Come and travel Oklahoma with me.

Nic’s Grill is known around the country, several tv shows have featured it, many magazines have done stories on it.  My first visit was a few years ago, at the time it was only open during the week for lunch.  Even though we got there early, my claustrophobia set in and we got the burgers to go.  Now after a 30-minute drive back home I wasn’t really impressed with the burger.  But I wanted to give them another chance, I just needed to work through being in such a small place.

While passing it a few months ago, I found out that they are now open on Saturday as well.  So I took a long breath and went in.  To say this place is tiny is an understatement, there is a long counter with 9 stools overlooking the grill, a shorter counter near the window on one side of the door and 2 small tables on the other side of the door.  I felt it best to sit in the corner with one window behind me and another I could see out.  The menu was pretty straightforward, burger or cheeseburger, by themselves or in a combo.  You do get a selection of cheese and can get add ons like bacon or mushrooms.  The only sides are curly fries.

My order was taken quickly even though they only have 2 employees, one on the grill and one doing everything else.  I didn’t wait long for lunch to be delivered.  The curly fries were the first thing I tried, freshly cut, fried, and lightly salted.  They were really enjoyable and a reminder that simple can be good.  Then the burger, it was huge.  Lettuce, tomato, pickles, lots of fried onions and melty cheese all piled on top a nice sized patty with a soft bun.  I was pleasantly surprised how good it was, juicy, needed to use both hands to eat it.  I really wish I had tried it fresh years ago, was much better experience this time around.

I keep mentioning it was a small place, it really is. No place for large groups or small children (I did watch parents realize this when they opened the door). It’s just an old time burger stand, not seen like this in many years. Only open for the lunch crowd and still closed on Sunday. I will go back as long as I can sit near the windows again, I’ll give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 1201 N Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City.

Spring is here and so are the car shows, craft shows, and lots to other fun events going on this weekend. Hopefully there will be some nice weather, so pick something from this list and get out.

The Natural World- Norman Resonator Institute- Mar 10th– 24th

Taste of Yukon- Yukon Dale Robertson Center- Mar 25th

Harlem Globetrotters- Oklahoma City Paycom Center- Mar 25th

Easter Block Party- Norman- Mar 25th

Embroidery Class- Norman Moore Lindsay Historical House Museum- Mar 24th– 25th

Cimarron Council Boy Scouts of America Car Show- Enid Garfield County Fairgrounds- Mar 25th

Duncan Automotive Swap Meet- Duncan Stephens County Fairgrounds & Expo Center- Mar 23rd– 25th

Honks & Horns Car Show- Norman Ferguson Buick GMC- Mar 25th

Claremore Home & Garden Show- Claremore Expo Center- Mar 24th– 25th

Caffeine Crawl OKC- Oklahoma City- Mar 24th– 25th

Ada Gem, Mineral, & Fossil Club Swap, Show, & Sale- Ada Pontotoc County Agri-plex Building 1- Mar 24th– 25th

COOP Ale Works 14th Anniversary Party- Oklahoma City COOP Ale Works- Mar 25th

OKC Thrive Fest- Oklahoma City Riversport- Mar 25th

Tulsa Garden Club’s Design-Specialty Flower Show- Tulsa Garden Center- Mar 25th

2 Hip Chicks Roadshow- Grove- Mar 25th

HeART of Yukon Craft Show- Yukon First United Methodist Church- Mar 25th

Make Ready Market- Oklahoma City- Mar 25th

Future of Sound Fest- Oklahoma City Factory Obscura- Mar 25th

Chuck Wagon Gathering- Kingfisher Chisholm Trail Museum- Mar 25th

Guthrie Renaissance Festival- Guthrie- Mar 24th– 26th

Oklahoma City Reptile Expo Show- Oklahoma City State Fair Park- Mar 25th– 26th

India Shrine Circus- Oklahoma City- Mar 23rd– 26th

9th Annual Red Brick Road Food Truck & Arts Festival- Enid- Mar 25th– 26th

Tulsa Ballet: Tchaikovsky- Tulsa Performing Arts Center- Mar 23rd– 26th

Paranormal Cirque- Norman Sooner Mall- Mar 23rd– 26th

OKC Home & Outdoor Living Show- Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Park- Mar 24th– 26th

