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Wichita: Any 'hounds at all out there?

Am relocating to DooDah...

Can't seem to stir up any 'hound interest.

have posted for info on coffee, Asian, etc. no response....

Notice there is a Filipino place in town, anyone been?

Anyone breathing here???

Still looking for recs on Thai, Viet, Chinese, etc.

Decent freshly roasted coffee....????

Anything interesting?

I went to Bangkok Thai on Rock, was ok, but not great. Iceberg lettuce served with Yum Neua, kinda sad, but the flavors were ok. will go again, but there must be better in town...

Granite City had a nice burger...but were out of IPA, more on that later. They did a good job of redeeming themselves...

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  1. We ate at a Malaysian place in a strip mall while driving through Wichita. I'll be honest, it wasn't anything special, but it was satisfying and Malaysian, so if you're looking for some interesting Asian you might try it. I think it was probably this place:

    Malaysia Cafe
    7777 E 21st St N, Wichita, KS 67206
    (316) 685-8838

    Apparently there there are a lot of Malaysian students at Wichita State (google "Malaysian Wichita") so maybe you should write to the Malaysian student association there for some recommendations!

    1. I noticed your post is kinda old. Have you gotten any other good suggestions? I check in periodically, I know Wichita isn't exactly a food mecca, but there are lots of good places here. I've never been, but Saigon is almost legendary. It's on north Broadway I think. I just recently heard Cafe Tutu on Central is good. I think Thai Tradition on Central is exceptional. Mana Wok is Korean and I think it's on Harry. It's really good.

      As for burgers, if you haven't tried Ty's Diner, you must. If you like Lebanese, go to
      N & J on Lincoln. It is also an institution.

      Fresh roasted coffee, not sure about. I'm one of those jerks that goes to Starbucks, because it's by my house. A Dunn Bros. opened up in the Marriot downtown, but it's also a chain. The Vagabond in the Delano is good, although really smoky and I doubt it's fresh roasted. The west side seems to have more independent coffee shops. Let me know if you need any other recs.

      5 Replies
      1. re: shopgirl26

        I was up there visiting family recently and they took me to Thai Tradition, it was fantastic! I'm considering relocating there, so I'll be watching this topic.

        1. re: shopgirl26

          Have gotten a few recs, but mostly going through the phone book, driving neighborhoods...basic detective work.
          I have some new things to report on burgers, Thai, etc and will post those soon.

          Still no local coffee roasters worth discussing, but The Roasterie in KC is very good, but a tad pricey, though more or less in line with other online sources...their Super Tuscan espresso blend is very nice. There is another place in Topeka, P.K.'s?, which i might also try, but will be buying a coffee roaster soon to do it myself at home...cheaper, fresher and more fun!

          By the way, have been to Saigon and thought it was decent...

          1. re: sambamaster

            P.T.'s, in Topeka- he sells his coffee to other places too.

            1. re: Katie Nell

              Try the Spice Merchant - they roast their own coffee; the spices are great - and inexpensive; the teas are excellent also. They're on Douglas, just west of Mosley.

              1. re: kskrazy

                spice Merchant coffee is passable at best. Nothing special, and it doesn't seem particularly fresh. And anyone who is serious about coffee will never sell the flavored, schlock-laden beans they hawk.
                as for the spices, they don't appear to be particularly fresh either. but i'll reserve judgement...i will say that going into that store is a bit like descending into the first circle of hades...it's a total mess, and not very conducive to comfortable, or confident, shopping. sorry, but the place could probably be wonderful with a little work. and a knowledgeable coffee roaster.

        2. Hey, I'm a former Wichita native who may be moving back there in the next year. I've been visiting a lot recently and would be interested in putting together a little Best of Wichita restaurant list for reference purposes. I'm in the San Francisco Bay Area right now (for 17 years now), so my standards are pretty high. Sorry to hear the Dim Sum place wasn't so great, but you're right--it's the only game in town right now. I'll give it a try next time I visit (Sept.) and see if I find anything good.

          Thanks for the burger joint recommendation. Always good to have places like that. By the way, you should try Nu-Way, if you haven't already. Wichita is the only place in the world that has it--a loose-meat burger sandwich, that comes standard with onions and mustard. It's not gourmet fare, but lots of folks like me swear by them, and their fresh-brewed root beer. In fact, I frequently have friends pick me up a frozen box of twelve and tote them on the airplane when they visit me.

          I'll keep you posted on my own new and re-discoveries as I start visiting more often.

          11 Replies
          1. re: tangoman

            If you decide to try out Nu-Way, go to the one @ Central & Woodlawn on a Sunday. A local farmer brings in boxes of freshly picked tomatoes during the season that are wonderful. We got some there last week and I made a Caprese salad for a birthday party on Monday that was the hit of the dinner.

            1. re: clsmith

              I love NuWay. Some people think the concept is gross, but it is pure greasy goodness. Excellent onion rings. Walt's on Central is a favorite, they have a pretty big menu and everything is good. The Oasis is also a local staple, if you like super thick burgers.

              1. re: shopgirl26

                I agree I love their burgers and onion rings. And I always have to get their rootbeer. I hardly ever drink soft drinks - but for NuWay Rootbeer i make an exception.

                1. re: gigigirrl

                  Nu-Way is horrible. I have never understood the appeal of this place short of nostalgia.

                  Should have died a slow, panful death a long time ago, IMO.

                  1. re: rbubp

                    All locations?

                    I've only been to the orginal, perhaps a dozen times. Everything I have been there is good and I love their rootbeer.

            2. re: tangoman

              Some of my favorites not previously mentioned here are Cibola, in Bradley Fair, for upscale dining; Jason's Deli in the same complex - wonderful sandwiches and soup. Then there's Sweet Basil on the 2500 block on north Woodlawn (Italian and excellent steaks and seafood). I still like Tommy's (21st and Tyler, Sonny Glennon's old partner) and Scotch and Sirlion. The new GrillFish at the Lakefront at Webb and 13th is excellent as is Granite City. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised at the dining in Wichita these days. I also vote yes for the Copper Oven; they're also a bakery. I really depends on what side of town you live on - the west side has really come up in the world since you lived here. For burgers, I also like Spangle's; it's fast food, but their Gourmet Supreme combo is $3.21 with tax and is a 1/3# burger.

