Monthly Archives: September 2012

Area’s seventh Hog Wild opens today

The brand new Hog Wild at 8821 W. 21st St. opens today.

A new Hog Wild Pit Bar-B-Q  is opening today at 8821 W. 21st St.

It’s the seventh Hog Wild in the area, and it will serve the same menu of ribs, smoked meats and sandwiches that the other ones do. It has a drive-through, too.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. For more information, call 316-721-7775.

New culinary program having a sweet opening

Warren Brown

Until recently, inspiring professional chefs who wanted to study close to home had to go to Johnson County Community College’s culinary arts program.

But as of this fall, there’s one in Wichita, too. Butler Community College recently added a Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. The program results in an associates degree, and classes are held in the recently rennovated Boston Rec Center at 6655 E. Zimmerly in Wichita.

On Tuesday, those interested can tour the building during an open house and also can see a baking demonstration by lawyer-turne-dbaker Warren Brown, the founder of CakeLove and onetime host of the Food Network show “Sugar Rush.”

The open house is from 2 to 4 p.m. with a ribbon cutting at 2:30 p.m. and the demonstration following.

The new culinary arts program is lead by executive chef John Michael, a wine expert and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. The school has a board of advisers that includes several local chefs and foodies, including Tanya Tandoc of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, Freddy’s Frozen Custard owner Scott Redler, Beth Tully of Cocoa Dolce and Scott Nicholson, the general manager of the new Fresh Market.

An update on Angelo’s planned reopening

Jack Fasciano with one of his amazing pizza

Several readers have written me lately to ask about the progress on the reopening of Angelo’s, the onetime popular Italian restaurant that closed in 2006

In June, Jack Fasciano, son of the restaurants founders, revealed that his daughter, Gina Fasciano-Hogan, planned to reopen the business in the former Barrier’s building at Douglas and Oliver in College Hill.

I called Gina this week for an update, and… there really isn’t one, she said.

The plans are still in the works, she said, and it still looks like they’ll get the Barrier’s building. Nothing has been signed yet, though, and Fasciano-Hogan said the process has all taken much longer than she thought it would.

I’ll update you when there are developments.

Also, I hesitate to share this with you out of fear you will die of envy, but a couple of months ago, I was able to talk Jack Fasciano out of one of the Angelo’s pizzas he now makes at home for friends. I shared it with co-workers, and it was just as good as we remember.

The secret, I think, is the homemade sausage that comes raw on the frozen pizza. As the pie cooks, the sausage juices absorb into the crust, and the results…. Mama Mia!

Now open: Villar’s Mexico Cafe

William Villar just opened Villar's Mexico Cafe at 1860 S. Hillside.

William Villar, who already owns Mexico Cafe Delano at 555 W. Douglas, on Tuesday opened his new Villar’s Mexico Cafe in the building at 1860 S. Hillside where his family operated a restaurant from 1970 to 1990. (The location most recently housed a Chinese restaurant.)

His brother, Ben, and Ben’s wife, Kim, will manage the place. They had Ben Villar’s Mexican Restaurant at 1930 S. Oliver until it closed in June.

William helped re-open El Mexico  at 2544 S. Seneca back in 2008. But he left that restaurant after a falling out with partner Brent Helm. Over the years, the Villar family has had a hand in 15 Mexican restaurants around town.

The new restaurant specializes in famous Villar family recipes such as deluxe burritos, special Monterreys and flour tacos.  It will be open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 316-686-1070.

Question of the week: Best breakfast splurge?

Huevos Rancheros remnants. They went fast.

Usually, I’m a yogurt or granola bar for breakfast kind of girl. I love lunch and dinner too much to waste all my calories in the morning.

But this week has been a strange one in that I indulged in two breakfast splurges. On Monday, I couldn’t resist the amazing bacon-topped cheese grits being offered at the Cake Face food truck. And today, my co-workers and I sampled a chorizo and egg burrito AND an order of huevos Rancheros with rice and beans as part of my review of Las Tias De Beto, which will be published later today.

When I do splurge on breakfast, I try to make sure it’s something that’s worth the calorie explosion. Cheese grits qualify, and I’ll almost always give in on eggs Benedict.

What breakfast item do you order when you are feeling decadent?

Answer in the comments section below.

The best cheese grits… EVER

Yesterday morning, I searched out Espresso to Go Go, as I do every time they’re in the vicinity of downtown, and owners Warren and Ann Tandoc gave me a valuable tip.

Go down to Cake Face, they said, pointing at the newish food truck parked next door to them. Get some cheese grits.

