Wichita is one of those places you wouldn’t expect to be a foodie town. Tucked in to one of the flattest spots on the prairie in the heart of beef country, with a blue collar populous that’s generally pretty laid back, Wichitans have an appetite for very good food.
I know this because I concluded a ten-year residency there last month. I also know this because Alton Brown just ate his way through the Air Capital and seemed pretty happy about it. He recently wrapped his wildly popular Good Eats on Food Network and took the show on the road. Alton Brown’s live Edible Inevitable made a stop in Wichita last night and there wasn’t a foodie in attendance who left disappointed. Fortunately, we don’t think Alton’s appetite left town disappointed either.
“I want to thank Wichita for the seven pounds I’ve gained in the last 24 hours,” he said, reported the Wichita Eagle. “I’ve eaten and eaten and eaten.”
Like I said, Wichita loves to eat, with 27 percent of the population being obese. The food’s just that delicious! We hope Alton’s seven-pound souvenir doesn’t hang around too long!
Alton Brown Shares His Diet Secret: Sardines
The celebrity chef stopped at nine Wichita restaurants, according to Denise Neil at the Eagle. And they were mostly a tour of my favorites, too. The only one he missed that I think was a huge disservice to his stomach was The Flying Stove, a nationally recognized food truck that we named a favorite vegetarian restaurant in 2013.
Alton’s favorite? The Nifty Nut House. It’s not even a restaurant; it is, however, the most epic candy and treat store in all the land ever of all time. “I’ve never seen anything like it,” the Eagle reports him saying. “That’s a national treasure.”
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Last night, my social channels bled blue as the Kansas City Royals clenched their first playoff bid since 1985. Chants of going all the way were deafening and will no doubt silence any time soon. It’s a moment these Midwest baseball fans have waited, in some cases, all their lives for. There are a lot of long games ahead for these fans, as many as seven if things go their way, which means a lot of tailgate-inspired eating is on the horizon.
How does one eat like a Royal? There’s no pinkies out around here like those other royals. This is both KC Missouri and Kansas — around here, it’s all about the meat!
Here’s how to eat like a Royals fan — we’ll even show you a few ways to trim down these ballgame faves so you don’t need to up-size your new champions T-shirt!
CLEAN CARAMEL CORN
image credit laurenslatest.com
No ballgame is complete without Cracker Jacks, but they’re kind of terrible for you. We love this recipe from LaurensLatest.com that uses coconut oil, maple syrup, sea salt, and vanilla to craft a treat as indulgent as the classic. Popcorn is naturally gluten-free, if that’s your thing. This recipe is also vegan and without adding processed sugars.
image credit Kacy Meinecke/DietsInReview.com
JALAPENO CHEDDAR BURGER BITE KABOBS
Grilling a batch of big, juicy burgers these parts. But there are ways to teach these old dogs new tricks! Treat the burger as a side or appetizer with this tiny meatball kabobs. They’ve got big flavor, as we stuffed all-natural beef with jalapeno and cheddar cheese.
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When you think living and eating the vegetarian lifestyle, cities like Portland and Seattle immediately come to mind. But Wichita? Out here in beef country? You probably aren’t expecting much green to eat when you land here. This city is always surprising, and the number of vegetarian-friendly restaurants that are not only good, but totally worthy of your money and appetite, are growing more and more abundant all the time.
Often using locally sourced ingredients and catering to the more common carnivorous appetites that abound here in Kansas, Wichita’s veggie eateries rival some of the best places to eat in the country. Plus, every meal comes with a side of that sweet Midwest hospitality!
Enjoy our favorite vegetarian restaurants in Wichita, Kansas — and be sure to tell them we sent you.
The Flying Stove
One of the most fantastic food trucks in the country, so says Forbes, always features at least one vegetarian option that would appeal to the most meaty of eaters. Their menu rotates frequently, and rarely brings back the same thing twice. Fresh local ingredients made monthly specials like the Black Bean and Quinoa burger and Mexican Fruit Cartel big hits with their hungry, traveling legion of fans. And the truffle fries – made with fresh thyme and truffle oil – fuhgettaboutit it.
Yelp Rating – 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Color us surprised when the KC Bear Fighters started their set on Stage 5 at Winfield’s Walnut Valley Festival on Saturday afternoon and asked the crowd to get up off their bums. It wasn’t to dance, although there was plenty of that going on, but instead to do squats. By the end of their 30-minute (incredibly entertaining) set, the lead singer, Quinn, estimated we’d completed 70 squats. If you aren’t used to that kind of workout, you were most definitely feeling the burn on Sunday morning while tearing down your tent.
The show was part of the 42nd Walnut Valley Festival, the largest bluegrass and flat-picking championship in the world. It’s a music festival set the third weekend in September in south central Kansas and people flock with acoustic instruments, tents, and visions of peace and recharging dancing in their heads. Like any festival, over-consumption of any kind is bound to ensue. But we went in ready to come home mentally recharged without the weight of the weekend carrying around our waists.
The KC Bear Fighters’ squats workout helped. But so did a few other things that we either happened on or deliberately planned.
This is how we survived Winfield in a healthy way while having as much fun as everybody else.
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