Dining With Denise Neil

This is not pretend: Ken and Barbie just opened a Wichita food truck

What would Ken and Barbie cook?

If you ask your 8-year-old, she might point to the plastic hamburgers and hot dogs that came with the Barbie Dream Camper she got for Christmas.

But if you ask Barbie Taber and Kelly Ake, you’ll get a much tastier answer.

The local couple just opened Ken N Barbie’z Rolling Diner, a brightly colored food truck that has been in business for about a month.

The duo, who both have other full-time jobs, decided this summer they might like to have a food truck to showcase Barbie’s cooking skills. They found a truck in Lawrence and got right to work. Only a few months later, the truck was ready to go.

The name was inspired by the story about when the two first met at a pool party three years ago. Someone asked Barbie’s name, then asked Kelly’s, who jokingly claimed her name was Ken. Friends have playfully called them that ever since.

Their eclectic menu includes a Philly cheesesteak sandwich, a double Barbie burger, homemade chicken strips, fajita fries and more. The couple, who have grandkids, also created a kids menu after noticing that few food trucks offered options for smaller diners.

So far, they’ve been working fall festivals in small towns around Wichita and also set up at Zoobilee at the Sedgwick County Zoo earlier this month.

Their schedule is filling fast, though, and they’ll be at the Conway Springs Fall Festival from 5 to 9 p.m. tonight and Friday and from 9 a.m. until late on Saturday. They also have several dates booked at Aero Plains Brewing, 117 N. Handley, in Wichita. On Oct. 4 and 5 and Oct. 27, they’ll be there starting at 5 p.m., and on Oct. 14, they’ll be there noon to 9 p.m.

People can follow along with their plans on their Facebook page.

So far, Ake said, people are loving their playful concept.

“They just love it,” she said. “It brings people over just to see what it is.”

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