Posts Tagged ‘OKC’

Popeye’s Chicken, OKC, OK

3 March 2015

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Last night, Raegan and I decided to try Popeye’s, since we needed to have dinner, we didn’t have a surfeit of time, and there is one about two blocks from school.

My first experience at a Popeye’s was not good at all. There is an earlier blog post about that one, at DFW.

This one, was, well, OK. At best. We got a 12 piece family meal, mild (which I think is just un-cajun). Our two sides were mashers (OK) with cajun gravy (meh) and slaw (also meh). The chicken was OK at best. It had little flavor. In fact, I would say no flavor.

We got a gallon of iced tea with the meal, that was OK. Service was very friendly.

I think our check was around $36, which seems quite high. I will update this when I run across the receipt.

I don’t think that Popeye’s will be a destination in the future for us. It’s just not flavor.

OKCs Boathouse District

26 May 2014

Erin was invited to a birthday party for one of her friends this evening, at the new Boathouse District on the Oklahoma Rive, south of downtown.

We’ve watched the building of the river area, and the boathouses, with some interest over the past couple years, but this was the first time there for us.

It’s a pretty cool complex. I was struck by how the age spread for the activities works out. There is a pretty nice big toy for the little ones to play on. It’s under a huge canopy, so that helps with rain or Oklahoma summer temps. This area has a couple swinging and spinning toys that are a lot of fun.

Next door is what is essentially an open-air moonwalk/trampoline toy. I was surprised that you could get a pretty good grip on the fabric with bare feet or socks. This thing is a BLAST. I bounced up and down a couple hundred times (and I can just feel that in my neck somewhat). This area also had a rubber band launcher for little ones, and an small version of the adventure trail on the big tower.

There was a triple-route climb tower and a larger triple version of the rubber band launcher as well. These were a portable version, but hopefully they are a permanent part of the area (or there will be a permanent set built).

One thing I liked was a small bicycle track with some bumps and steep turns. It was about 75′ long total.

The Tower.


This is the tower:

The Tower

I’m guessing this is 100+ft off the ground. The thing with the most press is, of course, the zipline. It takes you from the top across the Oklahoma River to a similar tower. To get back, you run up to the top of the south tower and zipline back!

But the zipline is only one part. There is an enclosed climbing area for smaller friends at the north foot of the tower. There is a free-fall drop from the top on the west side (it looks like this uses the same type of automatic belaying devices used in the Rocktown climbing area). There is a slide (from the TOP!) on the east side. These are all very cool.

But the tower itself as an adventure trail. Check out this view of the interior, looking up.


A little explanation; before you can go up to zipline, you get a harness put on, and you are hooked into a self-belaying system that fits into tracks in the tower components, and protects you the entire way up (there is a small version of this on the kids adventure trail). So you can hook into the tower and walk safely all the way up. BUT, each of the tower rails, and the crosspieces you can see in the picture, have various kinds of walking surfaces you can negotiate. The things that look like ladders? The single cables? Those are things you walk on. The structural components as well. There are four levels of those!

Finally, there is an area under a large tent for birthday parties and such. That’s nice.

The only real thing I could complain about would be the zipline times. Erin went up to take a turn at about 1815, and didn’t get done until 2010. Two hours of waiting, and she had only about 10 people in front of her. That’s 12 minutes per person. There were a couple instances where the zipliner didn’t quite make it all the way to the other end, and a staff member had to clip on the line and go pull them back in; that’s understandable. But there was a LOT of (what appeared to me) staffers at the two ends of the zip line just standing there. That is going to have to speed up.

Things that I hope are being considered:

Some restrooms. I didn’t see even any porta-potties out there.

There is one converted cargo shipping container that is used for a ticket window and for selling drinks and snacks. They will need another drink/snack stand, with some sitting areas, as this place gets more popular.

It would be smart to put a cover over the kids bouncy thing and related play areas, like the one over the big toy. Oklahoma gets too hot in the summer for those to be safe.

It may be there, but I think that there should be a trail from the Bass Pro Shop area to the zipline area. I have not explored the area fully, so don’t know.

They should consider putting in another bike track, maybe on the other side of the tower.

And it will be hugely popular, I think. This is good for OKC, and good for the community. I hope they plan on being open late.

I wonder what they do if someone freaks after the first zipline, and refuses to zip back?

