Dining With Denise Neil

One Wichita restaurant moved out of this north side space, and another moved right in

Wichita Taco Tour awards best taco to south-side restaurant

(FILE VIDEO -- JANUARY 26, 2018) A group of three men ate at more than 40 restaurants to determine the best taco in town. They chronicled their adventures in a blog and on Facebook.
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(FILE VIDEO -- JANUARY 26, 2018) A group of three men ate at more than 40 restaurants to determine the best taco in town. They chronicled their adventures in a blog and on Facebook.

One restaurant moves out, and another moves right in.

Just a week after Cortez Mexican Restaurant vacated the spot at 344 W. 29th St. North, where it had operated for 34 years, a new Mexican restaurant has already taken it over and is now open for business — even though the details like menus and signage aren’t quite ready.

The last day for Cortez was Saturday, Aug. 24. Owners Mary and Enrique Cortez removed the sign from the front of the building a couple of days later, and new tenant Tacos Porfias opened in the space on Sunday, Sept. 1.

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Tacos Porfias has already reopened in the space that Cortez Mexican Restaurant just vacated after 34 years in business. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

I stopped in on Tuesday to give it a try, and although the owners don’t yet have a permanent sign up — and the menus haven’t yet arrived — one section of the cavernous restaurant was full of diners enjoying Durango-style gorditas, street tacos, burritos, tortas and more.

Owner Jaime Cazares was there welcoming customers to the space, which appears largely unchanged from Cortez’s last day. For the time being, he said, he’s opening from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. Soon, he said, he’ll extend the hours to 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

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They don’t yet have a permanent sign, but Tacos Porfias is up and running in its new space. Denise Neil The Wichita Eagle

The menus didn’t arrive on time, a waitress told me, but she was able to rattle off the highlights and recommended that I try tacos, which had been my plan anyway. (It is, after all, called Tacos Porfias.) I had the taco plate, featuring street tacos on corn tortillas filled with three different meats and served with a side of rice and beans. It cost $7.99 and was quite filling.

Cazares first opened Tacos Porfias as a concession trailer 15 years ago then moved it into the space at 2247 N. Broadway six and a half years ago.

When he decided to take over the Cortez space, he initially had hoped to keep the North Broadway store open for a while, too. But he decided to go ahead and close it, Cazares said. He just didn’t have the staff to run both places.

Another Mexican restaurant is planning to take the old place over, he said. I’ll let you know when I have more details on that.

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Denise Neil has covered restaurants and entertainment since 1997. Her Dining with Denise Facebook page is the go-to place for diners to get information about local restaurants. She’s a regular judge at local food competitions and speaks to groups all over Wichita about dining.
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