Thursday, August 29, 2013

Off the Beaten Plate: Wang Burger at the Wheel

The Wang Burger at The Wagon Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

The Wang Burger at The Wagon Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.



The Wang Burger at The Wagon Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

Click here to see more Off The Beaten Plate. Click here to see drinks featured in Lawrence Libations. For more tidbits from Lawrence’s restaurant scene, check out the Wined & Dined blog.

Food and drink website The Daily Meal just named the Wagon Wheel one of its “25 Best College Bars in America,” touting its No. 3 pick as a place for a good time, cheap drinks, greasy pizza, outdoor Final Four game-watching and signing your name on the bar with a Sharpie — all true.

But the writeup didn’t include what’s probably the Wheel’s most famous offering: The Wang Burger. ESPN crews visiting Lawrence for KU games have been known to hit the Wheel to chow on these unpretentious white-bun burgers topped with a fried egg, bacon and cheese — and sometimes even profess their love for them on air.

How did it come to be called the Wang Burger? According to KU Info, this burger was born back in the '70s when a Sigma Chi fraternity member nicknamed “The Wanger” asked for a fried egg on the Kappa Burger (see below). KU Info’s report does not include how “The Wanger” got his nickname, and if it had anything to do with a late night at the Wheel maybe that’s for the best.

Where to get it: The Wagon Wheel, 507 W. 14th St.

What you’ll pay: $4.75 ($6.50 with fries on the side).

Try it with: A cold beer and a KU game — or the next day's hangover.

Also on the menu: Other burgers including the Dinger (a patty melt on rye) and the Kappa (cheese, bacon, lettuce and tomato), chicken tenders, B.L.T.s, pulled-pork sandwiches and a two-egg breakfast.

— Off The Beaten Plate highlights some of the more exotic, oddly named or inventively concocted dishes from local menus. Know of an offbeat item we should check out? Email food and features reporter Sara Shepherd at Follow her at


BainDread 7 years, 5 months ago

Undoubtedly heartily endorsed by the American College of Cardiology.

Jared Grillot 7 years, 5 months ago

Wow... not only Top 25, but actually #3?!? Then again, if you look at the criteria they used - proximity to campus, cheap drinks, outdoor areas, late night food, etc... I guess I can see this.

Dale Stringer 7 years, 5 months ago

Well all it needs now is some country gravy on it the be my favorite: the Buddha Burger. I like the eggs scrambled though.

Chris Bailey 7 years, 5 months ago

I lived on Ohio for a year 3 houses down from the hawk. No sleep before 2 am. And yes it was a dump although the inside wasn't too bad nice landlord though. Sadly, I never had a burger in the wheel. Had pizza from there a couple times. Can't believe I didn't know they served such burgers living all of a block away. I walked by the hawk and then the wheel to school every morning. Crazy stuff.

nuleafjhawk 7 years, 5 months ago

I'm sorry - a "wang" burger just don't sound right to me.

Dirtyphog 7 years, 5 months ago

"this is a tasty burger.." (pulp fiction) I understand the appeal of the wheel, and how it became a popular destination for ESPN and such... but if you go 6 blocks north there are two places that will blow the wheel out of the water... Dempseys and the burger stand (or casbah)... its worth the extra walk and the extra bucks

JayhawkRock78 7 years, 5 months ago

I bartended for "The Count" back in the 70's, but I seem to remember we had to shut down at midnight.

As for the Wheel (which I always prefered) I knew Wang back in the day and remember when the Dr. added it to the menu.

Actually I prefer the Kappa Burger. I was town for the relays and made it a point to have one this spring.

bg_duck1 7 years, 5 months ago

The Wang burger is so delicious....ahh fall Saturdays at the Wheel

tdscpa 7 years, 4 months ago

The Gaslight had better burgers when I was there.

texashawk10 7 years, 4 months ago

I miss hanging out at the Wheel for road KU games. My senior year though I hung out at the Phoggy Dog since that was walking distance from home for me then.

Doug Cramer 7 years, 4 months ago

During my time at KU (1996-2000) hang out was Coyotes and Cadillac Ranch.

My freshman year we always went to the Hawk...since they served to minors.

Brown Bear and The Sand Bar were a couple of other decent places.

And then there was 15 cent wing night at Henry Ts !

Doug Cramer 7 years, 4 months ago

The Hawk used to be called "O Street" back in the day.

I saw Jeff Boschee and John Crider get kicked out of there one night.

Ben Fletcher 7 years, 4 months ago

it was the Hawk during my time (88-92 1/2). used to hang there with Gil Brown, Dana Stubblefield and Keith Loneker. Bartender was nat'l champion guard Jeff Gueldner (went to B-school with that guy). all good times...

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