By Mike Thayer
I'm traveling around the Wichita Metro, sampling the burger offerings from any joint that has burgers on the menu, local, regional, national chain, it doesn't matter. In order to determine a true champion of burgers in the metro, I'll have to sample them all in the name of "burger science" (cough). For the burger criteria, click here.
Today's burger lunch took me to Southeast Carryout. This is another iconic local burger joint in Wichita, having served the community since the 1980's and their icon status is well deserved, winning the ICT Burger Battle two years running in 2020 and 2021. They also participated in ICT Burger Battle 2022, Food Truck Style at OJ Watson Park on August 20, earning runner up honors.
Entering the restaurant at about 10:45am, there were a few customers ahead of me, but it didn't take long at all for my turn to place an order. SE Carryout builds their burgers using thin patties, so I went with their double cheeseburger (with a bacon add) for a 1/3 pound of beef total to ensure the burger was Bachelor on the Cheap Burger Challenge Compliant (1/4 pound minimum). For my side I got the fries and to wash it all down, a cold Pepsi.
I took a seat and checked email while my carry out meal was being prepped, I had barely gotten into a two thumb texting rhythm when my ticket number was called.
"Order #53!" the attendant called out.
I approached the counter.
"How are you today sir?" Asked the attendant while pouring me my soda.
"I'm good, how are you?" I responded.
"Fine sir," he replied.
"I'll be even better once I start eating that burger!" I stated
"Amen to that."
Handed my meal and drink I said, "Thank you so much, have a nice day" with a smile and headed out the door.
The urge to snack on fries during the drive home was intense, but I remained disciplined knowing I needed a full fry count for pics. With my burger and fries simply packaged in a plain brown bag, SE Carryout keeps their costs down by not having their logo printed on everything. You won't see a logo on the french fry wrapper, no logo on the soda cup and not on that plain brown bag. Sandwiches are wrapped in plain aluminum foil. I can appreciate that, besides, I know where I got my burger from and so does everybody else reading this.
The burger was pretty tasty but some little misses held it back from being truly delicious. The 1/3 pound of beef was cooked nicely, the patties tender and juicy, but they were just a tad under seasoned. The bacon, a very generous portion of four slices provided bacon in every bite. The veggies were fresh, but there was a bit of a miss with the tomato, the slice I got was a bit small so I didn't get tomato in every bite. The cheese was melted nicely but the bun lacked a good toast.
Side Note: The fries were top notch, some of the best regular cut fries I've had so far in this challenge! They were made to order, fresh from the fryer, perfectly fried and perfectly seasoned. I measure a fry by how good it is without a condiment. SE Carryout fries do not require ketchup or anything else to dip them in they're that good. Excellent fry = lightly crispy exterior, fluffy potato interior, followed by the pleasantly salted finish... I'll let you know who I think makes the best regular fries in town, at the conclusion of this challenge.
Costing me $10.42 for the burger, fries and a drink, the SE Carryout Double Cheeseburger with a bacon add scored a 57 out of a possible 63 points, earning it 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars. Very reasonably priced, this is a tasty burger overall and is most definitely worthy of a repeat buy.
Located at 1520 Oliver, Wichita, KS 67218, the service at SE Carryout was fast and friendly and the restaurant was nice and clean. If you're looking for a quick burger for lunch time or after work, this is the place to go to. Forget the national chain places, you'll get a superior burger and fry here.
$pend Wisely My Friends...
Related: Other burger joints reviewed so far
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