Category Archives: Uncategorized

Birds on the Roof Restaurant: New name, new chef, new approach

Among the pretty new dishes being served by chef James Risner at Birds on the Roof Restaurant: Eggs Benedict.

Among the pretty new dishes being served by chef James Risner at Birds on the Roof Restaurant: Eggs Benedict.

The owners of Birds on the Roof have found a new chef, and they’re also taking a new approach with their whimsically pretty restaurant, which opened in August at 550 N. Rock Road.

The new chef is James Risner, who most recently worked at Taste & See. He’s been revamping the restaurant’s menu, adding new breakfast, lunch and dinner items such as eggs Benedict with salmon, seafood crepes, omelettes,  filet mignon and more. (Chef Nathan Toubia, who had spent several months working at the restaurant, recently took a new job at the Wichita Country Club.)

Owners Jimmy Nguyen and his wife, Thao Luu, also changed the name from Birds on the Roof Bakery & Cafe to Birds on the Roof Restaurant and want to focus more on “romantic, French-style dinners.”

The owners also have lowered prices, they said, and retrained the staff. Anyone whose food takes longer than 20 minutes to arrive gets 50 percent off.

To celebrate its grand reopening this weekend, diners on Thursday and Friday evenings will get 50 percent off the dinner menu. (Reservations are required to get the deal.)

Saturday’s grand-reopening activities will include live music and giveaways.

For more information, call the restaurant at 316-558-8288 or 316-708-9799.

There’s still time for Fat Tuesday fun

Some Cajun critters waiting to be devoured at Doo-Dah Diner.

Some Cajun critters waiting to be devoured at Doo-Dah Diner.

There’s still time to get to one of Wichita’s many fun Fat Tuesday events.

I checked out Doo-Dah’s Cajun buffet over lunch and am spending my dinner hour and beyond at Heroes with the Mudbugs.

And I know St. James has plenty of oysters and beers for slurping.

It’s for sure more fun than a typical Tuesday.


All kinds of Mardis Gras fun next week

404785_10151352827183893_167595882_nShould they be so inclined, Wichita Mardis Gras fans could celebrate Fat Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. this year without taking a breath or a break.

I’ve gathered up a list of Fat Tuesday event scheduled for this coming Tuesday.

Among them: An annual all-you-can-eat oyster dinner, a mega Cajun buffet at a popular local restaurant and a performance by Wichita’s Mudbugs Cajun & Zydeco Band.

Check out the story, and laissez les bon temps rouler.

Two Wichita restaurants say “We’re still here”

ZWL6W.SlMa.80Two Wichita restaurants are reminding longtime customers that they’re still in business. One is battling incorrect rumors. The other is battling inconvenient road construction.

Earlier this week, I heard from Ruben’s Mexican Grill owner Anita Acosta, whose husband and the restaurant’s namesake, Ruben, has been battling serious health problems since January. Anita has struggled to run the place by herself, she said, but has never considered closing. She became concerned when her landlord called recently and said he’d heard a rumor she planned to close.

That’s not the case, she said, and in fact, Ruben has been able to come back to work for a few hours at a time recently. The Acostas moved their Delano restaurant several blocks west on Douglas last year.

Meanwhile, DeFazio’s, the family-owned Italian restaurant at 2706 N. Amidon, also is reassuring customers that it’s still open. Roadwork that’s about to begin in front of the restaurant has caused its street sign to be removed, owners said.

But they’re working on getting new signage up that will point the easiest way to the restaurant, which will remain open throughout the project. Managers say they’ll keep customers posted on the progress of the construction via their Facebook page. 

Yo-B Yogurt & Burgers now open in Old Town Square

The interior of the new Yo-B Yogurt & Burgers.

The interior of the new Yo-B Yogurt & Burgers.

Yo-B Yogurt & Burgers opened in the former Luca Italian Kitchen space at 301 N. Mead on Tuesday.

The business belongs to Cafe Bel Ami owner Nabil Bacha and is a self-serve yogurt spot that also has burgers. Bacha has completely remodeled the space and gone with the same tile-on-the-wall, futuristic-pastel-colored- chairs motif that is employed by competitors such as Orange Leaf and Cherry Berry. He’s chosen pale purple and white as the colors.

The restaurant offers self-serve frozen yogurt at 42 cents an ounce, and the lineup includes 14 flavors including peach, raspberry, green apple, cheesecake, chocolate and salted caramel. There’s also a well-stocked topping bar, including a wall of hard candy dispensers and serving trays with fruits, chopped up candy bars and (31)

There’s also a short menu of order-at-the-counter burgers and sandwiches, including a fried egg-topped burger, a fried skirt steak sandwich and a grilled chicken sandwiches. Burgers average about $3.29 and fries are $1.39. The menu also has hot chocolate, shakes and parfaits.

Yo-B is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays.

Brints Diner, a Valentine diner, is back in business — again

unnamed-16You just can’t keep Brints Diner down.

The restaurant, which operates out of a tiny Valentine diner at 4834 E. Lincoln, closed late last month, the third time the restaurant has closed since longtime owner Jessie Medina shuttered it in October of 2012.

New owner Larry Harmon, the founder of Larry Bud’s Sports Bar & Grill, gave the place a thorough cleaning and quietly reopened the doors a couple of weeks ago, he said.  His menu is similar to what regular Brints customers had come to expect and focuses on “country breakfast” items plus diner lunches ranging from burgers to salads.

