Monday, July 23, 2012

Summer, Sandwiches, and Sweet Potato Fries

This summer has been a great summer for eating. Not so great for my waist, but we are going to have to buckle down for Ironman 70.3 soon, which will take care of that. And great for trying new (to me) awesome restaurants. I have noticed a few themes that have begun to shine through in my exploits. One being sweet potato fries, which is nothing new, I have always loved sweet potato fries. The other being blue cheese. Blue cheese is often overlooked and avoided by less adventurous eaters because of its very sharp and distinct taste and smell. Others cannot get over the thought of edible mold, hope they never need Amoxicillin. I personally love the rich, sharp, salty taste of bleu cheese. This is a post about a summer of blue cheese and sweet potato fries.

First up is Lucky Brewgrille: Lucky was the perfect combination of close to a friend's house and having a deal available on Groupon, so we bought the deal. We went there on a warm summer day and sat on the patio. While there was no real view to be had, it was still a nice, fully shaded patio.

We started out with the Spinach and Artichoke Dip, the menu says it comes with tortilla chips, but you can also get it with pita bread. I recommend the pita bread! We also got an order of buffalo wings, which were the full wing style (think The Peanut, but not as epic). The wings were saucy and had a kick, but were not melt your face hot. I dipped mine in, of course, bleu cheese.

For the main course, I ordered the Inside/Out Bleu Cheese Burger. The Inside/Out Burger is the traditional Lucky Burger that has been stuffed with Bleu cheese crumbles and topped with grilled red onions. I subbed sweet potato fries for the asparagus that normally comes with the Inside/Out. I always think its awesome when any dish comes with asparagus, but sweet potato fries are kind of my jam. They are pretty much the only thing that I would sub asparagus for. Turns out to be a great decision because both the fries and the burger were awesome! The burger was quite messy, it was juicy and had this awesome bleu cheese ooze coming out of the middle. The sweet potato fries came with Lucky's own spicy ranch, that is made in house. I am not a huge ranch guy, but this sauce had some funk to it, if you are a spicy ranch guy... Then Lucky is an awesome place to catch a K-State game, grab some awesome sweet potato fries (with some spicy ranch), and wash it down with $2 domestic draws. Lucky Brewgrille on Urbanspoon

Next up is The Cashew. First and foremost, The Cashew is an awesome KU bar. Although they do not have gigantic TVs to watch the games on, they have awesome KU Alumni pre-game events in their upstairs event space (that also hosts weddings, etc.) prior to KU games at the Sprint Center. Not to mention the free shuttle to Sprint Center on KU game days.

The Cashew has awesome decor that is classic and modern at the same time. I don't usually talk about decor, but the engineer in me was captivated by the belt driven fans. The restrooms are updated and clean. the bar is fully stocked and had Boulevard Tank 7 on tap. I think they silently encourage everyone to buy alcoholic beverages with their meals, because the beer glasses were much larger than the soft drink glasses (and were filled more often), but that is my only complaint about what is otherwise a thoroughly awesome place.

The Cashew is also an awesome little sandwich shop. Sticking with my bleu cheese themed summer, I got the Black & Bleu. The Black & Bleu is blackened chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, home made spicy bleu cheese aioli, and bleu cheese crumbles all on top of a warm pita bread. The blackening seasoning on the chicken was not overpowering, as blackening seasoning sometimes gets. The aioli was nice, it had flavour to it, but was not overly spicy. The pita bread was perfect. The sandwich came with a spicy pickle and chips. The pickle was the cherry on top of the proverbial sundae that was my awesome sandwich. The chips were good chips, but still just chips. In all fairness, they did go well with the sandwich though. Mallory had the Tomato Mozzarella Panini, which was also solid, it was like a grown up grilled cheese.

I recommend The Cashew to anyone looking for a good sandwich before a KU game. You can even jump on their website and see a live webcam that will show you how busy the restaurant is. The Cashew on Urbanspoon

Lastly is The Mixx. The Mixx is a personal favorite of my wife and I's, whenever someone from out of town wants to go out to lunch, this is where we take them. We have yet to have a bad item from The Mixx.

The salads are great! The soups are great! The sandwiches are even great! Our favorite salad dressing that is offered at The Mixx is the stone ground mustard vinaigrette, it is the definition of the hyphenated word "earth-shattering". The SGMV goes well on almost any salad and is always my choice on a create your own salad. But this trip was not about the SGMV, this trip was about the sweet potato fries.

I ordered the Pretzel Chicken Sando with a side of sweet potato fries. The Pretzel Chicken Sando is grilled chicken, pepper jack cheese, grilled sweet onions, tomato, spinach, garlic aioli on a heavenly pretzel bread. The bread is always fresh at The Mixx and this was no exception, this pretzel bread hit the spot! This sandwich was everything I wanted it to be and more. Then it was time to dive into the fries.

The sweet potato fries came with a honey mustard dipping sauce, and just as I try to avoid ranch, I also try to avoid honey mustard. I used to love honey mustard as a kid, but now view it as a semi-childish dressing/dipping sauce. At risk of tainting my wonderful sweet potato fry, I reluctantly dabbed it into the honey mustard sauce, and man am I glad I did. This honey mustard sauce was not childish at all; It was as if the honey mustard I had know from my childhood grew up, went to college, bought a suit, got a corporate job, then quit its soul-sucking corporate sell-out job to go make dressings at The Mixx. This honey mustard went with the sweet potato fries so well, I kind of wished that I had saved some pretzel bread to dip in it as well.

If you are looking for a great sandwich, soup, salad, sweet potato fry, or anything with the word "mustard" in it, The Mixx is your place! Mixx on Urbanspoon

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