Author Archives: Denise Neil

It’s time again for Food Trucks at the Fountain

The last Sunday comes so quickly each month, but that’s a good thing. It means that another mega-gathering of Wichita’s food trucks is about to happen.

This month’s Food Trucks at the Fountain happens from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at 515 S. Main. It’ll include founders and organizers the Flying Stove plus B.S. Sandwich PressHopperoni ExpressLet’m Eat BratsBrickhouse BBQ and Park-n-Pork BBQ

Kona Ice will join the Food Trucks at the Fountain fun this time.

Kona Ice will join the Food Trucks at the Fountain fun this time.

Two new participants have signed up, too: the just opened Funky Monkey Munchies and Kona Ice, the snow cone truck that earns more Wichita fans by the day.

The event also will include a band performing live jazz.

Fill Your Mug with KMUW

KMUW is turning 65 and is celebrating with cake and gelato.

The public radio station will celebrate its birthday with the seventh annual Fill Your Mug event, which will be put on from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday at The Eaton Venue, 517 E. Douglas.

Attendees should bring their KMUW mugs for a free gelato from Caffe Moderne and birthday cake made by Wichita Cake Creations. Those who don’t have mugs can make a pledge to KMUW at the event and get one.

The event also will include live music from folk group Elliot Road.

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Funky Monkey Munchies is Wichita’s newest food truck

10548187_643538385742877_397616558022668925_oLisa Palacios and her husband, Eddi, finally have their Funky Monkey Munchies food truck up and running.

The food truck, which will focus on fusion food made mostly from non-GMO, organic and locally sourced ingredients, had a trial run this weekend outside of Espresso to Go Go downtown. Everything went well, so the Palacioses will venture out again on Tuesday evening, July 22. They’ll be serving chicken salad wraps, Hawaiian tacos, local corn and more in the parking lot of Cherry Berry737 N. Maize Road.

The truck also will be out on Thursday and Friday, though Lisa Palacios said she’s still deciding where. She’ll update the location on the truck’s Facebook page as soon as she knows.

She’s also committed to joining the fleet at this month’s Food Trucks at the Fountain event, which is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at 515 S. Main.

I’ll be dipping Italian ice for a cause on Thursday

10421528_10203370271110179_2567136248115303802_nI’ve been needing an arm workout, and thanks to Heidi Howard, the executive director of Deaf Kids’ Art Workout, I’m going to get one.

On Thursday night, Shocker women’s coach Jody Adams and I will be “Celebrity Dippers” and a fundraiser from 6 to 8 p.m. at Rita’s Italian Ice at 2929 N. Rock Road that will benefit DeafKAN.

Jody and I will make frozen treats for the people, and Rita’s will donate 20 percent of their sales from the evening to to DeafKAN, a group that helps deaf children open up through arts and performance.

This place offers all kinds of delicious frozen treats, from custard to the sorbet-like Italian ice to mix-ins. I suggest getting one of each.

Hope to see you there.

Chino’s Parrilla taco truck forms stationary partnership

778932_460523714001337_2031127192_oChino’s Parrilla, the taco truck that’s mostly a catering business, now will offer its food on a regular basis.

The owners have partnered with Maggie’s Scotch & Soda at 3827 W 13th St. N. to begin offering Taco Thursdays. Every Thursday from 5 to 10 p.m., they’re taking over the unused kitchen at the bar and preparing street tacos, tostadas, nachos, beans, rice, fiesta dogs and more for owner Maggie Ballard’s customers.

The partnership came about after the Chino’s Parrilla, owned by Chino Herrera, his wife, Kim, his daughter, Tasha Schrant, and his son-in-law, Bill Schrant, was hired by Ballard to serve at a Cinco de Mayo party at the bar.

“We talked to her about the fact that she had kitchen she was not using a lot,” Bill Schrant said. “We thought this would get some more people in there for her on Thursday nights and would be a way for us to get our food out there.”

Chino’s Parrilla opened in 2012 and since then has regular served at street fairs and private parties.

The owners dream of opening a restaurant someday and decided this would be good practice.

The Thursday night menus also will offer specialty tacos including an Asian inspired “Kung Pow” taco and a carne elote taco, filled with steak, cheese, cabbage, sour cream sauce and sprinkled with corn and Parmesan. Ballard will offer drink specials such as $2 Coronas and $3 margaritas.

For more information, call 316-990-3646.

Stroud’s should reopen in early August

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Stroud’s general manager Kevin Allis inspects the damage done by a kitchen fire at Stroud’s.

The return of Stroud’s and its family style fried chicken dinners is still about three weeks away, general manager Kevin Allis said this morning.

