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Posts tagged ‘Oklahoma food’

Food Friday: Biglow’s Burgers

The whole purpose of my Food Friday feature is to bring attention to local restaurants. I really want to be able to give 5 strips of bacon on every review but I also know it’s not always possible. Biglow’s Burgers is an excellent example. When it first opened around the beginning of the year, I was excited. I had read reviews about the food truck and it sounded great. So on a cool Friday night we visited.

They had been open for about a month and I had heard about the issues they were having, I had hoped those had been worked out. It took 10 minutes just for us to place an order for dine in, and the cashier wasn’t exactly the nicest person, not even able to answer basic questions about the menu. So we took a seat near the back, the whole interior looked unfinished and the tables look like they had been used and abused. There we sat, 10 minutes, 20 minutes, then at 27 minutes someone realized they had forgotten to make our order. We were brought some complimentary egg rolls which turned out to be cold in the middle. And we continued to sit. By this time I had noticed that it was really cold in the restaurant, I don’t think they had the heat turned on. Finally after 40 minutes we got our order. The burger was just ok, I wasn’t blown away by it. The fries were awful, way too much salt. We finished and left. Back near the end of March we decided to try again, even though the hours on the building and online said they closed at 8p, the restaurant was dark. It was 6:30p on a Friday night and they were already closed. Some other potential patrons were sitting in their car nearby and told us that a very rude employee locked the door in their face when they tried to enter.

I’m giving them 2 strips of bacon, I hope they improve in the future but with 3 other really good burger places within a mile of the restaurant I just have no reason to attempt another visit.

Address: 12309 N Council Rd. Suite 1, Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: Barry’s Grill

You ever drive by a restaurant and think “I need to try this place”? I have done that for years driving by the big green burger sign for Barry’s Grill on North May Aveune. It even smells good when I stop next door at Bedford Camera, after years of thinking about it I stopped and truthfully I wish I hadn’t.

First thing I noticed when I walked in wasn’t the old time menu sign, it was the dirty unvacuumed floors. I got over it and ordered a bacon cheeseburger with a side of tots. The guy behind the counter took my order but didn’t seem friendly. As I took a seat I noticed a old musty smell that permeated the restaurant. The tables were clean but obviously had some age to them. The whole vibe was 1960’s cafeteria. The pictures on the wall were faded to blue and the “greenery” in between the tables was older than me. Before my burger was ready I took a quick trip to the bathroom, indoor outhouse is a good description. A couple minutes after I returned to the table my order was ready. It did bother me that the tray was sticky. The tots were just plain tots, nothing really special. The burger was the same, nothing special. The veggies were fresh and crisp and the bacon was cooked perfectly. It was just ok though. I wasn’t blown away, really along the lines of a fast-food burger. I finished my food and left. The odd smell was still there and really permeated my experience.

From my research, this business has been at the location since at least 1996. I think it does a good job attracting a lunch crowd not looking for anything fancy. Personally I don’t think I’ll return. I give them 2 strips of bacon.

Address: 3124 N May Ave., Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: The Fried Taco

If you haven’t been to the Edmond Icehouse Project, you are missing out on some good food. Not only is Woodward Pizza located in this complex but so is The Fried Taco. This small taco restaurant started as a food truck in 2019 and expanded into The collective not long after. In 2022, they opened their second location in the metro area in the newly developed Icehouse Project just north of Edmond Road (or 2nd Street) and west of the railroad tracks.

The menu is small and straightforward, you have different fried tacos plus a limited selection of quesadillas and empanadas. We started our visit with the white queso with chorizo. This isn’t just chips and queso, the chips are fried flour tortillas and the queso is a creamy blend of cheeses with onion, tomato, and chorizo mixed in. I love these chips, they have a different texture than corn chips and in this case the thicker chip is good. This last visit I tried their chicken bacon ranch taco and a ground beef and cheese empanada. The flour tortilla has been fried and shaped to hold ingredients just like a taco. The chicken mixed with ranch and bacon gave the taco a great taste that you just don’t always get from regular tacos. The crunchy tortilla also lends to the different flavor. I’ve had the brisket and the pork tacos in the past and they are good as well. I really think that fried flour tortilla just makes these tacos good. This last trip was the first time I had ever tried an empanada. It’s like a fried pie with savory ingredients such as beef or pork. I got a beef empanada, I love the flaky crust on the outside. The beef and cheese mixture inside was also good, very flavorful. To wash it all down I got a homemade coconut lavender lemonade. This is so refreshing, the coconut and lavender give the lemonade a smooth taste.

