Where to get your Lenten fish

Newport Grill in Bradley Fair

Even though Wichita is no where near an ocean, we still have some decent fish and seafood in town. We even have several restaurant’s whose No. 1 focus is fish.

Recently, I’ve heard from several Lenten observers who are asking for alternatives to Long John Silver’s. (Not that there’s anything wrong with Long John Silver’s, home of the fabulous hushpuppy.)

Here’s a list of ideas.

FINE FISH DINING: Wichita has two finer restaurants whose focus is fish: The upscale Newport Grill at 1900 N. Rock Road and the popular chain Bonefish Grill at 10250 E. 13th St. There’s also always Red Lobster, the reliable chain that has stores at 555 S. West St. and 333 S. Towne East Mall Drive:

FAST AND FRIED: Fish fans also can choose from less fancy fish places, many of which have a loyal local following. Fast fried fish is available at In And Out Fried Chicken & Fish at  447 N. St. Francis and Wichita Fish Company, 1601 W. Douglas, and Pirate Pete’s Seafood Restaurant, 1648 S. Rock Road.

SUSHI SPOTS: Wichita’s list of great sushi places keeps growing. Among the spots to consider sampling during Lent: Kanai at 12111 W. Maple, Hana Cafe at 325 N. Mead, Sumo at 11233 E. 13th St. and Wasabi, which has locations at 912 E. Douglas Ave. and 3242 N. Rock Road.

ALSO: River City Brewing Co. at 150 N. Mosley offers some of Wichita’s most popular fish and chips. Freddy’s Frozen Custard always offers fried fish sandwiches and fish and chips during Lent. And When Pigs Fly Bar-B-Que at 7011 W. Central will offer fish specials such as lemon pepper smoked salmon and BBQ tilapia tacos on Wednesdays and Fridays through April 6. And The Seafood Shop at 6470 E. Central Avenue sells not only fish and seafood to be cooked at home but also carryout fish lunches.

Now open: Todd Brian’s Brick Street Cafe & Tavern

Todd Brian’s Brick Street Cafe & Tavern is the newest tenant in Old Town Square.

It opened last Wednesday in a space at 315 N. Mead (just a few doors down from Hana Cafe) that was formerly occupied by Imbiss Grille. The restaurant is owned by Chris Tincher, a veteran of restaurants such as Amarillo Grill, P.F. Chang’s, Piztros and Ted’s Montana Grill, and he named it after his late brother.

I stopped in today, and the remodel looks nice. The dining room is clean and full of tables with wooden chairs. The menu, which you can see here, features soups, salads, burgers, flat bread sandwiches and lots of Cajun-inspired entrees, such as Voodoo chicken, Cajun meatloaf, crawfish etouffee and more. (I apologize for my low-quality, crooked scan.) It also has a full bar and drink specials.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays through Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays. For more information, call 316-295-4260.

Half-price sushi, half-price wine

Hana Cafe goodness.

I heard from two restaurateurs yesterday who are wanting to feed and water us for half-price. I think letting them would be the polite thing to do. Don’t you?

The first one was Hana Cafe, the Japanese and sushi restaurant at 325 N. Mead in Old Town Square that’s been in business for 15 years. To help celebrate that milestone, starting Sunday, owner Eunice Kim will offer a “happy hour” menu of about 15 types of sushi for half-price, plus she’ll have drink specials. The deal will be offered from 8 to 10 p.m. Sundays and from 3 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

By the way, have you been in Hana Cafe since it remodeled and took over the space next door? The transformation is amazing and makes the place feel like a big-city sushi restaurant. Eunice has a small outdoor patio now, too.

Youssef Youssef, owner of Mediterranean Grill.

Over at Mediterranean Grill, which has been in business for four years at 335 S. Towne East Mall Drive, owners are trying to drum up summer business with a half-price bottle of wine special.

During July, customers who order two entrees or two specials can get a bottle of wine for half price. Call 316-651-5599 for more information.


International Sushi Day

The Flatlander's Dream roll at Kanai. Photo by Jaime Green.

The Flatlander's Dream roll at Kanai. Photo by Jaime Green.

If you can believe ANYTHING you read on Wikipedia (which I often do), today is International Sushi Day — a holiday invented last year by the administrator of the “Sushi” page on Facebook. (Welcome to 2010!)

In honor of this momentous occasion, I will now list my top three favorite sushi places in Wichita. Please chime in with your own. Drumroll please…

1. Kanai, 12111 Maple: A few months ago, I gave this place a four-star review. Why? Because it’s sooooo good. Chef David  Kanai makes some of the best rolls in town, the nigiri is fresh and huge, and the appetizers are inventive and yummy.

2. Sumo by Nambara, 11233 E 13th Street: This east-side restaurant is a trendy place to go, especially for young and pretty Wichitans on Friday nights. It also serves some of Wichita’s freshest and tastiest sushi. The restaurant has two separate dining areas: One for sushi eaters and one for people partaking of the hibachi grills. Prepare to wait for a table.

3. Hana Cafe, 325 N. Mead: It’s small but expanding, and it serves delicious sushi in addition to several Japanese and Korean noodle dishes.

Who’ve I missed, sushi fans? And what will you do in observance of this most sacred sushi day?