Saturday, October 27, 2012

Not Just Meat and Potatoes!

Providence New American Kitchen is the new contemporary American restaurant that resides inside the President Hilton, in the space that the old Drum Room dining room used to occupy. The old Drum Room has been separated into what is now Providence New American Kitchen and the new Drum Room bar. The Drum Room bar has been transformed into a modern mixology bar that doubles as an amazing place to watch a game, with 4 big TVs encircling the bar area.

President Hotel
New Drum Room Lounge
Old Drum Room Dining Room (Photo stolen from
Providence New American Kitchen
The President Hilton is owned by Ron Jury, a native Nebraskan, who felt that his hotel needed an American restaurant that serves dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. I know what you are thinking right now, "I see salmon, scallops, and shrimp on the menu. How is all of that locally sourced?", as I thought as well. Everything that can be locally sourced, is (even the wood that you see adorning the new dining room). Everything that cannot be locally sourced is single sourced to a local farmer/purveyor near the area that the product is indigenous to. This is also the reason that the restaurant does not open until 11am daily: Chef Eric is at the markets, personally selecting ingredients.

Providence takes its name from the Secret Service's code name for President Dwight D. Eisenhower, not from the city in Rhode Island. The dining area is enriched with vintage Americana pieces, such as the tattered flag on the wall and the filament light bulbs in the vintage light fixtures. The menu is also full of classic American favorites, but is not just your grandfather's steak and potatoes. Steak and potatoes are on the menu, but there is also so much more!

Vintage Light Fixture
My wife and I were taken care of by a tag-team duo of Sirish and Jeff. They were both extremely knowledgeable of the menu (both able to explain everything on the menu), helpful, and pleasant. We could not have asked for a better experience! We sampled the lion's share of Providence's menu items, and there were no weak links. Below I have included a photo of each item that we tried, followed by a brief description. I will try to do each dish its due justice. Do keep in mind that we requested sampling sizes of each dish and that the actual dish sizes may be much larger than pictured.

The Vino:

Immortal Zinfandel
The Immortal Zinfandel is an amazing mate for any of the red meat dishes at Providence. The full bodiness of this wine pairs wonderfully with the complex flavours of the dishes that we sampled. You also cannot go wrong with the Pedroncelli Cabernet Sauvignon, especially if you like a more oaky flavoured vino. Also of note: The Parducci Pinot Noir has been so immensely popular that they have already sold out of it (a week and a half after opening).

The Starters:

Buffalo Carpaccio
The Buffalo Carpaccio: extremely thinly sliced buffalo, arugula salad, pieces of shaved hard cheese, and some aioli dressing plated with crustini to eat it all with. The buffalo was so thinly sliced that Jeff told me it was a secret how it was even sliced.

Dungeness Crab Cake
Dungeness Crab Cake: Probably 90% crab and 10% cake. There were just enough bread crumbs in the cake to keep it from crumbling into pieces and to give it a little colour, not any more. The lump Dungeness Crab meat with just a dab of the Sriracha Mayonnaise was incredible! Possibly the best crab cake you will find outside of the Northeast.

Loaded Potato Pierogi
Loaded Potato Pierogi: American twist on this Polish classic. What's better than a crispy pierogi with that creamy potato center? Only a crispy pierogi with a creamy potato center that has been loaded with cheese, bacon, chives, and sour cream. This thing was gigantic too!

Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta
Grilled Shrimp Bruschetta: Wonderful bruschetta that is topped with fresh (never frozen) shrimp, roasted pepper salad, and tomato vinaigrette. I love bruschetta anyways, but you put grilled shrimp that tastes as fresh as the second it came out of the water on top of it, and you have a masterpiece. The shrimp tasted just as fresh as the shrimp that we get on the coast.

BBQ Glazed Pork Belly
BBQ Glazed Pork Belly: This was my favorite of the starters that we tried. Borderline bite sized pieces of pork belly (I say that because chomping the whole skewer will yield a very full mouth, something I found out the hard way), covered in a maple chili glaze and Japanese Seven-Spice, on a skewer with a piece of tart Granny Smith apple to balance out the spice. Perfecto!

