Dining With Denise Neil

Chicken fried steak records just keep falling in small Kansas town

Chicken fried steak is still the main attraction at The Barn in Burrton, a town about 45 miles from Wichita.
Chicken fried steak is still the main attraction at The Barn in Burrton, a town about 45 miles from Wichita. File photo

It was almost exactly one year ago that Dining with Denise introduced you to The Barn in Burrton, a tiny restaurant in a tiny Kansas town that had a big chicken fried steak business going.

The headline from that story was that by September 2016, after only 10 months in business, the restaurant had managed to sell 10,000 chicken fried steaks – despite the fact that the town it’s in has a population of just 900 people. Diners had traveled from near and far just to have it, and a huge to-do was made over the unsuspecting diner who ordered that fateful 10,000th steak.

Word spread after that story was published on Feb. 16 of last year, so much so that 12 months later, the restaurant is about to break another record. Sometime in the coming weeks, it will serve its 50,000th chicken fried steak. (At this rate, they could hit the 100,000 mark in another year.)

To celebrate, the restaurant is putting on a couple of fun contests.

Anyone who orders a chicken fried steak between now and the time that the 50,000th steak is sold will write their name on a Popsicle stick and be entered in a daily drawing. At the end of each night, owners will draw one stick, and that person gets a $20 gift card.

The person who orders the 50,000th chicken fried steak will get an even bigger prize: a gift card that will automatically reload with $20 every week for a year. (That’s $1,040 worth of free food.)

The demand for chicken fried steak never seems to slow at the restaurant, said owner Lesley Matlack, and the kitchen has been careful to keep the recipe just as it always was.

“It’s what people come into the door to get,” she said. “We’ve tried to do a couple of specials for different occasions, but they don’t want it. They just want the chicken fried steak.”

You can still read the story I wrote about The Barn last year.

The restaurant, which is at 307 W. Dean St. in Burrton, is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to midnight Fridays and Saturdays and and from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays. It also serves breakfast from 6 to 10 a.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

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