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.” (more…)
As we reach the end of May, we’re also coming to the end of Bike Month. Though many of us can barely imagine going on a weekly bike ride, there is a group of people that rely on their bikes to get them around every single day.
They are people like Christina Calhoun, who is not only a cycling enthusiast and bike commuter; she’s also the event coordinator for a World Record attempt ride.
On May 31, the last day of Bike Month, in Wichita, Kansas, she hopes to assemble the longest line of bike/riders ever. At 1:00 p.m., the goal is to have 1,200 riders gather at the annual River Festival and set a new World Record.
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 (more…)
“I try to be like my dad, he’s where I get my characteristics and strength,” said Miss Kansas Theresa Vail. She went on to call her father her role model, but she hopes other young women find inspiration in strong females. Based on how people are responding to her participation in the Miss America pageant, it’s almost guaranteed that many will be looking up to Theresa Vail.
Raised as a self-described “military brat,” Vail moved around a lot. She was bullied as a child, and nearly ended her own life at the age of ten. Seven years later she joined the Army. Now she is a sergeant and has recently signed on for six more years of service. Only the second representative of the military to compete in Miss America, Vail has broken quite a few barriers. She was America’s Choice in last weekend’s pageant, which earned her a place in the Top 15 and placed her just outside of the Top 5 overall.
It makes sense that her platform is “Empowering Women: Overcoming Stereotypes and Breaking Barriers.” One of the biggest stereotypes Vail overcame was the thought that Miss America contestants shouldn’t have visible tattoos. Instead of hiding her large tattoos, Vail proudly displayed them.
“I told everyone before I left for Miss America that whether I win the crown or not, if I can change people’s opinion, then I’ve done my job,” she said. Many people’s opinions of Miss America and the women who compete for the title are based on how the contestants look. The focus on body image and self-confidence is something Vail has already encountered while she has been serving as Miss Kansas. (more…)
One of the sweetest running stores around is actually in our hometown of Wichita, Kansas; it’s enough to make bigger cities weak in the knees. But not too weak, because those runners have finish lines to cross, too! And we’re certainly not going to stand in their way.
GoRun has released two limited edition T-shirts, designed by local artist Kenton Hansen (disclaimer: alleged spouse of our contributor Lacy J. Hansen). They’re pretty awesome, and they aren’t going to last much longer than a runner’s high. Sales end October 4.
The shirts, available here, are just 20 bucks with a five dollar shipping fee if you live outside of the borders of Sedgwick County.
For marathoners finishing the long haul, pick up “Salty, Spent, Strong.”
When the iCan Bike program rolled into the Wichita Ice Center last month, 40 youth with varying disabilities grabbed life by the handlebars. The week-long camp is designed to teach cycling to children with developmental disabilities to ride a bike. For many, riding a bike is entrenched as a youthful rite of passage, an expected childhood development filed in between learning to read and losing baby teeth. But even with all the worthwhile services provided to people with different abilities, the teaching of the most essential recreational activity was being overlooked. Learning to bike is a portal. It’s the intersection of sport and independence, it’s in the doorway of competition and confidence.
iCan Bike is under the larger iCan Shine umbrella, a national organization that “provides quality learning opportunities” for a host of recreational activities. iCan Shine sent two staffers, Donovan Bryan and John Reyes, and their custom designed bikes and equipment for the Wichita camp, hosted by the Independent Living Resource Center. (more…)
Facebook has released a colorful graph ranking the fittest cities in the country via their Facebook Stories app. Other categories in the infographic include official sounding titles like “Dancing City,” “Swimming City,” “Marathon City,” and “Yoga City.” The graphic contains some sweet clip art and most of the cities make sense; Austin is definitely full of Yogis, OKC just collectively lost one million pounds so they must be fit, and Portland is a utopia populated by trendy entrepreneurs so they’re on the list by default.
