Food truck business revving up in Wichita
07/12/2013 7:34 AM
07/12/2013 7:34 AM
The Flying Stove first rolled onto the streets of Wichita a year and a half ago, and a trend was launched.
Today, more than a dozen mobile food businesses roam the city’s streets. And even though the truck owners are having a harder time finding spots to park, according to a story published in The Eagle last week, the number of them just keeps growing.
Following is guide to Wichita food trucks – past, present and future.
The Flying Stove: Owned by brothers Jeff and Rob Schauf, the Flying Stove officially started the food truck trend in Wichita. It opened in December 2011, featuring charming Jeff at the window and culinary school-trained Rob in the kitchen. The truck serves sandwiches, tacos, wraps, salads and its famous truffle fries – all made with gourmet ingredients – out of an orange vehicle decorated with the Flying Stove logo. The brothers change the menu every few weeks, and fans find out where the truck is by checking either www.facebook.com/theflyingstove or https://twitter.com/theflyingstove. On Friday, the truck will be in Old Town on First Street, just east of Washington, from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. On Saturday, it’ll be at Title Boxing Club, 8338 E. 21st St North, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
B.S. Sandwich Press: Doug Buchanan and his sister Jodi run B.S. Sandwich Press, a sandwich shop on-the-go set up in a bright orange trailer. The truck has been in operation since April 2012 and specializes in panini, hand-cut fries and homemade chips. The truck’s location is updated daily on Facebook, www.facebook.com/bssandwichpress, and https://twitter.com/bssandwichpress.
Cake Face: Summer Schoenhals and her husband, Dave, had plans to slow down their truck and open a stationary business on East Douglas, but a dispute with their landlord has put those plans on indefinite hold. In the meantime, the couple is still catering and driving the food trailer around town to serve their gourmet sandwiches and baked goods. Fans can find Cake Face by checking https://www.facebook.com/cakefacebakeshop.
MMM Sandwiches: Back in March, Michael Awesome-Noyes temporarily parked his sleek, silver truck from which he’d been serving melty Cubans and barbecue pork sandwiches for almost a year to open a stationary spot. That restaurant, called MMM Sandwiches Hole in the Wall Cafe, is at 8300 Thorn Drive, near 37th and Rock. But Awesome-Noyes recently decided that he misses the truck, so he’s taking it back out this weekend. He’ll be at Jabaras Carpet Outlet, 1816 N. Broadway, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. He updates his plans on his Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/MmmSandwiches.
The Hopping Pita: Melad Stephan’s green and yellow Lebanese food truck, led by well-known local chef Roni Attari , opened in April featuring a menu full of schwarma, falafel, hummus, tabouli and more. Fans find the truck by checking the Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/thehoppingpita.
Hopperoni Express: Wichita Brewing Company & Pizzeria at 8815 W. 13th St. is a stationary restaurant that recently opened a food trailer, the Hopperoni Express . It is fitted with a full-sized wood-fired pizza oven and serves 10-inch pizzas, which are $6 for a single topping or $8 for a specialty. The truck’s location is updated at www.facebook.com/HopperoniExpress.
Official Bar-B-Q: This food truck, which serves barbecue items such as brisket, links and pulled pork, operates out of a stationary trailer owned by Kris Maples that never moves from 241 S. Hydraulic. Maples opened the truck in October and is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. To place an advance order, call 316-871-8977.
Let’m Eat Brats: Manuela English recently opened her new German food truck, called Let’m Eat Brats. Her menu is filled with $5-or-less options such as wurst, bierocks, kraut and strudel. She updates the truck’s location via Facebook and Twitter: www.facebook.com/LetmEatBrats and twitter.com/letmeatbrats.
U-Hungry Truck: Arturo Ray is a food truck pioneer who hit the streets two years ago. He serves a little bit of everything, including fried catfish, fried shrimp, chicken wings, tacos, burritos, brats, pulled pork and Polish sausage. Ray tends to drive around an area bordered by 21st Street, 17th Street, Oliver and I-135. When he sees people who look hungry, he stops and cooks for them. He tried updating his location via Facebook, but when he did, he got a huge line that he couldn’t handle. His method works better, he said, and his regulars know his patterns. Those who want to try U-Hungry can call Ray at 810-210-2592 to find out where he is. The truck is red and decorated with lots of vintage signs.
Big Daddy’s Smoked Shack: Barbecue expert John Nielsen converted a 24-foot RV into a mobile food truck, which he sets up often at 4800 W. Central and sometimes at other locations. He serves brisket, ribs, pulled pork, chicken, turkey and more, and he updates his location on his Facebook page, www.facebook.com/BigDaddysSmokedShackBarBQ.
Chino’s Parrilla: It started off mostly as a catering business, but lately, Chino’s Parrilla has been parking for lunch at various spots around the area. The food trailer is owned by head cook Chino Herrera, his wife, Kim, his daughter, Tasha Schrant, and his son-in-law, Bill Schrant, and serves grilled meats such as carne asada and al pastor in flour tortillas with traditional toppings. The truck’s location is updated via its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/ChinosParrillaVENDING.
El Pollo Dorado: This taco truck is one of many that have been operating for years in north Wichita. El Pollo Dorado is parked daily at the corner of 21st and Wellington Place and serves $1 al pastor tacos and more. The truck can be reached by calling 316-559-4359.
Food trucks rolling out soon
BJ’s Smokeshack: Jennifer and Brad Vieux hope to get their barbecued food truck on the streets by the end of the year. It will serve items such as pulled pork, brisket, ham, ribs, chicken and specialty sandwiches plus homemade sides.
The Rolling Dough: Joseph and Cherre Nestelroad are planning to roll out their pizza food truck in early 2014. They’ve recently purchased a wood-fired oven and are searching for just the right trailer. They plan to specialize in “fusion”-style pizza and like to play around with recipes that mix pizza and comfort food.
Food trucks that are parked
Jarheads: This mobile hot dog cart operated last summer but is no longer serving. Owner Keenan Poore says he’s turning his focus to catering.
Mel’s Diner: This food truck, which served sandwiches and soups, opened in December but was closed by February.
Espresso to Go Go: Though Warren and Ann Tandoc are no longer operating their mobile coffee truck, they’re still in business. Last month, they opened a stationary coffee shop at 102 N. St Francis.