Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita has a new chicken-and-waffles place, and you won’t need a fork

Taste of Soul Southern Chicken and Waffles is now open.
Taste of Soul Southern Chicken and Waffles is now open.

Wichita has a new place to feast on chicken and waffles, and for these, they don’t even need a fork.

On Monday, Taste of Soul Southern Chicken and Waffles opened in the food court on the lower level of Towne East Square. It specializes in a hand-held chicken-and-waffle sandwich called a “wafflewich.” It also serves more traditional chicken and waffles, featuring chicken wings arranged on top of a buttermilk waffle.

The restaurant took over the space next to Charleys Philly Steaks that used to hold Indian food vendor New Paradise.

Smallcakes Cupcakery in Fairview Heights has teamed up with Sugarfire Smokehouse in O'Fallon to create a one-of-a-kind chicken and waffles cupcake. BND Reporter Cara Anthony gets a behind-the-scenes look at how it's made.

The owners are Ricki and Cerese Bly, who own two food trucks and a stationary restaurant in Oklahoma City. Over the holidays last year, they opened a temporary pop-up restaurant that served chicken and waffles in a kiosk at Oklahoma City’s Penn Square Mall, which just like Towne East is owned by Simon Malls.

It was a hit and was slammed with business every day, Cerese said. At the end of the season, the management said they’d like the Blys to consider opening something more permanent and told them they had a spot in Wichita.

The couple had been to Wichita before. Ricki’s cousin, Diamond Lockhart, played basketball for Wichita State University. They decided to go for it.

The couple got their start in 2012 with a food truck called Taste of Soul Egg Roll Eatery. They bought another food truck in 2014 and called it Taste of Soul Chicken and Waffle. They also now have a stationary Taste of Soul restaurant in an office building in Oklahoma City.

Their new restaurant in Towne East spot also serves chicken tender baskets and fries, fried fish and breakfast “wafflewich” sandwiches.

Chef Shanita McAfee-Bryant brought her Magnolia's on the Move food truck to Operation Breakthrough to serve preschoolers a lunch of chicken, red velvet waffles and loaded mac and cheese. She also answered the curious students' questions and gave t

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