1. Metro Grill II: Michael Gonzalez, who makes some of Wichita's best sandwiches in the food court at Towne East Square, will open Metro Grill II at 321 S. Andover Road in Andover on Monday. He'll serve sandwiches, pastas and other entrees from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. On Sunday evenings, he'll do reservation-only gourmet dinners.
2. Sloppy Joe's is a new restaurant in the space at 803 N. West St. that in the past several years has housed Sonic, Si Senor and other short-lived businesses. This one is owned by Mark DeMoura, who also owns Mark's Transmission Service nearby at 502 N. Anna. He'll serve burgers, fries, hot dogs and other diner-style items and hopes to open sometime this month.
3. Palmer's Grill, 3241 N. Toben: The former Fritz Co. Grille space should have a new tenant by the end of the month. A former Old Chicago manager is opening Palmer's Grill and will serve burgers, sandwiches, steaks and the like.
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Two readers wrote in recently to recommend little-known but fabulous restaurants that they think should be well-known and fabulous. Cindy Sundell-Guy wrote in about La Tradicion Tortilleria at 1701 N. Broadway. She raved about the $5.99 lunch buffet, the green chile with pork and the poblano and onion with cheese. Occasionally, La Tradicion serves mole, tamales and soups such as hominy stew. Hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 8:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Lou Ann Ward was one of two readers who raved about D's Dairy Freeze, which opened last July in a former Pig-In Pig-Out space at 1935 S. Hydraulic. The small restaurant, which has seating but does mostly drive-through service, sells ice cream, malts, shakes, burgers, salads, onion rings, pies and more. Winter hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, but starting at the end of March, it will be open until 10 p.m. nightly.
Chef Douglas Pitts, whose resume includes a long list of Wichita restaurants, has left his job at Press, 1720 N. Webb Road. Pitts, who did not want to give a reason for his departure, opened the restaurant and cocktail lounge last November with Melad Stephan, who also owns Oeno, Uptown Bistro and Sabor.
Also, popular chef David Wirebaugh has left Wichita's Harvest Kitchen/Bar in the Hyatt to open Q Restaurant at the Grand Hyatt in San Antonio. His replacement is Paul Freimuth, who previously worked as executive sous chef at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City.