Always in search of a good meat disk we stopped by West Street Burgers the other day. The aptly named burger joint is located on West St. just south of Douglas. To be precise we opted for the drive-thru on this visit because West Street Burgers is just a small shack with rather limited dine-in options. Shockingly the focal point of the menu at West Street are their burgers. They come in several different sizes and all are served with mustard, onions, and chopped pickles. Hmmm that combination seems similar to one of the more famous burger places in Wichita. I thought Nuway had a copyright on that condiment combination, but perhaps West Street has discovered some loophole. Besides burgers they offer a few other sandwiches as well as an assortment of fried side items.
We both went with cheeseburgers, Steph the single and I the double. For some added variation we ordered fries and onion rings respectively. Unfortunately we had to drive all the back to the eastside before we could indulge in our greasy goodness. In some respects driving with warm burgers in the car can be just as dangerous as texting while driving. That intoxicating smell is very powerful and its ability to distract you from the task at hand should not be underestimated. Once home we discovered a nice grease spot on my fine GM upholstery, but were too hungry to care all that much.
The burgers were good, although the patties themselves were no marvel of hamburgery. They were your typical semi-thin, well done patty, but at least they were moist and tasted fresh. We both agreed that the best part of the burger was the delicious butter toasted bun. Even after the car ride the buns retained their crispness and distinct butter flavor. As for the fried goods, they were average. The onion rings were homemade, but could have used a bit more flavor in the batter. And as one internet reviewer noted the fries are in fact made from potatoes, which is always good, but we didn’t find them particularly amazing.
For the price West Street Burgers is a great deal, as our lunch cost around $11. For a fast burger this is a real good place to check out, especially since it is located right next to a Sonic. While sitting in the drive-thru you can gaze at all those poor people waiting for a Sonic burger and find some satisfaction in the fact that you have chosen your burger purveyors wisely.
The minute I saw this place my mind immediately thought, “This must be the Sport Burger of the westside”. Indeed it has many similarities to the greatness that is Sport Burger, but in my not-so-humble opinion Sport Burger is still tops. You just can’t beat their greasy burgers and grilled onions.
For once we wanted to be on the cutting edge of the Wichita dining scene and decided to try out the recently opened El Agave. El Agave is located on Rock Road just south of K-96 in what is one of the most transient restaurant buildings on the east side. I can think of at least 3 other restaurants that have been located here in the last ten years. After our experience at Agave I fear they might meet a similar end.
Typically I try to use a restaurant’s salsa quality to make a determination as to how the rest of the meal will go. Is it freshly made or something poured out of an On the Border jar? Is there sweet, delicious cilantro present? El Agave’s salsa proved itself to be rather tasty and paired with a solid $6 house margarita I had high hopes for the rest of the meal.
The menu at El Agave is nothing short of expansive and covers just about every Tex-Mex item you can think of as well as some more traditional dishes like chicken mole. I was torn between several choices, but ended up going with the chimichanga dinner. Steph ordered a beef taco and enchilada dinner. My parents joined us at El Agave and they ordered chicken fajitas and Camarones (Shrimp) Vallarta. Despite being fairly busy our food came out in short order. I enjoyed my chimichanga, the beef was well seasoned, the tortilla crispy, and the cheese sauce tasty. Out of the four meals it seemed that mine was the best. Steph said that her enchilada was bland while the taco was nothing to get excited about. The chicken fajitas were alright, but again nothing that impressive. The most disappointing dish was the Camarones Vallarta. It looked like they had just thrown some pre-made popcorn shrimp onto a plate and served it with rice and a few garnishes.
Despite our experience at El Agave I am not ready to give them a thumbs down yet. With such a large menu to choose from there have to be some really good dishes hiding in there. Unfortunately on the flip side the size of the menu prohibits the diner from finding one of those good dishes. Hopefully as they progress with their business they will streamline the menu so that there is a consistent quality with each dish served. On another note, if you are a big tequila person this you definitely your place. They have 20 to 30 different types of tequila and a really good house margarita. It would be a great place for drinks and salsa after long work week. Hopefully their food will come around and El Agave will thrive in a location where others have not.
For me, the tender nip of fall in the air means it’s time for soups, chili, and delicious red curries. Unfortunately, after a bad experience last year, I had to set an ambient air temperature threshold for my consumption of red curry. Through much scientific analysis I determined that with temperatures over 80 degrees I cannot handle red curry. Luckily this last weekend was nice and seasonal allowing Steph and I the opportunity to enjoy some Thai food at Thai Traditions. Thai Traditions is one of Wichita’s best known Thai places, tucked away in the Carriage Parkway shopping center at Central and Edgemoor. It has a good sized dining room with an interior that could be considered a bit dated, but with the dim lights you hardly notice.
In my opinion, Thai Traditions has some of the best soft spring rolls in town, so of course we got an order of those. Their soft rice wrappers are filled with seasoned ground pork, fresh basil, cilantro, lettuce, and bean sprouts. Paired with a sweet peanut sauce they are very refreshing and good way to condition your mouth for some red curry. For Steph’s entrée she went with the only thing she ever orders at Thai places, the ever popular Pad Thai. This mix of flat rice noodles, chicken, sprouts, shrimp, and green onions is covered with a sauce that usually consists of fish sauce, sugar, and tamarind paste. Needless to say it was wonderful as always. I was feeling a bit more adventurous on this visit and went with a medium hottness version of the Red Duck Curry. It came in a large bowl with pineapple chunks, bamboo pieces, and tomatoes. The skin-on duck was plentiful and tender. Served with a side of rice the Duck Curry hit the spot on a cool fall night.
Just in case you were wondering, the service at Thai Tradition was some of the best we have had in a long time. Our water was refilled almost constantly, while the server was gracious and polite. That just topped off what was an enjoyable dining experience. If you have not tried Thai cooking before Thai Tradition is the perfect place to experience the cuisine. Their friendly staff and expansive menu will ensure an enjoyable experience.