Monthly Archives: July 2013

Eat blizzards, meet beauties, help babies

What could be better than an excuse to eat a Blizzard?

It’s that time of year when you can eat, eat and eat some more and justify the calories because after all, you’re helping the children.

The Children’s Miracle Network at Via Christi Health has two food-related fundraisers coming right up. The first one is called Miracle Treat Day and will be on  on Aug. 8. All day, local Dairy Queen stores will donate proceeds from every Blizzard sold to the cause. I’ll take cookie dough, thank you.

The next day, Aug. 9, Redrock Canyon Grill at 1844 N. Rock Road will be the site of a fundraiser that will allow attendees to meet Theresa Vail, who is Miss Leavenworth County 2013. From 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., the restaurant will serve a free lunch buffet in exchange for a donation to the CMN Hospitals and Miss Kansas organizations. Vail also will sign autographs and pose for photos.

CMN Hospitals help more than 46,000 children in south-central and western Kansas and helps families cover medical costs not covered by their insurance.

Wichita about to become a Taco Town

Rosemarie and Larry Ross are opening Taco Town on Monday.

Taco Town — a new restaurant that’s going into the old Taco Tico building at 11333 E. Central — will open on Monday.

The restaurant is owned by Larry and Rosemarie Ross, who operated a Taco Town previously in Scottsbluff, Neb. They decided to move themselves and the business to Wichita to be closer to their daughter and her family.

Taco Town will be like Taco Tico in that it will serve fast Mexican food. Larry Ross said the restaurant is best know for its tacos, enchiladas and pork chili.

Starting Monday, Taco Town will be open fro 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call 316-719-2241.

Metro To Go will bring you food, medicine, etc.

The Metro To Go-mobile.

Scrolling through Facebook, I recently noticed that The Artichoke had just signed on to partner with a business called Metro To Go.

As it turns out, The Artichoke isn’t the 3-year-old businesses’ only dining partner. Owned by George Odom, Metro To Go will deliver just about anything to anyone who is within the borders of 119th west to Greenwich east and 27th Street north to 47th Street south.

Metro To Go’s main business is restaurant delivery, which comes in handy in Wichita — a town that pretty much delivers only pizza. Those who place an order with one of the service’s “partner” restaurants, listed on its website, pay $6.49 for deliveries up to $30 and $1 more for every $10 above that. Partner restaurants include The Artichoke, Fusa, Le Monde, Saigon and more. Patrons also can order from a non-patron restaurant, but then the delivery fee is $10.

People use Metro to Go for other things, too, such as having medicine or other items delivered. Many of their customers are home-bound people or those who don’t want to fight the weather or their schedules to get out.

To use Metro To Go, visit the website or call  316-448-0308.

Opening soon on West Street: YOLO Grill

Another restaurateur is giving it a go in the old Sonic at 803 N. West St. that in recent years has housed La Reyna 2, Sloppy Joe’s, Si Senor, Takhoma Burger and more.

The sign went up this weekend for YOLO Grill, a restaurant that also has a Facebook page that says it will open very soon. It’s owned by Aaron and Cindy Cline and will specialize in made-from-scratch food such as burgers, hand-cut fries, pork sliders, Reuben sandwiches, salads and more.

YOLO stands for “You Only Live Once,” according to the page. The restaurant will have carry-out service and outdoor seating. There’s not much space inside the actual building, which recently got a new coat of bright green paint.

Once open, the restaurant’s hours will be 11 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

I’ll let you know when there’s a firm opening date.

Wichita-style pizza: Bacon, sunflower seeds and ????

Knolla’s has tabulated the votes from its online survey that aimed to create a “Wichita-Style” pizza, and the restaurant will debut the results at an event on Saturday.

For the past several weeks, Knolla’s has been conducting an online survey that asked Wichitans to construct their perfect virtual pizzas, choosing from categories such as shape, sauce, toppings, etc.

Organizers don’t want to reveal all the toppings on the resulting pizza, but they would say that it is circular, has bacon (the absolute top vote-getter), plus several veggies and a very Kansas-y topping: sunflower seeds.

From 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, the Knolla’s at 7732 E. Central will put on a launch event during which the first 100 people there will get a commemorative T-shirt. Everyone who attends will get a sample of the winning pizza combination.

The new Wichita-style pizza will be available after Saturday at the east Central location. Other Knolla’s will likely add it later in the month.

Collecting calorie-saving tips from cops

For the record, this is not Detective Diehl’s sandwich. His was wrapped up to-go and made on the healthier wheat bread.

I was standing in line at Subway today next to a nicely-dressed man clutching a police scanner.

But that wasn’t the most interesting thing about standing next to him. I overheard the man, who it turns out was Detective Dwain Diehl of the Wichita Police Department, ordering his sandwich in a very interesting way.

He asked the Sandwich Artist to hollow out his bread. And she knew exactly what he meant.

She began tugging the soft center out of the sliced wheat bread she was about to build his sandwich on. The finished product was mostly crust.

Diehl says he learned the trick after he was diagnosed with diabetes and took a nutrition class. He’s always trying to find ways to save calories and carbs,especially when eating out, and the hollowing-out-the-bread trick is one trick he learned.  He also hollows out hamburger and hotdog buns when he’s cooking at home.