Route 66 Grill, Will Rogers World Airport, OKC, OK

26 July 2013

Route 66 Grill on Urbanspoon

I have eaten at this place many times over the past couple years. I have had breakfast there numerous times at oh-dark-thirty, and lunches there before flights. It was even so Wednesday, as we waited for our flight to NYC.

I got a bacon cheeseburger. It was pretty good. Let me note here that quality for lunches can be variable, and it is the skill of whoever is on the grill. This one was pretty good; the burger had good flavor and good texture as well. The chips were a bit overcooked. Raegan and Erin got a salad and liked them. Ian got a double cheeseburger and fries and scarfed it down.

The iced tea was not very good; I got DP that was OK. The food got there very fast, and the service was very friendly. Our check was $59.61 (I think $10 of it was the bottle of water Raegan got 🙂 ). It’s not too bad.

Billy Sims BBQ, NW Expressway, OKC

17 March 2012

Billy Sims BBQ on Urbanspoon

I think that I’ve eaten at the entire Billy Sims chainlet now. I cannot really sing the praises of this BBQ too much. Overall, I like Billy Sims BBQ as well as I like JTs. That’s saying something! The Sims ribs are about a 9.75 on a scale of 1 to JTs. They are that good.

This evening, Raegan and Ian and I ate at the location on NWX. Raegan and Ian got ribs, I got the two meat, chopped BBQ and smoked chicken. The brisket was wonderful! Full of flavor, tender, just great stuff. The BBQ sauce has just the right amount of spice, and does a great job enhancing the flavor of the beef. The chicken was sliced breast meat, tender, smoky, and just the right about of juicy. Great stuff also. I got a rib as a side (that’s a great idea, BTW) and BBQ beans which I really liked. The ribs are tender and meaty; they almost have the red crust that JTs ribs have. JTs also has just a better smoky flavor.

We got there about 1745 and left about an hour later. The restaurant slowly filled up over that time period. Like all the Bill Sims restaurants, the staff is super friendly and pleasant to talk to. The tea (both sweet and straight) is excellent. Our check was about $32, good value. Highly recommended.

Cool Things From the Air, SAN-DFW-OKC, 02 Sep 2011

1 October 2011

As I came back from my last trip to San Diego, I saw a couple interesting things from the air. There was a decent fog over the area, and some of the mountains were punching through.

About an hour and a half later, I saw this. I am still trying to find out what it is. Through dead reckoning using the timestamps on the photos, I think this is in the far southeastern part of New Mexico, perhaps part of Fort Bliss. I will keep after it on Google Maps.

Finally, as we came into OKC, I got this photo of Lake Hefner. It is way down.

That’s it!

Couple Neat Weather Shots, DFW-COS and DFW-OKC

30 September 2011

Monday I flew to Colorado Springs for a meeting. As we approached COS, there were some amazing presentations of virga in the area. These are the two best pictures.

Yesterday I flew back home from COS via DFW. After we departed, I saw that the inversion layer was especially sharp. I estimate we were at 7000 ft altitude.

Shortly, I was surprised to see that we had a couple thunderstorms ahead of us! These were very small, and were just south of the Red River. I thought this one was interesting because it seemed to have three anvils.

As we got closer, the entire storm structure became visible. This is interesting as the middle anvil is spreading out quite a bit, while there is a large mass of clouds above it. This photo is from the SSW.

We flew fairly close, and these streamers were between the middle anvil and the updraft. The storm did not look like it was rotating. I do not know if these streamers are flowing down or up. This is looking ESE.

Finally, this was in the distance. It looks to me like an “orphan anvil”. It also looks a little bit like a starship to me!

That’s it!

Cool Things From The Air, SMF-DFW-OKC

28 August 2010

When I was coming back home from Sacramento week before last, I saw some neat things from the air.

Just after taking off, we flew a bit farther south than usual out of SMF. We flew south of Mather Field, and I saw this, and it looked interesting.

Well, after I got home, I went back to Google Maps and started looking, and that interesting thing is… (drum roll…) a landfill. Yes, a trash dump. Big woo.

Later there were some more interesting things. I am always interested in seeing mining operations. They leave such holes and scars on the ground. This one is the Round Mountain Gold Mine in Nevada.

I’m always up for geologic stuff. This looks clearly like an old volcanic flow. It’s in Nevada just north of US 6.

