Monthly Archives: March 2013

MMM Sandwiches has its own spot

Michael Awesome-Noyes

When a food truck grows up, it parks. Apparently.

Earlier this week, MMM Sandwiches owner Michael Awesome-Noyes opened a stationary cafe in the Thorn Building at 8300 Thorn Drive, near 37th and Rock. It’s called MMM Sandwiches Hole in the Wall Cafe, and the menu features a long list of sandwiches plus salads and some breakfast items. Recently, the Cake Face food truck owners announced that they’re also planning a stationary spot, and another local truck has hinted to me that it’s looking for a spot, too.

Awesome-Noyes, who no longer is a one-man act now that he’s brought on employee Dustin Cenneno, says he’s not planning to give up the truck entirely. He’ll likely hit the road more often for special events rather than just for weekday food service, he said. He’ll take the truck to the 1/2 Grass Festival at the Shamrock next weekend and also is in talks to partner with a downtown bar, where he’d park on Fridays.

The hours for the tiny new cafe, which is open to the public, are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 316-806-4301.

Many courses of Metro Grill news

I finally was able to reach Chef Michael Gonzalez, the owner of Metro Grill III at the Waterfront, who recently closed his popular Towne East Mall location.

He’s putting all his focus now on his Waterfront restaurant, which opened last June at 10096 E. 13th St., suite 122. He’s also planning a VIP Night for March 30, featuring a five-course meal he’s preparing himself. Attendees will be allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages with no corkage fee. There will be live music, and Gonzalez’s plans for the menu include Chilean sea bass, beef carpaccio, strawberry flambe and more.

Gonzalez used to put his VIP nights on regularly when he briefly owned the Metro Grill in Andover.  He plans to start offering them at the Waterfront on the last Saturday of every month. He has two seatings available for March 30 — one from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and one from 8:30 to 10:30 p.m. The price is $50 a person.

Gonzalez also talked a little more about the reason he decided to close his sandwich cart at Towne East, a popular spot he had operated in the food court since 2005.

He got an offer, he said, from a former customer who was interested in moving the cart to a mall in Arkansas. He hadn’t been looking to sell, Gonzalez said, but the man offered him a good price, and Gonzalez decided he could use the extra time to focus on some new ventures — namely a consulting gig in New York City and the possibility of a downtown Metro Grill.

The spot he’s pondering now, Gonzalez said, is in the Union Station building at 725 E. Douglas that used to house Cox Communications. Occidental Management recently acquired that property and plans to fill it with shopping and dining.

For more information or to make a VIP night reservation, call 316-631-1454.

Anchor, Siena teaming up for monthly beer dinners

Gross and Roth, living the dream

Schane Gross knows beer.

Marshall Roth knows food.

Now Gross, the owner of The Anchor at 1109 E. Douglas, and Roth, the executive chef at the new Siena Tuscan Steakhouse in the Ambassador Hotel at 104 S. Broadway, are activating their wonder twin powers for a new beer dinner series that will launch in a couple of weeks.

The monthly dinners will take place on the second Tuesday of each month in the Siena’s well-appointed dining room. They’ll feature multiple fine dining courses prepared by Roth and his staff, each course paired with a high-end beer that Gross selected.

Mmmm. Ribeye.

The first dinner is scheduled for April 9, and the duo is already taking reservations. Though they haven’t settled on a price or an exact menu yet, at a tasting a few minutes ago, the two were throwing around words such as “foie gras creme brulee” and “bananas Foster.”

Those who want to make a reservation should call Siena at 316-239-7100. Roth has clearance to offer a $119 room rate for beer dinner attendees who want to spend the night.

Also, Roth recently got a good deal on a shipment of Creekstone Farms  14-oz. rib eyes and is selling the beautifully marbled steaks, paired with mashed potatoes and asparagus, for $25 through the month of March.

Look how much he loves his steaks!

Picasso’s: First birthday, new sign, free Chicken Poop

FINALLY! A sign. I’d say it was worth the wait.

Seems like just yesterday I was stalking the space at 621 W. Douglas, trying to get someone, ANYONE, to tell me about the pizza place that was under construction.

But that was an entire year ago, and now, I can’t imagine a life without Picasso’s Pizzeria in it.

The restaurant, which makes giant and fabulous slices with heavenly crust and magic sauce, turned 1 on March 5.

Picasso’s is celebrating now, with the addition of a new sign (previously, you had to rely on all five senses to locate the business along west Douglas). And on Monday, owner Kurt Schmidt — whose sister-in-law is Chicken Poop founder Jamie Tabor Schmidt — will distribute free tubes of Chicken Poop with each slice purchased, while supplies last.

Race you there.

For more information, call 3160-267-5423.

Corned beef and cabbage are on this weekend’s menu

The Shamrock will have Irish food and drink all weekend.

St. Patrick’s Day is Sunday, which means that all over Wichita, cooks are preparing to simmer up pots of the traditional corned beef and cabbage.

Each year, I try to gather a list of who’s offering Irish food specialties. Let me know if you are aware of other bars or restaurants offering Irish fare.

The Artichoke, 811 N. Broadway: The Irish restaurant’s annual party, which spills out into a tent in the parking lot, is from 1 to 10 p.m. Saturday. Admission: $10 for adults, $15 for couples and free for ages 16 and under for activities in the outdoor tent, including live Irish and acoustic music, live Irish dancing and contests. They’ll also serve corned beef and cabbage. For more information, call 316-393-9037

Shamrock Lounge, 1724 W. Douglas: Wichita’s other Irish bar is calling St. Patrick’s Day this year “a holiday so nice, we have to do it twice.” Saturday activities include a 9 a.m. Irish breakfast, Irish and beef stew for lunch, bagpipers at 4 and 8 p.m. and green beer and other drink specials through the day. On Sunday, the bar will open at 11 a.m. with a corned beef and cabbage dinner, which will be served again at 6 p.m., plus bagpipers throughout the day and a 10:30 p.m. performance by The Sluggos. See the Shamrock’s Facebook page for a complete schedule.

