Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma City’

El Sombrero Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK (N. May)

31 August 2016

El Sombrero Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I noticed this restaurant a couple months ago but haven’t had a chance to try it until this past evening. There have been a number of these in the OKC area over the past couple years, in particular one in Midwest City that I liked a lot, but that location closed unexpectedly. I’ve also eaten in a location near Britton and May.

It was very good. Five of us from St. John’s had dinner there last evening. I noted two references on the menu to steak and shrimp guisado dishes. I’m not a huge fan of shrimp, so I asked if they had any non-shrimp guiso and she told me that the Guisado Dinner was beef and potatoes in a green sauce. Sounded pretty good, and it was! The beef was diced up, tender, and the potatoes and guiso mix was the perfect spice level for me. Just outstanding flavor. The meal came with beans and rice, and not a bit was left. Erin reported her enchilada dinner as very good, and Reagan had a chimi in lunch size that she said was OK.

The iced tea was very good and kept refilled. Service was fast and friendly. Our check for three was $35.17. I will happily return for another meal.

Lake Draper Trails

26 June 2016

A month or so ago, I took a group of Troop 15 Scouts out to Lake Draper for a 10-mile hike for the Hiking Merit Badge. It had rained quite a bit the evening before, so it was quite muddy. We were on the west and northwest side of the lake.

Today, I took another group out. We got there this morning at 0830, and were on the the trail close to 0900. It was quite warm.

Draper is an OKC lake. The Point 9 area had a water faucet, but it was marked as being not potable. I saw the same thing at Crystal Lake, also an OKC lake. I do not understand why the city does not provide potable water at those two lakes.

Regardless, we managed to find the trail on the west side of the area. We almost immediately ran into tall plant fronds that completely covered the trail. We found this at many places on the trail, vegetation growing all over the trail. There were also numerous places where trees had fallen across the trail. There was a huge amount of poison ivy and an equally large amount of brambles.

To top all of this off, we experienced the largest number of ticks that I have seen since my friend Darla and I hiked around Greenleaf Lake back in 1977, picking literally dozens of the little SOBs off of ourselves. This was worse.

The ticks were so bad that when we came to a road, I decided to keep the group on the road for the rest of the hike. We had to trade the shade of being under the trees for unrelenting sun, because of the hordes of ticks.

We found a trail at Draper named after someone; it had a sign.

I think the Draper trails could be very cool to hike, but they need a lot of maintenance. I saw a huge number of tracks of deer of all sizes, raccoon, possum, coyote, and bobcat. That explains the tick population.

I am going to do some asking around city offices as to what could be done to get the trails in better shape. If the vegetation could be cut back a couple feet across the trail, the trail we saw was in good shape for hiking. A trim would help keep ticks off hikers as well.

Fuze, Oklahoma City, OK

7 June 2016

Fuze Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Don’t bother.

Raegan and I had dinner at Fuze last evening with our Girl Scout Service Unit. The good news, we didn’t get sick.

I had some pot roast, a mongolian bbq (with chicken for my meat and fried rice for the starch), some wings, some curried chicken, a couple other things I can’t remember, some veg, and finally some tapioca. Raegan has some salad, sushi, turkey, and a couple other things.

None of this was bad. It also was not good. I don’t think a single thing that I had, to include the tapioca, had any real flavor. It was bland. Even the curried chicken didn’t have curry flavor. Some of the stuff was quite tough. I’m pretty sure the “brisket” was the same meat as the pot roast, but shredded with some red sauce on it (it wasn’t BBQ sauce). My comment to Raegan is that maybe all the stuff was made from the same protein stuff just extruded through different equipment.

The iced tea was not good, I switched to Dr. Pepper, which was not particularly good (it was watered down).

Service was pretty good. The music playing in the room we were in was way too loud, and after one request to the server, a manager came in within a minute and turned it down. Drinks were kept refilled.

I suppose this place would be an option if you have multiple “tastes” that need to be satisfied in a group of people. But don’t go here expecting decent flavor. I make a final comment, about the mongolian bbq: I added a number of sauces to mine, including one that was quite hot. It made not one difference.

San Marcos Mexican Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK (Meridian)

4 June 2016

San Marcos Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve been to several of the San Marcos locations in OKC, and like them. Back on 23 February, Raegan and I were headed to a Girl Scout shooting club event, and we needed dinner. San Marcos was close.

We both had our usual meals. Raegan had seafood mixed with veg, and I had pork guisado chili verde. Both were great as expected.

We had iced tea that was strong and good. Service was friendly and fast. Our check was $26.30. I like the chainlet, they make great Mexican food.

Marco’s Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK (SE)

4 June 2016

Marco's Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I like Marco’s. When this location opened last Fall, I was happy as it is only about a mile from my office. I had lunch here back on 10 May. Except for one small glitch, it was a great experience.

I ordered at the counter. I asked for a small pepperoni pizza and some chicken wings. The pizza was just as ordered, but I got chicken dippers instead of wings. As I was afraid the dippers would be tossed, I took them anyway. The pizza was great! The dippers were so-so. I thought they were tough and had little flavor. I will certainly get the wings next time, I know they are good.

My drink was a 2L DP to go. My check was $23.29 (yes, a little expensive, but it’s essentially two entrees). Great pizza.

Pizzaria Gusto, Oklahoma City, OK

4 June 2016

This is the first in a series of (again) delayed posts. Life gets in the way of having fun on occasion… 🙂

Pizzeria Gusto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and the kids and I had dinner at Pizzaria Gusto last night. We were in midtown, we drove by, and it didn’t look crowded, so in we went.

We ate outside in the courtyard area as the temps were pretty nice. We walked through the main dining area, and it struck me as being very loud.

This is traditional pizza from Italy, not Hideaway, so if you were expecting a Big Country you might be disappointed.

Raegan and Erin split a Margherita, adding prosciutto (ham) and extra cheese.  Ian had a Margherita, adding soppressata (salami) and some roast garlic.  I had a meatball pizza. The crusts were hand tossed and pretty doughy but had good flavor.  Toppings were sorta on the thin side (not atypical of art pizza).  No one had any negative comments, but not all that many positive either.  I though my meatballs were bland.

We had sorbet, affogato (think a hot fudge sundae except the ice cream is gelato and the hot fudge is expresso), and a chocolate tart.  All OK.

We all had water to drink as our advance party didn’t find iced tea on the menu.  Service was pretty good.  Our check was $74.24.

We usually spend about $50 at Hideaway for Americanized pizza, so you pay a premium for the art pizza at Gusto.  It was not bad pizza, but it’s probably not something we would do often.

Zaxby’s, Oklahoma City, OK (NWX)

10 March 2016

Zaxby's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I read on Facebook Tuesday that a Zaxby’s had opened in NW OKC. I like fried chicken, so Raegan and I drove out there Tuesday evening after working at St. John’s a couple hours.

Zaxby’s sells chicken, and their own Zax sauce. I got a large plate (7 pieces), that came with slaw (undistinguished) and fried (not so good). The chicken was the star of the show. The breading was thin and flexible, like you would get on sweet and sour chicken at a Chinese place. The chicken had great flavor. The larger pieces were moist on the inside. Raegan had a Nibbler meal, which is essentially chicken sliders. She said they were OK. We also got (fried) cheese bites, OK.

All of the staff was super friendly. Our check was $25.97. If I was running errands and hungry, I wouldn’t mind hitting another Zaxby’s if I drove past one. I don’t know that I would go far out of my way, though.

A note about the staff. They were friendly. One of my bugaboos is saying “thank you” and getting a response of “no problem”. I didn’t hear that once at this restaurant, it was always “you’re welcome” or “my pleasure”. I like either of those much better.

This Iz It, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

This Iz It Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

This place is tucked in almost out of sight of 23rd. Ian and I had lunch here in June 2015.

We both had double cheeseburgers, and both were darn good. Ian had fries, I had tots. The burgers were nothing special, just a couple 1/8th lb patties fried up. But the beef was decent and well cooked.

Service was fast and friendly. We will go back. Our check for two was $15.00. Good stuff.

Favorites Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

Jimmy's Cafe & Fried Pies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Another site on my tour of southside OKC. I had lunch here in April 2015. I was pleasantly surprised to find fried chicken on the menu. It was a four-piece meal, and it was not good. Stringy, small pieces with little meat, and seriously overcooked. I don’t think I will be back.

Jimmy’s Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

Jimmy's Cafe & Fried Pies Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Oh, this post is late! Last Spring, I had been taking a food tour of OKC between I-240 and downtown. Jimmy’s was one of the places I tried. Curiously enough, I was directed to the place by a persistent Facebook ad.

I hit Jimmy’s at 25 February 2016. I had the Chicken Fried Steak (LARGE!), with mashers and mac and cheese. I have to say, I was underwhelmed with the entire meal. The CFS was huge, it was clearly made there, but it had very liitle flavor. Same with the mashers, gravy, and mac and cheese. I would rate the CFS as a 6 out of 10. It wasn’t bad, it just wasn’t good.

