Monthly Archives: October 2011

Crossing one more off the list with dinner at Ming’s

Our Halloween crew at Ming's, which earned from me the hard-to-attain "Chop Suey Palace" award.

As I told readers of my live dining chat last week, I have a short list of Wichita restaurants that I desperately want to visit but for whatever reason never have. Interestingly, they’re all Asian.

One is Cafe Asia, which readers go on and on and on about. It’s at  6546 E. Central, in Normandy Center and apparently has some of the best food in town. I’ve also heard good things about Ah-So at 855 S. Oliver, which has been around forever and beckons to me. “Come to Ah-So. Come to Ah-So. Come to Ah-So” OKAY! I WILL! SOON!!!!

Last night, I finally marked one restaurant off my list. I’ve always been intrigued by the retro sign outside of Ming’s at 1625 S. Seneca. My friend and I took our children (all of us have “Little House on the Prairie” costumes) to Trick Or Treat Street at Wichita Children’s Theatre late Sunday afternoon and decided afterward that it would be fun to parade into a restaurant, 1800′s style. We were quite the spectacle (the owner asked us if we were Amish), but I digress.

The food was pretty good, but the atmosphere was great. Ming’s is the kind of place that’s been around forever. The decor is outdated in a good way, and the place quickly filled up with regulars on a Sunday night. It had that mystical quality I always look for in a Chinese restaurant in that it reminded me of the Chop Suey Palace from “A Christmas Story.”

I had some almond chicken, which was pretty good, and my little Laura Ingalls had some delicious pork pot stickers and a side of egg drop soup. My hot-and-sour was fabulous, and Kim (a.k.a. Miss Beadle) loved her dish, made with fried shrimp served atop a bed of sauced-up veggies.

We’ll be back. Next time without the costumes.

Have a Halloween Boo-rito

You’ll need a base for all that Halloween candy, and Chipotle is offering a cheap way to get one — provided your costume is farm-friendly.

Customers who visit after 6 p.m. tonight dressed in a family-farm inspired costume can get a burrito, bowl, salad or order of tacos for $2. Proceeds up to $1 million nationwide will go to Farm Aid and the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

Diners also are invited to submit photos of themselves in costume at Chipotle for a chance to win $2,500. Cows and chickens and goats can upload their pictures at or text “COSTUME” to 888222.

Now open: Wok Hey

Wok Hey, a new carryout Chinese restaurant at 1444 N. Maize Road, opened last week. It’s owned by Andy Diec, who also has Kwan Wah in Towne West Square, and it specializes in Chinese dishes to-go, though there’s also a small dining room.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-721-3838. To see the menu, follow this link.

It’s live chat day

You simply must join me at 1:30 p.m. today, right here. We have lots to talk about on the live dining chat, including a long list of restaurants that have just opened and the fabulousness that is the Asian Festival.

See you in a few hours.

Question of the week: Which Asian fare do you prefer?

An array of foods at last year's Asian Festival.

The Asian Festival is on Saturday, and if you like food and haven’t been, you’re making a big mistake. The event fills up Century II with a wonderland of sizzling, spicy succulent Asian cuisine from more than a dozen countries.

Wichita has a pretty good array of Asian restaurants, with the best representation coming from China, Vietnam, Thailand, India and Japan.

What’s your favorite type of Asian food in Wichita? And which local restaurant serves the best version of your favorite?

Answer in the comments section below.

McRib commercial: Better than the McRib

Unless you’ve been quarantined to your house with the flu and your television, radio and internet are all broken, you’ve probably heard: McRib is back.

McDonald’s McRib, which rejoins the menu every now and then, baffles me. It’s more of a pop culture “thing to do” than lunch, it seems. And if it’s so fabulous, why not just add it to the menu permanently? Perhaps there are only so many pigs out there with bone-free ribs.

I really don’t care for the McRib, but I must admit that I’ve been enjoying the new McRib commercial. Funnier than the Sonic folks any day.

By the way, the McRib will be available at all McDonald’s nationwide through Nov. 14.

Park City’s Hamburger Heroes relocating to downtown Wichita

The arrival of Five Guys was apparently only the beginning of the downtown burger invasion.

In a few weeks, owners of Park City’s Hamburger Heroes plan to move their business to downtown Wichita.

Josh Sams, who owns the almost 2-year-old business with his wife, Bri, closed the Park City store on Saturday and said  has signed a lease on a building on the southwest corner of Douglas and Broadway. He hopes to have the move complete within 30 days.

Sams, whose restaurant specializes in burgers and fresh-cut fries, said that he had a good lunch business in Park City but that his dinner crowd was too small. “I want to do the business all the way around,” he said.

Hamburger Heroes will be open for lunch and dinner and breakfast as well. The building has the option for both upstairs and downstairs seating, and the entry to the restaurant will face Broadway.

Passage to India to reopen in new space this week

Passage to India co-owner and chef Kuldip Singh.

Passage to India, the popular Indian restaurant that has been closed since Oct. 16, should reopen by Friday of this week in a newer, fancier space.

Owners have been working for a week to move the restaurant from the cavernous space it has occupied for the past eight years at 6140 E. 21st St. to a space at 6100 E. 21st St. formerly occupied by Golden Dragon restaurant. The new location, which is in the same strip center, is a bit smaller, said Kam Singh, son of operator and co-owner and chef Kuldip Singh, but it’s been completely remodeled and will offer a more upscale environment. “We wanted to make it more of a fancy restaurant,” he said. “Everything is new in there.”

When Passage to India opened in 1994 , it was Wichita’s first Indian restaurant. This will mark the restaurant’s third move in its 17-year history.

Its famous buffet will remain the same but the set menu will change a little and will include more vegetarian and vegan items.

The hours will be 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. for the buffet Tuesdays through Sundays, 5 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays, 5 to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 5 to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Eat an egg roll, help a cause

Hungry for some Chinese food? If you print and download this flyer and take it to the Panda Express at 2760 N. Maize Road between 11 a.m and 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, the restaurant will donate 20 percent of your purchase to Starkey, an organization that helps mentally disabled people achieve independence.

I’ve noticed several restaurants, including Chipotle, Il Vicino, Panda Express, Baskin Robbins and more, are participating frequently in fundraisers such as this one. Has your organization or school ever participated in one? Did it raise a lot of money? Talk to me.

Now open: The Jaded Pearl

I like to call this pair of donut/tea artists "Michelangela."

It’s been a very busy couple of weeks for restaurant openings.

The Jaded Pearl, the new tea bar adjoined to the Donut Whole, opened today. Hours are 6 a.m. to midnight daily, and the menu features a long list of teas (black, green, oolong, herbal, etc.) as well as toast made with fresh, thick-sliced bread, “schmears,” and breakfast cereals. You can see the full menu here.

Owners Michael Carmody and Angela Mallory have decorated the tea bar’s cozy seating area with comfy tables and chairs, area rugs and a whole bunch of pretty lights.

The Jaded Pearl’s address is 1716 E. Douglas.

An interior shot on The Jaded Pearl's opening day.