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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
A blog that strives to be firmly rooted in the Great Plains but often rambles and wanders across the map of topics.
Sidelines in Kiowa: arrive hungry, leave full
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By Brandon Case
Brandon Case has spent the majority of his life living near the 99th Meridian, an imaginary line used for mapping purposes that circles the earth and runs through the North and South Poles.
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By Brandon Case
Dec. 17, 2013 9:13 p.m.



Sidelines, a restaurant in Kiowa, Kansas, is a place where you get your money’s worth. Since I began traveling to Barber County with work at the beginning of the year, several people in Kiowa have mentioned the good Mexican food at the restaurant.

This week finally presented an opportunity to sample what others had been talking about—Mexican Mondays.

Some locations just ooze local flavor, and Sidelines is one such place.

While waiting on my order to arrive, I enjoyed listening to conversations among locals obviously familiar with one another and who knew what was going on in each other’s lives.

One older gentlemen was asked by several persons in the restaurant about his recent wreck, in which he’d ended up in a ditch apparently due to a steering malfunction, and if he was doing okay. He said that he went to the hospital but wasn’t hurt. The windows of his truck were broken out, however. “You gonna fix it?” one asked. “Did you end up all the way in he ditch?” asked another.

Many in the restaurant appeared to be retirees but an equal number of local workers ate there also. While I dined, people just kept streaming into the restaurant.

Sidelines is a converted Gambino’s pizza, according to part owner Daphne Rathgeber. She and her husband, Brad, own the restaurant along with Daphne’s parents, Bob and Sandra Drake. The two couples have owned the restaurant since February 2008. Besides the standard pizza fare, sandwiches, and spaghetti, the new owners have added hamburgers, soup (Taco Soup on the day I visited) and the ever popular Mexican Mondays.

Prices on the menu are reasonable, and the restaurant offers filtered water—always a plus in my book for a water connoisseur like myself.

After dining at the restaurant a couple of times, a slogan for Sidelines is suggested:  “Arrive hungry. Leave full.” The servings are definitely generous.

Though a bit off of the beaten path, Sidelines offers good food at an affordable price. It’s worth the stop if you find yourself in far southern Kansas.

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