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On the side Three ways to taste the holidays

  • Published Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013, at 12 a.m.

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Christmas coffee: As soon as the red cups appear at Starbucks, you know it’s time to start adding some peppermint, eggnog and ginger to your coffee. The big chain has all its famous holiday drinks on the menu, from the peppermint mocha to the newer caramel brulee latte. Most of the local coffee shops are doing holiday flavors now, too.

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Freddy’s Frozen Custard, a burger and frozen custard chain with stores all over the area, is serving a peppermint concrete dessert treat through the holidays. It combines chocolate fudge, peppermint, coffee syrup and frozen custard. It’s all topped with whipped cream and crushed peppermint and is available through the end of the year.

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The Monarch, a hip restaurant and bar at 579 W. Douglas in Delano, is serving mulled holiday wine every Friday and Saturday until New Year’s Eve. For more information, call 316-201-6626.

Quick bites

Wichita’s next food truck: Funky Monkey Munchies

The Wichita food truck fleet is expanding again. Lisa Palacios and her husband, Eddi, plan to open Funky Monkey Munchies in March. Palacios said she got the vintage-looking truck as an anniversary present last year and has been working on getting it into shape ever since. She’s focusing on healthy fusion food made mostly from non-GMO (genetically modified organisms), organic and locally sourced ingredients.

“We were eating healthy, and I thought, ‘We can actually bring health food in this truck to the people of Wichita at a decent price,” she said. “There will be no additives, no preservatives. It will be clean food.” Palacios plans to have a rotating menu featuring a variety of cuisines from Mexican to French to Asian food – and more. She’ll park at various spots around town and at first will be open for lunch only and also will cater special events. Palacios’ father is working on the truck now and will give it a purple-on-the-bottom, white-on-the-top motif. The purple is an homage to Palacios’ mother, who died last year from pancreatic cancer.

Now open: Cravings Gluten-Free bakery

Cravings Gluten Free Bakery opened last week at 3700 E. Douglas. Owned by Danielle Brittian, whose sweet tooth was threatened when her doctor advised her to go gluten-free last year, the new bakery is right next to the old John Brown’s spot in Clifton Square. Brittian has goodies such as pies by-the-slice that customers can enjoy in the bakery’s cozy dining area, and she also serves cookies, cakes and more to go. Coffee drinks already are on the menu, and she hopes to open a lunch counter after the first of the year. In the meantime, Brittian is taking orders for gluten-free pies and gift baskets for the holidays. Hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays.

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