The Salads:

Blue Note (left) and House Salad (right)
The Blue Note salad was incredible! I would have never thought that mixing blueberries and bleu cheese would yield such an awesome combination, but it does! The House Salad did not punch me in the mouth like I had hoped and expected when we were told that it is served with a Tank 7 vinaigrette, but is a solid option when you want something with a lighter taste.

The Entrees:

Pan Seared Rainbow Trout
Pan Seared Rainbow Trout: A very light piece of fish served with a thin piece of lobster sausage and baby potatoes. Great for anyone trying to add some Omega-3 to the diet, yet doesn't like a strong fish taste. The house made lobster sausage was probably my favorite part of this dish.

Smoked Chicken Ravioli

Smoked Chicken Ravioli: Sort of like a ravioli deconstructed. Delicious tender smoked chicken thigh and baby spinach served with a ravioli that is lightly filled with a ricotta filling.

Apple Wood Smoked Meatloaf

Apple Wood Smoked Meatloaf: My favorite entree! Meatloaf made with veal, pork, and beef (yes I know veal is a form of beef, but lets not split hairs here), slow smoked and then grilled. The sides that come with this entree are equally awesome: sour cream golden russet potatoes on top of wild mushroom gravy, grilled mushrooms, grilled seasonal veggie cubes (carrots, butternut squash, etc), crisp green beans, and lightly pickled onions (vinegary yet still crisp).

The Desserts:

Nothing goes with dessert like coffee
Ricotta Doughnuts
Ricotta Doughnuts: I never thought that doughnuts and key lime would go well together, but they do, deliciously. These doughnuts are fantastic: sweet doughnuts, tangy key lime dipping sauce, and a wonderfully light white chocolate mousse accompanying it all.

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake: The Carrot Cake is great. Served with orange sherbet and topped with candied roman carrots.

S’mores Flavors
S’mores Flavors: This is essentially a deconstructed S'more: graham cracker crumbles, graham cracker ice cream (yes you read that right, graham cracker ice cream), molten brownie (I couldn't think of a better descriptor for this brownie myself, it is indeed molten), and marshmallow fluff that has been hit with a torch. This has to be one of the best desserts I have ever had in my life! This dessert alone would be worth the drive for a South Kansas Citian! Just incredible! Words cannot describe it!

Hotel President at Night

Everything at Providence New American Kitchen was awesome! We will definitely be back for some of our favorites, as well as to try other dishes (such as the Bully Porter Braised Short Ribs). As we were walking home, discussing our favorite dishes (that we had just gorged ourselves with), and stopping for a couple photo ops, we were reminded that we live in a pretty sweet city!

Buenas Noches

Providence New American Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mestizo Turns 1

If you are anything like me and have always dreamed of having dinner with Food Network celebrity chef, Aaron Sanchez, then your opportunity has arrived. Mestizo, Aaron's local restaurant, is turning 1. They will be throwing an anniversary celebration, running from November 7th through the 11th, highlighted by a dinner wtih Chef Aaron himself on Thursday the 8th. I find it hard to believe that a 5-course wine dinner, comprised of authentic Mexican dishes, with Chef Aaron could be anything less than amazing! For anyone who is interested: I have in my hot little hand (and pasted below) the event's press release:
Mestizo by Aarón Sánchez to Celebrate First Anniversary

New Menu Items to Debut during Multi-Day Event Hosted by Aarón Sánchez

LEAWOOD, KS. –Mestizo by Aarón Sánchez in Leawood’s Park Place will offer a little something for everyone to celebrate its first birthday in early November. Festivities will take place Wednesday, November 7, through Saturday, November 10. A multitude of dining specials and events will mark the milestone for this contemporary Mexican restaurant.

The celebration will kick-off on Wednesday, November 7, with the debut of a new menu which will feature seasonal items such as a citrus salad, braised pork cheeks, roast quail with chorizo cornbread and lamb enchiladas. On Thursday, November 8, a five-course wine dinner with Chef Aarón Sánchez will be held at Mestizo for $95 per person. Sánchez will customize a unique menu paired with specifically selected wines and explain the food to guests during the evening. Tickets are limited to 30 persons and reservations are required. Visit for the full menu.

Thursday, November 8, and Friday, November 9, the restaurant will have lunch specials with half off select appetizers and $3 margaritas.