Green Country Spring Fling- Tulsa Expo Square- Mar 24th– 26th

USACI (Autosound Competition) World Finals- Lawton Comanche County Fairgrounds- Mar 24th– 26th

Sunny Side Up Film Festival- Miami Coleman Theater- Mar 24th– 26th

Gear Con (Steampunk)- Durant- Mar 24th– 26th

Ranch & Rhinestones- Tulsa Expo Square- Mar 24th– 26th

Northeast Oklahoma Autocross- Muskogee- Davis Field Airport- Mar 25th– 26th

Bronchothon Car Show- Edmond University of Central Oklahoma- Mar 26th

Spring Student Choreography Showcase- Edmond University of Central Oklahoma- Mar 25th– 26th

Oklahoma Jewish Film Festival- Tulsa Circle Cinema- Mar 26th– Mar 30th

Northeast Oklahoma Area Artists Show- Pryor Graham Community Center- Mar 24th– Apr 1st

Just Between Friends Consignment Sale- Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Park- Mar 25th– Apr 1st

Tulip Mania- Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens- Now- Apr 9th

Tulsa Botanic Blooms- Tulsa Botanic Garden- Mar 16th– Apr 16th

St. Patrick’s Day to start the last weekend of spring break. I think every bar in town has something going on, I’ll just sit at home and enjoy my own drinks. Try to get out and do something, spring is officially here on Monday.

Birding- Oklahoma City Scissortail Park- Mar 17th

ShamRock the Gardens- Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens- Mar 17th

Oklahoma Youth Expo- Oklahoma City State Fair Park- Mar 8th– 17th

Bangers & Mash Lunch- Claremore Daily Progress Parking Lot- Mar 17th

Day of the Green Street Party- Harrah- March 17th

St. Patrick’s Day Party- Edmond Frenzy Brewing Company- Mar 17th

Art in Public Places Tour- Edmond Mac In Mitch Park- Mar 18th

Heard on Hurd- Edmond- Mar 18th

Bird Box Building- Oklahoma City Scissortail Park- Mar 18th

Blood Drive- Oklahoma City Scissortail Park- Mar 18th

Castle Falls Tour- Oklahoma City Castle Falls- Mar 18th

Winter Norman Farm Market- Norman- Mar 18th

VDubs in the Park- Medicine Park- Mar 18th

St. Paddy’s Party- Claremore- Mar 18th

OKGO Market- Tulsa Expo Square- Mar 18th

Oklahoma City Pow Wow Club Arts & Crafts, Meatpie & Indian Taco Sale- Oklahoma City Church of the Open Arms- Mar 18th

PRCA Xtreme Bulls Ultimate Challenge- Enid Chisholm Trail Expo Center- Mar 18th

Three Sisters Celebration- Sulphur Chickasaw Cultural Center- Mar 14th– 18th

NCAA Wrestling Championship- Tulsa BOK Center- Mar 16th– 18th

Spring Break at the Orr Family Farm- Oklahoma City Orr Family Farm- Mar 16th– 18th

The Texas Tenors- Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall- Mar 17th– 18th

RT 66 Native Arts Alliance & Vault Gallery Spring Art Show- Catoosa The Vault Art Gallery- Mar 17th– 18th

Pre-War Auto Swap Meet- Chickasha Grady County Fairgrounds- Mar 17th– 18th

Tulsa Flea Market- Tulsa Expo Square- Mar 18th

Million Dollar Time Machine- Midwest City Rose State College Hudiburg Center- Mar 18th

Oklahoma Farm to Table Festival- Oklahoma City Oklahoma History Center- Mar 18th

Victorian Tea Party- Norman Moore Lindsay Historical House Museum- Mar 18th

Painting with Pacas: Wine & Palette: Lucky Clover Dirty Pour- Newcastle Magnolia Blossom Ranch- Mar 18th

