Monthly Archives: August 2012

What he said…

I love this Connecticut restaurant reviewer, “Daym Drops,” who has developed a following with his fast food YouTube car-fessionals. In this installment, he finds the words I couldn’t to explain how good Five Guys is. (By the way, the Autotune version of this video is pretty awesome.)

Food Network star will be at Dillons on Monday

Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian will be in Wichita on Monday, signing copes of her first cookbook, “Ten Dollar Dinners: 140 Recipes and Tips to Elevate Simple, Fresh Meals Any Night of the Week,”  at the Dillons Marketplace at Central and Rock.

d’Arabian was the winner of the fifth season of  “Food Network Star” and is the host of the show “Ten Dollar Dinners.” She’s a mom of four, and her show — which demonstrates how to make a meal for four for $10 — has been on the air since 2009. She also is the host of the Cooking Channel’s ”Drop 5 lbs. with Good Housekeeping.”

At the event, which starts at 6 p.m., d’Arabian will sign copies of her book and meet with fans. The cookbook will be sold for $14.99 with a Dillons PlusCard. It retails for $24.99. 

My Tho is famous — and still closed

The new issue of Food Network Magazine, which is on newstands now, features a local sandwich: My Tho’s delicious banh mi. (Just take a look at the story and click on ‘KS.’)

The issue names one fabulous sandwich from each of the 50 states, and My Tho’s banh mi — featuring sliced, grilled pork, sliced fresh jalapeno, fresh cilantro, pickled julienne carrots and daikon, soy sauce and black pepper stuffed into a crusty French baguette – represents Kansas. The magazine even has a pretty picture of the colorful sandwich.

Unfortunately, those who haven’t tried the sandwich will have to wait a little longer. Delay after delay has kept My Tho at 500 E. Central, which closed for a big remodeling project in June, from reopening on time. Owners hoped to reopen last week, but now, they’re saying they need one or two more weeks because a new dishwasher and a soda dispenser have yet to be delivered.

Last year, Wichita Pizza Co’.s taco pizza was featured in a similar story in the magazine.

Doo-Dah Diner coming in September

Patrick Shibley will be the chef and owner at Doo-Dah Diner.

Doo-Dah Diner is a breakfast, lunch and coffee place scheduled to open next month in the spot at 206 E. Kellogg recently vacated by Jade Garden Cafe, which was open for about a month and a half before the owner had to close it because of a family health issue. Other recent tenants have included Cathy’s Diner, Lili Mae’s and R&S BBQ.

The owners are Patrick and Timirie Shibley. Patrick has had a hand in many restaurants around town — he was manager at Ya Ya’s for a while and was one of the people who helped open Gaslamp Grille.

In addition to breakfast and lunch, the restaurant will offer coffee drinks and milkshakes. Patrick will be the chef, and Timirie will run the restaurant.

“We’re going to do some really cool, whimsical stuff,” Patrick said. “It’ll be a fun little energy place.” Hours will be 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. Patrick promises to share menu details soon

Question of the week: Diners behaving badly

Last week, I asked customers about the worst experiences they’ve ever had with a waiter or waitress in a restaurant.

One reader suggested I turn the question around this week, which I thought was a great idea.

Waiters and waitresses, I’m now asking you: What’s the worst treatment you’ve ever received from a customer?

Spare us no horrific detail.

Tell your tale of woe in the comments section below.

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse will open in new Ambassador hotel

The Ambassador Wichita, a 14-story, 117-room luxury boutique hotel scheduled to open in December in a historic building at Douglas and Broadway, will have a restaurant on the ground floor — and that restaurant now has a name.

Siena Tuscan Steakhouse will be a fine-dining restaurant featuring traditional dishes from the Tuscany region of Italy. The 2,400-square-foot restaurant will have floor-to-ceiling windows, seating for 100 and a 500-square-foot patio facing Douglas. It will be visible from the street and is expected to open at the same time the hotel does.

It will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, provide catering for events at the hotel and serve hotel guests as well as locals. Managers are interviewing executive chef candidates, including chefs from Wichita and from out of town. The chef should be chosen by mid-September.

