Typically dining at an airport is not something to get terribly excited about; whether it’s battling crowds, overpriced food, or some greasy junk you regret eating as soon as you jam into your aisle seat. Fortunately, at Stearman Field in Benton you can enjoy a pleasant dining experience without having to be poked and prodded by TSA agents. The unique bar and grill is located right on the airstrip and is a popular hangout for both locals and those from the surrounding areas.
The interior of Stearman has a shockingly aviation oriented motif. If you have ever wanted to enjoy a hamburger, while staring down the nose of a P-51 this is your place. Several tables are made from plane engines, replica planes hang from the ceiling, the walls are covered with aviation memorabilia, and there is a Big Ass ceiling fan. It literally is a Big Ass fan because that is the name of the manufacturer and this one probably has 10 foot blades on it. Besides indoor seating there is a large covered patio that is perfect for gazing upon landing aircraft or a picturesque Kansas sunset. There is even a small jungle gym to keep the kids entertained.
We hit the restaurant on a busy Saturday night and had to wait for a table to open up, but that gave us time to enjoy a beer and watch planes do touch-n-go’s. The menu at Stearman is your generic bar and grill fare with daily specials offered as well. We had heard that the Stearman Burger was a popular choice so I ordered that, while Steph went with the patty melt. I got some O-rings
with my meal and Steph ordered her usual sweet potato fries. The Stearman burger came with grilled jalapenos, onions, and pepper jack cheese. It was a good combination that gave the burger some added heat and texture, but the patty itself was average. More disappointing were the onion rings that I’m fairly certain were previously frozen. Steph’s patty melt was okay, but again the meat was lacking much in the flavor department. The sweet potato fries were fresh and crispy though. Our son seemed to enjoy the food, as he polished off most of a grilled cheese sandwich. Stearman also has a full bar and several unexpected beer selections, such as Stella Artois.
While we weren’t blown away by the food we had during our visit to Stearman, it was a fun place to have a meal. You can’t beat the unique atmosphere if you are looking for a little weekend diversion with the family or a good place to throw a party. They are open daily from 7am till 10 pm, so there is plenty of time to get out there and experience Stearman Field.