Is Doc’s Steak House haunted? Local blogger thinks so

Late last night, when my house was all dark and the weird, shifty noises that come along with a 100-plus-year-old house started, I came across this very scary restaurant video.

It was made by local foodie Tony Brueski, an afternoon disc jockey at KFDI, who also runs a pretty schmancy food blog called NewTasteToday.com.

The video focuses on Doc’s Steak House at 1515 N. Broadway, one of Wichita’s oldest restaurants. It opened in 1952 and is famous for its garlic salad. In the video, Brueski interviews Doc Steak House’s current owner, Brian Scott, grandson of founder Louis Scott. Last year, Scott took over the restaurant and remodeled and revamped it.

Tony Brueski

He and Brueski have decided, it seems, that the strange shadows and weird noises Scott occasionally hears while he’s alone in the restaurant might JUST be coming from the ghost of his grandfather, who apparently likes to smoke under the creepy staircase in the creepy basement.

Brueski is hoping to make a whole web series of videos about haunted restaurants, which he’ll call “Haunted Restaurants: Back for Seconds.”

“I have a passion for both food and ghosts, so this brings it all together,” Brueski told me.

He also has a fun video about the unhaunted Wichita Food Truck, The Flying Stove, on his blog.

Check both the videos out, but I’d advise doing so during the day.

Grandson revamping Doc’s Steak House

In yesterday’s Dining with Denise newsletter, I answered a question from a reader named Jay, who wanted to know if Doc’s Steak House, 1515 N. Broadway, was any good.

I vented to Jay that numerous calls to the new owner of Doc’s had gone unreturned, so I didn’t have an answer.

Today I can report that my call was returned!

New owner Brian Scott was alerted by a friend who saw my answer in the paper. He dialed me up this morning and apologized for not getting back to me, explaining that his single-handed revamping of his family’s restaurant — which opened in 1952 and was owned by his grandfather, Louis Scott, and then his uncle, Stuart — has been a 24-hour-a-day labor of love. He hadn’t had much time for phone calls.

Over the past several months, Scott has replaced the roof, all the flooring and all the signage at Doc’s. He’s added television sets and also is revamping the menu. He’s now serving Choice steaks, the second-highest quality of beef after Prime. He also has introduced a new line of sandwiches as well as a list of daily lunch specials that includes items such  as pork chops and hamburger steaks served with a salad, drink and a side.

Brian also has decided to start opening the business on Sundays. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays, 4 to 10 p.m. Saturdays and noon to 8 p.m. Sundays.

He has more changes planned, too, but in the meantime, his 13 cousins are just happy he’s willing to try to reinvent and revive the family business. “It’s meant a lot to the grandkids, for sure,” he said.

By the way, I frequently get e-mails from people asking me for the recipe for Doc’s famous garlic salad. Doc’s won’t share the recipe, and I don’t blame them, but we ran this one — which a reader claims is very close — back in 2003. Enjoy.

GARLIC SALAD

1 cup Hellman’s mayonnaise
1-2 teaspoons McCormick garlic salt
2 tablespoons tomato juice
1 head lettuce
1 cup grated carrots and radishes
Garnish: Sprig parsley, radish roses, paprika
Crackers (Club or Ritz are recommended)

Mix mayonnaise, garlic salt and tomato juice. Refrigerate.

Remove outer leaves and core from head of lettuce (outer leaves can be washed, drained and used to line salad plate or bowl).

Chop remaining lettuce into dime-size pieces to fill 6 cups. Line a colander with paper towels, place lettuce in colander and top with more paper towels. Press down on lettuce to extract moisture. Remove lettuce from colander and place in plastic bag lined with more paper towels. Refrigerate several hours. Grate carrots and radishes and pat dry. Refrigerate.
Just before serving, toss chopped vegetables with dressing. Mound salad in bowl or plate and garnish with parsley, radish rose, and paprika. Serve with crackers.