This week I find myself in Wichita, KS attending the American Bonanza Society Convention. Wichita is home to several aerospace giants and is probably the birthplace to more aircraft than anywhere else in the world. Because of that, it has a special place in my heart. Wichita is one of the best examples of understated midwestern values and hospitality. Nic, the general manager at the Fairfield Inn and Suites represents those exact values. When I mentioned to him the Bring Me Dinner concept, we recognized immediately the fact that we are both foodies. Without hesitation, Nic pointed me and my friends to the Old Town section of Wichita and Public at the Brickyard.
I was joined tonight by three of my buddies – Darrel, Mike and Johnny. All of us were onboard with the idea of just experiencing Public. Now Old Town, just like the name implies, is an older section of Wichita and made up buildings that are easily from the 30s and 40s, complete with brick paved streets.
“Old Town,” just like the name implies, is an older section of Wichita and made up buildings that are easily from the 30’s and 40’s, complete with brick paved streets. Public is in the basement of one of these classic buildings. The entryway is very unassuming, but it quickly opens up into a casual, friendly bar setting.
Hana, our waitress tonight, is a fiery Lebanese waitress and she is ready to go. (And by the way, she gave me her title – I did not make that one up). With that, I knew the three of us were going to have a great time as Hana Brings Us Dinner!
Our appetizer tonight is the Public Pickles. These pickles are house-made sweet pickles, with a hint of clove just kissing the pickles. These pickles are served with a selection of Yoder salami, horseradish cheese, and a toasted Bagatelle Brioche. Oh, my… These pickles are amazing. It was so good, that each of us had to have a sip of the pickle brine before they removed our picked-clean dish.
Hana, sensibly, brought us four guys three very filling main dishes. First up was the Seared Salmon Special. The salmon is seasoned and seared to perfection and then served atop a root vegetable hash. The horseradish-dill sauce adds just a perfect amount of zing to a great dish.
Next up was the Sun-dried Tomato Pappardelle. This pasta dish is served with local roasted vegetables and kale pesto sauced. Finally, sprinkled with a ricotta cheese. Simply delicious. Perfect comfort food.
Hana then took our final main course to another level with a Left Hand Soppressata & Kale Pesto Pizza. The crust is made with a house honey wheat dough and has just a kiss of sweetness. By the way, it is very evident that Public sources as much as they can locally, so it would not surprise me to learn that the honey came from a downtown beehive. (I am all about preserving our bees). The pizza itself is topped with Kansas Cottonwood Cheddar, fresh mozzarella, roasted artichoke hearts (seasoned perfectly), a pesto sauce and some Left Hand Soppressata. Soppressata, for those of you that don’t know (and I didn’t know until last night), is a non-traditional salami. It uses a much coarser grind of the meat and is often mixed with red pepper flakes to give a little more heat. Perfect finger food to help keep good company.
To finish off our evening, Hana treated us with the chocolate beignets. These beignets are filled with warm chocolate that flows over the plate as you cut into the sugar-coated cakes. A simple syrup accompanies this rich walk down dessert lane.
Stuffed and satisfied, my friends and I toasted another successful evening and a wonderful downtown Wichita.