Monthly Archives: January 2011

Name that restaurant

If it's topped with crumbled Doritos, it's gotta be good.

I’m writing my restaurant review that will appear in the paper on Friday, and I thought I’d share this delicious picture I took while pigging out.

Can anyone guess which restaurant I’m reviewing? It was amazingly good, and you’re going to want to try it as soon as you read my description. I’ll post the review online tomorrow sometime.

Happy birthday, Kanai

Wichita became a much tastier place on Jan. 15, 2010.

That’s the day Kanai, a fabulous sushi restaurant improbably located way out west at 119th and Maple, opened its doors.

The restaurant is celebrating the birthday all month with special cocktails and rolls, including a red snapper rolled in panko, deep fried and topped with spicy tuna. Customers who visit through January also can register to win one of three $50 gift cards, which will be given away on Feb. 1.

In other Kanai news: The restaurant usually is closed on Mondays but will open on Valentine’s Day from 5 to 10 p.m.

While supplies last

A Wichita entrepreneur opened a new business over the weekend at the corner of Topeka and Douglas.

Usually, it’s not my policy to make recommendations on a place before I’ve tried it, but ima say you can skip this one.

Besides, nobody was even there to take the money.

I’m going to tag this one “frozen treats” and “just opened.”

Martini Madness at Mike’s

Mike’s Wine Dive is the place to be on Thursday nights for people who like martinis and microphones.

Last night, Mike’s started a new $5 martini menu that’s available on Thursday nights and features 20 different concoctions, most named for people on staff. (The Blondie, for example, features Stoli Vanilla, Tuaca, Triple Sec, Amaretto d’ Saronno and pineapple juice. Chef and general manager Brad Beyers is the namesake of the Beyers Bakon Bloody Mary, made with KaKon Vodka, Zing Zang and A-1.)

Also, Mike’s is hosting karaoke starting at 10 p.m. on Thursday nights. Mike’s is at 4714 E. Douglas. For more information, call 316-613-2772

Delicious things we probably should not eat (but will)

A couple of chain restaurants are making some decadent, potentially dangerous additions to their menus. They’re so dangerous, in fact, that they’re only available for a few weeks.

Krispy Kreme at 7777 E. Central is offering the Dark Chocolate Kreme doughnut, featuring a dark chocolate filling, dark chocolate icing and chocolate drizzle. Wash it down with Krispy Kreme’s new hot chocolate, which is topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. Both are available through Feb. 14.

Over at Smashburger, 3570 N. Woodlawn, the Sin City burger — previously available only at Las Vegas Smashburgers– will be offered until Feb. 27.

It features a burger on an egg bun topped with a fried egg, applewood smoked bacon, melted American cheese, grilled and haystack onions and Smash sauce.

Customers who try it also can register on Facebook to win a trip to Vegas or free Smashburger for a year.

Let the calorie-fest commence!

It’s Connie’s birthday

Today would have been Connie of Connie’s Mexico Cafe’s 100th birthday, and to celebrate her memory, the Wichita Mexican food institution at 2227 N. Broadway is giving away free sopapillas until 8 p.m. tonight. The offer is limited to one sopapilla per customer.

Conception (Connie) Rocha and her husband, Rafael Lopez, opened Connie’s Mexico Cafe in 1963. It’s said to be the city’s oldest, family owned Mexican restaurant and now is run by Connie’s daughter, Carmen, and her five daughters. Connie died in 2006.

Connie’s is know for its flour tacos and burritos — and today, for its free sopapillas. Happy birthday, Connie.

Taste & See what it’s all about

For a couple of months, I’ve been hearing about and seeing ads for Taste & See Everyday Gourmet, a new business in the Office This space near Harry and Hillside, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what it was. So I decided to ask.

Turns out it’s a part restaurant/ part cooking school/ part private party venue. And they have Chef Jason-Paul Febres of Sabor fame doing the cooking and performing.

You can read more about it in my profile of the business, which will run in the paper on Friday.

Question of the week

Five Guys. Two Brothers BBQ and Burger Grill. Fizz Burgers & Bottles. Smashburger. Burger Barn. T.J.’s east.

Hamburger places have been springing all over Wichita the past couple of years, and now we’ve learned that Mooyah, a Texas-based burger chain, plans to open a restaurant here by spring.

In your opinion, which of the newer burger places in Wichita is the best? Answer in the comments section below.


You’ve no doubt by now heard about the Trenta, Starbucks’ new 31-ounce beverage size. (That’s bigger than your stomach, according to one blogger.)

Only iced drinks will be available in the Trenta size, which rolled out this week in 14 states, not including Kansas. Everybody else’s Starbucks will introduce the new cup size on May 3.

The drinks will cost 50 cents more than the Venti, which contains 24 ounces. Trenta is Italian for “30.” Guess the “Trentuno” didn’t have the same ring.

In the spirit of the Trenta, please enjoy this apropos movie clip from the 2008 Paul Rudd movie “Role Models.”

Can we talk Mexican food?


I recieved another e-mail from the ever-thoughtful foodie Mike Levand, most famous (to me) for the love letter to cake he sent this summer.

This time, Mike wants to talk Mexican food.

First, he wonders if there is a Mexican buffet being served in Wichita. The only one I’m aware of is at Cortez Mexican Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St. N. It offers an all-you-can eat Mexican buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

Second, Mike asks for a top-five list of local, non-chain Mexican restaurants. I get the feeling he mainly wants Tanya Tandoc’s recommendations, but this is not Tanya’s blog (ha ha). So mine will have to do. Though Tanya, please do chime in if you are reading this.

I know that Tanya would agree with me that Frida’s, the restaurant that closed last year, was at the top of the list. The owners have promised to reopen, but my hope dwindles daily. Besides Frida’s, my favorites include Taqueria El Paisa, an authentic restaurant at 2227 N. Arkansas, and Ruben’s, 520 W. Douglas, which is more of a Tex-Mex standard but sells delicious flour tacos and a killer carintas dinner.

I’ve always sort of liked El Patio, 424 E. Central, too, though I tend to overeat there so must approach it with caution.

That’s only three. Who has other suggestions? Remember, Mike wants local.