Monthly Archives: July 2012

Anna Murdoc’s Cafe grand opening

Anna Murdoc’s Cafe, which opened a couple of weeks ago at 209 E. William, is having its official grand opening celebration on Wednesday. Owners promise visits from local dignitaries, live music and discounted food and drinks.

The event starts at noon and will feature visits from Mayor Carl Brewer and members of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

At about 10:30 a.m., owner Gerard Rodriguez will begin serving $1 items such as coffee, soda, pastries, tamales and pulled pork street tacos.

Anna Murdoc’s hours are 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 316-771-5051.

Your chance to medal in Olympic drinking

As we enjoy watching our U.S. athletes complete in London, we shouldn’t forget about other sports that requires strength and endurance — namely beer and wine drinking.

A couple of local alcohol purveyors are getting into the Olympic spirit by putting on drinking Olympics.

One is Granite City Food & Brewery, which has restaurants at 2244 N. Webb Road and 2661 N. Maize Road in Wichita. From 9 to 11 p.m. tonight through Thursday and Monday through Aug. 9, the restaurant/bar is staging games that could win patrons prizes.  

In “Sharp Shooter,” for example, game players use their hands to shoot a rubber band at a target. “Growler Curls” are pretty self explanatory.

Daily winners, which are named at 11 p.m. nightly, win $25 gift cards. All the daily winners are entered into a drawing for a $300 gift card grand prize at the end of the promotion.

You can find complete rules on Granite City’s website. 

Beyond Napa at 338 N. Mead is putting on the 1st Annual Wine Olympics. Each day through Saturday, the wine store will select two wines from different countries and offer samples in the store. Patrons will taste, compare and then vote for their favorite. The winner is announced the next day on the Beyond Napa Facebook page. 

Store hours are noon to 8 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays.

For more information, call 316-260-9920

Bonefish Grill adds Sunday brunch

Wichitans have a new Sunday brunch option. This weekend, Bonefish Grill at 10250 E. 13th Street N. introduced a new Sunday brunch that lasts from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

It’s not a buffet. Diners order off the menu and chose from dishes such as creme brulee French toast, a crab-topped omelet and a chocolate croissant. There’s also a long list of beverages, including mimosas and Bellinis, as well as some non-alcoholic drinks.

Bonefish is adding the brunch to all its locations but rolling it out at a select few. Wichita and Tulsa were among the early adopters.

Check out the full menu here. I’ll take the shrimp and creamy corn cake with the chocolate croissant, please.

News from Pour Haus: A fire and a mural

Muralist Adam Engel at work at Pour Haus.

Pour Haus Restaurant & Tavern, the bar and restaurant that opened in March at 1021 W. Maple, was closed down on Friday because of a not-serious fire that made things seriously smoky. The fire started in a trash can under a bar, said manager Jarrett Barnes, and although nothing was damaged, owners had to have the restaurant cleaned to rid it of the smoky smell. Pour Haus reopened on Saturday.

Those who’ve driven past Pour House may have noticed a large and colorful new mural that recently was added to its east-facing wall. Painted by local artists Adam Engel and Rick Dunwoody, the mural depicts scenes of downtown Wichita floating away in a river of beer and a house surrounded by a moat of beer and giant burgers and fries. The mural was completed about a month ago, and at the same time, Pour Haus opened an outdoor patio.

The finished product

Pour Haus also recently added karaoke to its menu. The tunes start at 8 p.m. Mondays and Tuesdays. On Wednesdays, trivia starts at 8 p.m. and karaoke follows.

The restaurant/bar, which has 30 beers on tap and far more in bottles, always has one of its beers on special for $1.50. This week, it’s been Magic Hat IPA. When that keg runs out, Negra Modelo will take its place.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The kitchen closes at 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and at 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 316-263-7687.

Three Vietnamese food headlines

My Tho's beef stew

Over the past year, I’ve realized something: My favorite food in Wichita is Vietnamese food.

I don’t know when it happened, but I think it was somewhere in between my discovery of the existence of banh mi sandwiches and my first bite of beef stew at My Tho. Now, I crave the fresh, basil-y, grilled meat fabulousness of Vietnamese food constantly. Lucky for me, there are plenty of places in Wichita to get it.

Today, I have three snippets of Vietnamese news to share.

1. My Tho update: A reader named Don wrote today to ask me when My Tho was ever going to reopen. The Vietnamese restaurant at 500 E. Central closed early this summer for remodeling, and although owners expected to have it reopen by June, they’re still working. They need about 10 more days, the owners’ son told me today. When they get back in, customers will find a repainted, refloored, rearranged restaurant with more room for seating. I’ll keep you updated.

The banh mi from Little Saigon

2. Little Saigon review: In case you missed it, Wichita Eagle Dining Panel member Sigrid Trombley this week reviewed one of my other very favorite Vietnamese restaurants: Little Saigon at 1015 N. Broadway. I finally got around to trying this place about a month ago, and now, it’s all I think about. The restaurant is big and bright and makes great food.

