Monthly Archives: November 2010

Lotus Leaf Cafe & Creperie opening in Delano

lotuslogoThere’s a new healthy, crepe-y place going in the former Palette spot in Delano.

On Monday, local acupuncturist Jacquelyn Keefer will open Lotus Leaf Cafe & Creperie at 613 W. Douglas in Delano.

The restaurant will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, including sweet and savory crepes, panini sandwiches, soups and dinner entrees such as tandoori chicken and salmon nicoise. About half of the menu offerings are vegetarian/vegan, Keefer said, and she’ll also serve natural juices and wheatgrass.

“Delano is fabulous for a place like this,” Keefer said. “The people down here are a little more alternative new-agey.”

Once open, the restaurant’s hours will be 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-295-4133.

Help an Ol Stuga sandwich win national fame

The Brent Nelson

The Brent Nelson

A Kansas sandwich will be featured tomorrow morning on “Good Morning America Weekend,” and as my friend Katie Grover will tell you (repeatedly), it’s not just any ol sandwich.

The Brent Nelson is the most popular sandwich made at the Ol Stuga, the main tavern/pub/hangout in Lindsborg. Owner Mark Lysell’s creation — which features grilled and split Polish sausage, Kansas City-style barbecue sauce, smoky sharp cheddar, hot pepper cheese and onions — is in the running for the show’s “Best Bites Challenge: College Edition.”

“Good Morning America” weekend anchor Ron Claiborne was in Lindsborg on Monday to eat a Brent Nelson and film the segment.

The Ol Stuga is one of four finalists — another one is Shakespeare’s Pizza in Columbia, Mo., which I can personally attest is fabulous. But I can also vouch for the Brent Nelson. Though I’ve never had the real thing, Katie and her husband Travis made me a replica a few months ago, and it was mmmmm mmmmmm good.

Ol Stuga owner Mark Lysell

Ol Stuga owner Mark Lysell

The finalists, which also include the Camellia Grill in New Orleans and Sandwich U in Morgantown, W.V., will be featured on Saturday morning’s “Good Morning America,” which airs at 7 a.m. on KAKE, Channel 10. After the finalists are featured, viewers will have until 6 p.m. to vote for the best. The winner will be announced Sunday.

Local burger bigshot

Donovan DugginsWichita burger fan Donovan Duggins is one of 10 national finalists in Red Robin’s Fifth Annual “Red Robin Kids’ Cookoff.”

Donovan, an 11-year-old Robinson Middle School seventh grader, made the finals with his recipe for what he calls a Mt. Vesuvius burger, made with Lava Sauce, crumbled blue cheese, Provolone cheese, and bacon on a sesame seed bun.

Donovan’s burger was chosen from thousands of entries, and he and the nine other finalists will travel to Denver on Dec. 9, where they’ll make their recipes for a panel of judges. The winning burger will be featured on the Red Robin menu this summer.

Donovan also is in the running for a “Fan Favorite” award, and Wichitans can vote for him by visiting While on the site, they also can register to watch a free webcast of the burger competition on Dec. 9.

Red Robin was kind enough to share Donovan’s recipe, which you can find by clicking on “more ” below.

Read More »

Free peppermint mocha

starbucksStarbucks is attempting to get even more people hooked on its incredibly decadent holiday drinks with a buy-one-get-one-promotion.

From 2 to 5 p.m. today through Sunday, those who buy one holiday flavored drink at Starbucks get one free. Choices include the caramel brulee latte, peppermint mocha, gingerbred latte, eggnog latte and more.

My vote, for the record, is for the peppermint mocha, which somehow tastes even better served in one of those festive red Starbucks cups.

It’s turkey time

ENTG-THANKSGIVING-TURKEYBASICS-1 DEBy popular demand, I now preset this year’s updated list of restaurants open and serving on Thanksgiving day.

You’d be amazed how many requests I get for this list. I won’t be in Wichita for the big dining day, but if I were going to be, I’d probably make my reservation with Corporate Caterers or Yia Yia’s.

