I don’t often get to eat on the campus of the University of Oklahoma, but when I get to Norman, I try to stop by Basic Knead. This is a small university run cafe that specializes in personal pizzas and pastas.
I learned about it last year when Mae was a freshman. She was trained to work there just in case someone called out. Soon I was hearing about the pasta she was eating almost every night and I wanted to try it. So one Saturday night last year, we drove down and got our own personal pasta dishes. The have several options but I went with a penne pasta, drizzled with alfredo, then added pepperoni, mushrooms, and olives. After a topping of cheese, the dish is placed in a brick oven to be fired. After a wait, my pasta dish was delivered and it was glorious. The pasta was perfectly cooked and the cheese was melted crisp. On my next trip, I got a personal pizza. This was prepared similarly, personal sized crust, with alfredo, pepperoni, mushrooms, olives, and topped with cheese. Baked in the same fired oven, this pizza was just as good as a pizza you would get at Hideaway (and much better than the national pizza places).
Basic Knead was her go to dinner spot for the fall semester but it was shut down in the spring due to not enough employees. Mae was anxious when she went back to campus this fall, would her beloved Basic Knead be open again. Fortunately it is and she says it’s just as good as last year. So if you find yourself on campus and looking for some pasta or pizza, try Basic Knead. You can find it south of Lindsey in Cross Village.
Address: 1695 Asp Ave., Norman.
I love cheesecake. Not going to lie, one of my favorite desserts. It is hard to find a decent cheesecake though, most are just ok (even though my daughter makes a really good mint chocolate cheesecake). I have been hearing about Not Cho Cheesecake for a while and on a beautiful Friday night, I decided to stop and try it. Everything I had heard was right, this place is good.
We got some personal cheesecakes to go, I got the Tennessee Whiskey and Big K got the chocolate chip cookie dough. We tried them after we got home and WOW!! So much flavor!! Mine had a graham cracker crust that was perfect. Gave the cheesecake a crunch that I had never had before. Then the cheesecake itself was so creamy, the cheese flavor really popped. Then the homemade caramel sauce on top was just the best. The owner could bottle it and sell it for topping or just spoon straight from the jar. As for the chocolate chip cookie dough that Big K had, after only a couple bites he looked at me and said, “if I die while eating this, put it in the coffin with me. I’m taking it with me.” He thought it was rich and decadent.
This small cheesecake bakery has only been around since 2020. The co-owner passed away not long after the opening and now her husband runs the cafe in her honor. He was the one running the register when we stopped in. He was so nice and friendly. He obviously takes pride of the product he delivers. He has a large variety of cheesecakes from plain to fancy. If you need dessert and want a good cheesecake, stop and see what he has in the case. I guarantee you’ll find something you love. A definite 5 strips of bacon.
Address: 3934 N College Ave., Bethany.
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.
We have a lot of burger places in the Oklahoma City metro, but not many places that specialize in hot dogs. The late great Mutts was a fun and different place to eat but now we have Spirals in Norman.
Founded in 2020, this is a hot dog only place but specialty hot dogs. These aren’t the skinny things you can get at Sonic, no, you can get an all-beef frank, a polish sausage, or a hot link. Then pick your toppings, they have several to choose from or you can build your own. My favorite is the Un-Baylee-vable, chili, house mac and cheese, bacon and onion. This hot dog is huge and can be a mess if you don’t know how to eat it. But trust me, it’s worth it. The mix of flavors is just so good. The mac and cheese cooked with spiral noodles really tops it off. They also serve hot dog bowls, I haven’t tried one yet but plan to on a visit. Another favorite is the loaded fries, spiral cut potatoes, deep fried, and smothered with chili, cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream.
Every time I visit the service is good as is the food. They also serve up shaved ice, I haven’t tried it because I’m too stuffed from the meal. They are a bit hard to find the first time, tucked up in a strip mall. But after that you can drive right to it. I give them 5 strips of bacon, hopefully wrapped around one of their dogs.
Address: 2203 W Main St. Norman.
This is going to be a bit different but then again the Mother Road Market is different. The Mother Road Market is one of these newer food hall concepts of having lots of small restaurant owners come together to offer their food under one roof. Really it’s like a big food court, like the kind you would find at the mall. The upside is that there are only a few stores to shop at, plenty of seating, and you don’t have to walk too far. It’s also great if you have picky eaters or if everyone wants something different.
So the three of us walked into the building with a plan, everyone was to get whatever they wanted but different. We split up and each got our own stuff. I got some pimento and cheese wontons from Salt and Vinegar, Big K stopped at Curds and Whey for some loaded fries, and Mae wanted a pickle pizza from Zasa’s Pizza and Wings. After the first round, I got some sushi from Akira Sushi & Ramen that I shared with Big K, he got a Brazilian savory pastry puff from Doctor Kustom. Lastly we all shared a sampler platter from Da Yolk. I wanted to try more places but we were all stuffed. There is a burger place, ice cream, barbeque, tacos, chicken, bread, pastries, and a bar. Everything was good, and the service was great at each location. I really like this food court set up, gives the small businesses a chance to shine while not having to worry about so much overhead.
It’s called the Mother Road Market because it’s about a block south of the current alignment of historic Route 66 at the corner of Lewis and E. 11th St. The building started it’s life as Scrivner-Stevens Grocery distribution center built in 1939, the non-profit Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation remodeled the warehouse in 2016. They then reached out to small business owners to set up shop and officially opened in 2018. There is more than just food, plenty of small local shops to browse and a mini-golf course. There is seating inside and out, when we were there it was over 100, so we stayed inside. If you are in Tulsa, stop by and check out everything they have to offer.
Address: 1124 S. Lewis Ave., Tulsa.
