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Archive for March, 2016

Food Friday: Venezia Italian Ristorante

VeneziaI love Italian food but it really can be hard to find a good Italian restaurant in Oklahoma City.  A few years ago we found one right near our house.  Located in the strip mall on the northwest corner of Northwest Highway and Council is Venezia Italian Ristorante.  We had been hearing good things about it from friends and finally had a chance to stop in one night when we didn’t have a child with us.

It was a busy Saturday night but we were seated quickly.  We started with the fried calamari, delivered on a huge plate, this was some of the best calamari I’ve had in a long time.  It’s really hard to get calamari fried just right but they had pulled it off, so now I had high hopes for the rest of dinner.  I wasn’t disappointed.  After a small dinner salad, my fettuccine carbonara was brought out.  Once again the serving was huge.  The Alfredo sauce was perfect- creamy and buttery with ham and peas mixed in.  My husband had the lasagna, also a huge serving, he enjoyed it as did I when I had a small bite.  For dessert we had cannoli, a treat that was almost unheard of years ago when my grandmother introduced it to me.  For a long time the only way to get it was to order it from back east, but now it’s getting to be more common in Oklahoma.

Everything was really good, like I said it’s hard to find good Italian food in Oklahoma so I’m happy to have Venezia close by.  We’ve been back several times and everything is always good- food and service.  I know there is a second location in Del City but I haven’t been there yet, so this review is only for the NW Expressway location.  I give it 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 8109 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City; 201 S. Sooner Rd., Del City.




Geary, Home of the Gillespie Building and a Water Trough

Gillespie Building

1903 Gillespie Building in Geary, OK, placed on NRHP in 1989.  2016

Since the month of February was abnormally warm, we picked a nice Saturday afternoon and just went out for a drive.  We ended up in the town of Geary, a small town of about 1,200 people forty miles west of Oklahoma City.  Not really much there and nothing really to do, but they did have a really nice old downtown with some interesting buildings.

Downtown Geary

Downtown Geary, OK. 2016

So lets start with a brief history of Geary first- founded in April of 1892 when the first non-Indian settlers were allowed in during the Cheyenne-Arapaho Opening, the town was actually over a mile north of its present location.  It was moved south shortly after to meet the Choctaw, Oklahoma, and Gulf railroad being built from El Reno.  The post office was officially established on October 12, 1892 with the town being named after Edward Guerrier, a U.S. Army scout and interpreter who settled north of the town site.   The town grew rapidly with the population getting all the way up to around 2,500.  A big boost for the small town came in 1912 when the Postal Highway came through, this later became the original path for Route 66.  Unfortunately, Geary’s portion of Route 66 was bypassed in 1934.

Now the town is quiet, not much to do.  So why was I there, I wanted to see two places that are on the National Register of Historic Places.  The first was hard to miss- The Gillespie Building.  Siting on the southeast corner of Main and Highway 281, can’t miss the big red brick building.  It was built in 1903 by Ed Gillespie.  Originally a bank, it served many other businesses until it became a museum.  Unfortunately it looks as though the museum has been closed for a while.

Just a block east on Main Street is the second NRHP location and has to be the most unique, the Public Water Trough.  I know it sounds weird right, but this was really a big deal to farmers who came to town.  The trough was placed near the railroad depot and grain elevators in 1901.  This was at a time when the farmers would bring their product into town by horse-drawn wagons and it was helpful to have somewhere for those horses to get a drink.  You really have to think of it as an early gas station.  The original trough was wooden with the water pumped from a well close by, but sometime in the 1920’s it was redone with concrete and connected to city water.  It was used frequently up until the 1940’s.  The city of Geary had four of these troughs around the city and for some reason this was the only one to survive.

Public Horse Trough

Public Water Trough, Geary, OK, placed on NHRP in 1989. 2016

So that was my exciting visit to Geary, I did walk around the small downtown but there were no restaurants and all the businesses were closed.  If you ever find yourself in that direction, just take a few minutes to walk around and enjoy the history.

1910 building in Geary

1910 Brake Building in downtown Geary, OK. 2016

old service station in Geary

Another old building in downtown Geary, OK.  Possibly had been a service station or automotive dealership.  2016


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