A while ago, I used to work in the downtown area. I'd always venture around the local spots for lunch with friends who worked in the area. We had a good ritual going at least once a week or once every other week. Unfortunately there was one spot that closed down around that time. A place I always had the intention of going to but never made it out.
Tanya's Soup Kitchen.
1725 E. Douglas, Suite 105
Wichita, KS 67211
Hours: Sun Closed; Mon-Thu 11am–3pm; Fri-Sat 11am–3pm, 5–9pm
Their menu is on the webpage.
When they reopened a few months ago, I had every intention of going. It was planned to be Letter T on Dining by the Alphabet but one day I just had to go in. Their weekday hours make it inconvenient for me to stop in so I noticed they had weekend hours. A couple weeks I planned on waking up early and going in for lunch. Ehhhh......that didn't work out so well. It was 2 pm by the time I was able to make it in.
........and wow! There was a long line when I came in! The place was pretty busy when I stepped in. Thankfully I had an interesting person behind me waiting in line. Here's a rundown of hour our conversation went.
Older Lady: Do I have to check in or something?
Me: Not to my knowledge.
Older Lady: Is that a sign in over there (points at some book that looked like recipes)
Me: I don't think so, just a line.
Older Lady: Look at that cute boy over there (points at a little boy)
Older Lady: Isn't that little girl sweet (points at a girl being held by her dad)
Older Lady: I used to have a grandbaby like that but she was taken by a gang member.
Me: (awkward silence)
My Brain: I really hope this line moves faster, I'm starting to get creeped out
Older Lady: It was very sad.
Me: Yeah I'm sorry to hear that.
Employee: Does anybody have any questions on our menu?
My Brain: SAVED!!!!
Yeah, so that was extremely awkward and quasi-uncomfortable. An employee saved me by coming up to ask questions. While I was in line, she was offering samples of the soups they had on their menu today. I had four to choose from. Chicken Tortilla, Smokey Tomato Bisque, Dutch Split Pea with Sausage, and Black Bean Minestrone with Pesto. The Tomato Bisque had "SPICY" written next to it so I asked for that. Within seconds, I had a sample cup next to me. It was very delicious.
When I was next to order, I decided to go with their Flight of Samples. It's $5 and it gives you a small little bowl of their soups along with a roll. With that, I ordered their Smokey Tomato Bisque soup in a medium bowl. All of it ran me around $10 plus a tip I left on the receipt sheet.
I went to go sit down hoping the lady behind me in line wouldn't ask to sit with me...........
.........she didn't. With my keen people watching skills, I'm pretty sure she just ordered a bottle of pop.
Anyways, a short while after my flight of soups and my medium bowl of Smokey Tomato Bisque was brought out to me. I went for the flight first.
|From lower left -clockwise (Split Pea, Chicken Tortilla, Tomato Bisque|
and Black Bean Minestrone)
Chicken Tortilla - Absolutely delicious. Part of me wishes I ordered this instead. Not trying to overhype it but it may be the best I've had. (Scratch that, second best. One of my friend's mothers makes a mean Chicken Tortilla soup. I'm sure she's part Caucasian part Tortillian though)
Smokey Tomato Bisque Soup - As I already commented on it earlier, it was delicious and had a great little spicy kick to it. I asked one of the ladies who worked there and she said it was made with a chipotle pepper.
Dutch Split Pea with Sausage - Not for me. It had a little chunky baby food type feel to it. One of the employees was walking by and I talked to her briefly and she told me she had the same sentiments and it's definitely a unique soup for unique tastes.
Black Bean Minestrone with Pesto - It was a little better than the Dutch Split Pea but the pesto aftertaste was a little overpowering. The last two soups I tasted aren't really your normal everyday soups but I saw others who had ordered it and seemed to like it.
I quickly dug in to my bowl of Tomato Bisque. I sat in the far back of the restaurant so I could just watch others reactions on eating their soup. Everybody looked happy. It helped the afternoon was just glorious with the weather. The patio was filled along with the inside.
|I forgot my lactose pill so I had to eat around the soup.|
It was like playing a video game where you have to
avoid the Koopa Troopa's except in this case
it was cheese or I might literally die.
The menu does have other items like salads and sandwiches. I really need to go in again to try their potato salad and pasta salad. Both items which I love! And others have told me their bread pudding is “to die for”. I’m not sure any food item is worth dying for so but the “common sense” in me says that it was just a figure of speech.
Overall, I was very impressed with Tanya's Soup Kitchen. With fall here and colder weather approaching, this could definitely be added to my list of regular stops. I happen to love soup. Tanya's happens to make soup. It could be a perfect match. Ask many people you know and I doubt you'll hear many bad things about Tanya's Soup Kitchen. The majority I've spoken to love the place.