Category Archives: Sandwiches

T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies will open next week


Bernard Knowles knows Philly cheesesteak sandwiches because he grew up in Philadelphia.

He also knows the restaurant business because his parents owned a barbecue place in Philly for years, and helped run it.

Now Knowles, who works in his regular life as a general contractor, is opening a business that will utilize all that knowledge.

T.O.P.S. Steaks and Hoagies at 2251 E. 21st St., near 21st and Grove, is set to open next week, probably on Wednesday, Knowles said. The title stands for “Taste of Philadelphia Style,” and the restaurant will specialize in Philly cheesesteak sandwiches made with meat shipped in from The Original Philly Cheesesteak Co. in Philadelphia. The restaurant also will serve chicken cheesesteak, several styles of hoagie sandwiches and breakfast items such steak and eggs, omelets, home fries and grits.

The restaurant’s initial hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays. On Friday nights, the restaurant will serve dinner specials such as barbecue ribs with collard greens, Knowles said. He’s planning a grand opening event for June 21.

Reach the restaurant at 316-239-6403.

Two Wichita restaurants add unique sandwiches to offerings

Sandwiches served on cream puff shells are new at Beard Papa's in Towne East Square.

Sandwiches served on cream puff shells are new at Beard Papa’s in Towne East Square.

A sandwich? In a cream puff shell? Count me in.

Beard Papa’s, the cream puff store in Towne East Square that opened last year and thrilled many foodies, has just started serving “puff sandwiches.” Diners can choose from four varieties: roast beef, smoked ham, smoked turkey or tuna salad. I also suggest you get a cream puff (or four) while you’re there.

Beard Papa’s is on the upper level of Towne East, just outside of Dillard’s.

Another local business also recently started selling sandwiches, and theirs cater to the Wichita’s gluten-free community.

Cravings Gluten Free Bakery owner Danielle Brittian also has added gluten-free sandwiches to the menu at her business in Clifton Square, 3700 E. Douglas.  She’s serving them from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and offerings include a BLT, a grilled cheese and a triple meat sandwich. Customers also can build their own sandwiches and choose from toppings such as hummus, avocado and cream cheese. Here’s the full menu.

Pita Pit celebrating anniversary with deal

unnamed (4)The Pita Pit at 3242 N. Rock Road is celebrating its two-year anniversary in Wichita with a deal on Saturday.

Customers who visit between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 9 p.m. and buy one pita can get one of equal or lesser value for free.

The restaurant offers pitas stuffed with meats such as gyro and buffalo chicken, and it also has vegetarian options.

For more information, call 316-201-4748 or visit the restaurant’s Facebook page.

One sandwich shop closes for good, another for remodeling

The Subway near downtown South Broadway should be done in about a month.

The Subway near downtown South Broadway should be done in about a month.

Sandwich fans in Wichita have had to do a little rerouting lately.

The Subway at 519 S. Broadway, which is the closest Subway for downtown workers, has been closed for several weeks for remodeling.

It’s scheduled to reopen in mid-February, a Subway employee said.

Also, west-siders may have noticed that the Mr. Goodcents at 10231 W. 21st St., near the intersection of 21st and Maize, is gone.

It closed a couple of months ago, and the space now has a MobileComm operating out of it.

As you can see, Goodcents is gone.

As you can see, Goodcents is gone.

Franchisee Jean Larson, who took over the franchise a couple of years ago, said that there was just too much competition in the area. Larson also runs the Mr. Goodcents at 4921 S. Broadway, and there are franchises at 1212 S. Tyler and 3411 N. Rock Road, too.

Opening today: Big B’s Beef

Today’s the opening day for Big B’s Beef, a new restaurant operating out of a little brick building at 4628 S. Seneca.

Brian and Liz Bathgate are the owners of the restaurant, which specializes in Chicago-style sandwiches, hot dogs, fries, soups and Italian beef and sausage. You can see the full menu here.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. The restaurant has a drive-through window and will deliver to local businesses. For more information, call 316-522-2333.

Charleys Philly Steaks opens in Towne East on Monday

Towne East Square’s newest food court addition –  Charleys Philly Steaks – opens when the mall does on Monday morning.

Steve Nussbaum is opening a franchise of the Columbus, Ohio- based chain in a spot in the main food court center circle that previously was occupied by a restaurant called The Big Easy.

The chain has about 450 restaurants around the world. Most of them are in malls, but several are located on military bases as well. There’s a Charley’s Grilled Subs at McConnell Air Force Base.

The chain specializes in Philly cheese steak sandwiches and also is known for its fries and lemonade.

Nussbaum, who is married to Wichita Eagle publisher Kim Nussbaum, said he and his staff know that they’ll be facing a busier-than-normal opening week, considering it’s the height of Christmas shopping season at Towne East.

