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Archive for the ‘Oklahoma City’ Category

First Christian Church

When I woke up this morning and checked my phone, I had several texts from friends and family who know I love Oklahoma history. Concerned I read the one from Big K first, “The egg church has been torn down”. I hoped that what he said wasn’t true but a quick look at my Facebook feed confirmed it. The iconic First Christian Church, the “Egg Church”, was a pile of rubble.

The First Christian Chruch was one of the first churches organized in Oklahoma City. Historical records show that their first baptismal was in June 1889. By 1910, the congregation had built a new home for their church at 1104 N Robinson after occupying a few other buildings. This would be their home for many years until the completion of the new sanctuary (this building does still stand and is on the National Register of Historic Places). In 1946, the minister of the church, Bill Alexander, helped the church buy land that had previously been part of the Edgemere Golf Club for a new location. By 1947, an outdoor auditorium had been built. The Sunday evening services were held here, “Edgemere Under the Stars”. On Christmas Day in 1953, the church announced its “Christmas present to Oklahoma City”, a new modern building that was a landmark to all who could see it, the “church of tomorrow”. The church was designed by architects R. Duane Conner and Fred Pojezny. They used concrete to make the large dome by pouring the concrete on steel mesh that was laid on a wooden form. After the concrete cured, the form was removed.

Sunday, December 23rd, 1956, the new church welcomed its first worshipers. It is said that over 2000 people attended that first service in the new sanctuary. The architecture for the time was so spectacular that the church was featured in Life magazine in 1957. This church was a center for the community for many years. It hosted events from weddings to funerals, from school concerts to the Miss Oklahoma Pageant. But most importantly it served as “The Center” during the time shortly after the Murrah Building bombing in 1995. Set up by the church, the medical examiner, and a group of funeral directors, the American Red Cross also set up in the building. It served as a safe haven from the media for those who lost loved ones in the attack. It’s rumored that Oprah Winfrey herself even went to the church to help the victims and their families. For 16 days after the bombing, it was a place of solace for those closely affected. In 2016, the First Christian Chruch put the property up for sale. The size of the congregation had shrunk and the building was becoming expensive to repair. By 2018, the first whispers of demolition started. Many tried to fight back, even trying to get the city council involved. Even though it had been placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2011, it was at risk. A couple of other churches stepped forward to buy it but in the long run the property just needed to many repairs.

I never got to go in the building. I only got a few pictures back in 2019, never thought to go back and take more. A sad day for Oklahoma history and for those who love mid-century designs.

Food Friday: HD’s Onion Burgers & Gyros

hd's onion burger

There are so many good places to eat in Oklahoma City that you can drive by and never notice. HD’s Onion Burgers & Gyros is one of those places, I know it’s there and love their food but forget about them. I need to be reminded that when I want a good burger, they’re close to home.

HD’s sits on the corner of a large strip mall on the NW corner of Rockwell and NW 122nd. Just a small restaurant with a big menu and flavor. I always get the bacon cheeseburger, perfectly seasoned beef patty with cheese melted on top. They chop up the bacon and pile it on top, while a pile of fried onions is under the patty. The lettuce and tomato are fresh, and the bun has been toasted to a buttery perfection. This is a good-sized burger, so bring your appetite. We also got the onion rings and bacon cheese fries to share. The onion rings are fried nice and crispy. The bacon cheese fries are a true work of art, crisp fries with shredded cheese and chopped bacon on top. No, not bacon bits, chopped bacon, most pieces were about an inch long. They were so good.

The service was great, plenty of places to sit. This place is a true hidden treasure in NW Oklahoma City. They have lots more on their menu that I haven’t tried, sandwiches, gyros, salads, and lots of burgers to choose. I give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 12417 N Rockwell Ave., Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Birdie’s Fried Fried Chicken

Yes you are reading my title correctly- Birdie’s Fried Fried Chicken just opened in N Oklahoma City or West Edmond, which ever map you’re looking at, a few months ago and it’s really good. Now why is fried in the name twice, because the chicken is twice-fried. This concept is common in Korean cooking and is just getting a foothold in this country.

We stopped by a few weekends ago since I had heard so many good things about it. Got right in with no problem, even had a nice table in the back. Our order was taken quickly, we did wait about 10 minutes for the food to come out, which wasn’t so bad since they were busy. We got cheddar chive biscuits and mac and cheese bites for the table with Big K getting his chicken with the chile garlic honey and I went with the og parm. Started on the mac and cheese bites first, these were good, run of the mill though, I just would have liked more flavor to them. Then we tried the biscuits, I liked these much better. Add the butter and honey that they come with, they are great. Lots of flavor all while being light and buttery. Then we tackled our chicken. I had never tried chicken that had been fried twice but it was really good. I liked the flavor even without the seasoning. The chicken itself was very juicy and the breading had a really good flavor. My “dry” seasoning of parmesan was really good as was Big K’s “wet” seasoning with the chile garlic honey. I tried a bite of his and didn’t notice the heat but he said that it kicks in later. There was plenty of food for the two of us and we walked away with stuffed bellies.

