Thursday, July 28, 2016

Restaurant Review: San Antonio

  When we first discovered San Antonio we were searching for fresh tortillas. There are many places in WyCo to get them, but they all seem to have their own distinct flavor, and we were trying to find the one we liked best. After trying theirs we were hooked. Our love affair with their tortillas has continued for years, but only recently has it spread to include their prepared food offerings.

  Sitting in the heart of Armourdale, at 830 Kansas Avenue, Carniceria y Tortilleria San Antonio seems to be busy at all times. To us this is a good sign, as I am sure it is to the owners. It serves as a meat market, grocery store, and restaurant all wrapped up in one location, so at any given time you have a wide range of customers. 

  I was introduced to their tacos at a local event, that San Antonio was catering. Guests were offered a choice of pork or beef filling, and I chose to sample each one. Topped with fresh diced onion, cilantro, and a little hot sauce, these tacos were amazing. I have discovered that many of the people in my office will periodically visit San Antonio for a quick take-out lunch. Their reviews of the tamales, pork sandwich, and beef burrito are just as promising. It looks like we will need to do a lot more research on this place. Maybe we'll will bump into you there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Restaurant Review: Pizza West

  I will go out on a limb and say that most people like pizza. This is a fairly wide cast generalization, as many people are just as particular about this special type of pie as they are about their barbecue. We have our favorites, as you surely do as well, but we are usually game to try new places for the hopes of finding some new treasure.

  So last evening we were heading to an appointment in western Shawnee, which would take us away from home during the time we would usually prepare dinner. This meant that I needed to find a suitable substitution for a quick take out. Low and behold I happened along Pizza West at 5436 Roberts Street in Shawnee, Kansas. It had solid reviews, and the online menu showed promise, so it was decided to give them a shot.  

   The exterior is what you would expect in any strip mall, and the interior continues the somewhat cookie cutter design. Booths line the exterior with tables dotting the middle, but we were here for the pizza, so design concept was not important. To tell the truth, we find that design has a low priority for us, as long as the place is clean. The order entry was quick and painless with assistance of one of the owners. He was even nice enough to explain that our order qualified for one of their daily specials. I ordered two medium sized pies, and the total came up to around $25.00, which I feel is very fair.

  With the need to feed four adults it gave us the chance to test a little variation in their Craft Pizza menu. Our first pie was the "Fredo", which has chicken, onion, mushroom, bacon, and tomatoes with an Alfredo sauce. They offer two crust styles, and we decided to have the regular version on this pie. The owner explained that the outer edge of the crust ends up being almost like a big bread-stick encircling the pizza. He was absolutely correct on his description. 

  Our second choice was their "K-7 Combo", which is pretty much a combination pizza like you would find at most places. For this one we chose the thin crust variation. I was told it would not be cracker-like, but it would be fairly crisp. While I enjoyed the Alfredo version, my favorite ended up being the combo. The ingredients are certainly fresh, and the crust had just enough texture to stay together when you took a bite. Overall both pies were well received, so it looks like we will have to make plans to test some of their other variations. For more information and to peruse the menu visit

Friday, July 22, 2016

Restaurant Review: Sunny China

  While the places I review are usually ones that we dine in, there are times we will bring home some goodies, which can be savored by our family. This usually occurs on an evening when we find ourselves busy with an event or appointment. This was the case last evening, so we stopped at our family's favorite Chinese food location. Sunny China is located at 4633 Shawnee Drive in KCK, and is open from 11:00 am until 10:00 pm every day of the week.

  This small, family run business has a constant flow of business due to their consistent quality, and quick service. The portions are good sized, so the value for the dollar is well spent. The staff is to-the-point direct, so you won't find a lot of chit-chat here. What you will find is the menu items are made when you order, so everything is freshly cooked. The galley style kitchen is laid out behind the counter, so the minutes spent waiting for your meal can be entertaining. The cooks work in a rhythmic fashion, almost like an orchestra of action, as they swish, swirl, and stir-fry the orders to completion.

