Dining With Denise Neil

Why Wichita restaurateurs are so excited about a visitor from Iowa

Grandma with a zest for life gets a beer named after her

Dan Norton, owner of Nortons Brewing Company, and his team named one of their craft beers after Debbe Keckler, after meeting her at a drinking event at Botanica. The team found her through Facebook and named a strawberry rhubarb gose after her.
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Dan Norton, owner of Nortons Brewing Company, and his team named one of their craft beers after Debbe Keckler, after meeting her at a drinking event at Botanica. The team found her through Facebook and named a strawberry rhubarb gose after her.

Wichita, with its infamous inferiority complex, loves a compliment.

And recently, it got a big one — and it doesn’t even matter that it came from someone who loves in another Midwestern city that’s pretty similar to Wichita.

If you follow Wichita restaurants on social media, you might have noticed over the past week that several of them are awfully excited about a recent visitor from Iowa.

They’ve been sharing and re-sharing a blog post by a Des Moines-based travel writer named Megan, who came to Wichita with the intention of finding out if we had anything good to eat and then declared Wichitans “passionate, hardworking, and creative” people who make surprisingly good food.

On her blog, called “Olio in Iowa,” Megan published a piece called “12 Terrific Places to Eat in Wichita, Kansas.” Judging by all the greenery in her photos — and the fact that she’s clearly dining outdoors next to people in shorts and tank tops — she must have visited sometime over the summer.

Megan, like many Wichita visitors, admits that she didn’t expect to find coffee roasters, an urban butcher shop and hip breweries in the middle of Kansas. But find them she did, and she was impressed.

She went on to name her 12 Terrific Places, and her list includes favorites like The Anchor (“a community staple”), Nortons Brewing Company (“best spinach artichoke dip I’ve ever had”), and Little Lion Ice Cream (“possibly the coziest ice cream shop you may ever find.”)

Megan makes one disclosure: Visit Wichita hosted her trip and paid for some of her meals. But, she insists, “all opinions are my own.”

Want to soak in all the Wichita love yourself? You can read Megan’s full list here, which also gives shout outs to Nifty Nut House, Reverie Coffee Roasters and Public at the Brickyard.

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