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New to Wichita Area

So, I just moved to Hutchinson, Kansas a little over two months ago. Locally, I'm rather impressed with Allie's Deli. Sandy (the owner) makes a mean quiche and even meaner raspberry white chocolate scones. The scones and muffins are always fabulous there. You can get a scone and small house coffee for $2.46. Seriously, the scones are decadent. They're crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. If you can make it before 8:00 am, they're usually warm, too.

I've tried the Blue Duck Bistro for lunch and dinner. Lunch was good, but unremarkable. I had a french dip sandwich that was kind of bland. The homemade chips were delicious though. When I went for dinner, it was incredibly slow (Thursday after Christmas). My waiter was very attentive, but the rest of the waistaff/barstaff seemed a little clueless. My dinner (half roast duck with mushroom sauce, polenta, and broccoli) was very tasty. The polenta and the mushroom sauce were fabulous. The broccoli was very plain, but, well, I guess that's the nature of broccoli. I've heard rumours of the Blue Duck closing though. I think they've been open about a year. Lunch is fairly affordable, but dinner seems to be a bit pricy for a town the size of Hutch (most entrees are more than $20).

Also, the decor is very feminine while the menu tends to be on the hearty or masculine side. It just seems like the decor and the food are a bit at odds with eachother. It's just pink enough, that if I were a man I'd feel slightly uncomfortable eating there.

When I had a delayed flight out of ICT last Saturday, I headed to Old Town for breakfast. I stopped by Soleil on Douglas (formerly Java Nation, the owner said). I had a very tasty apple and brie crepe and turkish coffee. The food was filling with a little flair, and the staff was very friendly.

That's what I've discovered so far. So now I'm reaching out to the food community in South Central Kansas. What's good? What's not? What's worth the drive? What's the best dive? I like all types of food and I'm always looking for something new.

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  1. Sounds like you're doing fine up there. As far as Wichita, this board is sort of barren, not much simmering. However, do use the search function and then, if you have not found what you want, poke around with questions. But good luck, only about 2-3 of us out here. I posed similar questions when I first arrived and months went by before anyone responded. There area some interesting places, but ya gotta search!

    1 Reply
    1. re: sambamaster

      Agreed. Check out past posts. Definitely ask questions if you don't find what you're looking for

      As for Soleil, that's nice to hear. I pass it everyday and in the evening it's dead. I was beginning to worry. I'm always rooting for the little guy considering that I'm one of them! I also noticed that EggCetera is open at night now, I think. It's a locally owned breakfast place in Old Town, have never been there. It was packed which is usually a good sign

    2. Tried the Dutch Kitchen (Amish place near Yoder), Skaets Steak Shop and Roy's BBQ? The latter two are in Hutch.

      1. Welcome to the midwest. Even tho I have not lived in the area for about 15years (OKC now), I still travel the Wichita area to see family. If you want to experience the true culture of the area, you need to take the short drive over to Yoder - An Amish community which will take you way back in time. The restaurant there is to the best homemade foods in the country. And the pies are something else. Usually 25-30 different kinds. I think the name is the Yoder Cafe.

        2 Replies
          1. re: hostetlersgirl

            I just posted oin another area, and have similar things to say. I owned a farm near many Amish not terribly far from Yoder. Did not want anyone going to Carriage Crossing thinking 1) it was Amish (it's not) and 2) things there are homemade (again, they are not... but the pies are).

            Dutch Kitchen is mostly all homemade, and its just outside Hutchinson. Skaets is owned by two delightful old ladies and they put out a mean breakfast. The steaks are not totally amazing, but they are cheap and charbroiled. To dine at Skaets is to absorb a lot of small town American really fast.

            Roy's is nothing short of brilliant. Barbecue the old fashioned way. Roy gets up early to make sure everyone gets their fair chance at a good lunch. He closes down when he runs out, probably saving a few of those dynamite ribs for himself. You cannot leave Roy's without a constant scented reminder that you had Roy's.

            Anyway, enjoy people!

        1. Welcome to the area! I'm new to the Chowhound boards, but I've lived in Wichita for about 7 years now. If you want to try some good restaurants here, head to Sumo by Nambara for sushi, Bella Donna for Italian, and Yia Yia's Eurobistro for a little of everything else. There are also some good chain places like Abuelo's for Mexican and Bonefish Grill for seafood. I like Cinnamon's Deli for sandwiches, Hog Wild Pit BBQ for BBQ, Knolla's for pizza, and Beijing Bistro for takeout Chinese. That's just a quick list off the top of my head. I've tried a LOT of restaurants in Wichita over the last few years, so if you ask about any specific one, I could probably come up with an opinion for you. Good luck in your hunt!

