Category Archives: Pizza

Picasso’s: First birthday, new sign, free Chicken Poop

FINALLY! A sign. I’d say it was worth the wait.

Seems like just yesterday I was stalking the space at 621 W. Douglas, trying to get someone, ANYONE, to tell me about the pizza place that was under construction.

But that was an entire year ago, and now, I can’t imagine a life without Picasso’s Pizzeria in it.

The restaurant, which makes giant and fabulous slices with heavenly crust and magic sauce, turned 1 on March 5.

Picasso’s is celebrating now, with the addition of a new sign (previously, you had to rely on all five senses to locate the business along west Douglas). And on Monday, owner Kurt Schmidt — whose sister-in-law is Chicken Poop founder Jamie Tabor Schmidt — will distribute free tubes of Chicken Poop with each slice purchased, while supplies last.

Race you there.

For more information, call 3160-267-5423.

Old Chicago restaurants in Wichita being remodeled, rebranded

Old Chicago restaurants across the country are getting a makeover, and Wichita’s three locations are next.

Remodeling already has started at the local Old Chicago restaurants — which are at 300 N. Mead in Old Town, at 7700 E. Kellogg,  and at 2240 N. Tyler — and will be done in a couple of weeks.

When complete, each of the three restaurants will have a new, modern look and outdoor signage. The restaurants even will have new names — sort of. Instead of Old Chicago Pasta & Pizza the restaurants now will be known as Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom.

It’ll be high-tech, with digital screens showing when various beers were tapped and who in the restaurant is checked in on FourSquare.

The “rebranding” is intended to freshen up the look and approach of the restaurant chain, which started in 1976 and now has 96 locations in 22 states. Everything from the utensils to the plating of the food to the vintage decor on the walls, says “modern brewery” rather than “classic sports bar.”

The new Tavern thin crust pizza at Old Chicago

So far, the chain has launched the new look in three of its restaurants: two in Colorado and one in Minnesota. Topeka and Kansas City stores also are getting the new look.

Several new menu  have already been added to coincide with the new look, including panini sandwiches, new calzones and salads and “Tavern” thin crust pizzas.

The Old Town location will be ready to go on March 11, followed by the west-side restaurant on March 12 and the east-side on March 13.

South Seneca Pizza Hut crossing the street

The Pizza Hut at 2417 S. Seneca closed about two weeks ago after its lease expired and owners decided not to reup.

But that Pizza Hut is going to reopen on Monday right across the street in the space at 2452 S. Seneca recently vacated by Blockbuster Video.

The Pizza Hut is one of the smaller stores that’s mainly focuses on carryout and delivery but also has a few tables for dine-in customers.

Those who call the South Seneca store (316-265-6565) before Monday will be automatically redirected to the Delano store at 700 W. Douglas.

An update on Angelo’s planned reopening

Jack Fasciano with one of his amazing pizza

Several readers have written me lately to ask about the progress on the reopening of Angelo’s, the onetime popular Italian restaurant that closed in 2006

In June, Jack Fasciano, son of the restaurants founders, revealed that his daughter, Gina Fasciano-Hogan, planned to reopen the business in the former Barrier’s building at Douglas and Oliver in College Hill.

I called Gina this week for an update, and… there really isn’t one, she said.

The plans are still in the works, she said, and it still looks like they’ll get the Barrier’s building. Nothing has been signed yet, though, and Fasciano-Hogan said the process has all taken much longer than she thought it would.

I’ll update you when there are developments.

Also, I hesitate to share this with you out of fear you will die of envy, but a couple of months ago, I was able to talk Jack Fasciano out of one of the Angelo’s pizzas he now makes at home for friends. I shared it with co-workers, and it was just as good as we remember.

The secret, I think, is the homemade sausage that comes raw on the frozen pizza. As the pie cooks, the sausage juices absorb into the crust, and the results…. Mama Mia!

Two restaurants contribute to Colo. victim

Two local restaurants are offering 10 percent of their proceeds on Tuesday and Wednesday to the family of one of the victims of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting last month.