I’m ready to go back and try some of their other offerings soon. I’ll give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 2201 NW 150th St. Suite 200, Oklahoma City.

Coffee Corner: Stella Nova

Coffee Corner is a new addition to The Fat Okie, this will be written by my daughter Miss Mae. She will feature a different coffee shop each week. So join us on Wednesdays to discover new places for coffee.

Working as a barista for a year is a good way to gain a perspective into the inner workings of coffee shops and the nature of their products.  It is for this reason that I enjoy going to coffee shops (with no affiliation with a certain siren) to see how they differ as well as how they are similar.

One of the coffee shops that I recently visited was Stella Nova, which I personally enjoyed. While I was there, I ordered a hazelnut mocha and an everything bagel with cream cheese, which were personal favorites of mine during breaks at my own coffee shop. 

The hazelnut mocha was smooth and creamy, topped with whipped cream and made with milk steamed to be warm but not too hot, as is the problem with many coffee drinks. I found the drink similar to a Starbucks mocha, as it was not too sweet but also not too bitter. The bagel was perfectly toasted and came with cool, plain cream cheese.

Overall, I enjoyed the meal and hope to visit again soon. Written by Mae.

Address: 1415 W. Main St., Norman; 119 N. Robinson Ave., Oklahoma City; 4716 N. Western Ave., Oklahoma City; 1041 NW 150th St., Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Smoked Out Barbeque

There are lots of barbeque places in Oklahoma, some are good and to be honest, some aren’t. One of my favorites is right down the road from me- Smoked Out BBQ. If you are a regular driver on NW Expressway, you might know about Smoked Out but if you have only been by a few times, it’s easy to miss. Tucked up off the road in a small strip mall, it almost looks like another marijuana store but in reality they have some really good barbeque.

They have a large menu of dinners, sandwiches, sides, and desserts. My go to is a 2-meat dinner with brisket and smoked sausage. The brisket is always tender and juicy, with just enough char on the edges. The smoked sausage is also really flavorful with just a hint of spicy. I also get 2 sides- fried okra and Jacq and cheese, their version of mac and cheese. The fried okra is always good, fried crispy and served in a huge mound. The Jacq and cheese is just about as popular as their barbeque, penne swimming in a thick cheese sauce.

Service is always great. The green glow in the restaurant gives a calming effect when dining with them. I give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 6220 NW Expressway, Suite B, Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Mi Pueblo Mexican Restaurant

Just like burger places, there are lots of options for Mexican or Tex-Mex food in the Oklahoma City metro. One that I love is a small restaurant in Warr Acres that serves some really good food. Tucked away in a strip mall on the southeast corner of NW 39th Expressway and MacArthur, this is a hidden gem that’s getting more popular.

We stopped by on a cloudy Friday night, our second visit in a year, it was busy enough but not too crowded. We immediately were seated and brought chips, salsa, and queso. The first thing we tried on this visit was the queso fundido. If you haven’t tried this dish, it’s chorizo fried with onions and peppers then served in a cast iron skillet with a cheese topping. It was really very good, not too much spice but different from the complementary salsa and queso. Now I ordered my standard chimichangas with shredded beef and sour cream sauce topping it, served of course with beans and rice. I really like their chimichangas, the beef was a shredded fajita meat and the sour cream sauce has a cheese tang that I really enjoy, much different from other Tex-Mex places in town. Big K had the burritos El Paso, this dish has marinated steak with a cheese and green sauce on top, also served with beans and rice. He liked the steak, said it nice and tender with a good flavor.

Service was really great. Our server was good and the food was prepared quickly, so not a long wait. The ambiance is also nice, the painted tables and chairs lighten the room. I give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 3800 N MacArthur Blvd., Suite A, Warr Acres.

Food Friday: Cajun Corner

Cajun Corner opened a few years ago at the SE corner of NW Expressway and Council and they have been a favorite of mine ever since. They have a good selection of po’boys, blackened dishes, pasta, and different seafood baskets.

My favorite is the fried shrimp basket, complete with Cajun fries and hushpuppies. We usually get this to go, the biggest reason- this is where I like to have my dinner from on nights I mow the grass. Yes I know that sounds strange. In the past I would get a Wendy’s Baconator with a Dr. Pepper but since Cajun Corner opened, I send my husband here for dinner. The fried shrimp basket is perfect to cool off with after mowing. Yes I do mow my own yard, started mowing my grandmother’s yard when I was 10 and it just became relaxing to me no matter how much I sweat. But back to Cajun Corner, this basket is simple and they make it quick. Now if I go into their location for dinner I try different things. Their fried shrimp po’boy and crawfish po’boy are excellent. They also have a ribeye Philly cheesesteak that’s pretty good as is the crabby patty, a burger with crab salad. The loaded shrimp fries are also a treat, lots of spice to kick it up. I keep meaning to try their oysters, they have to be done a certain way (the way my grandma Farley cooked them). I’m also interested in their pasta dishes. The owners have done so well with this location that they opened a second location in the Uptown district. I haven’t been there yet but need to try it out as well seeing that they have different menu items.

