Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Jaded Pearl will be a Donut Whole extension

Donut Whole owners Michael Carmody and Angela Mallory are very close to opening the tea bar they’ve been planning for the space next door to their successful, colorful doughnut shop at 1720 E. Douglas.

The Jaded Pearl should open in a couple of weeks right next door at 1716 E. Douglas. It’ll be accessible to the Donut Whole through a doorway adjoining the two businesses and will feature three dozen varieties of loose-leaf tea plus cereals, toast made with big hearty breads, and smears for the toast.

The duo already has the furniture for the spot, and they’re taking their time getting it just right before they open it.

Once it’s up and going, The Jaded Pearl will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight daily.

So what’s the meaning behind the name? It’s simple, Carmody said. From a long list of ideas the owners came up with, it was the one they liked best.

I’ll let you know when Carmody and Mallory have a firm opening date.

A reprieve for Wild Thyme

Some Wild Thyme fare.

Last week, I reported here that Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery in Maize had closed, plagued by high costs and low traffic.

A week later, owner Jody Briceland has developed a plan for salvaging a version of her restaurant at 5855 N. Maize Road, which specializes in organic ingredients as well as dishes that are gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, vegan and vegetarian.

On Sept. 6, she’ll reopen as Wild Thyme Gourmet To-Go. Briceland will still offer her full menu, but it’ll be available mainly for carry-out, delivery or catering. It’s a cost-saving measure that will help her still provide food to the fans she’s developed, many of whom deluged her Facebook page with “DON’T CLOSE!” messages once word got out.

Hours will be 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays. Call the restaurant at 316-729-6200 for more information after Sept. 6.

Seating, breakfast plans at British Banger Company

Look how happy Pete White is about all the newness at his restaurant.

British Banger Company, the until-now take-out only restaurant at 1713 W. Douglas, has just added some indoor seating.

Last week, owner Pete White moved things around and made room for about 12 seats in his restaurant.

“We had people walk in and then walk right out because we had no seating and it was so hot outside,” White said. “Hopefully, this will bring us a bit more business.”

White, who has had a successful run selling his cottage pies and bangers (British-style sausage) at the Andover Farmers’ Market this year, said that once the market ends in October, he plans to add breakfast to the options at his restaurant. On the menu will be popular traditional British items such as potato cakes, more bangers and a fabulous Spam creation.

For now, he’s open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays. For more information, call 316-253-1503.

In and Out Fried Chicken & Fish opens today

The missing word is "fish." The opening day is TODAY!

In and Out Fried Chicken & Fish opened at 10 a.m. today in the former Taste of Thai space at447 N. St. Francis.

I stopped by this morning to check on the place and found owner Charlie Nguyen and a few employees busily preparing for opening. He had one small problem: The sign guy showed up yesterday missing an essential ‘H’, so for now, the sign just says In And Out Fried Chicken &… But having gotten a look at the menu board, I assure you that the missing word is ‘fish.’ The restaurant will offer fried catfish, fried chicken combos, fried okra, fried gizzards, fried… fill in the blank.

I did feel a little bad for Charlie, who told me that he was caught off guard by the attention last week on this website about the name of his restaurant, which makes burger fans think of the famous In-N-Out burger chain native to California. Nguyen and his wife had never heard of that chain, he said, and believed they were choosing a unique name.

Hours for the new restaurant are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 am. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Live dining chat set for 2:30 p.m. today

I hope you can get to a computer at 2:30 p.m. today (NOTE: that’s an hour later than our normal Thursday appointments) for a live dining chat. I want to talk about Kwan Court, Chinese buffets and new restaurants on the way. And as always, I’ll entertain whatever other lil’ ole thing you want to discuss.

Please say you’ll join me.

Question of the week: Best Chinese buffet

A photo for the memory book: The fabulous fried section from the Kwan Court buffet.

In just about four weeks, Kwan Court will be no more. The restaurant at 1443 N. Rock Road is closing after 21 years, plagued by financial troubles. (You can read my farewell story here.)

When it goes, Kwan Court will take with it what has been in my opinion Wichita’s best Chinese buffet — one that, even through ownership changes, has always emphasized quality over quantity. (Though there was always plenty to choose from.)

This week’s question: Where else in Wichita can Chinese fans find a decent Chinese buffet? If you know of one, name it in the comments section below, and tell us why it’s worth checking out.

Bite Me will bring more barbecue downtown

Wichita barbecue fans will have another downtown option this fall.

Bite Me BBQ owners Coleman and Becky Lockett plant to move their restaurant from its current space at 151st St. west and Kellogg in Goddard to 130 N. St. Francis in downtown Wichita.

The move should be done by late November.

Chipotle passing out shopping money at farmers’ market

Chipotle, a restaurant chain that prides itself on using local produce in its restaurants, is celebrating National Farmers Market Week this Saturday by giving $5 to be used on produce to the first 250 people who show up at the Old Town Farmers’ Market at 8 a.m.

The first 250 customers also will get buy-one-get-one coupons to use later on Chipotle burritos, bowls, tacos and salads.

Wanted: Kwan Court memories

On Sept. 18, Kwan Court at 1443 N. Rock Road will close after 21 years in business. I do not approve of this message.

I’m going to miss it terribly. Though I haven’t visited there as much as I should have over the past several years, it was one of my favorite places during my first decade in Wichita. It served good sushi, and its Chinese buffet was certainly Wichita’s best and most high quality.

Any other Kwan Court fans out there mourning? Share your memories and thoughts in the comments section below. I’m writing a story about the closing for Friday’s paper, and I’d love to share some insights from other longtime fans. Be sure to leave your name. Or if you’d rather e-mail me your thoughts, just click here.

Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery is closed

I received an e-mail today from a distraught fan of Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery in Maize, which officially closed on Saturday.

Owner Jody Briceland opened the restaurant last November at 5855 N. Maize Road and served a menu that featured organic ingredients as well as dishes that were gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, vegan and vegetarian. Over the past year, she earned several loyal fans, including one of my daughter’s teachers who would rave about the restaurant to me whenever I’d listen. He stuck a menu in my hand just a couple of weeks ago.

But a number of factors conspired to lead to the restaurant’s closing, Briceland said, including the high cost of organic ingredients, the relative smallness of her space (it seated about 22 people), and the location, which didn’t turn out to be as good as she’d hoped. Taxes were killing her, she said, and if she didn’t close, she worried she would soon not be able to pay her 10 staff members.

“The business was growing, but not enough to offset it,” she said. “That was the hard part.”

Briceland will continue catering from the space and says she will honor all outstanding gift certificates, either with caterings, to-go meals, private dinners or even refunds. Her hope is that she can eventually reopen in a better location. Several people have recommended Delano.

“This has really been heartbreaking for me because this was my dream,” she said.

Those needing to resolve gift certificate issues should call 316-305-1396.