A very fun component of the festivities is an Aarón Sánchez look-alike contest to be held at 5 p.m. on Saturday, November 10. Participants should make an advance reservation to participate. All participants will receive a $10 Mestizo gift card for use at a later date. Grand prize will be dinner for four at Mestizo; an autographed copy of the new cookbook by Aarón Sánchez, Simple Food, Big Flavor; a bottle of 1800 Coconut; and a one night stay at aLoft Hotel in Park Place in Leawood. Entrants must be 21 years of age or older to compete.

Additional activities on Saturday evening, November 10, include a rooftop dance party at Mestizo with live DJ and food and drink specials. Come celebrate under the stars with two fire pits and heat lamps.

Mestizo will also offer an a la carte brunch on Sunday, November 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bringing a new, fresh approach to Mexican food, Mestizo has a customized menu to highlight dishes authentic to the Yucatan, Pueblo or Veracruz regions of Mexico and to the ingredients that are indigenous to these areas.  Through the masterful combination of these ingredients, Aarón Sánchez uses his classic culinary training to create recipes that define a menu of bold flavors and set a new standard in Mexican cuisine.  Using only the freshest and sustainable ingredients, Aarón's food will delight guests and create an appreciation of the flavors of Mexico.

Reservations for the private dinner event on November 8 may be made my calling 913-752-9025 or visiting 

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Food Truck Roundup (Part Trois)

Food trucks (all street food really) have been the bread and butter of this blog since Day 1. I love everything about them and it has been way too long since I have made a food truck post. So without further adieu, here are a few of the food trucks that I have recently added to my rotation:

We will start off with a KC food truck veteran, that I just recently had the pleasure of trying: The Magical Meatball Tour. The Magical Meatball Tour (MMT) is a purveyor of fine meatballs, the most famous of which (and also most comically named) is the bleu ball. This made it an obvious choice for me, as I do love a delicious dish with a dirty name. The bleu ball slider was tremendous! The bleu balls come covered in a very spicy buffalo sauce, served on a bed of slaw and bleu cheese crumbles. The meat was tender and the slaw was terrific. The slaw was much more than a filler, it was a great compliment to the spice of the buffalo sauce. More bleu balls are definitely in my future (along with other ball varieties too). 

The Magical Meatball Tour is really an all around amazing food truck, it even comes complete with a Ringmaster (See photo to right). You can also find a MMT recipe in the upcoming edition of Food Trucks for Dummies, which is slated to hit bookstore shelves in April 2013 (I know what I am asking for for my next birthday). Stop by after you pick up your copy to get it autographed, but don't wait until then to see what all the buzz is about. My only regret was that I did not try this truck sooner.

Next up is Smokin' Fresh Streetside BBQ. Smokin' Fresh Streetside BBQ (SFSB) is Kansas City's only all-natural, organic-only BBQ food truck. SFSB also has the juiciest dry-rubbed, smoked meat I have ever had in my life. I do not know if the juiciness of the meat comes from it being organically raised meat, or the process by which it is cooked, and (speaking as a hungry truck goer) it really doesn't matter. All I know is that it is delicious regardless of where the juice comes from.

The brisket sandwich and burnt ends are both equally incredible. The burnt ends are done cube style (Jack Stack), not shredded style (Gates), which just works to hold the juices in until you bite into them. The brisket sandwich comes piled high with brisket, topped with a wonderful BBQ sauce.

Not only are Doug and Paula great barbecuers and food truck owners, but also great Kansas Citians and food truck supporters. On the weekends that they are not out with their truck, you will probably find them eating at another local food truck. Two of the nicest people that you will ever meet!
Smokin' Fresh Streetside BBQ Mobile Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Crave of KC Food Truck is a newcomer to the local food truck scene. I have had two different varieties of the fusion tacos (and before anyone reminds me how much of a taco purist I am,  the rules of authentic Mexican tacos do not apply to fusion tacos, now back to the post), they are truly awesome!

The Chicken Fusion Tacos are great. I would have to say that my favorite part of them is the homemade peanut sauce (nut allergies beware). The chicken was also perfectly cooked. The Carnitas Tacos had incredibly tender carnitas and a great salsa verde (we all know I love a good salsa verde). The tacos pictured to the right are in the order in which they are described, from left to right.

