Our choice of Monarch for dinner one evening was made based on a single menu item. When I saw they served up a Cuban sandwich, it sealed the deal. The only thing left was to hope it was a good one.
The restaurant sits on the edge of a roundabout in the Delano section of Wichita. We heard many stories about the West vs. East sides of this city. The basics of the stories were that at one time the West side was where the cowboys hung out. The East side was for the more dignified citizens. So the gist of it is that the Delano section was the “rough and rowdy” part of town. These days the city has melded into a cohesive unit, but local pride is still apparent during conversations with residents.
Since we were on the “wild” side, we were expecting to see a little “edge” during our visit. The interior of Monarch is an eclectic mix of artwork, flea market finds, industrial lighting, and even a Keeper of the Plains statue. The restaurant has a good number of tables, both inside and outside on a patio. Since it was a weekday evening, the crowd was primarily the after work type. A long bar is situated across one end of the room, and is well stocked with a wide array of liquors. Since our plans called for a dessert location later that evening, we decided to stick to water.
We both agreed that a sandwich sounded like a good meal. Crystal found a Chicken Caprese, which is served on a ciabatta roll. It is loaded with smoked chicken, which is topped with Mozzarella cheese, tomato, and pesto. The flavors complimented each other very well. For her side she went with a mixed greens salad with roasted red peppers. While she usually shies away from peppers, these she found to be a good accent for the greens.
As I mentioned earlier, I was looking forward to the Cuban sandwich. For those unfamiliar with this delicacy, it is a mixture of ham, smoked pork, Swiss cheese, pickles, and spicy mustard. This mixture of flavors all come down to the pickle and mustard, for me. The Cuban at Monarch was just how I like them. The mustard offered just enough heat, but the pickle cut it well. My side was a serving of sweet potato tots. The crunchy little morsels were a perfect compliment to my sandwich. They were so good, that Crystal had to steal a few away. Considering the size of the servings, I was not going to try to stop her.
The final verdict is that our dinner choice was exactly what we needed after a long day of exploring. The food was delicious, the service good, and the atmosphere laid back. We could see the draw of the place, since the location is a prime spot for people watching. Our only wish is that the weather had been warmer, so we could have enjoyed the patio. Well maybe on our next visit.