Category Archives: Restaurant birthdays

When Pigs Fly’s birthday rib eating contest

When pigs turn 1, they celebrate with a rib eating contest.

On Saturday, When Pigs Fly Bar-B-Que at 7011 W. Central is marking its first birthday with a rib-eating contest featuring representatives from Wichita EMS, the Wichita Fire Department and local radio personalities. The restaurant also will be giving away prizes and balloons.

The fun starts at noon, and spectators are welcome to watch the contestants chow down.

I’d also recommend you eat lunch while you’re there. Read my When Pigs Fly review to get yourself ready.

Half-price sushi, half-price wine

Hana Cafe goodness.

I heard from two restaurateurs yesterday who are wanting to feed and water us for half-price. I think letting them would be the polite thing to do. Don’t you?

The first one was Hana Cafe, the Japanese and sushi restaurant at 325 N. Mead in Old Town Square that’s been in business for 15 years. To help celebrate that milestone, starting Sunday, owner Eunice Kim will offer a “happy hour” menu of about 15 types of sushi for half-price, plus she’ll have drink specials. The deal will be offered from 8 to 10 p.m. Sundays and from 3 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

By the way, have you been in Hana Cafe since it remodeled and took over the space next door? The transformation is amazing and makes the place feel like a big-city sushi restaurant. Eunice has a small outdoor patio now, too.

Youssef Youssef, owner of Mediterranean Grill.

Over at Mediterranean Grill, which has been in business for four years at 335 S. Towne East Mall Drive, owners are trying to drum up summer business with a half-price bottle of wine special.

During July, customers who order two entrees or two specials can get a bottle of wine for half price. Call 316-651-5599 for more information.

Question of the week: Best classic restaurant

Magic Wok at 9504 W. Central

My dining story this week is about Magic Wok, a trapped-in-time restaurant near Central and Tyler that will celebrate 30 years in business next weekend. I loved hearing about the restaurant’s history and about how it was struggling during its first years of business until a 1982 fire at Rolling Hills Country Club earned it a group of regulars that still come today.

We’ve written about several restaurants celebrating milestone birthdays over the years, including Savute’s, Old Mill Tasty Shop, Felipe’s, Connie’s and more.

This weeks question: Which of the Wichita restaurants in the age 30-and-up category is your favorite? Which one has aged best?

Answer in the comments section below.

Who had a White Castle?

Now I didn't know those burgers were hole-y. Did you?

The Square Burger Award goes to my friends Beccy Tanner and Jaime Green, who quite competently covered the pandemonium that was the White Castle birthday celebration yesterday in the Dillon’s parking lot.

A pressing work commitment kept me away, but I heard lots of stories from those who were there — stories of 90-minute waits, slider shortages and grilled onions. My friend Katie texted to tell me she went but left empty handed. “We lasted about three minutes in line,” she said. “We’re not waiters.”

Another friend described the scene as a “a mess of humanity and beef.”

Were you there? Was it worth it? Let me know if you had a “gut bomb” and how you’re feeling today.

And if you missed it (or if you’re also not a “waiter,”) watch Jaime’s video below.

Delano’s La Galette turns 25

This week, I wrote my dining story for the Go! section about La Galette, one of my favorite neighborhood eateries. The restaurant’s owners, Tony Abdayem and his family, are celebrating 25 years in business this week.

This is an accomplishment considering that many restaurants these days struggle to stay open past 25 months. And it’s especially amazing when you consider how much the restaurant has grown from the tiny, seven-seat, can’t-afford-a-sign operation it was on May 17, 1986.

I sat down with Tony on Tuesday, the actual anniversary, and before I knew it, more than an hour had sped by. He’s an interesting many with a passion for his business.

What do I love best at La Galette? There’s no better fattoch dressing in town, in my opinion. Their’s is a vibrant purple-pink color and is made with sumac, olive oil, lemon juice and emulsified red onion. I also am addicted to their quiches, made in individual round crusts, which to me taste like dessert. And for actual dessert, I can’t get enough of the crumbly French petit fours and the heart-shaped, crispy-sweet palmiers, which are visible just in front of Tony in my picture above.

Happy Birthday to a Wichita treasure.

The allure of teeny tiny burgers

I hope you did not miss Beccy Tanner’s story last week about the one-day return of White Castle to Wichita.

It all happens tomorrow,when the fast food chain known for tiny square burgers will return to Wichita — where the first White Castle opened in 1921 — to celebrate its 90th birthday.

From 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Wichitans can buy two sliders for 90 cents (chips and a drink are an extra 90 cents) from sizzling grills set up in the Dillons parking lot at Central and Rock. Proceeds will go to the Kansas Food Bank.

White Castle left Wichita in 1938, never to return, and to this day, Wichita “gut bomb” fans grumble that the city doesn’t have a White Castle. Now, the only place in Wichita you can get a White Castle burger is in the freezer section.

Your nearest other option: Drive to Salina and try the similar teeny tiny cozy burgers at Cozy Inn. And be prepared to smell like grilled onions for a good month afterward.

Happy birthday to Larkspur

Ty Issa has owned Larkspur for the second half of its 20-year life.

I spent my morning with Ty Issa across the street at Larkspur, reminiscing about the long run his popular downtown restaurant has had. They’re starting their 20th year of business this month, which is quite a feat for any restaurant.

To celebrate, Ty is putting on a customer appreciation party from 4 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19. The event will be on the patio and in the banquet hall, and he’ll have free appetizers, drinks and music.

My dining story for this Friday will be about Larkspur’s big birthday, so before I went to visit with Ty this morning, I dug up the restaurant review we published when it first opened back in 1992. Very few of the original dishes remain, but it was a fun read. Plus, my late friend Diane Lewis wrote the review, and I can hear her voice in it. Thought you all might enjoy it. Keep reading.

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Feliz Cumpleanos, Felipe’s

A massive Felipe's burrito

Raise a Flaming Cazuela! It’s Felipe’s birthday!

On Feb. 1, 1967, Felipe and Lucy Lujano opened the first Felipe’s Mexican restaurant at 3434 W. Central.Today, 44 years later, that restaurant is still operating as are several other Felipe’s spinoffs around town. Felipe’s will celebrate the birthday with menu specials today.

My favorite dish at Felipe’s is the cheese enchilada, stuffed full of cheesefood goodness and fired until the cheese turns crispy on the edges on the metal serving platter. The flour tacos are pretty fabulous, too, and my bucket list includes a vow to drink a Flaming Cazuela, which is served in a bowl with straws and is made of citrus juices, tequila, rum and vodka and served ON FIRE.

That sounds good today, actually.

Felipe’s restaurants are at 3434 W. Central, 9718 E. Harry, 2241 N. Woodlawn and a fancy new Felipe’s at 119th and W. Maple.