Hamilton- Tulsa Performing Arts Center- Now- Mar 19th

Celebrating 100 Years Craterville Park- Cache Lazy Buffalo Venue- Mar 19th

Outdoor Vintage Flea Market- Oklahoma City Decades Revisited- Mar 19th

Parkstomp Music Festival- Medicine Park- Mar 17th– 19th

TokenCon- Oklahoma City- Mar 17th– 19th

Grand Lake Boat & Sport Show- Vinita Craig County Community Center- Mar 17th– 19th

Queensferry Renaissance Festival- Vinita Park Hills Motel & RV Park- Mar 18th– 19th

International Food Festival- Harrah Oklahoma Academy Country Store- Mar 19th

The Natural World- Norman Resonator Institute- Mar 10th– 24th

Tulip Mania- Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens- Now- Apr 9th

Tulsa Botanic Blooms- Tulsa Botanic Garden- Mar 16th– Apr 16th

Food Friday: Burger Punk

I say all the time, there are lots of burger places in the Oklahoma City metro but only a few have been good. Burger Punk is one I’ve heard about but hadn’t tried until last weekend.

What started as a food truck, has now evolved into a brick-and-mortar location on the east side of the Paseo District. Painted all in black, it looks like an interesting place to try. The black theme continued inside, with pink and purple lights accenting the tables and bar. We took a seat near the window and immediately had someone there to help us find their online menu and take our drink order. We both tried their March special- Mushroom Whiskey Burger. This nice sized burger had truffle mayo, lots of mushrooms, Swiss cheese, and a sauce called Whiskey-A-Go-Go. Our orders came out pretty quick, and this burger was outstanding. The meat had a nice flavor and was juicy. The mix of the truffle mayo and the whiskey sauce really worked on this burger. There was a small pool of sauce that had run off the burger and I was dipping it in the sauce because it was so good. It wasn’t strong with the whisky flavor and had more of a honey type texture. I love truffles and the mayo was perfect, had the right truffle earthiness to it. I got the lil macaroni as a side, this mac and cheese had large rigatoni smothered in a tangy cheese sauce. Add in some roasted jalapenos and top it off with some panko breadcrumbs, this really complimented the burger. Big K got the crinkle cut fries, also doused in what they call “liquid gold”.

I’m excited to try them again, the service was great. The dining room and bar area were a bit small but there’s also a patio area which will be good now that spring and summer are about here. Not going to lie, not a lot of parking. I got lucky and got a space right up front but I know it can get crazy in that area. Overall I really enjoyed my first trip, 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 3012 N Walker Ave., Oklahoma City.

Sounds like Saturday will be nice this weekend, good thing because there are lots of things going on. The very popular St. Patrick’s Day parade will be Saturday morning in Stockyard City, Tulsa has home and garden show going on, and in Newcastle, you can get up close with alpacas. The First Americans Museum is hosting a pop culture festival, Stilwell has a bigfoot symposium, and the first Route 66 Exchange will be going on just north of Lake Overholser at Lakeview Market. Find something on this list and get out.

Second Friday Film Night- Edmond- Mar 10th

2nd Friday at the Depot- Norman Depot- Mar 10th

Live on the Paw-Za- Oklahoma City Plaza District- Mar 10th

Test & Tune- Atoka Motorsports Park- Mar 10th

Wanderlust Market- Shawnee Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center- Mar 11th

8th Annual Holba’ Pisachi’ Native Film Festival- Sulphur Chickasaw Cultural Center- Mar 11th

Te Ata 2016 Chickasaw Film- Oklahoma City Oklahoma History Center- Mar 11th

St. Patrick’s Day Parade- Oklahoma City Stockyard City- Mar 11th

Crawfish Boil & Blues- Oklahoma City Blue Note- Mar 11th

Winter Norman Farm Market- Norman- Mar 11th

Oklahoma City Comic Book Roadshow- Oklahoma City Holiday Inn Express Southeast- Mar 10th– 11th

Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Fundraiser- Shamrock- Mar 11th

