Food truck turnover: Two trucks calling it quits

Happy trails, Schoenhals. We'll miss your Cake Faces.

Happy trails, Schoenhals. We’ll miss your Cake Faces.

Two food truckers have announced recently their plans to park.

One is Cake Face Bake Shop, whose very nice owners Summer and Dave Schoenhals, are moving to Oregon for a job opportunity. (They explained the circumstances on their Facebook wall.)

The couple is selling the truck, an 18 x 8 upgrade they bought in August. They’ve posted an ad offering the truck and all of its contents for sale on Craigslist. I’ll miss these two, who have been a happy and constant presence on Wichita’s food truck scene since the very beginning. I’ll also miss their delicious food.

Also, the food truckers who last summer bought the Schoenhals original rig also are closing up. Joseph and Cherre Nestelroad, who last fall opened a pizza food truck called The Rolling Dough, posted last week on the truck’s Facebook wall said that they have too much going on in their lives, especially with two small children, to keep the business going. The post indicated that the couple was open to considering giving it another go when their kids are older.

Monthly Wichita food truck gathering is on Sunday

This turkey burger slider will be among the items on the Flying Stove’s menu at Sunday’s Spooky Food Trucks at the Fountains event.

The local food truckers are continuing their tradition of gathering in one place on the final Sunday of the month.

The October gathering has a Halloween theme and is called Spooky Food Trucks at the Fountains. It’s scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday at the fountains at Waterwalk. The truckers have invited a live band to perform, and kids are invited to attend in costume and collect free candy at the trucks.

On the roster: The Flying StoveLet’m Eat Brats, B.S. Sandwich PressCake Face and the new pizza truck The Rolling Dough.

The Waterwalk is at 515 S. Main.

Food trucks opening and expanding

There’s all sorts of food truck news to report.

First, a new one is about to hit the road. The Rolling Dough, a wood-fired pizza food truck owned by Joseph and Cherry Nestelroad, will have its first service tonight outside of  Reverie Coffee Roasters, 2611 E. Douglas. They’ll be there from 6 to 8:30 p.m. serving a Mexi-pizza inspired menu that includes a chicken enchilada pizza, a nacho pizza and a guacamole pizza, each of which costs $7.

Mmmmm. Nacho pizza.

Then, on Saturday, the truck will be at the Delano Block Party, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at  200 N. Sycamore. After that, the Nestelroads will go out on weekends for a while then transition into weekday service. People can find The Rolling Dough by checking  its Facebook page.

The Rolling Dough bought its trailer from the Cake Face folks, who were selling it because they were ready for a size upgrade. The new truck, which owners Summer and Dave Schoenhals affectionately calls “Jane,”  hit the streets on Thursday, and so far, the Schoenhals are enjoying the upgrade.

Cake Face’s new, bigger “Jane”

Jane is especially pretty at night, Summer said, because she has blue, glowing under-lighting. Cake Face will be serving lunch at Builder’s Inc. in Parklane Shopping Center at Lincoln and Oliver from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today and then will serve sweets only at tonight’s Maize High School football game.

Finally, it appears that The Hopping Pita is getting a new, bigger truck. A notice on the food truck’s Facebook page said that it’s closed for vacation as it “makes this transition to a bigger truck.” I’ve left messages for chef Roni Attari and for owner Melad Stephan and will let you know what I hear about that move.

Food truck gathering is Sunday

Food Trucks at the Fountains, the monthly gathering of Wichita’s food trucks at the Waterwalk fountains, is scheduled for Sunday.

The event will feature the usual list of food truckers, including The Flying Stove, Let’m Eat BratsMMM Sandwiches and Cake Face all serving their menus from noon to 3 p.m.

The Waterwalk is at 515 S. Main.

The winner: Hatch green chile hummus

Saturday’s Chile Fest and Food Truck Iron ChileHead Cookoff at Johnson’s Garden Centers was as fabulous as it was sweaty.

The winning dish

I sat on a judges’ panel that also included local foodies Guy Bower and Joe Stumpe.

Our job was to choose a winning dish from among several created by a group of food truckers using Johnson’s roasted Hatch green chiles.

It wasn’t easy, but we picked a winner: The Hopping Pita chef Roni Attari’s Hatch green chile hummus served with pita chips coated in Hatch green chile oil.

Chef Roni Attari and his ChileHead trophy.

The dish was spicy and flavorful and fabulous. My second-favorite dish: A peanut butter cookie sandwich filled with chocolate ganache spiked with Hatch green chiles. The amazing Cake Face bakers were responsible for that one.

We also had a great green chile pizza made Hopperoni Express, and MMM Sandwiches made an MMM taco that was full of all kinds of meat and green chile flavor.

Me, my mini-me Alexis, Guy and Marty Johnson broadcasting live Saturday at the Johnson’s Garden Centers Chile Fest.

I took home a bag of the green chiles Johnson’s was roasting on spot and on Sunday night whipped up my own amazing batch of chile verde, using the chiles plus tomatillos and pork. Here’s the recipe I used.

Johnson’s will have the chiles on sale at least through mid-September at all three of its locations: 2707 W. 13th St., 6225 E. Shadybrook and 802 N. Ridge Road. A bag of peppers costs $7.99.

The green chile pizza created by Hopperoni Express


Talkin chiles live on air with the Good Life Guy

Dinner last night, which I made using a bag of Hatch green chiles I got at the event.