Service was very friendly. The place was crowded, and it smelled wonderful. I would like to go back and try some other stuff based on what I smelt and saw. I just can’t recommend the CFS. My check was $14.39.

Sheesh Mahal, Oklahoma City, OK

4 March 2016

Sheesh Mahal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We had dinner at Sheesh Mahal back on 15 October 2015 with friends from St. John’s. It was great!

I do not recall everything that each person got. But I know that Raegan got Daal Chicken; she liked it but thought it was too spicy (I have a much higher tolerance, I thought it was mild and very good). I had Chicken Curry, a green curry and very tender chicken, great stuff. Erin had a chicken kabob and ate all of it. Others at the table had other stuff, and not much was left. The rice with the meals was all very good, as was the tea.

Service was very friendly, and we all had plenty of time to talk. This is not an eat fast and get out kind of place. The check for eight of us was just over $80, and I think it was great value. I want to go back.

Grand House, Oklahoma City, OK

2 March 2016

Grand House Asian Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We are trying some new places along the Classen corridor, and last night decided to give Grand House a try. My friend Spencer joined us, which was great!

Raegan started out with some shrimp egg rolls that she and Erin put completely away. I started with some excellent egg drop soup.

Ian had a sashimi dinner, which at $20 was twice as expensive as any other meal. He has eaten a lot of sashimi, and his opinion was that it was not nearly as good as it should have been. He ate most of it, and shared a part of each fish piece with Raegan.

Erin had sweet and sour chicken. It was a lot of food and she could not finish it. I tried the chicken, it was excellent, really tasty, and the sweet and sour sauce was very good.

The same chicken was used with the lemon chicken that Raegan and Spencer got. I tried some of Erin’s chicken in the lemon sauce, it was OK (I didn’t think it had much flavor).

I had the curry chicken which was thin-sliced sauteed chicken with long strips of onion in yellow curry. Excellent. The default meal comes with bell peppers as well, but I asked for none and they were not cooked in. The only thing I could count down on the meal is that the onion pieces could have been more finely chopped and cooked just a bit more.

So overall, a really good meal. Our check for five was $79.66. That seems a bit high, but if the sashimi and the appetizers are accounted for, it is closer to the mid-$60s, which is reasonable. Service was friendly and just the right level of attentiveness. I look forward to another visit.

Upper Crust Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK

21 February 2016

Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We’ve been to Upper Crust twice in the past six months. The most recent visit was 21 January. As Ian pointed out, Upper Crust is more than just a place to get a good pizza (and the pizza is pretty good). It’s more of a place to have a social experience along with your dinner. It’s a little loud. That being said, there is a good selection of pie here.

On both visits, we started out with decent garlic bread, and really good Caesar salads.

We had a mixture of pies. A pepperoni, a half chicken, and a half ham, pepperoni, and mushroom. The only thing to say is that it was some darn good pizza. Part of it went home with us for Raegan to have for lunch the next day. As I look at the check right now, it sorta looks like we were charged for three pizzas when I know we ordered two (split among the four of us). Regardless, it was good. My gold standard used to be any of the Hideaway outlets, but all of those but the original Stillwater location have suffered a reduction in quality over the past several years, and the Upper Crust pie was better, almost far better.

Service was decent given how busy the place was. The check for the four of us was $69.09, on the expensive side. So Upper Crust lives up to it’s name ( 🙂 ), and is in the “occasional” category.

Pearl’s Oyster Bar, Oklahoma City, OK

21 February 2016

Pearl's Oyster Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and I have never been to Pearl’s, even though we drive by it all the time. Back on 26 Jan, we had been to a meeting, and when it was over, we decided to hit Pearl’s as it was nearby. We got there about 1845, and were immediately seated.

We started out with a bowl (for me) and a cup (for her) of very good clam chowder. Really, really good.

Raegan likes seafood, so she got the seafood skillet. She reported that it was very good, and helped satisfy a craving for seafood she has had for several months. So that’s a win.

I don’t like seafood, and I was amazed to find fried chicken on the menu, so that’s what I got. It was not the best fried chicken I’ve had, but it was pretty good as well. The chicken was fried up just a little on the stringy side, especially in the center. I do not remember what sides we got, but I know I left some of mine. I do recall asking for some gravy for the chicken, and liking it.

The iced tea was pretty good. Our server was extraordinarily friendly, and kept our drinks refilled. Our check was $53.00. That’s a little on the expensive side for two (in fact, it’s very close to what we pay for four), so I think that puts Pearl’s in the “special occasion” category. There were some other interesting things on the menu I might like to try later.

OKCity Grill, Food Truck, Oklahoma City, OK

18 February 2016

Today I headed out for lunch, and there was the OKCity Grill truck on the parking lot of my office. I walked over and checked out the menu, and saw cheeseburgers, and the truck smelled pretty good, so…

I had the Cheeseburger Basket, which was a cheeseburger topped to my specs, and fries. It was not the best burger I’ve had (especially recently), but it was well cooked and had decent flavor. The fries were OK, but needed just a touch more time in the frier.

Service was fast, and the crew friendly. They had cans of stuff to drink, so I scored DP. My check was $10.00, not bad value, especially given that I didn’t have to drive anywhere. I would eat at this truck again.

Jim’s Diner, Bethany, OK

12 February 2016

Jim's Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I’m trying to catch up at least a little on a huge backlog of places I have eaten at in the past 1.5 years (ack).

Two weeks ago, on 24 January, Raegan and the kids and I were finished with some activities at St. John’s, so I suggested trying Jim’s. I ate at Jim’s predecessor restaurant numerous times back in the early 90’s since Raegan and I lived about three miles north of the place. I always liked it.

This meal, Ian had CFS and Rrin CFC. They did not seem to be hand breaded nor fresh. Both of them ate all of the meal, but reported the meal as “meh”. Raegan had a seafood dinner, but they were out of shrimp, so they gave her extra catfish. She said the catfish was very good. I had the “Famous Roast Beef Dinner”. It was pieces of roast beef in a brown gravy. It was OK, nothing special.

We had some other stuff. Erin got some mozzarella sticks that were OK. Ian had a slice of pretty decent chocolate cake that he took home.

Service was occasionally slow but very friendly. If I was in that part of town again, I would probably try Jim’s again. Our check was $51.33.

La Salsa Grille, Oklahoma City, OK

11 February 2016

La Salsa Grille Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Raegan and I were headed to a Girl Scout event last evening, and needed some chow in a timely manner. We were headed down Meridian and saw La Salsa, and decided to check it out.

She had a chicken chimi and thought it was OK. I had pork guiso verde and thought it was excellent, just the right amount of space, great flavor, and tender pork. The meal came with some very good smoky queso and good, low-temp salsa that were served with nice, thin chips.

Service was very friendly and fast, we made it in and out in 40 min and made our event early (if you know us, that’s very unusual 🙂 ). Our check was $22.47. We don’t get into that area often, but I would have no issue eating at La Salsa again.

Whiskey Cake, Oklahoma City, OK

7 February 2016

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I had lunch here back on 01 December. Raegan and Erin had eaten here several months earlier, and reported it to be expensive and not that good.

I got thee right at noon. The place was pretty full, and I got seated at one of a number of high tables near the door and the bar instead of a proper table.

The menu seems kind of limited to me, and just a little snooty. I settled on the roast chicken with sides of mac and cheese and green beans. The sides were pretty standard, but the chicken was very good, roasted with a nice skin and moist all the way through. I ate all of the meal. The server was very friendly and service was fast.

My check was $19.00. That’s a lot of bread for a roast chicken. So I think that while the meal was pretty good, the value could be better. That puts this place into the category of “if someone I was with was just dying to go, I would as well, but I wouldn’t volunteer”.

Italia Express, Oklahoma City, OK

29 January 2016

Italia Express Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

There was an Italia Express on May Avenue just south of school, and we ate there a lot.  It was excellent, close, and inexpensive.  A second location opened in NW OKC, and the May location just shut down suddenly, which was very disappointing.  We went out to the other location, and it was also very good, but there was one thing different:  the marinara was made with bell peppers (just ruined the flavor).  Since the NW OKC location was far from out usual areas, we never went back.

A couple weeks ago, I was driving along Classen, and there was a brand new Italia Express.  Raegan and I went there a couple days later.

After we were seated, I asked if they made the marinara with bell peppers, and got a yes.

NOTE:  if you run Italia Express, please consider not making your marinara with bell peppers.  The stuff is very, very good without the darn peppers.  Save some money, and my taste buds, and get rid of the darn peppers.

Regardless, I got a most excellent fettuccine al fredo.  It was perfect.  ‘Nuff said.  Raegan got manicotti, and asked for it to be served with one manicotti covered with marinara, and the other with al fredo (note:  she asks for this routinely, and occasionally gets the most scandalized responses that the two sauces will… gasp… touch!  That does not bother her, but we’ve had servers and chefs just get all bent out of shape at the request).  Regardless, she said it was very good, even if the sauces touched, and she also wished the marinara didn’t have bell pepper in it.  We had a starter of garlic bread that was very good, and the iced tea was also.

