Oh Yeah! China Bistro

18 Nov

When most people think of  the Americanized version of Chinese food, visions of buffets and those little white cardboard boxes come to mind. Fortunately there are many restaurants in Wichita where diners can enjoy fresh made American Chinese food that has not been sitting for an extended period of time at the Dillons Chinese Kitchen(although they do have damn good crab rangoon). Oh Yeah! China Bistro, located just north of 29th and Rock, is one such restaurant.

Up Close and Personal With Some Delicious Pork Dumplings

Up Close and Personal With Some Delicious Pork Dumplings

At the risk of sounding blasphemous Oh Yeah! reminded me of the late great Kwan Court, at least from an ambiance prospective. The interior is certainly more upscale than most Chinese restaurants in town and there is plenty of seating. Much to our son’s delight they already had their Christmas tree up and a big laughing buddha statue.

Calling themselves a Chinese Bistro is somewhat misleading because the menu is a greatest hits of Asian cuisine. Besides a comprehensive list of Chinese dishes there are Korean, Thai, and Japanese items. If you want Panang Curry and your dining partner wants Udon noodles you are in luck. The menu is also very accommodating for vegetarians as many of the dishes can be ordered without meat or with a tofu substitute. In addition to the food options, Oh Yeah offers a plethora of fresh juices and teas. Most main dishes range from $8-$15 making Oh Yeah on the pricier side of most Asian places in town.

Honey Shrimp

Honey Shrimp

On our visit we started off with an order of pan fried pork dumplings and for our main dishes I had the Egg Foo Young and Steph went with the Honey Shrimp. The pan fried dumplings were an excellent way to start the meal. The outside was slightly crispy, while the rest of the dumpling was very tender. The filling of pork and mushrooms was good and a soy and ginger dipping sauce added additional flavors to the dish. The honey shrimp dish came with an ample amount of shrimp and just a few broccoli florets. While the honey sauce was tasty, the shrimp were breaded too

Egg Foo Young: Delicious Chinese Omelet

Egg Foo Young: Delicious Chinese Omelet

heavily for our liking. We were hoping that it would be more tempura style, similar to a dish at the old Kwan Court. My order of Egg Foo Young tasted as good as it looked. The base was a large omelet that was piled high with stir fried beef, chicken, shrimp, and veggies. The sauce was on the sweet side, but had a nice touch of spiciness to it as well. It’s not too often that I can’t finish my meal, but this large portion left me asking for a to go box.

While we thought that Oh Yeah! was a bit overpriced, for the most part the food was good. If you want to enjoy Asian food in a more upscale environment with a bottle of wine perhaps Oh Yeah! is worth trying out.
http://www.ohyeahchinabistro.com/index.html

Oh Yeah China Bistro on Urbanspoon

Banh Mi Ngon

10 Nov

Previously Published in the Wichita Eagle:

It used to be in order to find a Banh Mi sandwich in Wichita you had to travel to midtown, but now with the recent opening of Banh Mi Ngon things have changed. This small eatery, located at Central and Woodlawn, specializes in the delicious Vietnamese sandwich as well as serving up in-house pastries and drinks.

The dining room, if you can call it that, has the feel of a small coffee house. There are plush couches and chairs, just a few tables, and Wifi. It is a perfect space to relax, enjoy good food, and perhaps get some work done.

One of Wicita's Top Banh Mi

One of Wicita’s Top Banh Mi

The menu centers around Banh Mi, the traditional French influenced Vietnamese sandwich. There are several different sandwiches offered with meat options that include beef, chicken and pork. Each sandwich comes with jalapenos, sliced cucumber, cilantro, carrots, and Vietnamese mayonnaise. Homemade French baguette is the vessel by which all these ingredients are conveyed unto the diner. In addition, Ngon offers croissants stuffed with cream cheese or chocolate, a savory pastry called a Bird’s Nest with sausage, onion, cheese, and shredded chicken, spring rolls, and a daily special.

