Dining With Denise Neil

Three new food trucks join Wichita’s fleet

Mr. Natural Soul Kitchen will operate out of this restored Rainbow Bread truck.
Mr. Natural Soul Kitchen will operate out of this restored Rainbow Bread truck.

Wichita is getting three new food trucks, two of which will make their debuts at the monthly Food Trucks at the Fountain event, scheduled for June 28. The best part: Each is serving something no other local truck is already serving.

One focuses on Asian food made with natural, organic ingredients. One is a Filipino food truck that specializes in roasted pork. One serves chicken wings and fries – and that’s it.

Here’s a look at each of the three new trucks:

Mr. Natural Soul Kitchen: Donnie Hutchins’ won’t sell soul food like collard greens and cornbread. It will sell food that’s good for your soul, he said, and he wants to focus on Asian fusion cuisine that’s organic, clean and local. Hutchins has worked in restaurants all over Kansas City and most recently helped Schane Gross open Fork and Fennel at 3425 E. Douglas.

“I’ve done fine dining for as long as I can remember, and I just wanted to get back to some grass roots of just cooking really great food,” he said. “I want to show people that organic isn’t salad bars and to get them to understand that organic food has better flavor and is better for you.”

His menu will rotate based on what his local farmer sources have available, he said, but he plans to offer Asian items like yakitori, sate, ramen, pad Thai, Kung Pao and more. Eventually, he wants to serve banh mi sandwiches.

His truck is an old Rainbow Bread truck, he said. He plans to set up regularly behind the Alibi Room, the bar at 919 E. Douglas, and also hopes to plug in the food truck spots at the about-to-open new pop-up park near Douglas and Main. He also plans to stay open late to serve after-bar crowds in Old Town. The truck’s official debut will be at Food Trucks at the Fountain.

The Kamayan Truck: Alan Albarracin Jr. is of Filipino decent, and since 2013, he’s been running a catering company called Lechon Baboi, which focuses on one of the Philippines’ favorite foods: roasted pig. He’s been providing whole roasted pigs, pork belly roulade and more for private events around town. He decided to expand his business with a food truck and will be selling items including Asian tacos, roasted pig served with rice and dipping sauce, pork ribs, Asian chicken wings and more. His ingredient list includes lemongrass, bok choy and more.

“We’re basically taking roasted pig and implementing it a lot of different ways,” he said. “A lot of the items that are going to be on our menu can be easily eaten with your hands.”

In fact, he said, the name of the truck translates to “eat with your hands.”

Albarracin attended culinary school in Scottsdale, Ariz., he said, and spent many years working at restaurants in New York City before returning to Wichita to be closer to his family. He also has a full-time job in commercial real estate. He says he plans to eventually develop a route for the truck but also will take it to private events. The Food Trucks at the Fountain event will be his first. Once he’s up and running, he’ll update his location on his Facebook page.

Ms. Tosha’s Chcken: Back in 2011, Latosha Townsend opened a tiny, carryout-only restaurant at 13th and Grove and sold fried chicken wings, French fries and drinks. The business took off, and soon, she moved to 21st and Oliver so she could add some seating and expanded her menu to include gizzards and fish. It also went well, but her landlord sold her building in 2013 to make way for a new Dollar Store, and she had to close. Townsend wasn’t able to find another building, and gave up – until she found a trailer that she thought would be right to start a new business.

In May, she launched Ms. Tosha’s Chicken and has been serving on weekends only at various locations around town. Townsend also has a day job selling insurance.

Because the truck is so small, she’s pared back to her original menu and now sells five flavors of chicken wings (original, spicy Ranch, barbecue, lemon pepper and Italian), battered fries and drinks. Townsend will have her truck at her church, Kingdom Harvest at 11801 E. Lincoln, around 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, and she also plans to serve at Food Trucks at the Fountain. She updates her trailer’s location on her Facebook page and Twitter account and also is on Instagram.

Food Trucks at the Fountain will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on June 28 at the Waterwalk at 515 S. Main. It will include the usual lineup plus the new trucks and Sunflower Espresso, Kate Clause’s recently launched coffee truck. It’ll start with a yoga class at 10 a.m.

For more information, check out the event’s Facebook page.