Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bunker Coffee Co. and NOTO Burrito

For lunch today, I went to Bunker Coffee Company and NOTO Burrito in NOTO. I saw a post on Facebook yesterday that Bunker delivers shakes, and I wanted to check it out before I had one delivered. While I was there, I decided to try a burrito from NOTO Burrito because I've been hearing bad reviews from there lately, and I wanted to form my own opinion. (Feel free to do this yourself!)

I haven't been for quite awhile, not since the two businesses joined up. Now, there is a booth on the north side of the restaurant where Bunker Coffee Co. set up. There are still quite a few tables and chairs to sit and eat at.

I ordered a Planting Peace and Love burrito, to go. There weren't any people in line so I was helped right away, the lady making my burrito was friendly and she put my burrito together quickly. I waited probably five minutes for her to build my burrito, grill it and package it up for me to take it to go. I watched her make it and I made sure to look at the ingredients. I've heard some bad reviews on the ingredients being dry or unavailable. I was there at 1 p.m. on a Saturday, and everything looked fresh and stocked.

My Planting Peace & Love burrito
(no chips pictured)
The burrito was huge, so huge I couldn't eat the entire thing. The Planting Peace & Love burrito comes with a choice of two meats, so I chose chicken and pork. (The third choice is ground beef.) The meat was good but the pork was a little salty for my taste. With everything else in the burrito it wasn't that bad or noticeable unless you got a huge mouthful of pork, which happened to me once. The guacamole had good garlic flavor, the pico was fresh and the three sauces added lots of flavor. The guac was good, I just wish it was spread around more -- but that's just burritos in general, it's hard to get a little bit of every ingredient. The rice was soft, the beans were tender and the meat was shredded and maybe just a little greasy. I don't mind a little grease, but some people might so it's worth noting. I think the meat was being held in a fatty liquid so it wouldn't get dry and hard. I made a huge mess because I chose to pick up my burrito and eat it -- a fork and knife just wasn't working on this one, you just gotta pick it up and dig in. I recommend leaving it wrapped as long as possible. The burrito is grilled so that helps seal it together, but by the end, the insides are everywhere.
Sweet Salsa
Mild salsa

The burrito comes with a couple handfuls of chips, fried in-house. I chose a couple salsas off the salsa bar, one mild and the other sweet. I, unfortunately didn't write down the names, but you can probably figure it out from looking at what's available. Both salsas were good. The sweet one tasted like sweet tomatoes, with no real spice at all or any other flavors. I liked it because it was simple and something in my burrito was spicy and it helped counter that spiciness. The mild salsa was mildly spicy with a jalepeno and dried oregano flavor. I liked it.

I paid $10 for my burrito and tortilla chips, which is a little high. The burrito was huge, though, and I couldn't eat the entire thing. It could be two meals, or you could split it with someone for lunch. I do like supporting local and sometimes local can be little pricier, which is fine by me. I love spending my dollars locally.
Strawberry shake
I also ordered a strawberry shake from Bunker Coffee Company and chatted up the guy working there. I found out they deliver within a 5-mile radius (woohoo! I can get delivery where I live), and it's a $12 minimum with a 17 percent delivery fee. So, it would therefore cost around $14 to have two shakes delivered to your house, because I payed $5 for my shake, but it was also the smaller size. NOTO Burrito items are also available to be delivered, too, so that's cool.

The strawberry shake was thick, creamy and cooled me off on a warm day. I was offered a chocolate base, or vanilla base and I chose vanilla, but I think the chocolate would be good, too. There weren't really any strawberry chunks in this shake, but I did see little flecks of strawberries. I liked the lack of chunks because I like using a straw and sometimes chunks of fruit get stuck inside the straw and make it hard to suck it all through. I enjoyed my shake, and I look forward to trying a coffee shake next time. I might try delivery and see what's that is about, but I'll have to be feeling VERY lazy to pay extra for it to be delivered.

