A few restaurants going on summer vacation

Felipe's at 21st and Woodlawn is about to go on summer vacation.

Felipe’s at 21st and Woodlawn is about to go on summer vacation.

The Fourth of July is near, and a few restaurants and food-related businesses are planning vacations. I’m telling you now so you don’t show up hungry pre- or post-fireworks.

Among them:

Molino’s at 1064 N. Waco, one of Wichita’s best Mexican restaurants, is closing down for a week so owner Mario Quiroz can take his family on a trip. The restaurant will be closed starting July 7 and will reopen on July 13.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen at 1725 E. Douglas will be closed on Friday, July 4, so the staff can “have fun and blow up things with friends and families.”

Felipe’s at 2241 N. Woodlawn will be closed July 1 through July 7 and will reopen with normal hours on July 8.

The Spice Merchant at 1308 E. Douglas will close on July 4 and July 5. It will re-open on July 7.

I’ll continue to update this list as I notice more closings. Let me know if you’re aware of one I don’t have.

Mother’s Day brings specials from unexpected restaurants

Larkspur usually passes on holiday brunches -- except on Mother's Day.

Larkspur usually passes on holiday brunches — except on Mother’s Day.

Yes, it’s true. We all JUST finished eating at all the Easter buffets.

But now, it’s time to eat again.

A late Easter this year means that one big brunch holiday backs right up against the next: Mother’s Day. It’s coming up in a little more than a week — on Sunday, May 11.

Local restaurants put on even more of a production at Mother’s Day, too, and several who don’t normally join in the fray participate when mom’s involved.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is joining the brunch bunch this year, offering a buffet on a day that it’s normally closed. Included in the price, managers say, is one free mimosa per adult. And these won’t be your typical wimpy free mimosas. They’ll be big AND loaded.

Larkspur is another restaurant that doesn’t brunch except on Mother’s Day. It’ll offer its annual Mother’s Day buffet as well.

My story listing most of the brunches and other Mother’s Day specials being offered around town will be published in Friday’s Go! section. But because you are web savvy, you get to see it now.

Make reservations with great haste.

Learn to cook spring dishes like a pro

The type of spring deliciousness Tanya Tandoc wlil teach you to cook

The type of spring deliciousness Tanya Tandoc wlil teach you to cook

Time to put away the winter comfort food recipes and start cooking like it’s spring. Several local chefs are ready to help with new lineups of spring cooking classes.

Tanya Tandoc at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, 1725 E. Douglas, is offering a series of Monday-night cooking classes focusing on topics such as springtime brunch, Moroccan cuisine and gluten-free gourmet. The classes are $45 a person and take place at the restaurant at 6:30 Monday nights through May 5. They include dinner, recipes and one glass of wine. For the full list of classes, visit the Tanya’s Soup Kitchen Facebook page. For reservations, call 316-631-5973.

The City of Wichita’s Parks and Recreation Department also is offering several cooking classes this spring, including a “Flavors of the World” series offered by Butler Community College at Boston Recreation Center, 6655 E. Zimmerly St., that includes a Central/South America class on Tuesday, a Mediterranean class on April 22 and a Caribbean class on May 6. The fee for the classes, which last from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. is $25 a person per class. To sign up and to see the other cooking classes being offered, call 316-268-4367 or visit www.wichita.gov/Government/Departments/Park.

Cooking at Bonnie’s Place at 9747 E. 21st St. N. also has a new class schedule out that includes a hands-on cinnamon roll class on April 19 and a focaccia making class on April 22. For a class schedule and prices, visit http://www.cookingatbonnies.com/ or call 316-425-5224.

And Adriene Rathbun, who has a cooking school called Social that she runs out of her home kitchen at 158 N. Roosevelt in College Hill, also has a new list of classes out with topics such as Cinco de Mayo and Party on the Patio . Classes all start at 6:15 p.m. and are $50 a person. To make reservations, call Rathbun at 316-990-4493. Participants are asked to RSVP no later than two days before the class.

A week of chili at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

185939_188089224564957_6304569_nWith a whole bunch of snow and freezing temps imminent, Wichita is going to need all the chili it can get.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen at 1725 E. Douglas is here to help. The restaurant has declared this week chili week and will serve a different type of chili every day this week.

Here’s the lineup. I’m particularly interested in Saturday’s pulled pork chili verde.