Overall I love the food and the atmosphere at The Fried Taco, you can eat inside in a purple room or take your food outside to sit on the patio. There is a play place for kids and plenty of games around for everyone. I have not been to their location in the Collective yet but would like to visit soon. I give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 119 W 2nd St. Suite 150, Edmond; 308 NW 10th (The Collective Food Hall), Oklahoma City.

Food Friday: The Mont

As a little girl growing up in Norman, we would pass the newly opened restaurant called The Mont all the time.  I could see the glow of lights coming through the stained glass windows and wanted to go inside.  My mother would tell me, decent people don’t go there, so my hopes of visiting were dashed.  Later as a student at OU in the early 1990’s, I still wanted to go but it seemed like a party place.  Even though it had that reputation, I also knew members of the Norman police department gathered there every Saturday to drink.  I really then just forgot about it until recently with my own daughter a student at OU.  Finally, back in December we stopped, it was so good I wish I had gone earlier.

The architecture of the building is what gets your attention first, a low Spanish style building with lots of stained-glass windows.  A patio out front gives diners a chance to enjoy the nice weather, or you can enter through a medieval looking wooden door to the main dining room.  Their menu ranges from burgers and sandwiches to Tex-Mex.  We ordered a couple of things to start with, the fried cheese and fried mushrooms. They were both good. I got the Mont burger with bacon and cheese. Not a bad burger, had a great taste with lots of fresh veggies. Mae got a French dip with a side of mac and cheese (of course). She loved the sandwich but the baked mac and cheese really won her over. A melty cheese top with creamy cheese inside, I had a bite and it was really good. Big K had the green Chile burrito that comes with beans, rice and chips. He really loved the burrito, lots of queso over it. He said the beans and rice were good. I had a couple of the chips, they were light and crispy. Now it was the afternoon, so I didn’t try the famous Sooner Swirl but I will.

The Mont has been a staple in Norman since it opened on Halloween of 1976. The building is much older, of course. The first business I found mentioned is the Monterrey Restaurant. This operated from 1943- 1969. A German restaurant called Volkstube occupied the building for a short time then Hacienda Hernandez took over in 1972. This restaurant survived for a couple of years before turning into Joe’s Bar & Grill which only lasted a year. After all these years the Mont is the place to see and be seen. I’ve heard all the drunk stories from friends who had a few too many while enjoying the atmosphere. I’m sure it does still get crazy on game days but it was quiet while we were there. I would like to go again now that the weather is nice, just to enjoy the good food outdoors. So if you are in Norman, give this legendary restaurant a try. I give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 1300 Classen Blvd., Norman.

Food Friday: Taqueria Hernandez

While walking around the town square in Altus, I kept being hit with the unmistakable smell of fajitas cooking. The smell drew me into a small little building on the corner of US Highway 62 and Hudson Street. This little place is a true hidden gem in Altus.

I like to judge a Mexican restaurant on their chimichangas, these were different than I have had anywhere else. I got 3 small chimichangas (instead of the normal big one), with the usual side of beans and rice. There was actually something refreshing with these chimichangas, they weren’t drenched in sauce, they were just plain which allowed me to experience more of the meat and fried tortilla flavors. The ground beef inside was spiced nicely with just a bit of cheese and the tortillas didn’t have that greasy taste that sometimes is a downside of chimichangas. The rise was really good, had a buttery Hispanic taste that was also something that was refreshing. The refried beans were more of a soup type than what I’m used to as well. I’m still torn on them but I know there are people who like them to be runny. The chips and salsa were also good, the chips were fresh and light, the salsa had a good kick to it.

So if you find yourself in Altus, take a walk around their historic town square and stop in at Taqueria Hernandez. The staff was friendly and the decor was beautiful, with hand painted walls. The outside of the building has a look that reminds me of the old 1950’s diners. I’ll give them 5 strips of bacon.

Address: 101 N. Hudson St., Altus.

Food Friday: Nic’s Grill

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.

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.

Food Friday: Eastside Pizza House

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.

Food Friday: MentaliTea and Coffee

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.

Food Friday: Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine

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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