Here's a link to their menus: Bunker Coffee Co. has all kinds of coffee drinks to choose from and NOTO Burrito has a variety of burritos, tacos and salsas to choose from. I plan to return and next time I might get their delivery and see if it's worth it. Follow Bunker Coffee Co. on Facebook for their latest deals and discounts, too:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Taste of Holton: Trails Cafe

 I grew up eating at Trails Cafe in Holton, but it's been quite awhile (and a change in ownership), since I've been there for dinner. Ryan wanted a catfish dinner and we were already visiting family in Mayetta, and we remembered
Catfish dinner
seeing a sign there for a catfish dinner a few weeks ago, so we went for it.

The hostess sat us in the main dining room as soon as we walked in. In the middle, there's a salad bar and a few other tables along the walls. One wall has Jackson County Fair posters from the past 20 plus years, which I thought was cool because it was like looking back over the years. The rest of the walls are covered with various posters with silly sayings on them, concert announcements and a lot of Three Stooges-inspired art. Mostly, the walls were the same since I was a kid, with a few new additions.

For an appetizer we ordered the bacon cheese fries. The fries were crispy, the cheese melty and the bacon smoky. This was served with a huge bowl of ranch -- I'm not kidding, there was enough ranch there to eat with my fries, dress mine and Ryan's salads and still have some left over. I just can't imagine eating that much ranch, but I know people do it. So all you ranch lovers out there, keep that in mind when visiting the Trails Cafe in Holton, Kansas. I liked this dish, and the size was just perfect for the two of us to enjoy.

I ordered the country fried steak dinner with mashed potatoes and a trip to the salad bar. The salad bar is good, fresh and you can find some good composed salads on it. I would skip the potato salad unless you just love dill. I like dill, but that's all I tasted when eating this particular potato salad. The macaroni salad reminded me of the stuff you can buy at the grocery store, and I love that stuff, so I got a generous portion of it. The salad greens was an iceberg mix, there were cucumbers, onions, green peppers, cheese and a variety of other toppings for salads. The only thing missing was tomatoes, but I don't think I remember there ever being tomatoes on that salad bar. The broccoli salad is always good -- it had raisins, bacon bits, sunflower seeds, all tossed in a creamy, apple-cidery vinaigrette.

The country fried steak was about what I'd expect most places -- a frozen patty, deep-fried and smothered with white gravy. I don't think they make their gravy from scratch, either, but it's still good. The mashed potatoes were whipped and fluffy, buttery and not lumpy, but that led me to believe they may be from a box, which, isn't a bad thing, just a note. The steak was cooked perfectly crispy and I loved dipping it in the creamy mashed potatoes and gravy.

Ryan's catfish dinner looked pretty amazing. He said it reminded him of fish fries he went to when he was a kid. He also said something about his only complaint being that it had bones in it and he couldn't eat those, (haha). But seriously, if you want catfish and you don't like the bones, Trails also has an option for boneless catfish.

Even though I was stuffed, I still ordered dessert, but to go. Since it's summer and strawberries are
everywhere, I thought I 'd give their strawberry shortcake a try. I wasn't disappointed. I ordered it to go, so I also asked the waiter if I could get the shortcake in a separate container and he was happy to oblige. When I got home and at my dessert, I was not let down. I'm pretty confident they whip their own whipped cream, no container whipped topping, and they sugar their own fresh strawberries, too. I don't think it's just bought whipped topping because by the time I made it home and put my dessert together, the cream had fallen just a bit and was more creamy than whip-creamy, which was fine because it still tasted amazing. The pound cake is bought, but it's a good product -- it held up to the strawberry syrup and still tasted sweet and firm, not mushy.

The menu features many different salads, soup, chili, sandwiches and various homestyle meals. You can find their menu on their website,

Like I said before, I've been going to Trails Cafe for years, so this won't be my last visit. I'm never let down, and the service is always friendly. If you're up north a ways, check it out.