Category Archives: Mexican food

Downtown’s District Taqueria to open early fall

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The sign is up and demolition has begun inside the old Kelly’s Irish Pub to make way for District Taqueria, a new “urban taco bar” at 917 E. Douglas.

Owners Michael Farha and Marc Humsi originally hoped to have it open this month, but standard delays have pushed the date back to late September or early October, Farha said.

When it opens, the restaurant will have a full bar and will serve what Farha calls “inspired street tacos.” It’ll be open for lunch and dinner Mondays through Saturdays.

This restaurant, by the way, is right next door to the Wichita Eagle. We haven’t been this excited or hungry since the pre-Wasabi days.

Mexican restaurant El Tenampa is closed

The empty dining room at the former El Tenampa

The empty dining room at the former El Tenampa

For those who haven’t yet heard, it appears that El Tenampa — the authentic Mexican restaurant that opened in November in the old Burger Barn space at 3302 W. Central — is closed.

How do I know? The phone is disconnected, and the building is completely empty. It appears the restaurant has been closed since at least early July.

The restaurant was owned by Guillermo Botello and specialized in tacos, gorditas and tacos filled with authentic Mexican meats. I thought the food was good, especially the tacos, so I’m sorry to see it go.

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.

Bento Cafe serves Mexican food and sushi

bento exteriorMexican food and sushi are two great tastes. But do they taste great together?

Wichitans can find out at a new west side restaurant called Bento Cafe Mexican Grill & Sushi. It opened in April in the former Poblano Mexican Grill space at 550 N. Ridge Road. That’s in the little strip center that includes Bionic Burger and sits in front of Gordman’s.

The owner is first time restaurateur Phyu Kyi, who took over the business from the Poblano owners. Kyi wanted to open a sushi restaurant, but she spent six months working with the Poblano owners and learning how to make their menu, which remains intact at the business.

Rather than choose between the two cuisines, she decided to offer them both and just added sushi earlier this week.

The Mexican menu offers everything Poblano’s did, including burritos, tacos, bowls and more. The sushi menu is still growing but so far includes California rolls, spicy tuna rolls, nigiri such as tuna, salmon, shrimp and eel and more.

Bento Cafe is an order-at-the-counter place. The hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

For more information, call 316-944-7313.

This calls for a fiesta: Molino’s has its liquor license

Molinos owners Mario Quiroz and wife Mara Garza are educating their customers about pairing wine with Mexican food.

Molinos owners Mario Quiroz and wife Mara Garza are educating their customers about pairing wine with Mexican food.

What’s better than eating a pirata or a plate of street tacos at Molino’s Mexican Cusine?

I can think of only one thing: Eating a pirata or plate of street tacos at Molino’s Mexican Cuisine with a margarita in your hand.

Now you can because after a long wait, Mario Quiroz, who along with wife Mara Garza owns the restaurant at 1064 N. Waco, has his liquor license. The restaurant now is serving a large selection of beer, wine, margaritas and mixed drinks.

Molino’s gets a strong lunch crowd, Quiroz said, but he’s hoping that the addition of adult beverages will help bolster the dinner crowd. Molino’s is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays.

The restaurant mixes up strawberry, peach and lime margaritas, and they’re educating customers about pairing wine with Mexican food — and such pairings work quite well, Quiroz said.

For more information, call Molino’s  at 316-977-9336.

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.

Family-owned Taco Pronto turns 40

I love writing stories about restaurants celebrating big birthdays. I also love Taco Pronto — particularly its delicious taco burgers and out-of-this-world ice machine.

For this week’s Go! section, I’ve combined those two loves. Check out my story about Taco Pronto’s 40th. It also includes a video about the restaurant’s history and a story examining that ice machine awesomeness.

Taco Pronto, for the record, is a family-owned business with stores at Central and Ridge and 21st and Tyler.

Green Olive will open in the spring

MamaDeaux is out. Green Olive is on its way in.

Sam Eddine has a big space attached to his Marco’s Cantina at 6600 W. Central, and he’s trying to find the right fit for it.

He opened a new version of his one-time restaurant MamaDeaux Seafood House — a Cajun restaurant — in the spot back in 2011. But he closed it a couple of months ago, he said, because the food costs were too high and Wichitans weren’t embracing the concept.

Now, there’s a new sign on the building that reads “Green Olive.” Eddine says that he plans to turn the space into a new fast-concept Mediterranean restaurant that will specialize in Mediterranean pizzas cooked in a brick oven, falafel, schwarma and more. The restaurant will have its own entrance but also will be accessible from Marco’s.

Though Green Olive is months from opening, Eddine had to put the sign up, he said with a laugh, because he had nowhere to store it.

I’ll keep you updated on the progress.

El Tenampa opens in Burger Barn space

El Tenampa opened Monday at 3302 W. Central.

A new Mexican restaurant opened Monday in the old Burger Barn space at 3302 W. Central, and it looks quite authentic.

It’s called El Tenampa, and it’s owned by Guillermo Botello.

He’s owned restaurants in Mexico and is opening his first restaurant in the United States in Wichita.

He specializes in tacos, gorditas and tacos filled with authentic Mexican meats, from asada to chicharron (pork skin) to lengua (beef tongue.) It also serves menudo.

The restaurant has a self-serve salsa bar, and Botello is working on a drive-through.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

For more information, call 316-425-0066.

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.”