              1. re: kskrazy

                I forgot about Cibola, the lobster bique is to die for, and I love the goat cheese salad. I would say it's one of the few truly upscale places we have here.

                1. re: kskrazy

                  Boy you are Kansas crazy -- for chains! Jason's, the fish joint and Granite City are all nationwide chains. There are homegrown Wichita restaurants that beat these hands down! None of these is anything special and certainly not worth a special trip.

                2. re: tangoman

                  Tangoman... Nuway is good, but not the only place loose meat sandwiches are made. Two brothers (I think) started it and had a falling out. One moved to Iowa (Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Marion) and opened the Made-rite stands. Same sandwich. Not all the Nuways make their own root beer. Some are using Barq's or Dad's. And, if you really have a stomache, you'll ask for your Nuways WET.

                  1. re: millvalleygirl

                    that's sambamaster, please! i think i'll pass on future exposure to the loose meat sandwich, for me, it's the No-way. Will partake of their root beer, however. too bad there are no more White Castles around...they started here too as I understand it...

                    1. re: sambamaster

                      Yes, they did. And Jimmie King (of Kings-X, which includes Toc's and Jimmie's--or used to at least) got his start at White Castle. The Valentine outfit that made those little prefab diners started out making White Castles, I think.

                      When I worked at the Macdonald Park Golf Course (north part of College Hill area, east of Hillside between Central and 13th), we used to make pretty good loosemeat sandwiches.

                3. Have you found a good breakfast spot yet? We will be there Labor Day week sometime visiting my husband's grandma, and he requested a good breakfast place.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: Katie Nell

                    The Copper Oven is good if you like down home kind stuff, the brunch at Yia Yia's is very good if you want something a little nicer. I live by the Picadilly out east, and I popped in the other day and noticed they have a large breakfast menu. They used to be really good then went down hill, but I'm ready to give them another shot.

                    Has anyone been to Bella Donna yet?

                    1. re: shopgirl26

                      The Copper Oven, as in the pie place like we have in Topeka too, or another Copper Oven?

                      1. re: Katie Nell

                        I think the Copper Oven on W 13th is just local. Check their hours - I don't believe they are open on Sundays. Right next to Yia Yia's in Bradley Fair is Good Egg, a locally owned breakfast place. Excellent French Toast.

                        Lots of folks rave about Granite City's Sunday Brunch but we've never tried it. Haven't made it to Bella Donna yet, but a lady I was helping @ work the other day said they had gone opening week. It's owned by the same guy who opened Chesters, so they have an excellent wine list. Her only comment about the food was that they "didn't like their Italian food so fancy." Whatever. I felt like telling her thats why God gave Wichita Savute's!

                        1. re: clsmith

                          So Savute's is still around? I will definitely try it. I loved Angelo's, then it closed. Granite City brunch is ok, for almost $20 a person with a drink and tip, I like Yia Yia's better, it seems like I remember it to be cheaper too, excellent French Toast, they have a better selection too. GC was mostly breakfast items, YY's has poached salmon, lot's of salads and pastas to choose from, and I think a prime rib station, don't quote me on that one though.

                          I too think CO is local. I'm in Topeka a lot, there's not a lot to choose from but you guys have the best local fast food mexican. I love Taco Villa and Tacos el Sol.

                          1. re: shopgirl26

                            Good Egg is open 6:30am - 2:30pm. I believe Copper Oven is open on Sundays - it's Monday when they are closed. It's also a bakery with great treats.

                            1. re: kskrazy

                              The Copper Oven is closed on Sunday:( We dropped by after church and found out they were closed. But I like their food. But my favorite bakery is Bagatelle. We had their Chantilly cream tortes at our wedding.

                            2. re: shopgirl26

                              Dafazio's on amidon and I think 25th, the owner was the head cook at Angelo's, its just like going back again, try it out, I love the pickled eggplant on the salads(just like Angelo's ) later

                            3. re: clsmith

                              Thanks- we'll check out The Good Egg and Copper Oven.

                              1. re: clsmith

                                Haven't been to Savute's in a long time, but a bunch of friends (4) went there two weeks ago and said everything they ordered was mediocre. Let me know what you think they do really well, so I can order that next time I'm there. I also miss Angelo's--it was really the only place I knew to get really good, basic (but not high-end) Italian food.

                                Any other suggestions for Italian?

                                1. re: tangoman

                                  DeFazio's was pretty good and from what I remember, pretty authentic. Also I've read about a super authentic place-I think it's in Mulvane-that people go there specifically for. I'll post if I can figure out the name...

                                  1. re: shopgirl26

                                    Hi Guys!!!

                                    Here is my two cents.

                                    Best Burger....Bomber Burger 47th & Clifton
                                    Best Breakfast..The Beacon on Douglas next to the Wichita Eagle
                                    Best Soul Food... Cheree's Cafe 3928 E. 13th Between Hillside & Oliver
                                    Best Steak... Chester's Chophouse & Wine Bar Big $$$$$'s
                                    Best Steak II...Scotch and Sirlion On East Kellogg "Great Prime Rib"

                                    Steve S.

                                    1. re: shopgirl26

                                      The Mulvane Italian restaurant is Luciano's. Best homemade pasta for 200 miles. On weekends, you need a reservation. Call about 4-5 days ahead. 316-777-0045.

                                      1. re: shopgirl26

                                        Yes, DeFazio's. I haven't lived in Wichita for quite awhile but a friend who does still live there told me it's even better than it used to be. it was always my favorite place to go.

                            4. How about Cafe Moderne in the Old Town Square near the Warren Theater? They have authentic gelato in a revolving case!

