Monthly Archives: January 2014

Bali Cafe will close on Feb. 7

I’m sorry to report that Bali Cafe at 2716 E. Central is closing, according to the restaurant’s Facebook page. Their last day in business will be Feb. 7.

Angga Heinrich, a former accountant, and her mother, Farietni Abbas, opened the restaurant in May, specializing in cuisine from Indonesia. I had several friends tell me that they liked the food, and it was on my “to-review” list.

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The Flying Stove now has magic pay

Me having a Flying Stove moment.

Me having a Flying Stove moment.

It’s cold out today, so my co-workers and I decided to have lunch in. I noticed on Facebook that the Flying Stove was parked over at First and Washington, which is right by the Eagle. I also noticed on Facebook that the Flying Stove has another payment option: Magic pay.

Actually, it’s called Square Wallet, and it’s an app some businesses are now using. I downloaded it on to my phone, per the instructions on the Flying Stove Facebook page. All I had to do was enter my credit card info, choose a password and upload a photo.

The current Flying Stove menu. We tried it all.

The current Flying Stove menu. We tried it all.

When I approached the truck, the Flying Stove’s iPad recognized that I was near, and cha-ching, the transaction went through. No cash. No credit card hassle. (I also should mention that I texted my order, and the Stove guys brought my food out to me in my car. I love 2014.)

I want to pay for my whole life like this.

As it turns out, I was the first customer to use this system at the Flying Stove, so they commemorated it by taking my photo and posting it on Twitter.

And for the record, our lunch was amazing. I highly recommend the borracho bolillo.

Three Wichita restaurant reviews in one day

In today’s Go! section, we offer not one, not two but  THREE restaurant reviews. Three!!!!

We pulled it off with the help of the newly restocked Wichita Eagle Dining Panel, which has been quite prolific during its first month of service. I’ve already run five of their reviews and have another few ready and waiting to go.

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Today’s reviews include:

1. Deano’s Grill & Tapworks: I reviewed this new sports bar, which opened in October in the former Louie’s space at 9747 E. 21st St. N. The dining room is very nice, and the zillions of high definition televisions everywhere make it a great place to watch a game. The food is a bit hit and miss, but the hits are really good.

2. Le Monde Cafe & Deli: Dining panelist Chad Molen visited Le Monde at 602 N. West St., which has been one of my favorite places in Wichita since I moved here. Its amazing fattouch salad and crumbly sweet biscuits are imitated by many, but no one makes it like Le Monde.

3. Pho Hien: Finally, panelist James Kelly gives a short-but-sweet review of a great dish at Pho Hien, a cash-only Vietnamese soup restaurant at 1750 N. Broadway. Apologies to Kelly: A publishing mixup caused Sam Connelly’s picture to appear with his review in the paper, but Kelly took it in stride, joking that he’d be able to keep his anonymity in tact a little longer.

La Fiesta is now Mexico Viejo

Mexico Viejo

Mexico Viejo

Sometime last week, La Fiesta became Mexico Viejo.

Customers who drive past will notice a new sign is up at the restaurant at 6920 W. 21st St. A manager said that the restaurant has new owners, though he declined to say who. He said the menu is slightly different but not much else, including the hours and the interior, has changed.

La Fiesta took over the space in November of 2011. It had been La Mesa before that.

Lunar New Year means it’s dragon dancing time at Wichita restaurants

Saigon owner Han Bui always dresses up -- and sometimes even shoots off fireworks -- during Lunar New Year.

Saigon owner Han Bui always dresses up — and sometimes even shoots off fireworks — during Lunar New Year.

It’ll be a festive weekend at many Asian restaurants in Wichita. The Lunar New Year begins on Friday, and several local Asian restaurants will be celebrating with dragon dancers and more. Among them:

1. Saigon, 1103 N. Broadway: This Vietnamese restaurant invites dragon dancers into the restaurant every year, and this year, the dancers will be performing over the lunch hour on Friday. The dancing starts at noon. The staff also will be passing out “lucky money” on Friday and Saturday.

2. Oh Yeah China Bistro, 3101 N. Rock Road: This east-side Chinese restaurant will have three dragon dancers performing at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

3. Pho Special, 2409 E Pawnee: This Vietnamese restaurant will have dragon dancers on site from noon to 12:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Know of any others? Let me know.

Dragon dancers will be at Saigon over the lunch hour on Friday.

Dragon dancers will be at Saigon over the lunch hour on Friday.

West-side Wasabi opening Monday, offering half-price sushi all month

photo-4After a long wait, the Wasabi Sushi Bar West is finally set to open — and owners are rewarding customers’ patience with a fabulous sushi deal.

The restaurant, which is at 2404 N. Maize Road near Logan’s Roadhouse, will open for business at 11 a.m. on Monday and will be open for both lunch and dinner daily. Throughout the month of February, it will be offering all of its sushi for half-price, said manager Matt Polk.