On our visit we ordered the traditional combination sandwich ($4.25) with ham, pork roll, and charisu pork (thinly sliced braised pork), a grilled pork sandwich ($4.25), a savory pastry ($2.49), a

Perfect Drunk Food

Perfect Drunk Food

chocolate filled croissant ($1.99), and a glass of their homemade soy milk. I was impressed with the quality and quantity of the ingredients in our sandwiches. The veggies were fresh and crisp, while the meat was tender and lean. I was especially impressed with the ham that had small pieces of pickled pig’s ear mixed in. For the less adventurous I recommend the glazed pork Banh Mi.  The sweetness of the thinly sliced pork balanced nicely with the jalapenos. The baguette was appropriately sized as to not swallow up the filling of the sandwich, and while it was high quality bread I would have liked it to be crustier. The Bird Nest pastry used the same bread as the baguette and was a delicious snack. One could make a killing selling these outside of bars at two in the morning. As for the dessert croissant, it was amazing. You really can’t go wrong with a good pastry filled with semi-sweet morsels, although it was not as flaky as I like. The homemade soy milk had a hint of ginger to it and was refreshing.

Mmmmm, Chocolate Filled Croissant

Mmmmm, Chocolate Filled Croissant

Banh Mi Ngon is a counter service restaurant and our server/cashier was very helpful in explaining the menu and offering samples. The prices were reasonable as our total meal was under $20. For those you with small children there are no high chairs, so carryout is probably your best bet.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Banh-Mi-Ngon-Vietnamese-Sandwiches/431616720290750

The Hill Bar and Grill

13 Oct

It was with much anticipation that I waited for The Hill to open this summer. The promise of craft beer and a gastropub style menu seemed like something the Eastside needed. Finally two months after opening we got a chance to have dinner there.

Located at Oliver and Douglas, it’s hard to believe the The Hill’s building once housed Barriers as the insides have been completely gutted. In place of the Waterford crystal that once filled Barriers there are copious amounts of TVs. In fact there are more tellys in this place per square foot than most sports bars. I’m all for a TV or two inside of an establishment that bills itself as a bar and grill, but this is kind of overkill. Coupled with piped in background music, the atmosphere is a bit noisy and distracting.

The Hill Burger: Loaded and Greasy

The Hill Burger: Loaded and Greasy

The first big decision of the night was what beer I should start out with. The beer menu is conveniently broken down by varieties, with about 20 beers on tap and 30 or so bottles. While the selection is not as large or diverse as The Anchor, it is certainly respectable. I ended up ordering one of the seasonal draft selections, Fluer de Houblon, which is a delicious Belgian pale ale.

I was surprised at how wide ranging the food menu at The Hill was with anything from ceviche to smoked ribs to a 22 oz ribeye offered. There are also burgers, salads, “street tacos”, homemade pretzels, and much much more. While there were many items that caught my

Jazzed Up Turkey Burger

Jazzed Up Turkey Burger

attention I finally decided to order the turkey burger. Typically my strategy when trying a new bar and grill type restaurant is to order a burger because it’s a good benchmark item. If you can’t cook a decent burger then it’s going to be tough to pull off much else. Steph went with the The Hill’s signature burger, and our son got the kids quesadilla.

The Hill is one of the few places where you can get a turkey burger in town and I was happy with their effort. The patty was reasonably thick and had enough seasoning to make up for the normal blandness of ground turkey. To further jazz up the burger it was served with havarti cheese, cranberry relish, and arugula. The only issue was the bun, it could have used a nice toasting on the grill. The fries were crispy, but really nothing that impressive. The house made dill pickles served on the side were tasty.