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: ynkeedoda girl

                                I just heard a commercial for TJ's Deli on 21st and Amidon. I didn't catch whether they said fresh roasted or fresh ground coffee. I think I saw this place in the paper a while back and it really didn't look like the kind of place that would have fresh roasted coffee, it may be worth a call though.

                                1. re: shopgirl26

                                  Not sure but I think that's a chain. I saw something on a truck yesterday that said "Fresh Coffee, Roasted Daily"....well, roasted daily is good, but how long does it take to be delivered, how long on the shelf, etc. Coffee is only good for about two weeks max, then it's way down hill.
                                  I still have not found any place nearby--short of Topeka or KC--that does coffee correctly (my opinion, of course). I'll be getting a new coffee roaster this fall and will do it at home....cheaper (if you pro-rate the cost of the machine over 2-3 years) and always fresher...

                                  1. re: shopgirl26

                                    I tried them out soon after they opened. The sandwiches, although labeled as "New York style", weren't anything exceptional. The meat's Hormel, the sides were limited, and service was quite slow, as there were 3 girls standing at the counter wiping things off, and only one guy in the kitchen trying to make all the orders. They re-sell Krispy Kreme donuts, which I guess is a important morning service in the 21st/Amidon area, but overall I thought they were overpriced and understaffed. They have already survived the "drop dead" date I proclaimed after trying them out, so maybe they'll make it.

                                  2. re: ynkeedoda girl

                                    We went to Cafe Moderne and tried the gelato, it was yummy - I got mango and my husband got raspberry.

                                  3. What's that place in Old Town, northwest of Lawrence-Dumont Stadium? Jack's Hamburgers? Mainly a take-away place. Is it still in business? How are their hamburgers?

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: sigerson57

                                      Well, there's a Jack's North High Carryout near 13th and Waco, north of downtown, which isn't currently open. The original owners had some health problems and a fire, and auctioned the place off. The new owners were going to fix it up and re-open it under the same name.
                                      There was Takoma Burger, just west of the Stadium on Maple, but they've relocated to 9th and West Street, with dine-in seating. Those are still great burgers.
                                      And there's Ty's Diner, a few blocks north of the stadium on 2nd street, still going strong for something like 60+ years.
                                      But "Old Town" is across the river and well north-east of the stadium, and there aren't any reputable burger places there, aside from the Old Mill Tasty Shop on Douglas. Everything's good there.

                                      1. re: podunkboy

                                        Totally agree on the Takoma burgers!! They were really good for a "fast food" type of burger.

                                        I've never been, but my husband recommends Backyard Burger on 21st(?) St. He said for the price, it was pretty darn good.

                                      2. re: sigerson57

                                        Jack's was a North High School hangout on 13th. Unfortunately, it closed. You may be thinking of Arkies, which was on Maple just west of Lawrebnce Stadium; big greasy burgers and fries and the owner's personality matched it. He died and it's gone, too.

                                      3. As to DeFazio's - Pete DeFazio actually was one of Angelo's main chefs till he bought the north Amidon resturant from Angelo's to run as his own. He's been in the business since around 1975, and I think his cooking and business reflects his years of experience, plus his mom taught him a few things too.
                                        As to hamburgers, no one has mentioned Southeast Carryout on south Oliver. Terrific small burgers and fries, although the fries taste real good they are not fresh cut. If you like old style burgers add to your to-try-list Jack's at 62nd street south and Hydraulic (but no fries--Wichita Eagle just did a write-up on them) although its not a date type place. There's another good big and basic burger with fresh cut fries at a sports grill on McArthur street, north side of street (can't remember the name), between Hydraulic and Broadway, about half way...next to a salvage yard. Worth the trip. Have you tried Brints Diner just off Lincoln and Oliver (just north of Parklane Shopping Center)? Its difinetly old style, and was just recently featured on HGTV network.

                                        8 Replies
                                        1. re: Dunder

                                          Brint's is one of those Valentine buildings, I think.

                                          Did the SE Carryout move? I worked there one summer in college, and they were at Lincoln & Edgemoor, I think, across from Southeast High School. I do remember their burgers were really good, but I didn't have any fun working there.

                                          A friend of mine who lives there is in the process of opening a donut shop. He's looking at a location near Old Town. It'll be homemade donuts and good coffee, everything locally-sourced if possible. That's all I can say at this point, except that he's developed a couple of wonderful-sounding donuts (I say "-sounding" because I live 400 miles away and haven't had the chance to taste them.) There is good coffee to be had in Wichita; a place on east Douglas whose name I can't remember, between Old Town and East High, comes to mind.

                                          When I was down there in May my sister and I went to a little deli in Delano that was pretty good. There's always been a little bit of a Lebanese presence in Wichita, and I think this place might be part of that. Decent sandwiches and some nice desserts. But I forget the name. (Guess I'll have to get myself back down there and refresh my memory.)

                                          1. re: revsharkie

                                            revsharkie... will you let us know when he opens the donut shop? We're usually obligated to eat with family when we're in Wichita, but I'm thinking we would surely have time for at least some donuts!

                                            1. re: revsharkie

                                              La Gallette's probably the deli, just east of Seneca on Douglas. The only coffee place between Old Town and East High right now is Spice Merchant.

                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                He is a MySpace friend of mine! I tried to persuade him into opening in the Delano, rents are cheaper and it's a more eclectic vibe. But they needed a drive thru window. And yes, his donuts sound awesome.

                                                It's La Galette. They have a really good turkey on croissant. It's basic, but it's good.

                                                1. re: shopgirl26

                                                  Yeah, he's a MySpace friend of mine, too, but I've known him for almost 20 years. Delano would be a good location, I agree. (My sister works near there, and he doesn't live too far from there either.) I saw him when I was down there last month, but he didn't make any donuts then. That "Mocha Deluxe" creation sounds like it alone could make the place, but of course I haven't tasted it.

                                                  1. re: revsharkie

                                                    I always see that "hot fresh donuts in the test kitchen" bulletin and they all sound to die for! The people that live in and around the Delano would surely love it, I do know that. It's where a lot of the artsy and hipper businesses are settling. I guess we will have to wait and see.