“We’ve been training to get ready,”  he said. “We’ll be good.”

Update on Jimmy John’s at 21st and Maize

People have been e-mailing me lately wondering if the first west side Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches was ever going to open.

I spoke today with franchisee Matt Brane, who originally told the Eagle last year that he hoped to have the new restaurant, which is going up next to Applebee’s on 21st Street just west of Maize Road, open by spring.

Instead, it’s likely to open sometime in December, he said.

The delay was intentional. Brane said he decided he’d like the traffic-choking road construction that took place at 21st and Maize this summer to be complete before he opened. “We decided we didn’t want the west-side customers associating our sandwiches with that west side chaos,” he said.

The road construction is done, though, and construction on the building is moving along nicely, Brane  said. The parking lot is done, and the brick is going on the building.

The restaurant will be Wichita’s fourth Jimmy John’s. The other three are at 340 N. Rock Road, 3300 N. Rock Road and 517 N. Hillside.

I reccomend the No. 9 Italian Night Club, which I devoured at lunch just today.

New banh mi place will open soon

North Broadway is a good street to frequent if you love Vietnamese food.

In a few weeks, a new restaurant called Kimlan Banh Mi Sandwiches will open at 1035 N. Broadway in a former Pizza Hut building. It’s right next door to the fabulous Little Saigon restaurant at 1015 N. Broadway and right down the street from the legendary Saigon, which has operated for years at 1103 N. Broadway.

The business is owned by the former owners of Kim Huong, the Vietnamese restaurant that operated in the Little Saigon space until 2010. It will specialize in banh mi sandwiches, made with grilled Vietnamese meats on crusty French bread with crispy veggies and herbs.

Owners are busy each day working in the building, and several readers have asked about it. I’ll update the blog when the opening date draws near and the owners share the menu.

Charleys Philly Steaks to open in Towne East

A new Philly cheese steak restaurant should open in Towne East Square’s food court by late October.

Steve Nussbaum is about to finalize the lease on a space in the mall where he’ll open a Charleys Philly Steaks, a restaurant chain based in Columbus, Ohio, that’s been known as Charley’s Grilled Subs but is transitioning to the new name.

The chain, Nussbaum said, has about 450 restaurants around the world. Most of them are in malls, but several are located on military bases as well. There’s a Charley’s Grilled Subs at McConnell Air Force Base.

The chain specializes in Philly cheese steak sandwiches and also is known for its fries and lemonade. “It’s freshly prepared and grilled in front of you,” he said. “It’s a nicer quality sandwich and has a better quality than your typical food court fare.”

Nussbaum said he’s long been impressed by the chain, which he would often visit when traveling. He was close to securing a spot to open one in Texas last year when his wife –  Kim Nussbaum — accepted the job as the Wichita Eagle’s publisher. Luckily, he said, the chain was interested in expanding in Wichita as well. He hopes to eventually open more Charleys in Towne West “and beyond,” he said.

Nussbaum didn’t say exactly which spot he’ll be taking in Towne East, but it’s part of the main food court area, he said.

Metro Grill III will open Thursday

With all due respect to the many sandwich artists in town, no one makes a better sandwich in Wichita than Michael Gonzalez.

The outspoken chef has a legion of fans in town, earned through years of making gourmet sandwiches and other dishes in the unlikeliest of places — out of a cart in the food court at Towne East Square that he called Metro Grill. By Thursday, he’ll have his latest restaurant open, this one in the Waterfront at 13th and Webb.

Metro Grill III is “the big one,” Gonzaelez likes to say. He’s had his share of personal and business drama over the past several years, which resulted in him selling his Metro Grill II in Andover to an employee — but this restaurant is the one he’s always wanted.

It’s in the former Chill Gelato Space at the Waterfront, 10096 E. 13th St. N., suite 122. Gonzalez has remodeled the space, adding a granite bar, a giant New York City skyline on the wall, and an open kitchen where diners can watch him work.

Michael Gonzalez

There’s seating for about 45 inside and a 16-seat patio outside. Gonzalez will be open for lunch and dinner daily except Monday and has several upscale dinner-ish items on his menu as well, including Pasta V.I.P., made with seared chicken and shrimp over linguine with pine nuts, eggplant, cherry tomatoes, arugula and asparagus, and his Steak Christopher. You can see the full menu here.

Customers order at the counter and servers will deliver the food to the tables and offer drink refills. Gonzaelz should have his liquor license within a month, he said.

He’ll have live, Frank Sinatra-esque music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. He also plans to have live music all day on Thursday, his official opening day.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. The restaurant can be reached by calling 316-631-1454.

“I want to thank Wichita for giving us so much support,” he said. “Metro Grill is back.”