Dining With Denise Neil

Forget Tex-Mex: This new taco business serves Mexi-Kan

Turnout for inaugural taco event is overwhelming

(FILE VIDEO -- JUNE 24, 2017) The first ever Wichita Taco Fest was greeted by lines of hundreds of hungry Wichitans waiting to get into the event where several local and regional vendors were selling their tacos.
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(FILE VIDEO -- JUNE 24, 2017) The first ever Wichita Taco Fest was greeted by lines of hundreds of hungry Wichitans waiting to get into the event where several local and regional vendors were selling their tacos.

You’ve heard of Tex-Mex.

Now, it’s time to try Mexi-Kan.

Manny Aviles and his wife, Robin, have just opened a new taco truck that’s based in Derby but made its Wichita debut last weekend.

It’s called Manny’s Mexi-Kan Kitchen, and it serves authentic Mexican recipes with a Kansas twist, Robin said. The menu includes street tacos, “puffy” fried tacos, quesadillas, carne asada fries and more.

The couple met in Phoenix, where Manny grew up and worked in the restaurant industry. But Manny, a former Marine, agreed to move back to Kansas to be closer to Robin’s family.

He decided he wanted to share his family recipes through a food truck, so the couple purchased a brand new 18-foot, custom-made food trailer and got to work.

They’ve been setting up regularly for lunch service (and sometimes dinner) in the parking lot of the Derby Payless store near the Wal-Mart off K-15. Last weekend, the truck made its Wichita debut, serving to Final Friday crowds outside Mead’s Corner.

Robin, a nurse at Wesley, said that she and her husband want to bring the truck to Wichita more often and hope to eventually participate in food truck rallies and meetups around town. In the meantime, fans can almost always find them in Derby. They’ll be parked in their usual spot every day at lunch through the weekend, and their full schedule is always visible on their Facebook page.

“It’s been great so far,” said Robin, adding that her 10- and 11-year-old kids like to help dad out in the truck. “We’re having so much fun.”

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