Honky Tonk BQ and Pub's interior is that of a blues-and-jazz club: dark purples adorn the walls, and chairs and tables gather around a small stage. However, while a schedule of live music propagates blues, jazz, acoustic guitar, and honky-tonk-edged rock, the menu and its presentation suggest homage to true country barbecue. Paper plates are the chariots on which platters of pulled pork, beef, turkey, and hotlinks appear, their flavors eschewing fancy decorative flatware, hammers, and chisels. Patrons will use plastic forks and paper napkins as they dig into the delectable barbecue, complete with sides of mac ‘n’ cheese, potato salad, or coleslaw. The restaurant also offers a selection of beer, wine coolers, and sodas.
A mural of a wheat field is frozen on the wall of Wheat State Pizza, where chefs hand-toss pizza crusts made with whole wheat as well as white and gluten-free pizza disks. With 35 different toppings to choose from, diners may customize pies like a bejeweled jean jacket, or opt for signature combinations such as the pad thai with peanut sauce, sesame oil, siracha sauce, and crushed peanuts. Barbecued-beef sandwiches and custom calzones round out the menu, and dessert pizzas with blueberry-pie filling, cream cheese, and streusel topping cap off meals. Wheat State Pizza also offers an outdoor patio with umbrella-topped tables for alfresco dining.
Neon beer signs cast blue, green, and red light across the black ceiling, and tables populate with okra, mushrooms, and cauliflower starters—all deep fried to a golden crunch. An enormous projection TV broadcasts the latest game amid the pulse of a jukebox, and several flat screens promote revelry at the weathered wooden bar.
For more than 20 years, this casual sports bar has unleashed its signature third-pound burgers on Derby, topping them with everything from whole grilled-cheese sandwiches to chili and nacho cheese. After two-handing hot dogs or brisket sandwiches, guests can test their motor skills with the bar's free Xbox 360 with Kinect game base, or improve their coolness quotient by ordering the trendiest new summer drink: water on the rocks.
At Sirens & Sailors Salon, master stylist Maria Mistretta crafts edgy and retro 'dos with the help of products from MoroccanOil and L'Oréal. In addition to traditional haircuts, coloring, and highlights, Maria slices strands with razors and sculpts fauxhawks out of real imitation hawks. Ever the versatile stylist, she also installs feather extensions, flattens tresses with keratin treatments, and sets the stage for shotgun weddings with anytime updos. When not revamping coifs, she extracts unwanted facial fuzz with warm wax and keeps the salon's shelves stocked with jewelry and chic Lux De Ville handbags.
For more than three decades, the friendly servers and talented chefs at El Mexico Cafe have dished out helpings of Mexican and Southwestern food, from bean-stuffed burritos smothered in chili to ultimate fajitas with four types of meat. Served amid smoked mirrors and intricate wrought-iron accents, the café's cuisine won it several runner-up distinctions within the 2011 and 2012 Wichita Eagle's Readers' Choice awards. A mariachi band serenades tables each weekend, strumming guitars and squeezing accordions while wearing the traditional outfits of sombreros, charro suits, and astronaut helmets.
Kumeo Komazaki, known to friends as "Koma", relocated to New York City from Japan 30 years ago, bringing with him the culinary skills he learned as a chef for Japan's Imperial Palace Hotel. While working as a chef in New York, Komazaki happened to read the address on a box of beef shipped from Wichita, then seized the opportunity to establish his own restaurant there. At the Wichita location and its sister restaurants in St. Louis and Omaha, chefs entertain diners as they prepare steaks, seafood, and chicken at teppanyaki tables, flipping sizzling victuals through the air and searing meat to perfection. Sushi chefs roll and slice fresh seafood into bite-size pieces, which can be brought to mouths with chopsticks or hunger-induced telekinesis.