Wichita’s Papa John’s and and Genghis Grills will make the donation to the family of Jonathan Blunk, whose mother, Dawna Nygaard, lives in Andover. Blunk was one of 12 people killed.

Diners can participate by eating at the restaurants on Tuesday and Wednesday. Those who order pizza online at papajohns.com should enter the promo code “Jonathan.”

Wichita has several Papa John’s locations. The city’s Genghis Grill restaurants are at 111 S. Rock Road and 8448 W. Central.

Picasso’s oven trouble cancels lunch

UPDATE: Picasso’s will reopen at 5 p.m. today. The oven problem is nearly fixed.

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APPARENTLY, Picasso’s Pizzeria was so crushed with business after my positive review that they cooked their oven to death.

Okay, that’s probably not what really happened. But nonetheless, Picasso’s pizza oven has malfunctioned, and the owners are frantically trying to get it fixed. The restaurant closed early on Sunday and won’t be able to open for lunch today. Owners are optimistic they’ll be up and running by dinner time, though.

I’ll let you know what I hear.

Question of the week: Best non-delivery pizza?

My people and me at Picasso's last weekend. Can't get enough of that place.

I reviewed Ziggy’s a few weeks ago, and I’ve got the scoop on Picasso’s slices today. I have PIZZA ON THE BRAIN.

We’ve had a nice influx of new pizza places lately in Wichita, which inspires today’s question. What’s your favorite non-delivery (read, besides Pizza Hut and Papa John’s) pizza in town?

My list is too long to print, but I love both the new ones.

Add your vote in the comments section below.

Now open: Picasso’s Pizzeria

Picasso’s Pizzeria, the Delano pizza-by-the-slice place I told you about last week, quietly opened on Monday at 621 W. Douglas.

There’s no sign on the building yet, but the menu now is posted in the window, and it looks goooooooooood.

Picasso’s offers slices for between $3.65 and $5.95, depending on how “artistic” you like your toppings. A basic slice of cheese is on the lower end of the cost scale. A slice of “The Picasso,” featuring basil pesto, Roma tomatoes, spinach, feta and Romano, is on the higher end. I also liked the sound of “The Kansan,” topped with sunflower seeds, spinach, blue cheese and red onions. Picasso’s has meat-topped pizza, too, including “The Heart Attack,” featuring pepperoni, beef, Canadian bacon and Italian sausage.

Full 16-inch pies range from $13.99 to $20.95. “Ginormous” pizzas also are available.

Picasso’s also has a gluten-free menu and serves sandwiches and salads as well. It serves microbrews and domestic beers, both by-the-bottle and on tap.

So far, the exterior doesn’t have much curb appeal, but I peeked in the windows and the dining room is attractive, featuring a bar and lots of booths.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. Sundays.

For more information, call 316-267-5423.

In the works: Picasso’s Pizzeria

A new pizza places should be opening soon in Delano.

Picasso’s Pizzeria is in the works at 621 W. Douglas. It’ll be owned by Kurt Schmidt and specialize in New York pizza by the slice.

The restaurant is catty corner to Pizza Hut and across the street from The Vagabond.

I stopped by this afternoon, and the space was buzzing with construction work. It looks like it’s close to being done.

I’ll fill in more details as I get them.

Now open: Ziggy’s Pizza

I shot this photo of Ziggy's a few weeks ago. Change that "opening soon" to a "now open."

Ziggy’s Pizza, a family-owned restaurant specializing in rectangular pies, quietly opened Monday at 3700 E. Douglas, in the former Bay Leaf space at Clifton Square.

The restaurant is owned by brothers Ryan and Jamie Verbeckmoes, who are serving pizzas made in a 9×13 pan, lots of toasted sandwiches, appetizers and more. Ziggy’s also has a full bar.

So far, the pizza has been a hit, Ryan says. “We make the dough fresh every day,” he said. “It doesn’t look like any corporate pizza.”

Ziggy’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays. The cozy space seats 49 people. For more information, call 316-613-2529.