The burgers battled… and Fizz won

The Fizz burger fixers, hard at work.

Saturday night’s Battle of the Burgers, a first-time fundraiser put on by KETCH at Old Cowtown, was fun. I know I’ve never eaten so many burgers in one sitting.

I joined a panel of three other judges, and we blind tasted at least 14 different burgers and ranked them, looking for winners in three categories: Traditional, contemporary and gourmet.

Judges. Can’t. Move. Too. Full.

The participants were Fizz Burgers & Bottles, Mooyah, The Anchor, Public at the Brickyard, the Hyatt’s Harvest Kitchen/Bar and Heroes Sports Bar & Grill, and they topped their burgers with sauces, pickles, onions, pickled onions, onion strings, bacon and more.

The evening’s big winner was Fizz Burgers & Bottles, which is at 7718 E. 37th St. N. Their burger, which was topped with chopped lettuce and a nice sauce, was not only the judges’ choice for “best traditional” burger, but it also earned the People’s Choice trophy.

A bit of the burger submitted by Public at the Brickard.

The Anchor, which grilled up a very big, beefy burger on an onion bun, won the best gourmet category.

And Mooyah, the new burger restaurant that opened last fall at 352 S. West St,  had the best contemporary burger.

KETCH employees say they hope to make the event an annual happening. It’d be fun to see even more burger cookers there next year.

Old Cowtown overflowing with food, drink

Old Cowtown Museum will be full of food and drink lovers this weekend. The venue at 1865 W. Museum Blvd. has two big food events scheduled.

Local restaurants will be competing for these beautiful burger trophies this weekend.

On Saturday, a new fundraiser called Battle of the Burger will fill the grounds.  The event, a fundraiser for KETCH, starts at 6 p.m. Saturday and will have six local restaurants serving samples of their burgers, trying to claim the title of best burger maker.

The participating restaurants all have good burgers, so competition should be fierce: Fizz Burgers & Bottles, Mooyah, The Anchor, Public at the Brickyard, the Hyatt’s Harvest Kitchen/Bar and Heroes Sports Bar & Grill.

In addition to sampling the burgers, attendees also get a beer, dessert, chips and access to  car show, wagon rides and live music by the band Turnback Creek. I’m a judge at the event, so I’ll see you there.

Tickets are $35, available at the door or by visiting or by calling 316-383-8889.

Just look at these folks, moseying with their wine.

Then, on Sunday, the fifth annual Wine Mosey will move in.  It’s scheduled for 4 to 8 p.m. and will feature hors d’oeuvres provided by the Double Tree by Hilton Airport and a barbecue dinner by Wichita Wagonmasters. It also will feature stagecoach rides, saloon girls, antique bowling and gunfights plus a live auction and music by the Diamond Wranglers. Admission is $40 a person at or by calling 316-350-3323.

Question of the week: Good Wichita chili

Saturday’s Wichita Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff will fill Douglas with the aroma of cumin and chili powder and bubblin’ beef and pork and beans.

A couple of restaurants will enter this year’s competition: Both Old Mill Tasty Shop and Fizz Burgers & Bottles will have booths at the cookoff.

This week’s question: Which Wichita restaurant serves up the best chili? I’m sure there will be plenty of votes for NuWay, but throw my vote in for Old Mill’s green chili served with a gigantic warm flour tortilla and several pats o’butter.

Give me your nominee in the comments section below.

Lots to eat downtown this weekend

A Wagonmaster and his chili.

As I start my weekly assignments for the Go! section today, I’m realizing how many opportunities there will be to stuff one’s face downtown this weekend.

One is at the annual Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff, which will be set up along Douglas on Saturday. Visitors can sample chili made by nearly 50 competitors (including restaurants such as Fizz and Old Mill Tasty Shop.) They also can sample competitive salsas, get free ice cream, listen to bands and (I’m not making this up) watch a group of fire eaters attempt to break a world record by having 200 people swallow fire simultaneously. All the details will be in my Go! story on Friday.

