Hatteberg's People - Eric Davis

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Sunday, February 14, 2010

On Hatteberg's People, Eric and Melissa Davis are making a big difference in a small Kansas town. McCracken is north and west of Great Bend, and there hasn't been a restaurant in that town for five years.

Now that's changed. There is not only a restaurant in McCracken, there is now a chef. Chef Eric Davis is changing small town attitudes with big town recipes, but he knows his diners so he starts simple.

"Burger and fries is like the staple," Davis says.

Eric, and his wife and partner Melissa, have the only restaurant in McCracken. Eric grew up in the area but left to become a chef on the east coast. He then moved to Omaha and now, back home to McCracken.

"My goal now is to just provide something back to the community...the community that I grew up in," Davis says. I love it out here and just to watch that these people have somewhere else to go and have a great time and know that I am part of it...and that we're bringing it here," he adds.

A month ago Eric and Melissa opened up the restaurant they aptly named, "Boondocks" after one of their favorite songs. On the menu are many things you would expect in western Kansas, and some you would not.

"We have grilled Andouille with cheese stuffed tortellini soup and a shrimp poor-boy sandwich with chipotle slaw," Michelle says.

Slowly, the two are trying to change the dining culture in McCracken, and their customers like it. "It's a good place to get together with friends, to have coffee and to visit," one patron says. I think the interaction with the community is almost as important as the food. But it sure helps that the food is good."

"It's a lot of work, but it is fun," Melissa says. "And we have lots of pies."

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