I know coffee places are all the rage now, we have a Starbucks on damn near every corner or a Scooters to drive up for a quick pick me up but I have been looking for local coffee shops. I was lucky to find Stella Nova a few months ago and with every visit they just get better.
Now I’m going to be honest, I’m not a coffee lover. Hate the taste of it just by itself but over the past year with my barista daughter I have learned to like it a bit. I really like it in the Frappuccino or frappe form. It’s really a coffee milkshake. I started liking them back when McDonald’s introduced the caramel frappe in 2009. Only in the past year did Mae introduce me to Starbucks and Scooters. So now I am actively seeking them out. In March during spring break, Mae needed a caffeine fix so we tried the location at NW 150th and Western. I had the chocolate chip frappe, which has now become my go-to drink when I visit. Another favorite of mine is the cheese danish. This danish is so good, first they are large and second, filled with cheese. So good that I have to get one when I visit, no matter what else I have. Their breakfast sandwiches and wraps are also really good. Much better than a quick breakfast item from a chain.
I have now visited the Crown Heights location as well and every time both locations are clean and the employees are nice. Even in the morning rush, they get my items out quickly. I will give them 5 strips of bacon.
Address: 1415 W. Main St., Norman; 119 N Robinson Ave., Oklahoma City; 4716 N. Western Ave., Oklahoma City; 1041 NW 150th St., Oklahoma City; 6604 Snider Plaza, Dallas.
I talk about it all of the time but there are a lot of burger joints in the Oklahoma City metro. Most are pretty good, a new place on the scene is Hynson’s Classic Burgers in Yukon.
They started in 2018 with a small location in Penn Square Mall but moved to the east side of Yukon in summer of 2021. With the history of small burger joints along historic Route 66, Hynson’s fits right into its surroundings in a small strip mall. My first trip last year I ordered a patty melt, it was one of the best I had tasted in a while. The bread was toasted, buttery, the cheese melting off the patty. It was great. I’ve been back a few times since and their food is always excellent. After the patty melt, my second go to is the bacon cheddar burger. Perfectly toasted bun, cheddar cheese melted over the top of the patty, and a couple strips of bacon top off this burger. The flavor of their meat is also very nice, not too seasoned so you can taste the freshness. I got fries the first trip but now every visit I get the loaded bacon cheese tots. These are so good, tots are perfectly fried with cheese and ranch drizzled over the top, then bacon bits and onion to top it off.
I will give Hynson’s 5 strips of bacon. They have a friendly staff and were quick with our order. I am happy to see that they have opened a second location in Harrah, so hopefully they will continue to expand but keep their quality.
Address: 825 E. Main St. Suite 100, Yukon; 251 S. Harrah Rd. Suite 100, Harrah.
I first discovered Volcano Sushi Bar in 2017. I knew there was a location in Moore and while I was in town, I stopped. I had several friends rave about their sushi and they were right, some of the best sushi in the OKC metro. So for a couple of years I would stop by this location right off of I-35 south of 19th street. But I got lucky about a year ago, they opened a new location in NW Oklahoma City. I am so happy to have their wonderful sushi closer to home.
I start with Crispy Crab, deep fried crab stuffed with cream cheese. This is a true delicacy. Light breading with crab, the taste of cream cheese envelops your mouth. True creamy goodness. Then the sushi roll comes out- my favorite is Lucky Lady. Shrimp tempura with cream cheese, avocado topped with a crab stick. This is my favorite every time I visit. Another favorite is Space Ship, a fried scallop topped with salmon. No rice surrounding it, what’s why they call it space ship. I’ve tried many of their other rolls but always forget to write them down. They have an extensive menu with rice, noodles and hibachi grilled meats. I just haven’t tried them yet.
Service is always great at both locations that I’ve visited. The decor is nice, the Moore location is darker but the new place in NW OKC is bright and airy. So if you are looking for good sushi, I highly recommend Volcano. 5 strips of bacon.
Address: 2727 S. I-35 Service Rd., Moore; 5301 Main St. #103, Del City; 1609 Penn Park Blvd. #10, Oklahoma City; 3700 W Robinson St. Suite 164, Norman; 5612 W. Memorial Rd., Oklahoma City.
During a recent trip to Tulsa, we decided that we wanted to try something different for breakfast. It was this desire for difference that led us to 918 Coffee. I ordered a ham and cheddar bagel sandwich and a hot Heath Bar Latte. The bagel sandwich was perfectly toasted and provided the morning fuel that I needed for the rest of our trip. The latte was warm and satisfying, and the baristas even took the time to create a latte art leaf on the top. It was called a Heath Bar Latte as it tasted like a Heath Bar. I highly recommend 918 Coffee to anyone in the Tulsa area. Written by Mae.
From the backseat Mae suggested this place and her dad was a second on this, so I turned the Jeep around and we stopped. Located in an old service station right along Historic Route 66, I was pleasantly surprised. You can go in either the older section or through what was once huge garage doors. Up to the counter where the young ladies working there were super friendly. We all got bagel sandwiches with ham and cheddar. Miss Mae got the latte while me and Big K wanted something cooler. We both went with frappes, I had a peppermint patty and he had a Reese’s peanut butter. They were really good, mine was cool and minty, perfect for the hot day ahead. The sandwiches were also really good, toasted. The atmosphere was great for automobile history fans like us (Big K is also a mechanic so he loves this stuff), sitting in the old bays of the shop. They also had nice automobilia with signs and an old tool cabinet. The entrance was built in 1928, with the shop part built in 1946. It became a coffee shop in 2013. Just really cool to sit on Route 66 and eat in a former gas station and auto shop. I will go back the next time I’m in Tulsa. 5 strips of bacon.
Address: 2446 E. 11th St., Tulsa.
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.