Our check was around $20.00, and service was very friendly.  We will be back.  I will try the marsala next time, and the al fredo will still be there.

Jim’s Fried Chicken, Nicoma Park, OK

26 January 2016

Jim's Famous Chicken Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

First of all, an apology to my readers.  I got off track with my restaurant reviews a year and a half ago.  Since then, Urbanspoon was eaten by Zomato, and I think I have been to over 100 new restaurants in that time, some of them very good and worthy of a review.  I will try to get to those over the next couple months.  Regardless, I will do a better job of keeping up with new places in the meantime.  This is the start of that effort.

I went to Jim’s the first time back in 2010.  I’ve been back numerous times since.  I just looked at that first review, and the thing I didn’t mention was that the building was a cinder block dump with limited seating.  It was really meant for more takeaway than dine in.  There is also a little history, we were in McCloud a couple years ago, and found a new, purpose-built Jim’s there, but when we went back just a couple weeks later, it was closed.  The location on 23rd was also closed.

My friend Harold was driving along 23rd recently, and found that Jim’s was not only open again, but extensively rebuilt.  Some of the old original building is still there, but the interior is nicely upgraded with a much larger kitchen and a lot more seating, and apparently, HVAC that was missing previously (that place was cold in the winter and hot in the summer).

Regardless, we visited Jim’s again last Fall, and we have been back three or four times since.  The most recent time was last Thursday evening.  We got there about 1800 and it was about half full.  Three of us got chicken meals, and the other got chicken fingers.  It was all very, very good.  The chickens are decent sized, plump, and meaty.  They are fried golden and fresh, and HOT.  The sides are also very good.  We have had green beans, mashers, slaw, okra, and corn (which reminds me, I need to get a photo of the new menu).  The iced tea is brewed and self serve, both sweet and straight.  They have a very good poultry gravy that is a good dip for the chicken.  Our check was $52.10.  The servers, particularly in the dining area, were super friendly.

One of the managers told us that the Jim’s had been bought by the local Swadley’s folks.  I think they have done a great job with the food and the location.  Fried chicken, good fried chicken in particular, is increasingly hard to get, and I hope that Jim’s is around a long, long time.

Taste of Soul Chicken and Waffles, Oklahoma City, OK, Food Truck

21 January 2015

Taste of Soul Chicken and Waffles on Urbanspoon

This food truck showed up outside my company today, so I checked it out. Nothing fancy, just a couple chicken tenders wrapped in a waffle, but very good.

The tenders were deep fried and had a slight flavor I could could not identify (but liked). The waffle was perfectly cooked and golden brown. The whole thing was wrapped up in foil and had a drizzle of honey.

I had some iced tea left over from Hideaway pizza with lunch. Service was fast (less than two minutes) and very friendly. My check was $6.16 (I think, might be off a couple pennies). Just the right amount of food for lunch. Good stuff.

La Catrina, Oklahoma City, OK

6 January 2015

La Catrina on Urbanspoon

I had dinner at La Catrina this evening, as it was near my Scout meeting location. It was OK.

I had hoped to find a guiso here, and there isn’t one on the menu. I asked my server, and she said the nearest thing was gorditos verde. She also asked if spicy hot was OK, I said yes.

The gorditos verde turned out to be three sopapillas, each about 3″ square, with some pork, cheese, lettuce, chili verde, and more bright red tomato dices than you could shake a stick at. The meal had a hint of flavor, and the pork was tender. The spice level of the meal was not hot in the slightest (yes, YMMV). There was a dollop of sour cream on the side, but it wasn’t needed.

The meal came with some decent queso and a very tomato-based salsa (no heat). The iced tea was pretty good. I was pretty much ignored except for seating, ordering, being served, and getting my check. I was the only customer for most of the time. My check for this was $12.99.

The food was OK. I will not be rushing back.

Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks, Food Truck, Oklahoma City, OK

5 December 2014

Phill Me Up Cheesesteaks on Urbanspoon

This truck came by our workplace yesterday afternoon; they make a pretty good cheesesteak.

So I learned about one downside to food trucks. When they cook everything up right in front of you, it’s great. Except when it’s below 30F, and the wind is blowing out of the north, then it’s not quite a great. From the time I got there, to ordering, to getting my cheesesteak, it was 25 minutes. There were at least 15 people in front of me either waiting for their food, or to order. None of that is the fault of the food truck folks, of course; it’s just what it is.

Regardless, I got a cheesesteak. It was kind of short, about six inches. The steak part was tender and juicy and quite tasty. The sammich included onions sauteed with the steak, and no-kidding Cheese Whiz over it all (I first tried ordering “wit wiz” and the guy looked at me like I was speaking Cherokee 🙂 ). My only comment is that the onions should be chopped up much smaller (on the order of smaller than 1/4″) to get them fully cooked and integrated flavor-wise with the steak.

The have chips and drinks as well. I got chips, but had iced tea at my desk already. My check was $8.50. Service was friendly and as fast as they could crank sandwiches out. I would not mind eating another.

Lalo’s Tacos, Oklahoma City, OK, Food Truck

28 October 2014

Lalo's I Love My Taco Chop and Grill on Urbanspoon

Lalo’s parked outside my office 19 August. I scored a beef taco and a chicken taco, along with a drink. Both tacos were really good! Hot to start with, and just the right amount of spice, with excellent flavor. I had to be care not to let the juice run on my desk!

It took two minutes to make my order. Service was very friendly. My check was $10. I would gladly get another pair of tacos from Lalo’s.

Chelio’s Diner, Oklahoma City, OK

27 October 2014

Chelio's Diner on Urbanspoon

I’ve driven by this place a million times over the years. I’ll say right up front, the exterior looks a little sketchy. I think the place is one of the old Sambo’s, or something similar. But the food was decent.

I had lunch here today. I asked my server if the chicken fried steak was made there, and she said it was. I got the CFS with mashers and gravy, and pinto beans. The pintos were OK, but the potatoes and gravy were very good. The CFS wasn’t the most flavorful I’ve ever had, but it had good flavor, and it was fairly thick and 100% tender all the way through. The breading was the right consistency and flavor. The CFS had one issue in that the breading on the bottom was in the process of melting off the steak for some reason. Still tasted good.

Service was friendly and spot on. The iced tea was great! My check was… $7.00. This for a meal that was tasty, pretty fast, and just the right amount for lunch. There are a number of other menu items I will be back to try.

If you are looking for an immaculate restaurant experience, you will not find it here. There is exposed wiring in the ceiling, and the place hasn’t been updated in a long time. But the tables and floors were clean, the salad bar looked good, and the staff was well turned out. This is a diner, and a pretty good one.

Primo’s d’Italia, Yukon, OK

27 October 2014

Primo's d'Italia on Urbanspoon

We had dinner here last evening after a very successful Girl Scout event at the nearby Kirkpatrick Family Farm.

Erin got the chicken parm and ate every bit of it (so it was darn good). Raegan got the chicken picatta and enjoyed it; I had a bite and it was pretty good. Our friend Christi had seafood al fredo and reported it as very good. I had chicken fettuccine al fredo; it was pretty much perfect. The bread that came with the meal was really good, small loaves that was just a bit on the rough side, great stuff, especially when dipped in the included balsamic and olive oil.

Service was fast and friendly, and the iced tea was great (especially after having been out in the sun and wind for six hours). Our check was $58.64, very reasonable for the four of us. The quality of the food was worth it.

Choice Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

21 October 2014

Choice Cafe on Urbanspoon

This place has potential. I ran across it reading another blog that has a section on “shady restaurants”, and that doesn’t mean shade trees. Except I didn’t think that Choice was in a particularly sketchy part of town. Regardless, I’m glad I tried it.

I had lunch at Choice Cafe today, got there around 1145 and was back in the office at 1230. I asked my server about the chicken fried steak, she said it was made and breaded there and was really good. So that’s what I got.

I rated that CFS as a 9 out of 10. It had great beef flavor, and was just the right size. I counted it down a bit as it was a little tough in places; I used a butter knife there. There was also a bit of an odd flavor to the breading; not a bad flavor, just a little odd. The meal came with mashers and gravy, and green beans. The mashers were very good, as was the gravy. The beans were OK. Once nice thing was a warm dinner roll with real butter, great stuff.

Service was very friendly and my check was $10.73, which is decent value. A guy a table over got a burger, and the burger smelled darn fine, so it’s on the list for another visit. This place has potential.

Woodbridge Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK

19 October 2014

Woodbridge on Urbanspoon

Last Sunday, I was working up at St. John’s, and needed lunch. I thought to try the El Pollo Chulo, but they were closed for some reason. I remembered passing Woodbridge and wanting to try it, so I did.

I had a chicken fried steak after having been told it was breaded there. I don’t think it was. The CFS wasn’t too bad regardless, fork tender, and it didn’t fall apart. The mashers and gravy, and green beans, were OK. The entire meal was OK. Bland.

Service was decent, and the iced tea was very good. My check was $8.87. Inexpensive for sure.