Monday: Italian spiced chili with fennel roasted eggplant
Tuesday: Hearty chipotle turkey chili topped with diced red onions
Wednesday: Red lentil chili with pineapple topped with avocado creme fraiche
Thursday: Creamy white chicken chili
Friday: Kelly Rae’s bull’s blood chili topped with fresh bacon
Saturday: Pulled pork chili verde made with fire roasted poblano peppers

For more information, contact Tanya’s at 316-267-7687.

Musical beer dinner at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen

Dine and drink with Daniel.

Like food? Like beer? Like classical music?

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen will be the site on Tuesday of a dinner that will team Tanya with River City Brewing Co. and The Wichita Sumphony. 

The dinner’s special guests will be Daniel Hege, music director and conductor of the symphony, and concertmaster John Harrison. The dinner will have four courses and beer pairings from River City. The music men will lead diners through recordings of the music the sypmhony will perform at its Nov. 16-17 concerts.

Tickets are $40 a person by following this link.

Bravo!

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen offering fall cooking classes

Those who want to learn to cook like Tanya Tandoc, owner of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen at 1725 E. Douglas, will have many opportunities through the fall. The chef is putting on a series of demonstration-style evening cooking classes that include dinner, recipes and one glass of wine.

The classes are all $45 a person and start at 6:30 p.m. on Monday nights at the restaurant. Doors open at 6 p.m. The first class was on Monday night, and students learned how to prepare fall soups and stews, including a chipotle cheese soup.

Following is the schedule for the rest of the fall. Those who want to make reservations should NOT call the restaurant but should call 316-631-5973.

Oct. 28 — Northern Italian cuisine:  Lasagna with prosciutto and mushrooms, creamy butternut squash risotto, pork involtini, panna cotta.

Nov. 4 — Comfort Food with a Twist: Meatloaf, casseroles, slow-cooker dishes and soups.

Nov. 11 – Spanish food and tapas: Potato tortilla, shrimp with chile-garlic sauce, romesco sauce, chorizo empanadas, and paella.

Nov. 25 – Braising and roasting: One-pot meals

Dec. 2 —  Holiday entertaining: Appetizers, snacks, unique side dishes and food gifts.

Culinary students sweep Cocktails & Cookies

Tiffani Price, the coordinator of the Butler Community College Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, and Gregory Cole, an instructor

I was a judge at Friday night’s Cocktails & Cookies event, a fundraiser for the Girl Scouts of Kansas Heartland that asked local chefs to turn Girl Scout cookies into something even more fabulous.

They did. It was hard to choose a winner from all the peanut buttery, coconut-y, chocolate-y, mint-y goodness on the tables at the Wichita Scottish Rite Center. Places such as Cero’s, Cocoa Dolce, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Doo Dah Diner made items ranging from cake pops to French macaroons to ice cream sandwiches. My co-judges Tanya Tandoc, Guy Bower and I were sugared to the point of delirium by the time we were finished sampling everything.

The amazing peanut buttery winner

The big winner of the evening was the brand new Butler Community College Center for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Students and staff from the program, which launched this fall, won not only the judges’ choice category but also the peoples’ choice.

They made a perfect layered dessert that utilized three Girl Scout cookie varieties: Thanks-A-Lots, Caramel deLites and Peanut Butter Patties.

Congrats to the winners. Also, a little bit of trivia: Gregory Cole, the enthusiastic instructor who accompanied the students to the competition, is the founder of Little Bits cookie company.

You know it’s nasty when restaurants close

No Tanya’s soup for you today

WHERE ARE WE SUPPOSED TO EAT?????

Oh yeah, we’re not supposed to drive.

It’s rare when a restaurant closes on a scheduled day to be open, but the fact that several around Wichita are closing or opening late today is a testament to how much white stuff we have on the ground.

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen — one of the city’s top purveyors of cold-weather food — announced yesterday via Facebook  that it would shut down for the day. Doo Dah Diner at 206 E. Kellogg announced the same thing this morning. I also saw that Chick-fil-A west has decided to delay opening until 10:30 a.m., which means no chicken biscuits for you.  Chick-fil-A west later decided to close for the whole day.

Also, Chef Jason Febres at Taste & See at 3825 E Harry St. just announced on Facebook that he’ll be closed for lunch today but hopes to reopen for dinner.

The Anchor also decided to close for the day.

