My travels brought me to Wichita, Kansas, this year. I was unfamiliar with the Midwest until recently but I’m here to say, the food is amazing! At the top of my dining list was the Doo-Dah Diner, perhaps the best restaurant breakfast meal of my life! Here, cooked from scratch breakfast and lunch items fill the menu. You will drool just reading the descriptions! What is a doo-dah? Funny you should ask. While a whimsical expression from years ago, Urban Dictionary defines it as “Another nickname for Wichita, Kansas. Origins unknown, but perhaps it references the laid-back, whimsical attitude felt by some visitors to the city”.
Location: 206 East Kellogg Street, Wichita, Kansas.
Menu: Tasty breakfast and lunch creations make up the menu at Wichita’s Doo-Dah Diner, plus you can order breakfast all day. Biscuits are huge with crispy edges; just the way I like them. They are paired with a light yet salty butter and tangy preserves. Or skip the butter and preserves and top your biscuit with the lip-smacking Gravy, well seasoned and creamy with chunks of spicy sausage. The dense biscuits hold up well for the heavy gravy. Oh my goodness, what a treat!
Other notable menu items include:
- Crab Cake Benedict (lump crab cakes, asparagus, jalapeno bacon crumbles)
- Smothered Breakfast Burrito (smothered with a zesty green chile sauce-big enough to share!)
- The Brutus (a tower of hash browns, chicken fried steak, sausage gravy and two eggs)
- Fried Bologna & Egg Sandwich (on toasted wheatberry bread)
- Steak Benedict (say what??? YUM!) (with steak, sauteed spinach, and maple pepper bacon crumbles)
- Doo-Dah Chili (cheddar & red onion)
- That 70’s Spinach Salad (amazing warm bacon dressing)
- Prime French Dip (thinly sliced prime rib with au jus for dipping)
- Bat out of Hell Meatloaf (topped with bacon & chili sauce)
- Chicken & Egg Noodles (homemade daily w/mashed potatoes and green beans)
- Bread Pudding
- Fat Boy Biscuit marinated in caramel (why did I miss this?)
- Malts and shakes
My Thoughts: Chef Patrick and Timirie Shibley opened the Doo-Dah Diner back in 2012 and have been going strong ever since. The restaurant is typically on a wait, a testament to how delicious the food is inside, and most definitely worth waiting for. With dishes and decor purchased at thrift shops, the restaurant is comfy, cozy. The personalities of the staff give it a warm, welcoming feel that makes you feel like part of the family right away. Outrageous presentations and culinary delights will have you coming back for more.
If you are like me, you love something free, especially when it is homemade. Once you are seated, your server will bring a complementary portion of monkey bread, doughy goodness tossed in a cinnamon-sugar glaze. Nom! This pairs spectacularly with the restaurant’s tasty coffee, served in a hodge-podge of mugs. Doo-Dah Diner also has a Sunday brunch buffet option (8 am-2 pm) that is pre-set (no ordering from the menu) for $19.99 per adult (includes a beverage) or $9.99 for kids.
I ordered the cooked from scratch Triple D (Breakfast Sampler) which came with half portions of Tanya’s Benny, Corned Beef Hash, and Banana Nut French Toast. Tanya’s Benny (named for a local woman who loved eating there) has chunky avocado atop an English muffin with maple-pepper bacon, a poached egg, and is drenched in a delicate hollandaise sauce. The egg was cooked exactly as it should have been, allowing the velvety yolk to run down over the other ingredients; sheer deliciousness.
Never a fan of Corned Beef Hash, I quickly changed my mind after tasting the melt-in-your-mouth corned beef and vegetable mix that was bursting with flavor. It, too, was topped with a perfectly poached egg. My favorite item, and so unusual for me (not typically a sweet eater), was the Banana Nut French Toast. Think of a loaf of sinfully good banana nut bread, sliced, dipped in an egg wash, and toasted. THEN add a dollop of fresh whipped cream, a scoop of brown sugar apple nut butter, and top with a tantalizing syrup. I almost forgot the dusting of pecans over the whole dish. I was speechless. Never had I tasted anything that could compare to this genius recipe. It wasn’t overly sweet, but very decadent.
The ingredients in all three dishes were given special thought and tasted wonderful. Even the syrup is vanilla molasses infused! I particularly liked what the Doo-Dah Diner did with green Hatch chilies, which were prepared in some fashion for many of the items on the menu.
I truly felt like family at the Doo-Dah Diner. One owner was running the kitchen while the other made small talk with regular customers, and the friendly wait staff recommended dishes and even brought samples to those curious about a particular item. This is a local eatery that you won’t soon forget. I’ve been raving about it for weeks now!
Price Range: $8-13 most items
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