Archive | September, 2012

Fat Tony’s Grill and Sports Bar(CLOSED)

28 Sep

With the beginning of football season comes the beginning of sports bar season as well. Although I lack any concrete proof, I imagine that the period from September through January is probably a sports bar’s best season. Wichita has a good selection of local sports bars and it seems like everyone has their favorite. Fat Tony’s, located at 417 E. Douglas, is a somewhat recent addition to the scene, but with their giant TV screen and food challenges they are trying to separate themselves from the rest.

Your Basic Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

The first thing you are drawn to at Fat Tony’s is the large projection screen at the back of the building that displays life size sporting action. Other TVs line the adjoining walls, making it rather challenging to concentrate on any one game or even the person sitting next to you. Glancing over the menu, all seemed rather mundane with the typical offerings of burgers, salads, sandwiches, etc offered, until I came upon the food challenges. The three challenges include: A 9 pound burger with all the fixings and a pound of fries that must be consumed in 45 minutes, a wing challenge with Tony’s signature nuclear sauce, and a five pound Philly cheesesteak with a pound of fries that has to be eaten in 30 minutes. All of these feats seem a bit daunting given the time restraints, but I’m sure that some highly trained eating athlete could pull them off.

Steph and I were both in the mood for a burger, so we went with the basic half pound burger with cheese. The small kitchen is set up in the middle of the dining area,  giving patrons the opportunity to watch the cooks in action. One thing I did catch was the bag of frozen fries that the cook pulled out and dumped into the fryer. It was a bit disappointing to see them cutting corners like that.

I was happy to see that our burgers had not been overcooked when they arrived. There was still a bit of pink in the middle, which is hard to get in a burger these days. The patties were moist, but could have used some additional seasoning. All in all I would have to say it was a slightly above average burger. The fries could not overcome the fact they had been pulled from the freezer bag, as they tasted rather industrial.

Fat Tony’s passes the litmus test for a respectable sports bar. Decent food, obscenely large and numerous TV’s and plenty of cold beer. Plus they are one of the few places in town that offers eating challenges.

Fat Tony's Sports Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

River City Brewing Co.

14 Sep

Brewpubs are currently enjoying a great deal of popularity and success in the US, as more and more people opt for tasty craft beer paired with comfort foods . River City Brewery, located in the heart of Old Town on Mosley street, was one of the  first restaurants to open as part of the revitalization of Old Town that took place in the early 90s.

The interior of River City is a nod to the age of the building that houses it. Wooden floors and exposed brick make it feel like you have stepped back into Wichita’s cowtown days, that is of course until your eyes fix upon one of the several TVs or

Your Basic Mac’n’Cheese

the stainless steel brewing apparatus.   The menu at River City offers no surprises, it features salads, sandwiches, pizza, steak, mac’n’cheese, and burgers. The main attraction here are the several varieties of craft beer made in-house. There are 5 standard brews available year round as well as special brews and a Firkin Thursday event that offers unique and sometimes disturbing beer flavors.

On our visit, we both started off with the Harvester Wheat beer. It was a good American wheat that was comparable to some of the better wheat beers on the market. I also tried the Rock Island Red, which is River City’s take on the American amber ale. It was a decent tasting amber, although I preferred the Harvester Wheat over it .

For dinner I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Pizza. This pie panders to those who cannot get enough of the iconic Buffalo wings and must have them in pizza form as well. It comes with chicken tender pieces, the classic Buffalo sauce, mozzarella, and blu cheese. The only thing missing would be some celery sprinkled on top. Steph ordered a bowl of the broccoli mac’n’cheese. Despite a fairly crowded dining room, our food was delivered before I had a chance to finish my first beer. The pizza was served just as advertised, with generous toppings and a tangy Buffalo sauce with just the right amount of kick to it. The crust was crispy and tasted fresh. With a lot of stiff pizza competition in Wichita I would say this particular pie was about average. The pizza was good sized and I struggled to finish it all by myself. We were less impressed with the broccoli mac’n’cheese. The sauce was runny and not very cheesy and there was nothing done to jazz

The Buffalo Chicken Pizza

up the dish. It tasted fine, but was lacking anything to make it stand out from mac’n’cheese you could make at home.

We were lucky enough to have some live entertainment on the Friday night we visited in the form of two gentlemen and their acoustic guitars. The set started out with some promise, but after a medley of America songs and a valiant, yet unsuccessful attempt at Gimmie Shelter, I was rather eager for out check to arrive.

River City is a good place to sample some solid craft beers and enjoy a televised sporting event, but don’t go expecting to be blown away by the food.

River City Brewing Co. on Urbanspoon


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