Joe and Chris (and Matt too) are also great food truck owners and super nice people. They normally stick to the lunch circuit, but you occasionally catch them in the evenings. Although, I do have to catch up with them for breakfast sometime, as they have an Amaretto French Toast that I just have to try. I feel like it may even give my Wheatfield's sour dough French Toast a run for its money.
Crave of KC Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Driftwood KC was a new truck when I first tried them (this summer), but by the time my lazy butt has gotten around to writing about them, most of you have probably already tried the smoky goodness that is Driftwood KC. Driftwood is owned and operated by a classicly trained chef that just got sick and tired of working for The Man. I cannot say enough about this truck, I have dined at some good food trucks in my day, but Driftwood is easily in my top 5 (if not top 3)! I am lucky enough to work just a few blocks from this truck, thus I have had almost everything on the menu.

The brisket sandwich is awesome, the brisket is tender and the bed of slaw that sits inside the bun with it is incredible! Like MMT (above), this slaw is not just a complimentary component of an entree, it is good enough to stand on its own. The slaw is what I would call a very rugged cut slaw, which I love, and the flavour profile of the slaw morphs as it sits on your palate (you get the sweet, then the savory, then the tangy, then a tad bit of kick at the end, just wonderful). The complex flavour profile of the slaw comes from the garlic-chipotle aioli that holds the cabbage and onions together. Plus, don't even get me started on the molasses based BBQ sauce (I am a sucker for a good molasses based sauce)! You will need a knife and fork for this sandwich, do not plan to eat it like a sandwich.

My favorite item on the menu is the ribs. These are quite possibly the meatiest ribs I have ever had in my life, I would swear that they came off of either a brontosaurus or Hogzilla, yet they are not tough and chewy at all (as most meatier ribs are). Also, if you are not as huge of a sauce fan as I am, I put the globs of sauce on myself, it did not come through the window like that.

The fries are also great, they are fried when you order them and then tossed in a BBQ rub. Whether you like them with the bacon and bleu cheese aioli or the molasses BBQ sauce, you cannot go wrong.

My only complaint is that they are not open more days of the week, or for lunch and dinner, but this is probably better for my waist line in the long run.
Driftwood BBQ on Urbanspoon

And finally, a Food Truck Roundup post would not be complete without an update on the ever changing menu of Indios Carbonsitos, who along with MMT will have a recipe in the forthcoming edition of Food Trucks for Dummies. The Akcel sandwich is killer, and I am pretty sure it is my wife's new favorite menu item. You can order it tame (recommended for those with stomachs prone to ulcers) or on fire (which would clear even the toughest sinus congestion). The cheese on the Akcel is an awesome compliment to the carne in the tame version and offers a very small amount of relief from Adrian's "Diablo" sauce on the fire version of the sandwich. At the end of the day, you really cannot go wrong either way, unless of course you have a sensitive stomach (in which case you should probably go tame).

Happy Trucking!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Ethnic Lunch Spots on Quivira

Anyone who lives or works in the South KC/Overland Park area knows all too well that it very difficult to find good authentic ethnic eats in the area (no, Jose Pepper's and Pei Wei do not count!). As someone who works in South KC, I am always eager to try new authentic ethnic eateries when someone tells me about them. I have done a blog post on the Caspian Bistro already, and am always looking for good (reasonably priced, if possible) ethnic food in the Southland.

All of that being said, this post is about two awesome ethnic eateries in the Southland: El Fogon (Mexican Deli & Taqueria) and Choga (Korean).

First, we will visit Choga, an authentic Korean restaurant. I have never been to Korea, but the food is just like the food that the grandmother of one of my childhood friends always made for us. It also came highly recommended by a Malaysian coworker of mine, and when we got there we ran into a number of Korean co-workers. All of that being said, I am fairly confident in labeling it authentic without ever stepping foot on the continent of Asia.

The lunch menu at Choga offers smaller portions than their dinner menu, at more lunch friendly prices. I went with the Yang Nyum Kalbi (grilled beef short ribs marinated in Kalbi sauce), as it came highly recommended. The short ribs came off of the bone (as shown in the photo in the lower right) and they were quite tender and very tasty. It may not appear that there is much meat on the tray, but the serving size is actually quite satisfying. I would definitely recommend this to someone going to Choga.

