Newest 8 Wonders competition seeks top Kansas cuisine
The Kansas Sampler Foundation in Inman has announced its 24 finalists for the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine, and voting is now open.
Director Marci Penner said the finalists, including Homer’s Drive Inn in Leavenworth, were chosen because they collectively represented all that Kansas has been in the past and what it still was today.
“If someone dropped into Kansas on a parachute and went to every one of these 24 restaurants, they would know our history and people pretty well by the time they waddled back home,” she said.
The 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine is the fourth out of eight rural culture element contests the Kansas Sampler Foundation will sponsor. Winners in architecture, art and commerce have already been chosen, with the Moon Marble Company of Bonner Springs earning a spot in the 8 Wonders of Kansas Commerce category. The next four contests will be those in the customs, geography, history and people categories. An overall 8 Wonders of Kansas contest was also held and winners were announced on Kansas Day of last year.
To be a finalist in the 8 Wonders of Kansas Cuisine, each restaurant had to originate in Kansas, and it had to have been open for at least 10 years. Other criteria included that it couldn’t be a national franchise and that it had to be well known outside of its home base.
In alphabetical order, the 24 finalists are:
• Anchor Inn, Hutchinson
• Bobo’s Drive In, Topeka
• Brookville Hotel, Abilene
• Carolyn’s Essenhaus, Arlington
• Charlie’s Mexican Restaurant, Leoti
• Cozy Inn, Salina
• Crawford County Fried Chicken, located in four cities in Crawford County
• Crazy R’s, Goodland
• C.W. Porubsky’s, Topeka
• Free State Brewing Company, Lawrence
• Fritz’s Union Station, Kansas City
• Grand Central Hotel, Cottonwood Falls
• Guy and Mae’s Tavern, Williamsburg
• Hay’s House 1857 Restaurant and Tavern, Council Grove
• Hibachi Hut, Manhattan
• Homer’s Drive Inn, Leavenworth
• Josie’s Ristorante, Scammon
• NuWay, Wichita
• Olive Tree Bistro, Wichita
• Paolucci’s Restaurant, Atchison
• Pho Hoa, Garden City
• Prairie Nut Hut, Altoona
• Trapper’s Bar and Grill, Simpson
• WheatField’s Bakery, Lawrence
Voting, which will close at midnight June 15, can be done by paper ballot or via e-mail at 8wonders.org. Each person voting by e-mail may vote up to three times, but must vote for eight different places each time. For more information, visit kansassampler.org/8wonders.
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