Monthly Archives: October 2012

Eat a pig, have a beer, meet a chef

November, the most delicious month of the year, is starting off deliciously with several interesting dining events.

I love the logo Oeno Wine Bar, 330 N. Mead, came up with for its Pig Out Swine & Wine dinner, scheduled for 7 p.m Saturday.  will feature all the best parts of the big, including a pig ear salad, crisp pork belly and bacon and maple gelato. It costs $35 a person, a three of the courses will be paired with wine. It starts at 7 p.m. For reservations and information, call 316-440-5000.

A few days later, Oeno’s sister restaurant — Caffe Moderne, which sits across the plaza at 300 N. Mead, is putting on a Tallgrass Beer Dinner featuring beer from Tallgrass Brewing Company. It’s $35 a person and starts at 7 p.m. Thursday For information, and reservations, call 316-260-1199.

Chef Aaron Whitcomb during his last class at Cooking at Bonnie’s Place

Also, I’d recommend the Nov. 15 cooking class being put on at Cooking At Bonnie’s Place,  9747 E. 21st St., by Chef Aaron Whitcomb of Denver, who is the executive chef for Newport Grill. I attended his last class this summer so I could write a story, and I learned tips from him I still use today. Plus, the food was delicious.

This one will start at  6:30 p.m., and attendees get to see Whitcomb prepare a meal and then sample it for themselves. They also get the recipes. He’ll post the menu soon. Admission is $55 a person. Make reservations at

Question of the week: Favorite fictional restaurant?

Restaurants are some of the best characters in film and television. What would “Happy Days” have been without Arnold’s? “Friends” without  The Central Perk?

My favorite fictional restaurant at the moment is Los Pollos Hermanos from AMC’s “Breaking Bad.” The chicken looks pretty good, and the owner is so… congenial!

Which made-up movie or television restaurant would you most like to visit?

Answer in the comments section below.

More restaurants offering Halloween specials

A few more restaurants are offering special deals on Halloween. They join the ones I told you about last week that are selling doughnuts, burritos and more for cheap tomorrow.

Outback Steakhouse, which has Wichita restaurants at 2020 N. Rock Road and 233 S. Ridge Road, is offering a free kids meal to children 10 and under who accompany a paying adult. The offer is valid for curbside takeaway and dine-in.

Local Papa Murphy’s restaurants are serving Jack-o-Lantern-shaped pizzas, made with pepperoni and cheese, for $7 through Wednesday.

And Sonic Drive-Ins are selling corndogs half price all day on Halloween. They’ll be 50 cents.

Know of any others?

Red Barn closed, but owner plans new Mexican restaurant

Michael Rodriguez, who ran The Red Barn, plans a new Mexican restaurant.

The Red Barn  is gone.

The restaurant , which sat on the east side of Lake Afton and was operated by Michael Rodriguez and his family since 2010, had its final wedding this weekend, and the owner,  state Sen. Dick Kelsey, is putting the building up for auction on Nov. 12.

Michael  is planning a new Mexican restaurant, though, said his son, Gerard Rodriguez. They’re not ready to announce details yet but will soon. It won’t be downtown, Gerard said, but will be “near.”

In the meantime, the family is focusing on its new restaurants in Wichita’s core, including Anna Murdoc’s Cafe, which opened in in July and Gerard runs, and the new R Coffeehouse, which his brother, Angelo, opened in the old Riverside Perk space a few weeks ago. Michael is hopping between the restaurants while he works on his new place.

The family is sad to see the Red Barn go, Gerard said, but it helped them gain a following that has transferred to its new restaurants.

“We’ve got three different opportunities to do some good stuff and showcase things on our own terms,” he said.

The Red Barn sold barbecue, tamales, tacos and opened for breakfast on weekend mornings. R Coffeehouse is now selling breakfast daily and tamales on weekends, Gerard said.

Great deal for sushi lovers at Golden Bay

Here we are, stuffing ourselves last night at Golden Bay. To the left is the family of social media maven Karen in Delano. They like it, too.

Last night, I ate until it hurt at Golden Bay Japanese Restaurant, a hole-in-the-wall sushi place at 3811 W. 13th St. that people have been telling me for months to check out. I’m glad I did, because it was delicious. I’m writing a review of the restaurant for this Friday’s Go! section.

But while visiting, I learned of a sushi deal that was so good, it’d be irresponsible of me to wait another second to share it.

When patrons at Golden Bay buy one special sushi roll — a fancy chef’s creation such as the Rainbow roll — they get a more basic roll for free. The special rolls tend to cost $9 0r $10 apiece, but each time a customer orders one, they can choose from one of four more basic rolls, such a California roll or a delicious sweet potato roll, and get it free.

And the basic rolls at Golden Bay aren’t that basic. They’re pretty substantial, and one of the choices — a deep-fried roll called the “Western” — is pretty complicated. Last night, we ordered three special rolls but had six rolls of sushi, and all of them were great.

Many thanks to the several readers who urged me to check this place out. I’m looking forward to writing the review.

Update on Jimmy John’s at 21st and Maize

People have been e-mailing me lately wondering if the first west side Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches was ever going to open.

