Dining With Denise Neil

Restaurants are embracing March Madness

Several Wichita restaurants are suffering from March Madness and offering their customers special discounts during the NCAA tournament.

One is Carlos O’ Kelly’s, which once again is practically giving away its queso and margaritas on days that the Shockers play in the NCAA tournament. They call it “Queso Madness,” and it starts on Friday, the first day the Shockers play in St. Louis. Since the team will be one of 64 teams playing on Friday, all Carlos O’ Kelly’s locations will sell individual chili con queso dips for 64 cents and “Mug-o-ritas” for $1.64. Should the Shocker’s advance, the deal will be offered on Sunday again, only this time the queso will be 32 cents and the Mug-0-Ritas $1.32. The promotion continues and the food and drink gets cheaper as long as the Shockers keep advancing. The deals are good all day on the days the Shocker’s play but are good for dine-in customers only.

The Carlos O’ Kelly’s at 527 S. Ridge Circle also is putting on a fundraiser for a charity called Our Daily Bread. The restaurant will be putting on a big watch party featuring $3 jumbo margaritas, $3 big beers and $3 loaded nachos all day on the opening weekend of the tournament — from Thursday through Sunday. Customers can get $1 raffle tickets for a chance to win an autographed Shocker team basketball and will have other ways for people to donate to the charity.

Knolla’s Pizza also is offering a tournament special it calls “Pizza Madness” that’s good today through March 25. It offers $5 off a total order of $20 or more.

And Newport Grill at 1900 N. Rock Road is asking customers who visit the restaurant and have lunch or dinner before Thursday to fill out a tournament bracket in the restaurant. If they do, they’ll be entered into a drawing to win a dinner for two.

Know of any other tournament specials? Speak up.