Porubsky’s wood-paneled, Formica-tabled eating area is a room to the side of Porubsky’s Grocery store. Since 1947, customers have been coming to eat cold cut sandwiches and Charlie Porubsky’s chili (the latter during chili season only – September through April), alongside sodas or beer. Curiously, no coffee is served for the simple reason that this is an eat-it-and-beat-it type of establishment where few midday customers have long lunch hours to wile away sipping coffee. Regulars include a large blue-collar crowd as well as Kansas politicians and other public figures whose autographed pictures, inscribed with praises of the place and its proprietor, line the walls.
The sandwiches are well-apportioned and low-priced, but it’s the extras that make lunch well worth a detour off Highway 70. The most famous of the extras are Charlie Porubsky’s pickles. These big, firm blimps, which start as dills but are then infused with horseradish, mustard, and hot peppers, are guaranteed to snap your taste buds to attention. They are a favorite complement, along with crumbled Saltine crackers, atop a bowl of Porubsky’s chili.
Note: During chili season, chili is served only Monday through Thursday.