Every lunch comes with: Kimchi, steamed white rice, house salad, Japchae, fresh fruit, and two pan fried beef dumplings. The Kimchi (traditional Korean, fermented cabage) was not quite as spicy as I am used to, but still had very good flavour. It was also slightly different that all sides came on your tray, except the Kimchi, that came on one dish for the whole table (but sharing is the Korean way). The steamed rice was perfectly sticky-icky. The house salad was made with fresh greens and a nicely flavoured vinaigrette. The Japchae (stir fried sweet potato noodles) was new to me and did not taste anything like sweet potato, as I had expected, but was more like a traditional rice noodle that had some added pigment. The fresh fruit that came with my lunch was watermelon, as it was in season at the time. The two pan fried beef dumplings were fantastic.

My coworker had been to Choga for dinner and was telling us about the newly installed in-table grills and vent hoods, the concept of this is somewhat lost on me, I believe it is something you have to experience to fully understand. It sounds like a Korean hybrid of hibachi and fondue, I will have to go sometime for dinner to get a better understanding of it. I will surely post pictures after I do, but as you can see, they are brand spanking new.

Choga Korean on Urbanspoon

Secondly, El Fogon, a self titled "Mexican Deli and Taqueria". El Fogon has authentic Mexican fare, I can attest to the authenticity of El Fogon. They serve street tacos, burritos, tortas, authentic Mexican desserts, and authentic Mexican bebidas (drinks, such as jamaica and horchata). We all know that I have an unhealthy love affair with authentic Mexican street food.

El Fogon is a deli style restaurant, in that you walk in and walk up to the counter to place your order. I loved the Mexican decor, Spanish music playing over the speakers, and soccer on the TV. It seems like it is a family operation and the whole menu looked great! I went with the tacos, they offered 5 different varieties (Carne, Pollo, Chorizo, Barbacoa, and Al Pastor), and at only $1.50 each I figured I could afford to try them all. The tacos were very good, not the best I ever had, but that is not at all an indictment on the tacos and more of a statement of the amazing tacos that I have had in my life.

The tacos came bare, they have a table of condiments that allows you can put what you want on them, I went with the traditional Mexican fixins (cilantro, onion, and squeezed lime, as if there were any other way to eat a taco). The corn tortillas (the only tortillas to have, in my opinion) were hand pressed and delicious. You can always tell if a tortilla is hand-pressed or made on an assembly line by the markings on the tortilla itself, not to mention the difference in taste (those who don't like corn tortillas are probably just forming their opinions after trying store bought corn tortillas). Anyways, on to the taco meats; all of the meats were solid options, but the Chorizo had to be my favorite. This is odd, because Chorizo is not usually my favorite street taco meat, but El Fogon's Chorizo is delightful! I do love salsa verde on my tacos, El Fogon's salsa verde had good taste (however, if you are a major heat seeker, you may want to try another salsa on your tacos, but the verde is good for me).

I had the Jamaica, a traditional Mexican drink made from the leaves of the Hibiscus flower, to go with my tacos. It was a tad sweet for my taste, but was the closest to the Jamaica that I had in Mexico that I have been able to find this side of the border. This is most certainly not the last lunch I will have at El Fogon!

El Fogon Deli Taqueria on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Tour de BBQ

Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of taking part in the Tour de BBQ with a buddy of mine. Tour de BBQ is a 62 mile bicycle ride, benefiting the University of Kansas & Children's Mercy Cancer Centers. I love riding my bicycle, I love eating BBQ, and I really hate cancer (I mean really, really hate cancer, I don't think you fully understand the hate I have toward cancer), so this ride seemed like a natural event to take part in. It was extremely cold at the start of the race and didn't warm up much as the day went on, but it was a fantastic ride anyway!

The ride:

A 62 mile ride, 6 BBQ stops, 8 hours to complete (although we did not need nearly that long).

It was 39 degrees when I walked out my door and got on my bike to ride down to the Power and Light District (where the ride began) at 6:40. All I could think about when I was zooming down the hill, and the wind was so cold that it was making my eyes water, was "I wonder how much convincing it would take to talk Dan (my buddy) into just coming over and hanging out instead of riding today", but our hatred for cancer prevailed. 

