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Archive for January, 2021

Food Friday: Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler

Johnnies

Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, a straight up burger place that has been in business for almost 50 years. It is my favorite backup for when no one can decide what to eat for dinner. I’ve been going to Johnnie’s for well over 25 years now, been to many of the different locations. What I like most is the consistency in the food, you know that bacon cheeseburger will be the same when and where ever you are in the metro.

My go to location is on NW Expressway, of course. Originally built in the early 1980’s as a Mexican restaurant, Johnnie’s moved into that location in 1992. It was closed in 2018 for a complete rebuild. It was a tough few months for me to not have it so close, but they reopened last year with a brand new place but with the same great food.

My favorite burger is the bacon cheeseburger. You can tell the difference when hamburger is cooked over a flame, just gives off a taste that you can’t get from a skillet. So the flame brings out the flavors of the meat, so you have a juicy and smoky taste that excites your taste buds. They cook the bacon to perfection, not too crisp or limp. The burger is then set off with shredded cheddar cheese, that you can also have melted onto the burger if you choose. A touch of real mayo and the burger is one of the best in town. We always order a plate of large onion rings and a large plate of cheese fries for everyone at the table to share. The onion rings are hand breaded with a light batter that is crispy. Just a touch of salt and these are the best in town. The cheese fries are just regular fresh cut French fries smothered in melted American cheese. They are just wonderful with all of that cheesy goodness.

They do serve more than burgers, there are frankfurters, salads, sandwiches, and platters with chicken fried steak or chicken fried chicken. But to be honest the burgers are so good, I never try the other items. There are also homemade pies as well, I’m always too stuffed to try them. The service is always good and the food served quick. I will give them 5 strips of bacon.

Locations: 6629 NW Expressway, Oklahoma City; 2652 W. Britton Rd., Oklahoma City; 421 W I-240 Service Rd., Oklahoma City; 13900 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City; 33 E 33rd St., Edmond; 1700 Shedeck Pkwy, Yukon; 2305 S Telephone Rd., Moore.

Food Friday: Taj Cuisine of India

It’s always a good idea to step out of your box and try something new, so while driving around looking for something different to eat my husband suggested Taj Cuisine of India. I’ve only tried Indian food once before and liked it, so I was up for trying it again.

We stopped on Saturday night around 5p and the place was empty, but there was plenty to choose from on the buffet. I tried almost everything but only remember my favorites. The two most surprisingly good items they had were the vegetable spring rolls and spinach pakoda. The spring rolls were small but packed lots of flavor in them. Normally vegetable spring rolls just taste bland but these had a flavor that was unique to them. I can’t explain it but they were really good. The spinach pakoda was also a surprise in just how much I liked it. The leaves of spinach are covered in a chickpea flour and fried. It was like eating large spinach chips, crispy but good for you. They also serve onion pakoda, it was more of a flour ball with onion in it. Also good but didn’t excite me like the spinach pakoda. Their lemon rice was really good as well, basmati rice lots of different spices with just a touch of lemon. The chicken biriyani was another favorite, chicken cooked with basmati rice and different herbs. I also tried the chicken tikka masala, chicken in a tomato based sauce. I really tried to sample a bit of everything but I will not eat chicken still on the bone, so there were several chicken dishes I didn’t attempt. I also can’t remember the names of everything I did try, I did my best to remember what I liked best.

The service was great but since they were serving buffet, the employees had to handle all of the food. It is an odd experience to tell someone what you want and have them get it for you. I’m ready for buffets to be able to present food like normal. The only drinks were bottled water, so no soft drinks or anything. Now they were good about making sure you had plenty to drink but it was still odd. The downside was everything was served on styrofoam plates with plastic forks. I wasn’t a big fan of that either.

So overall I will give them 4 strips of bacon for the food. I’ll go back and when I can get my own food, I might up that rating.

Location: 1500 NW 23rd St., Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Nashbird

So if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you know that there are a lot of burger places in Oklahoma. Recently there have also been a lot of chicken places popping up as well. I just was introduced to one of my favorites just a few months ago. As mentioned in the past, my husband works in Edmond and likes to try new places for lunch. He discovered the Edmond location, tried it, and loved it. So now it was acceptable to take me to try it as well.

Located just off Broadway on E 5th Street on the bottom floor of a modern building is seriously one of he best restaurants for a chicken sandwich. The interior is light as you walk up to the desk to order. There is plenty to choose from on the menu, you can go with a chicken sandwich or chicken baskets with either tenders or still on the bone. There are also four heat levels or if you don’t want anything too spicy, two breading flavors. I went with a Nashvillain- a chicken sandwich on a brioche bun topped with bacon, onion rings, ranch, and mac and cheese. Since I wasn’t in the mood for heat I tried the buttermilk ranch breading and I wasn’t disappointed. The chicken breast is coated with the buttermilk ranch mix and fried to perfection. Now if you’re not sure about mac and cheese on a chicken sandwich, set your concerns aside this is a great topping to this sandwich. The mac and cheese pairs nicely with the chicken and when the bacon and onion rings are added, just brings all the flavors together in each bite. This is one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve had in years (since the chain PDQ left the metro). I had fries for my first visit which were good but went with the mac and cheese the second visit. This is the same mac and cheese on the sandwich and it is equally delightful by itself as it is on the sandwich. Creamy, lots of cheese for the pasta to soak. My husband had the same sandwich but with some heat to it, he went with the kickin temp. I tried a bite and it has a good spice to it, not too hot but enough to keep your taste buds alive.

To start with we had both the starters- fried pickles and fried mac and cheese. As good as the sandwich was the starters are better. The dill pickles are cut lengthwise and fried up crisp for a nice appetizer. The mac and cheese is almost the same as the side with the addition of bacon bits into the mix, then fried. Both are served with ranch and exceptionally good, the highlight of the trip (and remember I really liked the sandwich as well). Nashbird does sell frozen drinks, haven’t tried them yet but it’s on my short list. They also have wraps, salads, chicken tacos, and baskets with just chicken. Overall I recommend Nashbird, the food is great as is the service, they totally deserve 5 strips of bacon. They do have 2 other locations in the metro area- Norman and downtown Oklahoma City.

Locations: 1 NW 9th St., Oklahoma City; 17 E 5th St., Edmond; 214 E Main St., Norman.

2021 Goals

So if you’ve been reading me for a while, I try to support local restaurants whenever I’m out. I really prefer them to the big national chains. If 2020 has shown us anything, it’s that the small local businesses are what makes our economy thrive. I’m not going to get into the politics and debate over what has occurred over the past few months, what I am going to do is focus more on these small restaurants who need our help. I’m going to spend 2021 going to as many locally owned restaurants as possible and get the word out about all- the good and the bad. If you have any suggestions, just comment on my Facebook page and I’ll check them out. Also go back through my previous posts, you’ll find some great suggestions and I do update each restaurants status. So get your taste buds ready as I go out and test the waters to see if a restaurant is worth your time and money. Let’s eat our way through 2021 and help keep our small businesses afloat.

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