Category Archives: Sandwiches

Metro Grill III should open next week

Gonzaelz

Local sandwich celeb Michael Gonzalez is opening his third Metro Grill restaurant next week in the former Chill Gelato Space at the Waterfront, 10096 E. 13th St. N., suite 122. Its name: Metro Grill III.

Gonzalez, who rose to fame in the food community with his amazing sandwiches sold from a hot dog cart in the Towne East Square food court, has started several ventures over the past several years. He opened Metro Grill II in Andover early last year, then sold it to an employee. He also briefly made sandwiches inside the short-lived Encore Restaurant and Nightclub near Scotch & Sirloin on East Kellogg.

The new restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner. Gonzalez says he’ll offer his list of famous sandwiches plus specials such as Cuban pot roast.

The kitchen will be open, meaning customers can watch Gonzalez in action. He’s applied for a liquor license and says he should be able to begin serving in about a month.

Hours will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. He’s not sure exactly what day next week he’ll be able to open. Watch this blog for updates.

Just opened: Rock Island Cafe

It’s now on Rock Road instead of Rock Island. But after almost 20-year absence, the once-popular sandwich shop Rock Island Cafe has reopened.

Kristen Teague, a former manager at the original Rock Island Cafe, reopened the restaurant a week ago in the space at 3236 N. Rock Road formerly occupied by Yogurt Xplosion.

The original restaurant operated from 1985 until the mid-1990s in the space at 725 E. Douglas that famously housed the first incarnation of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen. Teague is recreating the whole experience, from the restaurant’s breakfast-and-lunch-only approach to the complete original menu.

She describes the restaurant as a “gourmet sandwich deli.” Her offerings include 11 pre-imagined sandwichies, such as the popular Conductor’s ham & turkey made with smoked Gouda, mayo, sliced tomato and lettuce on an onion bun, plus build-your-own sandwiches and sandwiches on pita.

Breakfast options include muffins, cheesy eggs, yogurt parfaits and a breakfast burrito. She’s also brought back the restaurant’s famous chicken salad.

Several former devotees have already visited. “Yesterday, a lady told me she’d been waiting 20 years to come back,” Teague said.

The restaurant’s hours are 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. Teague is offering delivery “pretty much anywhere,” she said, though she’d probably be reluctant to take a small order all the way to the west side.

For more information or to place an order, call 316-260-5905.

Wichita food trucks gathering for a cause

The only problem with the cooperative agreement worked out by three Wichita food trucks: How am I supposed to decide which one to patronize???

On Sunday, The Flying Stove, MMM Sandwiches and B.S. Sandwich Press will gather in one place to help raise money for victims of the recent tornado in Wichita.

All three will be set up in the parking lot of the Wichita Ice Center, 505 W. Maple, from noon to 3 p.m., when they’ll participate in the center’s Thunder Tailgate Party.

Here's what The Flying Stove will be serving. I have it on good authority that it's ALL delish.

That event lasts from noon to 4 p.m. and also includes a live band. The three food trucks will donate a portion of the day’s proceeds to tornado relief efforts.

Attendees are encouraged to bring canned food items, which will be gathered and donated to victims.

Actually, I’ll probably choose MMM Sandwiches on Sunday, simply because I’ve already dined at the other two trucks and one blog reader has informed me that MMM Sandwiches’ Cuban is “the best thing that has ever been in my face.”

UPDATE: I’ve just learned that all three food trucks also are teaming up with Johnson’s Garden Center on Thursday (4/26) for what the business is calling “Food Truck Thursday.” From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., one of the food trucks will be serving at a different Johnson’s around town. The Flying Stove will be at 21st and Woodlawn. MMM Sandwiches will be at 2707 W. 13th. And B.S. Sandwich Press will be at 802 N. Ridge Road.

ANOTHER food truck: B.S. Sandwich Press

The 'B.S.' stands for Buchanan-style, but owners will let you think what you wish.

Every time I go outside these days, I find another food truck.

Yesterday, I discovered B.S. Sandwich Press, which is actually sort of a food trailer. Owned by Doug Buchanan and run with help from his sister, Jodi, the orange trailer hit the streets earlier this week. It offers a menu of panini sandwiches served with hand cut fries and homemade chips.

The duo is still trying to figure out the best place to park their business each day but so far have been focusing on locations in south Wichita. When I found them on Wednesday, they were in a parking lot behind the Double Tree hotel at Mid-Continent Airport. They’ve also frequented the parking lot outside the 4501 Building at Spirit, which is at 47th and Oliver.

Owner Doug Buchanan and his sister, Jodi.

Like other food truckers in town, the Buchanans post their location each day on their Facebook page. For now, they’re just doing lunch but hope to find some places to park during evening hours as well. Their daily hours are roughly 11 a.m. to 1:30 or 2 p.m.

For more information, dial up the trailer at 316-494-3735.

MMM Sandwiches is ICT’s latest food truck

Michael Awesome-Noyes, the driving force behind Wichita's newest food truck, MMM Sandwiches.

I was reading Facebook at a stoplight at noon today when I saw a post from Michael Carmody, co-owner of the Donut Whole, saying that a new food truck was parked in front of his business at 1720 E. Douglas.

