Donuts a la mode? Donut Whole adds ice cream to offerings

A Donut Whole doughnut serve a la mode.

A Donut Whole doughnut serve a la mode.

The Donut Whole at 1720 E. Douglas is known for its colorful and crazy donuts, from maple bacon to fruity-pebble covered. Earlier this week, owners Michael Carmody and Angela Mallory added a new dimension to the 5-year-old business: ice cream.

Customers now can get the Donut Whole’s donuts topped or sandwiched with chocolate or vanilla ice cream made by Paleteria La Reyna, the Mexican ice cream shop and restaurant at 2925 Arkansas. The shop is serving donuts a la mode, doughnut sundaes doughnut ice cream sandwiches and ice cream mix-in treats.

The Donut Whole also can serve shakes mixed with any flavor of milk tea, smoothie and coffee syrup flavors it has on hand, offering possibilities such as a Thai tea milkshake, a coffee milkshake, a maple spice milkshake and more. For more information, call 316-262-3700.

When restaurants close on unexpected days

My Tho: Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

I spent weeks telling a friend how amazing the tacos were at Paleteria La Reyna, 2925 Arkansas Ave., and we made a date to go. We pulled up, hungry, on a Wednesday afternoon, only to find the parking lot empty.

Panicked, I ran to the door. The restaurant was closed. The chairs were on the tables. On a Wednesday. “OH NO!” I screamed. “They’ve gone out of business!!!”

But, no. The restaurant was simply closed. It’s closed every Wednesday, I learned.

Restaurants closing on unexpected days — which in my book is pretty much any day other than Sunday or Monday — have always thrown me. Inevitably, cravings for My Tho’s fabulous pho hit me on Tuesdays and Wednesdays — the very random days they are closed.

I’m printing a list of three restaurants with unusual closing hours in the paper on Friday, and the story already is generating discussion online, with several readers adding their two cents.

Here’s a list of strange closing days I have so far. Know of any others? Maybe we can help each other avoid Wednesday taco cravings.

1. My Tho, 500 E. Central, 316-262-5452: It never fails. A hankering for pho hits you on a Tuesday. But this popular purveyor of the delicious Vietnamese soup can’t help you on Tuesday – or on Wednesday, either. Those are the restaurant’s two days off. Hours are 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays through Sundays.

2. Paleteria La Reyna, 2925 Arkansas, 316-831-9196: It’s usual for Mexican restaurants to close on Mondays. But this restaurant, known for its fabulous tacos and colorful Mexican ice cream counter, chooses to closes in the middle of the week – on Wednesday. Don’t worry. If you forget and show up anyway, Taqueria El Paisa is just a few blocks the other direction at 2227 Arkansas and an excellent choice, too. Paleteria La Reyna’s hours are 9 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

3. Garden Grill Cafe, 300 N Main St., 316-978-9213: You won’t want to plan to meet your friends for a fabulous vegetarian pizza on Saturdays at Garden Grill Cafe. It’s the only day of the week the cafe is closed, which chef/owner Miguel Larcher takes off for religions reasons. Hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays.

4. DeFazio’s, 2706 N. Amidon: This popular Italian restaurant closes on Mondays and Tuesdays.

5. Ah-So, 855 S. Oliver St: The tiny Asian restaurant is closed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Know of any others? Let me know in the comments section below.

Food Network Magazine recognizes local ice cream shop

For the past several summers, Food Network Magazine has put out a “Fifty States” issue, which names the best of a certain dish in each of the 50 states.

Two summers ago, it was pizza, and Wichita Pizza Co’s taco pizza was named the best in Kansas. Last summer, the topic was sandwiches, and the banh mi at My Tho was the Kansas sandwich that made the list.

This summer, Food Network Magazine is listing the country’s best ice cream treats, and the issue on stands now names Paleteria La Reyna’s helado (Spanish for ice cream) the best in Kansas.

I love the ice cream there, which is creamier than standard ice cream. My favorite flavors are tequila (it really tastes like it), pine nut, pistachio and cookies and cream. My daughter loves the bubble gum flavor, which she chews on for hours.

I also love the rest of the menu at Paleteria La Reyna, which serves up some of the best tacos, tortas and chips and salsa in town.

For more information, visit the restaurant at 2925 N. Arkansas or call 316-831-9196.

Relish this review of Timbuktu

A burger and fries from Andover's Timbuktu.

Philip Warren, the Wichita Eagle Dining Panel member I blame fully for my new obsession with Paleteria La Reyna, is at it again.

Check out his latest review of Andover’s Timbuktu, one of the many legendary burger places I have yet to visit. He was taken to task a little by website readers for failing to mention the restaurant’s jalapeno relish, which I get the impression is pretty legendary in its own right.

Philip Warren

In retrospect, he said he should have mentioned it but maintains that the burgers are just as good without it.

Also, Phil wins the award for best restaurant review opening paragraph ever. Could anything be more true?

“Sometimes you just need a good cheeseburger and beer to reaffirm that all is still well and good in the world.”

Wichita Eagle Dining Panel review: Thai House

Deliciousness from Thai House. Photo by Ching Brubaker.

I’m continuing to love the work of the members of the Wichita Eagle Dining Panel. They’re enthusiastic, smart and — BONUS — it turns out they’re great food photographers.

Today’s Go! section was too full of River Festivalness to fit in Ching Brubaker’s first effort. We’ll publish her review of Thai House on Sunday. You can take a look at it now online, but I warn you, don’t read hungry.

I also failed to point out last week’s review of Paleteria La Reyna by Philip Warren and the previous week’s Pho Chopstix review by Natasha Creasman. These both are places I can’t wait to visit in the very near future. They sold me, for sure.

Also, watch the paper this week for reviews of River Festival food court food from panel members Warren, Andrew Gough and Jeff Christensen.

Just opened: La Reyna 2

As of Saturday, all of the ice cream goodness of Paleteria La Reyna — the ice cream and Mexican food place at 2925 N. Arkansas — is more accessible to west-siders.

Gabriela Velasquez, the daughter of Paleteria La Reyna’s owners, opened Hamburgesas y Helados: La Reyna 2, on Saturday. The restaurant is in the old Sonic building recently vacated by Sloppy Joe’s at  803 N. West St., which closed in January after six months in business.

It’ll be different from the original in that it will specialize in hamburgers and hot dogs, available topped with pico de gallo for a Mexican twist. It’ll also serve Paleteria La Reyna’s wonderful Mexican ice cream bars and homemade ice cream, of which I am a big fan.

There’s room for about 30 to sit inside.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily except Wednesdays, when the restaurant is closed.

Fiesta at The Donut Whole

images-1The Donut Whole, the very hip and happenin’ donut shop and hangout at 1720 E. Douglas, is always doing someting to enhance its hipness and happeningness, and its latest additions are giving the shop a little flavor of Mexico.

For one, it’s started serving Mexican Coca Cola, which for those who have not had the pleasure of sampling it, tastes soooo much better than the American version. It’s sold in glass bottles and it’s made with real cane sugar (as opposed to high fructose corn syrup). And Mexican Coke isn’t the store’s only unique beverage. The Donut Whole keep a whole array of natural sodas in their cooler, as is evidenced in this video.

It’s also now serving paletas, which are delicious Mexican ice cream bars made with real fruit and cream. Paleteria La Reyna, a paleta maker at 2925 N. Arkansas, is supplying the Donut Whole with the goods, and it stocks 24 flavors, including coconut, lemon, mango, strawberry, banana and the very interesting sounding fruit and chili.