In a year full of bad news, there have been some things I’ve been blessed with. Obviously, family has been number one for me. And another thing that has stuck out for me has been the food. The restaurant industry has been hit incredibly hard but that hasn’t stopped some eateries from putting out amazing dishes.
It’s probably safe to say I’ve eaten out more than 99.9999% of Wichita. And in all my travels around town, there have been some incredible dishes and meals that have stuck out over the past ten months. I wanted to dedicate an entire blog to ten dishes over ten months that have left an amazing impression on me.
In no particular order….
Smoked Prime Rib at Bite Me BBQ
I’m a huge fan of prime rib and the best one I’ve had this year was at Bite Me BBQ. What you see is the 16oz prime rib prepared rare with pasta salad and carrots as my sides. Each bite had such an incredible flavorful smoky profile that stuck out. There were times I didn’t even bother with the Au Jus or horseradish. It was good by itself; tender, juicy, and nearly melt in your mouth.
Double Standard Egg at Lola’s Bistro
This was a special appetizer one evening when I had a date night at Lola’s Bistro. It was incredibly unique and something I’ve never had before. It was topped with smoked potato foam with green bean purée, a poached egg, egg yolk and salmon underneath. I had no idea what to expect but loved every spoonful. It had a soupy texture with a beautiful smoky flavor to it.
Hot Pot at Next Level Café/Thai Café
My first experience with Hot Pot at a Wichita Restaurant was unbelievable. At just $40, my family was able to feast on an incredible selection of food at Next Level Café. From the broth to the seafood and the meats, we ate like kings and queens. Who would have thought a business that started out originally as a gaming cafe could churn out one of the best meals I’ve had in 2020?
11-Course Blind Meal at P.M. Sessions at the Canvas
I’m still saddened that P.M. Sessions at the Canvas ran by the Dustin Presley (also owner of Gaga’s Grub) moved back home to Oklahoma. His blind course meals was always a highlight of the year for me. My last visit earlier this year was no different. Pictured above is one of the 11 courses I had; blackened salmon cake, almond/golden raisin granola, chipotle cranberry mousse, waffle stix, apple/peach custard, red wine hibiscus syrup. The chipotle cranberry mousse was like crack. I’ve personally never had crack before but that’s how I envision how addicting it could be.
Birria Plate at Taquería La Chona
Birria has really picked up in the past year. Wichita has been blessed with so many great options for it. One of my favorites has been from the relatively new Taquería La Chona. Their birria plate was tender, flavorful, filling and nothing short of amazing. It surpassed every expectation I had of what delicious birria should be. Like I said, so many great options out there and Taquería La Chona’s offering is worth a try.
Pho at Pho KC
There’s been so much change in the pho scene here in Wichita. Pho KC opened earlier this and impressed me from the start. Their broth was so rich and delicious. It quickly moved up my list as one of the best pho dishes in town.
Spicy Garlic Ramen at Xing Xing
The dish at Xing Xing is about as addicting as they come. There was so much oily goodness going on, I couldn’t stop eating. There was so no shortage of meatballs, crab meat and shrimp hiding underneath the layer of ramen noodles. The best part is you can order at the level of spiciness that fits your taste buds.
Fried Ribs at Just Like Mama’s Kitchen
Holy smokes, the fried ribs at Just Like Mama’s Kitchen is a must try! There was a saltiness to the fried ribs that really stuck out. And aside from that, they were very meaty and tasty. They were accompanied by a side of candied yams which elevated the meal to a whole new level. If candied yams aren’t your things, they also have the best collard greens in town.
Fine Dining Experience at Adios Nachoria
Before the start of the pandemic, Adios Nachoria was planning these fine dining experiences where Chef Gerard Rodriguez set up these blind five-course meals and paired them with different cocktails. I attended their Evening at Adios Increíble event and was blown away by the creativity. Pictured above was the Roasted Tomatillo Pozole with braised pork loin. Hands down the best pozole I’ve had at a restaurant in Wichita. I wish more chefs and restaurants put on these type of events to let their creativity shine.
Strawberry Crunch Cake from Simply Sunday Cakes & Crafts
Technically, they are located in Andale but I couldn’t let this one slip by. The strawberry crunch cake from Simply Sunday Cakes & Crafts has left us wanting more of it. I brought it over for my niece’s birthday, and she described it like a big strawberry shortcake with cheesecake inside. It was a huge hit at her birthday party and probably one of the best cakes I’ve ever had.
While I’ve been blessed to eat so much good food in Wichita, those were ten that really stuck out in my mind and left a lasting impression. How about you? Any dishes you’ve had this year that just blew you away? Leave a note in the comments below!