Category Archives: Frozen treats

Wichita’s latest dining trend: FroYo for all

Yogurt Xplosion is one of the latest additions to Wichita's self-serve scene.

First it was hamburgers. Then it was hot dogs. (Actually, it’s still hamburgers and hot dogs)

Gelato had its moment. So did Japanese hibachi grills, followed by fast food-style Japanese hibachi grills.

The latest food trend in Wichita is frozen yogurt — specifically self-serve frozen yogurt.

Orange Leaf opened Wichita’s eyes to how much fun it can be to pull a lever and dump as much creamy goodness as you want into a bowl, top it with as many crushed up Oreo bits as you can handle and pay the price in ounces — and calories.

I love Orange Leaf, even though I try hard to avoid it, mainly because it’s very hard to exercise self control at such fabulous places. If there were no consequences to eating $10 worth of peanut butter frozen yogurt daily, I’d do it.

This week, I wrote my dining story about all the new frozen yogurt places planned for Wichita, and there are a lot of ‘em. Plan your summer eating tour with my handy guide, which will appear in the Go! section on Friday.

Things we should not eat but want to

I’m filing this new offering from Krispy Kreme, the Cookies & Kreme doughnut and accompanying “Chiller,” both made with Oreos, under the category “The Kinds of Things I Haven’t Allowed Myself To Eat Since College Even Though I’d Really, Really Like To.”

Also on that list:

*Blizzards

*Whoppers (the Burger King burger, not the malted milk balls)

*Fish and chips from Long John Silver’s

*Frappuccinos

*Stuffed crust pizza

What’s on your list? Do tell.

In the meantime, those of you with young metabolisms (such as my friend, Sandi’s, gorgeous 15-year-old daughter who often partakes of a sandwich with a nickname I cannot publish here that’s made of a McDonald’s fried McChicken sandwich stuffed inside a McDonald’s Double Cheeseburger) should feel free to indulge in Krispy Kreme’s new treat, available through June 26.

If you do, please report back to me what it tasted like. In very explicit detail.

Two good ideas for lunch

Martha and Alberto Valdez, owners of La Tradicion Tortilleria

When a reader takes the time to e-mail me about a little-known restaurant, I go ahead and assume that it’s probably pretty good.

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve received two such delicious e-mails. One was from Cindy Sundell-Guy, who urged me to try La Tradicion Tortilleria at 1701 N. Broadway. She raved about the $5.99 lunch buffet, the green chile with pork and the poblano and onion with cheese. Occasionally, La Tradicion serves mole, tamales and soups such as hominy stew.

“The first time I went in, the owner dipped me up a spoonful of everything on the buffet so I could taste it all,” she wrote. “I felt like I had gone to a Mexican covered dish dinner. What a treat.¬† He is really accommodating.”

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.

**UPDATE** I went to La Tradicion for lunch today and enjoyed the buffet, which is different from a usual buffet in that the owners serve it up for you. Turns out it’s in the former Maharaja building.

Some things were better than others. And I smell like friedness now. But it was a fun experience. **END UPDATE**

I must admit I’ve never heard of the other restaurant that received reader praise: D’s Dairy Freeze. It opened last July in a former Pig-In Pig-Out space at 1935 S. Hydraulic.

The small restaurant, which has seating but does mostly drive-through service, sells ice cream, malts, shakes, burgers, salads, onion rings, pies and more. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, but starting at the end of March, it’s open until 10 p.m. nightly.

Reader Lou Ann Ward works nearby and says people need to know how good it is. She wants it to stay in business but at the same time is afraid she’ll have to start standing in line when people realize what a value it is.

Lunch is in an hour. Go!

While supplies last

A Wichita entrepreneur opened a new business over the weekend at the corner of Topeka and Douglas.

Usually, it’s not my policy to make recommendations on a place before I’ve tried it, but ima say you can skip this one.

Besides, nobody was even there to take the money.

I’m going to tag this one “frozen treats” and “just opened.”

A Freddy’s/Panera combo for the west side

freddysMy esteemed colleague Carrie Rengers reported months ago that a Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Panera store both would open at Ridge Road and University (that’s near the intersection of Maple and Ridge.) Today, I got an update on the project from the Simon family.

Construction workers started moving dirt today on what will become the first ever Freddy’s/Panera in a single building. The building will contain about 7,500 square feet, with Panera taking 4,250 and some patio space and Freddy’s using nearly 3,200 feet with a patio and a drive through window.

The building should be done by the end of the year, and both restaurants should open in early 2011.

