Friday, December 23, 2016
Being original Dottes (Wyandotte County residents), we spend a lot of time in and around the Village West area. The large number of shops, restaurants, and entertainment opportunities keep us returning. This area seems to always be teeming with activity, but there are times we just want to grab a bite to eat without being surrounded by tourists. It's always nice to know that there are spots you can go, where the majority of the patrons will be local residents. One of these places is Danny's Bar & Grill.
The set-up is similar to many other places like this, and there are plenty of TV's to catch up on the latest sporting events. The bar is long and well stocked for those looking for liquid libations.
The dining area is large enough to handle plenty of customers, and the seating is comfortable, although fairly utilitarian. Servers scurry around attending to their tables, and while we have seen reviews that complained about the service, we did not experience any issues during our visit.
We dropped by on a Monday evening, which since we were before the football game the place was only partially filled. Of course as the evening passed the crowd began to assemble. Crystal chose the Fish & Chips dinner, which included cole slaw, fries, and a dinner roll. The fish had a good breading, and was light and flaky. The cole slaw is more on the tangy side than the sweet, and the flavor keeps you coming back for more. Her overall rating for the meal was a thumbs up. She also commented that the tarter sauce was unique in the higher level of relish in the mix, and she found it rather tasty.
I went old-school and ordered the Country Fried Steak dinner, which includes gravy, mashed potatoes, vegetable, and a dinner roll. The over-sized cube steak comes with a good breading, but it was a little on the oily side. The amount of food is immense, and left me plenty to take home leftovers for lunch the next day. The mashed potatoes had a creamy texture, and the gravy was a flavorful accompaniment. The green beans were a good choice, and are cooked with onion and a little bacon to kick up the flavor.
Our visit was relaxing, and rather enjoyable on a cold winter evening. It was good to step away from the hustle and bustle, and just unwind over a dinner of comfort foods. Of course the Christmas shopping was not complete, so too soon we had to wander back out into the chilly evening. Perhaps soon we will get the chance to once again slow the pace with a quiet evening at Danny's bar & Grill. To learn more about them or to see their daily specials check them out at http://dannysbarandgrill.com/.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
On a cold winter's night we headed out the door to a holiday wine party. Since we were headed to the Crossroads area, we decided to stop for dinner on the way. It only seemed appropriate that we find a spot on the Boulevard, and we chose Ponak's Mexican Kitchen. This KC original has been in business for over 40 years, yet we were making our first visit, so expectations were running high.
Being a Friday evening, there was obviously a wait, but it was not long. Besides we were dressed for the party (picture is a little farther into this post), so we became somewhat of a conversation starter. People around us were more than happy to discuss their favorite menu items, as well as talking about a wide range of other topics. This place has a very friendly vibe, so the wait passed quickly.
Upon being seated we were served the standard chips and salsa, and the salsa was found to have a good kick. We decided to add some White Con Queso dip to the mix, as well as one of their signature margaritas. The queso was quite good, being creamy and flavorful, with a little spinach included. Their margaritas are strong, so be prepared for that. I'm not sure just how well someone would function, if they partook in a pitcher during their Happy Hour specials from 3 to 6 pm on Monday through Thursday.
Our server was swamped with tables, but was prompt and attentive to our needs. Our orders were taken, and we worked on the chips and dips while we waited. It wasn't long before our plates arrived. Crystal ordered the Chicken Flautas meal(#18), which comes with the standard rice and bean sides. One of the reasons that I will refrain from ordering that particular item is that I usually find the flautas to be a little dry, as was the case with these as well. Her solution was to add a little queso to them, and she seemed quite pleased with her results. She is a rice lover, and found the side to be very run-of-the-mill, but still good.
I chose to take the advice of a 25 year Ponak's veteran's advice, and try out the Pork Burrito meal (#2). It comes with a taco, tostado, and the standard rice and bean sides. The taco and tostado were standard, but had a good crunch to the shells. This is a big thing to me, since I hate it when they fall apart on the first bite. The homerun came when I tasted the pork burrito. Smothered in cheese, and wrapped in a flour tortilla, I did not expect a lot from the filling, but I was pleasantly surprised. The pork is cooked with a delicious marinade that brings out the full flavor of the meat. The beans are my go-to side, and they were creamy, as they should be, and had a good amount of melted cheese.
Our first visit to Ponak's Mexican Kitchen will certainly not be our last, as there were a ton of other dishes I saw on the menu (as well as other tables) that piqued my interest. Of course, there is still a long list of place we haven't tried, and it is always exciting when we see and hear the excitement from the regulars at a location. In the meantime, if you want to learn more about Ponak's or have a gander at their menu, check them out at http://www.ponaksmexicankitchen.com/. If you want to see a little more of our costumes, well you will just have to wait for our next post.