Dining With Denise Neil

Where to eat lunch in Wichita when you have a big appetite, no time

Adrian’s Restaurant just started a new lunch buffet.
Adrian’s Restaurant just started a new lunch buffet. The Wichita Eagle

It’s the lunch hour, and you have hummus on the brain. But by the time you get a seat, order, eat and pay, you’re late getting back to the office.

Many local restaurant owners sympathize with you, and recently, several of them have added lunch buffets that offer both culinary variety and lunch-hour speediness.

The latest is Adrian’s Restaurant at 2121 N. Rock Road. Last weekend, owner George Matta introduced a new daily lunch buffet that offers several of his Mediterranean specialties, including hummus and kefta kebob.

“In big cities, this is very popular,” he said. “In places like Dallas and Chicago, they have these lunch buffets where people come in and out very fast because they don’t have very much time to wait for the food then wait for the server then wait to be cashed out.”

Here’s a look at some of the restaurants that have recently begin offering weekday lunch buffets:

Adrian’s Cafe, 2121 N. Rock Road: Diners can still order from the menu if they choose, but they now also can load their plates from a lunch buffet which includes a rotating list of specialties. It’ll always be stocked with Lebanese favorites like hummus, tabouli and baba ganoush and will also frequently have items like kefta kebab, open-faced shawarma sandwiches and gyro. It’ll also have items like fried tilapia, beef stroganoff, scrambled eggs with veggies and a selection of desserts. Matta is offering his buffet daily, and on Sundays he’ll add more traditional breakfast items like biscuits and gravy. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The price is $11.99 on weekdays and $14.99 on weekends.

Byblos, 3088 W. 13th St.: This Mediterranean restaurant just got new owners after 27 years in business, and they’ve added a lunch buffet to the offerings. Rania Taha and her husband, Bashar Mahanweh, also still offer the full menu during lunch, but customers also can choose an all-you-can-eat Mediterranean buffet that offers soup, a vegetarian dish, hummus, Greek salad and pita bread as well as rotating dishes like moussaka, kefta, baked chicken and more. It’s offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and is $8.99 a person.

Caesar’s Table Restaurant, 125 N. Market Douglas: This restaurant relocated in July from the hidden mezzanine level of Market Centre at 155 N. Market to a first-floor space at 125 N. Market. It’s owned by Sam Kuns and has entrances from Market street and from the 125 N. Market building’s lobby. The restaurant offers a menu of sandwiches and salads but also has a daily buffet stocked with fried chicken, mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie and a pasta bar. On Sundays, there’s no pasta bar but breakfast items are added. It’s served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through Fridays, and the buffet costs $12 on weekdays and $14.95 on Sundays.

Kababs east, 3101 N. Rock Road: In November of last year, west-side Indian restaurant Kababs added an east location with a massive buffet. The restaurant sits just behind Jimmie’s Diner near 29th and Rock and has more dining room space than the original. It serves a daily lunch buffet that offers not only Indian favorites like tandoori chicken and chicken tikka masala but also Mediterranean dishes like hummus, tabouli and kabobs. Both the east and west Kababs (which is at 756 N. Tyler) serve a lunch buffet from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily, which is $11.99 Mondays through Fridays and $13.99 Saturdays and Sundays. The east side also offers a dinner buffet from 6 to 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, which is $14.99.

Other popular Wichita lunch buffets

Sweet Basil, 2424 N. Woodlawn. Italian buffet served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays ($9.95) and 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sundays ($12.95)

Zaytun, 2020 N. Woodlawn: Indian/Pakistani buffet served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. It’s $10.95 Mondays through Saturday and $15.95 Sundays.

Passage to India, 6100 E. 21st St.: Indian buffet served 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays; $10.95 Tuesdays through Thursdays, $11.95 Fridays through Sundays

B&C Creations, 355 N. Washington: Barbecue buffet served 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, $13.50

Cortez Mexican Restaurant, 344 W. 29th St. North. Mexican buffet served Wednesdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($7.99) and 5 to 8:30 p.m. ($8.99) and from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturdays, when lunch is $8.99 and dinner is $9.99.

Marrakech Cafe, 6257 E 21st St. Moroccan buffet served from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, $9.95