Monthly Archives: July 2011

Burger Boy’s creation on Red Robin’s menu

The official photo of Donovan Duggins' Mt Vesuvius Burger at Red Robin.

Well, almost.

You might recall my posts from December about Donovan Duggins, a Robinson Middle School eighth grader who won the Red Robin Kid’s Cookoff with his burger creation.

On Tuesday, Red Robin will officially add Donovan’s burger to its menu, where it will stay until Sept. 11. You’ll recall that the burger Donovan invented is topped with crumbled blue cheese, bacon, provolone cheese and Lava Sauce, made by combining barbecue sauce, hot sauce, garlic powder and paprika

Donovan, whose picture will be featured on table signs throughout the company, gets to celebrate the addition with a private party and tasting on Tuesday night and says he’ll probably continue using his gazillion dollars worth of Red Robin gift cards he won in his prize package toward the purchase of his own creation.

Wait. Shouldn’t he get the burger for free whenever he wants it?

“Hey, yeah,” he said with a laugh. “Maybe I should start a petition.”

Wichita’s Red Robin is in the Waterfront development at 9990 E. 13th Street.

Donovan's winning moment in 2010. He also won the Peoples' Choice award.

Join our dining chat at 1:30 p.m. today

It’s chat day! It’s chat day! Surely you have nothing better to do at 1:30 p.m. today?

We’ll talk about new restaurants on the way (there are a surprisingly large number), my new wine and beer feature and more.

Please log on to Kansas.com this afternoon and participate. These chats are really no fun when you’re not there.

Wine and beer lovers: This is for you

Today, I’m launching a new feature on this blog that’s aimed at local fans of wine, beer and spirits.

It’s a new “page” where I’ll track local wine and beer tastings, charity events and more. (Look up there! Just to the left of my menu! Where it says “Wine and beer events.” Now click.)

I’ve started with some listings of events coming up over the next several months, and I’d like to add more features in the near future. A reader has already suggested that I have a section that lists bottle discounts at local restaurants. (Bella Luna, for example, offers half price bottles on Mondays and Wednesdays.)

Take a look and let me know what I’m missing.

Question of the week: Best icy drink

It’s so hot outside, it’s ridiculous.

Thanks goodness for icy colas, iced coffees and other cold concoctions.

The question of the week: What’s your favorite non-alcoholic cooling-off beverage sold in Wichita? I’m a sucker for a Sonic diet coke with vanilla and extra ice.

Tell me what you like in the comments section below.

Little Bits guy working it a whole lot

I can’t go anywhere without running into Greg Cole’s Little Bits. Not that I’m complaining.

Cole, a local entrepreneur who invented the teeny tiny ginger bread cookies, is now pushing them all over town. He practically shoved one in my mouth at the Delano Farmer’s Market earlier this summer (Not that I’m complaining) and I saw him again when I visited the Kansas Grown Farmers Market at 21st and Ridge.

Now, he has Exploration Place selling his wares. They’re now available at the snack bar, the concession stand at the dome theater and in the Explore Store.

He is producing, packaging and distributing these yummy mini-cookies all by himself,” Exploration Place’s Christina Bluml told me in an e-mail. “The man is on a mission!”

Bits also are available at Green Acres Market. They’re spicy but tasty, very reminiscent of Mennonite peppernuts. They are low in sugar and are said to be diabetic-approved.

If you leave your house, ever, you’ll encounter one in just a Little Bit, I’m sure.

Vietnamese coffee: An underappreciated summer treat

When I first moved to Wichita, the same smart people who introduced me to Vietnamese food also introduced me to Vietnamese coffee.

If you don’t know about it, you should. Although it’s a calorie bomb, it’s a decadent treat, and as my coworker Suzanne can attest after I shared mine with her yesterday, an instant energy booster.

Vietnamese coffee (ca phe sua da) , available in most Vietnamese restaurants around town, is made most often with a dark-roast coffee like Cafe Du Monde’s coffee and chicory. Servings are brewed individually in a metal French drip placed over a glass cup that contains a layer of sweetened condensed milk. Once all the coffee has dripped into the cup, it’s stirred, then poured over ice.