The pilot announced we would be flying over Cedar City, UT. That got my interest, since Cedar City is the turnoff for a very scenic drive through the Utah mountains over to Bryce Canyon. I think I caught a flew glimpses of hoodoos, but it was through clouds, so none of the photos really turned out.

After overflying the Lake Powell region, we got into mountains, and I saw this nice little lake and town.

I did a lot of Google Maps searching, and the closest I came up with was Farmington Lake outside of Flora Vista, NM. It’s about 35 miles away from the next thing I took a photo of, which is about three minutes flying time. But the problem is that it does not look just right. I’ll keep after it.

Speaking of that next thing, we flew over the dam for Navajo Lake. The dam is in New Mexico, but the lake runs up into Colorado.

Soon we got to the area of Taos NM, and the deep canyon where the Rio Grande flows just to the west of Taos.

Just past Taos is the group of mountains that include Wheeler Peak, the tallest in New Mexico.

This flight took us to the south of the valley that Angel Fire lies in, and just to the south of Philmont.

Now, I have an obsession with Philmont Scout Ranch, the backpacking camp for the Boy Scouts. The following batch is a group I took of Philmont as we flew WNW to ESE just south of there.

Mount Baldy, tallest on the ranch at 12Kft+, is to the left.

This is Cimarron Canyon, home to the Cimarron River, which is roughly the north-south dividing line for the Ranch.

This is Tooth Of Time Ridge, which runs west of Base Camp. It is dominated by the Tooth of Time.

This is the base camp area. We were too far away to see buildings.

This is the south end of the Ranch.

And finally, Black Mesa of Anasazi legend.

Soon we flew out into the Texas Panhandle and saw Amarillo.

This was just southeast of Amarillo. The black smudge is, I believe tornado damage (from vegetation being stripped from the ground). These tracks don’t last more than a growing season. I saw similar tracks from the air after the May 3 1999 Moore tornado.

As we continued into north Texas, we saw Wichita Falls, home of Sheppard AFB.

As we descended into DFW, we passed the through the temperature inversion layer. In this case, it is characterized by dust and smoke trapped underneath the layer, and clear air on top of it. Hence, brown underneath, blue above.

Finally, as we came into OKC, we passed west of the Museum of the American Indian just southeast of downtown Oklahoma City. It’s make progress.

That’s it!

Some Cool Things From The Air, 04 April 2010

14 April 2010

I flew back home from Salt Lake City on 04 April 2010, via DFW. Saw some pretty neat things.

As we left SLC to the south, we flew back west, then north, then between Salt Lake City and Prov0, then turned back to the SE. I had an indistinct view of the copper mine southwest of SLC. The big copper smelter got a good look:

This is a pond used to hold tailings runoff. Note the distinct copper-blue color.

It’s hard to tell through the clouds, but that’s Hill Air Force Base in Provo, UT.

After we flew over the Wasatch, I saw this lake. It took some Googling, but this is East Canyon Reservoir and State Park, UT.

We flew over the Unitas Range in Utah. This mountain range is distinctive in that it is the only range in North America that runs west to east. I was astounded by the sheer amount of snow! These are some pretty tall and very rugged mountains, but they were almost completely obscured by huge snows.

This extremely rugged area features Mt Agassiz to the bottom of the picture.

I have not been able to find any names, but from a bit of Googling, these mountains are the home of Upper Ottoson Lake and Lower Ottoson Lake.

We flew for a while with clouds obsuring the gound. After a bit, I got a view of the ground, and saw this. It is Lake County Airport. The town of Leadville, CO is off to the upper left of the photo.

One thing that is cool about this airport. It is at roughly 9600ft. Off to the south end of the runway, the terrain drops off about 500ft. Hope you’ve got airspeed…

Just a bit farther on, we had a great view of Pikes Peak.

Just a bit farther on, we crossed the Front Range area. This is the Canon City, CO, looking east.

I saw this structure just a minute later. From a bit of map reading, it turns out that this is the United States Penitentiary Administrative Maximum Facility (ADX), i.e. a “supermax” prison, in Florence, Colorado. Looks quite cheerless.

This is a nice view along the Arkansas River in the Colorado plain. The facilities are cement mines or manufacturers.

This is Pikes Peak and Cheyenne Mountain again, from the south.

