If you’re a food truck fan in Wichita, you might notice that there are several new rigs on the scene.
Over the long winter, several local entrepreneurs got to work, and now those who attend food truck rallies or visit Wichita’s food truck parks will find new vendors and new options, including barbecue made by a former bomb specialist, burgers cooked up by a local taco expert and coneys vended from an old milk truck.
Here’s a look at some of the new food trucks on the scene this spring.
The much anticipated Coney Island Hot Weiners restaurant is set to open in early May. And when it does, customers also will start noticing that it has a companion food truck.
The restaurant’s owners have a 1955 Wonder Bread delivery truck, and they’re turning it into a mobile version of their business. But the truck will serve only coney dogs with chili, cheese, mustard and onion plus chips, soft drinks and water. Owners are still not sure exactly what the truck will be named.
Michael Frimel, who is one of the partners opening the restaurant and the truck in Wichita, said that the truck already is booked for several private events in May. Owners envision it frequently being used as a catering option for companies and sports teams who want to serve big groups an inexpensive meal.
The truck also will make appearances at food truck rallies. The schedule will be updated on the Coney Island Facebook page.
Troy Evans first career was working in the 184th Intelligence Wing at McConnell Air Force base as a bomb builder.
He’s retired now, but his career offered inspiration for the name of his new food truck: The Bomb BBQ. Evans took over the business in January. Previously, it was primarily a catering business owned by his daughter in Conway Springs.
He’s now frequently in Wichita in his Toyota food truck serving a menu that focuses on more than just barbecue. He also serves things like ham, chili in a bread bowl and meatloaf, and he’s known for his pulled pork “parfaits,” which layer beans, pulled pork, macaroni and mashed potatoes in a clear parfait cup. It looks like ice cream, he said, but tastes like barbecue heaven.
Evans also is known for donating 10 percent of his food truck profits to a veterans homeless shelter called Passageways. He plans to have the truck at various places around Wichita, including food truck parks, and he’ll be at the Food Trucks at the Fountain event on April 28. To see the truck’s schedule, visit The Bomb BBQ Facebook page.
Chef Roberto Simmons had already made a name for himself before he opened his food trailer at the beginning of April. Those who frequent breweries like Hopping Gnome or Third Place would frequently find him there, serving up tacos to craft beer fans.
This year, he decided he wanted to branch out and reach more people, so he converted an old horse trailer into a mobile taco truck. He’s already been out serving at the Wichita State University food truck plaza and at the ICT Pop-Up Urban Park downtown. He also plans to be at the Food Trucks at the Fountain event on April 28.
Simmons, a former nurse, decided to follow his passion for cooking and become a chef. He’s spent years working in Wichita restaurant kitchens, putting in stints at both Doc’s Steak House and Emelia’s.
Watch for Chef Roberto’s name in the news next year at this time, too. He’s enjoying the taco truck so much, he’s planning to open a second truck serving wood-fired pizza next year.
Find his schedule at his Facebook page, called Personal Chef Roberto.
Abel Rodriguez is already well known for his Uno Mas taco truck and his Uno Mas Fresh Mex restaurant at 21st and Amidon. This year, he’s added yet another business: a burger food truck he’s calling Uno Mas Burgers.
He’s had the truck out and about for several weeks already, and the burgers and fries are earning raves online. Rodriguez built the truck himself, and it looks like a smaller version of his taco truck that he opened in 2016.
The menu offers 20 different types of burgers, ranging from a Mexican burger to a mac-and-cheese burger, which he rotates on the menu. He’s also serving seasoned fries and a Mexican hot dog.
Neives’ Mexican Restaurant, a Mexican food mainstay in Winfield, closed at the end of February after being in business for 33 years. Fans were distraught, but they can find comfort in the fact that the restaurant’s food is still available on Neives’ Taco Truck, which is frequently in the Wichita area. It serves the restaurant’s signature flour tacos.
The truck is a frequent visitor at the Wichita State Food Truck Plaza and also will be at food truck rallies. It’s available for private events, too.
The owners of Want Coffee at 2615 W. 13th St. frequently serve bierocks and cinnamon rolls. Those two items are so popular and in such demand that Lori and Jim Want are about to open a food truck just to sell them.
Want Bierock Co. should open soon in a converted trailer, and Jim, who just retired from the railroad, will run it. It will serve just bierocks, cinnamon rolls and drinks.
Food truck rallies coming up
To check out some of Wichita’s food trucks, you can visit two big rallies that are coming up at the Wichita WaterWalk, 515 S. Main.
One is at Night at the Fountains, which will happen from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday
The other is the monthly Food Trucks at the Fountain rally, which happens from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 28.