Alpaca Fun Day- Newcastle Magnolia Blossom Ranch- Mar 11th

Points Race- Atoka Motorsports Park- Mar 11th

ShamROCK the Rose- Broken Arrow Rose District- Mar 11th

PorchFest at Carlton Landing- Eufaula Carlton Landing- Mar 11th

Spring into Summer Craft Show- Stillwater Payne County Expo Center- Mar 11th

Second Saturdays- Stillwater Oklahoma State University Museum of Art- Mar 11th

Second Saturday Architecture Tour- Tulsa University of Tulsa- Mar 11th

Norman Wine & Craft Festival- Norman Cleveland County Fairgrounds- Mar 11th

Indigipop- Oklahoma City First Americans Museum- Mar 10th– 12th

Route 66 Exchange- Yukon Lake Overholser Lakeview Market- Mar 11th– 12th

Jurassic Quest- Oklahoma City Oklahoma State Fair Park- Mar 11th– 12th

Cosmic Collectibles Swap- Warr Acres Cosmic Collectibles- Mar 11th– 12th

Round Barn Rendezvous- Arcadia Round Barn- Mar 12th

Oklahoma Soul Food Festival- Oklahoma City La Bella Event Center- Mar 12th

Oklahoma Reining Horse Association Ride & Slide- Tulsa Expo Square- Now- Mar 12th

Future Voices- Oklahoma City Susan E Brackett Dance Center- Mar 9th– 12th

Greater Tulsa Home & Garden Show- Tulsa Expo Square- Mar 9th– 12th

Big Meat Run- Disney South Grand Lake Recreation Area- Mar 9th– 12th

Momentum- Oklahoma City Sailor & the Dock- Mar 10th– 12th

Grand Lake Renaissance Festival- Vinita Craig County Fairgrounds & Community Center- Mar 11th– 12th

Oklahoma Bigfoot Symposium- Stilwell CC Camp- Mar 11th– 12th

Oklahoma Youth Expo- Oklahoma City State Fair Park- Mar 8th– 17th

Hamilton- Tulsa Performing Arts Center- Now- Mar 19th

The Natural World- Norman Resonator Institute- Mar 10th– 24th

Tulip Mania- Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens- Now- Apr 9th

Devils Tower

With all of this talk about aliens, time for me to talk about one of my favorite places on the planet- Devils Tower. It was most famously used in the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind back in 1977. I have gotten to visit twice and loved each visit.

In the corner of northeast Wyoming, north of I-90, is a really cool geological feature, Devils Tower. I first learned of it back in 1977 while watching Close Encounters of the Third. As a kid it was fascinating this was a real place, I really wondered if aliens landed here. Of course it was just a movie, aliens didn’t land there (or did they) but Devils Tower was real and I always wanted to visit. My first trip there was in 2011. We made a quick side trip to see it. I know it’s a revered site for many of the indigenous tribes around the site and I could feel a sense of calm while I was there. We have talked about how much we loved visiting the first time so finally last year we took a second trip and it was just as much fun as the first.

To get there, get off I-90 on to US 14 at either Sundance or Moorcroft and head north. You will see the tower peeking over hills at different times. When you get to Wyoming State Highway 24, keep heading north and there will be places to stop for great views of the tower. After a few more miles you reach Wyoming State Highway 110, turn west. You know you’re in the right place, the tower rises above the valley like a silent monument to nature. There is a campground as well as Devils Tower Trading Post. The trading post is fun, they have t-shirts, ornaments, stickers, and anything else you could think of related to Devils Tower.

Continuing on, you will stop at the entrance station to get into the park. Then drive past a huge prairie dog town, then into a pine forest. Finally the tower emerges from the trees near the parking lot. After a brief stop in the visitors center, head to the Tower trail. Now I’m not going to lie, this trail is easy but you better be in shape. It’s only a 1.3 mile paved trail but there are lots of ups and downs. There are a few other trails to explore if you have but this is the main trail around the tower. You can get close to it plus see the views around the tower. There are so many things to see on this hike, small animals, native flowers, plus plenty of birds.

The history behind this beautiful place is fascinating. The Arapahoe, Cheyenne, Kiowa, Crow, and Lakota all have tales that include the tower and bears. If you visit the National Park Service website you can read them, interesting how they are almost the same but yet different in their own ways. Even though it was mostly referred to as Bear Lodge by the natives in the area, the name Devils Tower was given to it in by some of the first white explorers around 1876. In 1892, the area was first set aside as a forest reserve by Wyoming Senator Francis Warren. He fought to get it recognized as a national park but no action was taken at the time. In 1906 the Antiquities Act was passed and Wyoming Representative Frank Mondell convinced President Theodore Roosevelt to name it as the first national monument in the United States.

