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Dempsey’s Burger Pub: Best Burger in Wichita?

Have you ever had those nights when you are with your friends and all you want to do is just grub on a bunch of good food? I’m not talking about those nights where it’s depressing and you sit on the couch with a bucket of ice cream and watch a bunch of sappy Reese Witherspoon movies, but a night you go out for a couple drinks and order as much greasy food as you can.
That was my Friday night folks. There’s a burger place a few of us have been to before but a fourth friend had yet to try their food; that place is Dempsey’s Burger Pub.
Dempsey’s Burger Pub is located in Clifton Square on 3700 E Douglas. (Website: http://dempseyswichita.com/) This is the third location for Dempsey’s Burger Pub which I’m told operates one in Lawrence and Omaha. Don’t let the KU and Creighton locations turn you away from stopping by Dempsey’s in Wichita.
Dempsey’s is a restaurant and bar that is open until 2 am and servers food until 10 pm…..sometimes later. There is a full bar downstairs in a dimly lit pretty small area that does get crowded on the weekends. The feeling downstairs is very “Cedar-esque” for those old enough to have gone to The Cedar Saloon before it closed down. Upstairs is pretty small as well; there are only around ten tables so it does get pretty busy in the evenings. Dempsey’s does not take reservations but they do take call ahead seating.
But Friday’s affair was all about the food. My friends and I spoke to the GM of the restaurant and told him we just wanted whatever and to surprise us with the best food on the menu. Not long after we were served 6 burger/sandwich items off of the menu, a set of wings, four different types of fries and dessert.
Our goal was to make sure all the food was gone by the end of the evening. With each burger, we cut it into fourths and tried them all at the same time just to get a gauge on what we all thought. You guys ready for our thoughts? Let’s go:
  • Fish and Chips (Black Cod served on a bed of house cut fries with our homemade tartar sauce.) – Best described as ok. Three of the four of us all had it and while the tartar sauce was good, the fish and chips still left something to be desired.
  • Bacon Mushroom Swiss (Sautéed domestic & port0bello mushroom,  Swiss cheese, applewood bacon, pretzel bun) – Not everybody got some of the bacon because one of my friends stole a piece of bacon off of the sandwich. Still a very good burger that everybody liked. But this burger would later be overshadowed by other choices.
  •  Sliders (2oz. patty, homemade mustard, house pickles, shallot marmalade, sharp cheddar cheese.) – Very juicy and delicious. Many bars you go to the sliders are pretty dry and the bun is hard. I will go ahead and say these are some of the best sliders I’ve ever had.
  •  Bleu Burger (Maytag bleu cheese, crispy bacon and onion confiture) – Way too cheesy for me, I had one bite and gave the rest away as did another friend. If you like bleu cheese, you will love this burger. If you don’t…..avoid.
  • Hot Hawaiian Kobe (Pineapple jalapeno chutney, applewood bacon, bibb letuce, spicy sriracha aioli, pretzel bun.) – The biggest hit of the night. Perfect blend of flavors, great juicy burger, excellent meat quality. This was the favorite of everybody. If you were to try a burger once at Dempsey’s, this should be the option.)
  • Chipotle Burger – I don’t have all the toppings listed as this was a featured special that evening that was not on the menu. Very good burger that everybody liked but it couldn’t meet the expectations of the Hawaiian Burger).
Fish and Chips
Bacon Mushroom Swiss
Chipotle Burger
Hot Hawaiian Kobe
Bleu Burger
We also tried four different fries that are offered on the menu:
  • Regular Fries  (house cut, lightly salted)
  • Truffle Fries (house cut and tossed in fresh grated parmesan cheese and parsley)
  • Sweet Potato Fries (choose sweet or salty)
  • Fire Fries (house cut fries tossed in a chili-garlic oil, side of sriracha aioli)
Truffle Fries
Of the four fries, two of my friends loved the Fire Fries which offer a lot of bite if you’re into spicy foods. Another friend was a fan of the Sweet Potato Fries while my favorite, the Truffle Fries were delicious but you can only have so much of them. I also liked the Fire Fries. You can’t go wrong with either one of them. Dempsey’s also offers six different sauces to go along with the fries from Catsup, Spicy Mustard, Aioli, Sweet Chili Aioli, Truffle Cream, and Roaster Garlic Aioli. Most of the sauces they make from scratch. Do note that you are only offered two sauces with a side of fries or four sauces with a basket of fries. Each additional sauce is 50 cents. All of the sauces are worth trying at least once to find your favorite. I could try a different sauce each time I go.
In between the burgers, we all tried some of the Grilled Pineapple Chicken Wings. The wings were sauced perfectly, not overdone, not too little. Two of my friends wanted to go on record saying that Dempsey’s has the best wings in Wichita hands down. I’m still on the fence. While I really enjoyed their wings, I would have to go back and order wings from multiple places I like and try them all at the same time to determine that. A different friend would text me Sunday telling me he just happened to order the same wings and loved them as well.
Last was the Chocolate Salted Caramel Pie. Only two of us had any room left in our stomachs to give it our best attempt. I ate half of one and while tasty, it is very rich.

How about the service? There were zero complaints from everybody? The wait staff was extremely friendly and all the food came out in prompt fashion.

Overall thoughts on the place, this is a must try in Wichita. Between Ziggy’s Pizza and Dempsey’s Burger, you cannot go wrong if you’re eating at Clifton Square. After some debate between three of my friends, we essentially agreed that Dempsey’s perhaps is the best burger in Wichita right now and the wings are definitely up there. Give it a try yourself and see if you agree.

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