Category Archives: Mexican food

Molino’s Mexican Cuisine opens today

Today is the day fans of the former Frida’s have been waiting for.

Mario Quiroz, who closed his Mexican restaurant Frida’s at 1580 W 21st St. in 2010, today is opening his new restaurant, called Molino’s Mexican Cuisine.

The restaurant is in the former Las Tias de Beto spot at 1064 N. Waco, right next to Juarez Bakery and has everything Frida’s used to have and then some. Included on that list are piratas, giant taco-thingies that you must try to believe.

The menu also features several new dishes, including a whole lot of enchiladas, tacos, authentic Mexican dishes and even cauliflower ceviche (you read that right), which I sampled on Thursday. It was awesome.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Stay out of my way on Monday, when I plan to be first in line for piratas at lunchtime.

Chipotle: Burritos for teachers, margaritas for all

Chipotle’s new Patron margarita

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo, Chipotle has added margaritas to its menu. Real margaritas. I approve.

The restaurant seems like an odd place to get a Patron margarita, but it’s nice to have options.

Chipotle started serving the margaritas on Monday, and they were kind enough to share the recipe, which you’ll find below.

Also, Chipotle is offering a buy-one-get-one deal for teachers. It’s good from 4 to close on Tuesday, May 7. Teachers with a faculty ID who buy one burrito, burrito bowl or order of tacos can get another free.

Wichita’s Chipotle restaurants are at 7130 W. Maple, 515 N. Hillside, 535 S. Rock Road, 3015 N. Rock Road and 2241 N. Maize Road.

Connie’s Mexico Cafe turns 50

Three generations of the Connie’s crew, back in 1984

I love doing stories about restaurants celebrating big birthdays. They’re hard to keep alive, so I love seeing old photos of the early days and hearing all the good decisions made over the years to help the restaurant survive.

Usually, though, I’m writing about 20th and 30th birthdays. This week, I got to write about a 50th.

Connie’s Mexico Cafe turned 50 this month, and earlier this week, I sat down with the many, many women who have kept the family business thriving.

The restaurant truly has a colorful history, including three separate incidents of cars crashing through the front of the building after hours.

Check out my story, which will be printed in Friday’s paper. I have several great photos of founders Rafael and Connie Lopez back in the day, as well as a picture of the whole family when the Garcia girls were little.

Frida’s is back — but with a new name

Oh, piratas. How I’ve missed you.

I needed some good news today.

And I got it, from Mario Quiroz, former owner of only my favorite Wichita Mexican restaurant ever — Frida’s at 1580 W 21st St. The restaurant, known for its amazing piratas and cursed traffic situation, closed in 2010.

Quiroz has dreamed of reopening it ever since but couldn’t find the right spot — until now. He’s taking over the former Las Tias de Beto spot at 1064 N. Waco, right next to Juarez Bakery.

The restaurant will be called Molino’s Mexican Cuisine, and Quiroz will serve everything he used to serve at Frida’s and then some. He’ll have the piratas, the tacos, the salsa bar and will add other dishes. He’s also making the restaurant full-service rather than order-at-the-counter.

Quiroz has been working for the past several years as a sales rep for US Foods, and Manuel Fernandez, owner of Juarez Bakery and Las Tias de Beto, was one of his clients. Quiroz says he’ll keep that job, and his wife will run the new restaurant. They decided not to call it Frida’s because they wanted a fresh start.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Quiroz hopes to have it ready to go by the end of April. I’ll keep you posted.

Now open: Tepa Cafe

A “Tepa special”

I like a restaurant that’s not afraid to mix it up.

Vince and Margaret Solis opened Tepa Cafe at 3835 S. Seneca about a week and a half ago. It specializes in Mexican fare such as enchiladas, burritos and tacos, but they also offer some good old fashioned American cuisine. And by old fashioned, I mean old fashioned. One of their best dishes, they say, is a plate of liver and onions. They also serve very big burgers, chicken fried steak and fried catfish. You can see the menu here. 

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-522-5833.

Los Pinos taking over Delano bierocks spot

Coming soon to Delano: Los Pinos. Photo courtesy of delanowichita.com

UPDATE!!!!!

I stopped by Los Pinos at 1225 W. Douglas and talked to owner Gustavo Hernandez, who was working in the tiny restaurant this morning.

He hopes to be open by Saturday, he said. Hernandez, a first-time restaurant owner, will man the kitchen with his brother. The menu, which Hernandez shared with me, includes tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, quesadillas and burritos. It also lists several burgers, including a spicy burger topped with pepper jack cheese, grilled onions and jalapenos.  You can inspect the full menu here.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays and Mondays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.  For more information, call 316-371-3384.

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There’s a new restaurant going in to the Delano building where Mary Hansen recently closed her Bierocks, Brats n’ BBQ.

A sign on the building at 1225 W. Douglas promises Los Pinos, a Mexican restaurant.

No word yet on an opening date, but I’ll get to the bottom of that soon.

Chino’s Parrilla: A new mobile food business

Chino Herrera and his wife, Kim, cooking up deliciousness at Sunday’s Wichita Toy Run.