                                                    1. re: shopgirl26

                                                      Update, a little late: the donut shop is open... The Donut Whole, on Douglas just east of Hydraulic. In addition to donuts (he does all cake donuts, including vegan ones every Wednesday), he has very good coffee, all kinds of sodas, live music, a public-domain movie night, art on display... they even do "doggie donuts" for the four-legged friends. I have tasted the donuts, and they're awesome. Look for the building with the giant chicken on the roof.

                                                      1. re: revsharkie

                                                        We've been there too, and loved it! We tried several kinds, and I think one of my favorites was the maple bacon donut. They had a fresh ginger slushie of some sort too that was amazing!

                                            2. Bejing Bistro : really good food - good atmosphere. My favorites: steamed cooked seafood combo, Moo Shu style beef, lettuce wraps, & triple delight soup for two. A friend told me they liked THAI TRADITION but we have not been there yet. I like Mokas (newton) and the Bean Scene. I love Bella Luna (Bradley) & Adrians. Jimmies Diner is my favorite breakfast place (hopefully it will stay good, I heard it changed hands). But if I am lazy i will just run down the street to Cracker Barrel. As I said elsewhere Bagatelles is very good. And i prefer nuway burgers. If i just want a nice good lunch - all you eat salad bar at Jason's Deli. My guilty pleasure is the Breadbasket in Newton. German food like my grandma used to make. Sausage, ham gravy, chicken borscht, Verenika, fried potatoes, plus their bread and peppernuts - which they sell in the store out front. Yum. But when it comes to steak - my favorite is homemade.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: gigigirrl

                                                We just went to Thai Tradition yesterday for lunch and it was very good. I had the Zucchini and Eggplant/Beef - no spicy. DH had the Gourmet/Chicken level 4-chef hot. He said it was really good.

                                                1. re: gigigirrl

                                                  The soft spring rolls are awesome. All the curries are excellent, and I love their pad thai-I always order medium. I tried chef hot once and could barely eat it. Your friend must have iron tastebuds! On a similar note, the Asian market on Central has this canned green curry, the brand is Aroy-D. It is really good, it's not very thick so I add a little cream or half & half. I couldn't believe how much it tasted like Thai Tradition's green curry. I just add broccoli and peppers.

                                                  1. re: shopgirl26

                                                    SG, fry the paste in some oil and the thick stuff from a can of coconut milk. then add the remaining milk, a bit of brown sugar, some fish sauce (get the clearest you can...from Vietnam... look for the word "nhi" on the top of the label.. not a brand, a designation.) and you should get even closer. For variety, add zukes, maybe some green peas or ever green beans...sometimes I add potatoes... Thais would add small green or white eggplants, smaller than ping pong balls....oh, and some basil leaves if you have some...preferably Thai holy basil.
                                                    Also, the Asian Mkt on Central is ok...however, for the best Asian produce I've seen in Wichita, and some of the best i've ever seen this side of San Francisco, go the Thai-something market on S. Hillside just south of Pawnee. I've posted about it before. They are much more complete (though no so in the Indian dept) and have a great selection of great fish and meat including the legendary pork belly, but also live blue crabs, oysters in the shell, and much more. the produce really is fantastic. They also have Viet bahn mi, the nice cheap sandwiches, and though I have not had one, it seems like they are using far better bread than any of the Viet restaurants in town where I've tried the sandwich.
                                                    Thai Trad makes their hot stuff really hot if you ask for it...the hottest I've had in town for sure. I'll soon be posting new stuff about another very good Thai place.

                                                    1. re: sambamaster

                                                      The stuff in the can is all pre-done. It has basil, lime leaves and bamboo shoot. Are you speaking of frying the actual curry paste? I've never tried doing it that way, usually I just whisk it into the coconut milk. I will definitely try that next time. Have you tried the oysters? What kind are they?

                                                      Is that the fish sauce that Thai restaurants use as a condiment with the chilis? I can't get enough of it. The kind I always have on hand is Korean, and is made with Lancefish. I would imagine it's different(for making kim chee.)

                                                      1. re: shopgirl26

                                                        i use the canned paste all the time. the green is wonderful. yep, heat the "cream" from the coconut milk with a bit of veg. oil and fry the actual paste. deepens the flavor. then mix in the coco.milk. don't eat oysters. sarge does. anyway, they are in the shell, ready to force open!!! have no idea how fresh they are, but imagine quite. their market demands freshness...
                                                        The Thai sauce you are asking about has other things in it. and it's too late at night for me to remember what....sugar, lime, peppers, probably. the thai fish sauce is ok, but the Viet is so much better. I think Three Squids brand is the one I use, but maybe it's Three Crabs, yes, i think Three Crabs would be correct. NHI is the code word!!!! There are even better ones, but have not seen them here in Kansas. oddly, i'm thinking the 3 crabs stuff might even come from Thailand!!!! but i can't get up to check my collection!

                                              2. For breakfast I like the Riverside Cafe. It's by the river near North High on 13th street. For coffee try The Riverside Perk, around 1100 N. Nims, a couple blocks South of The Riverside Cafe, or try The Bean Scene, NE of 13th and Tyler on the West side. Riffles Roast / Coffee Time does roast coffee here in Wichita. Not sure if they sell to the public direct, but you can find their products at Picadilly Market, NW of Central and Rock Road.

                                                1. I travel to Wichita from the DC area a lot for work, and was really starting to tire of the lack of good food I was finding in Wichita. My last trip, however, proved the best dining experience I've had there. First, I found Thai Traditions to be an amazing discovery. As a fervent Thai-cuisine-aholic back home, I tend to be pretty picky about it, but I found Thai Traditions to be great. Also, I had an amazing salad at Bella Luna Cafe off of Central in College Hill. Still haven't tried Scotch & Sirloin, but after the recommendations here, that will be my next stop when I retrun in November.