I’m already to visit Devils Tower again. So beautiful and peaceful.

Last year a new pizza joint opened on the northeast side of Oklahoma City to great fanfare. Since then I have heard only raves about this restaurant, so last week I finally had a chance to visit and this pizza lives up to the hype.

In 2022, Oklahoma City born rapper Jabee (Jonathan Blake Williams Jr.) opened this pizza place to help give back to the community where he grew up. The Eastpoint development in that area started around 2019 and has refurbished buildings from the 1920’s and 30’s. There’s a fitness center, a market, coffee shop, and now Eastside Pizza House. They have a pretty straight forward menu, there are specialty pizzas or you can build your own. There are 3 types of crust, 3 types of sauce, and lots of toppings. We built our own pizza, we tried the famous black crust, with the alfredo, pepperoni, mushrooms, and shoulder ham. We took a seat and enjoyed the atmosphere. This restaurant has quotes from different historical Black leaders, not just local but nationally. Took about 15-20 minutes but the pizza came out hot and ready to eat. Let me just say I’ve eaten a lot of pizza around not only Oklahoma but the country and this is easily one of the best I’ve ever had. The black crust, in my opinion, is what makes it so good. It had a nice flavor, and was firm enough that you could hold the pizza slice without the topping sliding off. The cheese had a nice taste as did the pepperoni, the mushrooms were fresh, and the shoulder ham was great, gave the pizza a smoky flavor.

The service was great and everyone there friendly, including the other diners. Don’t be afraid of trying the black crust, it’s one of the best pizza crusts I’ve eaten. It’s not too thick or thin, not cracker-like or doughy. I really recommend Eastside Pizza to everyone, one of the best pizza places in this town right now. I give the 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 1734 NE 23rd Street, Oklahoma City.

Starting to enter spring and lots more events are starting to happen. The biggest thing for me this weekend is the auto show at the fairgrounds, if you get there early coffee and cars will be going on. This is just a car show of all types of cars, just whoever wants to show off their ride. The new cars are inside as well as some classics. Try to get out in the nice weather and have fun.

Mustang Public Library Chocolate Festival- Mustang Community Center- Mar 3rd

Legendary Count Basie Orchestra- Stillwater McKnight Center- Mar 3rd

First Friday Art Crawl- Tulsa- Mar 3rd

Makers at the Market- Oklahoma City Paseo Arts District- Mar 3rd

Almost Ready to Cruise Car Sale & Swap Meet- Shawnee Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center- Mar 3rd– 4th

Big V Feeds PRCA Hi Lo Pro Rodeo- McAlester Southeast Expo Center- Mar 3rd– 4th

OKC Philharmonic: Sight & Sound- Oklahoma City Civic Center Music Hall- Mar 4th

Eagle Tour & Loon Watch- Vian Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge & Tenkiller State Park- Mar 4th

Acrofest- Idabel Museum of the Red River- Mar 4th

The Market Craft Show- Enid Stride Bank Center- Mar 4th

ShamRock the ‘Ville- Bartlesville Downtown- Mar 4th

St. Patrick’s Swing Dance- Tulsa Southminster Presbyterian Community Center- Mar 4th

Pauls Valley Opry- Pauls Valley Junior High School Auditorium- Mar 4th

Bob Wills Texas Playboys in Concert- Tulsa Cain’s Ballroom- Mar 4th

Winter Jam- Oklahoma City Paycom Center- Mar 4th

Common Grounds Coffee Festival- Norman- Mar 4th

Cement Opry- Cement- Mar 4th

Spring Breakdown- Oklahoma City Beer City Music Hall- Mar 4th

Coffee and Cars at the Oklahoma City International Auto Show- Oklahoma City State Fair Park- Mar 4th

Frederick Oyster Fry & Craft Show- Frederick Prather Brown Elementary School- Mar 4th