Would I go back? I think places like Woodbridge are best for breakfast. A CFS should be a made-there item, and if it’s not, the other entrees likely are not. But eggies and bacon have to be cooked right there, and are usually pretty reliable.

Big Smokey Bar-B-Q, Oklahoma City, OK

18 September 2014

Big Smokey Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

I’ve driven by Big Smokey a hundred times over the years, and yesterday I was in the area, and was able to have lunch there. It’s a minimalist sort of place, looks like run by one guy. It’s also very good.

The menu is simple. Ribs or beef, sandwich, plate (meat only), or dinner (meat with beans and potato salad). You can also get a slab or half slab of ribs.

I got the rib dinner. The sides first. The beans were pretty standard, and good. The potato salad was skin-on white potatoes, mayo-based, and excellent, great stuff. There were six ribs in the dinner of varying sizes. They didn’t have the bark that I like to see, but they had the smoke ring, and they had great smoke flavor! There was a lot of meat on those ribs, and they were plenty tender.

There was something there I’ve not seen before, a strip of meat that was cut from between two ribs. The only thing that wasn’t meat was a couple pieces of cartilage in the meat. That was pull-apart tender goodness.

So the cost for this was $10. Water is the only option for drink, which is fine. There were two takeaway meals while I was there. It was super friendly. Next time I’m getting the beef just so I can have done the entire menu ( 🙂 ). But those ribs were pretty darn good, I rated them a 9.8 on a scale of 1 to JTs. I will have to have them again, maybe a slab.

Gary Glenns BBQ, Oklahoma City, OK

24 July 2014

Gary Glenn's BBQ on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here with a couple friends after a meeting at a nearby Large Defense Contractor facility. It was a pretty darn good lunch. I had the brisket plate with baked beans and mac and cheese. The brisket was tender and had good smoke flavor. The mac and cheese was pretty good also.

Service was very friendly and the iced tea was great! My check was $10.56. I would go back.

City Bites, Oklahoma City (Western)

10 July 2014

City Bites Subs on Urbanspoon

Raegan and Erin and I had dinner here last night after a meeting at the Girl Scout office. Raegan got a baked potato with ham, bacon and cheese; it was good, but huge, so she took half of it home for lunch today. Erin got a mesquite chicken sandwich, pizza bites, and ate all of both. I got something new for me, a beefeater on wheat, subbing the sour cream for a bit of ranch dressing; it was pretty darn good. I liked the fried potatoes in the sandwich, and the beef was tender and tasty.

We got the usual assortment of chips and the always-excellent City Bites cookies. The iced tea was brewed and pretty darn good. Our check was $36.47. Good meal, fast.

Smokin’ Okies BBQ, Food Truck, Oklahoma City

8 July 2014

Smokin' Okies Mobile BBQ Smokehouse Food Truck on Urbanspoon

This truck came to my company location today for lunch. They were a little late.

They have brisket sandwiches and rib dinners. I really wanted a brisket dinner, and asked for that, and instead what I got was a brisket sandwich without the bread. Oh well.

The brisket, however, was very good. It could have been just a touch more moist, and there wasn’t much sauce, but I ate every scrap of it. For the side, I got some mac and cheese that we pretty darn good as well.

Service was pretty fast once I got through the line, and the meal was only $8 (no drink; those are extra). I would go here again with no issues.

Bravo! Cucina Italiana, Oklahoma City, OK

30 May 2014

Bravo! Cucina Italiana on Urbanspoon

First of all, *not* Bravo…

We have been here exactly once, about a week after they opened. Last evening, we were running errands in north OKC, and Raegan said she wanted Italian, and this was right across Penn, so there we went.

Raegan and Erin got chicken fettuccine al fredo. It came with spinach. I tried it, and it was pretty darn good (although Erin Was Not A Fan Of The Spinach). I got chicken marsala, substituting the mashed potatoes for fettuccine al fredo. My al fredo was on the light-on-the-al fredo-side. But the larger disappointment was the chicken, it was grilled, and grilled badly, which some charred places. I think I should have either (1) asked about sauteed chicken, the way the darn dish is supposed to be made, or (2) sent it back.

The caesar salads Erin and Raegan got where pretty good, but were $4 extra each. My marsala was $19.

The more I think about it, the less value I think the meal was. Expensive, and not that good. Service was OK. The iced tea was OK. Our check (for three) was $69.85.

It’ll be a long time before I go back, if ever.

Sauced on Paseo, Oklahoma City, OK

29 May 2014

Sauced on Paseo on Urbanspoon

We wanted pizza for dinner, and decided to hit this place for some new pizza.

First of all, you walk through the patio to get in and out of the building (if it’s crowded you might get too much smoker smoke); you order at the counter. The place we sat had only about five tables.

Raegan and I split a largish pizza, her half was backbacon and mushrooms, mine was bacon, burger, pepperoni, and sausage. Most of the toppings were evenly scattered, but the sausage was seriously clumped. The crust was thin and very crispy. There was an odd (not unpleasant) herbal flavor to my part of the pizza; I told Raegan the same flavor I remember clearly from cheap frozen pizzas I used to eat back when I was single (think Totina). As I said, the flavor wasn’t unpleasant, but just odd. Erin had two slices of chicken pizza.

The pizza was OK. I thought it was bland. It was far from the worst pizza I’ve had, but it was also far from the the best. Raegan and I both ate half of our pizza, and took the other half home for lunch tomorrow.

Service was very friendly. The iced tea was very good. Our check was $34.75. I might go back.

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.

WOW!

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.

Whoa...

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?

Charleston’s, Oklahoma City, OK (NWX)

23 May 2014

Charleston's on Urbanspoon

Raegan and I had late lunch here yesterday. It was pretty good.

She got the chicken club sandwich with okra for a side. While it was pretty good, she couldn’t finish all of it. The okra was pretty darn good. I had a bite of the chicken, and it was just a tad on the spicy side. I got the chicken salad with creamy garlic dressing (and that’s some darn good dressing), and it was excellent. Ate every bit of it.

Service was pretty good. The iced tea was a bit on the weak side. Our check was $31.47. A bit expensive, but good food and nice atmosphere.

Troop 15 Backpacking Skills Camp, McGee Creek NSRA, OK

13 May 2014

Boy Scout Troop 15 had a great weekend at McGee Creek National Scenic Recreation Area (NSRA), Oklahoma 09-11 May 2014.

Hike Summary: Around 12 miles around a beautiful and pretty much unpopulated hilly area. Good training ground.

I posted photos from this camp on my Google+ site.

This is my second visit to the NSRA. The GSOK-West HAT had Intermediate Backpacking at the NSRA back in October; it was a great experience. I recommended the NSRA for our backpacking skills camp.

Our objective was to introduce the Scouts to some essential skills. We ate 100% trail-type food. First breakfast was oatmeal and applesauce, lunch was PB&J with trail bars, and dinner was dehydrated meals. Second breakfast was Pop Tarts.

The other skills were how to potty in the backcountry using catholes, and water treatment. The first was accomplished using AP carried by the boys, and a number of trowels, and the second using a couple varieties of water filter pumps. I also wanted to work on topo map reading skills with the boys.

And of course we needed to hike.

We got to camp around 2200 Friday and got set up in the wall tents the boys are used to, pretty standard. The next morning we got up and had our backpackers style breakfast of oatmeal and applesauce, packed up our daypacks, and headed out.

We started on the South Rim trail and had a nice walk with a little uphill. We took a break on the Bugaboo Canyon Overlook, and made it to the junction with the North Rim trail easily. We had lunch at the Wildcat Canyon junction. After lunch and a rest, we headed down. Most of the boys were short of water (as they should have been), so we stopped at Wildcat Creek and had them pump water.

We resumed hiking, and kept going generally west-southwest. We found another place to pump water, and noticed a lake to our left. This was great, except there wasn’t supposed to be a lake to our left. We hiked to a trail junction, and spurred a bit north, realized we didn’t need to be there, and headed back south/SSW. We knew we were, if not lost, a bit off our desired trail location. After some map and topo work, we realized we needed to go back NNE, and we bushwhacked our way to trail we recognized.

We got back to where we recognized Wildcat Canyon, headed up to a flat area, went a little back, and then struck off SSE. It took about 20 minutes of hiking through the wilds, but we ran into a trail. We were pretty sure we needed to head ESE on this trail, and a scouting (literally!) party was dispatched, finding the right trail in about 10 minutes. We had a short rest at this trail junction, then headed on south, pumping water one more time, before getting to camp around 1815.

Now, all this annoyed me greatly. There were several things I should have done. First, when I printed the paper maps of the proposed hike route, I took all the other trails off the topo map. I should not have done that; maybe the proposed trail should have been in a different color, but the rest of the trails should be left on the map.

I carried my GPS, but I didn’t download the map of the proposed route into the unit. I could have easily noted we were off-route, and navigated back to the route easily.

