Year of the Dragon starts with free, discounted food

A couple of Asian chains are offering free food and discounts in honor of the Chinese New Year, which is today.

Panda Express is offering a pretty amazing deal, though I predict you’ll stand in a long line to get it. If you go to the restaurant’s website and print off a coupon, you can redeem it today for a free order of Firecracker chicken breast. The coupon is good only today, and no other purchase is required.

And starting today through Feb. 6, patrons who visit P.F. Chang’s at 1401 N. Waterfront Pkwy will get a red envelope that contains either a discount coupon or a coupon for a free appetizer or dessert to be used on a future visit.

Happy New Year!

Eat an egg roll, help a cause

Hungry for some Chinese food? If you print and download this flyer and take it to the Panda Express at 2760 N. Maize Road between 11 a.m and 8 p.m. on Nov. 7, the restaurant will donate 20 percent of your purchase to Starkey, an organization that helps mentally disabled people achieve independence.

I’ve noticed several restaurants, including Chipotle, Il Vicino, Panda Express, Baskin Robbins and more, are participating frequently in fundraisers such as this one. Has your organization or school ever participated in one? Did it raise a lot of money? Talk to me.

Question of the week: Best Chinese carryout

Wichita just got a new Panda Express — right down Maize Road from the already popular Pei Wei.

Both serve Chinese food fast, as does Great Wall and any number of other home-owned Chinese places.

The question of the week: What’s your favorite place to grab some quick Chinese carryout? What’s your favorite dish from your favorite place?

I’ll throw in my vote: There’s almost nothing better than Great Wall’s won ton soup with a crab Rangoon on the side for good measure. I’m also a big fan of their chicken fried rice, which is spiked with ginormous hunks of onion. Yum.

Give me your nominees in the comments section below.

Wichita’s second Panda Express open out west

West-side Wichitans now have a tough decision to make when they want fast Chinese food: Pei Wei or Panda Express.

A new west-side Panda Express, Wichita’s second, opened last weekend at 2760 N. Maize Road (316-722-4649), just down the street from the popular Pei Wei.

Wichita’s other Panda Express opened last summer at 11787 E. Kellogg Drive, and I reviewed it last July.

Restaurant odds and ends

Please feast on this little roundup of restaurant tidbits, which includes ribs, hot wings and a Sue Sylvester moment.

Mr. Ka-Pow’s, a restaurant at 4734 S. Broadway, is putting on a hot wing eating challenge for charity on Saturday. Competitors will attempt to eat 12 Dragon Fire hot wings, presumably the hottest of the hot. The first competitors to finish win prizes ranging from $300 in cash to a $100 gas card. Participants are encouraged to donate $30, and money raised benefits Alternative Gifts International. The first heat starts at 1 p.m. Register here or call 316-522-5276.

Fire It Up BBQ at 4626 S. Senca is serving all-you-can-eat ribs for $9.99 from 5 to 9 p.m. on Saturday. The deal is for dine-in customers only, though the restaurant also is serving $12.99 carry-out slabs.

Panda Express at 11787 E. Kellogg will donate 20 percent of the proceeds taken in from  from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Participants must present a flier that can be picked up at any Via Christi gift shop or from Via Christi Foundation at 723 N. McLean, Suite 310.

This might not be the most appropriate time to share this, but I vowed that next time I wrote about Panda Express, I’d try to include this Sue Sylvester moment from a recent episode of “Glee.” (I, for the record, sorta liked Panda Express.)

Sneak peek: Panda Express review

pandaexpress.jpg 012My review of the new Panda Express won’t be published in the paper until tomorrow. But you can read it right here, right now.

And if it makes you hungry, I have some news you can use.  Panda Express is teaming up with CASA of Sedgwick County today for a little fundraiser. Diners who make a donation of any amount to CASA today will receive a 2-entree plate for free. The donations will be collected on-site.

Also, the first 100 customers today will receive a free Panda Express gift. They open at 10:30 a.m. so you have an hour to make your plan.

It’s your duty to dine

pandaexpressfoodOnce again, the calendar is overflowing with opportunities to eat for a cause in the next few weeks. Among your options:

Planet Sub, home of fabulous fresh-baked bread and yummy melty sandwiches, will donate 10 percent of its total net sales on Thursday to the Wichita Children’s Home. Planet Sub has stores at Kellogg and Greenwich and at 35th St. North and Rock.

The Signature Chef’s Auction from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday at the Wichita Marriott will feature 13 top local chefs cooking plus an auction to raise money for the March of Dimes. For more information, call 316-267-9255.

Panda Express, a new fast Chinese chain at 11787 E. Kellogg, will officially open on Nov. 18 and will also team with the Wichita Children’s Home, offering diners a two-entree plate when they make a donation in any amount to the charity. The first 100 guests also will receive a free Panda Express gift.

Hibachi Grill Sushi Buffet at 511 S. West will open on Sunday and will donate 100 percent of its proceeds from Sunday, Monday and Tuesday to the Wichita Children’s Home.