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Takeaways from the Best in the Wichita Metro Burger Challenge 2022 and the Best Burger Deals

Best Burger Sides in the Wichita Metro

Burger and FriesBy Mike Thayer

I've eaten A LOT of burgers over the last couple months and A LOT of sides to go with them!  Regular french fries, sweet potato fries, waffle fries, curly fries, tater tots, onion rings, fried mushrooms and mac 'n' cheese.

Here's a look on what I think are the best sides around, starting with French Fries, the most popular side choice:

Best Regular French Fry - Jumbo's Beef & Brew:   From the review written on 08/31.  Side Note:  The french fries were awesome!  I loved the texture on the exterior which provided a nice light crunch and the interior was fluffy spud goodness.  Seasoned well, these were some of the best regular cut fries I've enjoyed so far in this challenge.

French Fry Runner Up - Bill's Charcoal Grill:  From the review written on 08/04.  Side Note: The fries were excellent as well, perhaps the best regular french fries I've had so far in this challenge. Fresh from the fryer they were perfectly seasoned, having a great exterior texture delivering a nice crispness and the interior was fluffy spudtastic. These fries were so good, ketchup was not required.

French Fry Honorable Mention - Southeast Carryout:  From the review written on 08/24.  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.

Other French Fry Notables:  Sport Burger, BJ's Brewhouse, Big Larry's Burgers, A&W, The Anchor

Best Tater Tots - Burger Central:  From the review written 08/07.  Side Note:  I love a good french fry, but I'm a tater tot guy (see what I did there?  Poet and didn't know it, give me a dime for my rhyme...).  When tots are on the menu, I'll take those over fries.   I thankfully got to sample both at Burger Central and they're both excellent.  The fries are hand cut, they were perfectly fried providing that slightly crispy exterior and fluffy potato interior.  I did have to add a touch of salt.  I like tots and the greater crunch factor they provide along with the soft spud interior, it's kind of like KFC Extra Crispy Chicken - potato version.  Burger Central fried the tots up perfectly, delivered them to my table seconds after coming out of the fryer.

Tater Tot Runner Up - Buster's Burger Joint:  From the review written on 08/09.  Side Note:  The tater tots were good, fried nicely and seasoned well, yes, something to snack on during the drive home.  No ketchup required.

Tater Tot Honorable Mention - Madrocks Sports Bar & Grill:  From the review written on 09/23.  Side Note:  The Tater Tots were good, delivered hot and seasoned well.  They passed the test of stand alone delicious without the need to dip in ketchup, but I did anyway.

Best Sweet Potato Fries - Bricktown Brewery:  From the review written on 08/16.  Side Note: These were the best sweet potato fries I've had so far in this challenge. They were perfectly fried and perfectly seasoned. Sweet potato fries can be harder to get crisp on that outside edge than regular fries, but Bricktown Brewery knows what they're doing. Repeat buy worthy for sure!

Sweet Potato Fry Runner Up - Dempsey's Burger Pub:  From the review written on 08/19.  Side Note:  Killer Sweet Potato Fries!  These fries rival the fries I had at Bricktown Brewery on Monday, the best sweet potato fries I've had so far in this challenge.  Perfectly fried and perfectly seasoned, these fries hit the characteristics you're looking for in a good fry, the slightly crispy exterior and the light and fluffy potato interior.  Dempsey's also kicks things up a notch by providing a variety of their house dipping sauces with the fries.  Nice touch, most places just give you one dipping option.

Sweet Potato Fry Honorable Mention - Green Mill Restaurant:  From the review written on 09/09.   Side Note: The sweet potato fries rocked! Sweet potato fries can be difficult to get that good, light exterior crunch on, but Green Mill nailed it. These ranked in my top three for sweet potato fries, I'll divulge the final results at the conclusion of this challenge.

Best Onion Rings - Harry's Uptown Bar & Grill:  From the review written on 08/01.  Side Note:  The onion rings were top notch!  Fried to perfection and seasoned well, I got a beautiful crunch from the golden, brown and delicious exterior followed by the sweetness of the onion on the inside.  YUM!

Onion Rings Runner Up - Emerson Biggins Old Town:  From the review written on 08/23.  Side Note: The onion rings were delicious! Fried to perfection, I got a really nice crunch bite on the outside and tender sweet onion on the inside. That hand battered preparation makes it and the rings were huge! I'll let you know if they're the best in town at the conclusion of this Challenge. 

Onion Rings Honorable Mention - Slider Shak:  From the review written on 08/28.  Side Note: Slider Shak onion rings are also, "Another Dose of YUM!" Perfectly fried and perfectly seasoned, these rings are stellar and don't need a condiment to thoroughly enjoy. But if you do dip, OH MY! I tried them with both the scratch made Ranch and Shakcrak, both were tasting sensations.  Sadly, Slider Shak closed its doors on 09/13.

Best Mac 'n' Cheese - Whiskey Dick's:  From the review written on 09/21.  Side Note:  As I stated earlier, Whiskey Dick's makes a stellar mac and cheese.  The pasta was perfectly cooked, the coverage of cheese sauce was excellent and robust with flavor.  Topping things off were those bacon bits...  a nice touch and a perfect flavor pairing with the creamy cheese, a delightful crispy texture contrast to the soft pasta.  Everything is better with bacon!

Best Curly Fries - Timbuktu Bar & Grill:  From the review written on 09/23.  Side Note: The Curly fries were excellent.  Fried perfectly and seasoned well, I put some ketchup on the plate out of habit, but they didn't really need it.  I also sampled them with the jalapeno relish, which was really good, both on the fries and the last few bites of burger.  It was a delightfully good relish.

Curly Fries Runner Up - Hardee's:  From the review written on 08/14.  Side Note:  The Crispy Curls fries were pretty tasty.  They had that light crispy exterior and the seasoning Hardee's puts on these is spot on.

Must Try - Sidewinder Potatoes from The Hill Bar & Grill:  From the review written on 08/26.  Side Note:  The Sidewinder Potatoes were stellar.  The beer batter prep provides for a flavorful light crunch on the outside and these things were SUPER fluffy on the inside.  Seasoned perfectly, I was very pleased with this side upgrade, despite not receiving the aioli that's supposed to come with it.

Notable - Waffle Fries from Little Buster's Bar & Grill:  From the review written on 09/23.  Side Note:  The waffle fries were quite tasty.  flawlessly fried and seasoned well, these fries met the standard of stand alone delicious, no ketchup or other dipping required.

Notable - Yukon Chips from Red Robin:  From the review written on 08/20.  Side Note:  The Yukon Chips (freshly fried potato chips) were excellent.  Four words:  Warm, seasoned well, crispy.  The chips kind of out shined the burger.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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