I checked the GPS battery before we started, and thought I had enough battery to complete the hike. With the extra time on the trail, this was a bad assumption. I *had* spare batteries in my bag, in camp. No one else had AA-powered devices, like flashlights. So the GPS died when we were backtracking, and I ended up leading a bushwhack by dead reckoning. It worked, the skill is there, but it didn’t have to happen.

We totally missed a trail junction. I’m talking 20 people here. I don’t know if there is a sign, or if the trail is faded, but I should have realized that we needed to be going SSE instead of N, NW, W, or WSW.

The trail we were on was pretty obviously new. It had rock cairns (the only place I’ve seen those in the NRSA).

So we were never in any danger, but we were way behind schedule. We were thinking we would be back in camp around 1600, and got back at 1815.

We went ahead and took the boys to the beach at McGee Creek State Park, and they had a great time swimming. When we got back to camp at 2115, the boys elected to switch the dry and fast breakfast with the rehydrated and slightly slower dinner.

Everybody slept really well! The next morning everyone had various trail dinners, including Chili Mac. We packed up and got out quickly.

The basic hike I had proposed was about 7.5 miles, and with side hikes on the Whiskey Flats spur and the Overlook Loop, it would have clocked in at 10.1 miles. The actual distance was around 12.5-13.5 miles.

The area was beautiful, the weather perfect. The Scouts were cheerful and looked after each other. This is a GREAT place for a hike. There are at least two trails that need to be marked (the other was a trail running along the bottom of Bugaboo Canyon that we noticed last time).

Couple Notes

There was good water at both Big and Little Bugaboo Creeks, Wildcat Canyon Creek, the lake, and Bog Spring Creek. We had a couple ticks, but no bug issues.

We and an RV were the only campers at the trailhead area. I wish the management would institute a site reservation for those who call and get a permit. There seems to be only about five campsites there, and I would hate to roll up at 2100 with 20 Scouts and find no campsite.

Recommended!

Bella Vista, Oklahoma City, OK

4 May 2014

Bella Vista on Urbanspoon

I have been wanting to try Bella Vista for a while due to the good reviews on Urbanspoon.

First: if you go, go hungry. Really hungry. The portion sizes are HUGE.

We got there around 1845 last Wednesday. We sat down, and it took a couple minutes for us to be noticed and get menus.

We started off with an order of garlic cheese bread (pretty good) and a couple meatballs, and bruschetta. Raegan got a salad also. The bread and meatballs were pretty good.

For the meal, I ordered chicken marsala, Erin got chicken parm, and Raegan got chicken picata. Each of these was a huge amount of food, each had two good-sized chicken breasts.

I had some of each meal (especially given that I had some for lunch the next day, and again the next day).

I was just not terribly impressed by any of the entrees. My marsala was heavy with marinara instead of the more subtle, sweetish marsala wine sauce I had expected. The parm chicken was overcooked. The picata was the best of the meals; I’m just not a big fan of lemon.

I really wanted to like this meal. I didn’t dislike it. It just wasn’t that good. It seems like a decent value: you could get two or even three meals out of one entree.

Service was a little on the curt side. Our check was $79.31. It took a bit to get checked out; the place seemed to be a bit of a one-person show.

I may try it again, but next time, I would get fettuccine.

Marco’s Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK (South Penn)

3 May 2014

Marco's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Last Friday, we were all headed down to Moore to mow the yard for Raegan’s Mom. Since it was getting towards dark and we wanted to finish the yard in one shot, we decided to get some pizza. I had heard good things about the Marco’s Pizza in MWC, and there was one along south Penn, so we did the call in order while headed south.

First of all, Raegan used my cell phone to make the call. They answered the call with “Is this William Hensley?”. Since cell calls do not send name information, these guys clearly subscribe to a database of cell phone information.

Raegan got the order in, and in about 15 min we showed up. Here’s where I caused a problem. I walked in, and said “to-go order for Bill”. I paid $20, picked up the package they gave me, and walked out.

Turns out, I took the pizza that was intended for Bill, when I should have taken the William order. One of the Marcos troops chased me down in the parking lot, and we went back in to straighten it out.

I offered to take $20 from Bill, then he would have been OK, and then I would have paid the $30 or so for my real order, and all would have been fine. But no, the Marcos people comped both orders. I think that was above and beyond; *way* above.

We had two large thin-crust pizzas, one half supreme and half meat lovers, and the other half chicken and half backbacon. The pizza was pretty darn good. I ate a couple slices standing up, then went out and mowed, and came back and more (cold). We got some cheese bread also, and a salad.

So I want to try Marco’s again. We don’t get to the area in south OKC very often, but there are locations in MWC and north OKC that will be on the target. Looking forward to another visit.

Thanks to Marco’s staff for comping the order, when I was the one that screwed up. I will come back again as soon as I can, guys, and I’ll use the right name that time.

Hideaway Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK (Midtown)

8 April 2014

Hideaway Pizza on Urbanspoon

This is a bit of a catch-up. I had lunch at this location with my friend Martha 24 March. We split a lunch special, which is a 12-in pizza. I had pepperoni, sausage, and hamburger on mine, I think Martha had CB and mushrooms on hers. It was a great pizza, as expected of Hideaway. We had iced tea. Service was very good. Our check was about $15.

Good experience, but I have to say I was quite hungry by the time dinner came around; those pizzas are small for two. But very good…

Great Wall, Oklahoma City, OK (63rd)

4 April 2014

Great Wall on Urbanspoon

Erin has wanted some sweet and soup chicken for a couple days, so today we decided to head up Great Wall at 63rd and May for dinner.

So the menus didn’t have a lot of detail. We ordered two orders of sweet and sour chicken, and two orders of chicken fried rice, along with a large and a small egg drop soup.

When the food got there, it came with two big plates of rice. Now, if I were taking orders, and someone ordered what we did, I might have mentioned that we had just hooked up with FOUR plates of rice. And maybe I would have offered a substitution, maybe with a bit of an upcharge.

The unfried rice was OK. The chicken fried rice was OK. Next time, I might get pork fried rice instead. The sweet and sour chicken was excellent, really good. The egg drop soup was excellent as well (one thing, you could eat the stuff as delivered, instead of waiting for it to cool down from near boiling). The large size, BTW, was LARGE, probably 16 oz.

So we ate until we were stuffed, having bought too much food. They have no drinks except for a cooler with some water and big bottles of soft drinks (we bought two bottles of water, and a 2-liter Coke). There are two 3-person tables there; I gather the place does most of its sales through takeaway and delivery.

I would not mind going back again, this time armed with the knowledge to negotiate the rice issue. Our check was $42.00 or so.

Sherri’s Diner, Oklahoma City, OK

14 March 2014

Sherri's Diner on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here today, it was pretty good. I had the chicken fried steak. The CFS was nicely breaded. It was pretty much fork tender. It covered most of the platter. But… the meat in the CFS was only about half of the entire CFS. The meatless breading extended all around the meat. Sort of a drag. But what was there was pretty good.

The CFS came with mashers and gravy (both very good), corn (decent), and pinto beans (excellent!). The iced tea was great, and service was great. My meal was delivered very quickly, and that allowed me to get back to work fast. My check was $12.22.

Sherri’s is on the southside, but it’s close to where I work, so I wouldn’t mind going there again.

Jaramillos, Oklahoma City, OK

26 February 2014

Jaramillo's on Urbanspoon

This place was great! I picked it from Google and Urbanspoon reviews. I went there over lunch, and I was the only customer, which is a shame.

I started with a plate of nachos with taco beef. It was large, and had generous helpings of taco beef and cheese. The beef bears comment, it had a very nice touch of seasoning (at a lot of places, the ground beef does not seem to have a lot of flavor; this place is an exception, the ground beef has excellent seasoning).

The queso and salsa were excellent. The salsa had a fresh tomato flavor and just a touch of spiciness. The queso was great, it had a slight smoky flavor. Mix both queso and salsa on the same chip, YUM!

For lunch, I had guisado puerco chili verde. Regular readers will note that I have been eating a lot of this recently. This came as a huge plate with rice and refried beans; these were great! The pork was in biggish chunks, and was very tender and flavorful. The chili verde also had wonderful taste. The spiciness of the guisado puerco chili verde was right at the upper limit of Bills spiciness tolerance. So great flavor, and almost to spicy for me to eat. It reminded me a bit of the same dish I had at Casa de los Milagros a couple months ago, but this variety was another step up spice-wise.

I know this sounds like of odd, but I might get a side of sour cream next time, and stir a spoon into the guisado to tone down the spice a bit.

Service was outstanding and super friendly. The iced tea was great. My check was $21.90. That’s a bit high, I know, but fully $10 of that was my lunch, and the nachos was a full order, and probably $6-7. This place was very good, and I look forward to another visit, soon.

Venezia Italian Ristorante, Oklahoma City, OK

24 February 2014

Venezia Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Had lunch here today with Raegan and Erin, it was great!

I had spaghetti the works. Simply outstanding. The meat sauce was just the right thickness, and it was the right amount for the mass of noodles, and the meat balls were excellent. Raegan and Erin had chicken parm, and it was also very good. We all had salads with caesar dressing that was very good (the dressing was on the side instead of being tossed with the lettuce), and the bread was hot and went well with the marinara and al fredo we ordered.

