Monthly Archives: March 2012

Downton Arby’s

This little spoof video combines several of my favorite things: “Downton Abbey,” restaurants and humor. Lots of recognizable actors in this one, too.

Enjoy.

It’s chat day

Join me at 1:30 p.m. for the live dining chat. We have much to discuss, including chocolate, places to watch the game and outdoor dining.

See you then. Bring a friend.

Question of the week: Best outdoor dining?

It’s that very brief time of  year when it’s not too hot, not too cold and not too buggy to eat outdoors. But it won’t last long.

My question this week: Which restaurant in Wichita has the best outdoor dining area?

Hurry up with your answers in the comments section below. I think I just saw a fly.

Chef Jason: Made for television

From the day I met Chef Jason Febres, I felt like he was made for television.

It doesn’t take much to see that he has what it takes to star on a Food Network or Bravo cooking show — charisma, Latin good looks and culinary ability.

His only problem: He lives in Wichita, and contestants on those shows usually come from New York City, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, etc…

But Febres isn’t going to let that stop him. The chef, who opened Sabor and now owns Taste & See at 3825 E. Harry, is making a bid to get on Food Network’s show “Chopped.”

He’s filled out an application, and now he’s taking the advice of an industry expert who told him to get a video made and get it viewed. Febres’ goal is to have as many people as possible view the above video in hopes that it will boost his chances.

“I have always wanted to do one of those shows,” he said. “I know at some point, I will find a way.”

My favorite part of the video, which was made by a Febres friend, comes in the opening minutes when he announces: “I AM the ultimate Latin fusion experience.”

Warning: Don’t watch the video if you’re hungry. Or lonely.

Pita Pit should open next week

Wichita had a Pita Pit once before — though briefly. A franchise of the Idaho-based healthy-eating chain opened at 328 N. Rock Road in 2007 but closed the following year.

Now, a new franchisee is bringing Pita Pit back to Rock Road. Cammy Onek hopes she can get hers open by next Friday, April 6, in the space at 3242 N. Rock Road formerly occupied by Froz, the short-lived frozen yogurt store. Pita Pit also has restaurants in Lawrence and Manhattan.

It serves healthy sandwiches in pitas and has several new menu additions since it was last open here, including buffalo chicken as a pita filling. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, call 316-201-4748.

Air Capital Grill’s rocky start

Matthew Carr opened his Air Capital Grill  on a Tuesday and was looking forward to a strong first weekend of business.

He didn’t get it. Carr, whose restaurant is in the former Whiskey Creek Wood Fire Grill space at 233 N. Mosley, instead spent his first Saturday inaccessible to customers. A deadly shooting the night before happened just in front of his restaurant, he said, and the whole area was blocked off with crime scene tape as investigators worked through the day on Saturday.

“It was just an unfortunate scenario,” Carr said.

But the restaurant has made a nice recovery over the past several weeks, Carr said. It specializes in steaks, pastas, salads, sandwiches and burgers and already has a steady stream of regulars. A Sunday morning brunch buffet has been popular, too.

Air Capital Grill’s hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call 316-262-2472

The Pioneer Woman Cooks — and visits Wichita

The Pioneer Woman is pretty big time these days, and her appearance next month in Wichita is going to be hard to get a ticket to — but not impossible.

Watermark Books is bringing Ree Drummond, the Oklahoma cook, mom and ranch wife famous for her pretty food blog, The Pioneer Woman Cooks, to Wichita on April 12 for an appearance and book signing.

Her new cookbook, “The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Food from My Frontier,” was released this month and already is a New York Times best seller. Drummond, who now regularly does cooking segments on shows such as “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show,” will appear at The Forum Theatre, 147 S. Hillside.

A few weeks ago, Watermark started distributing free tickets to the appearance, and all 500 of them went quickly. But that doesn’t mean people without tickets can’t get in, organizers say. Because the tickets were free, the odds that everyone who took one is going to show up are slim. The book store now is distributing “overflow tickets,” and people who have those will be directed to seats that are still empty as of 5:45 p.m. on the night of the event.

Even fans who don’t fit into the theater for the performance still will be allowed to stand in line and have Drummond sign their books.

For more information, call Watermark at 316-682-1181.

See you next week

The next time I post on this blog, I plan to be rested, reinvigorated and living with a 7-year-old who knows how to ski.

Wish me luck.

Happy Spring Break. See you on Monday.

Squeezer’s Palace reopens Friday with dogs

Squeezer’s Palace, the colorful walk-up ice cream spot at 11th and Bitting in Riverside that opened last summer then closed for the winter, will be back in business starting Friday.

Owner Kirk David is adding a few offerings to his original menu, which included ice cream and yogurt creations, frozen bananas and smoothies. New to the spring menu: Hot dogs, tea, fresh juices and coffee supplied by Il Primo, the coffee shop at 6422 E. Central.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Wichita Chick-fil-A has third biggest opening ever

I know I said I was done posting about Chick-fil-A for a while, but I couldn’t NOT tell you this.

Wichita’s Chick-fil-A, which opened for business at 6 a.m. on Thursday, had the third biggest grand opening day in the chain’s history, said franchise owner Brad Fuller. There are 1,610 Chick-fil-As across the country.

The only other Chick-fil-As to ever have a bigger opening sales day were two in the Chicago area that opened a year and a half ago. The combined sales of two other Chick-fil-As that opened on Thursday, one in Tennessee and one in New Jersey, didn’t match Wichita’s, Fuller said.

I can believe it. I happened to be in the Central and Rock area on Thursday morning, and it was chaos — chaos that required blocked traffic lanes and several police cars.

There. Now I’m done.