Again in the theme of cement, this facility is just south of Pueblo, CO. I did a lot of web scouring with no luck; Google shows the facility, but it is clearly under construction. I sent the photo to the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce, and a very helpful reply came back a couple days later that it looked like the new Grupo Cementos cement plant. That led to an annual report, which included a photo of a facility that looked a lot like the shot I took. So, I call it a state-of-the-art cement plant that feeds on limestone. There is a pit to the NW that is on “Lime Road”.

We flew southwest for a while. I was on the left side of the airplane. Philmont and the Sangre de Cristos were off to the right.

We overflew the Oklahoma Panhandle, then into the Texas Panhandle. This is Boise City, OK.

Just southeast of Boise City, I saw these two groups of wind generators. I am utterly fascinated by these. My very cute and long-suffering roommate has been subjected to several episodes of driving to wind farms just to watch them. The little town in the distance is Texhoma, TX.

This is Shamrock, TX. I barely looked out the window in time to get the camera fired up.

This is Mangum, OK, in the southwestern part of the state.

The quality here isn’t really good, but this is Lake Altus and Quartz Mountain State Park in southwestern OK. I’ve been camping there, and hiked and rock climbed all over it.

This is Altus, OK, and then a closeup of Altus Air Force Base. I’ve been down here twice to see the Shuttle on a refueling stop.

After we landed at DFW, I got on another Super 80 for OKC. This is the Dolese crushed-limestone quarry that is on the northern edge of the Arbuckle Mountains in south-central Oklahoma.

We also overflew the National Weather Center on the OU Norman campus.

This is the Native American Museum on the banks of the Oklahoma River southeast of downtown Oklahoma City.

I have another shot of the museum from a previous trip, and you can see that some progress is being made in construction.

Finally, we flew a little farther north over Oklahoma City, and so we got a good view of the Zoo, part of Remington Park, and the National Softball Hall of Fame.

That’s it!

Terminal Evacuation at OKC Last Monday

6 February 2010

I like new experiences. Last Monday, 01 February, I had one: the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) evacuated the terminal at OKC Will Rogers World Airport for a security situation.

I was standing around at Gate 4 waiting for my flight when I noticed a couple TSA people walking towards Gate 4. They had a very tense attitude, and both were sweeping both sides of the terminal with their eyes as they walked. The tension in those people was palpable.

One walked to the United gate across from 4, and the other walked down to the end of the terminal (Gate 6 and the Frontier gate). Both still watching. I noticed that a United A320 was waiting off the gate – someone had told it not to finish the taxi to the gate; the airplane front wheels were chocked.

A couple of other TSA people were coming down the terminal, and the American local manager was in the Gate Agent area. All were clearly nervous. About this time, the Automated Announcer Lady came on the intercom and announced “Code Red” several times. That started getting other peoples attention, but not many (I must say that a lot of the people waiting for the flight were oblivious to all this).

Two of the TSA people accosted two of the passengers at Gate 4 and searched their bags. One of the passengers was First Class, I don’t know about the other. The two people seemed to be chosen at random, but you know that random is not always truly random where the TSA is concerned, so who knows. The bag searches were very fast, on the order of 20-30 seconds only, so they could not have been comprehensive.

I asked a passing TSA person what “Code Red” meant, and she said “it’s a Leo thing”. I think she meant LEO, as in Law Enforcement Officer, but that’s just a guess.

About this time another Code Red announcement was made, followed by a siren and another automated announcement that the TSA had demanded the terminal be evacuated, followed by the usual and expected empty words about how it was All For Our Own Good and Our Safety (cue the Star Spangled Banner in the background for effect).

By the time I got up to the Southwest part of the terminal, I saw an unusual sight: the custodial people were out in full force, emptying every trashcan into a big gray cart, leaving the trash can lids on the ground. Clearing the cans of evidence, I imagine. Those people were moving!

I went out the east security checkpoint and got right back in line. I was three people back from where the TSA ID checkers were. I asked two TSA people what the heck was going on, and got the same suspiciously uniform answer: “I can’t say”; whether this means “I’m not supposed to/going to say”, or “I haven’t a friggin’ clue, either”, I don’t know.

After about 15 minutes, they started running people through the “screening” process again. I was back in the terminal and walked right on to my flight in about five minutes. We ended up departing about 45 min late.

