Eating Paleo/Whole30 when eating out can be a challenge; here’s help when eating at The Monarch in Wichita KS.
The Monarch is a favorite local Wichita KS restaurant and bar. It features cool decor, with lighting fixtures made from salvaged wood and upcycled bicycle parts, and the walls boast a mix of flea-market finds and unique art from local artists. It’s a convenient location if you’re downtown, in the Delano area, or trying to bring east-siders and west-siders together in a central location. I’ve ordered salads a couple times and been underwhelmed, but other than that, everything I’ve ordered there has tasted great. I believe they smoke their own meats, or buy from local suppliers, so these menu items may be less processed than something you’d get at a chain like Chili’s, for example.Based on just looking over the menu and making some guesses (with the exception of salad dressing, explained below), here are some dishes you could order at The Monarch and be mostly Whole30 compliant. I haven’t verified what oils things are cooked in, and as I’ve noted below, there may be hidden sugars.
Mushroom caps without the cheese.*
Potato skins with smoked chicken, without the cheese.
Any of their meat soups,* probably, except for ones with noodles, pasta, corn chips, cream or cheese.
These sandwiches without the cheese and the roll, eaten knife-and-fork: Cuban, Chicken Caprese, Brisket Royale,* Monarch,* Reuben, Italian Sausage*, and Grilled Hot Link*. (Is it still worth eating? That’s your call!)
Sadly, there are no sides that are okay. Cole slaw would certainly have sugar. A side salad would only work without dressing. Read on…
I called to make sure, and all of the salad dressings have either sugar or dairy in them. (Ranch and blue cheese being the sugar-free ones.) If you’re bold enough to bring and discreetly use your own salad dressing, you could order the Smoked Chef without croutons, or the Greek salad — both without dressing.
*There’s probably some sugar in all of the red meats: Brisket, corned beef, ham, hot links, and sausage — in the brine, the seasonings, or both. It’s less likely in the chicken, but still very possible. You’ll need to make the choice whether you think the amount is neglible, as far as eating out goes.
Update: I visited The Monarch a couple days ago and had their sandwich called “The Monarch” without bread and cheese. It was quite tasty! I had the sweet potato tater tots for the side, and while they were very yummy and a perfect complement to the main dish, I’m pretty sure they had sugar in them. Also, I asked about what oil they were fried in: soybean. 🙁 This could be a totally Whole30 dish if they’d just make sweet potato fries or hash browns, fried in coconut oil. So close! And probably okay for a general Paleo mini-splurge.