Tag Archives: burgers wichita ks

Dempsey’s Burger Pub

28 Dec

Dempsey’s Burger Pub is Wichita’s newest addition to the upscale hamburger restaurant category. For those familiar with Lawrence, Dempsey’s is an offshoot of the popular restaurant of the same name there. The Wichita location is part of the compact Clifton Square shopping center, which means parking can be tricky during peak hours.

Like most of the buildings in Clifton Square, Dempsey’s is small, but does offer two levels of dining. The open kitchen is located on the top level with a few tables, while the bar is downstairs with additional seating.

Mushroom Swiss Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

Mushroom Swiss Burger with Sweet Potato Fries

The menu features all things burgers and not just ones made out of beef. Besides offering mushroom swiss, fried egg, or pepper hamburgers, there is salmon, portabella mushroom, and even a quinoa patty that sounded like it wouldn’t be too bad. No upscale burger joint would be complete without the mandatory Kobe beef burger of which Dempsey’s has two. In my opinion “Kobe beef” is just a reason to add another dollar or two to the price. It’s not real Kobe beef from Japan and probably just comes from US raised Wagyu cattle, so there is really not going to be a huge taste difference especially in ground form. French fries are sold separately from the burgers and come with your choice of several different house made dipping sauces. Since nothing goes better with a hamburger than a cold beer, Dempsey’s offers a very good selection of craft beers both on tap and in bottles.

We visited during a fairly busy lunch time crowd, but were promptly seated. Unfortunately we were forgotten for  about ten minutes before a waitress came over to take our order. There seemed to be quite a bit of chaos amongst the servers and staff. I noticed several orders that were sent back to the kitchen. We had plenty of time to decide on what we wanted to eat and drink. I went with the mushroom swiss, while my mom had the bleu burger. We also got a side order of sweet potato fries. As for beer, I went with Warbeard Red, a local offering from Walnut River that is not available at many places in town.

So Many Sauces

So Many Sauces

Both of our burgers were ordered medium rare, which I typically am not afraid to do at a nicer place because of the hopefully better quality of meat and the fact that usually burgers are overcooked anyway. I was very pleased to see our large meat disks were cooked to perfection, with a nice pink center. The mushroom swiss burger came with generous amounts of cheese, bacon, and mushrooms piled onto a thick, half pound patty. The only complaint is that the beef was just a touch under-seasoned, but that did not keep this from being a very good burger.

Evidence of a Properly Cooked Burger

Evidence of a Properly Cooked Burger

The bleu burger was solid as well. It came with plenty of melted bleu cheese, bacon, and sauteed onions. At $8.50 and $9 dollars these burgers are on the high end, especially not coming with any side, but they are large and will easily satisfy most appetites. The sweet potatoes fries were a good effort, but nothing exceptional. As for the various dipping sauces, my favorites were the chili powder based ketchup, and the truffle cream. Our waitress was very apologetic about our wait and ended up comping our beers, thus redeeming the customer service experience somewhat.

We tried Dempsey’s just two weeks after they had opened, so I understand the rough service to some extent. Hopefully they will get their issues figured out, because if there is one thing Wichitans will not tolerate it’s poor service. Dempsey’s serves up very good burgers and should be given a try by all those discerning burgerphiles out there.

Dempsey's Burger Pub on Urbanspoon

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.

http://www.fattonysgrill.com/

Fat Tony's Sports Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Southeast Carryout

22 Mar

In need of a quick and convenient lunch I stopped by Southeast Carryout the other day. This simple burger joint has been a staple in SE Wichita for over twenty years. Their original location was right across the street from Southeast High, but now they reside on the northeast corner of Harry and Oliver.

The Cleanest Burger Stand in Wichita

Although the name  implies it is strictly a carryout operation, there are a few tables if you would prefer your car to not smell like a cheeseburger for the next week. Unlike some small burger joints, SE Carryout is impressively clean and tidy inside. So much so that I am going to award them, “Cleanest Burger Stand in Wichita”.  The menu consists of burgers, sandwiches, hot dogs, fried sides, and snow cones. Coke AND Pepsi products are both served in harmony here as well.

I went with the 1/3 lb double cheeseburger meal with fries and a drink for the low price of $4.20. There is certainly no debate that they make their burgers fresh to order as I watched them slap a couple of patties down onto the flattop grill. I was a bit disappointed that they appeared to be preformed thin burger patties though. For the price I got a decent amount of french fries, although they were nothing special. The burger came fully loaded with ketchup, mustard, pickles, tomatoes, and onions. Despite all the added condiments I thought the burger was average. There was nothing wrong with it, but then again I wasn’t blown away. It was certainly a better burger than most fast food chains.

Your Average Burger

In an age when it is hard to find a basic hamburger for under $5, SE Carryout makes it possible. While I would not put it on my list of top burgers in Wichita, you won’t be disappointed with the value at Southeast Carryout.


Southeast Carryout

Southeast Carry Out on Urbanspoon

West Street Burgers – Wichta KS

18 Nov

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.

West Street Burgers on Urbanspoon

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