There I was sitting in a quiet restaurant at night by myself in where some people would consider “the middle of no where”.
I started reminiscing and thought about the time a current restaurant owner displeased with a review I wrote told me I should stick to Yelp and leave the reviews to the experts. For some reason that’s always stuck with me. It was 9pm and I was sitting at 17th street and Poplar on a Thursday night; in an area of town most people probably wouldn’t even go into by themselves; a neighborhood notorious for its crime. Admittedly I was a bit uneasy and thought to myself, “Maybe I should leave the reviews to the experts” But then started thinking to myself a little more, “The experts let alone the displeased restaurant owner wouldn’t even be here right now.”
So there I was at Wilson’s Chicken & Fixens all by myself and ready to see if it was Wichita’s next great hole in the wall.
1748 N Poplar
Wichita, KS 67214
Monday – Friday: 5pm – 9pm
Saturday: 11am – 9pm
Sunday: When the owner gets out of church – 9pm (Yes that is exactly what the owner told me)
The neighborhood area had absolutely zero street pole lights working so here’s what the building looks like during the day. Thanks to the guy who posted this picture on Yelp four years ago.
Since the security bars covered the windows, you couldn’t get a look inside. If you’re curious as to what it looks like on the inside, here you go.
I asked the owner what he recommended and he said everything. The menu was literally a little bit of everything: chicken, burgers, steaks, tacos, breakfast, fish. He even had cigarettes available. A pack or pyramids cost $5.50 while Swisher Sweets were 99 cents. I wonder of that was the “Fixens” in Wilson’s Chicken & Fixen’s.
Since I’m not a smoker, I stuck with chicken wings and fried catfish. Everything was made to order so it took around 20 minutes to get my food. It was a one man operation. I’d be worried to see what how long the wait would be if he had 5-10 customers come in at once.
The restaurant seemed to be a jack of all trades but a master of none type of place. He had so many things on the menu and to be honest, the food felt all basic to me. The chicken had a very nice golden crisp to it, the skin tasted great. Inside, there wasn’t much meat on the bones. The chicken almost reminded me of KFC.
The fried catfish had a shape like I’ve never seen around town, it was more “blocky” if that’s even a food term. It certainly wasn’t as light and fluffy compared to other soul food shops. There also wasn’t much seasoning on the catfish. But it was good enough that I finished it all.
All in all, the food wasn’t bad by any means. It was very filling but I also have to take into consideration I ate two meals. At the same time, it wasn’t really all that memorable. I was really hoping this would be the next great gem that nobody’s ever heard of but was left with a “Well, it’s all decent” feeling.
The owner was an extremely nice gentleman. To my surprise, he said he’s been around for ten years. He thanked me multiple times once he handed me the food. To make a living running a restaurant at 17th and Poplar can’t be the easiest thing to do. I’m glad I was able to randomly come across the restaurant. I may even go back during the day to give it another shot in hopes that maybe there’s one dish that really shines above them all.
And just for laughs, I decided to go ahead and post on Wilson’s Chicken & Fixen’s Yelp listing to appease the restaurant owner who thinks I should stick to Yelp.
Here’s their menu. I also took a picture of their cigarettes menu because they have that as well.
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