Topeka Food: Toucan Express

Image is from Food&Flicks.

Toucan Express
1003 S.E. Quincy
Topeka, KS 66612
(785) 233-5900

Grabbed lunch with my good friend Gary Manford yesterday and we decided to try the Toucan Express – Brazilian Buffet. After 10 years of visiting Brazil, my family has a love for the Brazilian food and culture.

Let me get the most annoying thing about this place out of the way right now. Parking. I realize that really isn’t the Toucan Express’s fault but this location has seen something like 37 dinner restaurants come and go. I think the biggest reason is parking. There is nowhere to park and the 4 places you can park is going to cost you about a $1 an hour – in coins.

START OF MINI-RANT: I wonder if the city of Topeka really wants the downtown area to thrive or not. They seem to do everything in their power to make life difficult for the customer. It’s a shame because I can count 6 places that I think are superior places to eat but are absolutely ridiculous to get to because of parking and parking meters. END OF RANT.

I didn’t have any coins. So I walk in and ask Gary if he’s got any coins and he doesn’t. The waiter reaches in his pocket and pulls out 3 quarters and gives them to me.
That has got to be the best service I’ve had in a long time. (And you can bet I rewarded him greatly with my tip after the meal.)

The decor is sparse. I wanted there to be this overwhelming sense of smells and sights that took me back to Brazil. The smells were there. The sights were not. Of course, they are still in their soft opening phase. If you aren’t familiar with what a soft opening is – see Oceans 13.

Toucan Express only serves lunch as of right now and every day is a different menu. Today being Thursday meant we got the Brazilian Roast Beef and Chicken Stroganoff. Of course, there were the usual rice, beans, yuka – potato like root from Brazil (very good), and their cornbread. Two kinds of cornbread – the regular and coconut. I’m not a fan of coconut but Gary is. I lost track of how many pieces he ate. I assume that means he thought it was very, very, good. Rice pudding was also served as a dessert.

The food was very good and hearty…and plenty of it. The beef skewers were outstanding. Thin pieces of beef wrapped and marinated — good night, it was good. I’m not really doing it justice. The cook came out and spent some time talking to us. She asked about our food and the conversation turned to her home in Rio de Janeiro.

Overall: Good place to eat. 10 bucks gets you all-you-can-eat buffet and a drink. Pretty reasonable.

Parking is a nightmare, I hope they can overcome that.

Future Plans: Chef said that the hope is to have a churrascaria on the weekend. That’s the swords full of meat for those of you wondering.


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