Dining With Denise Neil

Their restaurant space didn't work out, so they just set up shop in the parking lot

Sorrel and Christine Rhoden are now serving their authentic Jamaican cuisine in the parking lot of the building on East Douglas they'd hoped to open in.
Sorrel and Christine Rhoden are now serving their authentic Jamaican cuisine in the parking lot of the building on East Douglas they'd hoped to open in. The Wichita Eagle

They started this fall with a food truck called Sorrel Jamaican Food.

But Sorrel Rhoden and his wife, Christine, quickly decided a brick-and-mortar spot would be preferable for selling their Jamaican cuisine.

So they found a spot at 2808 E. Douglas, right next door to Common Grounds Coffee House — and they even moved into the apartment above it. But they soon learned that the space could not accommodate a restaurant hood, which they feel they need to create their authentic dishes.

Now, they're relaunching their search for a brick-and-mortar spot, and they have a leading contender. In the meantime, they've set up their trailer in the parking lot of their would-have-been space and are selling food there.

"We're still at that spot because it was convenient," Christine said.

The couple even added a picnic table under a tent out front, and they play Jamaican music to set the mood. People in the Douglas Design District have been taking note. They're stopping by regularly to gobble up the restaurant's jerk chicken and jerk pork — and there's also been a demand for ox tail, Christine said.

Sorrel, a native of Jamaica, and his wife hit the streets of Wichita in November. For now, their trailer is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays through Fridays and Sundays. They close at 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and are closed on Saturdays.

I'll let you know when the couple settles on a brick-and-mortar spot.

(FILE VIDEO -- 2017) Denise Neil visits Parsnipity Cafe and its companion food truck to learn more about lumpia, a Filipino snack that cafe owner Cynthia Wilson specializes in.

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