My friend Jill brought one to me at work yesterday that she purchased to-go from Tsunami, a favorite restaurant of hers at 6254 E 37th N. It was conveniently packaged in a plastic cup with a sealed cellophane. It was huge and only $2. I always have my Vietnamese coffee at Saigon, 1103 N. Broadway.

Anyone else out there a Vietnamese coffee lover?

Kwan Court’s sushi bar is sake-free… for now

Kwan Court's famous buffet.

Don’t count on having sake with you sushi or Cabernet with your crab Rangoon at Kwan Court.

The restaurant at 1443 N. Rock Road let its liquor license lapse accidentally,  said an employee at the restaurant, which has been dry for about three weeks now. She said that the restaurant hopes to have everything straightened out and the license renewed within two weeks.

I’ll drink to that.

Tacos have replaced pho on South Hillside

What once was at My Canh...

A reader named Ron sent in this question over the weekend:

“I drove by 2959 S. Hillside and found a Mexican food restaurant.  Is there another address for My Canh?”

Sadly, My Canh, a delicious Vietnamese restaurant I reviewed back in 2007, closed its doors about a year ago. Nhung Nguyen and Johnson Tran re-opened the restaurant at 2959 S. Hillside in 2007 after having closed, moved and reopened it twice before. (Maybe they will again? We can hope…)

The good news: The business that took over the space is called Restaurante Tienda Rochel. It’s a family-owned business that’s half grocery store, half restaurant. It specializes in breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes prepared by owner Rafaela Rochel and her sisters. Look for dishes such as heuvos rancheros, tortas, burritos, shrimp cocktail, and on weekends, a whole grilled chicken that’s been marinated overnight.

Meanwhile, Ron, if you need some suggestions on good Vietnamese restaurants to help you with your pho craving, I recommend My Tho, Pho Hot Bistro, and the classic Wichita Vietnamese restaurant, Saigon at 1103 N. Broadway.

Three bites of BBQ news

Wichita cannot be accused of depriving its citizens of barbecue. I have three  pieces of smoky barbecue news that might interest you today.

The first one is about Carrie B’s, a bar-just-turned-barbecue-joint that’s been attached to the Wichita Inn on west Kellogg since the early 1980s. (I have memories of staying there with my parents a few times as a kid and popping into Carrie B’s.)

The bar moved across Kellogg with the hotel seven years ago and kept its regular crowd, but when the smoking ban took effect, business took a hit. Owners recently decided to start serving barbecue and now are calling the business Carrie B’s Bar and BBQ. They’re serving ribs, brisket, pulled pork and smoked sausages and smoking all the meat themselves. They also created their own rubs and sauces and hired longtime chef-about-town Randy Hare to do the cooking. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight Monday through Friday and 4 p.m. to midnight Saturday. It’s at 6339 W. Kellogg. Call 316-260-8550 for more information.

In other saucy news, Fire It Up Pit BBQ at 4628 S. Seneca is putting on one of its all-you-can eat rib days tomorrow. From 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., dine-in patrons can get all the ribs they can stomach plus two sides and a drink for $9.99. Call , call 316-425-7020 for more information.

Also, a reader called me last week wondering about the new barbecue place going in near the Loony Bin at 21st and Woodlawn. That restaurant is to be called Payne’s Smokehouse BBQ and it’ll open in the old Backstage Bar & Grill space sometime in August.

Restaurant review: Cafe Maurice

I’ve been hearing from all sorts of people-in-the-know that I should check out Cafe Maurice, which is at 9747 E. 21st St N. I even heard that someone with N&J Cafe links had something to do with it.

I was shocked to walk in and find out that someone was Therese Srour, who was my favorite waitress at N&J back in the day. She and her husband, Gus, are the owners of Cafe Maurice, and it is goooood stuff. I can’t wait to go back for more kibbe and falafel.

Read my review, which is coming out in the paper on Friday. And if you’ve been to Cafe Maurice, let me know what you thought. Post your review in the comments section below.