Also this weekend, Old Town is celebrating its 20th birthday with two nights of outdoor parties in Old Town Square. On Friday night, several Old Town Square restaurants will be selling boxed meals to people attending a concert on the square at 2nd and Mosley. Organizers are still finalizing the list of who’s in, but several Old Town Square restaurants will be participating. The Old Town Warren Theatre even will be grilling hamburgers outdoors on the plaza. And on both Friday and Saturday nights, those restaurants will be selling adult beverages that can be taken from the restaurants and enjoyed on the square, along with live music. I’m putting together a story with those details, too.

Both stories should be on by Thursday.

New things are bubbling at Fizz

A burger and fries from Fizz Burgers & Bottles.

The owners of Fizz Burgers & Bottles, the almost 1-year-old burger restaurant at 7718 E 37th St. N., have some changes and additions planned that’ll keep things bubbling through the fall.

For starters, they’ve begun offering a Mexican specialty every Wednesday, provided by a member of the kitchen staff who wanted to show off his skills. Last week, they offered chicken adobo. Today’s special is beef enchiladas. The dish-of-the-week will be available for lunch and dinner every Wednesday.

Also, Fizz is working on a menu update, which should debut in about a month. They’re adding a couple of new sandwiches, said owner Scott Bergeson, and they’re also putting homemade chili in the menu. Customers who want to sample Fizz’s chili recipe early can try it at the Wagonmasters Downtown Chili Cookoff, which is Sept. 24. Fizz will have a booth.

I also asked Bergeson about rumors that he’s eying a west-side location. He said he’s considered that idea but wants to make sure the east-side store is on solid footing first.

For more info about Fizz, call them at 316-260-2888.

Question of the week

Five Guys. Two Brothers BBQ and Burger Grill. Fizz Burgers & Bottles. Smashburger. Burger Barn. T.J.’s east.

Hamburger places have been springing all over Wichita the past couple of years, and now we’ve learned that Mooyah, a Texas-based burger chain, plans to open a restaurant here by spring.

In your opinion, which of the newer burger places in Wichita is the best? Answer in the comments section below.

New restaurant roundup

fizzLittle tidbits of restaurant news have surfaced over the past few weeks that I’m not sure I paid adequate attention to. So please allow me this little restaurant roundup.

John Browns is a new bar and restaurant in the former Clifton Wine and Jazz space at 3700 E. Douglas. It serves a menu of appetizers, sandwiches and unique desserts from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. Mondays through Saturdays and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sundays. One of its coolest features: A bloody Mary bar on Sundays.

Bocco Deli opened recently in the former Zoomdweebie’s Tearoom space at 3010 E. Central. It’s owned by Nathan Toubia, son of the late Antoine Toubia, and features soup, salads, sandwiches and pasta. A colleague of mine ate there today and said it was tasty and inexpensive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Fizz Burgers & Bottles opened a couple of weeks ago at 7718 E. 37th St. N. featuring a menu of gourmet burgers, fries, sandwiches and salads. The bottles in the name refers to a list of unique beers, wines and bottled sodas. The number is 316-260-2888.

Wild Thyme Cafe & Bakery opened last week at 5255 N. Maize Rd in Maize featuring a menu that offers gluten-free, sugar-free, raw, vegan and vegetarian dishes plus regular old sandwiches, casseroles and daily specials.

Flying Donuts also opened last week next to Bella Luna Cafe at 4618 E. Central. In addition to donuts, it offers croissants, sandwich croissants and kolaches from 5 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.

Full Moon Pub, owned by the same people behind Dudley’s Sports Bar and Grill and Mulligan’s, should open in a couple of weeks in the Yogi’s Bar & Grill space at 2804 S. Seneca. It’ll feature burgers, pizza and other bar fare.

Fizzing right along

fizzbraums.jpg 018The sign is up, but Fizz Burgers & Bottles won’t open in Siena Plaza at 37th and Rock until early next month.

The restaurant, which will specialize in fresh-made burgers, is taking over the space that once housed the shortlived Amici’s, which closed after a 2008 fire.

The restaurant is owned by Scott Bergeson, who describes the burgers he’s planning as “high end.” He also plans to serve salads and sandwiches. I peered inside yesterday after a visit to neighbor Orange Leaf (mmmmm, pumpkin yogurt) and could see some bright and cheery tile work and various construction items.

I’ll update you as early December draws near.