The time has come to finally do a write up on the Wichita sandwich institution that is The Artichoke Sandwich Bar on north Broadway. I went here recently with my friend, who I believe has started to embrace the chainfree lifestyle. The Artichoke is probably the closest thing to an authentic Irish bar that you get in Wichita. They have a replica Blarney Stone out front, Irish trappings inside, and Guinness on tap. Good enough for Wichita I say. The inside is cozy with a small bar located off to the right. In the back room there is a pool table and some additional seating. With its proximity to downtown it is a popular lunch destination, but does have a carry-out window in case you are in a hurry.
The main attraction of the Artichoke are the sandwiches, although they do serve some simple appetizers and salads. On this occasion I went with the Famous Number 8 with broccoli salad. The Number 8 comes with sliced turkey, bacon, cream cheese, lettuce, tomato, and Italian dressing all on an onion hoagie bun. Needless to say this sandwich was really good and the broccoli salad was pretty solid as well. This sandwich stacks up well with anything that Metro Grill, Cinnamon’s, or Cafe Moderne has to offer, although I don’t know if it is as good as the delightful Italian BMT from Subway. Man those frozen bread loaves are so good. My friend ordered some other sandwich and was equally impressed. He mentioned that it might even be a place that he would come back to. At least there are a few people out there that I can convince to eat at good places.
If you have never been to or have not visited the Artichoke lately just go. The food is as good as it has ever been and the atmosphere is authentic. All the crap they have on their walls is real and was probably not bought at a restaurant wall decorati0n emporium. They even feature live acoustic music and open mic nites throughout the week. So go there have a great sandwich, down a pint or two, and then bust out your guitar and perform an acoustic version of Dark Side in entirety. You will make a lot of friends.