I spoke today with franchisee Matt Brane, who originally told the Eagle last year that he hoped to have the new restaurant, which is going up next to Applebee’s on 21st Street just west of Maize Road, open by spring.

Instead, it’s likely to open sometime in December, he said.

The delay was intentional. Brane said he decided he’d like the traffic-choking road construction that took place at 21st and Maize this summer to be complete before he opened. “We decided we didn’t want the west-side customers associating our sandwiches with that west side chaos,” he said.

The road construction is done, though, and construction on the building is moving along nicely, Brane  said. The parking lot is done, and the brick is going on the building.

The restaurant will be Wichita’s fourth Jimmy John’s. The other three are at 340 N. Rock Road, 3300 N. Rock Road and 517 N. Hillside.

I reccomend the No. 9 Italian Night Club, which I devoured at lunch just today.

Spay-ghetti and No-Balls: Crazy name, good cause

A local animal rescue group is putting on a spaghetti dinner at the Cotillion, 11120 W. Kellogg, with a rather, um, interesting name.

Spay-ghetti and No-Balls is a fundraising event for LAPP, which stands for Lifeline Animal Placement & Protection, a group that helps place homeless animals.

Pat Morriss, the director of the group, borrowed the dinner idea — and its title — from a rescue group in Colorado that’s had big success with its event.

Morriss thought the name, a reference to the outcome of spaying and neutering procedures on pets, was pretty funny, but she wasn’t sure others would. So far, though, most people have said they think the title is clever.

“I was kind of worried, but everybody thinks it’s great and says, ‘That is so funny,’” she said.

The dinner will feature spaghetti and (despite the title) meatballs prepared by Felipe’s at 21st and Woodlawn. Diners also will get garlic bread and ice cream, and there will be a cash bar. A dance with a disc jockey will follow, though dancing is not required, Morriss said.

Tickets are $35 a person, and people are encouraged to make reservations soon so organizers can get a spaghetti head count. The dinner starts at 7 p.m. All proceeds will benefit LAPP.

For reservation and information, call 316-722-4201.

Kings-X at 21st and Amidon is closing

Linda and Jack Davidson

The Kings-X restaurant at 21st and Amidon is closing, its owners said today. Its last day in business will be Nov. 25.

Jack and Linda Davidson, who own the Jimmie’s Diners at 3111 N. Rock Road and 1519 George Washington Blvd., took over the business in 2007. Though they own the building, they lease the ground it stands on, which has been sold to make way for a CVS Pharmacy.

The building, which has been operating as Kings-X since 1968, will be torn down, Jack Davidson said. The restaurant was the last remaining of the original Kings-X chain, which was created by A.J. (Jimmie) King. in 1938.

The interior of Kings X, as photographed by neighbor Jaime Green, who is very sad the restaurant is closing.

The Davidsons say they hope to open another restaurant in the 21st and Amidon area. It would be called Jimmie’s Diner but would have the same service and menu.
In the meantime, the Davidsons will find places at their two remaining restaurants for the 20 or so Kings-X employees, some of whom have worked there for 20 years or more.

He’ll also put on promotions and specials for longtime customers during the restaurant’s remaining weeks, he said.

“We like that little part of town, and I think we bring something to that market,” he said. “We hope to be back.”

First remodeled Carlos O’ Kelly’s in Wichita will reopen on Friday

The new Carlos O' Kelly's logo

Carlos O’ Kelly’s, the 30-year-old Mexican restaurant chain that’s headquartered in Wichita, is “rebranding” its restaurants, giving them an all-new look and a new menu.

On Sunday, the restaurant at  4872 S. Broadway closed down, and crews have been hard at work changing everything — booths, tables, carpet, paint, decor, setup. The result is a more modern-looking restaurant that even has new signage, featuring a multi-colored chili pepper.

“It’s very different,” president Jon Rolph said of the new look. “It opens the place up. And it’s a lot less cluttered as far as the decor goes.”

The under-progress interior of the remodeled Carlos O' Kelly's at 4872 S. Broadway.

That restaurant will reopen on Friday featuring a menu that has several new items, including a Cantina burger topped with chili con queso, sauteed onions, bell peppers, bacon and fried jalapeno bites. There are also brisket tacos, grilled fish tacos, seafood enchiladas and more. The chips and salsa will remain the same, and most of the restaurant’s most popular dishes remain unchanged.

A Carlos O’ Kelly’s in Lincoln, Neb., will be the next to be made over. Owners hope to have all 39 Carlos O’ Kelly’s, including the four in Wichita, redone within four years.

Wichita’s other three Carlos O’Kelly’s are at  7703 E. Douglas, 527 S. Ridge Road Circle and 3025 N. Rock Road.

Question of the week: Best quick lunch?

At least once a week, I have to grab a quick lunch to bring back to the Eagle and eat at my desk. And I like some variety.

Often, I’ll call ahead to La Galette and they’ll package up a quiche/fattouch combo, which I run in and pick up lickety-split. The other day, I grabbed some pre-made sushi from the Fresh Market counter, which was decent. Today, I had a pretty tasty Southwestern salad from QuikTrip.

What’s your favorite lunch-on-the-go, and where do you get it?

Answer in the comments section below.