I’ve gone through El Reno many times and have always seen Sid’s Diner sitting on a corner of Route 66 but never stopped. Finally, this past summer, the crowds looked manageable so on a hot afternoon we stopped for lunch. This is place is a straight up diner, so it is very small but we got a good seat at a small table in the back. They do have other items to order but since they are known for their onion burgers, that’s what at least 2 of us got (my daughter doesn’t like fried onions, no she’s not human). The burgers were good, lots of fried onion mixed with the meat. A downside was that I couldn’t find the condiments so it was a bit dry but not a deal breaker. The sides are just standard fare- fries and onion rings, nothing really special. The service was good but like I stated, it is small, so if you are claustrophobic like me, this isn’t the best place to be on a busy Saturday afternoon. One of the main reasons it gets so busy is because it does sit on a corner of Route 66 though El Reno. This diner has been on many different national tv shows which has boosted it’s popularity. It opened in the late 1980’s and was previously the location of the historic El Reno Hotel, which now sits on the grounds of the Canadian County Historical Museum. I will give it 3 strips of bacon, because I thought with all of the hype, it could have been much better.
Address: 300 S. Choctaw Ave., El Reno, OK
Bethany doesn’t seem like a big town even though it’s surrounded by Oklahoma City. On old Route 66 you can still find a small downtown area that is thriving with small shops and local businesses. You can also find the Stray Dog Café, a great place to enjoy breakfast or lunch.
This is a small café- not much room, so it gets full quickly. We try to visit on off days, tried once to go on a Saturday- no, too many people. Usually we seat ourselves and the wait staff is quick to bring menus and a dog dish filled with fresh popcorn. Seems a bit odd but it follows the theme. I’m always too late for breakfast (can’t get up that early) but the menu items look good. All I’ve had is their lunch menu- burgers and hot dogs. I’ve tried several of the burgers and liked them all. The fries are good as are the onion rings. My favorites are the hot dogs- Mae always gets the mac and cheese dog. Yes it is smothered in extra cheesy mac and cheese and just for fun you can get it with a side of mac and cheese (yes Mae did that one visit). I had a bite, it was good I really liked the extra cheese melted on top. My go-to hot dog is wrapped in bacon and deep-fried. Really is as good as it sounds.
The staff is always friendly and attentive. I’ve never had a long wait for food. The only problem is the location on Route 66 (or NW 39th St, which ever you want to use) is hard to get in and out of if you park in front. So just go around the block and you’ll find a huge parking lot with an entrance on the back of the café as well. Also check their Facebook page, the hours change with them closing early some nights and staying open later on others.
Address: 6722 NW 39th Expressway, Bethany, OK
Update: Closed as of December 2020.
I have lived in and around Oklahoma City my entire life and I’ve always heard about Ann’s Chicken Fry. Supposed to be the best chicken fried steak in Oklahoma. I’ve been eating chicken fried steak since I was five and like to consider myself a connoisseur, so the fact I’ve never been here is surprising. We had tried a few different times to stop but the parking lot has always been full and a line out the door. I don’t like crowds, so we never stay. Finally last weekend it wasn’t busy, so at last I got to try it.
A former gas station, the building is small but has a cool interior with items from pop culture and Oklahoma City history. The menu has a good selection but what we were there for was the chicken fried steak. That’s all. Me and my husband had our dinners with mashed potatoes and okra but Mae had to be different and got green beans instead of okra. We didn’t have to wait long for our dinners to be brought out. The steak was huge- took up most of the plate. Covered in a nice, thick cream gravy as was the mashed potatoes, this looked to be a great eating experience. The steak was tender enough that you didn’t need a knife to cut it, the fork just slid through the meat. After the first bite I understood the hype, it really was one of the best chicken fried steaks I’ve ever eaten. The fried okra was good as was the mashed potatoes. My only picky complaint was that the texas toast needed a touch more butter before toasting. Even though Mae is a pre-teen, she has never eaten chicken fried steak before so this was a first for her and actually had nothing to complain about.
Inside Ann’s Chicken Fry, 2015.
The service was great and the prices weren’t too bad. The building had originally been built as a Cities Gas Station in 1948 on old Route 66. Someone then turned the old building into the Three Bulls Steak House in 1966 with it becoming Ann’s Chicken Fry House in 1971. Like I said, it does live up to the hype and if you get a chance to stop, it will be worth it. I give it five strips of bacon with some cream gravy.
Address: 4106 NW 39th St., Oklahoma City.