The restaurant at 3661 N. Hillside had its kitchen damaged in a fire last week, and it has been closed ever since.

The staff is now cleaning up and assessing the damage, which Allis said could have been much worse.

“When we got in there and saw the daylight on it, it really wasn’t that bad,” he said.

The big question is whether the kitchen’s custom hood was too damaged to be repaired. If it wasn’t, Stroud’s should be able to reopen the first week of August. If it was, it’s going to be longer because the hood must be custom-made, Allis said.

When the fire broke out at about 10:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Allis said, he was at home. He got an alert that a burglar alarm was going off and headed for the restaurant. On the way, he started getting multiple text messages telling him that Stroud’s was on fire. Apparently, the burglar alarm sounded when fireman broke in the door to battle the blaze, he said. It took firefighters more than two hours to get the fire out.

Initially, it was thought that an employee had left a burner on, but Allis said all the burners were turned to the “off” position. He suspects a pilot light malfunction.

Stay tuned for information about Stroud’s reopening. You also can follow along on the Stroud’s Facebook page, where Allis is posting pictures and updates.

New restaurant in Delano will focus on ‘Eastern Cuisines’

The old Lotus Leaf space on west Douglas will soon be home to Eastern Cuisines.

The old Lotus Leaf space on west Douglas will soon be home to Eastern Cuisines.

A new restaurant is moving into the space that Lotus Leaf vacated in March when it moved to 251 N. Washington in Old Town.

Tumaini Kilangwa, a native of Tanzania, Africa, says she will open Eastern Cuisines in the space at 613 W. Douglas on Aug. 11.

The restaurant will serve breakfast and a lunch buffet that focuses on foods native to countries such as Africa, England, Ireland, India, Italy and the Philippines. It will include items such as rice pilaf, samosas, noodle dishes and kabobs. She’ll also have meat pies, beans, vegetables and many styles of potatoes.

Once open, the restaurant will be open from 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily except for Saturday. The buffet will end at 3 p.m. each day, but pastries and coffee will be available until close.

Kilangwa, who moved to Wichita in 2000, said she’s been doing catering from home while saving up her money to open a restaurant — and building her own confidence.

I’ll let you know more as the opening date draws near.

Fans of Thai Smile not smiling today

thai smileFans of Thai restaurant Thai Smile are definitely NOT smiling this morning.

The restaurant’s owners announced on Facebook on Saturday that it was closing for good. “Unfortunately we cannot keep opening for personal reasons,” the post read.

It also said that if owners could find a way to reopen the restaurant in the future, they would.

Last summer, owner Sakunphan Pongphan moved the restaurant from its original spot 1524 S. Seneca to a bigger location at 1601 E. Pawnee, the former Li’l Mexico building.

When it first opened four years ago, Thai Smile was called Thai Five.

Wichita restaurants will be on Travel Channel

Two local restaurants will be featured on national television next week, and one is putting on a watch party to celebrate.

Public at the Brickyard, the gastropub at 129 N. Rock Island in Old Town, and Jet BBQ at 1100 E. Third St., both will be featured Wednesday in back-to-back episodes of a Travel Channel show called “BBQ Crawl,” which features host Danielle Dimovski, a Canadian barbecue champion, traveling the country, competing, and sampling ‘cue.

The episode featuring Public is on first at 9 p.m. and is called “Bison, Beer and BBQ.” During the episode, Dimovski stops in to try Public’s buffalo sliders. Then, at 9:30 p.m., an episode called “Firehall Q, Cattle Auctions and Strawberry Banana Cake” features Jet BBQ and owner “Jet Man” John Thien giving Dimovski a tour in his signature fire truck.

The watch party starts at 8 p.m. at Public, which will offer $2 drafts and food specials. For more information, call Public at 316-263-4044.

Watch this trailer for a preview to the episode featuring Public and keep watching to see the Jet BBQ episode preview.

Which Wichita restaurant do you miss most?

RIP, Red Beans

RIP, Red Beans

Several longtime restaurants have shut down recently, including the 20-year-old Yen Ching at 430 N. Rock Road and Golden House, which closed at 504 S. Broadway after 16 years in business.

And as of Thursday, Red Beans Bayou Grill at 7447 W. 21st St., which has been in business since 1998, also is history.

All these closings beg the question: Which restaurants-gone-by do you miss most?

I’m collecting nominations.

Let me know in the comments section below or on my Dining with Denise Facebook page which former Wichita restaurant you wish was still around, and what specifically do you miss about it?

It can be any restaurant, whether it closed yesterday or 80 years ago. Just share as many details as you can. I’ll post some comments in Go! on July 25.