Question of the week

tedswindowHere’s the question of the week:

The closing this week of both Ted’s Montana Grills in Wichita begs this question: Which Wichita restaurant do you love so much that you’d never be able to recover from its closing?

Mine would be Frida’s. Wait, it’s already closed, and I’m no where near recovering. So I’ll have to go with Kanai.

Answer thoughtfully in the comments section below.

Gaslamp Grille & Lounge

gaslampassembly.jpg 001I’ve been curious about what Whitney VinZant and his partner, former Yia Yia’s man Patrick Shibley, were up to at the former Shadow space at 550 N. Rock Road. As you can see at left, some pretty serious construction is going on.

I met with the duo at the construction site yesterday, where they let me climb a ladder and didn’t even make me mess up my hair with a hard hat. The restaurant they’re planning — Gaslamp Grille & Lounge — is going to be pretty spectacular, I think.

They’ve totally gutted the old Shadow space and are adding touches like mahogany stained wood, u-shaped booths, a marble staircase and a balcony. The restaurant will have a raw bar featuring all sorts of oysters, shrimp and other seafood, and another specialty will be dry-aged steaks. The two describe the menu as “classical with a French flair,” and their design concept was inspired by the high-end Gaslamp Quarter in San Diego.

It’ll have a lot of other un-Wichita-like touches, including complimentary valet service, an absinthe fountain, dramatic chandeliers, a grand piano, and a bunch of high-end, hard-to-find liquors and an all-season patio that’s a bit more casual.

Shibley and VinZant, who also owns Mike’s Wine Dive and local Jimmy’s Egg restaurants, plan to open Gaslamp  in the first week of December and initially will offer dinner only, though they may add lunch after the first of the year.  The menu should include several $20 to $30 entrees as well as some more expensive steak options, they said.

“It’s going to be surprising to a lot of people,” VinZant said. “When we open, they’re going to see a side of dining they haven’t seen in Wichita.”

Can’t wait.

Two Brothers plus burgers

twobrotherslogoA couple of people have asked me about the Two Brothers BBQ and Burger Grill that’s under construction at the corner of Douglas and Hillside where Autoplex used to be.

I talked to the owners today, and the new restaurant is scheduled to open on Thursday. It’s set up sort of like a Sonic Drive-In, where customers drive up to a stall, place an order, and have their food brought out by carhops. There’s also seating for 55 inside.

The restaurant, which will serve Two Brothers barbecue plus burgers, hot dogs, fries and onion rings, will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Return of the Tropic’s sandwiches

tropicsLunch business got slow, so the Tropics Lounge at 2705 N. Broadway stopped serving its famous sandwiches.

But customers have been begging owner Stella Cruz to bring them back, and she’s finally relenting. On Friday, Cruz will re-institute service of the mile-high ham, the Reuben, the hogies and more.

Starting Friday, sandwiches will be available starting at 11 a.m. until the kitchen closes (around midnight) Mondays through Fridays. They’re available on Saturday’s starting at noon.

For more information, call 316-425-5553.

Both Ted’s Montana Grills are closed

Ted logo CMYKNo more bison meatloaf and strawberry shortcake for Wichita. Our two Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants are among nine that the company closed today because of declining sales.

In addition to the Wichita restaurants at 2140 N. Tyler Road and 3121 North Webb Road, the Atlanta-based chain closed three restaurants in the Kansas City area; one in Omaha, Neb.; one in Raleigh, N.C.; one in the Chicago area; and one in the Washington, D.C., area.

The chain, founded in 2002 by Ted Turner, includes 46 restaurants across the country.

An employee who answered the phone at the west-side Ted’s said that Sunday was the last day in business for both Wichita restaurants.

I always kind of liked Ted’s, especially the atmosphere, which featured gorgeously tiled floors and attractive wood booths. The food was good, too, and even though the menu was a tad too meaty for my taste, I’ll miss it.