FORK IN THE ROAD: Topeka restaurant serves a classic sandwich with a few twists

TOPEKA, Kan (WIBW) --- Inside the Wheel Barrel, there are no TVs, burgers, or fries.

“We wanted to do something different that you can get anywhere else,” co-owner Jon Bohlander said.

Bohlander said he and his wife wanted to create a restaurant that serves up unique versions of the classic grilled cheese sandwich.

“Roast beef and bleu cheese and a Monte Cristo, of course, and the hangover with eggs. So it’s just not cheese,” he explained.

One of the restaurant’s chefs, Sean Walker, shared some tips on how to create the perfect sandwich.

“Gotta keep an eye on it, especially in the morning when you first get the grill going. See just how hot it is. So it shouldn’t be too long,” he explained.

He shared these tips while preparing a sandwich called “The Rest in Pizza.” It is made with mozzarella, peppers, mushrooms, onions, and marinara. It is finally topped with garlic Parmesan cheese.

Walker said preparing the sandwich takes some skill.

“The cheese starts to soften up…and then it goes a little bit longer. Get that nice gooeyness,” he explained while cooking.

The restaurant also offers a variety of craft beers and cocktails to go along with the grilled cheese.

“From 13 to 15 taps we try to keep them rotating. We try a little bit of everything for everyone. Little more rare seasonal stuff going all the time,” Bohlander explained.

Customers can enjoy their food inside with other customers and take a look at some of the artwork created by Bohlander’s wife. They can also sit out on the patio behind the restaurant.

“The next things is work on our patio and get that covered so people can enjoy it longer,” Bohlander said.

Bohlander also said he could not have chosen a better area for his business and hopes many continue to visit.

“First Fridays. It’s insane down here, so any business that’s down here has automatic exposure,” he added.

The restaurant is located at 925 N. Kansas Ave., in the North Topeka Arts District, and its hours are below:

  • Monday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Tuesday
  • 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Wednesday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
  • Friday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Saturday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.