          3 Replies
          1. re: 2FlyingYorkies

            Sumo is largely the typical "show at your table" smiling, joking Asian chef does parlor (kitchen) tricks place, though didn't have sushi, the rest is mediocre, nothing "chow" about it. Yia Yia's is another chain, though regional, where the food is likewise nothing special, but the locals like it because it makes them seem sophisticated...have been several times (Sarge likes the martini specials on Wednesday) and was not impressed by anything, though I seem to remember a pizza we had was not terrible. yes folks, it is a chain, albeit small. If you've lived around the USA you've probably already experienced the yuk factor of Abuelo's and Bonefish Grill, although the later can on occasion have some ok fresh fish specials. Will be investigating Beijing Bistro in the near future, but based on their online menu, I'm not expecting much beyond the typical "American taste" chinese joint (not familiar with that term? Google it to learn about Chinese taste versus American taste....). Will have to try Bella Donna also, but since it is owned or run by the same people who own Chester's (see previous post), it likewise will probably disappoint...I had to laugh when a fairly recent not in the local rag said they were adding things like meatballs and spaghetti to their "Tuscan" menu because that's what their customers were expecting...well, their online menu reflects little or nothing of the Tuscany I know, but those meatballs will certainly please these hungry, well-heeled Kansans...

            1. re: sambamaster

              Sambamaster, I believe I specifically mentioned the sushi at Sumo. I haven't been to the hibachi grill for years because it doesn't do anything for me, but I go for sushi there at least twice a month. It's on par with the best sushi I ever found when living in southern California. You should try it before you snub the restaurant entirely.

              You might as well ignore Beijing Bistro, too - it's no more Chinese than any of the other Chinese places around town, it's just better American Chinese than the rest.

              1. re: 2FlyingYorkies

                I too have sampled sushi in many places around the country and Sumo is very good. Just because Yia Yia's is a chain doesn't keep me away, I really like their food. I've eaten at "sophisticated" restaurants all over the country, where I've paid upwards of $100 for one entree, but I also love Taco Bell. Just because it's Taco Bell and it's a chain doesn't make me like it any less

                I agree about Bejing Bistro. What I noticed is that everything is a little fresher than most. But the same as most others.

          2. I just remembered another good place to try if you come down into Wichita - N&J for Lebanese/Mediterranean-ish dishes. It's good for hummus, stuffed grape leaves, and the like.

            4 Replies
            1. re: 2FlyingYorkies

              I've heard about something like that...where is it located? I'm dying for some shwarma.

              1. re: Antithesisofpop

                the internet is your friend, look it up.
                and N&J is a pretty decent place. no pretense at being french-ified as so many other middle eastern places try to be in this town for some reason. guess they are too afraid to offer hard-core middle eastern food done correctly. gotta serve what the masses want. N+J has a small market off to the side. it pretty much sucks...a lot of the stuff looks like it's been there since Lazarus came forth from the tomb...
                overall, the one meal i had there was quite good and the memory of that will tempt me back eventually. of course, this is a smoking town, so half is non, the other is smoking. no divider, so the non smoking section is still quite smoke filled. so if you can't deal with smoke, sit as far to the west side of the building as you can. wichita, will you ever climb out of the 1950s?

                1. re: sambamaster

                  Lincoln & Edgemoor. Sheesh, is it not ok for people to ask where things are? I thought it was all about the exchange of information here.

                  1. re: shopgirl26

                    The chicken shwarma at N&J is good and a favorite of mine and my coworkers, both in over-hummus form and in pita form. They also have a beef shwarma, but it isn't quite as popular.

            2. For anyone who was thinking about coming to Hutchinson to sample the Blue Duck Bistro (mentioned in my original post), it is closed :(. However, I've heard that the guy who owns the building who was leasing it to the restaurant owner acutally owns all the kitchen equipment, flatware, silverware, tables, chairs, etc. and is looking to get a new tennant in pronto. I'll try and keep you all updated. Also, a new restaurant called Marcellas will be opening on West 2nd in the ground floor of the Plaza Tower sometime soon. I think they're shooting for late January. Word on the street is that they will be serving Italian cuisine.

              1. The restaurant is Yoder is called Carriage Crossing. We make the drive from Wichita often. Has anyone been to Eaton's in Wichita? I probably ought to make a new post asking that.

                1 Reply
                1. re: krisz

                  I haven't been to Eaton's yet. I overheard someone who lived in the building talking about it and they said it was good, but pricey.

                2. Apparently if I post something on here about a restaurant, it's like the kiss of death. Now Soleil in Old Town is closed too! They had good crepes. Now I am sad :(

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Antithesisofpop

                    That's too bad, They were open only a few months...Bella Donna also closed I guess...