Monthly Archives: September 2013

Food trucks opening and expanding

There’s all sorts of food truck news to report.

First, a new one is about to hit the road. The Rolling Dough, a wood-fired pizza food truck owned by Joseph and Cherry Nestelroad, will have its first service tonight outside of  Reverie Coffee Roasters, 2611 E. Douglas. They’ll be there from 6 to 8:30 p.m. serving a Mexi-pizza inspired menu that includes a chicken enchilada pizza, a nacho pizza and a guacamole pizza, each of which costs $7.

Mmmmm. Nacho pizza.

Then, on Saturday, the truck will be at the Delano Block Party, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at  200 N. Sycamore. After that, the Nestelroads will go out on weekends for a while then transition into weekday service. People can find The Rolling Dough by checking  its Facebook page.

The Rolling Dough bought its trailer from the Cake Face folks, who were selling it because they were ready for a size upgrade. The new truck, which owners Summer and Dave Schoenhals affectionately calls “Jane,”  hit the streets on Thursday, and so far, the Schoenhals are enjoying the upgrade.

Cake Face’s new, bigger “Jane”

Jane is especially pretty at night, Summer said, because she has blue, glowing under-lighting. Cake Face will be serving lunch at Builder’s Inc. in Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and then will serve sweets only at tonight’s Maize High School football game.

Finally, it appears that The Hopping Pita is getting a new, bigger truck. A notice on the food truck’s Facebook page said that it’s closed for vacation as it “makes this transition to a bigger truck.” I’ve left messages for chef Roni Attari and for owner Melad Stephan and will let you know what I hear about that move.

Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff is Saturday

I’m not sure what I like most about the Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff most years, but I do this year.

I most like that my editor let the lead of my story slide.

“Locate your pants with the elastic waistband and bust out the Beano: It’s time to eat chili in Wichita.” (I must confess that I was inspired by this year’s, ahem, posters.)

The annual event is on Saturday will fill several downtown blocks in Wichita with chili cookers, chili tasters and all sorts of wacky contests, including a pepper eating contest. Read my story, which will be published in tomorrow’s Go section, and plan your chili approach for Saturday.

Food truck gathering is Sunday

Food Trucks at the Fountains, the monthly gathering of Wichita’s food trucks at the Waterwalk fountains, is scheduled for Sunday.

The event will feature the usual list of food truckers, including The Flying Stove, Let’m Eat BratsMMM Sandwiches and Cake Face all serving their menus from noon to 3 p.m.

The Waterwalk is at 515 S. Main.

New Ruben’s should be open by Oct. 15

Construction workers inside new Ruben’s Mexican Grill space on Tuesday

Construction is coming along nicely at the new Ruben’s Mexican Grill spot at 915 W. Douglas and it looks like it could open by Oct. 15.

Owners Ruben and Anita Acosta started their move from their longtime spot at the corner of Douglas and McLean back in April, hoping to be reopened within four weeks. But unexpected delays held things up.

I stopped by on Tuesday, and construction guys were busy at work. It’s easy to see the bones of a nice little dining room taking shape.

The outside of the new Ruben’s Mexican Grill space

Anita said that the new restaurant’s dining room will be much nicer than the old one, which was in a former gas station. The food will be the same, though they may pare the menu down a bit, she said.

Customers have been calling frequently wanting to know when the restaurant will reopen, Anita said. She can’t wait for them to see the new and improved Ruben’s. “It’s going to be totally different,” she said. “It’s going to be really great.”

Annual catfish fry Saturday at the Artichoke

Patrick Audley, center, on a long ago catfishin’ trip

It’s the end of September, that time of year with Artichoke owner and fisherman Patrick Audley starts thinking about frying catfish.

Starting at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Audley is putting on his 30th annual catfish fry, which he always does as a customer appreciation event. It’ll be at the Artichoke, 811 N. Broadway.

Usually, he fishes the main course himself. But this year, Audley said, he’s “on a catch and release program,” so the catfish he’s serving will be farm-raised. Patrons can enjoy catfish, red beans and rice, hush puppies and other fixings for free until the food runs out.

Also on Saturday, the bar will host an open mike night  in association with the Kansas Acoustic Arts Association and Stage 5 Sound. The music starts at 6 p.m.

For more information, call 316-263-9164.

