Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Wichita: Nu-Ways and Ghost Signs

Nu-Way is a crumbly beef sandwich that's been a Wichita staple since the thirties. I stopped eating them years ago on trips home because they'd become disgustingly greasy at the suburban franchise outlets, which were also stupid-looking, fake-retro-fifties-diner-hellholes. So when my old pal Brian Curtis and his beautiful wife Mel (too good for him, but that's another post) suggested my brother and I meet them at the original West Wichita location, I thought I'd come along and drink a coffee while the others ate.
But I ended up ordering one anyway. Holy fuck! It was great. Moist but not greasy, made the original way with steam and onions and lean ground beef. Again, Holy fuck, Batman. I inhaled that bastard in the dingy splendor of the somewhat dilapidated building where the thing was invented. Apparently the franchisees decided to go with the greasy version of the sandwich (old-timers inform me that in the old days you could ask for dry or greasy) while the original owners opted for the dry. Here's Brian chewing:

Brian and Mel spent exactly two hours in Wichita; the Nu-Way was their main destination. Long live the Nu-Way.

And here's a lovely ghost sign I shot on the way back to the folks's house:


  1. I'm on Pocketful of Ginch....I'm somebody now.

  2. So this is what... a Wichita version of a Philly cheesesteak? Only on a hamburger bun?

  3. it's very finely ground beef mixed with onions and then has none of the legendariness or staying power of the Philly Cheesesteak, but a great nostalgic pull to those of us who ate them way back when