The Hill’s signature burger was a spectacle to behold. Besides a large beef patty it featured several slices of delicious ham, swiss cheese, sautéed onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and dijonnaise. And what kind of bun was utilized in this masterpiece you ask? Why a pretzel bun of course, because you can’t have a fancy burger these days without the obligatory pretzel bun.  Steph’s burger was actually cooked to medium so that right there is good for a few points. Unfortunately the burger was so large that its structural

Quesadilla and Fries: A well balanced meal

Quesadilla and Fries: A well balanced meal

integrity failed and it proved difficult to eat. It was also abnormally greasy, perhaps from the sautéed onions. Besides all the mess, it was a quality burger although I’m not sure it was worth the $12 price tag. Adding a fried egg would have increased the price to $14, it must be a hell of an egg to cost that much. Our son’s quesadilla was simple, but perfect for kids and he enjoyed it. The only odd part was that it came with some pickles as well. Pickles and quesadillas are a combination I am unfamiliar with.

Although The Hill was not quite what I thought it was going to be, it is still a decent addition to the dining scene. The hectic atmosphere and large menu detract from the experience. I would like to go back to try some additional dishes and more craft brews of course. Despite what I have read on urbanspoon and yelp, our service was good.

http://www.hillwichita.com/

The Hill bar and grill on Urbanspoon

Marchello’s

23 Sep

Previously published in the Wichita Eagle:

With the recent closure of two local Italian restaurants, Luca and Bocconcini, Wichitans are suddenly left with fewer choices when it comes to getting their pasta fix. One of the remaining options is Marchello’s, a family run operation on south Seneca. While it does not replace the upscale menus that both Luca and Bocconcini offered, it serves up some solid old school Italian American food.

The interior of Marchello’s has the feel of a homestyle Italian joint, except for the lack of red checkered tablecloths and straw covered candle holders. There is a decent amount of seating, but I imagine that on busy days it can get somewhat cramped.

Lasagna The Way It Should Be

Lasagna The Way It Should Be

As the theme to The Godfather played in the background, we poured over the expansive menu that covers just about any Italian food you could possibly think of including pastas, calzones, pizzas, paninis, and desserts. There are even a few fusion surprises like jambalaya and something called an Italian potato. While you would need an entire football team to do a proper review of all the offerings, we decided on this visit to stick with two different pasta dishes. I had heard good things about the meat lasagna so that was my choice, while my dining companion went with an order of the Lilly’s, one of their signature pasta dishes. Lunch time specials are offered that include a drink and one visit to the salad bar.

I started my meal off at the small salad bar and was able to construct a good salad using the above average lettuce and veggies that were offered. The lasagna came out looking like a perfect piece with its expertly melted cheese and minced parsley. Fortunately, it tasted every bit as good as it looked. The well-balanced tomato sauce tasted fresh and had plenty of ground beef and pork. I was pleased to taste fennel seed in the sauce, which I believe is one the keys to good lasagna. This lasagna is certainly some of the best you can find in Wichita. The Lilly’s featured chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, and diced ham sitting on a bed of angel hair pasta. Pesto creme sauce and a layer of melted cheese capped off this indulgent dish. The pesto creme sauce with its velvety texture was the star of this meal. While we both felt there was an excessive amount of melted cheese, the Lilly’s was something we would surely order again.

The Decadent Lilly's

The Decadent Lilly’s

Although there were only two waitresses working the lunch crowd, our service was good. The prices were reasonable for the amount of food we received and Marchello’s is probably one of the few places in town where you can drink a Peroni for $3.75 a bottle.

http://marchellosrestaurant.com/index.shtm

Marchello's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wichita Brewing Company and Pizzeria

6 Sep

Beer and pizza is a combination that most sane people can all agree is good. Whether it be frozen pizza and Keystone Light or a wood fired masterpiece paired with a handcrafted wheat beer, it’s hard to go wrong. With this in mind,  if one is going to open up a brew pub it would make good sense to have some type of pizza pies on the menu. Shockingly that is exactly what Wichita Brewing Company and Pizzeria has done. WBC&P is located way out there at 13th and Tyler and that is really my only excuse for not having visited this place sooner. It has been around since 2011 and has made a name for itself amongst those who claim to know stuff about beer.