The Hill Bar & Grill has wine on tap

I’ve been to The Hill Bar & Grill, the new restaurant at 4800 E. Douglas opened by Mike”s Wine Dive owners, brothers Brad and Brent Steven, a couple of times — and I like it. I particularly like the restaurant’s wedge salad, which is topped with some of best bacon and dressing I’ve ever had.

And the restaurant recently added something I also like — wine on tap. The Hill serves two wines, both a red and a white, from a tap system, sort of like beer. It’s not carbonated, but the wine comes is dispensed from a keg like beer is, meaning that each glass is fresh and hasn’t been exposed to air at all. (They also serve a couple of wines from bottles.)

Wine from a tap is new for Wichita. It’s popular on the west coast, but only The Hill and Chester’s Chophouse do it locally. It’s expensive to set the system up, Brad said, and it also takes up a lot of prime bar real estate. But it’s worth it on many levels, he said, including that it’s more earth friendly because there’s no bottle or container waste.

So far, Brad said, his customers are loving the wine, which costs $7 a glass. The white is a Riesling/Chardonnay blend, and the red is a Merlot/Cabernet/Shiraz blend.

“I love it so much, I wish I could set it up in my house,” he said.

The Hill is open from 3 p.m. to 2 a.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

Pho Cuong a new Vietnamese restaurant out east

Friday was the first day in business for Pho Cuong, a new restaurant in the old Koi Fusion space at 6605 E. 37th St. N. (Koi Fusion opened there in April but closed by early August.)

It’s owned by Cuong Huynh, who previously owned a Vietnamese restaurant in Fort Smith, Ark., and specializes in all the Vietnamese dishes Wichitans have become familiar with, from pho to the vermicelli noodle dishes known as bun.

Huynh remodeled the restaurant, which was an order-at-the-counter place. Now, the restaurant has table service. He says business has been good — and demand for pho was so high on Sunday that he sold out.

The restaurant is open from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For more information, call 316-220-8218.

Greek food on the menu at church fundraiser

Wichitans will have the chance to indulge in Greek food this weekend at a church fundraiser dinner that’s been on hiatus for a few years.

The Holy Trinity Church Greek Orthodox Church at 805 N. Dellrose in Wichita is putting on its Greek Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.

Diners can choose from two platters — one featuring souvlaki, which is a pork shishkabob, and one featuring pastitsio, a rich Greek lasagna that is one of my favorite foods ever. Each platter costs $12 and comes with a variety of sides.

There will also be baklava and other desserts, and visitors can buy some items a la carte.

The small church last put on  the dinner around 2007, but recently, it’s brought on a full-time priest and is trying to grow in size. A committee decided that bringing back the food festival would be a good start.

It’s an appetizer for another popular church fundraiser — the annual St. George Orthodox Christian Church’s Lebanese Dinner and Food Sale. This year’s is coming up Oct. 12 and 13.

For more information on Saturday’s dinner, visit the Holy Trinity website.

Midwest Beerfest is this weekend

The only thing I like better than the Midwest Beerfest is the Midwest Winefest, but that’s not until April. So this is just going to have to do.

The annual beerfest, put on by local chapter of the American Institute of Wine and Food, starts on Friday with a series of wine dinners. But the main event is the Grand Tasting, which is from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. It’s in Century II’s giant Expo Hall and will offer samples of 350 beers, ciders, hard lemonades and more.

The Midwest Wingfest, a chicken wing contest between local restaurants, also will be a part of the event. The Anchor will be there, defending its title from last year. Usually, I’m a judge, but this year, I’m out of town. Word on the street is that Miss Kansas Theresa Vail will be on the panel instead. Attendees can sample all the wings for $5.

For all the info on the Beerfest, check out my story, which is coming out in the Go! section on Friday but is online right now.

Bartelli’s Pizzeria is apparently closed

It’s not looking good for a very good pizza place in Wichita.

I got an e-mail from a reader this weekend telling me that on Sunday, he was in Bartelli’s Pizzeria, the restaurant at 10330 W. Central opened in 2003 by Bruce Bartel, and that employees told him it was the restaurant’s last day in business.

Though I have been unable to reach Bartel, the restaurant space is listed for lease, and an agent with Landmark Commercial Real Estate confirms that the space is available.

I drove to the restaurant today, and it was closed during what should have been normal business hours. The tables had cleaning products sitting out all over them.

I used to love Bartelli’s, which served big, delicious New York slices long before Picasso’s even existed. But since I don’t have much occasion to get to Central and Maize anymore, I haven’t been there in a while.

I’ll let you know if I get any more details.