Simply Indie Film Festival- Edmond- Mar 2nd– 4th

Daddy Daughter Dance- Edmond- March 4th

Eagle Watch- Broken Bow Beavers Bend State Park- Now- Mar 4th

Pancake Breakfast Band Fundraiser and Bake Sale- Harrah Middle School- Mar 4th

Cinch Timed Event Championship- Guthrie Lazy E Arena- Mar 1st– 4th

Simply Indie Film Fest- Edmond ShowBiz Cinema- Mar 2nd 4th

Monkey Business Children’s Consignment Sale- Shawnee Heart of Oklahoma Expo Center- Mar 2nd– 4th

Backwoods Hunting & Fishing Expo- Oklahoma City State Fair Park- Mar 3rd– 5th

Lawton Home & Garden Show- Lawton Great Plains Coliseum- Mar 3rd– 5th

Home & Garden Show- Grove- Mar 3rd– 5th

NatureWorks Art Show & Sale- Tulsa Marriott Southern Hills- Mar 4th– 5th

Big 12 Wrestling Championship- Tulsa BOK Center- Mar 4th– 5th

OKCine Latino Film Festival- Oklahoma City Yale Theater- Mar 4th– 5th

Late Night with Leonard Bernstein- Stillwater McKnight Center- Mar 5th

Northeast Oklahoma Autocross- Tulsa State Fairgrounds- Mar 5th

Card & Collectibles Show- Glenpool Convention Center- Mar 4th– 5th

Oklahoma City International Auto Show- Oklahoma City State Fair Park- Mar 3rd– 5th

UCO Opera: Die Fledermaus- Edmond Mitchell Hall Theater- Mar 3rd– 5th

Tulip Mania- Oklahoma City Myriad Gardens- Now- Apr 9th

I often write in my office at home but sometimes I need someplace quieter with no distractions. I have found a great place to get some coffee, breakfast, and some quiet, MentaliTea and Coffee in Bethany.

On NW 36th Street just to the east of Southern Plaza retirement center, this small building looks industrial but inside is a quiet inviting space. I ordered one of their signature drinks, a lavender latte with a breakfast biscuit that had bacon added. I took a seat in a cozy nook near a window, with a comfy seat and a table to work from, I could look out the window when writers block struck. My latte came out in a cute white mug, with a latte art flower on top. I let it cool while I waited for the biscuit, which soon followed. The biscuit was huge, covered the small plate. It was homemade, buttery and flaky, the bacon added a bit of smoky flavor to it. The latte was smooth, the lavender just added a smoothness to the drink. Even though some people came in, the vibe stayed calm. I stayed for almost 2 hours, just thinking, writing, and enjoying my food.

This will be a new go-to place for me when I need to clear my mind. I will give them 5 strips of bacon, and some peace and quiet.

Address: 6639 NW 36th St., Bethany.

I have been hearing about Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine for the past year, it’s not far from my in-law’s home. My mother-in-law always cooks for us when we are on the south side of town, so I never get to try the new restaurants near there. Finally, we stopped there to try them out.

They have the typical Greek Mediterranean food on the menu, I got the gyro platter and Big K got the gyro supreme sandwich. The food was out quickly and I was surprised by how much food there was on the plate. It came with a Greek salad which was very fresh, topped with a oil dressing. The gyro meat on the platter was cooked nice and crisp, had a great flavor cooked that way. I loved it and paired it with the fresh pita. The dill basmati rice was outstanding. It needed no butter or any other enhancements. Big K loved his gyro sandwich, the meat was the same as what I had, the veggies were crisp and the pita was warm and fluffy. We got dessert to go, 2 pieces of baklava, a piece of blueberry cake, and a piece of pistachio cake. We took those home and enjoyed them later. Both cakes were good and the baklava was the best I’ve had.

The service was great, the 2 employees were nice and attentive. The decor is really nice with different scenes from around the Mediterranean painted on the walls. They are located in a small strip mall on the west side of Western that was built about 2 years ago. Alexandria opened in the fall of 2021. If you know that part of town well, it’s where the peacock farm was located. I loved going by there and seeing the peacocks, you could hear them all around for miles. I can’t wait to visit again, I’ll be happy to drive the 45 minutes to get there. I’m giving them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 12501 S. Western Ave., Suite B, Oklahoma City.

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