                                                  8 Replies
                                                  1. re: kcboy

                                                    thai tradition is pretty good. siam cuisine is decent too. but Thai Lao Cafe can be amazing. Dumpy location, fantastic food. I've posted lots about it on this board. Skip Scotch and Sirloin...i'm sure DC had many many better steak places...unless you want to step into the time machine for a trip to about 1959. Food is mediocre, ambience is snooty,, clubby who needs it???? Make a better steak at home. Trust me on this....

                                                    1. re: sambamaster

                                                      Many years ago, at the time when the PBA was in Wichita for what seemed like months, I and my BF at the time went to S&S for dinner. There was a group of bowlers in there, maybe four of them, all drunk. Waitress kept coming around in her little bitty skirt, and one of the guys came real close to grabbing her behind. Lewd comments all around. A busboy came through, a young black man, and these characters started hollering at him, "Hey, Boy!"

                                                      1959, indeed.

                                                      1. re: revsharkie

                                                        The rumor around town has always been that they "used" to dabble in prostitution. Who knows, but it is old school all the way and not in a cool Rat Pack way.

                                                        1. re: shopgirl26

                                                          Dabble in prostitution? What kind of "sirloin" they aiming for? I may like "hole in the wall" restaurants, but not THAT type of hole in the wall. Soooo... any tips for a great steak in Wichita?

                                                          1. re: kcboy

                                                            My house! Truly. I dry-age my own steaks, makes even crummy ones amazing. However, on the restaurant scene, don't bother with Chester's, that's for sure. Crappy food. Shopgirl mentions a new S. American (not Brazilian i'm afraid) place west somewhere. I want to try it, just keep forgetting. I imagine they have decent steak. And I love the Lao steak at Thai Lao Cafe, but it comes pre-sliced.

                                                            1. re: kcboy

                                                              Well, I haven't been in a while (not since I worked there in high school actually) but there's a place called Windmills in Suppesville. Windmills used to have really good steaks (but my dad made them back then, so I could be a bit biased!! ;-) ) You could give them a try. Suppes is west of Wichita about 25 minutes on Hwy K-42....I dunno, like I said, it's been probably 5 years (or so) since I've eaten there, so I hope I'm not steering you wrong.

                                                        2. re: sambamaster

                                                          Steaks at home... Picadilly's meat counter is selling Creekstone filets and whole tenderloins. It's a few dollars a pound more than what's available elsewhere, but worth every cent. Until recently I had to get my Creekstone (produced just down the road in Ark City) on the West Coast. Mmmmm.

                                                        3. re: kcboy

                                                          The finest dining in Wichita has yet to be mentioned: "The Olive Tree" at 29th and Rock Rd. The cuisine is continental with a middle eastern edge.

                                                          Scotch and Sirloin makes a very good steak but that seems to be their limit.

                                                        4. [quote=sambamaster]Anyone breathing here???[/quote]

                                                          Well....yes, but they are probably too busy DWHUA to be responding to your questions....;-)

                                                          Burgers: Backyard Burgers, Takoma Burgers, that's all I can think of for now.

                                                          Players, Cheddars, & EmersonBiggin's have been recommended to me, but I've only been to Players and I didn't care for it too much.

                                                          AVOID THE RESTAURANT AT THE AIRPORT HILTON AT ALL COSTS!!! That was the worst food/service I'd ever had, and it was WAY overpriced!! I don't remember what it's called, but I know I'll never go there again.

                                                          Hmmmm....River City Brewery in Old Town used to have some good food (since I've been banned for life, I have no idea if they still are) but it's kinda pricey as I recall. Steaks, burgers, etc. there.

                                                          Hope that helps!!

                                                          11 Replies
                                                          1. re: Farmgirl22

                                                            Don't go to Cheddar's. It was gross, I think I posted somewhere before that the food wasn't nearly as good as your local highschool cafeteria. Seriously.

                                                            Would you be willing to tell us why you are banned for life? Sounds exciting.

                                                            1. re: shopgirl26

                                                              Well....I'd rather not--it's funny, but also embarassing....*blush*

                                                              So Cheddar's isn't very good then? I haven't been there, but it was recommended to me, so I thought I would mention it.

                                                              1. re: Farmgirl22

                                                                I got the salmon-greasy and the rice was really gross- with broccoli cheese casserole. It was steamed broccoli with american cheese melted over it and soggy crushed saltines on top. I hate to just bash a place, but the consensus at my table of four was all bad. Even on a good night and with the food being hot, I don't think it could have been good. It is really cheao though, which is maybe why the place was a madhouse.

                                                                1. re: Farmgirl22

                                                                  I've eaten at Cheddar's all over the country, including Wichita, and I think it's great for a chain. Most items (soups, etc) are made from scratch and $2-$3 less than Chili's/Applebee's.
                                                                  If you ever venture away from the "locally owned chef driven" spots, it's worth a try.

                                                                  1. re: mr.entertainment

                                                                    Have eaten in a few Cheddar's also and all i can say (or am allowed to say) is that the food they serve is no better than any other corporate chain like Chili's or Applebee's and the prices are not any better, but that is moot since the food isn't, in my humble opinion, worth the money at any of these places...and I've been to all of them in Wichita, or at least one of each of these chains. Give me the mom and pop places any day...
                                                                    now, who in Wichita makes a killer chicken fried steak...like my mom made??? How about Fat Ernie's?

                                                                    1. re: sambamaster

                                                                      I heard Town & Country has good down home food. I would imagine they have chicken fried steak. I heard it could be really smoky though. I remember a place called Dutch's you may check out. If I remeber right it was pretty good. Not sure where it is, although every once in a while I find myself passing it. It's got a red and white awning.

                                                                      1. re: shopgirl26

                                                                        Isn't dutch's down on lincoln, somewhere around Washington? Seems like that's the place that I and a friend of mine used to go for lunch from time to time, and it was within walking distance from where I worked. It was okay, as I recall, but not as good as the Beacon.

