Food truck season has returned in Wichita, and it’s brought with it several tasty new additions to the scene.
Among them: A second outing by a seasoned cook. A rolling rig of comfort foods. A bibimbap-mobile. A meat-free hot dog cart. And a bright red truck stuffed with stuffed fried pies.
The first Food Trucks at the Fountain rally has already happened. Organizers got an early start this year and were able to put together a rally for March. The next one is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 29 at the WaterWalk, 515 S. Main, and it’ll feature many favorite trucks, including The Flying Stove, Uno Mas, and LoLo’s Crepes and likely a few of the newcomers listed below.
A couple of other smaller rallies are planned for the next week or so, including Party in the 060 Food Truck Caravan, scheduled for 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at the Haysville Activity Center, 523 Sarah Lane in Haysville, and Food Trucks on Main Street, which happens from 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday in the 200 block of West Main in Valley Center.
Here’s a look at some of the new trucks you’ll encounter as you make the food truck rounds this spring and summer:
Famos Foods: Kevin Amos, who most recently partnered with his sister, Rebecca, on the now-defunct Garden of Eatin’ food truck and restaurant, has teamed up with elementary school pals Will Barrier and Conner Barrier to open an all-new food truck, called Famos Foods. The three have a new 20-foot concession trailer with a six-foot porch on the back, which they’ll use for grilling or smoking meats or to let customers get a closer look at the kitchen. The menu will consist of dishes sandwiches, egg rolls, tacos and a special version of chicken and waffles that features a homemade waffle cone stuffed with chicken pieces and drizzled with honey and maple syrup. They’ll also always have vegan and vegetarian options.
Amos and his partners, who also plan to cater parties and special events, will be out with the truck several times over the weekend, including a shift at Aero Plains Brewing on Friday for dinner and The Workroom’s Anniversary Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday. They’ll keep followers updated on their Facebook page.
Bibimbap N Go: Michelle Raney and her son, Kody, are on the verge of debuting this new truck, which will serve Korean fusion fare, including bulgogi bowls and bi bim bap, a Korean specialty that features rice topped with meat and vegetables. Michelle said it was actually her son’s idea to start the truck, and she decided to help him. She is half-Korean and said the recipes will replicate the type of food her mom made when she was growing up. The pair have a 1976 Chevy truck that they’ve turned into their food truck, and it’s getting its final inspections now. They hope to have it ready to go by the April Food Trucks a the Fountain event.
Raney said she’s a longtime fan of Food Network and always dreamed of having a food business. She and her son decided it would be less risky to start with a truck.
“We’ll see how people react to it,” she said. “We figured it’s better than putting a bunch of money into a brick and mortar. This is a cheaper way to get out there and see if it will work.”
Homegirl’z Kitchen:Goddard’s Lory Silva loves to feed people, so opening a restaurant that focuses on the type of comfort food that makes people happy has always been a dream. She and her husband, Steve, are about to open Homegirl’z Kitchen, a new food truck that will specialize in the type of comfort food Silva grew up eating in Oklahoma, like chicken fried chicken and chicken fried steak. They’ll also serve dishes like grilled mac and cheese sandwiches with tomato soup as well as fried flour tacos.
The truck’s official opening will be on May 30, when it takes a shift serving at Central Standard Brewing. But it’ll do a test run at 6 p.m. on April 27, when it sets up at Goddard’s Jazz in the Park event, which will happen at 108 N. Main in Goddard. People can follow along with the truck’s schedule at its Facebook page.
Fried Pies: This bright red truck officially hit the streets when the NCAA Tournament was in town. It’s an offshoot of the Arbuckle Mountain Fried Pies store in Park City, owned by Herb and Amber Callender. The truck, which has been hired for a gig at the Wichita Riverfest June 1-9, also will set up at food truck rallies and in front of Herb Callender’s other business, Valley Liquor in Valley Center.
Wheat Street Dogs:Pat Handley is awaiting the final inspections and licenses on his new food cart, which he’s calling Wheat Street Dogs. He hopes to hit the streets in the next week or so. Handley, a longtime vegan, will sell vegan hot dogs and sausages, featuring the recipes he’s perfected that use wheat gluten and soy.
Handley, who also owns a photo and video business with his wife, Judy, said that the couple had been vegetarians since 2000 and went vegan in 2011. Cooking became a necessity, and Pat had experience. When he was in his 20s and 30s, he spent 15 years working in restaurants. His friends, even his non-vegetarian friends, loved his vegan hot dogs and encouraged him to sell them.
He’ll update the Wheat Street Dogs Facebook page when he gets shifts scheduled.
Sweet P’s Love Machine: From the man who created the tacos and enchiladas at the now-closed Chiquita’s Corner comes this new truck. David Sandoval’s daughter and boyfriend actually own the new Sweet P’s, but he’s cooking and serving the food, including those missed Chiquita’s dishes. The truck, which sets up in Riverside and will soon join in food truck events, also sells burgers, sandwiches and street tacos.