Funky Monkey Munchies is Wichita’s newest food truck

10548187_643538385742877_397616558022668925_oLisa Palacios and her husband, Eddi, finally have their Funky Monkey Munchies food truck up and running.

The food truck, which will focus on fusion food made mostly from non-GMO, organic and locally sourced ingredients, had a trial run this weekend outside of Espresso to Go Go downtown. Everything went well, so the Palacioses will venture out again on Tuesday evening, July 22. They’ll be serving chicken salad wraps, Hawaiian tacos, local corn and more in the parking lot of Cherry Berry737 N. Maize Road.

The truck also will be out on Thursday and Friday, though Lisa Palacios said she’s still deciding where. She’ll update the location on the truck’s Facebook page as soon as she knows.

She’s also committed to joining the fleet at this month’s Food Trucks at the Fountain event, which is from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sunday at 515 S. Main.

You can drink your art when it’s on your latte

You can look at art. Or you can drink it.

Several coffee shops around Wichita of late are embracing latte art — a fun trend in which coffee artists sculpt pictures in the top of drinks using foam. Mead’s Corner at 430 E. Douglas has been doing it for a while and will commonly add hearts or rosettes to the tops of drinks. And Birds on the Roof Cafe, which recently opened at 550 N. Rock Road, has a resident latte artist who works after 4 p.m. and creates intricate drink drawings.

Last week, I persuaded Espresso to Go Go’s Teresa Nguyen to show me how it’s done. Espresso to Go Go doesn’t usually do latte art for customers, mainly because all their cups are to-go cups and the pace at the shop is too fast. But during downtime lately, artist Nguyen has been creating some scary Halloween latte art. On Friday, she demonstrated how she created a coffee-top replication of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” 

Open (and stationary): Espresso To Go Go

The interior of the disco-rific new Espresso To Go Go

Warren and Ann Tandoc opened their new stationary coffee shop a little more than a week ago, and now, they’re brewing up a nice variety of coffee drinks underneath a giant disco ball.

 Espresso To Go Go, which is the staying-put version of the mobile coffee trailer the couple opened last summer, is at 102 N. St Francis — right on the corner of Douglas and St. Francis. It’s a tiny, 650-square-foot space that has seating for only about 10.

The Tandocs are serving up all the coffee drinks they had in the trailer and they’ve also added smoothies. Eventually, they’ll serve pastries, too.

I’ve been by the shop, which is bright and funky looking. I love the giant, shimmering disco ball that’s hanging from the ceiling.

As for the trailer — a giant 1973 Airstream Land Yacht – it’s on to a new life. The Tandocs sold it to someone from out of town.

“It really feels like we are rooted here, and that feels better to us,” Ann Tandoc says. “It feels more secure.”

The hours at the new shop are 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

For more information, call 316-530-1905.

Food truckers rallying again on Sunday

The Flying Stove food truck

Wichita’s food truckers, headed up by the guys at the Flying Stovehave decided to start putting on monthly food truck rallies, usually on the last Sunday of the month.

This month, to avoid Memorial Day weekend, the truckers are gathering a Sunday early. The usual suspects, including the Flying Stove plus B.S. Sandwich Press, Cakeface, Espresso To Go Go, and R&J Concessions will gather from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday at WaterWalk Pavilion. The rally is starting to attract festival-type concessionaires, too. This month, Bakerman Concessions, which specializes in cinnamon rolls, will join the crowd.

The gathering will also have live music, and representatives from the Kansas Humane Society will be there ready to perform on-site adoptions.

Expect the rally to grow in June. Two new trucks, The Hopping Pita and Let’m Eat Brats, have said they’d like to join in, too.

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.

Food trucks throwing a Cajun party

The Flying Stove’s new Cajun menu

Hold on to those Mardi Gras beads you collected on Tuesday.

The local food truck fleet is gathering in a couple of weeks to put on a belated Mardi Gras party. Spearheaded by the Flying Stove, which just today put out its tempting Cajun menu (mmmmm, Po’ Boy), the event will be from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 2, near the WaterWalk Pavilion. The truckers have obtained permission to close down part of Water Street to set up the event, and they’ll have a live jazz band performing.

