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Free State Brewing Co. and WheatFields among 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine

Free State Brewing Co. and WheatFields are among "8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine."

June 19, 2009, 11:17 a.m. Updated June 19, 2009, 4:13 p.m.

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Bartender Jon Bunch pours two growlers of beer as patrons eat and drink at Free State Brewing Co., 636 Mass. Proprietor Chuck Magerl says an integral part to restaurant success is reliable staff.

Bartender Jon Bunch pours two growlers of beer as patrons eat and drink at Free State Brewing Co., 636 Mass. Proprietor Chuck Magerl says an integral part to restaurant success is reliable staff.

Wheatfield's Bakery Cafe was named to the list of 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine by The Kansas Sampler Foundation. Zac Bennett arranges fresh loaves of bread on a display rack.

Wheatfield's Bakery Cafe was named to the list of 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine by The Kansas Sampler Foundation. Zac Bennett arranges fresh loaves of bread on a display rack.

Lawrence could now be considered the cuisine capital of Kansas.

Two popular Lawrence restaurants — Free State Brewing Company, and WheatFields Bakery and Cafe — on Friday were named among the “8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine.”

“I certainly think that Lawrence, for the city of its size, has the most diverse cuisine in the state of Kansas,” said Chuck Magerl, the managing partner for both restaurants. “Lawrence is a fun place to be in the food business, and it gives us plenty of inspiration every day.”

The Kansas Sampler Foundation announced the results Friday.

“The contest was designed to determine the most iconic restaurants in Kansas,” said Marci Penner, the foundation’s director.

Free State, 636 Mass., was the state’s first legal brewery after Prohibition and also serves a variety of ethnic recipes. WheatFields, 904 Vt., is a nationally recognized bakery that serves healthy meals featuring artisan breads.

Magerl said voters likely appreciated the authenticity of both places, from the Kansas themes and paraphernalia at Free State to the dedication to the state’s most famous crop at WheatField’s.

As she sat at Free State Friday, Carol Bradbury, an artist and designer who lives west of Topeka, said she often tries to bring friends to both places when they visit Lawrence.

“I think they give a good flavor of what Kansas really is about,” she said.

The winners were selected from among 24 finalists during online and mail-in voting from April 23 to Monday. Nearly 14,000 votes were cast, and they came from all 50 states and numerous foreign countries.

The restaurants had to be more than 10 years old and originate in Kansas. They could not be a national franchise.

A “Guide to the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine” is available online, or by calling 620-585-2374.

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Comments

madman 5 years, 6 months ago

Good for Lawrence. Those are all good ones though. I wish Charlies would have made it in the top 8.

gsxr600 5 years, 6 months ago

Interesting, but let's save the BREAKING news for something actually important.

sinverguenza 5 years, 6 months ago

Hells yeah. And Bobo's? That's a-w-e-s-o-m-e!

Marcy McGuffie 5 years, 6 months ago

Cool. Free State is certainly worthy.

The Olpe Chicken House should have made that list. :-(

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 6 months ago

...and the bias goes to the more populated areas.

I mean wheatfields is ok, but It is too bad that some of the nominees which were from much smaller population areas did not garner the votes. Several have much more Kansas character than wheatfields.

But we remember that many in Lawrence have no Kansas knowledge west of Wannamaker Road in Topeka or 50 yds off of I-70

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 6 months ago

yes. for instance the Olpe chicken house....

or perhaps even more important are Chicken Annies-Chicken Maries in Crawford County which were nominated. They were nominated.

hail2oldku 5 years, 6 months ago

Boston_Corbett (Anonymous) says…

yes. for instance the Olpe chicken house….

or perhaps even more important are Chicken Annies-Chicken Maries in Crawford County which were nominated. They were nominated.

ahem - the third member in this list.................. "The other winners are Bobo’s Drive-In, Topeka; the Brookville Hotel, Abilene; Cozy Inn, Salina; Crawford County Fried Chicken; Guy and Mae’s Tavern, Williamsburg; and, Hays House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern, Council Grove."

maybe hooked on phonics would help bc

Music_Girl 5 years, 6 months ago

I'm glad Free State made it and I agree that the Ople chicken house is pretty awesome!

hail2oldku 5 years, 6 months ago

Damn, taking a jab and missing because you can't count.

That would be the FOURTH entry on the list.

now remove foot from mouth.

grimpeur 5 years, 6 months ago

What about Swedish Crowns? No Meatish Sweetballs?

Can Linsborg get a little älska?

Music_Girl 5 years, 6 months ago

I think most people know that Manhattan atleast exists.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 6 months ago

What other brewery has ever had a high school named for it?