Plans for the west-side Wasabi were first announced in 2012, but the opening was slowed down by construction delays and the fact that Wasabi founders Steve and Jasmine Young were focused on selling their other two Wasabi restaurants. Those two, at 912 E. Douglas and 32432 N. Rock Road, are now operating under new ownership.

The west-side Wasabi will have a full bar, Polk said. The menu is almost identical to the menu at the existing Wasabis, he said, but it will have a few new rolls and appetizer options, and the Youngs are also adding some items to the menu that were once popular at the original Wasabi restaurants, including Korean bibimbap and a pork katsu.

For more information, call the restaurant at 316-613-3318.

Man killed in weekend accident was Emerson Biggins West manager

The 26-year-old Wichita man who died in a one-car accident on Sunday was the manager of Emerson Biggins West.

Luis Beltran Lopez III was killed in the one car accident at Kellogg and I-235, which happened about 2 a.m. on Sunday.

Lopez was driving a 2007 Mercury Mountaineer that was going east on Kellogg. As his SUV took the ramp to southbound I-235, it left the road and went into the ditch, rolling several times and crossing both lanes of I-235. Lopez was ejected from the car, the police report from the accident said.

On Monday, Lopez’s Facebook page was filled with condolences from co-workers and friends.

He was the son of Luis Lopez, who also owns the Old Town Emerson Biggins. The senior Lopez also owned Wichita’s two Brews Brothers Ice House Bar and Grill when they operated.

Funeral arrangements are pending at Downing & Lahey West.

Paradise Donuts opens a second store today

The Wrights and their crew on opening morning.

The Wrights and their crew on opening morning.

The second location of Paradise Donuts opened early this morning.

Marilyn and Hervey Wright III, who opened the first Paradise Donuts at 3107 W. Central back in August, now also have a store at 10607 W. Maple, near Maple and Maize roads.

This one is bigger than the original, Marilyn said, and has more of a coffee shop feel. It’s bigger, has some areas of comfortable seating and eventually will be open later in the afternoons to accommodate people or groups such as book clubs in search of afternoon coffee and dessert.

The menu will include everything the original Paradise has, including both cake and raised doughnuts as well as breakfast burritos,  as well as items such as cheesecake, pie, muffins and cakes. It also has a fully stocked coffee bar.

The hours for the first few weeks are 5 a.m. to noon Mondays through Saturdays and 6 a.m. to noon on Sundays. Then, they’ll extend the hours to stay open until 4 p.m.

For more information, call 316-201-6380.

St. Paul’s annual chicken noodle dinner is on Saturday

A man and his Miracle Whip. Cliff Simmons is the man who does almost all the shopping, organizing and marketing for the annual chicken noodle dinner. I thought he was pretty great.

A man and his Miracle Whip. Cliff Simmons is the man who does almost all the shopping, organizing and marketing for the annual chicken noodle dinner. I thought he was pretty great.

Doesn’t a bowl of hot chicken and noodles sound good right now? Brrrrrrrrr.

Saturday is the day for is the 68th annual St. Paul’s United Methodist Church chicken and noodles dinner, which usually gets about 2,000 attendees. They sit down at tables and feast on family-style servings of  homemade chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes and coleslaw. It’s an all-you-can-eat kind of thing.

I sat down with the organizers earlier this week, who are getting sort of worn out. I wouldn’t have the energy to do all they do, and I’m 40 years younger.

They hinted this could be the last year for the dinner, but apparently, they feel that way every year.

Either way, it might be a good idea to go on Saturday. Admission is $1o. Get all the details in my story.

Famous Valentine diner Brints closed again

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Brints Diner is closed again. But it could reopen soon, said the building’s landlord, Homer Morgan.

The restaurant, which has operated in a Valentine Diner at 4834 E. Lincoln for more than 50 years, has been through several owners over the past year.

Longtime owner Jessie Medina closed it in October of 2012. Shortly after, Neighbors Bar & Grill owner Chuck Giles took it over and ran it until this summer before deciding he was more of a one-restaurant man.

Morgan found new operators, but they recently fell behind on the rent, he said. He served them with an eviction notice a week ago, and by Friday, they were gone. The diner has been closed since.

Morgan says he has another restaurateur interested in running Brints under the same name, but he speculates the diner will be closed for at least a month.

Brints is famous not only for its 2007 inclusion on Guy Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” but also for operating inside a Valentine diner. About 2,000 of the buildings were made by Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing between 1938 and 1971, and architecture buffs are still passionate about them.

Former Brint's Diner owner Jessie Medina with Guy Fieri back in ???, when the diner appeared on

Former Brints Diner owner Jessie Medina with Guy Fieri back in 2007 when the diner appeared on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.”

Other Valentine diners in Wichita include Grinder Man at 510 E. Pawnee, Sport Burger at 134 N. Hillside, and the now-closed Dyne-Quik/El Maya at 1202 N. Broadway.

Brints first opened in 1960 but was called Hunt’s Diner. Its next owners changed the name to Brints, which has stuck through present day.

I’ll keep you updated on the new owner.