  Our selections for the evening included General Tsao's Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken on a stick, Stir-Fried Rice, Fried Dumplings, and Crab Rangoon. The total came to about $33.00, but we left with two bags full of food, which would supply us with dinner that evening, as well as lunch the next day. Often when we return with take-out food, it may take a while before the others join us to eat. This is not the case with Sunny China. It seems that just the aroma of the freshly cooked food is enough to draw them out of their fortresses to join us for a delicious meal. Sunny China is certainly a great choice for a family looking for value, as well as good food.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Restaurant Review: Country Club Cafe

  Some of you may realize that I enjoy golfing whenever I get the opportunity. Don't confuse that statement to mean I am a good golfer, just take it for what I said. Periodically, my wife will endure the very early morning trip, usually leaving the house at 5:30 am. On these occasions it is only fitting that afterwards we go to breakfast. Our most recent occurrence also coincided with an appointment we had later that morning in Shawnee.

  Now the ideal situation would be for us to find a nice little restaurant in between these two stops, so that we can refuel before the rest of our day. I am a Yelp app user, as it has helped us locate some unique spots. On this particular morning we were struggling to find a good fit, but as we headed south on 7 highway towards Shawnee Mission Parkway we discovered one. Sitting unobtrusively on a quiet, shaded corner is Country Club Cafe. The name is obviously associated with the bank of the same name, to which the restaurant is attached.

 Upon entering we found the place to be more of a Starbucks style location, instead of the standard breakfast fare we were looking for. Being open to impromptu dining, we decided to see what we could find. We explained to the server that we were first timers, and they patiently walked us through their menu offerings. They offer made to order omelets, but they quickly pointed out that the Rollover was by far the crowd favorite.

  Made with ham, egg salad, and co-jack cheese it sounded like an interesting combination. These ingredients are topped with a chipotle mayo, and all of this is placed on an Asiago cheese bagel. It sounded like a ton of different flavors, but they assured us that they blended well. We both agreed to try it, and then headed off to sample their coffee. The service was prompt, and the sandwich was delicious. They were spot on about the mix of flavors, as each one complimented the other in just the right way. While this would not be our standard breakfast spot, it does give us a quiet spot for a fast bite when we are in the area. If you want to know more about Country Club Cafe follow this link

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Restaurant Review: Chiusano's Brick Oven Pizzeria

  Being locals, we have been visiting the Village West area, since before it was developed. We looked forward to the addition of each new business, as it brought with it the choices and options our county was certainly needing. When the Legends opened it was filled with interesting shops and restaurants. Over time some of these have changed hands and reopened under new management. Sitting near the main entrance is the brick building which once held Ted's Montana Grill. We certainly enjoyed their menu, but evidently it was not meant to be, and has since been transformed into Chiusano's Brick Oven Pizzeria.

  On the inside little was changed by the new ownership, so the reminiscences of Ted's are still there. A fresh coat of paint, and some new artwork, but most everything else is the same. The place still has the subtle lighting, which works well to produce a romantic aura for guests.

  The menu offers up the standard pizza options you would expect, but they also have some interesting toppings. For those looking for someone else to build the right combination, they offer some stock pizzas. Quite a few of these varieties come with an unusual grouping, but the flavors just seem to work out together. Chiusano's also offers up salads, appetizers, and a few pasta options for those looking for something not in pie form. On our recent visit we were looking for a quick bite to tide us over before a T-Bones baseball game.  Our server was polite and punctual, and our meal was served about 15 minutes after we ordered. I feel that was a pretty quick turn time for a made from scratch pie.

  Since it was just the two of us, we decided to split a personal size Combination pizza. Chiusano's serves a thin crust version of pizza, and is generous with toppings, without being too heavy handed. The addition of Kalamata olives made the pie a little saltier than normal, but the flavor was still good. The only thing we were unhappy about was the crust seemed to become a little flimsy, and we would have liked a more cracker-crisp texture. This was not our first, nor our last visit to this pizzeria. Unfortunately, with so many good dinner options in Wyandotte County we only get to visit each a few times a year. Well that's a lot better than those days when we didn't have many options. For more information about Chiusano's visit them at