                                                                        1. re: shopgirl26

                                                                          Dutch's has regretfully passed, I believe. Last time I drove by there it was closed, with a "For Sale" sign in the window. I think it took a hit after one of the cooks turned up with Hepatitis A.
                                                                          Town & Country's good (big menu, standard diner fare w/mesquite-grilled meat in the evenings), but the building is "all smoking", although the owner wishes Wichita would just ban smoking in restaurants so he wouldn't have to deal with the backlash of doing it himself. I've never really noticed a problem with smoke, but I'm not hyper-militant about it. I just like to go over at lunch for a reuben or a patty melt, and sometimes the prime rib is passable. And most of the pie is good.

                                                                        2. re: sambamaster

                                                                          I make a killer chicken fry--but I don't live in Wichita...sorry! '-) I honestly can't think of a restaurant that does chicken fry that isn't a chain or so greasy that you'll be running to the bathroom a lot....

                                                                          How do you afford to eat out so much anyway? I'm dying to know, because it costs a fortune to live there, let alone eat out all the time!! :eek: :eek:

                                                                          1. re: Farmgirl22

                                                                            I always thought Wichita is about the dirt cheapest plave to live in the country! Except for the sales tax of course. I guess I always think if I can get out of a place for less than $15 including tip I'm scoring. My grampa would be ashamed!

                                                                          2. re: sambamaster

                                                                            Kimmie's on Seneca just north of Pawnee has excellent chicken fried steak. Great breakfasts and home style stuff. Livingston's has good breakfasts, too.

                                                                  2. There is a viet place on wewst pawnee that is so authentic I felt out of place and really didn't know what to order. I got something simliar to a spring role and some beef noodle soup that was outstanding. Not much atmosphere and all viet people but very nice and friendly.

                                                                    5 Replies
                                                                    1. re: hgreenbbq

                                                                      Any other clues as to location???? not too familiar with w. pawnee....

                                                                      1. re: sambamaster

                                                                        It's not Pho Hot is it? That's probaly not west now that I think about it. I heard it was really good. I think it is around the Pawnee and I-135 area.

                                                                        1. re: shopgirl26

                                                                          Pho Hot was not too haot for us. for authenticity go to Pho Cafe on north Broadway...but be warned: Pho is ALL they serve...no rice, other food...their chopped Thai chilis are really good (beats the standard jalapeno slices)...

                                                                        2. re: sambamaster

                                                                          Has anyone tried My-Canh's on S. Hillside? How does it compare to Pho Hot?

                                                                          1. re: millvalleygirl

                                                                            Pho Hot and My Cahn (pronounced Meye, with a LONG i) and they are quite siimilar, most Viet menus around here are nearly identical...they are equally clean and each has some sort of lunch buffet, or better, special plates only at lunch. And the quality of each is more or less the same. Nothing spectacular, but certainly adequate for what they are. PH has a nice papaya salad which MC doesn't have or at least I can't recall it having. MC has free wireless if that makes a difference....otherwise, which ever is most convenient...oh, they are nearly around the corner from one another!!!!

                                                                      2. I am a Wichita native and head back to visit the folks most summers. As of last spring, there was a great little cajun place (it may have been called "Cajun Place") in the strip mall on the SW corner of 21st and Woodlawn. Very reasonable and a fairly wide sampling (6 adults, 2 teens and 1 child) was uniformly good-great.

                                                                        I am surprised that noone has mentioned Savutes. It is a dying breed, family Italian in an Olive Garden age. Don't expect high end northern Italian, but they did a Mother's Day dinner that was wonderful. My family has been going there for 40 years and it may be partially the history that makes it such a favorite, but I think the food is worth a try. Focus on the specials, whatever they are.

                                                                        The area on 21st from Oliver to Woodlawn tends to see the birth and death of some interesting, ethnic, family-run places. Most don't hang on, but it is worth a drive-by next time you're in town. Woodlawn and 21st used to have 2 middle eastern places.

                                                                        1. Hi. This is my first post, so forgive any breaches of etiquette. I travel frequently so I always check the board for my destination city to find good places.

                                                                          But, I do live in Wichita. When I travel, I want fine and/or adventurous dining. At home, it’s the good breakfast and lunch spots that get my business. This will echo a lot of what’s been said, but here goes:

                                                                          The Copper Oven, 13th St., just West of McClean (Indian Hills neighborhood). They serve classic “down home” fare, but with the atmosphere up a couple of notches from your typical diner. Did I mention I love a good breakfast? They have perfect Biscuits and Gravy. The outer crust of the biscuits have a good crunch, but the insides are very light. The sausage gravy isn’t greasy, and has a nice slow “black pepper burn”. It’s the first time I didn’t add pepper or table salt to this dish. It’s perfect, as is. Get it with their scrambled eggs, and ask for salsa for your eggs. The salsa itself is nice, with corn and black beans. It’s obviously prepared in the kitchen rather than squeezed from a bottle.

                                                                          Ty’s Diner, 2nd St, just East of Seneca. Best. Burger. Period. The fries are prepared fresh each day, carved directly from the potato. Yes, they are greasy, but addictive. There are simply days when I wake up and know, KNOW, it’s time for Ty’s. Meet me there at 11:30 before the business crowd rush. We’ll share the fries.

                                                                          Wichita Fish Market. Douglas, West of Seneca. They always have a wide variety of fresh fish dinners, with some slightly exotic choices, such as alligator and frog legs. I usually just ask at the register what’s special today and let them decide. This place really is all about the fish: the cole slaw is too sweet, the rice pilaf is tasteless, and just do yourself a favor and throw the hush puppies away. But wow, they can grill fish.

                                                                          Saigon. Broadway, North of downtown. I’m not well-schooled in Vietnamese food, but I love the soups here. Again, I don’t know the terms, but the soup with clear noodles, vegetables, a bit of pork and/or chicken and shrimp, and bean sprouts on the side to add crunch, is excellent. I add jalapenos to soak for a few minutes – excellent. They also have a “traditional” catfish soup dinner (you’ll need three or more to finish this stew) with catfish on the skeleton, which takes some getting used to, as it has tomatoes and pineapple. I found that, even if you didn’t quite like it the first time, it haunts you. You get to craving/needing it again.

