Category Archives: Uncategorized

I’m out…

mount_rushmore_national_memorial…until July 7.

Carry on until then, please.

A few restaurants going on summer vacation

Felipe's at 21st and Woodlawn is about to go on summer vacation.

Felipe’s at 21st and Woodlawn is about to go on summer vacation.

The Fourth of July is near, and a few restaurants and food-related businesses are planning vacations. I’m telling you now so you don’t show up hungry pre- or post-fireworks.

Among them:

Molino’s at 1064 N. Waco, one of Wichita’s best Mexican restaurants, is closing down for a week so owner Mario Quiroz can take his family on a trip. The restaurant will be closed starting July 7 and will reopen on July 13.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen at 1725 E. Douglas will be closed on Friday, July 4, so the staff can “have fun and blow up things with friends and families.”

Felipe’s at 2241 N. Woodlawn will be closed July 1 through July 7 and will reopen with normal hours on July 8.

The Spice Merchant at 1308 E. Douglas will close on July 4 and July 5. It will re-open on July 7.

I’ll continue to update this list as I notice more closings. Let me know if you’re aware of one I don’t have.

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.

Angela’s at 21st and Amidon to reopen next week

More than year and a half ago, the Angela’s Cafe & Cantina at 2119 W. 21st St. closed, and the building has been vacant since then.

Next week, it’ll be like it never happened.

Roman Romero, the brother of the former owner of the restaurant, is reopening it early next week, possibly Monday or Tuesday, he said. His daughter, Adriana Romero, wanted to give the restaurant a go, so Roman agreed to help, he said.

It’ll be open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily and will offer the same menu of Tex-Mex favorites it did when it closed.

The other two Wichita Angela’s, at  901 E. Central and 300 S. Greenwich, are operated by members of the same family.

For more information, call 316-832-1840.

Downtown restaurant Pasta Piazza is closed

I thought — and hoped — that Pasta Piazza had finally broken the curse on the space at 217 E. Douglas that has seen a revolving door of restaurants since I moved here almost 17 years ago. But it wasn’t to be.

On Monday, owners announced on Facebook that they’re closing the restaurant and relocating to Dallas.


The restaurant, owned by Kas Zendeli and his daughter Lita Zendeli, opened in October of 2012 as Bravos, serving the Italian dishes Zendeli had made famous at his previous restaurant, Bravo’s Italiani in Valley Center. Last summer, the Zendelis changed the name of the restaurant to Pasta Piazza to avoid a lawsuit from Italian chain  Bravo Cucina Italiana.

The Zendelis battled the same problems many of their 217 E. Douglas predecessors had, including lack of parking and sparse downtown crowds after hours on weekends, but over the past couple of years, they’d earned a loyal following for their homemade Italian dishes and heavenly yeast garlic rolls.1002897_545698792132341_1451567616_n

Among the restaurants that have come and gone from the space in recent years: Holy land Mediterranean Grill, Onyx Bistro and DK Kitchen.

We’ll let you know if another restaurant takes over the space.

Wichita Restaurant Week will return in October

Wichita Restaurant Week, which Go Wichita, the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association and The Boys & Girls Club of South Central Kansas teamed up last year to put on for the first time, will happen again in 2014 — but it won’t be until fall.

Last year’s event happened in late June and raised $8,000 for the Boys & Girls Club, said James Williams, communications manager for Go Wichita.


Organizers decided it was worth another go but decided to move it to Oct. 10-19. Those dates are better, Williams said, because other big events are going on in Wichita during that time, including the Tallgrass Film Festival and the Prairie Fire Marathon. “We want to show visitors to Wichita a lot of exciting things that are going on all at once,” he said.

The group got 24 restaurants to participate last year, including Harvest Kitchen/Bar, Newport Grill  and Chester’s Chophouse. Each offered three levels of prix fixe (price fixed) meals that would give diners a glimpse into the kind of food they serve. That’ll be the setup this year, too, with each participating restaurant offering a $10, $20 and $40 options.

Many of last year’s restaurants reported having very strong weeks during the event, Williams said.

To be included, restaurants must pay $150 if they’re members of Go Wichita or the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association or $250 of they’re not. Restaurant owners and managers should call Go Wichita at 316-265-2800 to sign up.

Win two tickets to Amber Waves beer walk

Amber Waves Logo LargeIt’s only about a week until the new Amber Waves beer stroll, a fund-raising event on May 16 put on by Starkey that invites people to sip and snack their way through Delano, and organizers are giving away two tickets to readers of  Dining with Denise. That’s a $100 value, people!

To register, go to the Dining With Denise Facebook page, and “like” the page, then find the post that says “Amber Waves Ticket Giveaway” and post a comment. I’ll randomly choose a winner from the comments section at noon on Wednesday. Note: You have to “like” the Dining with Denise Facebook page to win.