The ride began a tad late (at about 7:15 AM, which does not change this post at all, but wanted to make not of it so no one judged us for riding the first few miles super slowly).

The stops:

The Stack (Mile 10; 7:40 AM): The Stack, formerly Smokestack BBQ (started by the same family as Jack Stack), provided BBQ chicken wings. The Stack is now under new ownership that has completely overhauled the entire menu from the restaurant's Smokestack days. I have yet to visit this restaurant, but I can tell you that their chicken wings are awesome! I am not a huge BBQ chicken wing guy, if I am going to be having wings, I prefer them buffalo style, but the stack is working on changing that. The rub, combined with the small bit of caramelized sauce on the outside of the wing, were perfect. The wing was juicy and if I return to The Stack anytime soon, it will be hard for me to order anything but the BBQ wings. The Stack Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Gates (Mile 15; 8:00 AM): I do not know what Gates provided for the ride, as they either forgot that they were providing BBQ for the ride, or we just rode too fast and got there before the BBQ was ready. Lots of "Hi, may I help you?!" jokes were made and Gates received no red star from Tour de BBQ (these jokes will only makes sense to those who frequent Gates, if you don't get them, go to Gates and you will understand). Gates Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

Jack Stack (Mile 23.4; 8:34 AM): It is a well known fact that I think that Jack Stack has the best beans EVER (not just in KC), I would swim in a pool full of Jack Stack beans if I could, but today the Jack Stack sausage was the star of the show. The sausage was great, as always, it is no secret that Jack Stack has great BBQ. If you have not been to Jack Stack, join the 21st century and go give it a try. Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue (South K.C.) on Urbanspoon

The Burnt End (Mile 33.25; 9:20 AM): I had not tried The Burnt End before Saturday, whom ironically did not supply their namesake burnt ends, but instead provided shredded chicken sliders. Their shredded chicken was very tender, pickles were very good, and the sauce was a tomato based sauce (not dissimilar to Jack Stack's). I would definitely recommend adding The Burnt End to any SOJOCOer's BBQ rotation. The Burnt End BBQ & Catering on Urbanspoon

 Dickey's BBQ Pit (Mile 42.5; 10:00 AM): I did not partake in the BBQ at Dickey's solely on principle. I do not know if Dickey's is any good or not, I have never had it. However, on a tour of KC BBQ places, I was not going to include a TX chain in my day. Sorry, to anyone who loves Dickey's, my inner KC BBQ elitist keeps me from trying it. Dickey's Barbecue Pit on Urbanspoon
R.J.'s Bob-be-que Shack (Mile 55; 11:00 AM): Yet another stop on the route that I had not tried before, R.J.'s was surprisingly awesome! The pork sliders were great, crunchy ends on the tender strands of tender pork combined with a tangy sauce (my favorite sauce of any of the stops) was a perfect combination. I will definitely be returning to R.J.'s with my wife SOON! Also of mention: everyone at every stop was as nice as could be, but the people at R.J.'s were in a league of their own (it is unknown if they were R.J.'s employees or Tour de BBQ volunteers, but just wanted to make not of it). RJ's Bob-B-Que on Urbanspoon

The Afterparty (Mile 62; 11:45 AM): 

Upon return to the Power and Light District, we were treated to a band and given drink & meal tickets, as if we needed more BBQ at that point (although I did not need it, I still partook anyways). The band was singing a mix of past hits and original songs about running and triathlons, it was a good fit for the crowd in attendance.

The Ride Home:

After getting cold from being sedentary while eating my final BBQ, having a couple beers, and watching the band, my muscles had time to get stiff from lactic acid settling in. Combine this with a full belly and an uphill ride home; the ride of less than a mile from the Power and Light District to my condo was much harder than the previous 62 miles I had ridden that day.

Final Thoughts:

All of the BBQ that I had was great! The roads were not closed for the ride, but the route was reasonably marked. It was extremely cold, but we had a good ride anyways. I would recommend taking part in this ride next year to anyone who loves riding bikes, eating BBQ, or hates cancer. They even have 15 mile and 35 mile rides for anyone who is not quite as intense as my buddy Dan and I are.