Cake Face buys new truck, sells old one

Cake Face, the food truck owned by Summer and Dave Schoenhals, needs more space, so the couple recently purchased a larger truck to replace the trailer they’ve used since opening in last July.

Cake Facers Dave and Summer Schoenhals.

The new truck is 18 X 8 and is one piece with the truck cab, just like the Flying Stove’s. The Schoenhals sold their 6 x 14-foot trailer to The Rolling Dough, a pizza food truck that Joseph and Cherre Nestelroad plan to open in September. They’ll have a wood-fired oven in the truck at at first hope to be open for Friday dinners, Saturday lunch and dinner and Sunday lunch.

The Schoenhals will take three to four weeks to get their new rig fixed up then will turn the trailer over to the Nestelroads.

For now, the Cake Facers’ previous plans to open a stationary retail space are on hold. The deal they thought they had worked out fell through, and finding a different space has proven difficult, Summer said. The larger truck will give them the work and storage space they need to be out on the streets more.

Cake Face also has started selling some of its baked goods at businesses around town. Espresso to Go Go and Cero’s already carry some of their items, and Food For Thought will begin offering some soon.

Wichita’s 10 best restaurant patios

Happy people dining outdoors at Newport Grill

I don’t know if you all caught the Perfect Summer section in Sunday’s paper. It was a fat, 72-pager, and it was filled with lots of good restaurant news.

One story I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss was one I wrote about my favorite outdoor dining spots in Wichita.

Wichita restaurants have lots of nice patios, and the tiny window when you can properly enjoy them — after it warms up but before the flies and sweaty temperatures arrive — is closing quickly.

Check out my list, and see if your favorite patio made it. You also can read stories I wrote about the best beer and wine for summer, ideas for throwing outdoor summer foodie parties, and a list of places you can take summer cooking classes.

And if you want to get up close and personal with the Cake Face folks, you can read about their idea of a perfect picnic.

Food truck of the week: BJ’s Smokeshack

A look at some of BJ’s sizzling, smoky goodness

It’s raining food trucks.

Today, I heard from another set of truckers preparing to hit the road. Jennifer and Brad Vieux hope to get their BJ’s Smokeshack on the streets by the end of the year. (They already have a Facebook pageup and running.)

Brad is a longtime barbecue hobbyist whose meats are so good, he often sells them to friends and acquaintances. He’s employed as a business development director for a local aviation company and will keep his job. Jennifer will staff the truck with help from her 15-year-old daughter and mother-in-law, who’s about to retire.

The truck will serve items such as pulled pork, brisket, ham, ribs, chicken, and specialty sandwiches plus homemade sides. They’re currently searching for the perfect truck and plan to park it at various places around town. They’ll also set up at area festivals.

The couple recently attended a meeting of the local food truck community, where they were welcomed and encouraged by the owners of The Flying Stove, Cake Face and others, Jennifer said.

“We’ve talked about this forever,” Jennifer said. “And we thought, ‘You know what? This is a perfect time because food trucks are getting so popular.”

I’ll let you know when BJ’s Smokeshack is ready to roll.

Espresso To Go Go will stay put put

Espresso To Go Go’s future home

One of the many things that happened while I was gone with the Shockers: Another popular food truck decided to go stationary.

Espresso To Go Go, the mobile coffee shop that  Warren and Ann Tandoc opened last August, will move into a permanent location starting in May. It’ll be in a tiny, 650 square-foot space in the corner of the Zelman building at Douglas and St. Francis, so it’s not really designed for lingering. The couple plan to keep the name Espresso To Go Go because they’ll still specialize in coffee to go, though there will be about 10 bar stools for those who want to sip-in.

The menu will offer the same gourmet coffee drinks that the truck serves, from lattes to espressos. They’ll also have a limited number of food items from their friends at Cake Face, another food truck that’s planning to park.

Warren and Ann Tandoc

As for the trailer, a 1973 Airstream Land Yacht: It’s a little too large and gas hungry for the Tandocs, it turns out. They’re looking for a place to park it so that it could serve as a second, drive-through location. But nothing’s turning up, so if they don’t find a space soon, they’ll try to sell it.

Coffee fans can follow the progress of the new shop on the Espresso To Go Go Facebook page — or right here on this blog.

MMM Sandwiches has its own spot

Michael Awesome-Noyes

When a food truck grows up, it parks. Apparently.

Earlier this week, MMM Sandwiches owner Michael Awesome-Noyes opened a stationary cafe in the Thorn Building at 8300 Thorn Drive, near 37th and Rock. It’s called MMM Sandwiches Hole in the Wall Cafe, and the menu features a long list of sandwiches plus salads and some breakfast items. Recently, the Cake Face food truck owners announced that they’re also planning a stationary spot, and another local truck has hinted to me that it’s looking for a spot, too.

Awesome-Noyes, who no longer is a one-man act now that he’s brought on employee Dustin Cenneno, says he’s not planning to give up the truck entirely. He’ll likely hit the road more often for special events rather than just for weekday food service, he said. He’ll take the truck to the 1/2 Grass Festival at the Shamrock next weekend and also is in talks to partner with a downtown bar, where he’d park on Fridays.

The hours for the tiny new cafe, which is open to the public, are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. For more information, call 316-806-4301.