In the release, Facebook’s Mandy Zibart said, “Ranking of the fittest cities is based on fitness-related mentions, check-ins and use of fitness apps over a period of three months in U.S. cities with at least 200,000 Facebook users.” We think it’s a lot of talk though. Some of the cities included in the graph must have been giving themselves too much credit when they shared their activities, as some of the data is contradictory with other, more fact-based studies.
Facebook claims that El Paso and San Antonio, TX are among the 10 fittest cities in America. Earlier this year, Men’s Health listed both of those cities among the fattest in the nation, citing obesity and lack of physical activity among the population, and the prevalence of fast food joints in the area. (more…)
“Healthy employees are happy employees” is something we heard a lot today at the third annual Wichita Business Journal Healthiest Employers awards. The annual event by the local business publication honors 30 companies who have exceptional corporate wellness plans in place. The result? Healthy, happy employees, a stronger bottom line, and ultimately a stronger company.
Wesley Medical Center, one of the city’s leading hospitals, was recognized three times during the luncheon. First as a healthiest employer amongst large employers (companies with more than 1,000 employees), then as the category winner, and finally as the overall healthiest employer for 2013.
See all of Wichita Business Journal’s Healthiest Employers
Wesley was honored by their recognition today, and told us about their passion for the health and wellness of their employees. “Wellness is part of our overall culture at Wesley,” said Carrie Mabie, PHR who mangages the Wesley Wellness program. That’s an attitude more companies should adopt.
“The end result we’re looking for is for the companies we recognized today to share best practices and ideas to help improve their workplaces,” said John Ek, publisher at the Wichita Business Journal. (more…)
“I’ve think we’ve got something really special here in Wichita, Kevin.”
“I agree, Lacy. I think we really do.”
This was the opening conversation I had with GoRun Wichita, a running store, owner Kevin Swinicki as we took off for more miles this past Saturday morning. We had just completed a raffle and a fun run with about 250 people. The totals determined that the running community of Wichita had raised $2,000 for Hurricane Sandy relief. All of this took place with just three days notice, a push through social media, and a cause worth of running for.
Early last week DietsInReview.com’s managing editor, Brandi Koskie, asked me if I thought we could get runners to show up and participate in DailyMile’s #Run4NYC virtual race fundraiser. Knowing the good hearts that dwell in so many people I’ve shared the road with, I told Brandi that I thought many would show up to support such a worthy cause. With that belief, Brandi hit the ground running to secure funds. Within a day, she had been allotted $500 to donate to the effort, which would go to the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Boldly we agreed that we’d attempt to get 200 people, that way DietsInReview could contribute $2.50 per person who showed to run with us. This news officially hit the public on Wednesday, giving runners three days notice for the event. (more…)
Eric Bruce arrived in New York City last week from his home in Bermuda to run his 39th marathon. He was checking into his hotel, which was without power, when he learned of the cancellation. He had just chatted with the porter after learning how his family had fared during the storm.
“I was disappointed I would miss what I originally came here for but as another runner said, ‘None of us knew what challenge we personally would face this weekend,’” said Bruce.
Most of us watched the drama of the 2012 New York City Marathon unfold from afar. Many shared their opinions of what they thought runners should do and what the city should have done, but the reality is that most of us weren’t there and we were just playing armchair referee. It’s always easy to problem solve from a distance and to tell people how they should feel when we’re not the one directly dealing with the impact of such a tough situation.
Bruce is one of three runners we spoke to who were actually there and traveled to the city because Mayor Michael Bloomberg told them the race was still on. These runners gave up months of their lives to train for this race, they spent money to travel to New York City, and they wrestled with the emotions of being told it was all for nothing.
However, Bruce encountered more good spirit than bad during his unique stay in New York. He recounted the grace and humanity he experienced from New Yorkers. “My hotel was downtown and I was without power for part of my stay,” he said. “Strangers offered to let me stay in their homes, extended well wishes, and hoped that they would see me in next year’s race.” (more…)