Wichita “Restaurant Week” planned

Now this is a cool idea.

The  Boys & Girls Clubs of South Central Kansas is teaming up with Go Wichita and the Kansas Restaurant & Hospitality Association to put on a “Restaurant Week” in Wichita. They’re planning it for June 21 to 30 and hope to get 25 local restaurants involved.

Restaurant Weeks are big deals in big cities, where many of the more expensive, trendy, hard-to-get-into restaurants agree to spend a week offering prix fixe meals to participants. A prix fixe (price fixed) meal is a set, multi-course meal that costs one price. About 30 big cities around the country, including Dallas, New York and Chicago, put on popular Restaurant Weeks. I attended a Restaurant Week dinner at a fancy place in Dallas years ago, and it was memorable. (Even though I can’t remember the name of the restaurant I visited. Ha.)

Restaurant Week won’t be quite the same animal in a smaller city like Wichita, but it could still be fun and offer Wichitans an excuse to try places they haven’t been to. Though organizers haven’t signed up any participants yet, they’ll ask restaurants on the list to donate 10 percent of each meal back to the Boys & Girls Club.

I already know who I’d put on a dream list. The new Siena Tuscan Steakhouse  that will open in the Ambassador Hotel in December has to join in. Harvest Kitchen/Bar inside the Hyatt should, too. I could see Luciano’s on this bill as well as some of Wichita’s ethnic restaurants such as Pho Hot Bistro and Taqueria El Paisa. Maybe this would be a good way for Lakeside Club and Candle Club to lure potential new members, too.

The organizers have promised to keep me updated as plans progress. I’ll keep you updated, too.

In the meantime, let me know which restaurants you think should participate in a Wichita restaurant week. Tell me in the comments section below.

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.