Service was pretty good, and our check was $62.75 (that might seem high for three people, but the marinara and al fredo for the bread was an extra $6 [oh so worth it, yum!], Erin got some fried cheese for another $7, and Raegan got a piece of cake for $5).

I also asked the manager if this place was related to Napolis and all the other places that are characterized by the “spaghetti the works” item, and he denied any relation except the location in Del City, and one in El Reno or Yukon that his sister ran.

We only had one issue; Raegan asked for manicotti. She likes her manicotti like this: one with al fredo, and the other with marinara. To us, this seems very simple. Roll the manicottis up, place them on the baking pan, then ladle some al fredo over one, and some marinara over the other. Yes, there will be some mixing of the two sauces, but this is no big deal to her.

In this case, the restaurant refused to even try. The only reason given was that the sauces would mix. Hmmm, I wonder what happened to the customer being right?

We’ve seen other restaurants (even those that are in the famous secret “spaghetti the works” chain that is not a chain) do the manicotti just as asked, we’ve seen them do the two manicottis on separate plates, we’ve seen a horrid pink mixture of al fredo and marinara dumped across both (very odd), and a couple like here refuse to even try. It’s not that difficult.

Casa Perico, Oklahoma City, OK (Northside)

22 February 2014

Casa Perico Mexican Grille on Urbanspoon

A couple weeks ago, we hit Casa Perico on the west side of OKC, and had a wonderful meal. Thursday, we needed dinner, so we decided to hit the northside location, which is much closer to our house. Another wonderful meal.

We started the meal off with shredded beef nachos; that’s the way nachos should be made. The “chips” were taco shells, and there was a lot of cheese and beef. Next time, we will get them with some sour cream. For our dinner, again, I got puerco verde; pork in green chili sauce. It was simply excellent. I think this version was just a touch spicier then I got at the westside location, but the pork was tender, and the meat and green chili sauce had amazing flavor. There wasn’t a bit left when I was done. Raegan got a chicken chimi this time, and thought it was pretty good. Erin got chicken soft tacos and enjoyed them.

Service was outstanding. The iced tea was excellent. Our check was $52.50.

I’m not a food expert by any means, but for me, getting away from the standard enchiladas and such has been a refreshing change. I still like enchiladas and fajitas, but the mexican stews seem to have the edge on flavor.

Charleston’s, Oklahoma City, OK (I-240)

20 February 2014

Charleston's on Urbanspoon

We were in south OKC back on 25 January, and decided to hit this Charleston’s for dinner.

We started with a brace of their excellent croissants, and baked potato soup all around. For our meals, Erin had mac and cheese, Raegan had a chicken salad, and I had a house salad (with the excellent creamy garlic dressing). All of this was completely eaten and was very good.

Service was very attentive, and the iced tea was great and kept refilled. Our check was $54.19, a little expensive as usual, but the quality was right about that level.

If you are with Charleston’s, I would like to suggest that you consider expanding your menu just a bit. Charleston’s used to have excellent ribeye steaks, and an outstanding BBQ chicken, but these disappeared from the menu years ago. Bring them back, with the same quality as before.

Casa Perico, Oklahoma City, OK

25 January 2014

Casa Perico Mexican Grille on Urbanspoon

This was great! We were looking for a quick dinner near St. John’s, and literally saw Casa Perico from across the street, and decided to try it.

Erin got a taco salad that she liked OK. Raegan got chicken enchiladas. She ate 1.5 of the 2, and I had some of the rest; they were pretty darn good. I got puerco verde; pork in green chili sauce. OUTSTANDING! That stuff had a bit of spiciness, but flavor that was just wonderful. I asked our server, and he said it was essentially guisada. Wonderful stuff.

The queso and salsa was pretty good. Service was excellent. The iced tea was really good. Our check was $37.89. I look forward to going back, I think this place has real potential.

McAlister’s, Oklahoma City, OK (Memorial and Portland)

20 January 2014

McAlister's Deli on Urbanspoon

Had a late lunch here with Raegan and Erin yesterday. Raegan had the savannah salad and loved it. I had the chicken salad with ranch dressing and potato soup, and Erin had the chicken spud and chili. All of this was excellent. I could not finish my salad; it was huge!

We got a couple cookies, and the excellent iced tea. Our check was $40.33. Good stuff.

Charcoal Oven, Oklahoma City, OK

20 January 2014

Charcoal Oven on Urbanspoon

So this might fall into the category of “it took long enough”. I’ve lived in OKC since 1984, and have been up and down Northwest Expressway thousands of times, and have not ever eaten at the Charcoal Oven. I ate at a very good Italian place called Tony’s Via Roma that was just west of there, and took a couple dates to Juniors just east of there. The kids and I had dinner at an outpost of Charcoal Oven just west of NWX and MacArthur several years ago on a blazing afternoon.

That changed today. I was headed up to St. John’s (which is about three blocks away) to do some work this morning, and decided to grab breakfast ( 🙂 ) on the way. It’s drive-through only.

I was not impressed. I got a Cowboy Burger with cheese. This burger has hickory sauce on it. Mine did not have cheese, as it turned out. The burger was OK. It was cooked and smelled of charcoal cooking, but it had little flavor. The hickory sauce was not very good; it was more like slightly seasoned ketchup. The meal was a combo that came with some OK fries and a Coke.

Service was fast. The burger was just not that good. The patties were much smaller than the bun, and the hickory sauce was a distraction instead of an enhancement. This was $15.16, which is pretty darn high for a no-frills burger.

So after not having tried the Charcoal Oven for 30 years, I will not be rushing back. I like to give places a couple chances, but it’s not a priority this case.

China House, Oklahoma City, OK

13 January 2014

China House on Urbanspoon

I was south of Tinker at lunch today, and did a Google Maps search of the area, and decided to hit China House as it has been a while since I had any Chinese food, and it was close. I got there a couple minutes after noon, and left at 1240.

It was pretty good. I got sweet and sour chicken, which comes with a side of rice, and a biggish bowl of egg drop soup. The main dish was pretty good, nothing spectacular, but good. There was a goodly amount of chicken. Most importantly, there was none of the odd feeling I occasionally get when eating Chinese food (I generally have a cast-iron stomach). The egg drop soup was really good! It was hotter then heck. I like stuff like that when particularly when it gets cold, so I might go there again just to get the soup.

Service was fast, my check was only $7.52. Drinks are by the bottle out of a cooler. Good stuff. I look forward to going back.

Patty Wagon, Oklahoma City, OK

12 January 2014

Patty Wagon on Urbanspoon

We tried Patty Wagon 14 December. We don’t often find ourselves south of 39th on May, unless I’m hitting the Lowe’s there :), and on this particular Saturday we had been in the Shepherd Mall area, so we gave it a try.

Those were some darn fine burgers. The meat had great flavor, and a nice crust on the outside, with a very juicy interior. A bit more juicy than the bun could handle (I had a double, BTW), as over the course of eating the bun disintegrated. I finished the meal using a fork. But it was really good regardless.

I liked the fries as well, they were rough cut and tasted like potatoes should.

We all got shakes (huge and thick and great), and regular drinks as well, so the check of $56.08 is a little higher than it would have been for a regular meal. I would be happy to go back.

Perry’s Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK

6 January 2014

Perry's on Urbanspoon

We had dinner here this evening. It wasn’t bad.

Raegan and I got fried chicken. The pieces were pretty small, but they were fried to a nice golden brown and had decent flavor. They came with mashers and some OK gravy. Erin got breakfast of bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns, and ate every bit. Ian got pork chops and liked them OK, but he thought they were too small. Raegans Mom got chicken fried chicken and ate every bit.

Service was pretty good, and the iced tea was as well. Our check was $46.08, pretty darn good value for five meals. I wouldn’t at all mind going back.

Casa de los Milagros, Oklahoma City, OK, Revisit

24 December 2013

I usually don’t re-blog about restaurants, but we had not visited Milagros in a while, and I got something new on this visit. We visited last Thursday, as we had two events to attend, and Milagros was pretty much right in between them.

I had some wonderful pork chili verde soup in California more than a year ago, and after a bit of reading, discovered that it was basically a thin version of mexican guisado.

Raegan pointed out the guiso de puerco on the menu, so that’s what I got. Raegan and the kids got varieties of enchiladas that were all very good. The guiso was excellent! It is the chili verde variety. The pork was in small pieces and was tender and had great flavor. The stuff was more spicy than I had expected, but not so much that it detracted from the flavor. It was served on top of the rice; next time I will ask for the rice to be on the side.

Service was a bit slow, but we got done to make our two events on time (early, even!). The iced tea was great. Our check was $53.59, not bad at all for four. Recommended.

The Drum Room, Oklahoma City, OK

24 December 2013

The Drum Room on Urbanspoon

This is a fairly new place that has popped up in the Western Avenue corridor. Raegan and I had lunch here yesterday.

