Around the BLOCK

Taco Republic

I was very excited to try the new Taco Republic restaurant when it finally opened after the usual construction delays. Beautifully positioned to capture the overflow from its across-the-street neighbor Oklahoma Joe’s, I had watched its transformation from a former gas station and was intrigued by the new setup. Part indoors, part out, this place […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Esquina in Lawrence

Note: I just received an email from the owners alerting its customers that Esquina’s concept will be changing…..the cuisine will be Mediterranean in focus, and will offer table rather than counter service. The restaurant will close temporarily on Feb. 10 and reopen for business on Feb. 19. I’m posting this anyway, but be aware that […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Tamale Wizard

Some of you may recognize the name of this new¬† little spot in the River Market: Tamale Wizard started as a food cart that frequented farmers’ markets and the Crossroads Truck Stop. Having achieved enough success to know they were on to something, the owners decided to open a brick and mortar location. The narrow […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Empellon–New York City

Empellon is located in the West Village, along one of those cute little streets that makes me think I’m far from the Big Apple. (But could someone tell me how West 4th St. and West 10th St. can logically intersect?) Recently opened by Alex Stupak, the former pastry chef of WD-50 is garnering some nice […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Port Fonda food truck

Wow. What a treat. I stopped by the Port Fonda food truck last Saturday afternoon to sample chef/owner Patrick Ryan’s Mexican fare, cooked to order at the truck’s stove. I had been reading for months about Ryan’s project, a retrofitted airstream trailer. And this is not any old trailer. The interior is wrapped with gorgeous […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Happy Hour at Pierpont’s

Pierpont’s is a gorgeous restaurant within Union Station that opened when the old train depot was renovated in 1999. Primarily known for its steak and seafood, it also has a fun and extremely reasonable happy hour. It’s offered from 11 am to close on weekdays, and from 4-6 pm on weekends, in the lounge only. […]

Read the rest of this entry »

Hickok’s Bar and Grill

No surprise that Forbes Cross and Michael Peterson* are a winning combination. If you mention their names in the same sentence, people assume that whatever they are working on will be successful. So it is with their latest venture, Hickok’s Bar and Grill. It has taken over the space previously occupied by Dos Hombres in […]

Read the rest of this entry »

El Camino Real

I’m late to the party. Numerous articles and blog posts have already extolled the virtues of El Camino Real, an authentic Mexican dive in Kansas City, KS. I can understand why Charles Ferruzza, my colleague on Walt Bodine’s “Food Critics” show, urged me to give it a try. We enjoyed a broad sampling of the […]

Read the rest of this entry »