East Ted’s building won’t be a restaurant

Construction crews were busy this morning at the former Ted's space at K-96 and Webb.

I’ve been getting lots of e-mails and questions this week about the construction activity at the east side Ted’s Montana Grill building at K-96 and Webb, which has been vacant since the restaurant closed in November 2010.

People are wondering if the building, which construction crews are currently expanding, will hold another restaurant.

But the answer, alas, is “no.” When completed, the building will house the new offices of Kansas Gastroenterology and Kansas Endoscopy, a practice owned by Drs. Michael Lievens and Estephan Zayat.

Although I, like the rest of you, am sorry that the building won’t be home to a new restaurant, does anyone else get a giggle out of the fact that it will house doctors who specialize in digestive issues?

Farwell, Carino’s

In case you haven’t heard, Wichita has lost another restaurant. This time, it’s Johnny Carino’s, the Italian chain that opened in 2004 at 3213 N. Toben Road.

Don’t know where that is? Well, that was part of the problem, in my estimation. I had some pretty good meals at Carino’s in its early days, though in later visits, things seemed to have declined. But it was pretty difficult to get to the place. You could see it from K-96, but you had to find the right exit and the right twisty side-road to actually get into the parking lot. I have to believe the same problem did in neighboring Ted’s Montana Grill and Fritz Co. Grill (though another restaurant is now taking over that space.)

The exit of Johnny Carino’s, which closed on Wednesday, makes Wichita’s Italian restaurant pool even smaller, which might be good news for DeFazio’s, Marchello’s and Bella Vita Bistro.

In Memoriam… restaurant edition

brettntracyIf you want to share a few sniffles about the 2010 passings of restaurant such as Frida’s and Ted’s Montana Grill, tune into B-98 at 9 a.m. tomorrow. Brett, Tracy and Kathy have invited me on the morning show to talk about restaurant closings in 2010 and all the fabulous places where we can’t eat anymore.

Did you lose a favorite in 2010? Remind me what it was and I’ll mention it.

Well, that’s nice of ‘em

texas*UPDATE: A helpful commenter points out that Ted’s will refund unused gift cards. I called and confirmed that it’s true. Just call 404-266-1344.

Ted’s Montana Grill is gone, but thanks to a similarly meaty restaurant in town, people who are stuck with Ted’s gift certificates can still get fed.

Texas Roadhouse, the line-dancin’, steak cookin’ restaurant at 6707 W. Kellogg, will exchange any unexpired Ted’s gift card for a free $12 Texas Roadhouse entree certificate. The offer is limited to one gift card exchanged per table.

Exchanges can be made through Dec. 31 at stores in Wichita, Kansas City and Omaha.

Question of the week

tedswindowHere’s the question of the week:

The closing this week of both Ted’s Montana Grills in Wichita begs this question: Which Wichita restaurant do you love so much that you’d never be able to recover from its closing?

Mine would be Frida’s. Wait, it’s already closed, and I’m no where near recovering. So I’ll have to go with Kanai.

Answer thoughtfully in the comments section below.

Both Ted’s Montana Grills are closed

Ted logo CMYKNo more bison meatloaf and strawberry shortcake for Wichita. Our two Ted’s Montana Grill restaurants are among nine that the company closed today because of declining sales.

In addition to the Wichita restaurants at 2140 N. Tyler Road and 3121 North Webb Road, the Atlanta-based chain closed three restaurants in the Kansas City area; one in Omaha, Neb.; one in Raleigh, N.C.; one in the Chicago area; and one in the Washington, D.C., area.

The chain, founded in 2002 by Ted Turner, includes 46 restaurants across the country.

An employee who answered the phone at the west-side Ted’s said that Sunday was the last day in business for both Wichita restaurants.

I always kind of liked Ted’s, especially the atmosphere, which featured gorgeously tiled floors and attractive wood booths. The food was good, too, and even though the menu was a tad too meaty for my taste, I’ll miss it.

Gluten-free dining

pfchangslogo I received an e-mail today from a reader named Deanna, whose young grandson has just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease, an inherited autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damanged from eating gluten and other proteins found in grains. People with that disease must have gluten-free diets, and Deanna was wondering which local restaurants serve gluten-free meals.

She found a few options at Bonefish Grill, and I already knew that P.F. Chang’s had a gluten-free menu. A quick Google search turned up a list of several more restaurants that maintain gluten-free menus. Among them: Chili’s, Carrabba’s, Outback Steakhouse, On The Border and Ted’s Montana Grill.

Hope that helps, Deanna.

*UPDATE* : Thanks to an alert reader, I can add two more names to the gluten-free menu list: Carlos O’Kelly’s and Olive Garden.