Dining With Denise Neil

Wichita’s favorite Emporia exit gets restaurant upgrade

Which Wich is now open in the Phillips 66 in Emporia.
Which Wich is now open in the Phillips 66 in Emporia. The Wichita Eagle

The Industrial Road exit in Emporia, where many Wichitans stop for gas or food on their way to Kansas City, just got a major upgrade.

Last week, I traveled to Kansas City for spring break and stopped in Emporia at the Phillips 66 at 2000 Industrial Road, my favorite half-way point rest stop, for gas and lunch.

The Wendy’s that was inside the gas station for years is gone, and in its place is one of the best, most fun sandwich shops I’ve tried in a long time. It’s called Which Wich Superior Sandwiches, and it’s part of a chain based out of Dallas that has more than 400 restaurants across the country. There’s one in Manhattan, and Lawrence is getting one in April.

It takes a few minutes to figure out how it all works. Just in front of the counter is a counter that has turnstiles and lots of red markers. The turnstiles are filled with sandwich-sized bags and divided into categories – turkey, ham and pork, classics, veggie, breakfast, etc. Each bag has suggested sandwich combinations at the top. The pork bag, for example, suggests a Cuban, a ham and pineapple sandwich, a bacon and ham sandwich, or a barbecue sandwich with pork. The rest of the bag has categories for veggies, spreads, breads and other toppings. Customers use the red markers to designate exactly how they want their sandwiches built. They take the bag to the counter, pay and then wait for their sandwich to be made. It’s delivered in the bag the customer marked up.

I got a Cuban, and it was heavenly. I added yellow mustard and Swiss cheese and asked for it warm, and it was one of the best Cubans I’ve had in Kansas. On my way home, I stopped again and got a chicken Parmesan, made with shaved chicken breast, marinara and Parmesan cheese. Again, it was tasty, and my daughter loved marking up her bag. The restaurant also has chips, including a homemade version, cookies and shakes.

Here’s hoping Which Wich takes a look at Wichita as it continues to expand. If not, we’ll always have the Industrial Road exit.