The service has always been great, no matter if I call the order in for pickup or if I go in. The food is always good. My only real downside with the Council location is the parking lot, but that’s more on the strip mall owners. I definitely give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 9200 N Council, Suite A, Oklahoma City; 312 NW 23rd St., Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Creek Sushi & Poke

Creek Sushi & Poke is a new place that just opened last summer and has quickly become my go to place for sushi. Tucked away in a large strip mall at the NW corner of NW Expressway and Council, this little sushi place has a lot to offer without breaking the budget. They have a wide variety of sushi rolls (like 70 different rolls), along with veggie rolls, spring rolls, and poke bowls.

Now I haven’t tried the poke bowls yet, I usually stick with their sushi rolls and have tried many of their selections. My favorite is the Oklahoma Roll, crabmeat, cream cheese with spicy mayo, sushi sauce and tempura flakes. It’s really good and I order this every time I visit. Some of the other rolls I’ve tried are crab salad roll, sassy shrimp roll, cowboy roll, and shrimp tempura roll. They have all been good and I’m excited to try more of their rolls. The customer service is always great, take my order quickly and I never sit for more than 5 minutes while they prepare my roll. I do usually go there in the afternoon, I have heard from some that it does get busy in the evenings. I will give them 5 strips of bacon, wish it was in a roll.

Address: 9517 N Council Rd, Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Taste of Soul Giant Egg Rolls

After finding myself in the Mid-Del area, I decided to try something new- Taste of Soul Giant Egg Rolls. I have had plenty of regular sized egg rolls but never giant ones, these are also unique because of the fact you can get different ingredients in each egg roll. I tried a bacon hash brown and cheese egg roll and a Okie cheesesteak roll. First off, these egg rolls really are huge, they took up one side of the to-go box. On the other side was fried rice, now I’m picky about my fried rice but this stuff was great. Fried to perfection with huge pieces of egg mixed in. The egg rolls themselves were also quite good. Having different ingredients than normal Chinese food egg rolls is really creative and livens up the egg roll.

The service was great, everyone there was so friendly. The only downside is that it’s a 30-minute drive across town from my house. It was a bit hard to find, located at the end of a strip mall on the northside of SE 29th St. I look forward to another visit because I need to try more of what they offer. I give them 5 strips of bacon, in an egg roll of course.

Address: 4605 SE 29th St., Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Del Rancho

For today’s review I am going to talk about an old favorite, Del Rancho. To me this restaurant is the epitome of comfort food in the Oklahoma City metro. The first time I remember eating at one, I was 6 years old and we took our food back to my grandmother’s house in Norman. While eating, I lost 1 of my teeth. It fell to the floor but I remember the panic while crawling on the floor trying to find it. If I didn’t have that tooth, I wouldn’t get a visit from the Tooth Fairy.

Of course, the best thing to order on their menu is what they are known for, the Steak Sandwich Supreme. I know there are other items on the menu, but I’ve only tried a few because I want that huge steak sandwich. Basically, it’s a chicken fried steak slapped on a bun. The steak itself is huge and when covered with lots of breading and deep fried, it becomes massive. There is just something they get right with the flavor, it is truly one of the best chicken fried steaks in town and yes you can order it just as a meal. Back to the sandwich, the chicken fried steak is placed on the bun with mayo (Miracle Whip), lettuce and tomato. Really it doesn’t get much better than the Steak Sandwich Supreme. I have read on their website that the sandwich was perfected in 1964.

They also have some of the best sides in town. I love their hand breaded onion rings. The onions are huge as well and lightly breaded with a similar taste as the chicken fried steak. The tator tots are also good and deep fried to be crisp on the outside. My favorite is the fried green beans. The only way to eat green beans are fried and they do a great job. Lightly breaded and served with a housemade ranch, my favorite side.

There are locations all over the metro area, the first one I ate at was in Norman on Lindsey Street near I-35. It’s still there after opening in 1979. There are some that you can go in and sit down and other where you just drive up. I highly recommend getting the Steak Sandwich Supreme with a side of onion rings. The true definition of Oklahoma comfort food, they get 5 strips of bacon.

Address- Norman- 2300 W Lindsey St.; Moore- 1409 N Moore Ave.; Mustang- 462 W Highway 152; Midwest City- 9411 NW 10th St., 9201 SE 29th St.; Oklahoma City- 5111 N MacArthur Blvd., 2741 NE 23rd St., 16 SW 59th St.; Tahlequah- 4800 S Muskogee.

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