Beth Bird 5 years, 6 months ago

If you haven't, you should try Guy and Mae's in Williamsburg. It isn't that far from Lawrence and is AWESOME!!!

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

BoBos is a good choice in a historical sort of way-A Kansas company that was selling great steakburgers before all the steakburger chains hit--Steak and Shake, Freddies etc. I ate at Brookeville about two weeks ago, and it was great. Tell me about this Olpe chicken house. Hours? What makes it so good? Enquiring stomachs want to know.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

I shouldn't forget BoBos' apple pie, it is to die for. The best I have ever had.

TopJayhawk 5 years, 6 months ago

Happy Pill, Tell me about Guy and Maes, it that where the ribs are? I'm getting hungry.

George_Braziller 5 years, 6 months ago

Maybe I've just had bad luck with the food at Free State. I like the beer, but two of the worst meals of my life were from there.

farmgal 5 years, 6 months ago

Guy & Mae's is a cool place--cool atmosphere, but the side dishes are mediocre at best. Ribs are good if you like greasy, fatty food. Thick cigarette smoke inside the place. Free State & Wheatfields--now that's much better eating.

George_Braziller 5 years, 6 months ago

I just wish the Brookville Hotel was still located in Brookville in the hotel and not in a new building off interstate in Abilene. Part of the charm was the creaky floors, the architecture of the building itself, and the setting.

bisky1 5 years, 6 months ago

what about connies for mexican in wichita, the best.

eastside46 5 years, 6 months ago

I for one know first hand there is no fat on the rib's at Guy & Mae's Some of the best rib's you will ever eat!!!!!

farmgal 5 years, 6 months ago

eastside46, maybe the ribs you got were okay. i've eaten there a few times over the last 20 years, so i speak from experience. their side dishes come in those 2 gallon plastic tubs--not exactly quality food by any stretch of the imagination. if it hadn't of been for my hubby liking the place, i wouldn't have ever eaten there a 2nd time.

bearded_gnome 5 years, 6 months ago

absolutely right on Wheatfields! great people work there, too. and, simply the bread is delicious. my favorite: sourdough white, but I love about 8 of their breads.

Agnostic is right: their biscuits and gravy!


RETICENT_IRREVERENT (Anonymous) says…

I can't believe KFC and their grilled beefy chicken strips didn't make the cut.

---well man, did you do your part? did you vote? did you get a bunch of fake id's, temp e-mail addresses, so you could vote a dozen times????


not eaten much at Freestate but I know they're good indeed and deserve the honor.

"what other brewery has a high school named after it" LOL!

davidsmom 5 years, 6 months ago

We were there for Family Day last fall and ate at Wheatfield's once, and liked it so much we ate there again later in the day.

Thinking_Out_Loud 5 years, 6 months ago

I have eaten at each of the 8 wonders, on multiple occasions, and they are all worthy.

And I must disagree with Boston_Corbett's contention that Wheatfields shouldn't be on the list. In my opinion, Wheatfields is by far the best bakery in the state. So, is Boston's position informed by a difference in taste from my own? Or a disillusionment with Lawrence which causes him to believe Lawrence inferior in some way? Or perhaps too much mercury in the course of his millinery occupation? To each his own, I suppose. I would, however, caution against self-performed surgeries.

Boston_Corbett 5 years, 6 months ago

Boston has no animus to the Lawrence winners. He likes them both. His only point was that some of the smaller towns/smaller venues should not be forgotten. There are great small town dives and restaurants that did not even make the preliminary list.

I have biscuits & gravy at Wheatfields at least once a week and love their baked goods. And Freestate is great, and rightfully an easy icon with its role in Kansas microbrewery industry, if not for everything else. (But loggie is right....Chuck contended its survival was threatened without smoking.... remember?)

I was mistaken earlier...did not realize that Chicken Annies and Chicken Mary's made the grade. Icons themselves.

I give a shout out to Connies in Wichita that bisky mentioned.

George is right about the old Brookville hotel.... That's an example of environmental laws for you.... the little city could not afford the waste water treatment plant the restaurant required.

Anchor Inn and Porubskys are both on my favs list....

And to Thinking Out Loud.... You evidently know enough about ole Boston to realize I have a great pair of rusty scissors. Better watch out.

delfromOlpe 5 years, 6 months ago

Any list that does not include the Olpe Chicken House must be called into question.

eastside46 5 years, 6 months ago

Well I have been eating at Guy & Mae's for years and the ribs have never been anything but Great!!!!!!!!!!!!! as for the sides who needs them when you have the ribs! It's a Great place! and they have had alot of very well known people come in and eat and all have had nothing but Great reviews for the place!

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