Lawrence: Exploring New Eats in a City We Love

Yesterday, Drew and I decided to take a trip to Lawrence and explore the city, and particularly, it’s food.

Our first stop was Au Marche, because we usually park right behind it, and the easiest way to get to Mass St. is to go through the store. We did buy some chocolate (I bought Ritter Sport Karamel Nuss, and Ritter Sport Weisse Voll-Nuss, plus Bueno and French Lemonade and French Pomegranate Blueberry Soda. The Original Lemonade kind of tasted like Sprite; it wasn’t really lemony). We always stop in Au Marche, just because it simply is the best place to get the foreign food we love. They said if I could figure out the name of the Lollis I had in Poland, they could probably order them in.

Our next stop was just up the block from Au Marche. It looks like an Apple store on the outside, almost, because of the very clean lines and shiny surfaces. It is not; it’s actually a restaurant called Ingredient.

We decided to order the Vietnamese Dim Sum Chicken wraps. You can read the description on this handy menu photo we took, or you can check out their awesome tipping policy!

The wraps were possibly the single best thing I have ever eaten. Drew and I were already talking last night about how we want to go back and get more. As soon as possible! The craving is just already there for it. The chicken is marinated in curry, which gives it a bit of a bite; the red pepper chips I chose as my side did not help the bite any. My mouth was on fire after a particularly seasoned one! I absolutely loved the glass noodles inside the wrap, as well. And the outside tomato basil tortilla was fantastic. The whole experience of the food was incredible, and it was really well-made. We also tried the Tuscan Bean soup. It was delicious, but the sheer amount of food was too much for us, even without the soup!

The outside of the restaurant looks a lot different, and a lot more interesting, when the blinds aren’t drawn, but it was bright!

After lunch, we decided to leave the restaurant and take some pictures of the town, while our stomach settled from our first stop. Our original plan was to have an appetizer at one place, an entree at another, and a dessert at a third. However, our choice for appetizer was a restaurant that a local friend of mine, Mike, warned me against. We took his advice, and just visited two restaurants in the area, instead of three.

I took several random photos of this building. This is one of my edited ones. I ran it through a cross process (1960s style) filter, and now after that I ran it through a few other filters.

I also really liked this building, as well. The above is the unedited photo, and below this is the edited version, which I ran through a few filters.

My friend Mike loved this picture of Seventh and Mass. I thought it turned out to be a decent shot of the whole intersection.

I loved this shot below, that had the flowers from the street boxes in focus, and the 700 Mass sign out of focus. I loved playing with the depth of field on this one.

We found a random glass sitting under the bench we were sitting on. Drew thought it would be fun to photograph it, so he layed in the sidewalk taking pictures of it. It was just so random!

This water thing made me want to grab a pen and write “of the heart” on it… but I didn’t!

It just made me think about the Bonnie Tyler song!

We also loved this sign over near Liberty Hall.

Drew had a good time playing with depth of field, as well, as you can see in these two pictures.

Lawrence always has some interesting graffiti written everywhere…

In bits of the city, you can also sometimes find random sections of red brick in the road!

We wandered down this random alleyway a little bit. Alleys (in the safe daylight, and with a friend!) can be fun places to explore!

We also found this cool lower-level coffee shop, upper-level bar near across from the alleyway. I really liked the exterior look, and I know someone who works there, so I snapped a photo. The guys sitting out front saw my camera and flashed me a peace sign before I put it away.

After wandering about looking for the restaurant we wanted dessert at, and with a lot of directional texts from Mike, who couldn’t believe how long it took us to find it, we finally found Zen Zero. You know, only about 3 blocks away from Ingredient. We only passed it three or four times and nearly gave up.

Inside Zen Zero, which was way dark compared to the city and also to Ingredient, we decided to order Guava Juice. Yum. However, they were all out of Guava Juice. She asked if we wanted a different juice, so we inquired what they had. She listed off Mango, Peach, and Lychee. Well, we’ve had Mango and Peach, so we said “Lychee sounds great!”

I still am unsure as to what Lychee is, but it is like heaven in liquid form. I love it!

We also ordered the dessert spring rolls, which consist of chocolate, cashews, and bananas inside a spring roll wrapper, fried, and served with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream. Drew did the logical thing and attempted to eat his ice cream with chop sticks.

Never said he was bright.

The spring rolls were very sweet, almost enough to send me into diabetic shock. I had a total sugar high. I will say this, if you are going to Zen Zero with someone else, one order is enough. There is no need to get two orders and send yourself through the roof with the sugar content.

After Zen Zero, we decided we needed to kill the sugar high with some good, old fashioned exercise, so we went down a few more blocks to this park by the river. From the park, you get a great view of the welcome sign.

Also, the park has a canon. I’m not really sure why.

You can hear the river, and feel a slight breeze from the river, but you can only barely see the river if you stand by the wall and look through the trees.

I needed to sit down for awhile, so Drew borrowed the camera and wandered partway across the bridge to take this:

The camera isn’t exactly small, so he said that a lot of people driving took notice of him taking photographs, and rolled down their windows to yell “take my picture!”

After I had sat down for awhile, we decided that it was time to wander to the other bridge that crosses the river, so we did. It took a couple of crosswalks across a busy street, but we survived unscathed.

Standing on the bridge, you could feel the mist from the river!

I fell in love with the aesthetic of this unique building.

One of my favourite images of the day is below. I loved the contrast of the spider’s natural web, with the man made web-look of the machinery in the background. Drew was able to get this shot, and I did sharpen it a little bit so you could really see the web.

The whole scene was just really neat, and, being a Sunday, completely empty.

Drew, being the king of contrast photos, also got this shot of a random flower in the midst of all of the very heavy duty machinery area.

The sign on the fence says not to trespass. Don’t worry, we did not trespass at all to get any of our shots. We stayed within legal, open areas.

On the steps we used to get down, there were random leaves. Drew and I were arguing over which shot we preferred. I chose the first, he chose the second.

This sign pretty much sums up how I feel about exploring new parts in areas nearby. I really like to see my city, and other cities I visit, as though I am a tourist. I feel like I take the places near me for granted, and just think “I’ve been here a thousand times, this is lame.” My goal this year is to spend more time focusing on areas close to me, like Olathe, or Lenexa, and seeing them as though I am a tourist, in new eyes. When you live in the same metropolitan area your entire life, you tend to not notice the little things, like a new restaurant, or a neat walking trail through a park. I think it’s important to, every once in awhile, step back and see an area with new eyes. So this year, my goal is to be a

We were nearing the end of our Lawrence exploration, and we had the camera put away, but we did pull it out for a few more random shots.

First off, this was just hilarious to us, since the sign clearly states what the truck shouldn’t be doing.

Second, while walking, we found another glass completely out of place. What is it with Lawrence dwellers and their tendency to just park their glass wherever they please? I have no idea.

The day was winding down on Lawrence, and it was time to head home.

Au Marche had closed, so instead of walking through the store to get to the car, we walked in the alley between the church and the shops, behind Mass St. We found some (less than) inspiring graffiti that made us laugh.

On the way home, we drove past this car. At first, we laughed.

Then, we got closer, and figured out WHY the person was likely divorced.

Hmm. It all makes sense now.

With that, it was time to go home, eat our chocolate, and watch some movies. It was a good end to a great day.

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