Dining With Denise Neil

Carlos O’ Kelly’s next up in pizza cook off, tops its with extra ‘ole’

Carlos O’ Kelly’s is calling its pizza on the WBC menu “KT’s Chingona Pizza” and topping it with slow-braised Mexican brisket.
Carlos O’ Kelly’s is calling its pizza on the WBC menu “KT’s Chingona Pizza” and topping it with slow-braised Mexican brisket.

March arrives in two days, and so does the next pizza in the rotation in Wichita Brewing Company’s inventive 2017 pizza-a-month series.

The new pizza, created by locally based Mexican food chain Carlos O’ Kelly’s, will be the third in the promotion dreamed up by WBC co-owner Greg Gifford, who at the beginning of the year invited me and 11 local restauranteurs to invent a pizza that he’ll serve at both Wichita Brewing Company restaurants, 8815 W. 13th St. and 535 N. Woodlawn, throughout 2017.

My pizza, a taco creation topped with crumbled Doritos, was featured in January. February’s pizza, which will still be served through Tuesday, was invented by the owners of Public at the Brickyard, who named it “The Baby Spice.” They topped with a special-made Douglas Avenue Chop Shop chorizo sausage, a spiced-up house tomato sauce, goat cheese crumbles, shredded Mozzarella, mushrooms and roasted red peppers.

Carlos O’ Kelly’s is calling its invention, which will be on the menu starting on Wednesday, “KT’s Chingona Pizza.” It will be topped with Carlos O’ Kelly’s slow-braised Mexican brisket plus smoky Diablo sauce, Andouille sausage, sweet pepper bacon, spinach, white cheddar and a drizzle of chipotle-lime fresca. The crust will be sprinkled with the restaurant’s own Cantina seasoning.

Though people might not think pizza when they think of Carlos O’ Kelly’s, late founder Darrel Rolph was an early executive in the Pizza Hut chain. “Our family name is Rolph,” reads the explanation of the pizza that will appear on the WBC menu. “Perhaps not what you'd expect from flavor that's distinctively Mexican. But you're not looking for the expected. You want O'Mazing.”

The restaurants participating in the promotion all have owners who are supporters of WBC and/or have WBC craft beer on tap. Whichever pizza has the highest sales at the end of the year wins. The prize is a party at the WBC production facility, complete with beer, for the winner and his or her staff.

In other Wichita Brewing Company news, the business is bringing back its brewery-to-brewery marathon relay, which it started last year.

The race will return for its second installment on March 12, when the brewery will again put on its crosstown, marathon-length relay that will start at its west-side store at 13th and Tyler and finish at its east-side store at Central and Woodlawn with a big pizza and beer party.

Teams of six will split up the distance, which is 26.2 miles. Each runner gets two beers, pizza and a race shirt. Registration is $240 for a team of six or $90 for individuals. Proceeds from the race will benefit the Kansas Food Bank. The registration deadline is March 10. To register, visit runsignup.com.

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