The event includes 13 participating Delano businesses who will offer 2 oz. pours of craft beers made by brewers such as Breckenridge, Sam Adams and Schlafly. Those who attend buy a $50 ticket and stroll from store-to-store sampling the beer. Several of those stores also will offer hors d’oeuvres prepared by local restaurants and prize drawings, too. The list of participants include All Things BBQ, Bluebird Arthouse, Twist Yarn Shop and more. The event is from 6 to 9 p.m., when most of those businesses would normally be closed. Money raised goes to Starkey, Inc. More information and tickets are available at

Here’s a list of the food and drink lineup so far: Read More »

Cinco de Mayo specials in Wichita

summer drinks

Cinco de Mayo is Monday, and several bars and Mexican restaurants are celebrating with parties and specials – some of which are starting this weekend. Here are a few:

Molino’s, 1064 N. Waco: The restaurant is offering $1.99 margaritas and will have its new Pasta del Mara, topped with red and green peppers, corn, roasted onions and chicken and served with a side for $7.79.

Jose Pepper’s: The east-side restaurant at 11423 E. 13th St. North will have live bands on Sunday and Monday and specials such as $2.50 Coronas. On Monday, margaritas will be on sale all day, and Corona drinks drop to $2. The west-side restaurant at 2243 N. Tyler Road is planning an all-day fiesta in a tent set up on the north side of the restaurant on Sunday and Monday that will feature $1.99 margaritas and $7.99 fiesta nachos. A DJ will perform in the tent from 5 to 9 p.m. both days.

On the Border, 1930 N. Rock Road and 2347 N. Maize Road: Wichita’s two On the Border restaurants both will have Dos Equis and Coronas for $3 as well as $4 Cinco-Ritas and shots.

Carlos O’ Kelly’s: On Monday, the locally-based Mexican chain is bringing back its annual Cinco de Mayo El Guapo challenge, which challenges customers to eat five enchiladas and one taco in 10 minutes. If they do, they’ll get the food free plus get a commemorative T-shirt that says “I conquered my El Guapo.” It’s $15 for those who don’t finish in time. The restaurant also is offering half-price kids’ meals Friday through Monday. Wichita’s Carlos O’ Kelly’s are at 7703 E. Douglas, 527 S. Ridge Road Circle, 3025 N. Rock Road and 4872 S. Broadway.

Twelve, 12111 W. Maple, 316-440-2812: The restaurant will offer a guacamole appetizer special, a fiesta burger with guac, a $5 margarita and tres leches.

Heroes, 117 N. Mosley: The Old Town bar is offering several $3 beers, including Corona and Dos Equis, as well as $3 house margaritas, $4 Jose Cuervo gold margaritas and shots and 69-cent tacos.

Abuelo’s, 1413 N. Waterfront Parkway: The restaurant on Monday will celebrate with draft beers on special for $2.50 and Mexican flag margaritas for $5.95.

Felipe’s, 2241 N. Woodlawn: The restaurant will celebrate Cinco de Mayo from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday on its new patio with $5 margaritas, $4 grande drafts, $3 queso and $8 Felipe’s tequila blend. There also will be gifts, sombreros, beads and shot glasses.

Public at the Brickyard, 129 N. Rock Island: The restaurant/bar is closed on Sunday and Monday but will celebrate Cinco de Mayo through the weekend with adult snow cones and taco specials. Its sister business, the Brickyard, will serve $3 Mexican bottled beers and tequila shots and Corona-ritas.

An updated list of Easter brunch options

Last week, I published a list of restaurants in Wichita offering special Easter brunches, from lavish ham-and-prime-rib-laden buffets to plated breakfast dishes with $5 mimosas on the side.

Since then, I’ve learned of several more and have updated the list to include them.

Use it to make your Easter dining plans, and do it soon.

The big dining event is now only about 72 hours away.


Douglas Avenue Chop Shop’s sample-palooza on Saturday

The Douglas Avenue Chop Shop staff.

The Douglas Avenue Chop Shop staff.

I love steak. I love sausage. I love chicken and pork and butter infused with beef fat. I’m not sure if I love rabbit, but I’ll be finding out soon.

My story for Go! this week is about Douglas Avenue Chop Shop, a new butcher shop that Anchor owner Schane Gross opened right next door to her bar, which is at 1109 E. Douglas.

I went to interview her and her staff earlier this week, and I’ve been hungry ever since.

The marbling speaks for itself.

The marbling speaks for itself.

I bought some of her Dale’s Pale Ale-infused sausage and grilled it up that night. So good.

And you oughta see the rib eyes for sale in the shop. Oh wait. You can see them. I’m going to post a picture right here.

The shop will celebrate its grand opening from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and will offer lots of samples of its meats and gourmet cheeses along with samples of beers that pair well.

I anticipate I’ll be spending a lot of time and money in this place when grilling season officially arrives.