[eat] Rediscovering Barn’rds
A while back, Dani wrote an article about unforgettable Wichita food. Well, is it possible to say that for a long time, I forgot about one of these unforgettable places? Well, I’m saying it, and the place I’m talking about is Barn’rds.
A good portion of my childhood and teenage dining out experiences, especially for lunch, took place at this unassuming little restaurant on North Woodlawn. I would look forward to ordering my usual, the regular roast beef sandwich with a side of delicious, crispy fries. I would grab a soda and a couple of sides of barbecue sauce, and then my mom, brother and I would settle in at our favorite table, the one that looks out the window, and dig in.
Of course, the ’80s, and even into the ’90s really, were simpler years for food in ICT. Choices were limited. Back then, I got as excited to go to Spear’s as I do now to go to Sabor. (Well, that might be a slight exaggeration, but you get what I’m saying.) The point is, as restaurants have boomed all around Wichita, I’ve forgotten about some of my old favorites, including Barn’rds.
Recently however, one of my boyfriend’s friends introduced him to the simple wonder of the Barn’rds roast beef sandwich. I was inundated with cries of, “I thought you loved me! How could you not have taken me to this place sooner?!” Well, the the truth is, I wasn’t holding out on him, I had simply forgotten about it. After hearing him go on and on about how awesome it was, I knew I needed it in my life again.
So, one Sunday afternoon, we headed to the restaurant shaped like a barn so I could remember what I had been missing. I deviated a bit from the usual, ordering the Barnstormer sandwich, which is the classic roast beef with lettuce, onion, tomato, pickles and dressing. I had to get fries, and I also grabbed a side of not only barbecue sauce but the dijon horseradish as well.
And oh man, was it good. The Barnstormer will be my new go-to sandwich on what will surely be many return visits. And I’ve already been back for more fries.
Besides the awesome food, the other thing that was great about my visit to Barn’rds is that the restaurant looks and feels exactly the same. The tables and chairs are just like I remembered, even the menu and styrofoam cups have a wonderful ’80s vibe to them. It’s hard to explain exactly what I mean, but just check it out for yourself and you’ll see.
At one point there were plans to build a Barn’rds on the west side, but I think that has been put on hold indefinitely. So, west siders, you’ll have to venture to 21st and Woodlawn to get your fix, but believe me, it’s worth it.
What’s your favorite thing to eat at Barn’rds? Let me know in the comments.