None of the people at the American gate were talking. The flight attendant I spoke to on board had no idea, and asked me what had happened. A TSA person I asked as I walked through the detector said “I can’t say”. Hmmm…

The airline people working at the gates did not evacuate, and neither did the people working the various concessions.

News reports later that day indicated that it was an issue with a bag that might have been taken through the screening checkpoint but not screened.

I wonder what really happened.

I did a search on Google for the Code Red phrase, but only found references to the famous color chart for terrorism threat.

Pro-MAPS Ads in OKC

28 November 2009

There are a couple ads running on TV in support of the MAPS 3 proposal. I have already said that I am not necessarily either a supporter or detractor or MAPS 3.

At least one of the pro-MAPS 3 ads uses the term “does not raise taxes” several times. I am not sure that statement is honest. The existing MAPS sales tax is going to expire (in April 2010, I think). MAPS 3 proposes extending that sales tax for a number of years. So, MAPS 3 is a tax increase; MAPS 3 raises taxes. It may not raise the tax rate, but in the end, it raises the taxes extracted from the OKC economy.

At a minimum, the pro-MAPS people ought to tell it like it is.

McNellie’s Public House, OKC

20 November 2009

McNellie's Public House on Urbanspoon

My very cute and civic-minded roommate had jury duty this past week, so for the first day lunch break I picked her up, and we went to lunch.

We tried an OKC institution that used to be called Kaiser’s Ice Cream, and is now called the Grateful Bean, but they were closed Monday’s. We made a trip across the traffic circle to Brown’s Bakery to pick up some doughnuts and cookies, and then headed more around the circle to McNellie’s. It smelled pretty good.

I started off with some Chili as my soup. It was very chunky, and not too bad at all. Since the temperature outside was 41F, it hit the spot. I also got the Cottage Pie, with mashed potatoes on the side. Cottage Pie is essentially Shepards Pie, and so had mashed potatoes in it. I didn’t finish the side order, but they were good. The Cottage Pie was really good, not too spicy, but hotter than heck. It had some peas and carrots in it, and the gravy in it was a good complement.

Raegan got a BLT, and she was very happy they had Sweet Potato Fries to to with it. The BLT was more BBBBLT, she took some of the excess bacon off and I ate it. It was a thick cut, with a lot of maple flavor.

We both got iced tea, which was good.

We ended up the meal with a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.

Our check was $27.60.

Salt Lick BBQ – Will Rogers World Airport

20 October 2009

Salt Lick BBQ on Urbanspoon

The food choices at OKC have not been terribly good ever, but improved a bit when the terminal was rebuilt a couple years ago. They got better again over the past month, when a mediocre pizza place got replaced by a BBQ place.

The Salt Lick is decent. I have heard of the original down near Austin, but haven’t made it there. The OKC location is not bad at all.

The menu included brisket, hot links, chicken, and some other stuff. I got a brisket platter, which included slaw, fries, and beans.

The slaw was… odd. It was not made of cabbage (although I think it had some cabbage); it was made of very small bits of chopped up raw broccoli. Now, I like broccoli, but I like it cooked (preferably steamed). There was some other stuff in there also. The dressing was, I think, very good. I didn’t eat much of it since I did not like the slaw.

The fries were good; they were home fries that weren’t too greasy. The beans were pretty standard pinto beans.

The brisket was another thing altogether. There was a lot of it, for one thing. The carving chunk was clearly smoked somewhere – no boiling or grilling here. The meat was tender and moist. There was not a lot of beef taste to the meat, but there was enough. The sauce was a thin mustard-based sauce (this is only the second mustard-based that I have tasted; the other one is at a place in O’Fallon, IL). The meat was medium-rare.

Salt Lick had a fountain, but didn’t even have fake iced tea. I went next door to Schlotskys, which had not only iced tea, but a machine out to get free refills of Dr. Pepper.

My total bill was $16.66 and some change. This was from $14.41 for the dinner, and then $1.99 and tax for the drink next door.

One note: Apparently Pepsi raided Will Rogers and got the soft drink contract. I’m not against Pepsi, but I do not like it as well as I did back in college. They do have Dr. Pepper in the machines. The Sonic next door still has Coke.

I noticed this at DFW a couple years ago. Pepsi is everywhere, except McDonalds. I don’t drink nearly as much Coke/whatever as I used to, but I still notice.