We sat down and discussed other calorie-saving tips that can be used in restaurants, such as dipping your fork in the salad dressing with each bite rather than dumping it all over your salad. Choosing iced tea or water over soda was another one. Diehl also said he rarely orders chips unless he’s with someone who’ll agree to share a bag with him.

Care to add to the list? Do so in the comments section below.

Free gelato for mug owners on Friday

If you’re out tromping around with the Final Friday crowds tomorrow, you can find some creamy, cold relief at Anna Murdoc’s Cafe.

The downtown coffee shop will be the site of   KMUW’s sixth annual Fill Your Mug event. Caffe Moderne, the creators of the best peanut butter/chocolate gelato I’ve ever tasted, is providing the gelato for

It lasts from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Anna Murdoc’s, 209 E. William, and will offer a cupful of gelato to people who bring their KMUW mugs to the event.

Those who don’t have mugs can get a cup at the event, which also will feature music from Raging Sea and Aaron Newton.

Admission is free.

The Hill Bar & Grill will open on Aug. 12

The last we heard from The Hill Bar & Grill, the new restaurant going into the former Barrier’s space was set to be open by Monday, July 29.

But typical construction delays have pushed it back a bit, and now Brent Steven — who is opening the restaurant at 4800 E. Douglas with his brother, Brad — says that it will open for sure on Aug. 12.

The brothers, who also own nearby Mike’s Wine Dive, are busily putting the finishing touches on the restaurant, which they describe as an ale house that that focuses on craft beer and American fare.

Earlier today, Brent shared a sneak peek at the menu, which will include dishes such as house made pork rinds, spiced fried chickpeas, house-made pretzels with beer cheese sauce, sliders, street tacos and a variety of steaks. It’ll also offer banana pudding made with vanilla wafers and baked Alaska done three ways.  All the food will be fresh and made from scratch, he said.

The bar going in at The Hill Bar & Grill.

He’s happy with how the construction is progressing, he said, and he’s encouraged by the impatience of neighbors of the restaurant for it to open already.

“It’s going to be really nice,” he said. “We are so ready.”

The Hill’s hours will be 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Food truck gathering is back on for Sunday

Let’m Eat Brats will join the group at this month’s food truck rally.

Trouble with licensing last month prevented the local food truck fleet from putting on what had become a monthly gathering at the WaterWalk.

But those issues are now resolved, said organizer Jeff Schauf — an owner of the Flying Stove – and the July gathering is on for Sunday at WaterWalk Pavilion.

The event will feature many of Wichita’s food truck vendors, including new additions Let’m Eat Brats, Hopperoni Express and  The Hopping Pita. Old faithfuls  B.S. Sandwich PressCakefaceThe Flying Stove and MMM Sandwiches will be there too.

The day will start with 10 a.m. outdoor yoga, then from 11:30 to 2:30 p.m., the trucks will be serving and jazz will be playing.

When restaurants close on unexpected days

My Tho: Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

I spent weeks telling a friend how amazing the tacos were at Paleteria La Reyna, 2925 Arkansas Ave., and we made a date to go. We pulled up, hungry, on a Wednesday afternoon, only to find the parking lot empty.

Panicked, I ran to the door. The restaurant was closed. The chairs were on the tables. On a Wednesday. “OH NO!” I screamed. “They’ve gone out of business!!!”

But, no. The restaurant was simply closed. It’s closed every Wednesday, I learned.

Restaurants closing on unexpected days — which in my book is pretty much any day other than Sunday or Monday — have always thrown me. Inevitably, cravings for My Tho’s fabulous pho hit me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays — the very random days they are closed.

I’m printing a list of three restaurants with unusual closing hours in the paper on Friday, and the story already is generating discussion online, with several readers adding their two cents.

Here’s a list of strange closing days I have so far. Know of any others? Maybe we can help each other avoid Wednesday taco cravings.

1. My Tho, 500 E. Central, 316-262-5452: It never fails. A hankering for pho hits you on a Tuesday. But this popular purveyor of the delicious Vietnamese soup can’t help you on Tuesday – or on Wednesday, either. Those are the restaurant’s two days off. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays through Sundays.

2. Paleteria La Reyna, 2925 Arkansas, 316-831-9196: It’s usual for Mexican restaurants to close on Mondays. But this restaurant, known for its fabulous tacos and colorful Mexican ice cream counter, chooses to closes in the middle of the week – on Wednesday. Don’t worry. If you forget and show up anyway, Taqueria El Paisa is just a few blocks the other direction at 2227 Arkansas and an excellent choice, too. Paleteria La Reyna’s hours are 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

3. Garden Grill Cafe, 300 N Main St., 316-978-9213: You won’t want to plan to meet your friends for a fabulous vegetarian pizza on Saturdays at Garden Grill Cafe. It’s the only day of the week the cafe is closed, which chef/owner Miguel Larcher takes off for religions reasons. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

4. DeFazio’s, 2706 N. Amidon: This popular Italian restaurant closes on Mondays and Tuesdays.

5. Ah-So, 855 S. Oliver St: The tiny Asian restaurant is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Know of any others? Let me know in the comments section below.