The moral of the story: If you’re out today, check with your favorite restaurant before sliding over.

UPDATE:

Newport Grill at 1900 N. Rock Road reports that the parking lots at Bradley Fair are cleared and that it will open for dinner at 5 p.m. tonight. And Linda Davis from Wichita’s two Jimmie’s Diners wrote to tell me that they’re open as usual.

Redrock Canyon at 1844 N. Rock Road also will be closed on Thursday, managers report.

Lots of food fun at the Women’s Fair

The 15th annual Women’s Fair this weekend at Century II will, as usual, offer several opportunities to nibble, sip and gather cooking tips.

On Friday, local chef Tanya Tandoc of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen will put on a 6:30 p.m. cooking show, where she’ll demonstrate how to make two of her most popular soup recipes: tomato basil bisque and chicken tortilla. She’ll also be selling sets of her recipe cards.

Also on Friday: Both the  Crown Uptown and Fox and Hound will offer food samples during Friday evening’s “Girls Night Out.” Wine expert Guy Bower will put on a tasting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.

At 2 p.m. on Friday and 4 p.m. on Saturday, cookbook author and spokeswoman for Southwest Dairy Farmers “Kitchen Kimberley” will show how to make creamy chicken tortilla soup and fiesta salad with ranch dressing. At 11:30 a.m. Saturday, she’ll demonstrate the construction of creamy pasta salad, chocolate chip raspberry tarts and an easy cheese platter. And at noon on Sunday, she’ll be showing off a brunch menu featuring a three-cheese quiche.

New this year is the Pork Inspiration Cafe sponsored by the Kansas Pork Association.

It will feature ongoing cooking demonstrations, recipes, coupons, giveaways and more.

Chef Joe Parten of Carrabba’s will be on the pork stage at 3 p.m. Sunday showing how to make red pepper stuffed pork loin. He’ll also take the stage at 1:30 p.m. Sunday to demonstrate a recipe for Sicilian chicken soup.

At 5 p.m. Saturday, Mr. April from the 2013 Kansas Firefighters calendar will show the crowd how to make Fire House chili.
OH! And I almost forgot. I’ll be at the Wichita Eagle booth from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday if you want to stop by and talk restaurants.

Women’s Fair hours are noon to 8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $8.25 for adults, $7.25 for seniors and $5.25 for children 6-12. Children 5 and under are free. The Party Bus will provide free doorside transportation from Lawrence-Dumont Stadium parking lot.

You can learn to cook with Tanya

Tanya’s Soup Kitchen owner Tanya Tandoc has put on many cooking classes over the years. I took one wayyyyyy back when I first moved to Wichita and she was in her old location by the Eagle. I’ll never forget that class because I learned not only about the importance of a good knife but also that the reason restaurant food tastes so good is that it’s 95 percent butter, cream and sugar. Oh well!

Tanya hasn’t been teaching much while she’s been getting her new restaurant going, but now she’s ready to get back to it. She’s launching a new series of Tuesday-night cooking classes that look delicious. Here’s a list:

Fall Soups and Stews, Oct. 30: Tomato curry, butternut squash bisque with sage croutons, and other fun recipes.
Global Street Food, Nov. 6:  Street food and snacks from around the world, including socca from Southern France, Malaysian laksa, Indian samosas, and more.
Tapas and Small Plates from Spain,  Nov. 13: Herbed potato tortilla, chile-garlic shrimp, spicy chickpeas, roasted potatoes with red pepper sauce, and more.
Italian Trattoria, Nov. 20: Carpaccio, orecchiette with sausage and fontina, Tuscan bean bruschetta, and tiramisu.
Fast French, Nov. 27:  Onion soup with croutons and Gruyere, salad of tart greens with bacon and poached egg, chicken with tarragon sauce, and spice-poached pears.
Holiday Entertaining, Dec. 4: How to prepare holiday appetizers and meals that look elegant but are easy to plan and prepare.

The classes are $45 a person and include dinner, recipes and one glass of wine. They’re demonstration-style, which means students can watch Tanya do the preparation. All classes are at Tanya’s Soup Kitchen, 1725 E. Douglas. Those interested should not call the restaurant but rather the reservation line, 316-631-5973.

Doors open at 6 p.m. and classes start at 6:30 p.m. Those who buy the whole series will get a $30 discount.