Mmmm Craft Brews

Mmmm, Craft Brews

On our visit I was pleasantly surprised at the variety of brews offered. I believe there were ten different beers that were all brewed on-site. With this many to choose from, I had no choice but to go with a flight of four samplers. It was difficult to narrow it down, but I ended up ordering the Vanilla Porter, Half-Wit Wheat, 5:02 Amber, and the English Mild.  I was very impressed with each of the selections, however the Half-Wit was my favorite.  If you are looking for a rather unique brew the English Mild is served at a traditional temperature of 50 degrees. It was very light and malty.

If you ever get past the beer menu, WBC offers a nice selection of specialty pizzas as well as calzones, salads,  subs, and typical bar appetizers. Since this is a pizzeria the only logical conclusion was to order pizzas, so that is what we did. After some deliberation we ordered the Gregorian Feast and The Itis. The Gregorian featured Italian sausage, caramelized onions, garlic, mushrooms, and mozzarella. The Itis is one of the more unique pizzas in Wichita and features an obscenely long list of ingredients. It starts with the base crust then they add cream cheese, American cheese, Italian sausage,  and capicola ham. After that comes the NEXT crust which is smothered in pepperoni, bacon, mozzarella, and red sauce. There is no room for veggies on this beast of a pie.

Beware of The Itis

Beware of The Itis

WBC was fairly busy on the Saturday night we visited, so the wait for a foods was longer than usual. Our son was getting a bit anxious waiting for his grilled cheese and at one point assaulted our server with a plastic Easter egg. Eventually the food came out and everyone was happy. The Gregorian had a thin and crispy crust that was perfectly baked. It had plenty of sausage and cheese, although I would have liked to see portobella mushrooms instead of the un-sexy white variety. The only hang up with the pizza was the overly sweet sauce. I don’t mind some sugar in my pizza sauce, but this was a too much for my liking. However, it did not ruin what was otherwise a good pie. The Itis lived up to its hype. With that much meat and cheese you would think that it would be swimming in grease, but alas it wasn’t that bad. The same sweet red sauce was employed on this pizza, but with all the other ingredients it wasn’t quite as noticeable. While WBC’s pizzas were not the best I have had in Wichita, I would like to go back and try some of the other offerings that don’t have the sweet red sauce.

Besides having great beer and good pizza WBC also has one of the best restaurant logos in town. It features the famous painting of crazy old John Brown, but instead of a rifle and bible in his hands he holds two beer mugs.

http://www.wichitabrew.com/index.html

Wichita Brewing Co & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Molinos

24 Aug

Frida’s was a small Mexican restaurant that Steph and I sadly discovered right before it closed back in 2010. It was one of our first dive experiences and got us hooked on “off the beaten path” dining. Their piratas and salsa bar were things of beauty. Luckily the owners of Fridas are back in the restaurant business with their new place called Molinos, located on North Waco next to Juarez Bakery. While it is not an exact copy of Frida’s, they have many of the same items, including the beloved piratas.

Inside, the décor and seating has not changed much from when Las Tias de Beto inhabited the space. It’s still clean and new looking with decent seating areas. The menu has a good mixture of familiar Tex-Mex style dishes that you can find at many Mexican restaurants, as well as more traditional and unique items. I have noticed several online commenters railing against the fact that many of their dishes aren’t traditional Mexican. While I agree with this observation, I don’t see what the big deal is. Molinos is trying to serve a menu that blends both authentic and Tex-Mex into delicious combinations. If you want straight up authentic food, there are plenty of other

A Famous Pirata and a Gordita

A Famous Pirata and a Gordita

places to visit in Wichita.  Some of the highlights of the menu are the aforementioned piratas, a pineapple and mint salad, a baked potato with queso, and elote(a Mexican version of corn with mayo, crema, and cheese). Most meals come with your choice of meat including carnitas, chicken, and cochinita pibil. Keeping up the Fridas tradition, upon request they will bring you out several of their salsas to sample.