Raegan got the four drumsticks and okra. I got a half fried chicken with steak fries. We asked for some ranch dressing for the okra ($0.50 extra, really?).

It was a mixed bag. There was a dramatic difference in the two meals. The drumsticks were larger and meatier, and were cooked golden brown as you might expect fried chicken to be fried. For my half chicken, the drumstick was half the size of the other four (in fact, all of the half chicken pieces were small), and the chicken was all cooked very, very, very dark brown. There was also a slight burned-oil taste. For that matter, the drumsticks Raegan ordered had a different flavor altogether; I’m certain the breading was different. It was certainly not the best fried chicken I have had. Both of us had waffles with our meal; mine came with the meal, hers was ala cart. I should have given Raegan my waffle, since I only had about a third of it.

The sides were pretty good. The okra was nice and crispy. The steak fries I got were great. The gravy that came with the fries was outstanding, I would gladly put that stuff on a biscuit.

The iced tea was weak; I couldn’t even tell if it was brewed or something else like Gold Peak.

Service was decent and friendly. Our check was $41.72.

I think that was kind of expensive for what we got. As I look at the check now, I see that $4 of it is the extra waffle. My half chicken was $12, a little high, but the fries and gravy added another $5 (ala carte pricing sux). Raegans four drumsticks and okra was $13.

So I don’t think I will be back. I don’t mind paying a premium for really good food, but in this case we paid a premium for less than decent. Chicken is cheap, folks, and serving small, overcooked pieces isn’t the right way to do business. The sides were even more of an overcharge.

Italia Express, Oklahoma City, OK (122nd and MacArthur)

24 November 2013

Italia Express on Urbanspoon

We really liked the Italia Express that was near St. John’s, and were disappointed to note it closed over the summer. I was talking to one of our Scout leaders at the last camp, who mentioned another location in NW OKC. We checked it out Tuesday evening.

The garlic bread we started out with was excellent, as was the al fredo we used for dipping. We also got marinara, but didn’t like it due to the bell pepper flavor in the sauce.

I got fettuccine al fredo with chicken. In a word, outstanding. Great stuff. The chicken was sauteed perfectly, and the noodles and sauce perfect.

Raegan had chicken marsala. The marsala was also outstanding. The dish came with spaghetti and marinara, which was the unfortunate overly bell peppered sauce again. Erin got chicken parm, which she really didn’t like since it had not only the spaghetti, but the parm was covered in the marsala again.

The iced tea and service were great. Our check was about $33, good value.

Next time we go, I will get non-marinara dishes, but I will also ask for a side of marinara to see if the bell pepper issue is chronic. It’s a bit of a drive for us from our usual areas of OKC, but if it stays as good as the location on May used to be, then it’s worth the drive.

A Family Affair, Oklahoma City, OK

4 November 2013

A Family Affair on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here last Monday. I have driven past the restaurant numerous times, and decided it needed to be checked out.

The concept is a modified buffet. You get a plate, load up salad and veggies, then head to another section of the buffet for meat. I chose fried chicken. The mashed potatoes and bread (cornbread) are here also. A server brings your drink (iced tea for me). All of this was pretty darn good. I don’t know that the chicken was the best in OKC, but it was far better than other fried chicken I’ve had. The sides were also very good (there were something like six sides to choose from). I really liked the mashers and gravy.

Service was extremely friendly. My check was $10.30. I look forward to another visit.

Happy Hog BBQ, Oklahoma City, OK

28 October 2013

George's Happy Hog Bar-B-Q on Urbanspoon

This place was GOOD! I had lunch here 26 September. I got a two-meat with brisket and smoked chicken. Both were outstanding. The chicken was smoky and moist, and the brisket was smoky and tender. Great stuff. My sides were baked beans and mac and cheese, both very good.

The staff was super friendly as well. The iced tea was very good. My check was $14.50. I look forward to going back!

Back Door BBQ, Oklahoma City, OK

28 October 2013

Back Door Barbecue on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here 25 September. I had pretty high expectations from some other reviews.

I got a two meat with brisket (wet) and spare ribs. The brisket was pretty good, nice and tender and had decent flavor. I was not impressed with the ribs; little flavor, from smoke or anything else.

The sides… first, they have deviled eggs. Pretty good, but they were garnished with charred brisket. WTH? The creamed corn had pimentos in it; ick. The baked beans were undercooked. Sides, not so good.

Overall, the meal was “meh”; not a word I use a lot. My check was $19.34, pretty darn expensive for the quality. I don’t know that I will be back. There is lots of better BBQ, at better prices, in the OKC area. Go right down the street to Bubbas for one.

Texas Roadhouse, Oklahoma City, OK (Memorial)

28 October 2013

Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

Raegan and I had dinner at this location 09 October. I got a ribeye and she got salmon. She reported the salmon was excellent. My ribeye was pretty good, but it was somewhat undercooked when it arrived at the table. I worked on my baked potato and let the steak rest and cook some more, and it ended up right at medium, and was very tasty.

Service was very attentive and friendly. Our check was $40.91. Not bad. I would not mind going back.

Earl’s Rib Palace, Oklahoma City, OK (Western)

14 September 2013

Earl's Rib Palace on Urbanspoon

We had dinner here 01 September after a day working at school. I like this location a little bit extra since the building has a little more character than other Earl’s locations; it sort of feels like a BBQ shack out in the country. It helps that the BBQ is outstanding!

Erin got the turkey plate, it was great. Ian got the rib platter, and left nothing. Raegan got a baked potato with pulled pork, and ate all of it (with a little help from me :). I got the chopped brisket platter and loved it.

Service was perfect, and the iced tea was also. Our check was $65.45. Great BBQ.

Flip’s, Oklahoma City, OK

14 September 2013

Flip's Wine Bar & Trattoria on Urbanspoon

Raegan and Erin and I had dinner here a week ago Tuesday. We had not been to Flip’s in 20+ years.

We started off with some garlic cheese bread, which was very good. I didn’t like the marinara it came with, the stuff was chunky and had an odd flavor to it.

I got fettuccine al fredo with chicken. It was simply outstanding. Many times, restaurants equate richness with quality in al fredo, but that can be overdone, and leave you with a block of lead in your stomach. Not in this case. It was the perfect balance of flavor. The fettuccine noodles were also cooked to perfection. Erin got chicken parmesan, which was very good, except for the marinara, again. Raegan got manicotti, and while she liked the manicotti, again, the red sauce was just not a good flavor.

Service was excellent. The iced tea was very good. Our check was $80 or so (I can’t find the receipt at the moment). Not bad, and if we go back, I will ask for a sampler of marinara and see if it is still odd.

Ron’s Hamburgers, Oklahoma City, OK

19 August 2013

Ron's Hamburger & Chili on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here last Thursday after doing a quick run to St. John’s. I got the jumbo double cheeseburger, a half order of fries, and tea. To state it simply, one of the best burgers in OKC. Taste, texture, perfect. The half order of fries was too much. The tea was excellent.

Service was blazingly fast. From the moment i walked in to the moment I left was 22 minutes. Food fast and good. My check was $12.73. Fast and yummy!

Hiking the Katy Trail, Oklahoma City, OK

11 August 2013

Yesterday, a group of Scouts and leaders from Troop 15 hiked most of the Katy Trail in Oklahoma City.

Hike Summary: 10.3 miles, out and back. 463 feet of altitude gain (and loss).

We started at 0835 and finished at 1345, for a pretty decent pace. The weather was perfect, in the 70s when we started, and 84F when we finished. It was cloudy about 75% of the time, and we had a nice breeze from the N/NE.

Pictures from the hike are on Google+.

There isn’t any designated parking at the north trailhead. We parked in what looks like a former driveway or road entrance on the east side of Grand about 100 yards from the trailhead. There is parking at the 16th Street access, and the south trailhead.

Most of the trail is unshaded. There is a nice stretch between 16th and 4th that is like walking through a tree tunnel.

There isn’t water on the trail. You can fill up at the Lincoln Park golf course, and maybe the golf course at Douglass High near the south end. You can exit the trail at 10th and cross I-35 to the east; there is a gas station and McDonalds there with restrooms and water and such.

OKC has done a nice job on this trail. I haven’t walked many OKC trails, but they are on my list. 🙂

The OKC webpage for the Katy Trail is here.

Zio’s Italian, Oklahoma City, OK (Meridian)

6 August 2013

Zio's Italian Kitchen on Urbanspoon

After we got to Will Rogers airport, we were all hungry, and sort of picked Zio’s on Meridian mainly because it was on the way home and it was close.

Raegan and Erin split the five cheese al fredo with chicken; it was really good, and CHEESY! Ian and I both got chicken parmesan, his with fettuccine al fredo, mine with spaghetti. None of any of this was left; we ate every bit of it. We also had three of the break loaves, with balsamic vinegear and oil. We split a caesar salad as well. I wasn’t enthusiastic about it; the caesar dressing seemed to have a sharp, odd taste.