                                                                          Artichoke. Broadway, North of downtown. Irish sandwich bar. That’s about as succinct a description as anyone could give you. You either know what an Irish sandwich bar is, or don’t. If you don’t, then you need to get to Artichoke. Ask for Nancy’s Number 8 and a black-and-tan.

                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                          1. re: tgreer

                                                                            I forgot about the fish market. I've never eaten there, but I buy most of my fish there, I have never been disappointed. I am of the school of thought, that in Kansas, most fish is better frozen since it's frozen fresh. The stuff at the fish counter at the nicest groceries is usually pretty gross.

                                                                            1. re: tgreer

                                                                              I used to get a corned beef sandwich at the Artichoke (my band played there from time to time for cover charge, supper and whatever we wanted to drink). Shortly after I moved to Oregon, my ex (the one I moved there with) was going back to Wichita to visit friends, and he asked me if I wanted him to bring me anything. I told him that I wanted one of those corned beef sandwiches. He went up there and told them who it was for, and they absolutely loaded it up with corned beef for me. Even hauled back in his luggage, it was yummy. They didn't have Guinness back then, but they do now; plus they have certain times when the place is smoke-free, which is nice.

                                                                              I almost got arrested in front of the Artichoke on St. Pat's Day once, but that's a story for another board.

                                                                              1. re: revsharkie

                                                                                This isn't strictly a Wichita post, but trying to get back home from Boston to Wichita last week left me stranded at the Radisson - Northbrook in Chicago. Oh great, no car, hotel voucher, past 10pm. Gross hotel cafeteria food, no thanks. But the smell of delicious food made it's way into my room, and I followed my nose to a rented meeting room full of Koreans.

                                                                                Evidently a local Korean woman rents the room and kitchen space and runs the aptly named "Korean Restaurant" there from time to time, and the local Korean community flocks in. They welcomed me warmly, and I had an amazing dinner. I ordered a hot pot to share, and it came with generous side dishes (pickled radishes, kimchi, eggs, etc.).

                                                                                It was a beautiful, happy accident, and a memorable experience.

                                                                                Whereas EggsCetera this morning (in my attempt to make this post nominally on-topic) wasn't. The Huevos Rancheros were mediocre. Basically, fried eggs on top of your basic grocery store corn tortillas with non-descript salsa on the side.

                                                                                1. re: tgreer

                                                                                  Glad you enjoyed that! It started w/ the Korean execs coming to Northbrook but now it has a cult following. I used to work in the North Shore now in KC.

                                                                              2. re: tgreer

                                                                                Ah! The Artichoke is AWESOME!! I was actually just struggling to remember the name of it. LOL! I recommend trying the Fix It(?) with ham or roast beef--it's the one with the cream cheese....it's kiss your fingers good!! :-) Service is decent too--especially considering it's always been pretty packed when I've been in there.

                                                                                Have you tried Piztro's yet? It's on Webb road(??) I don't recommend their artichoke/spinach dip though--it's not the best I've ever had. Their pastas were decent, and I'm told their pizzas are some of the best "fire baked" you'll ever put in your mouth. (I can't verify this because I think "fire baked" pizzas are disgusting.)

                                                                              3. Sambamaster...

                                                                                Here are some personal favorites from a Clean Plate Ranger.

                                                                                BBQ: Hog Wild (west street), B & C Barbecue, Jet Bar-B-Que

                                                                                Mexican: Connie's is the oldest and still the best; family owned. Plaza Azul is good and inexpensive. Abuelos is upscale and the food is good. Felipe's is nice. The food at El Paisa is decent but the service is spotty. Margarita's Cantina is a decent lunch spot.

                                                                                Italian: Carrabas is upscale but good. DeFazio's used to be good, but has gone way downhill. Angelos, which was the best, is out of business. Savute's has definitely seen better days. In short, there's a lack of decent Eye-Tie here.

                                                                                Hamburgers: Hands down, The Oasis. Ty's Diner is a very close second, especially because of the fries. TJs on Douglas has good meat and fries. Bionic Burger also is nice. Red Robin is a chain but quite tasty.

                                                                                Breakfast: Riverside Cafe, The Beacon, King's X (north), The Good Egg, Jeanne's Cafe, Jimmie's Diner. In that order.

                                                                                Latin: Sabor's is new and the hot spot and very good.

                                                                                Thai: Thai Tradition is the best, but Bangkok Thai Restaurant is a good second choice.

                                                                                Lebanese: N & J is the best, but Byblos is perfectly good and a bit friendlier.

                                                                                Deli/Sandwich: Planet Sub is the best. Cinnamon's is OK, and a lot of people like Panera.

                                                                                Anytime: Nu-Way (on west Douglas - the best!), Old Mill Tasty Shop, Copper Oven, Le Monde, Scotch and Sirloin (VERY expensive), Texas Roadhouse, Freddy's

                                                                                Japanese/Sushi: Sumo, Hana Cafe, Emperor's Grill (called "Empies" locally - inexpensive), Kobe

                                                                                Coffee: Riverside Perk, the Vagabond (called "The Vadge" by locals).

                                                                                Avoid despite what they say: Granite City, River City Brewery, Ted's Montana Grill, Pig In Pig Out, Two Brothers BBQ, Player's, Town & Country Restaurant, Whiskey Creek Steakhouse.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: blackdog

                                                                                  Jet BBQ, if they are still in business, was excellent. I believe they have a AYCE for lunch and they pull the items fast and fresh off the smoke. The owner is a hoot, and the location is batty, but good rec for sure. Hog Wild is just meh.

                                                                                  I don't get recommending Carraba's the chain. The mussels are ok, but... Is Angelo's gone? I thought they just moved from the old location on Harry.

                                                                                  The Beacon is pretty good for breakfast, but very smokey (unless an ordinance has been past since I was last there). Wichita is just a smokey city anyway. I really enjoyed some of the HUGE breakfast burritos sold around town at the taquerias. Way too big to finish, but what a joy to attempt.

