Dining With Denise Neil

Hungry fans of closed downtown restaurant can get another taste

Fans of The Hungry Heart’s pulled pork sandwich can have it again this weekend.
Fans of The Hungry Heart’s pulled pork sandwich can have it again this weekend. The Wichita Eagle

When The Hungry Heart closed in October because of tax troubles, fans of its food were distraught.

What would life be like without the restaurant’s ahi wonton nachos, barbecue pork sandwiches and Korean short ribs?

Three long months later, relief is in sight. The Hungry Heart’s former co-owner, John David Payne, who started catering after the restaurant closed, has made a deal with a couple of local breweries to serve his dishes on-site.

His first outing will be Saturday at Aero Plains Brewing, 117. N. Handley. He’ll be set up there from noon to 3 p.m. selling dishes including his famous pulled pork sandwich, a smoked salmon salad and a new chicken salad sandwich he devised.

He’s also made a deal with Central Standard Brewing to serve there on three Wednesday nights in March – March 1, 15 and 29 – as well as every Sunday in March. By then, he hopes to have other Hungry Heart favorites on his list of offerings, including the ahi wonton nachos and tri-tip ribs.

He’ll keep fans posted on where he’ll be serving on the Facebook page for The Hungry Heart.

Payne said his goal is to open another restaurant in the downtown area.

“Obviously, we’ve learned a lot of lessons and learned some hard lessons from the previous restaurant,” Payne said. “The next time, we’ll know how to do it right – and then probably make some new mistakes.”

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