On our visit I went with a pirata and a gordita. The pirata consists of a crispy flour tortilla stuffed with your choice of meat(carnitas in my case), melted cheese, lettuce, sour cream, and guac. A small bowl of pico de gallo is served on the side. My pirata was as delicious as the version I remembered from Fridas. It is really the perfect Tex-Mex dish that incorporates as much goodness into one tortilla as legally possible. For the gordita I ordered cochinita pibil as my meat. As evidenced by the picture, this little meat filled tortilla pocket was not quite as breathtaking as the pirata, but at least the cochinita was good. It had a sweet and tangy taste and was very moist. The gordita shell, made from masa, was certainly fresh and chewy. With some pico de gallo it made for a tasty meal. Steph went with her usual default Mexican restaurant order of chicken enchiladas. For her sides she ordered the charro beans and elote. Molinos serves their version of elote in a bowl and let me tell you it’s addicting. There will be no going back to grandma’s creamy corn recipe after you get a taste of elote. Not to be overshadowed, the enchiladas and charro beans were solid as well. The  two enchiladas came smothered with a savory chile sauce that certainly did not originate from a can. Topped with sour cream and  cheese, they were very good. The charro beans were quite amazing as well. Charro beans are a nice break from refried beans and are typically more like a hearty soup. Molinos’ version were some of the best I have had in town. They were nicely seasoned and contained what I believe was tripe instead of the usual bacon. While Steph was not impressed with these tender bits of offal, I found them quite delightful. I would be remiss if I did a review on a Mexican joint and did not mention the salsa. We just went with the regular red salsa which was very good and had just the right amount of kick to it. The salsa was also provided entertainment for our son, who enjoyed attempting to dip his chips into it.

If you are a fan of Mexican food then you should definitely check out Molinos and if you aren’t a fan just go have a pirata and tell me you don’t like it.  With their varied menu you can enjoy traditional dishes or branch out and experience some of their fusion type dishes. Anyway you look at it Molinos is a great addition to the local Mexican restaurant scene.

Molino's on Urbanspoon

La Tradicion Tortilleria

16 Aug

Previously published in the Wichita Eagle:

I have to admit I had reservations about trying a Mexican lunch buffet. Crusty refried beans and soggy tacos sitting in a steam table is not my idea of an enjoyable meal. Fortunately at La Tradicion Tortilleria, they know how to pull off a good buffet with delicious Mexican dishes.

The Humble Exterior of La Tradicion

The Humble Exterior of La Tradicion

La Tradicion is a small joint located at Broadway and 16th, that operates as a tortilla making facility and restaurant. While a menu of typical Mexican fare is available, the main attraction is the buffet that is offered daily from 11am to 2pm. For just under $8 a person you can get your fill of traditional dishes from south of the border.

On our visit the buffet offerings included posole, shredded chipotle chicken, lengua(beef tongue) in a chili verde sauce, pork with a red chili and a green chili sauce, a scrambled egg and green bean concoction(ejotes con huevos), cheese enchiladas, and the ubiquitous rice and beans. A salsa bar and fresh tortillas rounded out the spread. Since most of the dishes were based on chili sauces or broths they were well suited to being held on a steam table and thus my fears of soggy tacos were for not.

A Plate Full of Tasty Buffet Food

A Plate Full of Tasty Buffet Food

Of the dishes we tried there was not a weak link among them. The lengua in chili verde and pork in red chili sauce were my top two picks. I have had lengua at several places around town, and this was the best so far. All of the pork chunks were tender and lean, while the chili sauce was rich and warming. You can’t go wrong taking spoonfuls of these dishes and wrapping them in warm flour tortillas. We had never had green beans with eggs before, but were quickly won over by the simple yet tasty dish. My wife who is an enchilada guru approved of La Tradicion’s cheesy rendition.