I got them, all right, and they were SO GOOD. Cheese grits are among my favorite things to eat, ever, and these were topped with a pile of crispy, crunchy bacon perfection. Cake Face also was serving biscuits and gravy, baked French Toast and bierocks filled with bacon and eggs. I highly suggest you stop by for breakfast next time you see them.

Looks like they’ll be at Spirit Aerosystems, 3917 East MacArthur, today and will be at the Red Barn Outdoor Market in Benton on Saturday.

Mosey over to Old Cowtown for wine, food

The fourth annual Old Cowtown Wine Mosey on Sunday will feature a barbecue dinner by the Wichita Wagonmasters and wine tasting on the grounds of the museum at 1865 W. Museum Blvd.

The event will last from 4 to 8 p.m. and will include stagecoach rides, saloon girls, antique bowling, gunfights and a live auction.

New to this year’s event: Appetizers provided by the Doubletree by Hilton Wichita Airport at each wine station. Gracehill Winery will participate, and the Diamond D group will provide music.

Tickets are $40 a person at or by calling 316-350-3323.

New banh mi place will open soon

North Broadway is a good street to frequent if you love Vietnamese food.

In a few weeks, a new restaurant called Kimlan Banh Mi Sandwiches will open at 1035 N. Broadway in a former Pizza Hut building. It’s right next door to the fabulous Little Saigon restaurant at 1015 N. Broadway and right down the street from the legendary Saigon, which has operated for years at 1103 N. Broadway.

The business is owned by the former owners of Kim Huong, the Vietnamese restaurant that operated in the Little Saigon space until 2010. It will specialize in banh mi sandwiches, made with grilled Vietnamese meats on crusty French bread with crispy veggies and herbs.

Owners are busy each day working in the building, and several readers have asked about it. I’ll update the blog when the opening date draws near and the owners share the menu.

Wackiest fair food yet: THE BACON NIZER

When I wrote my story about crazy Kansas State Fair foods this week, the craziest was missing.

When Susie Bernard submitted her menu to the fair, she didn’t include her Bacon Nizers, mainly because she was still perfecting the recipe.

Susie, who runs the Kathy-B’s BBQ and Bacon booth on Ft. Riley Blvd., has four kinds of Bacon Nizers.

One features a banana stuffed with fruit, cheese and other secret ingredients that’s completely wrapped in bacon and flash fried. Customers also can get Mexican, Philly steak or cheeseburger Bacon Nizers. These are made of tortillas stuffed with the appropriate ingredients, wrapped in bacon and flash fried. All come with a selection of sauces, ranging from cheese to chocolate to salsa.

Bernard said she wanted to up the ante on food wildness this year. “When you bite into the Bacon Nizer, you get all the ingredients plus the taste of bacon,” she said.

The booth is named in honor of Bernard’s sister, Kathy, also her longtime business partner, who is fighting cancer in Wichita.

Bacon Nizers are $6. The booth is bright green and three doors north of the KWCH booth.

Old Mill has Otto’s recipe, prepared to use it

Earlier this year, Old Mill Tasty Shop owner Mary Wright put out a plea.

She was looking for someone, anyone, who had a copy of the chili recipe that original owner Otto Wermke used when he ran the restaurant at 604 E. Douglas. He opened it on March 1, 1932. The Wrights bought the restaurant from Wermke’s sister in 1982.

Wright remembered eating the chili with her dad when she was younger, and it was one of her best memories. She sent out postcards and advertised her search for the recipe far and wide.

Several months ago, she found it. A woman in Eufaula, Okla., mailed the recipe to Wright, saying that her husband — a firefighter — had been a regular diner at Old Mill when Wermke owned it. He loved the chili and managed to get Otto to share the recipe right before he moved to Oklahoma. The woman had heard that Wright was looking for the recipe and wanted her to have it. “She was just the sweetest thing,” Wright said.

Old Mill Tasty Shop owners Don and Mary Wright.

Wright has tested the recipe and says it tastes wonderful. She’s going to enter it in the Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff, scheduled for Sept. 29, and begin serving it in the restaurant that day. It’ll be available as a special throughout the fall at least. Wermke used to serve his chili from October through May only, she said.

The chili is different from traditional Tex-Mex style chili. It’s made with chunks of steak and has more of a beef-broth base rather than the traditional tomato base.

The Chili Cookoff is scheduled for noon in the 600 block of E. Douglas, right in front of Old Mill.

On a side note, Happy Birthday to Mary’s son and co-owner Don, who is celebrating his big day today, according to The Facebook.