So far, the usual suspects such as   B.S. Sandwich PressMMM Sandwiches, Cakeface Bake Shop and Espresso To Go Go are on board and are planning Cajun items for their menus. The Flying Stove guys encourage any other food truckers who are interested in joining in to contact them via their Facebook page.

Flying Stove’s first birthday party

The Flying Stove’s first day in business was Dec. 8, 2011.

A year and hundreds of servings of crying tiger Thai tacos, Umami burger and rolled chicken doobies later, Wichita’s original food truck is celebrating its first birthday surrounded by a bunch of restaurants-on-wheels that followed in its footsteps tire tracks.

The Flying Stove’s owners and operators, brothers Jeff and Rob Schauf, have organized another food truck rally, scheduled for noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 22 in the parking lot south of Intrust Bank Arena at Commerce and Waterman. Many of Wichita’s food trucks will participate, including  B.S. Sandwich PressMMM Sandwiches, Cakeface Bake Shop and Espresso To Go Go. Those same truckers got together in October for a Halloween-themed food truck rally.

If all of you cooperate and vote correctly, I will be reunited with this amazing banh mi sandwich on Dec. 22.

The brothers will be serving free birthday cake and selling their new T-shirts at the Dec. 22 event.

The most exciting part (to me, anyway) is that they’ll also be serving a menu of their greatest food hits from the past year, as voted on by their customers.

The Flying Stove’s Facebook page has on it a slide show of some of the truck’s most popular dishes, including my all time favorite banh mi sandwich. They’re asking customers to vote for their favorites by “liking” the pictures. The top vote getters will make it on to the new menu, which will be served at the rally.

I beg of you all: VOTE FOR THE BANH MI!!!!!!!!!

Voting is open through Friday. Go to the Facebook page and look for the post that’s titled “2012 Greatest Hits Menu.”

‘Truck or Treat:’ All the food trucks together

The Flying Stove will be part of the Oct. 26 Truck or Treat event.

A who’s who of Wichita food truckers are planning to gather for a food truck-a-palooza on Friday, Oct. 26.

The Flying Stove, B.S. Sandwich Press, MMM Sandwiches, Cakeface Bake Shop, Espresso To Go Go and Jarhead’s will all be operating from 6 to 9 p.m. that night in the parking lot south of Intrust Bank Arena at Commerce and Waterman.

They’re calling it “Truck or Treat,” and the event will have a Halloween theme. The truckers are encouraging diners to attend in costume, and they’ll be passing out candy. They also plan to project a Halloween theme movie onto a building.

The truckers all got together for a meeting recently to plan the event. They hope to start putting on similar gatherings on a monthly basis.

Food truck “rally” on Saturday

A whole bunch of local food trucks will be in the same place on Saturday, helping The Douglas Design District is putting on a food truck event from 4 to 7 p.m. Saturday at the corner of Douglas and Oliver.

The event will feature MMM Sandwiches, B&S Sandwich Press and Espresso to Go Go. It’ll also have Monica’s Mobile Cupcakes, which is a van full of cupcakes from Monica’s Bundt Cakes, though not a full-fledged food truck. (But still delicious!)

It also will include live music from the Tom Page Trio from 5 to 7 p.m., as well as a show of historical Wichita photographs put up at 4726 E. Douglas. Events will take place on both west corners of Douglas and Oliver, and the stage will be behind Watermark Books and Cafe at 4701 E. Douglas.

The best cheese grits… EVER

Yesterday morning, I searched out Espresso to Go Go, as I do every time they’re in the vicinity of downtown, and owners Warren and Ann Tandoc gave me a valuable tip.

Go down to Cake Face, they said, pointing at the newish food truck parked next door to them. Get some cheese grits.

I got them, all right, and they were SO GOOD. Cheese grits are among my favorite things to eat, ever, and these were topped with a pile of crispy, crunchy bacon perfection. Cake Face also was serving biscuits and gravy, baked French Toast and bierocks filled with bacon and eggs. I highly suggest you stop by for breakfast next time you see them.

Looks like they’ll be at Spirit Aerosystems, 3917 East MacArthur, today and will be at the Red Barn Outdoor Market in Benton on Saturday.