."

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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Kansas! magazine food edition features Lawrence favorites, lesser-known outstate eateries

Kansas! magazine's food issue features several favorite Lawrence restaurants and more outstate eateries.

Kansas! magazine's food issue features several favorite Lawrence restaurants and more outstate eateries. by Sara Shepherd

The fall issue of Kansas! magazine, its food edition, features the mag’s 20 favorite restaurants statewide, and four of them are in Lawrence. Locals won’t be in for any surprises here; those four restaurants are the oft-touted 715, Free State Brewing Co., WheatFields and the Burger Stand.

But get a few hours away, and there are plenty more spots the magazine promises are worth a try. I’ve been to a handful, but here’s a few of the ones I hadn’t heard of and would totally stop at on my next road trip: Gella’s Diner & Lb. Brewing Co., a craft brewery and pub in Hays; Pho Hoa One, an authentic Vietnamese spot in Garden City; the Brookville Hotel, serving legendary skillet-fried chicken in Abilene; and Beethoven’s #9, a southern German restaurant in Paola (what?!).

The magazine also has a story on Wichita’s food truck scene — the city has nearly a dozen, enough for a monthly food truck rally — and features on three Kansas natives and restaurant chefs nominated this year for James Beard Foundation honors — Scott Benjamin of 4 Olives Restaurant and Wine Bar in Manhattan, Carl Thorne-Thomsen of Story in Prairie Village and Colby Garrelts of Rye in Leawood.

P.S. Kansas! magazine is sold at bookstores and museum gift shops across the state. For more information or to subscribe, go online to travelks.com/ks-mag. Sunflower Publishing publishes Kansas! magazine and is owned by the World Company, which also owns the Journal-World.

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: Lawrence bar guide, Spanish wines and a ‘handy’ beer dinner

The Float Trip at Pachamama's, 800 New Hampshire St.

The Float Trip at Pachamama's, 800 New Hampshire St. by Sara Shepherd

A few notes from Lawrence's eating and drinking front — a little heavy on the drinking side this time.

This week

Kansas City’s Ink magazine has a Lawrence watering hole on the cover of its latest edition, and more Lawrence inside. Ink released its first Lawrence Bar Guide this week, with a cover photo shot at Frank’s North Star Tavern, a story about our potpourri of a bar scene and spotlights some of our more notable adult libations.

Mentions include daytime cocktails from The Roost, the Basil Rickey at 715, Pachamama’s glorious Float Trip and Frank’s Grape Drank. (To quote the article, that last one is “made with a healthy pour of vodka and a top-secret ingredient that may or may not be grape Kool-Aid. OK, it’s grape Kool-Aid. From a plastic jug in the fridge.”) Cheers to Lawrence!

Next week

Cava, albarino, mencia, rioja and tempranillo are among the wines to be featured at La Parrilla’s Spanish Wine and Food Tasting event next week. Spanish native Josu Galdos of Wine Imports will speak about the featured wines, paired with food courses inspired by chef Alejandro Lule’s trip to Madrid this summer. The dinner begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Wine Cellar at La Parrilla, 724 Massachusetts St. Cost is $48 per person. Seating is limited, and reservations should be made by calling 841-1100.

Sept. 3

Mariscos is planning a craft beer dinner with quaffs from Left Hand Brewing Co. of Longmont, Colo. The four-course menu includes hearty food and beers with fun names. My favorites: the ginger-kissed Good Juju (paired with crab and goat cheese pizza) and an IPA called 400 Pound Monkey (with buffalo and bacon meatloaf). The event is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 3 at Mariscos, 4821 W. Sixth St. Cost is $49 per person, and reservations should be made by calling 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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Food truck on the move: Blissful Bite now serving lunch downtown

Jason Hering, one member of the co-op that owns and operates the Blissful Bite food truck, takes lunch orders Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in the parking lot at 11th and Massachusetts streets.

Jason Hering, one member of the co-op that owns and operates the Blissful Bite food truck, takes lunch orders Friday, Aug. 9, 2013, in the parking lot at 11th and Massachusetts streets. by Sara Shepherd

The Blissful Bite, Lawrence’s only active food truck, is getting more active. The bright yellow mobile kitchen is now serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the parking lot at 11th and Massachusetts streets. The truck rolled out the new lunch service last week.

Blissful Bite’s fresh, all-vegetarian offerings have health in mind and are studded with local produce (the Blissful Burrito I ordered Friday contained local free-range eggs and greens, and had I chosen potatoes instead of rice, those would have been local, too).

My Blissful Burrito, with rice and avocado, from the Blissful Bite.

My Blissful Burrito, with rice and avocado, from the Blissful Bite. by Sara Shepherd

In addition to the burrito, regular offerings include Red Lentil Curry and a Sprouted Grain Taco (both gluten-free), the Hassome Avocado (Hass avocado half with amino acids, beet relish and sesame seeds — it actually is pretty awesome!), Haymaker’s Punch and Three Mint Water.

Last week's offerings at the Blissful Bite food truck, now serving lunch Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11th and Massachusetts streets.

Last week's offerings at the Blissful Bite food truck, now serving lunch Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 11th and Massachusetts streets. by Sara Shepherd

The county subleases the parking lot from Allen Press, and the Blissful Bite is sub-sub-leasing space there for a month, said Jason Hering, one of the members of the co-op that owns and operates the food truck. If sales are good enough and things run smoothly, the co-op hopes to extend that lease, Hering said. The Blissful Bite also can be found at the Cottin’s Hardware Farmers Market on Thursdays and the Downtown Farmers Market on Saturdays.

