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Taste & See

3825 East Harry, Wichita, KS - (316) 771-7393
Posted By Joe Seiwert on 3/1/2013 1:43:00 PM
Taste & See started as a cooking school, with Chef Jason Febres providing instruction and classes in a small dining room built around a kitchen. TV cameras broadcast the grill and work area, making this a 180-degree open kitchen. It is hidden within the confines of the former Wichita Mall, Wichita's first enclosed mall (circa 1970), and the first of that type of structure to fall into disuse and neglect, only to be resurrected as a repurposed office park.

Tucked within is Taste & See. If you don't know it is there, it will be difficult to find. (Hint: Look for the Bethel Institute doorway and turn right after entering). Chef Jason is a native of Venezuela, and he brings his love of his mother's cuisine and a near reckless desire to experiment with new flavors and ingredients to this unusual restaurant. His not-quite-so-mad scientist approach yields flavorful and interesting concoctions of originality with a reverence for tradition and fashion. You will not get an ugly plate here. It is simply the best meal in Wichita and maybe the state.

The food reflects his mother's Latin heritage, with many influences. The Hamburguesa Latin Street burger, of Angus beef, smoked Gouda, avocado, bacon, and egg brings life to the old standard. Ceviche tacos and other seafood specialties such as the Oceanic Mac & Cheese (blue crab, shrimp, and scallops in a rich pasta cheese sauce) or the paella make one forget this is a land-locked state that hasn't seen an ocean since the late Cretaceous period. Of course, the Cesar Tostada, of chimichurri goujons and fried panela cheese, along with the Gaucho Churasco steak feature the region's specialty, beef.

All together, the menu boasts of influences from Europe, America, Italy, the Caribbean, Venezuela, Cuba, Argentina, Asia, Caracas, Baja, Peru, Spain, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Mediterranean, and Greece. It's all good.

Desserts are special, too. Pieces of banana wrapped in crispy phyllo, served with a chocolate hazelnut sauce and honey will make you feel better than anything else you will do that day.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Hamburguesa
Cesar Beef Tostada
Oceanic Mac & Cheese
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

The roasted pork, tropical pico and Thai slaw sits nestled in double fried plantains.
"The roasted pork, tropical pico and Thai slaw sits nestled in double fried plantains."
Cliff Strutz





This puff pastry dishes has panela cheese, chimichurri sauce and black Hawaiian salt.  This one was a favorite.
"This puff pastry dishes has panela cheese, chimichurri sauce and black Hawaiian salt. This one was a favorite. "
Cliff Strutz


The ceviche cocktail included baby shrimp and scallops with lime, red onions, passion fruit and cilantro.  Those are plantain chips in the background.
"The ceviche cocktail included baby shrimp and scallops with lime, red onions, passion fruit and cilantro. Those are plantain chips in the background."
Cliff Strutz


The menu not only describes the food in great detail, it also tells you where each dish originates.  This chowder with chicken, corn, panela cheese, cilantro and coconut milk is from Venezuela.
"The menu not only describes the food in great detail, it also tells you where each dish originates. This chowder with chicken, corn, panela cheese, cilantro and coconut milk is from Venezuela."
Cliff Strutz


Any dish that includes Argentinean style KC Strip and mushrooms will work for me.
"Any dish that includes Argentinean style KC Strip and mushrooms will work for me. "
Cliff Strutz


The water here is flavored by lemons, cucumbers and watermelon.  Very refreshing!
"The water here is flavored by lemons, cucumbers and watermelon. Very refreshing!"
Cliff Strutz


Oceanic Mac & Cheese: rich, rich, rich
"Oceanic Mac & Cheese: rich, rich, rich"
Joe Seiwert


Alejandra prepared our dishes right in front of us.  Before coming to Wichita, she worked in her mother's restaurant in Chihuahua, Mexico.
"Alejandra prepared our dishes right in front of us. Before coming to Wichita, she worked in her mother's restaurant in Chihuahua, Mexico."
Cliff Strutz


The choice seats are at the counter, so you can watch the food preparers at work.
"The choice seats are at the counter, so you can watch the food preparers at work."
Cliff Strutz


Right outside the door is a huge Alice in Wonderland mural.
"Right outside the door is a huge Alice in Wonderland mural."
Cliff Strutz


The hidden entryway
"The hidden entryway"
Joe Seiwert



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