by Don Winsor | Thursday, July 30 | Posted in Food

There is too much coffee in town for you to be expected to keep tabs on all of it, so I've made you a helpful weekly planner to help you, because helping is what I do.


Ugh. Christ. It's Monday morning, you don't want anything too fancy, you need coffee and it needs to be comforting and dependable. The Donut Whole is your go-to for the best no-frills basic cup of joe, for a large take-away of their smooth blend and maybe even a chocolate caramel sea-salt donut to make you forget the pain.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, July 30 | Posted in Food

I am a sucker for wine gadgets. In my kitchen there exists a plethora of corkscrews and openers, foil cutters, aerators, wine charms and bottle accessories. Some are very useful while others were simply a waste of money, but fun just the same. The one item that gets the most use and is essential is the opener. Yes, a simple corkscrew would do, but there are so many other choices. Let's investigate the different types of wine bottle openers.

First, there is the standard metal winged corkscrew. It's not fancy, not expensive and always does the job.

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Ourr's Family Dining is more artificial hip than hip.

by Don Winsor | Thursday, June 11 | Posted in Food

I'm always excited to try a new restaurant, if it isn't a chain, because they've always got their own character and spin on something. While I am by no means a foodie, I'm always curious to see if the new place has the best _______ in town.

So, when I saw the old Furr's cafeteria building was under new ownership and management and was reopening, I hoped for good things given its relative proximity to where I live and the almost complete absence of good food in the area.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, June 11 | Posted in Food

With my continued obsession to try new and different wines, there is always a risk. Especially when there is no positive recommendation, and I grab a bottle simply on a whim. This happens quite often, although I never spend much money on an unfamiliar terroir. If a bottle of wine is more than $13, a nod of approval is expected from someone before purchasing. Picking up something I've never heard of before, I will sometimes question the liquor store employees and ask if they've tried it or have any information.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, June 4 | Posted in Food

Good cold brew is something that I've always left to the professionals. I admit I've done the bachelor version once in a great while — just pouring leftover coffee into something then refrigerating it, to varying result. Usually, it doesn't take long before it turns bitter, acidic, or… just weird. Making it well is a long process which requires more time and effort than I've ever thought it was worth, but as we're coming into a Kansas summer and I'm trying to be a bit more frugal, I thought I'd take a look at some cold brewing systems to let you know which are the best.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, June 4 | Posted in Food

Liquor stores can be like grocery stores in that we frequent our favorites because we know the layout and it's convenient. But it's fun to occasionally be adventurous and drop into a new place.

I did that this past week to make a quick wine pick-up and was delighted with Maggie's at Douglas and Meridian.

My intention to be in-and-out took longer than expected because there were varietals and producers that were unfamiliar, so I was forced to browse. The store carries a nice selection of wines that are well organized and interesting.

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The even-more raw sugar brings a gentle sweetness.

by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 21 | Posted in Food

As I've been exploring the vast world of Melbourne's coffee scene, I've run into many, many things that are commonplace here but haven't yet made their way to America. The predominant one is something I overlooked until it was pointed out to me by a barista who'd been to America recently. Our sugar technology is, apparently, lacking.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, May 21 | Posted in Food

What makes a cheap wine taste cheap? Have you ever pondered this question? I have on many occasions and decided it was time to find the truth.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 14 | Posted in Food

When I first traveled to Australia in 2009, it was to meet my girlfriend's family in far north Queensland. I learned two things on that trip I was completely unaware of: 1) Australia grows and makes some of the best coffee in the world and 2) they're way ahead of us in the arena of electronic payments.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, May 14 | Posted in Food

Drinking wine is about the experience. It's not only the taste that helps us like or enjoy a wine, but what we're doing at the time we drink it, where we are and who we're with. Although the taste is a huge part of what creates our impression of a wine, there's more to it than that.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, May 7 | Posted in Food

These recent weeks have been about transition.

My mother-in-law is moving to an independent living facility and her home has been sold. The family has been working to determine what needs to move and what can remain for an estate sale.

At the same time, some dear friends are working to downsize and leave their home of 37 years to spend time between an apartment in Wichita and a lake house.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, May 7 | Posted in Food

Starbucks gets a lot of guff from the coffee crowd. Yes, they burn their beans to the point where differences in origins are almost imperceptible to an educated palette. Yes, they concoct calorie-bomb monstrosities and use actual coffee terms like "macchiato" to refer to them, causing no end of irritation and confusion at actual coffee shops. Yes, they're a corporate chain behemoth.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, April 30 | Posted in Food

A friend recently shared an article with me that discussed the effects of climate change on growing grapes and winemaking. It explained how a shift in climate and temperature is changing balance and flavor in the grape growing regions of California. Winegrowers think of climate on three levels: macroclimate, mesoclimate and microclimate, and each is important in determining the look, feel and flavor of a wine.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, April 23 | Posted in Food

Benjamin and Amanda Spell's Monroe Coffee Roasters is inching ever closer to the public opening of their retail space in the Dockum Building on the northeast corner of Douglas and Hillside. The couple invited me over for coffee, to take a look at their "blank slate" which is about to undergo final construction and to tell me about their subscription and coffee delivery service.

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, April 16 | Posted in Food

I'm like you, in that I don't think internet advertising works on me.

I'm like you in that I am completely wrong about that — most internet advertising does not work on me, but there is good, cleverly crafted stuff that works on me.

I'm also like you in that if I have had a drink or two I am capable of exercising poor judgment.

There are other ways that I am like you, but you already know about those because of all of those poems I keep putting in your locker.

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, April 16 | Posted in Food

The question of whether or not to decant a wine comes up often. Many do need to be opened in advance and allowed to breath, but if left too long will become tainted and taste like vinegar. So how do we know when we reach the point of no return?

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The show may be coming to a close, but the wine will be here for re-runs.

by Vickie Kline | Thursday, April 9 | Posted in Food

Are you involved in the Downton Abbey craze? I enjoy the show and often binge watch the series once it's released on a streaming channel. I can't stand watching only on a weekly basis and having to wait to find out what happens. Did Bates really do it? Will Mary marry and who will marry Mary? Will Edith ever be happy for Christ's sake?

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by Don Winsor | Thursday, April 2 | Posted in Food

It's been a while since I did a local roundup, so I thought since the sun is out and spring has fallen into our laps you might be ready to crawl out from your burrows and dens and venture into the out of doors. Here's a quick update on what everyone has to offer:

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by Vickie Kline | Thursday, April 2 | Posted in Food

My wine drinking seems to be routine right now. Everything picked up recently is a red blend from California. There are many other interesting wines available, and it's difficult to admit I am suffering from "wine ennui syndrome." No, this isn't a real syndrome, but it very well could be in the wine world.

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by Vickie Kline | Friday, March 27 | Posted in Food

Anyone who lives within two blocks in any direction of my home knows our cat Baxter. He's a wonderfully intelligent gray Chartreux who has a natural smile. I like to say the smile is because we rescued him from the Kansas Humane Society 15 years ago (but it's really a trait of the breed). Baxter is one of those cats that act more like a dog. He knows his name, will come when we call or whistle and knows how to convey what he wants.

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