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: Organic wines at the Oread, Sicilian wines at Genovese and the Elvis Burger

Elvis Presley performing in 1972. (AP file photo)

Elvis Presley performing in 1972. (AP file photo) by Sara Shepherd

There are two wine dinners next week in Lawrence. They’re both happening the same night, though, so you’ll have to choose — organic or Sicilian? Plus, Elvis (Burger) lives.

Thursday

Organic Wines of the World is the title of the Oread’s next quarterly wine dinner, planned Thursday at the hotel’s Terrace on Fifth.

The reception — featuring an appetizer of poached fig with goat cheese and prosciutto paired with Italian wine — begins at 6:30 p.m. Dinner begins at 7 p.m. and features bass, chicken, duck and steak courses with wines from North and South Americas and France. The planned dessert is coffee crepes suzette with coffee from Lawrence’s J&S Coffee Co.

Cost is $65 per person. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Kristyn Maloney at 830-3945 or Kristyn@oliviacollection.com.

Also Thursday

Sicilian food and wine will highlight Genovese’s August wine dinner, set for 6 p.m. Thursday at the restaurant. Cost is $48 per person, and reservations should be made by calling 842-0300.

The four featured wines come from Sicily’s Fuedo Arancio Winery and include grillo and Nero d’Avola. Chef Armando’s planned menu features native Sicilian foods such as tuna, bottarga (salted, pressed and dried fish roe), caponata and lamb.

Based on the winery’s website, which touts its commitment to green growing and winemaking principles, the place looks breathtakingly beautiful. If you can’t tele-transport (which sadly you can’t, last I checked), maybe drinking wine from the place is second-best!

All month

The Elvis Burger is back in the building at Burger Stand, an occasional special that seems far-out enough it's worth mentioning. This burger has everything Elvis would have wanted: creamy peanut butter, banana puree and — if you order it Vegas style — bacon.

Chris Hoffman, general manager at Burger Stand, says the special is in conjunction with the month Elvis died — "or went into hiding ... whatever you believe!"

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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Flavors from Lawrence featured in newest issue of Saveur magazine

The cover of the August/September 2013 issue of Saveur magazine, featuring stories and recipes from the heartland — including Lawrence.

The cover of the August/September 2013 issue of Saveur magazine, featuring stories and recipes from the heartland — including Lawrence. by Sara Shepherd

Flip past the glistening French apricot-almond tart, the write-up on a London cookbook author’s kitchen re-do and the tasting notes for German kölsch in the newest issue of Saveur magazine, and things start to look closer to home.

Very close.

Page 62: “Salad Social: Lawrence is the potluckiest town in America.”

The piece by Lawrence food writer Kerri Conan is part of the magazine’s anchor feature about food in the heartland, “Bountiful Prairie.” Conan zooms in on the color, freshness and friendliness encountered at a summertime salad potluck at the former home of beat writer William S. Burroughs (a house now occupied by chef Tom King, its resident caretaker). Accompanying photos and recipes from King’s guests include Curried Potato Salad from Lawrence restaurant owner Subarna Bhattachan, Conan’s own Lentil and Beet Salad with Lavender-Mustard Vinaigrette, and Lawrence resident Neal Ballard’s Summer Succotash Salad.

Pictures smattering the Kansas section of the feature also include a colorful bunch of carrots at the Farmers' Market and teenagers smooching in the back of a pickup (page 55). Tonganoxie resident Christina Rafols shares her cooking inspiration and recipe for corn casserole, and chefs Colby and Megan Garrelts of Leawood’s Rye restaurant share several sweet and savory recipes such as the Extra-Crispy Fried Chicken pictured on the cover of the magazine. There are also features and recipes from farther out in the state, plus tales and tastes from Oklahoma and Nebraska.

Saveur’s August/September “Best Comfort Food” special issue hit newsstands yesterday — look for that crispy fried chicken. At least some of the content should be online soon at Saveur.com.

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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Merc, 715 and Merchants Pub chefs to face off at Douglas County Fair

Wallace Cochran, food services manager at The Merc, center, and kitchen manager Nick Amburgey, right, prepare a dish using locally-grown and locally-produced ingredients Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, during the second annual Chefs' Challenge at the Douglas County Fair. Cochran, who competed agains two other local chefs, won the challenge and will have the opportunity to return next year and defend his title.

Wallace Cochran, food services manager at The Merc, center, and kitchen manager Nick Amburgey, right, prepare a dish using locally-grown and locally-produced ingredients Thursday, Aug. 2, 2012, during the second annual Chefs' Challenge at the Douglas County Fair. Cochran, who competed agains two other local chefs, won the challenge and will have the opportunity to return next year and defend his title. by Mike Yoder

Wallace Cochran of the Merc will seek to defend his Chefs Challenge champion title Friday evening at the Douglas County Fair. This year’s cook-off will feature Cochran with Michael Beard of 715, 715 Massachusetts St., and T.K. Peterson of Merchants Pub and Plate, scheduled to open in August at 746 Massachusetts St.

Each chef will have 30 minutes to prepare a seasonal dish featuring locally sourced ingredients straight from county farms and 4-H'ers. They’ll start cooking at 6 p.m. in the shelter area of the Douglas County Fairgrounds, 2110 Harper St. Judging — which includes an audience participation score — will wrap up by 7:30 p.m.

The Douglas County Food Policy Council sponsors the Chefs Challenge, and representatives will be on hand from farmers markets, grocery stores and educational groups to promote buying and eating local from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“Kansas, and Douglas County in particular, has a rich agricultural history,” County Commissioner Nancy Thellman said in an event announcement. “The county fair provides a great opportunity to celebrate all types of agriculture — from livestock, to crops, to fruits and vegetable production. We hope the Chefs Challenge will highlight our talented local farmers, chefs and 4-H participants, and help connect people to the source of their food.”

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