Three dining updates
New food truck – Vautrot’s Cajun Goods: The newest food truck to hit the Wichita streets serves Cajun food – alligator bites, shrimp, catfish, stuffed crab, etouffee and more. Vautrot’s Cajun Goods is based in Derby and is owned by Sherri Walker and her parents, Martha and Louis Vautrot. The family originally hails from Louisiana, and Martha and Louis have owned a restaurant called Vautrot’s Cajun Cuisine in Beaumont, Texas, for several years. But they’re ready to retire from the restaurant, so they’re leaving it to their son to run and relocating to Derby, where Sherri moved with her husband, a Koch Industries employee. Diners can keep track of where Vautrot’s Cajun Goods will be through its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/VautrotsCajunGoods. For more information, call 409-504-5066.
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New ethnic food – Restaurant Nicatropical: A new Ecuadorian/Central American restaurant is operating out of a little blue building at 2117 E. Central. Owned by Ana Jarquin, it serves items such as tortas, tacos and pupusas. The menu also features Cuban sandwiches, several pollo asado dishes, T-bone fajitas, fried yuca, sweet plantains and fried cheese. On weekends, it offers homemade soup and nacatamales, which are tamales made in plantain leaves that are common in Nicaragua and Honduras. The restaurant takes cash only and is open Thursdays through Sundays. Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call 316-239-1394.
Restaurant that’s not coming – Au Paris-Bruxelles: The French and Belgian restaurant, planned for Clifton Square, isn’t going to happen after all. Owner Jo Zakas said she recently heard from Florence and Didier Fraikin, who had been in the process of moving to Wichita from Belgium to open the restaurant. On their way to Wichita from California, their car broke down, and they ran out of money, they told Zakas. Despite having paid on their lease at Clifton Square, the couple decided to scrap the restaurant plan. It’s the second deal to fall through for the space that last held John Brown’s. Previously, Kevin Brown and Tracy Fahrbach had announced they’d open Mortimer’s Piano Bar there, then changed their minds.
Food trucking at BlackTop Nationals
The big BlackTop Nationals classic car and bike show, which draws more than 150,000 people from more than 20 states to the areas in and around Century II, is coming up this weekend. And organizers have come up with a trendy method for feeding the crowds: food trucks. Instead of the River Festival-style food court the event had its first few years, this year, the BlackTop Nationals will have local food trucks and other vendors stationed throughout the event all three days. Among the trucks signed on to participate are B.S. Sandwich Press, Big Daddy’s Smoked Shack Meats, Chino’s Parrilla and the new Cajun food truck, Vautrot’s Cajun Goods. There will also be lemonade, root beer and funnel cake folks set up, as well as Chris Cakes, the famous purveyor of pancakes and link sausages. The food vendors will be serving from 3 to 9 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
Hatch green chiles on the menu, too
Hatch green chile season is making itself known at more than just Johnson’s Garden Centers, home of this weekend’s annual Chile Fest. Freddy’s Frozen Custard has just introduced a new steakburger garnished with grilled onions, cheese, mustard and Hatch peppers. Diners also can request the chiles on top of their hot dogs. The chile items, along with a new s’mores concrete, are available on a limited-time basis. Also, B.S. Sandwich Press has stocked its truck with Hatch chiles from Johnson’s and on Friday will introduce three popular specials from last year – a Lobo burger topped with pepperjack cheese, chipotle mayo and Hatch green chiles; a turkey wrap made with red onions, chipotle mayo, pepperjack and Hatch green chiles; and a cheese steak sandwich that has the traditional construction with the addition of Hatch green chiles. B.S. Sandwich Press will introduce the Hatch specials at this weekend’s BlackTop Nationals.