                                                                                  Passage to India was pretty fair Indian for Wichita.

                                                                                  Others: The Scotch had pretty decent steaks and is an institution. The butcher shop in the same parking lot was amazing and made what they called a baseball cut sirloin that was amazing when smoked. Lamars, good donut. Tanners for hanging with the old guys, drinking beers and talking about Final Four (one of the old dudes told me that Final Four was more important to him than Christmas), but I think they closed.

                                                                                  Chelsea was my favorite place for drinks and their amazing Caeser salad, made the old fashioned way. Add shrimp.

                                                                                  N&J Bakery has a pretty good Middle Eastern lunch and take home baked goods that will make you smile later.

                                                                                  Manna Wok Korean= ok.

                                                                                  Everyone must admit, the best restaurants in Wichita require a visit to the airport where you can purchase a ticket out of town.

                                                                                2. Korean food- Manna Wok Harry and Oliver. Authentic great kimchi and bulgogi, miso soup etc. stir squid. all very good and as hot as you want it. They have been around at least 10 years i have been eating there. In the summer ask for cold noodle soup. it is not on the menu but is excellent when it is 100 degrees out. prices are very reasonable.
                                                                                  Thai food - I agree that Thai tradition is the best, plus it is the only restaurant that will brew up a hot cup of Thai tea. I also like Chiang Mai on Hillside near 31st. There is also a Thai restaurant that serves country Thai which is more vegetable based it is called Thai house and it is on west street north of central on the west side of the road. You can sit up at the counter while they cook your meal.

                                                                                  Japanese steak house- My favorite is the Kobe house by Thai Tradition. They have been in Wichita a very long time they are always good.

                                                                                  Vietnamese - I have to stick with mi Cahn up hillside north from 31st on the west side of the road. Pho is my favorite there.

                                                                                  Italian - I have to say that Luciano's in Mulvane is quite good. Caprese is on the menu and they serve a salad with an edible bowl made from cheese. Pasta is always al dente. Dessert is usually very varied and delicious also. Decent espresso.

                                                                                  Coffee - well for fresh beans. i order from Intelligentsia coffee online they roast and ship the order the same day. I think there may be a new roaster in wichita but I am still investigating that. I am thinking about roasting my own .

                                                                                  Steak - I see that the Amarillo Grill is back. They used to have the best steaks back in the 1980's. We tried them out recently and it was pretty good. They were out of Prime Rib though. They are on Rock Road behind Freddy's frozen custard. Other than that i hate to say but the texas roadhouse is always stacked deep with people waiting to eat. The steaks there are very good. Plus they have sweet tea...
                                                                                  Sweet Basil on Woodlawn has a pretty good steak.

                                                                                  Sushi - It is amazing how many sushi bars are popping up in wichita now. Dillons even sells sushi. Which is a little scary. Kwan Court is very good for sushi.

                                                                                  Mexican - The best mexican place i know of is not in wichita. There is one in Wellington called El Chili Verde on Harvey street downtown. They do have excellent chili verde and home made tortillas. Then there is another one in Winfield I have heard is very good but that is on my list to try.

                                                                                  BBQ - I have to agree that Hog Wild is THE place in Wichita to get ribs and pork sandwiches.

                                                                                  Hamburger- I like the burgers at TJ's burger house at douglas and seneca. They have fresh cut fries. I think it is a block south of Ty's Diner. TJ has thick burgers and Ty's has thin patties. I prefer the thick burgers.

                                                                                  I can not find a good fried chicken place here. I drive back to SE Kansas for that to Chicken Annies. I have several restaurants in SE Kansas that are excellent.

                                                                                  I try to stick with mom and pop places to eat if possible. That is fun.

                                                                                  4 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: vvgogh

                                                                                    I agree Manna Wok is very good and is authentic. Really good kimchi. Maybe try a place called Kimmy's cafe on south seneca for fried chicken-my Grampa likes it, but he's also not picky like I am. Have you tried Stroud's for chicken on Hillside? SE Kansas is ripe with good chicken-I always liked Gebhardt's.

                                                                                    1. re: shopgirl26

                                                                                      I have never heard of Kimmy's. I will have to try it out. thanks. I have tried Strouds twice. The first time was probably 15 years ago and i tried it again a year or so again hoping i had a bad impression but... i have not been back. Just not that chicken i grew up with. Yes Gebhardt's is very good too ! It is hard to make it to Gebhardts when there are 4 chicken annies/mary's in the way ! ha. Have you ever eaten at Josie's Italian restaurant in Scammon ks? (close to big brutus) I love that place.

                                                                                      1. re: vvgogh

                                                                                        No, I'll have to put it on my list, about how far away is it? I don't even like chicken but all those places in SE Kansas had really good stuff. I remember warm german potato salad and onion rings at Gebhardt's.

                                                                                        1. re: shopgirl26

                                                                                          Scammon is this side of pittsburg so if you go over on 400 it will take about 3 hours i suppose. I think it is hwy 7 where you turn to go south, probably get info from google etc. The address is 400 N Main St Scammon, KS 66773 Phone: (620) 479-8202. They are only open 5 to 9 weds thru Saturday. They only take cash also. It is right downtown.

                                                                                  2. Edited: Sorry, I didn't know that embedded HTML didn't work here.

                                                                                    1. Bumping this thread in 2010. I asked about Wichita restaurants on another thread, but it didn't seem to get much response. So I'm bumping this thread, which has more subscribers. One night, one dinner. Anything exciting happening on the Wichita restaurant scene lately? I will tell you right now that I'm ruling out steakhouses, sushiyas, and chain restaurants, which I'm likely to have right here at home in Kansas City. Cost is not an issue.

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: ulterior epicure

                                                                                        Anyone? Anyone? (I should mention that this will be a Monday night.)

                                                                                      2. Best locally roasted coffee beans in the area are found in mcpherson at java johns