Pumphouse, 825 E. Second St.: The bar’s second annual Kegs & Eggs starts Saturday morning with an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet, offered from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.. It’s $5. The bar also will serve green beer all day and will feature the band Whisky Militia at 2 p.m. On Sunday, the Pumphouse will serve corned beef and cabbage from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Larry Bud’s Sports Bar, 2120 N. Woodlawn and 6200 W. 21st St.: In addition to kegs of green beer, Larry Bud’s will be serving corned beef and cabbage on Sunday with appearances by bagpipers scheduled for 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the east side restaurant. The west side also will have corned beef and cabbage plus bagpipers at 5 p.m.

Piccadilly, 7728 E. Central: The restaurant will have corned beef and cabbage dinners through Saturday and also will add the dish to the Sunday brunch buffet.

Heroes Sports Bar, 117 N. Mosley: Heroes is featuring corned beef and cabbage Friday through Sunday, bagpipers Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 5 p.m. The bar will also have green beer and Guinness specials all weekend.

Toni D’s, 650 N. Carriage Parkway: The restaurant is offering several St. Patrick’s day specials, including a corned beef and cabbage dinner with new potatoes and bread, Reuben sandwiches and decorated cookies. The specials are available 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday and are available for eat-in or carry-out.

Walt’s Great American Sports Bar & Grill, 7732 E. Central: Walt’s is serving its traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner for $10.99 a person from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday. Call 316-691-8800 for more information.

Team Hyatt brings the best loaf

Chef Paul Freimuth, left, and his Hyatt staff were the winners at Saturday’s Loaf Off.

I have the results of Saturday’s fifth annual Loaf Off, a meatloaf cooking competition that doubles as a fundraiser.

The event drew 175 people to The Anchor and raised $1,725 for Children’s Miracle Network. It also drew 12 teams who cooked a variety of loaves.

The panel of judges, which included local foodies Joe Stumpe and Barbara Baan, chef Chris Collier and two-time Loaf Off champ Don Lucero, chose the loaf created by Hyatt chef Paul Freimuth. Their “Top Loaf” was a sort of  meatloaf  Wellington, wrapped in pastry. I’m glad Chef Freimuth won, not only because he is a great cook but also because he almost never fails to donate his time to charity cookoff and food events.

The People’s Choice winner was Team Rico, made up of mother and son Eric and Diana Wittman. The team, which has won People’s Choice once before, made a rich, blue cheesy loaf.

Best of show went to the ICT Roller Girls, who arrived to compete in funky derby garb and brightly colored hair.

Organizers are already planning next year’s Loaf Off, so start formulating your recipe.

I’ll pour your Blarney coffee on Friday

Friday will be my first time ever at the Blarney Breakfast, a 38-year-old tradition that feeds Wichitans wearing green and raises money for a good cause — Rainbows.

The organizers have asked me to be a “celebrity coffee pourer” and offered me the choice of two time slots: 6 to 7 a.m. or 9 to 9:30 a.m. I’ll be there at 9 a.m.

The breakfast lasts from 6 to 9:30 a.m. Friday at the Old Chicago at 7700 E. Kellogg, right by Towne East. For a $12 ticket ($5 for kids), attendees get a choice of an egg or pancake breakfast plus access to Old Chicago’s “breakfast pizza bar,” which I’m told includes an invention called biscuits and gravy pizza. There’s also “bottomless coffee,” which is where I and the other pourers come in. The event will include bagpipers and Irish dancers.

Tickets are available at the door. The first 500 people get a free Blarney Breakfast coffee mug, and attendees can buy $10 chances to win a 2013 Chevy Spark from Parks Motors of Augusta.

The event usually draws about 1,000 people.

See you soon

I’ll be back on Monday. Until then, dine with care.

First Tuesday talk will feature local food celebs

Schane Gross

Two of Wichita’s most recognizable restaurant celebs will be speaking as part of a panel at Creative Rush’s First Tuesday talk, scheduled for 6:45 p.m. tonight.

Schane Gross, owner of downtown’s popular bar The Anchor, and chef Jason Febres, the chef and owner at Taste and See, will be two of the three panelists talking about “Success in the Unexpected.”

Local musican Ryan Windham also will be on the panel. The talk will be at Bluebird Arthouse at 924 W. Douglas.

The panelists will speak for about 45 minutes, then they’ll answer questions.

Anna Murdoc’s Cafe will be providing Indian tacos, and Febres is bringing dessert. Admission is free.

No bueno: Las Tias De Beto is closed

Me, my sad shadow, and the bad news on the Las Tias De Beto door.

Las Tias De Beto, the delicious Mexican restaurant that opened in July, is closed. Sunday was its last day in business.

The restaurant, which was at 1064 N. Waco, right next to Juarez Bakery, belonged to Juarez owner Manuel Fernandez and a partner. It sold authentic tacos, tortas, enchiladas and more. Fans of the restaurant were bemoaning its closure this weekend on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

Fernandez didn’t want to go into too much detail, but he said there was a disagreement between the family members operating the restaurant about how it should be run. The disagreement couldn’t be worked out, he said, so he decided to close the restaurant.

Financial health was part of the issue too, he said. “How can I say this? You can’t spend $10 if you only make $6 or $7.”

Fernandez said he’s already had two or three offers from other entrepreneurs hoping to open a restaurant in the space, which is all brand new. But he’s going to need a while to consider those offers, he said.

He promised to update me when he made a decision.