Recap of the Wichita By E.B. Dinner Series at R Coffee House

Wichita By E.B. Dinner Series at R Coffee House

R Coffee House

Part four of the Wichita By E.B. Dinner Series is now a part of history. The latest chapter of the event took place at R Coffee House, located at 1144 N. Bitting in the heart of Riverside.

For those unfamiliar with the dinner series, it’s a private event for diners and local foodies to get together for an intimate evening of food. The goal of the series was to introduce people around town to a place they perhaps have never been to and allow chefs to flex their creative muscles. These dinners typically take place on a night when the restaurant is closed. Diners get the place to themselves, but have no say in what is served. The chefs work their magic and we eat whatever is placed in front of our eyes. It’s eating with an open mind.

The owners of R Coffee House, brothers Gerard and Angelo Rodriguez, strayed completely off from what you’ll find on any day at the restaurant and coffee shop.

Here’s a brief overview for those who missed out.

Wichita By E.B. Dinner Series at R Coffee House

A long-standing tradition of the dinner series is a shot; a toast if you will to start the night. This was actually an idea I borrowed (let’s be honest, I stole it) from Gerard Rodriguez at a dinner I attended of his.

After that, the first course was caldo which was chorizo, chicharron, okra, trinity, rice, and pickled okra. Basically, it was their take on gumbo with chicharron. I’m not sure anybody at the dinner series has ever had something like this before. It was unique and delicious, which was a fabulous start to the night. I would have never thought in a million years to add chicharron to gumbo, but this made complete sense.

R Coffee House

Next up was a tostada with chipotle crema, shaved cabbage, salmon, capers, verde, pickled red onion, and avocado. Or in layman’s terms, a shrimp tostada that was more vibrant in flavor thanks to the crema, verde and pickled red onion.

For course number three, it was my favorite dish of the night. Mole which was pistachio mole, scallop, micros, and chopped pistachio. The mole alone I could have drank straight from the pot. It was sweet, nutty, and perhaps my favorite single aspect of the evening food-wise. Mix that in with a scallop and this was pure bliss.

R Coffee House

Rounding out the savory portion of the night, we had a tamale with shrimp, nopal, arbol, queso and succotash. This was a family recipe created by the father of the Rodriguez brothers, who was actually in attendance. It was very cool to hear his story on its creation and how it evolved. The most surprising part about the tamale was the kick of spice that surprised some folks. Personally, I loved the heat. The masa nearly melted in my mouth. 

R Coffee House

For the final course of the night, diners were treated to homemade paletas; one was a Mexican hot chocolate with espresso and the other was blackberry and cream with queso fresco.

Toss in margaritas, wine, more tequila and beer, along with the fun post dinner conversations and this was a fantastic evening.

I truly cherish these little dinners and probably enjoy speaking with the guests the most. For years, it’s seeing people all behind a computer or phone screen. Many followers, who I recognize names, but to finally put a face with a name and connect with on a real level, that’s beautiful. This takes the dinner series beyond just the food. It’s creating connections with people who share the same passion. Then the restaurants create an experience about it.

While it’s only been four dinners, there are moments from each one I take with me and won’t forget.

Be on the lookout for news of part 5 of the series in the coming weeks.

Here’s a video look at what took place:

Happy Dining,

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