Molino’s Mexican Cuisine opens today

Today is the day fans of the former Frida’s have been waiting for.

Mario Quiroz, who closed his Mexican restaurant Frida’s at 1580 W 21st St. in 2010, today is opening his new restaurant, called Molino’s Mexican Cuisine.

The restaurant is in the former Las Tias de Beto spot at 1064 N. Waco, right next to Juarez Bakery and has everything Frida’s used to have and then some. Included on that list are piratas, giant taco-thingies that you must try to believe.

The menu also features several new dishes, including a whole lot of enchiladas, tacos, authentic Mexican dishes and even cauliflower ceviche (you read that right), which I sampled on Thursday. It was awesome.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Stay out of my way on Monday, when I plan to be first in line for piratas at lunchtime.

Frida’s is back — but with a new name

Oh, piratas. How I’ve missed you.

I needed some good news today.

And I got it, from Mario Quiroz, former owner of only my favorite Wichita Mexican restaurant ever — Frida’s at 1580 W 21st St. The restaurant, known for its amazing piratas and cursed traffic situation, closed in 2010.

Quiroz has dreamed of reopening it ever since but couldn’t find the right spot — until now. He’s taking over the former Las Tias de Beto spot at 1064 N. Waco, right next to Juarez Bakery.

The restaurant will be called Molino’s Mexican Cuisine, and Quiroz will serve everything he used to serve at Frida’s and then some. He’ll have the piratas, the tacos, the salsa bar and will add other dishes. He’s also making the restaurant full-service rather than order-at-the-counter.

Quiroz has been working for the past several years as a sales rep for US Foods, and Manuel Fernandez, owner of Juarez Bakery and Las Tias de Beto, was one of his clients. Quiroz says he’ll keep that job, and his wife will run the new restaurant. They decided not to call it Frida’s because they wanted a fresh start.

The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner seven days a week. Quiroz hopes to have it ready to go by the end of April. I’ll keep you posted.

Can we talk Mexican food?

Ole!

I recieved another e-mail from the ever-thoughtful foodie Mike Levand, most famous (to me) for the love letter to cake he sent this summer.

This time, Mike wants to talk Mexican food.

First, he wonders if there is a Mexican buffet being served in Wichita. The only one I’m aware of is at Cortez Mexican Restaurant at 344 W. 29th St. N. It offers an all-you-can eat Mexican buffet from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays and from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.

Second, Mike asks for a top-five list of local, non-chain Mexican restaurants. I get the feeling he mainly wants Tanya Tandoc’s recommendations, but this is not Tanya’s blog (ha ha). So mine will have to do. Though Tanya, please do chime in if you are reading this.

I know that Tanya would agree with me that Frida’s, the restaurant that closed last year, was at the top of the list. The owners have promised to reopen, but my hope dwindles daily. Besides Frida’s, my favorites include Taqueria El Paisa, an authentic restaurant at 2227 N. Arkansas, and Ruben’s, 520 W. Douglas, which is more of a Tex-Mex standard but sells delicious flour tacos and a killer carintas dinner.

I’ve always sort of liked El Patio, 424 E. Central, too, though I tend to overeat there so must approach it with caution.

That’s only three. Who has other suggestions? Remember, Mike wants local.

In Memoriam… restaurant edition

brettntracyIf you want to share a few sniffles about the 2010 passings of restaurant such as Frida’s and Ted’s Montana Grill, tune into B-98 at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Brett, Tracy and Kathy have invited me on the morning show to talk about restaurant closings in 2010 and all the fabulous places where we can’t eat anymore.

Did you lose a favorite in 2010? Remind me what it was and I’ll mention it.

Have you heard how busy she’s been?

676-rengers_carrie.mugshot.prod_affiliate.80My colleague Carrie Rengers, she of the “Have You Heard” blog, has an uncanny ability to somehow find out about businesses that are opening (or not opening) almost before the people opening them even know. Restaurants are her specialty.

Carrie’s been on a roll lately, so I thought I’d round up some of her restaurant headlines, just in case you missed ‘em.

Probably no BenchWarmers after all: Mainly because the guy who was going to open the sports bar at 37th and Rock is now incarcerated.

Piccadilly Express, the downtown version of the Latour anchor, has closed.

Orange Leaf frozen yogurt is planning a third shop at Central and Greenwich. PEANUT BUTTER FROYO FOR ALL!

Frida’s, which made my favorite Wichita Mexican food, is closed for now while owners look for a new location. I have threatened physical harm to owner Mario Quiroz if he fails to reopen.

The Chili’s that closed last year at 21st and Greenwich is reopening.

That’s all for now. But give her five minutes or so.