Brints hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays. It’s closed on Sundays.

The restaurant is famous not only for its 2007 inclusion on Guy Fieri’s show “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives” back in 2007 but also for operating inside a Valentine diner. About 2,000 of the buildings were made by Wichita’s Valentine Manufacturing between 1938 and 1971, and architecture buffs are still passionate about them.

For more information, call 316-440-8338.

More on what Shockers eat: meatloaf, cheesecake and pizza

Picasso's owner Kurt Schmidt with a pizza that now needs a few more pepperoni.

Picasso’s owner Kurt Schmidt with a pizza that now needs a few more pepperoni.

In case you didn’t know, I’ve been keeping VERY close track of what the Shockers eat. And I got an even closer glimpse this week.

It all started when I did a little post about the local restaurants that regularly cater the Shockers’ pre-game meals, which always happen four hours before tip off on home game days. Doo-Dah Diner gets the job for afternoon games. Sweet Basil does evening games.  And Bella Luna Cafe often gets the job on Saturdays. The guys like simple foods with lots of carbs and protein, the restaurants told me. They love comfort food, cheesecake and brownies, and they were very excited at Christmas when Sweet Basil served them prime rib.

Then, in the process of reporting a story about which sports bars show Shocker games on television, I found out that when head coach Gregg Marshall broadcasts his radio show live from Deano’s Grill & Tapworks every Monday night, he tends to order a pizza topped with sausage, red onions, jalapenos and banana peppers

Last week, Timirie Shibley, who owns Doo-Dah Diner with her chef husband Patrick, revealed even more detail about individual Shockers’ culinary preferences when she posted on Facebook details from a conference call in which Fred VanVleet, Ron Baker and Cleanthony Early took turns telling her exactly what they’d like to eat. Baker wanted meatloaf. VanVleet wanted fried pork chops and garlic mashed potatoes. And Early wanted oxtails and beans plus greens. All wanted cheesecake. Chef Shibley gamely fulfilled all their requests.

Finally, early this week, I received the above picture from Kurt Schmidt, owner of one of Wichita’s best pizza places: Picasso’s. He’s been wanting to take congratulatory pizzas to the coaching staff for a long time, and on Monday, he tromped through the snow on the Wichita State University campus carrying two of his restaurant’s mega-giant pizzas, so big they have to go in the trunk because they won’t fit through the average car door.

One of the pizzas was topped with pepperoni announcing the team’s then record. (He needs a a few more pepperoni on that 5 now, though.) The office staff was thrilled, he said, and Marshall came out of his office to pose for a picture.

“I just had been wanting to do that  for a long time,” Schmidt said. “It was fun.”

Candle Club gets its painting back — sort of

The old one on the left. The new one on the right.

The old one is on the left. The new one is on the right. The quality of the new painting isn’t worse — just the quality of the picture of it I received.

Here’s the latest on the nude painting that was stolen from the Candle Club just before Thanksgiving.

The club doesn’t have its original painting back, but it got an almost identical one that might actually be a little better — and might even be the original the stolen painting was based on.


Restaurants vs. snow: Who’s open and who’s closed

A quick run through my Facebook feed this morning is showing that Wichita restaurants are all dealing with the snowy weather differently.

Some decided right away to close for the day, among them Bite Me BBQ, Taste & See, the Artichoke,  Fizz Burgers & Bottles, Lotus Leaf, Kanai, La Galette and the Felipe’s at 21st and Woodlawn.

Others aren’t afraid of a little snow. Riverside Cafe is open, as is Public at the BrickyardTy’s Diner, Chosen Wok,  La Chinita, Cow & Sow Deli and Mead’s Corner. Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is open but is closing at 1 p.m.


And still others are having a little fun with the situation. Newport Grill promised by-one-get-one-free entrees and half-price bottles of wine if Wichita gets more than two inches of snow. And both Larry Buds are offering 20 percent off the bill today to teachers, construction workers and others that can prove they’re having a snow day.

The moral of the story: If you are in a restaurant mood, call your destination before heading out. It looks like more restaurants are closed than open, and I suspect it will continue in that direction through the course of the day.

Three Wichita restaurant reviews in one day

In today’s Go! section, we offer not one, not two but  THREE restaurant reviews. Three!!!!

We pulled it off with the help of the newly restocked Wichita Eagle Dining Panel, which has been quite prolific during its first month of service. I’ve already run five of their reviews and have another few ready and waiting to go.


Today’s reviews include:

1. Deano’s Grill & Tapworks: I reviewed this new sports bar, which opened in October in the former Louie’s space at 9747 E. 21st St. N. The dining room is very nice, and the zillions of high definition televisions everywhere make it a great place to watch a game. The food is a bit hit and miss, but the hits are really good.

2. Le Monde Cafe & Deli: Dining panelist Chad Molen visited Le Monde at 602 N. West St., which has been one of my favorite places in Wichita since I moved here. Its amazing fattouch salad and crumbly sweet biscuits are imitated by many, but no one makes it like Le Monde.

3. Pho Hien: Finally, panelist James Kelly gives a short-but-sweet review of a great dish at Pho Hien, a cash-only Vietnamese soup restaurant at 1750 N. Broadway. Apologies to Kelly: A publishing mixup caused Sam Connelly’s picture to appear with his review in the paper, but Kelly took it in stride, joking that he’d be able to keep his anonymity in tact a little longer.