Other Panera news: Local stores will start serving chili with baked cornbread croutons in the middle of this month, and in the next couple of weeks, Freddy’s will bring back its famous fall treat — the pumpkin pie concrete.

Restaurant review sneak peek: Orange Leaf

orangeleafetc.jpg 001

Mmmm. Toppings.

You know the drill: You’re a loyal blog reader, so you don’t have to wait until Friday to read my Friday restaurant review.

This week, I had the very difficult task of reviewing  Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt, which has two locations  in Wichita now.

Okay, it wasn’t difficult at all. I love that stuff. Especially the peanut butter.

Anyone else have opinions about the place? Post below.

Fiesta at The Donut Whole

images-1The Donut Whole, the very hip and happenin’ donut shop and hangout at 1720 E. Douglas, is always doing someting to enhance its hipness and happeningness, and its latest additions are giving the shop a little flavor of Mexico.

For one, it’s started serving Mexican Coca Cola, which for those who have not had the pleasure of sampling it, tastes soooo much better than the American version. It’s sold in glass bottles and it’s made with real cane sugar (as opposed to high fructose corn syrup). And Mexican Coke isn’t the store’s only unique beverage. The Donut Whole keep a whole array of natural sodas in their cooler, as is evidenced in this video.

It’s also now serving paletas, which are delicious Mexican ice cream bars made with real fruit and cream. Paleteria La Reyna, a paleta maker at 2925 N. Arkansas, is supplying the Donut Whole with the goods, and it stocks 24 flavors, including coconut, lemon, mango, strawberry, banana and the very interesting sounding fruit and chili.

Fiesta!

Blizzard brilliance

DQ-Mini-BlizzardFor YEARS, I’ve been trying to figure out a way I could eat a fabulous Dairy Queen Blizzard without packing on a zillion calories and suffering from days worth of food regret.

Back in the day, they’d make ‘em with frozen yogurt. I’m sure I was deluding myself, but it made me feel a little less sinful.

Now, Dairy Queen has come up with a MOST brilliant Blizzard idea: The mini-blizzard. They started selling them this month, and they’re about half the size of a small, weighing in at around 7 ounces.

Now that that problem’s solved, I just have to decide between Heath Bar and chocolate chip cookie dough. (Since they’re so small, I could probably eat two at a time, right?)

Ice, ice baby

Sonic sells goooood chewin' ice.

Sonic sells goooood chewin' ice.

I’ve always been a big fan of crushed ice — the stuff that’s kind of watery and gives in easily when chomped. The kind that absorbs all the goodness of your vanilla diet Coke and allows you to munch on its sweet goodness even after it’s gone. My friend Alan used a term the other day that perfectly describes what I’m talking about: “Good chewin’ ice.”

BIG NEWS, PEOPLE: Sonic not only makes good chewin’ ice, they also sell it by the bag. Just drive up, press the button and tell them you want a bag of ice. (Or five, as I recently did.) It’s $1.69 a bag and worth every cent. I’ve been eating it for dessert every night this week.

(Update: I just found a Facebook group called “I Love Sonic Ice,” which has 3,188 members. I am now proud member No. 3,189.)

Orange Leaf: Self-service fun

A trio of Orange Leaf creations

A trio of Orange Leaf creations

This weekend I stopped into Orange Leaf, the new self-service frozen yogurt shop at 21st and Tyler, just to casually check it out.

Okay, who am I kidding? I’ve been panting over this place since the very first second I heard they’d have peanut butter flavored frozen yogurt.

It did not disappoint. I made a creation that included so many variations on the two-great-tastes-that-taste-great-together theme that my head nearly explodorageleafinteriored.

The place is fun to visit because customers walk in, pick up an oversized bowl, and then go to town filling the bowl from self-serve yogurt dispensers that offer 16 different flavors, from peanut butter to peach, cherry to cheesecake. The dispensers are low enough that kids can make their own, and the ones I saw were loving that feature.

Next, customers top their yogurt from a self-service bar that features all sorts of fruit, candy, cereal and other sweet treats. They place the finished product on a scale and then pay 39 cents an ounce. We got three pretty big servings for about $9, which doesn’t seem outrageous considering that a small gelato costs nearly $5 these days.

orangeleafmural

The seating area is mod and bright, with short white tables and space-ship looking chairs and orange couches. There’s also a very bright and interesting mural on the wall that depicts scenes from Wichita.

A second Orange Leaf is scheduled to open next month at 37th and Rock.

Orange you glad I told you?