Previously Published in The Wichita Eagle:
Sometimes you just need a good cheeseburger and beer to reaffirm that all is still well and good in the world. Luckily you needn’t travel to a city in western Africa to find such a place, just head out to Andover. There you will find Timbuktu Bar and Grill, a small town institution since 1982 that’s known for their hamburgers and friendly atmosphere.
Taking advantage of the temperate weather on the evening of our visit, we bypassed the dim indoor dining area and went straight to the back patio. Complete with tiki hut, play area for kids/inebriated adults, safari themed wall murals, and plenty of seating this patio is a sight to see.
The small menu consists of your typical bar food selections. Appetizers include nachos, corn fritters, stuffed jalapenos, fried mushrooms and chicken wings. Several sandwiches are also offered including grilled cheese, chicken fried steak, and pork fritter. The main attraction at Timbuktu is the famous half pound burger or for those with something to prove, the double one-pounder. The bar menu is limited to a handful of tap beers and a few canned selections, but they are served in throwback frosty mason jars.
On our visit we ordered a cheeseburger and pork fitter sandwich. All sandwiches come with chips, but an upgrade to onion rings or curly fires is strongly recommended as both were quite good. The pork fritter sandwich consists of a generous fried cutlet of pork loin, raw onions, and pickles. I substituted fried onions for the raw and applied ketchup and mustard. The sandwich turned out to be pretty good. I was happily surprised that the pork remained moist and tender despite its exterior crispness. My wife ordered the famed burger with fried onions and cheese. A jalapeno relish is also available if you like some spice with your burger. It was nice to see that the beef patty was hand formed and thick. While the burger was a touch overdone the fried onions and cheese helped make it satisfying. It was not the best burger either of us has had, but we would definitely order it again.
Simplicity is the key at Timbuktu and after thirty years in business they continue to make it work. With daily drink specials, occasional live music, and a weekly biker night there is something for everyone at Timbuktu.