Monthly Archives: September 2010

Chat live about Wichita dining with Denise Neil at 1:30 p.m.

Chili cookoff time

Those Wagonmasters have mastered the art of chili cooking.

Those Wagonmasters have mastered the art of chili cooking.

Fall temperatures should arrive just in time for one of the most fun and spicy fall food-related events in Wichita: The annual Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff.

The event is scheduled for Saturday afternoon and will be staged in a closed-off area in the 600 block of East Douglas, between St. Francis and the railroad tracks.

Attendees buy a $5 tasting kit and then can sample all 50 competitors’ creations, listen to the Cajun beats of the Mudbugs band, send their kids on rides, witness a pepper eating contest and more.

I’ll be there supporting the Mudbugs — and celebrating the official start to chili making season.

Fish fry!!!!

friedcatfishThe Artichoke, the bluegrassy bar with a killer sandwich menu at 811 N. Broadway, is showing its customers appreciation this weekend with a good ole fashioned fish fry.

This is the 27th annual customer appreciation fish fry, and the bar will be serving up free catfish, hushpuppies, red beans and rice and fixings starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

The event lasts from 4 to midnight and also will feature a benefit auction for the Kansas Acoustic Arts Association and an open mic from 4 to 11 p.m. For more information, call 316-269-2784.

On the Town with Carrie & Denise

denisecarrieWe’re trying to start something new and fun for food fans in Wichita, and the working title is On the Town with Carrie and Denise.  (There we are, on the town!) ——————->>>

It’s an idea I had one day in the middle of one of my live dining chats: There are so many people in Wichita passionate about food and dining out, wouldn’t it be fun to get them all together?

I took the idea to the Online Gurus at the Eagle, and they took it to the folks at Oeno, the wine bar in Old Town Square. Now it’s more than an idea. We’ll have our first meeting on the patio at Oeno at 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 12.

We’re still working the details out, but mark your calendars. The evening will include eating, drinking, mingling and a brief session with myself and Carrie Rengers, where we can talk all things dining out in Wichita.

Autumn & Art: A culinary report

autumnandart.jpg 002Sorry for my absence on Monday. I was off because I worked on Saturday covering the new Autumn & Art event — a juried show and sale that stretched all along the road behind Bradley Fair.

While there, I did my food writer duty and sampled dishes from the dining tent, and I was pretty impressed. All the good Bradley Fair restaurants participated, including On the Border, Redrock Canyon, Outback and Yia Yia’s. Cocoa Dolce was there, too, selling gelato and trying to keep their delicate chocolates from melting in the not-very-autumny atmosphere.

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The yummy flat bread taco I ingested can be seen at left. Stacked nachos are at right.

After perusing the selections, I chose a flat bread taco from On the Border, which was made with caramelized roast beef, cheese, tomato, lettuce and a nice roasted red-tomatillo salsa. It was delish and not too expensive –$5 for a generous serving that came with a side of tortilla chips and salsa.

I can’t speak for the art, which I admired by couldn’t afford. But in culinary terms, Autumn & Art was a success in my book.

Burger news… with a side of chicken

smashchickenBurger-ish news broke out all over Wichita yesterday.

First came news that Jack’s North Hi Carryout was purchased at auction by 25-year-old Austin Herron’s grandmother. Austin will run the restaurant but keep everything the same.

Also, burger chain Smashburger has started smashing more food items, including chicken and salad. The menu at the restaurant at 3570 N. Woodlawn (plus the one in Derby) has just added “Smashchicken” sandwiches, available grilled or fried, and “Smashsalads” to the menu.

Following are the new choices:

• BBQ Ranch Smashchicken topped with applewood smoked bacon, haystack onions, lettuce, tomato, BBQ sauce and ranch dressing on an egg bun

• Avocado Club Smashchicken topped with fresh avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, ranch dressing and mayo on a multi-grained bun

• Buffalo Smashchicken featuring Frank’s® Buffalo Sauce, crumbled blue cheese, lettuce, tomato and mayo on an egg bun

• Honey Mustard Chicken Smashsalad a mix of fresh garden greens, topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, diced tomatoes and red onions with creamy honey mustard dressing

• Chicken Caesar Smashsalad with a mix of fresh garden greens topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, parmesan cheese, diced tomatoes and croutons with parmesan Caesar dressing

• Harvest Chicken Smashsalad a mix of fresh garden greens topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, marinated balsamic tomatoes, raisins, cranberries, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, blue cheese, with balsamic vinaigrette dressing

• BBQ Chicken Ranch Smashsalad a mix of fresh garden greens topped with strips of crispy or grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, diced tomatoes, haystack onions, cheddar cheese, with buttermilk ranch dressing and bbq sauce.

Jimmy’s Eggs keep multiplying

IMG_20100916_195633Wichita’s fifth Jimmy’s Egg is set to open on Wednesday in the spot at 2315 W. 21st St N. (near 21st and Amidon) that most recently housed Clear Lakes Cafe.

Jimmy’s Egg is a breakfast and lunch spot that already has restaurants at 8728 W. Central, 220 S. West St. 7777 E. 21st St. N. and 7906 E. Harry.

One of its specialties is a big ole pile of food called Jimmy’s Garbage Breakfast — a plate of hash browns topped with grilled onions, peppers, sausage, two eggs and a side of toast or biscuits and gravy.

Three tweets that made me hungry today






Autumn & Art & Stacked Nachos

autumnandartlogoI’ll be at the new Autumn & Art festival on Saturday for several reasons, among them that it sounds like fun and that I’m assigned to cover it for the paper.

But the real reason I’m excited? FOOD! The new festival, a juried art show and sale put together by the Wichita River Festival folks, is at Bradley Fair and will offer food from many of the tasty restaurants that operate out of the shopping center.

I’ve taken the liberty of providing Saturday’s  and Sunday’s menus for you here. (Admission to the fair is free, but the food is not.)





Restaurant review sneak peek: Orange Leaf

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Mmmm. Toppings.

You know the drill: You’re a loyal blog reader, so you don’t have to wait until Friday to read my Friday restaurant review.

This week, I had the very difficult task of reviewing  Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, which has two locations  in Wichita now.

Okay, it wasn’t difficult at all. I love that stuff. Especially the peanut butter.

Anyone else have opinions about the place? Post below.