Dos Martinis Por Favor

Since people enjoyed the first post that featured a cocktail in it, I have created a Quick Byte post that about 2 martinis.  Both of these are easily accessible when in Lawrence, KS.  I am a sucker for a good martini.   If you don’t believe me, check out the new sign for my house:

The first was a classic vodka martini from the Bourgeois Pig.  You can’t go wrong with this mainstay served up.  I really enjoy the atmosphere of the Pig.  It’s relaxing and they take the time to make each drink correct.  Check out the art while you are there.  It features a different artist every so often.

The second was the Former Spy from 715.  This is also a vodka martini with house made limencello and lavender.  I love the contrast of the tart and sweetness from the limencello. This is an extremely smooth drink.  It is really easy to lose track of time (and count) when drinking this martini.

I hope everyone enjoyed the 2nd post with cocktails.  Any suggestions for “must try” drinks in St. Louis?

Bourgeois Pig on Urbanspoon

715 on Urbanspoon

Pachamama’s, Lawrence, KS – Pork Perfection!

Hopefully everyone had a great weekend and survived their Monday.  I spent the past weekend playing tour guide for a friend on my 3rd consecutive road trip to Kansas.  One of my “must-do” stops when in Lawrence, KS is Pachamama’s.

Pachamama’s is a trendy restaurant conveniently located in the downtown area.  This allows for easy access to Lawrence nightlife post a great meal.  First things first, I had to enjoy one of their cocktails.  Normally I don’t blog about the drinks that accompany my meals, but check this photo out:

The Barbados Squeeze

That was the Barbados squeeze.  It contained rum, ginger beer, lemon, and soda.  It wasn’t overly strong.  It was actually really light and refreshing and allowed me to focus on the flavor of the food.

My appetizer was the slow cooked and pulled BBQ goat.  I can’t remember the last time I had ordered goat.  It was served on a buttermilk bacon / scallion biscuit.  I really enjoyed the biscuit.  The scallion added a little bite to it.  The goat was a little bland but the sweet chow chow added nice tart kick.

Slow cook and pulled goat

My main course was the slow cooked Heritage pork shank with a bourbon brown sugar glaze.  It was served on a bed of cheddar and apple grits with a side of snap pea slaw.  OMG!  The pork was amazing.  Cooking it with the meat on the bone it adds so much flavor and texture.  There is something about having meat served this way that triggers those latent caveman instincts.  I had to remember my surroundings so I didn’t just pick it up and gnaw it right off the bone.  The glaze was sweet and enhanced the juicy pork.  The grits and slaw were both nice, but the pork was clearly the start of this dish.

So much delightful pork!

Pachamama’s is my top choice for a fine dining experience in Lawrence.  It holds a special place in my heart since I first tried duck at their original location.  I have gone there for over 10 years and that won’t change any time soon.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  4.  This is a nice restaurant for a college town.  There was live music during my visit but it was subtle and still allowed for conversation.  There was a mixture of people dressed in jeans to suits.  Don’t forget to check out the Star bar when you visit.

Pachamama's on Urbanspoon

Sylas and Maddy’s Lawrence, KS – Should I Scream For Ice Cream?

It’s been a while since my last Quick Byte post.  What’s a better way to bring it back but on food that most people love, ice cream.  With a hot summer like this, it’s a necessity.

On my road trip last weekend, I made sure to stop at one of my favorite ice cream shops:  Sylas and Maddy’s.  What makes it a favorite?  It’s a small town shop that has homemade ice cream.  There is a cornucopia of flavors.  If you can’t find a flavor here you like, you should seek professional help.

When I go, I usually zero in on one that has one (or more) of these things: chocolate, peanut butter, or cheesecake.  Maybe someday they will make one that has them all…hint hint.   This time I went for the chocolate fudge brownie in a waffle cone.  Always get the waffle cone. I don’t see how you can go into their shop, smell the fresh waffle cones, and walk out with ice cream in a bowl.  It should be a crime.

You can see pieces of brownie!

As always, it’s rich, but not overpowering.  The waffle cone is fresh and has a nice crunch.  When you get to the bottom, and you will, you are rewarded with a malted milk ball. It was a great way to enjoy a sunny Saturday afternoon.

Dive 2 Five Scale:  3.  It’s a very simple building with limited seating.  The staff is very friendly and will allow you to have small samples of flavors until you find what you need.  It’s a great way to cool off during some window shopping on Mass street in Lawrence.

Sylas & Maddy's Homemade Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Papa Keno’s, Lawrence, KS – Pizza Slices as Big as Your Face

Happy Labor Day weekend!  Hopefully everyone is enjoying some excellent food.  I spent my weekend on a road trip and have a few posts about the food I experienced.

One of my all time favorite places to stop in Lawrence, KS is Papa Keno’s.  Papa Keno’s is a pizza place where you can buy slices “the size of your face”.  I am an overachiever (eater) and usually get two.  Most people will be satisified with one.

For slice #1, I went with my old faithful: mushroom and onion.

Look at the steam coming off the slice!

If you can’t tell, that’s a normal size tray.  Clearly this is a very large slice.  When you pick up your order, they will ask if you want it cut.  Based on size plus the generous amount of toppings, I recommend it.  It’s the easiest way to enjoy this monster slice.  The crust is crispy and thin.  It’s crispy like St. Louis style, but just slightly thicker.  The onions and mushrooms are fresh.  There is a nice hint of garlic.  It’s just a great slice of pizza.

I ordered pepperoni for my 2nd slice.

Slice #2!

You can see all the vitamin “g” (grease) from the pepperoni.  After trying both, I preferred the mushroom and onion.  For a 2 slice lunch, the grease was a little heavy for me.  However that’s more because of my choice to get pepperoni.

If you like crispy, thin crust pizza with a variety of topping choices, you will enjoy this pizza.  It’s a great place to grab an abnormally large slice and a beer.

Dive 2 Five Scale – 3.  This is a classic college town pizza place.  From the people to work there to the music.  They have actually upgraded the seating and interior significantly in the past few years.  Last time I would have scored it a 2, but it’s much nicer inside.  

Papa Kenos Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Varsity Donuts – “C” is for Cookie

Three posts in three days!  The past week has been a calorie extravaganza.  Today’s is a “quick bite” post about some unique donuts in Manhattan, KS.

While visiting relatives to meet a new member of the family, I had the opportunity to try Varsity Donuts.    When you walk in, you are hit by the familiar and intoxicating donut smell.  You immediately look to your left and see a wide variety.

So many choices……

A quick peek at their menu shows just how diverse a donut selection they have.  I quickly scan the trays and look for which one was in high demand. I see that the Cookie Monster Donut (called D is for Donut) is running low and it really catches my eye.  Who doesn’t love Cookie Monster?

The verdict:  Fresh glazed donut with standard vanilla frosting.  Great color on the frosting and the sprinkles are key to making it look more like Cookie Monster.  The bright blue color makes me wish for a blueberry flavor. The presentation was what made this a memorable experience.  If I do have a chance to return, I will try a more unique flavor.  I would like to try “The Larry”, “The Peanut Butter Melt”, or the “S’more”.

Dive 2 Five Scale – Varsity Donuts lands on the scale as a 3.  There is something for everyone and its’ just a fun experience.  If you can’t find a donut here, you must not like donuts.

Varsity Donuts on Urbanspoon