The one only complaint we had with the buffet was that some items were slow to be replenished including the salsa, chips, and tortillas. With an hour left in the buffet I would have expected additional food to still be coming out. There was only one hard working and friendly waitress running the dining room, so that may have contributed to the problem. I would recommend going closer to noon time to ensure a fully stocked buffet.

La Tradicion Tortilleria on Urbanspoon

Annex Lounge (Home of the Inside Out Burger)

9 Aug

The Annex Lounge is one of those Wichita institutions that many people have driven by all their lives, but never bother to or had the courage to venture inside. Located at Woodlawn and Harry, The Annex is your stereotypical neighborhood bar. If one was looking for an authentic dive bar experience this would be the place. It is the Bruce Springsteen of bars, where the locals gather for cheap domestic beer and a unique burger.

First off, this is an over 21 establishment, so the kids will have to wait until they are of legal age to experience The Annex. Inside you will find a small bar and a few tables on either side. The interior is clean, but most of the fixtures and furniture probably haven’t been updated in the last 25 years, which is the way you want it to be in a place like this. Trendy faux marble tables and giant flat screen TVs would really ruin the mood. They do have pool and shuffle board tables for entertainment.

annex_2

My poor camera phone does not do the Inside Out Burger justice

The menu is pretty small at the Annex. If you are looking for anything besides a burger you are pretty much out of luck. Besides the traditional single and double, they offer an intriguing one called the Inside Out Burger. My friend and I both went with this option with everything on it including onions, ketchup, and mustard.  Within a few minutes we discovered that the Inside Out consisted of a regular meat disk with an inverted bun that had been slathered with butter and grilled. It was a simple manipulation of the bun, but it proved to be rather transcendental.  The patty itself was of decent size for a single, although next time a double will be in order. The meat was flavorful and juicy enough despite being well done. The onions, cheese, and buttery bun helped to make this one of the best dive bar burgers I have had to date. While the side of chips was none too exciting, for less than $6 dollars I wasn’t complaining.

The Annex is first and foremost a drinking establishment and a blue collar one at that. So craft beer snobs who can’t enjoy a domestic brew every now and again should stay away. The good news for all you hipsters is that PBR pounders are available at a reasonable price.

I think too many people have the notion that dive bars are full of seedy regulars and surly barmaids, but that is not the case here. The waitresses were friendly and welcoming, while the patrons appeared to be fairly normal human beings. So if it’s no frills beer and burgers you are in the mood for then The Annex Lounge should be on your list.

Annex Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kimlan Sandwiches

26 Jul

If you are a fan of Banh Mi sandwiches then you should probably go eat at Kimlan right quick. This little place is nestled on North Broadway between two of the more popular Vietnamese restaurants in town, Saigon and Little Saigon. For that reason it may get passed over as people gravitate to the better known places, but if it’s Banh Mi you are after, this is THE place.

Kimlan Combo Bahn Mi

Kimlan Combo Banh Mi

Inside the small restaurant is a plain, but clean dining room with plenty of seating for lunch hour crowds. The menu is displayed at the counter and consists of 15  Banh Mi options, plus a Lo Mein lunch special. The sandwich combinations range from the typical BBQ pork and meatball to the more unique including the headcheese and pork roll variation. The sandwiches are cheap enough with prices ranging from $3.50 to $4. Some speciality Vietnamese drinks are offered including green tea and milk tea. They also have some pre-packaged food items available for purchase. I wasn’t quite sure what most of them were, but I almost pulled the trigger on some amazing looking steamed pork buns for a take home treat.

Not Available at Subway: Headcheese and Pickled Veggies

Not Available at Subway: Headcheese and Pickled Veggies

Feeling that we could each handle a couple of Banh Mi’s, we went with four. I ordered the Kimlan Combo and the adventurous Special Combo. Steph went with the Kimlan Combo as well and the Grilled Beef. Each sandwich is accompanied by pickled carrots, jalapeno, cilantro, and cucumber on the side so you have complete control of your veggie intake.