U-TURN!

I’m a big fan of food trucks, particularly since I discovered the magical meals that emerge from the amazing Flying Stove, which has developed a loyal following in Wichita in just a short amount of time.

The new truck is called MMM Sandwiches and is owned by Michael Awesome-Noyes (his real name), and it hit the streets earlier this week.

Awesome-Noyes, a former bartender at The Anchor, is  just getting started and figuring out his schedule, but like the Flying Stove, he plans to post his daily location on his Facebook page. He’ll be open only for lunch right now but is thinking he’ll add breakfast soon. For the rest of this week, he’ll start out parked at the Donut Whole from about 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. then decide if he’ll motor on elsewhere. 

His menu, which may change up once he gets going, includes barbecue pork, Asian pork, a Cuban, a veggie melt, ham and cheese, and more. Today, he advertised steak and veggie tacos on special.

Carmody, a longtime friend of the owner, said the truck produces the best turkey sandwich he’s ever had. As I was interviewing Awesome-Noyes, Carmody emerged from his donut shop to order his second sandwich of the day.

The truck is not set up to take credit cards, so bring cash. For more information, call 316-806-4301.

Pita Pit should open next week

Wichita had a Pita Pit once before — though briefly. A franchise of the Idaho-based healthy-eating chain opened at 328 N. Rock Road in 2007 but closed the following year.

Now, a new franchisee is bringing Pita Pit back to Rock Road. Cammy Onek hopes she can get hers open by next Friday, April 6, in the space at 3242 N. Rock Road formerly occupied by Froz, the short-lived frozen yogurt store. Pita Pit also has restaurants in Lawrence and Manhattan.

It serves healthy sandwiches in pitas and has several new menu additions since it was last open here, including buffalo chicken as a pita filling. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

For more information, call 316-201-4748.

Free Tanya’s food! Free Tanya’s food!

An event being put on next week by the Wichita State University’s Ulrich Museum of Art will offer something everyone could use more of: free food from the popular Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, 1725 E. Douglas.

“Tell It Like It Is: Candor in Contemporary Video Art” is scheduled for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 9, and will feature Ulrich curator Emily Stamey talking about three short films by artists who use humor to speak frankly about sensitive topics. Participants will see the films, and while they’re watching, they can enjoy free soup and sandwiches prepared by Tanya’s owner and chef, Tanya Tandoc.

The Ulrich will accept the first 50 people who preregister by calling 316-978-3664 or e-mailing ulrich@wichita.edu. Reservations are due by 5 p.m. Feb. 8.

Question of the week: What’s Wichita’s best sandwich?

Pho Hot's banh mi, a Vietnamese sandwich made with grilled pork, herbs and veggies on a homemade French roll.

Thursday is National Sandwich Day, and I’m not making that up.

In honor of November’s second-most-important holiday, let’s talk sandwiches.

Which local sandwich is your favorite? I have a few, including Metro Grill’s Cuban sandwich, Tanya’s Soup Kitchen’s Milano and the Nancy’s No. 8, famously made by The Artichoke. I’m also a big fan of almost any locally produced banh mi — which are amazingly delicious Vietnamese sandwiches.

What are your favorite Wichita sandwiches?

Let me know in the comments section below.

Gonzalez sells Andover Metro Grill

Chef Michael Gonzalez

The Andover location of Metro Grill no longer belongs to founder Michael Gonzalez, the popular but recently troubled local chef known for his amazing sandwiches in the Towne East mall food court.

Early last month, Gonzalez sold Metro Grill II to employee Kevin McKee and his grandfather, Jim Boots. McKee started working at the Andover Metro Grill as an employee early this year.The restaurant opened at 321 S. Andover Road in January.

McKee, 22, says he will continue with the original menu but is considering some additions in the future. He describes himself as part businessman, part cook, and he said he’s excited about the opportunity to start his restaurant career.

“We have an incredibly strong repeat customer base here — people who come in two and three times a week,” McKee said.

Meanwhile, he said, Gonzalez continues to own and operate the Metro Grill in Towne East. I have a call in to him and will update this post once I speak to him.

Two more in the “coming soon” category

Pimiento may be open by Monday at 738 N. Waco.

By the end of the summer, Wichita is going to have a whole lotta new places to eat. Now, two more are closer to ready.

One is Pimiento, a Mexican place in the old Quiznos space at 738 N. Waco. I stopped in to chat yesterday with owners Javier Chavez and Claudia Orozco, who were waiting on a visit from the gas company but were otherwise ready to go. They hope to open Monday and will serve breakfast burritos, tacos, carnitas, mole, shrimp, guacamole and more from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Also, Corporate Caterers‘ Ben Arnold has provided an update on the restaurant he’s putting in the former Chelsea’s space at 2949 N. Rock Road. He’s chosen the name Cafe Comotara by Corporate Caterers, and he plans to open on July 25. He’ll serve lunch — burgers, sandwiches, pastas, steaks, soups and salads — seven days a week. The space will be used for smaller private functions in the evenings, and he plans to add Saturday and Sunday breakfast starting on Oct. 1.