In case you missed the biggest news in the Wichita dining scene since Spangles started selling “Wok n Roll Bowls” Tanya Tandoc re-opened her famous restaurant two months ago. Tanya has been a chef in Wichita for quite a while and her restaurant Tanya’s Soup Kitchen was a very popular place until it closed about 7 years ago. I never had a chance to visit the original place, but luckily she decided to give the Soup Kitchen another go and opened it up in April. The new location is at Douglas and Hydraulic right across the street from the Donut Whole(Another delightful place to check out).
As you walk into the Soup Kitchen you are met with a great open floor plan, large windows make up two sides of the restaurant, and a trendy design scheme. The whole space feels very warm and welcoming. The most unique design characteristic is the front counter whose facade is made up of vintage weathered doors and their knobs. The menu is very similar to the old place with a few salads, soup of course, several sandwiches, and a couple of desserts. The soup menu changes daily with 3 or 4 varieties offered. The restaurant was rather crowded when we visited a few days ago, which did not surprise me due to its popularity. The staff is very efficient and friendly though so we only had to wait a few minutes in line to order. I decided to try the “Junie” sandwich which is Tanya’s take on the Cuban sandwich. When you have roasted pork and ham on the same sandwich typically you can’t go wrong. For my side I went with the chicken curry soup with chutney. Steph tried the chicken salad sandwich with a side of tomato dill soup. We had heard through the grapevine that Tanya’s bread pudding was wonderful so we also ordered a piece of that. Despite the crowd we only waited maybe 10 minutes for our lunch. As expected it was all delightful. The best part of my sandwich was the pepper and pickle infused mustard that was spread over the ham and roast pork. My soup was excellent. The curry gave it a good kick and the chutney provided the right amount of sweetness. Had it been about 50 degree cooler outside I could have probably eaten a giant bowl of this stuff. Steph’s chicken salad sandwich was equally impressive. The cherries and rye bread really set it apart from your typical chicken salad. The tomato dill soup was great as well. If you are a fan of tomato soup go try Tanya’s then sample Panera’s. Chances are you will never want to eat at Panera again. The crowning achievement of the Soup Kitchen was the bread pudding. After finishing our sandwiches we were told the bread pudding would be just a few minutes because they were making a new batch of whipped cream. You can’t complain about having to wait for dessert when they are making homemade whipped cream! The pudding came out warm, with a nice cinnamon syrup and huge dallop of whipped cream on top. There is really nothing more to say than, “perfection”.
Tanya’s was everything we had hoped it would be and much more. Great food combined with a great atmosphere and waitstaff equals a memorable dining experience. Tanya has recently added some wine and beer options to the menu and has plans to offer live music on the patio this summer. More reasons for you to check out this wonderful eatery gem right here in Wichita.