Town Hall

Town Hall

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Wooden Spoke

We are on the search for the best burger in Topeka. Here is how we rate the burger joints that we will review. First we put heavy emphasis on where the joint is headquartered, Local (NE Kansas) will garner an automatic 10 bonus points. Kansas owned chains (headquartered in Wichita, Hutchinson, Pitsburg, etc) an automatic 5 bonus points and National chains (those headquartered outside the state) will garner an automatic 0 bonus points. The ten categories that we will use in our search for the best burger in Topeka will be 1.Burger Patties Quality, 2. Bun Quality, 3. Customer Service, 4. Garnish Quality, 5. Fries Quality, 6. Atmosphere, 7. Order Accuracy, 8. Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dinning area, Entrance, etc), 9. Building Accessibility and 10. Price. All categories will earn a score between 1 and 10, with 10 being the highest and 1 being the poorest.

 Bonus Points: 10
The Wooden Spoke is a Baldwin City icon, that we decided to visit during the Maple Leaf  Festival. The busiest weekend in this small Northeastern Kansas community. 

photographer by Kevin Surbaugh

1. Burger Patties Quality: 10
 We ordered the "Spoke Burger," a half pound burger served to your request.  There is no standard garnishment on this burger, except for what the customer requests. My wife and I ordered our burgers well done.  Mine had leaf lettuce and ketchup.  My wife ordered hers with lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and ketchup.
Both burgers were thick, thoroughly cooked (as ordered), seasoned with what the waitress described the owners secret blend of seasonings.  

photographer Kevin Surbaugh
2. Bun Quality: 10
 The bun looked and tasted very fresh.

3. Customer Service: 7
 Perhaps, we chose the wrong day to visit this restaurant.  Even though, we were seated by our greeter as soon as we walked into the restaurant, we were given our burgers, but were not given silverware or napkins, that others were given as soon as they were seated.  We were given menus and quickly decided on what we wanted.  However, it was 20 minutes after we were seated, before seeing our waitress.  It then took another 35 minutes to get our food.  Despite all this, the waitress seemed very friendly and courteous. 

4. Garnish Quality: 10
 Fresh cold vegetables. 

5. Fries Quality: 10
The fries were hot, fresh and very delicious.  No complaints here.

6. Atmosphere: 9
Even though they have a full bar (yes you can even order a Margarita or Daiquiri), there is a strong family friendly atmosphere.

7. Order Accuracy: 10
Our order was delivered to us exactly as we had requested,  we can't say anything but praise in this category.

8. Cleanliness (Restrooms, Dining area, Entrance, etc): 6
 The restroom was a mess, water was all over the floor.  While I was in there, it seemed someone was messing with the door.  When I came out, someone had taped an out of order sign on both the men's and women's restrooms.  Seems they were having issues, another reason this may have been a bad day to visit.
The dining area was clean and well kept as well as the entrance area. 

9. Building Accessibility: 4

 The first blaring problem was no handicapped parking spaces.  Since every space near the fairly accessible sidewalk was taken by cars without handicapped placards, it would be nearly impossible for someone in a wheelchair to enter the restaurant.  Even though the Americans with Disabilities Act requires such accessibility this restaurant has none.   For 1-25 parking spaces, there must be at least one signed location. For 26-50 spaces, there must be at least 2 parking spaces.  On the day we visited the parking lot was full, with at least 25 cars if not more in the parking lot when we entered. That being said, we would estimate there should be at least two spots designated handicapped parking.  Which means, they are in violation of the law signed into law by President Reagan.
photographer Kevin Surbaugh
10. Price: 9
Considering the quality and amount of meat served the price was fairly reasonable.  Each burger was $7.79 and included the side of fries.  
photographer Kevin Surbaugh

Before the tip we paid a total of $23 and some change, for two burgers/fries, 1 Coca-Cola™, 1 class of water and then a slice of turtle cheese cake that we shared for desert.
photographer Kevin Surbaugh

 That cheese cake was as good as it looks.  Unfortunately, it isn't a category that we review.

Total: 10.1

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