First look at the new Sam’s Southern Eatery, now under new ownership

Sam's Southern Eatery

After two years, a new restaurant has finally taken over the former DeFazio’s space. It’s Sam’s Southern Eatery who has returned to Wichita under new ownership.

Last seen at 6600 W. Central with two different owners, a new franchisee has brought the latest iteration of Sam’s Southern Eatery with hopes of improving on what the previous owners did wrong.

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2706 N. Amidon Avenue, Wichita, KS 67204
316-358-9676

Tuesday – Saturday: 10am – 9pm
Sunday: 11am – 8pm
Closed on Monday

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I stopped by with two other local bloggers, Fert the Foodie and The Kansas Gastronomist, so we could put in a larger than normal order to get a glimpse of what Sam’s Southern Eatery had to offer.

We visited the new restaurant over the weekend and there was a steady flow of customers. I should add, they seemed to be doing an impressive job of taking care of the mad rush of lunchtime traffic for a Saturday. I kept looking around and observing the situation and didn’t notice customers waiting too long.

When it was our turn to order, we went with a three-piece fried seafood order of 3 fried fish, fried shrimp and chicken strip combo. We also had a bowl of gumbo, a cheesesteak sandwich, sides of red beans and rice, and hush puppies. To round it out, just in case that wasn’t enough food we ordered the crawfish boil.

Take a look….

Sam's Southern Eatery

We started off with the gumbo. In case you’re asking, we used three spoons and fed ourselves instead of what could have been more efficient, having one person use one spoon and feed each person by hand. We felt this was the best way to get same time reactions. The gumbo was pretty decent. I think it could have used a little more seasoning or something, but one of the others thought it provided a good kick. Even though, I think it could have used something, I still didn’t mind the gumbo and found myself continually going back.

After that, we moved on to the fried combo. This was probably the best of the bunch. I, personally, enjoyed the fried shrimp, which were huge pieces that were lightly battered. I did find the chicken strips to be a little dry, but it also wouldn’t have been something I ordered had I gone by myself. The fried fish used a different batter which provided a nice saltier flavor.

And the sides? The coleslaw was what we all expected. I only eat coleslaw when it’s an option with fried seafood, so I asked for the coleslaw while the others probably wouldn’t have ordered it. You know what you’re getting with coleslaw. After a few bites, you tell yourself that’s enough. That’s how it is always with me.

But the red beans and rice were delicious. It was easily the favorite of all the sides we had. And the hush puppies… well, I’m not a fan of hush puppies in general, so my opinion doesn’t matter here, not that it really does anyway.

The majority felt, though, that Sam’s Southern Eatery did a good job in the sides department.

The Philly cheesesteak at Sam’s Southern Eatery was an above-average option that was a pleasant surprise. I don’t think I would order one from Sam’s given the other options, but if you’re wanting to try a sandwich, this is one to consider.

Lastly, there was the boil. We went with option 42 on the menu that included one pound of Cajun crawfish, 2 corns, 2 eggs, 2 potatoes and 2 sausages for $22.99.

I was advised not to order the boil at Sam’s Southern Eatery because there were concerns that it would mostly be frozen seafood. But I’m also someone who likes to find out things for himself even if one million people advise me to do the opposite. If a thousand people said, don’t order the poop flavored ice cream at Braums’s, I’ll probably do it just to see what happens. I have this need to find out the truth for myself.

So, I was a primary reason we went with the boil and it was the most underwhelming boil. This was also shared with the staff when they asked us how our lunch went. The crawfish was indeed frozen and had this rubbery texture to it. The corn had a mushy texture to it and the sausage was even mushier with the oddest aftertaste. I took one bite and about had PTSD when I tried to eat sausage days later.

Had we avoided the boil, I think our experience at Sam’s Southern Eatery would have been a superb one.

Everything (besides the boil) was much better on this visit than any prior visit to the now closed Sam’s Southern Eatery on west Central. We had zero issues with the service as they were moving all lunch hour long taking care of the guests.

First look? I’d give this a thumbs up.

Lastly, if you look at the menu, you’ll notice pizza. Yes, it’s a real thing as it was on the DeFazio’s menu and that’s all still there in the kitchen. We were told, Sam’s Southern Eatery hired someone to handle pizzas and it should be ready in April.

Here’s the menu:

Happy Dining,
Eddy


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