Wichita can claim another mobile food business — this one specializing in Mexican food.

Chino’s Parrilla opened this summer, but the family that runs it doesn’t cart it out as regularly as other food trucks and carts… so far.

It’s owned by head cook Chino Herrera, his wife, Kim, his daughter, Tasha Schrant, and his son-in-law, Bill Schrant. The business, a mobile grill and prep cart covered by a canopy, is manned by the quartet with assistance from  friends. They grill up delicious meats such as carne asada and al pastor and serve them in flour tortillas with traditional toppings.

The Chino’s Parrilla menu board on Sunday

During the summer, the family would park the cart in Old Town and serve after-bar crowds. But the bulk of their business came between 1 and 2:30 a.m., and after an outbreak of Old Town violence this summer, street vendors are required to close down at 1 a.m.

Now, they’re concentrating on catering gigs and the occasional street fair. I saw them at the Wichita Toy Run in Delano on Sunday, and a long line was forming. Come Spring, the family might start taking the cart out regularly throughout the week.

When the cart is out, its location is listed on its Facebook page. To reach Chino’s Parrilla, call 316-990-3646.

Red Barn closed, but owner plans new Mexican restaurant

Michael Rodriguez, who ran The Red Barn, plans a new Mexican restaurant.

The Red Barn  is gone.

The restaurant , which sat on the east side of Lake Afton and was operated by Michael Rodriguez and his family since 2010, had its final wedding this weekend, and the owner,  state Sen. Dick Kelsey, is putting the building up for auction on Nov. 12.

Michael  is planning a new Mexican restaurant, though, said his son, Gerard Rodriguez. They’re not ready to announce details yet but will soon. It won’t be downtown, Gerard said, but will be “near.”

In the meantime, the family is focusing on its new restaurants in Wichita’s core, including Anna Murdoc’s Cafe, which opened in in July and Gerard runs, and the new R Coffeehouse, which his brother, Angelo, opened in the old Riverside Perk space a few weeks ago. Michael is hopping between the restaurants while he works on his new place.

The family is sad to see the Red Barn go, Gerard said, but it helped them gain a following that has transferred to its new restaurants.

“We’ve got three different opportunities to do some good stuff and showcase things on our own terms,” he said.

The Red Barn sold barbecue, tamales, tacos and opened for breakfast on weekend mornings. R Coffeehouse is now selling breakfast daily and tamales on weekends, Gerard said.

First remodeled Carlos O’ Kelly’s in Wichita will reopen on Friday

The new Carlos O' Kelly's logo

Carlos O’ Kelly’s, the 30-year-old Mexican restaurant chain that’s headquartered in Wichita, is “rebranding” its restaurants, giving them an all-new look and a new menu.

On Sunday, the restaurant at  4872 S. Broadway closed down, and crews have been hard at work changing everything — booths, tables, carpet, paint, decor, setup. The result is a more modern-looking restaurant that even has new signage, featuring a multi-colored chili pepper.

“It’s very different,” president Jon Rolph said of the new look. “It opens the place up. And it’s a lot less cluttered as far as the decor goes.”

The under-progress interior of the remodeled Carlos O' Kelly's at 4872 S. Broadway.

That restaurant will reopen on Friday featuring a menu that has several new items, including a Cantina burger topped with chili con queso, sauteed onions, bell peppers, bacon and fried jalapeno bites. There are also brisket tacos, grilled fish tacos, seafood enchiladas and more. The chips and salsa will remain the same, and most of the restaurant’s most popular dishes remain unchanged.

A Carlos O’ Kelly’s in Lincoln, Neb., will be the next to be made over. Owners hope to have all 39 Carlos O’ Kelly’s, including the four in Wichita, redone within four years.

Wichita’s other three Carlos O’Kelly’s are at  7703 E. Douglas, 527 S. Ridge Road Circle and 3025 N. Rock Road.

Two new restaurants for the west side

The west side has one new restaurant as of today and will get another one on Nov. 5.

Wichita’s newest Chipotle is officially opening today at Maple and Ridge. The restaurant took over the spot at 7130 W. Maple that once held Scrapbook Garden.

It’s Wichita’s fifth Chipotle, and it joins the restaurants at Kellogg and Rock, at 29th and Rock, at 21st and Maize and at Central and Hillside. Its hour are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, and its phone number is 316-942-0263.

Another anticipated chain will open nearby on Nov. 5. Wichita’s first Mooyah, which will be operated by former KSN anchor Anthony Powell and his wife, is almost finished in the former Blockbuster spot at 352 S. West St.

There’s a Mooyah in Garden City that opened in May, and more are planned for the Wichita area. It specializes in burgers, fries and also has a long list of shakes, including chocolate chip cookie dough and peanut butter.

I called Powell this morning and interviewed him while he huffed and puffed on a stair master. He’s a health nut and said that Wichitans will be pleasantly surprised by the restaurant’s turkey burger and veggie burger, which he said both are unusually delicious.

The restaurant also will have several flat screen television sets mounted, so customers have the option of eating quickly and leaving or staying for a while to linger over a shake, he said.

Mooyah’s hours will also be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.