3. Saigon No. 49 recipe: A reader named Debbie wrote this week asking me to dig up the recipe we published for Saigon’s No. 49 back in 2004. Owner Hanh Bui provided the recipe for the dish, a favorite among Saigon’s customers, as part of a special holiday package in the paper. Here it is:

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 lbs. chicken breast, cut into pieces about 1-inch by 1/2-inch by 1/4- inch thick
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 lb. rice vermicelli noodles
1 tablespoon oil
3 cups shredded lettuce

Saigon owner Hann Bui and his famous No. 49

2 cups bean sprouts
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup sliced green onion
4 tablespoons chopped peanuts

Sauce:
1/4cup lime juice
1/4 cup fish sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
1 jalapeno, chopped
Shredded carrot, optional

DIRECTIONS
Mix hoisin sauce, soy sauce, garlic and pepper. Place chicken in marinade while preparing vegetables and sauce. Make sauce by mixing lime juice, fish sauce, water, vinegar, sugar, jalapeno and carrot, if using. When ready to cook, prepare noodles according to package directions. Heat oil in a skillet or wok. Pour chicken and marinade into the skillet and stir-fry until done.

Among four bowls, divide lettuce, bean sprouts, cilantro, noodles, onion and chicken. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and sauce and serve.
MAKES 4 SERVINGS.

Chef Jason cooking kangaroo, alpaca & lion

Taste & See’s envelope-pushing chef Jason Febres is planning a very… exotic dinner next month. It’s already sold out, so you can’t go. But I thought you might be interested in the details.

The $160-a-person dinner, scheduled for Aug. 14 at Taste & See, 3825 E. Harry, will feature Febres cooking unusual and exotic meats, “Iron Chef” style. On his eight-course menu are meats most people havn’t considered trying: wild hare from Scotland, Indian farm-raised alpaca, Australian crocodile tenderloin, African water buffalo, Australian kangaroo loin fillets, African antelope osso bucco and… and…. (wait for it)…. African lion.

Febres called this week to see if I wanted to attend the dinner, but alas, I’ll be out of town. I’m not sure I’m adventurous enough to dine on lion, anyway.

I’ll be curious to hear what attendees of the dinner think. I don’t know of anyone who’s sampled meat THIS exotic. It’s legal to sell the meat of lions raised in captivity, but that wasn’t much comfort last year to some Arizona residents whose ire persuaded a restaurant to scrap plans to sell lion tacos. 

What do you think? Would you (or have you) sampled any of the meats on this menu?

Heroes has CHOCOLATE COVERED BACON

Beth Tully somehow FAILED to mention something pretty pertinent to me when we were discussing her rare Peruvian chocolate last week.

Tully’s Cocoa Dolce recently has teamed up with Heroes Sports Bar in Old Town to create an intriguing dessert option: chocolate-covered sweet pepper bacon.

Heroes started selling pre-wrapped slices of its famous sweet pepper bacon, coated in chocolate and dusted with sea salt, about a week ago. They cost $3.50 each or $9 for three strips.

I’m a sweet-n-salty-aholic, so this idea appeals to me. If you can’t get to Heroes, you could try out this recipe for bacon brownies, which I made for a River Festival fireworks party in May. Worth every calorie.

For more information, call Heroes at 316-264-4376.

Restaurants take vacations, too

A few weeks ago, a reader wrote to ask me if Yen Ching, the classic Wichita Chinese restaurant at 430 N. Rock Road, was out of business. She’d stopped by for lunch and it was closed and looked deserted, an appearance not helped by the fact that the awning over the entry way was missing. It has actually been gone for months now.

We investigated (i.e. called and listened to the restaurant’s voice mail greeting) and learned that the owners were just on vacation. Yen Ching reopened a few days later and has remained open. Still, rumors persist that it’s closed. I saw someone on Twitter lament its closing just a few days ago.

It’s somewhat typical for family-run restaurants to close down for a week or two out of the year for vacation, but it can cause panic among its loyal diners. La Gallette’s owners, for example, just closed down their restaurant at 1017 W. Douglas for a week for vacation. They’ve been back in business this week but are closing again starting Wednesday until Aug. 5.

Question of the week: Best BBQ meat?

Look, there under the sweet potato fries. It's some of the most moist and flavorful smoked turkey I've tried in a while. Thank you, Bite Me BBQ.

It’s been days since I ate it, but I’m STILL fantasizing about the succulent, juicy, perfectly smoked turkey breast I ate at Bite Me BBQ, the restaurant that I’ve reviewed for this week’s paper.

It’s the kind of turkey I dream about every Thanksgiving but rarely get, partially because I have no relatives with access to smokers. Perhaps I’ll have to become that relative.

Barbecue is a very personal thing, and it seems like there are as many favorite barbecue restaurants as there are barbecue fans.

My question this week: Which barbecue meat is your favorite? Ribs? Hotlinks? Pulled pork? Turkey? Chicken? Brisket? And more important, which local barbecue restaurant serves the best version of your favorite meat?

Answer in the comments section below.

British Banger Company to close

British Banger Cafe owner Austin Newby has decided to close his restaurant at 1713 W. Douglas in Delano, which specializes in British foods. He’s hoping to sell the restaurant as a whole or at least its equipment.

He plans to stay open through the end of July.

Earlier this year, Newby bought the restaurant from original owner Pete White, who first opened it in December of 2010 . But Newby’s fiance was injured in a car accident, which caused him serious financial problems.

“It makes good money,” Newby said of the restaurant, which specializes in bangers and mash. “We’ve just gotten in a hole we are not going to be able to get our way out of.”

Anyone interested in buying the restaurant should call Newby at 316-258-9539. The restaurant’s hours until it closes are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays.