Monthly Archives: July 2012

Now open: Anna Murdoc’s Cafe

Correction: An earlier version of the post misspelled Rodriguez.

Downtown workers have a new spot to stop for breakfast and lunch. Anna Murdoc’s Cafe opened a little more than a week ago in the space that previously held the Daily Grind in Sutton Place at 209 E. William.

The cafe is owned by the Rodriguez family, who also have The Red Barn at Lake Afton. It’s run mainly by Gerard Rodriguez, and the attractive new awnings feature a sketch of Gerard’s children – Annalisa, Angelina (whose nickname is Murdoc), and Jack.

Rodriguez, who is a trained pastry and sushi chef, helped put together a menu for Anna Murdoc’s that includes breakfast items such as burritos and biscuits and gravy, plus salads and sandwiches. The cafe also offers a daily special. Today’s, for example, is an open faced roast beef sandwich with green beans. On Fridays, they offer Red Barn barbecue. Lasagna and smothered burritos also are on the rotating specials list.

I stopped by this morning and was impressed by how pretty and big-city the cafe looked. It includes a nice outdoor patio, perfect for people watching. It has another big-city problem, too, in that parking on William and the surrounding blocks is hard to find, though Gerard’s sister, Belle, who was working this morning, says that the parking police are lenient with people who pull into the 15-minute loading zone in front of the restaurant to pick up to-go orders. The bulk of their business so far, she said, has come from the nearby Finney State Office Building.

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

Thursday is free tea day at McAlister’s

Thursday is Free Tea Day at Wichita’s McAlister’s Delis, which are at 7130 W. Maple and 306 N. Rock Road. Customers who visit will get a free 32-oz. glass of McAlister’s tea — either sweetened or unsweet. No purchase or coupon is required.

More than 300 restaurants in 22 states are expected to participate, and the chain etimates it’ll serve 225,000 glasses of free tea. Free Tea Day started in 2009 and has become an annual tradition for the chain.

I love McAlister’s unsweetened tea. (Despite living in Tennessee for two years, I never got used to the sweet stuff.) I’m not sure what makes it so good, but I think it has something to do with the giant, pretty plastic cups it comes in. They make you feel like the tea will never stop flowing.

Jarhead’s food cart should open next month

Keenan Poore plans to open Jarhead's, a new Wichita food cart, in August.

A new hot dog cart called Jarhead’s should roll into Wichita sometime next month.

It will sell high-quality bratwurst, sauerkraut, Italian sausage, Polish sausage, hot dogs and possibly pulled pork.

Keenan Poore, a former youth pastor and former member of the Marine Corps, is working now to get his new mobile food business going, he said. He plans to start with a cart he’ll park various places around Wichita during lunch hours and in Old Town on weekend evenings. He’s also working on finding a trailer that he could eventually house the business in, giving it more of a food truck feel.

Poore, who lives in Andover, describes himself as a food enthusiast who’s always dreamed of owning a food establishment. He was inspired by the food truck fad that’s recently hit Wichita.

“The fad is early in Wichita,” he said. “This is probably a good time to jump in  and get a head of it a little bit.”

I’ll keep you updated on Jarhead’s progress.

Cocoa Dolce stocking rare chocolate

These decadent ganache-filled treats are shaped and colored like the rare cacao pods the chocolate comes from.

When Beth Tully asks you if you want to come sample some very rare out-of-this-world chocolate, you don’t say no. At least I don’t.

This afternoon, I went to visit with Beth, owner of Cocoa Dolce Artisan Chocolates at 2132 N. Rock Road, about a new line of chocolate she’s just started selling that’s made from some rare beans cultivated in Peru. She’s the only chocolatier in Kansas who has the stuff.

Beth Tully with her rare chocolate creations.

A friend of hers discovered it while on a visit to Peru in 2007. He came across a tree on a farm in Peru’s Marañón Canyon that was still producing rare white chocolate beans, growing in colorful football shaped pods. The beans were once thought to be extinct.

The beans, called Pure Nacional, produces an intense, 68 percent bittersweet chocolate that has a floral aroma with citric, coffee and spice notes. It’s mellow, though, with almost no bitterness. It’s the rarest of all chocolates, Tully said.

Tully has turned her stash in to “Fortunato No. 4″ chocolate bars, which cost $5 apiece, and beautiful ganache-filled chocolates, which are $3.50 apiece or come in a package of 6 for $20.

The chocolate was very good, and I had to stop myself from gobbling down more than one of the ganache-filled treats. I can’t wait to pair the bar with a glass of red wine.

Tully  just started selling the chocolate in her shop a few days ago and — bonus — she also sells glasses of red wine. For more information, call 316-866-2906.

Cafe Asia nixes lunch — sort of

Cafe Asia, the restaurant tucked away in the corner of Normandie Village at 6546 E. Central that’s popular with fans of Chinese and Malaysian food, has stopped serving lunch — at least in the restaurant.

Owner Yook Gan said she stopped opening the doors for lunch last month, though patrons still can get lunch to-go from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Gan said she’s picked up a strong catering business, which she wants to concentrate on during daytime hours. Dinner still is served from 4:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays and from 4:30 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays.

For more information or to place lunch orders, call 316-685-8818.

Las Tias de Beto scheduled to open Friday

Las Tias de Beto, a Mexican restaurant going in at 1064 N. Waco, right  next door to Juarez Bakery, is scheduled to open at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow.

The restaurant is owned by Manuel Fernandez, owner of Juarez, and a partner. It’ll offer the standard fajita/taco/burrito options plus fish and steak dishes typical of Northern Mexico. It also will serve breakfast dishes such as chorizo and eggs. Fernandez is working on getting a liquor license.

I stopped by this morning to take a peek. There’s a subtle sign on the door, but so far, no big outside signage. The biggest challenge for me with this place will be avoiding the Mexican pastries next door. There’s almost nothing I love more than Mexican pastries.

Hours for Las Tias de Beto will be 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. For more information, call  316-977-9336.

Question of the week: Best refreshing beverage?

I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but if you go outside these days, you’ll melt. Into a puddle. On the ground.

This calls for a frosty beverage.

This week’s question: What’s your favorite thirst quencher in Wichita?

I have a few favorites, including a diet vanilla Coke from Sonic, an iced coffee with cream from any ole coffee shop, and McAlister’s giant iced tea, unsweetened. My favorite fountain is at QuikTrip, and I really can’t wait to give this Coca Cola Freestyle machine a whirl.

What am I missing?

Oh, we saw it all right

Beccy Tanner, Lori Buselt, Annie Calovich, me, Jaime Green and the Weiner on Wheels

Braved the 137 degree day and walked the half block to Douglas and Washington. First in line. Wiener whistles secured. Worth every sweat droplet.

Here’s a video made by the amazing Jaime Green, pictured above, far right.

Weinermobile rolling all over Wichita

My friend Gina's kids with the Weinermobile today.

What’s more fun than saying “Weinermoblie?”

Visiting the Weinermobile. The Oscar Mayer Weinermobile — that famous hot dog on wheels — is on a tour of Wichita-area QuikTrip stores that lasts through Wednesday.

It parked outside the QuikTrips at Kellogg and Maize and Park City yesterday. This morning, it was at Kellogg and 143d and will truck it on over to 21st and 127th St. East from 2 to 5 p.m. this afternoon.

My daughter's bestie, Bryleigh (left), found it, too.

Wednesday, it’ll be at Kellogg and Hillside from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. followed by Douglas and Washington from 2 to 5 p.m. (My Eagle comrades and I have already planned a field trip.)

Though it doesn’t dispense weiners, the Weinermoble distributes whistles and provides photographic proof of the weiner fan’s visit. Pictures of my friends kids posing with it have been showing up all over Facebook.

Look for our Eagle portrait on Wednesday afternoon.

Super awesome Coke machines arrive this week

Wichita’s two Noodles & Company restaurants are both about to get one of the fancy new Coca-Cola Freestyle machines. The Noodles & Company  in Towne East Square at 7700 E. Kellogg and will fire its up on Tuesday morning. The one  at 3300 N. Rock Road will start its on Wednesday.

The machines feature 125 different varieties of Coca-Cola drinks, all dispensed out of a single spout. Using a high-tech touch screen, people can choose from a long list of beverages. Choices include Coca Cola flavored with lime, raspberry, cherry, orange or cherry vanilla. Sprite can be flavored with peach, grape, cherry and more.

The machines were invented in 2009 and have been rolled out across the world since then. It makes the drinks without syrup, instead mixing concentrated ingredients with water and sweetener.

If anyone checks this out tomorrow, let me know. I’m particularly curious to hear how raspberry Coke tastes.

I love 2012.