The Kimlan Combo contained BBQ pork, meatball and pork roll( a type of Vietnamese sausage). This warm sandwich was quite exceptional with its sweet pork pieces and tender meatballs. The pork roll added another layer of porky goodness, while the veggies provided some nice crunch.  The Special Combo is special because it is probably the only sandwich in Wichita that includes headcheese, although I hear Subway might be rolling out a headcheese sandwich of the month soon. For those of you not in the know, headcheese is a cold cut that contains meat from the head of a pig or cow set in aspic. While it may not sound good to anyone who’s not French, it’s really not that bad. The Special combo also comes with ham and pork roll. It was a pretty good sandwich, but I think some Sirracha sauce would have been a good addition. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the

Babies Love Banh Mi!

Babies Love Banh Mi!

bottle on the  counter until I had finished the sandwich. Steph and our son both enjoyed the grilled beef sandwich. The thinly sliced beef was marinated in a lemongrass-soy mixture that yielded a refreshing savory taste. Each sandwich is served on a perfectly sized loaf of fresh French bread.

Kimlan is an excellent choice for a quick and cheap lunch. Take two people, order 3 or 4 sandwiches and you will be satisfied with both the product and the price. Kimlan also has a good variety of sandwiches that will please even the most finicky or adventurous of eaters. The only complaint was the absence of high chairs. It was tough feeding an unrestrained 15 month old who was more interested in playing with the door rigged with a fire alarm.

KIMLAN Sandwiches on Urbanspoon

Stearman Field Bar and Grill

10 Jul

Typically dining at an airport is not something to get terribly excited about; whether it’s battling crowds, overpriced food, or some greasy junk you regret eating as soon as you jam into your aisle seat. Fortunately, at Stearman Field in Benton you can enjoy a pleasant dining experience without having to be poked and prodded by TSA agents. The unique bar and grill is located right on the airstrip and is a popular hangout for both locals and those from the surrounding areas.

Stearman Burger

Stearman Burger

The interior of Stearman has a shockingly aviation oriented motif. If you have ever wanted to enjoy a hamburger, while staring down the nose of a P-51 this is your place. Several tables are made from plane engines, replica planes hang from the ceiling, the walls are covered with aviation memorabilia, and there is a Big Ass ceiling fan. It literally is a Big Ass fan because that is the name of the manufacturer and this one probably has 10 foot blades on it. Besides indoor seating there is a large covered patio that is perfect for gazing upon landing aircraft or a picturesque Kansas sunset. There is even a small jungle gym  to keep the kids entertained.

We hit the restaurant on a busy Saturday night and had to wait  for a table to open up, but that gave us time to enjoy a beer and watch planes do touch-n-go’s.  The menu at Stearman is your generic bar and grill fare with daily specials offered as well. We had heard that the Stearman Burger was a popular choice so I ordered that, while Steph went with the patty melt. I got some O-rings

Patty Melt

Patty Melt

with my meal and Steph ordered her usual sweet potato fries. The Stearman burger came with grilled jalapenos, onions, and pepper jack cheese. It was a good combination that gave the burger some added heat and texture, but the patty itself was average. More disappointing were the onion rings that I’m fairly certain were previously frozen. Steph’s patty melt was okay, but again the meat was lacking much in the flavor department. The sweet potato fries were fresh and crispy though.  Our son seemed to enjoy the food, as he polished off most of a grilled cheese sandwich. Stearman also has a full bar and several unexpected beer selections, such as Stella Artois.

While we weren’t blown away by the food we had during our visit to Stearman, it was a fun place to have a meal. You can’t beat the unique atmosphere if you are looking for a little weekend diversion with the family or a good place to throw a party. They are open daily from 7am till 10 pm, so there is plenty of time to get out there and experience Stearman Field.

Touch-N-Go's with Grandpa

Touch-N-Go’s with Grandpa

Stearman Field Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

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