The Ambassador Hotel Collection also operates boutique luxury hotels in historic buildings in Tulsa and Kansas City, Mo.

I’ll share more details as I get them.

See you next week

I’m off for a mini-vacation. Seems my daughter wants to see the beach before she’s chained to school for another year.

See you next Wednesday, when I’ll no doubt have reports of shrimp-n-grits to share.

Question of the week: Egregious waiter behavior?

Waiters and waitresses put up with a lot of nastiness from the general public. But occasionally, a server dishes out his or her own plate of nastiness.

This weekend, I was appalled to watch a waiter/bartender scoop a wad of chewin’ tobacco into his lip. Ewww. And I seem to be a magnet for waiters who decide that the middle of my lunch would be the perfect time to vacuum or sweep… right by my table.

Tell me about a particularly awful service issue you’ve had and how you handled it in the comments section below.

West Chick-fil-A opens tomorrow; Campout under way

The "First 100" campout is under way at the about-to-open Chick-fil-A at 21st and Maize.

Wichita’s second free-standing Chick-fil-A opens on Thursday, meaning Wichita’s second Chick-fil-A campout is under way.

About 125 people are set up with tents and card tables and games in the parking lot of the about-to-open Chick-fil-A at 10515 W. 21st St., where they’ve been gathered since 5:30 a.m. Their goal: to remain in the parking lot until 6 a.m. Thursday, when the restaurant officially opens. Those who do will win a coupon book good for free Chick-fil-A food for a year.

Owner/operator Jason Lansdown in his Chick-fil-A tie

It’s part of the chain’s “First 100″ event, which it puts on every time it opens a new store. An identical event drew a crowd of 150 campers when the east-side Chick-fil-A at 7990 E. Central opened in March.

Today’s crowd, which included alternates plus friends of registered campers,  was made up of adults, teens and kids from both Wichita and beyond. A 2-year-old girl napped on a blanket on the sidewalk against the building while four teenage boys played a game of four-square nearby. Four people played cards at a folding table under a tent while children navigated the parking lot tent village on their scooters. One woman identified herself as a professional Chick-fil-A camper, who drove from Oklahoma City to participate. This was her fourth “First 100″ campout.

Among the campers was Bryan Aubuchon, whose 3-year-old daughter, Nicole, developed an affinity for Chick-fil-A while on vacation in Kansas City this summer. She loved the playground and the food. “It’s all she ever talks about,” he said with a laugh. “She dances around singing ‘Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A.’”

Aubuchon took off work for the campout. Though he planned to man the tent throughout the hot day on Wednesday, he promised Nicole she could sleep in the tent overnight.

Owner/operator Jason Lansdown was on-site wearing his Chick-fil-A tie on Wednesday morning. He said that police officers will be stationed at the restaurant Thursday through Saturday at least to help direct traffic in and out of the restaurant, which is surrounded by hard-to-navigate road construction at 21st and Maize.

One camper's cart of supplies

The restaurant opens at 6 a.m. Thursday. Hours are 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Also, until 9 p.m. tonight, the Kansas Food Bank will be at Chick-fil-A collecting donations for the “Food for Kids” program, which sends food home with schoolchildren in need. Particularly needed, officials said, are items such as granola bars and peanut butter. Anyone who drops off a donation by 3 p.m. will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich. Donations can also be made by clicking on the Chick-fil-A logo at www.kansasfoodbank.org. Customers can bring in the receipt and collect a sandwich coupon.

Two restaurants contribute to Colo. victim

Two local restaurants are offering 10 percent of their proceeds on Tuesday and Wednesday to the family of one of the victims of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting last month.

Wichita’s Papa John’s and and Genghis Grills will make the donation to the family of Jonathan Blunk, whose mother, Dawna Nygaard, lives in Andover. Blunk was one of 12 people killed.

Diners can participate by eating at the restaurants on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those who order pizza online at papajohns.com should enter the promo code “Jonathan.”

Wichita has several Papa John’s locations. The city’s Genghis Grill restaurants are at 111 S. Rock Road and 8448 W. Central.