Service was decent, even given that the place was very crowded. The iced tea was excellent, especially given that we had been in an area with little good iced tea for a week plus. Our check was $47.64. Good stuff.

Rib Crib, Oklahoma City, NWX

26 July 2013

Rib Crib BBQ & Grill on Urbanspoon

I don’t eat at Rib Crib very often; there is better BBQ to be had in the Metro area. But occasionally someone wants to go there, and after a softball game Sunday evening (we won!), it was suggested we go there to celebrate. We had 12 people total.

Raegan got the BBQ sliders, not too bad. Erin got the catfish combo, she at the catfish, I ate the brisket. I got a two meat with ribs and chicken. The ribs were OK, I give them an 8.5 on a scale of 1 to JTs. The chicken was pretty dried out and hard to eat.

The tea was great and the service was also (disclosure, we know the family of our server). Our check was $45.02.

The meal didn’t ignite any excitement for me about Rib Crib, but I would go back if someone wanted to.

Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza, Oklahoma City, OK

11 July 2013

Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

We had softball practice at 63rd and Penn yesterday, and Raegan had expressed desire for pizza, and Upper Crust fit the criteria, so we decided to give it a try. Pretty good!

We started off with a caesar salad, which was very good, tossed in a particularly sharp dressing. We also had some excellent garlic bread, with a spicy marinara that was a perfect complement.

We split a pair of pizzas. The kids had a pizza that was half capicola and half sausage. They ate most of it and said they liked it. Raegan and I split one; her half was capicola, mushrooms, and green olives; mine was spicy sausage and pepperoni. We really liked that pizza, it was excellent. The thin crust was perfect, and the spicy sausage was just spicy enough.

The iced tea was variable – some glasses of it had a distinct coffee aftertaste, and some didn’t and were very good. Service was really good at first, and dropped off a bit as the place filled up, but was never bad. Our check was $52.30. I wouldn’t mind at all going back.

Billy Sims BBQ, Oklahoma City, OK (Meridian)

6 July 2013

Billy Sims BBQ on Urbanspoon

Raegan and Erin and I had lunch here today, and stuffed ourselves silly.

I got a two-meat with brisket and smoked chicken, with a couple ribs on the side, and baked beans. Great stuff! The brisket was a touch on the dry side. The chicken was perfect. The ribs are very, very good. I rate them as 9.5 on a scale of 1 to JTs. Raegan got the rib dinner, and Erin the smoked turkey. All excellent. We also got a couple servings of banana pudding, great stuff.

I brought a pint of chili home. The iced tea was excellent, and service was fast and very friendly. Our check was $47.61. Great stuff.

Earl’s Rib Palace, Oklahoma City, OK (Memorial)

6 July 2013

Earl's Rib Palace on Urbanspoon

We had dinner here this evening after getting back into town from our trip. Ian got ribs (very good), Raegan a baked potato with bacon, I got one with brisket, and Erin got smoked turkey. All of this was very good at least. Earl’s is very consistent BBQ, and it was even so here. We also ordered BBQ wings; they got to the table *after* dinner was served (they had to be cooked, I imagine).

Service was pretty good, as expected; the tea was excellent. Our check was $48.68. Yum!

Braum’s, Oklahoma City, OK (63rd and Bryant)

2 July 2013

Braum's Ice Cream & Dairy on Urbanspoon

I was coming home after a late night at work last Wednesday, and stopped at Braum’s for a burger.

To be blunt, it was a bland, boring meal. I got a 1/3 pounder with cheese and bacon. No texture and no flavor. The bacon was hard and didn’t have a lot of flavor. Except the cheese, it was good. The fries were mushy. The vanilla shake was very good. My check was $7.90.

Braum’s has really gone downhill. It’s sad. The best milk around, great ice cream, and the grocery stuff is very good. But the burgers, not so much.

City Bites, Oklahoma City, OK (May and 60th)

25 June 2013

City Bites Subs on Urbanspoon

Raegan and Erin and I had lunch here Saturday while we were out running errands. Erin got a baked potato and ate most of it, and Raegan got her usual, a Turkey Club (her only comment was that there wasn’t a heck of a lot of turkey). I got the BBQ beef (hold the peppers), which was pretty darn good (in fact, I got the big 12″, and it was an effort to consume all of it). The cookies were good, the drinks were good.

The tea was great (brewed Lusianne!), and service was pretty fast. The only problem we had was that they missed one of our cookies, and they rectified that as soon as I let them know. Our check was $34.67. Good and fast.

McDonald’s, Oklahoma City, OK (I-35 and 122nd)

25 June 2013

McDonald's on Urbanspoon

The service at this McDonald’s is fairly spotty. This morning, we were headed OKC-Stillwater, and stopped here for a quick breakfast. This visit was pretty good. We got a variety of breakfast sandwiches and drinks. The only problem we had: Ian ordered a Coke, and got a Diet Coke, which we ended up pouring out, since none of us like it.

We’ve never had truly bad service here. We hit the drive-in this time.

Louie’s, Oklahoma City, OK (Lake Hefner)

11 June 2013

Louie's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

Raegan and Erin and I had dinner here this evening after a couple Scout meetings. It was pretty good.

I ordered a patty melt. It had mustard and pickles on it, with the usual fried onions. It was very greasy, and started in immediately eating away the bread. I liked it. Raegan fot a build your own pizza, cheese and mushrooms. It smelled good, and the slice I had tasted very good. Erin got a chicken tender wrap, and ate all of it. It came with a pile of thin fries.

So not bad at all. Service was pretty attentive. The iced tea was good. Our check was $29.74. My only gripe would be that the music was too loud. I wouldn’t mind going back.

Texadelphia, Oklahoma City, OK (Bricktown)

10 June 2013

Texadelphia Social Grill on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here a couple weeks ago, on 22 May. It wasn’t too bad. I got there about 1145, ordered, and then the noon lunch crowd poured in. Shortly thereafter, the rain poured down.

I did a Build Your Own cheesesteak. I got the Build Your Own, beef, large. Large is double meat and cheese. I had them add some lettuce and mayo.

No Cheeze Whiz. Not a true Philly for sure.

Regardless, it only took about five minutes for the sandwich to be delivered. As a Philly should be, it was hotter than heck. It was darn good, also. The bread was firm enough to keep the sandwich from falling apart, and it was tasty, too. The beef was cooked perfectly, and the cheese was all melted in. The lettuce and beef leaked all over the darn place, but that’s OK.

So it was a pretty good meal. The iced tea was pretty good. The sandwich came with chips and salsa, a different but nice touch. My check was $10 and some change. I look forward to another visit!

Red Lobster, Oklahoma City, OK (Memorial)

10 June 2013

Red Lobster on Urbanspoon

Erin likes to choose Red Lobster on occasion, and she did the last time we went there.

Raegan got seafood alfredo, Erin and Ian both snow crab, and I got a steak (I’m not much into fish). None of the food was left. Erin had some problems getting all the snow crab out, so Raegan helped (for a small fee of some of the crab, of course). My steak was not the best, but it was far from the worst I’ve had. My baked potato was pretty small.

Service was OK. Our check was $93.45. Pretty expensive, so we don’t go very often.

This is a delayed review. We went to Red Lobster 21 September, right before I left for my backpacking trip the next day, so I forgot to post it, and found the receipt today with some others today.

Waffle House, I-35 and 122nd, Oklahoma City, OK

30 May 2013

Waffle House on Urbanspoon

We don’t eat at Waffle Houses very often. I think the last time we ate at one as a family was 10+ years ago, at a location right outside Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri after a visit to Centralia, IL. I have had breakfast at a Waffle House in downtown Tampa when I had early flights out. This evening, with storms coming in, we decided to get dinner near the house at a Cracker Barrel, but changed our minds and decided to hit the nearby Waffle House.

I got a double bacon cheeseburger, with hash browns (and sausage gravy!) as a side. Erin got bacon and eggs, and Raegan got a waffle, eggs, and grits. None of this was left. The burger was really good, cooked perfectly, great flavor, great texture. The eggs and waffles and bacon were all great. I enjoyed the sausage gravy on the hash browns also.

Service was pretty good, and our check was $25.35. Good meal, fast, and close to the house. Less expensive and faster than Cracker Barrel or IHOP. And the tea was excellent. We need to add this place to the rotation.

One slight downer: the mens restroom really needs cleaning. The toilet was kind of soiled, the floor was very slick with something like grease, and it stank of recent cigarette smoke. It’s a no-smoking restaurant.

Toby Keith’s, Bricktown, Oklahoma City, OK

29 May 2013

Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Raegan and the kids and I ate at ILTBAG shortly after it opened. Our opinion was, “it’s OK”. After my visit last week, that’s still the verdict.

Ian and I had dinner at ILTBAG last Thursday evening, as Raegan and Erin were at the St. John’s 8th Grade class dinner nearby. Ian got a ribeye, and I got roast chicken. The ribeye, he reported, wasn’t too bad. The chicken was unimpressive. The pieces were small, and had little flavor. The baked potato was small, and needed a bit more baking. The green beans were right out of a can. The iced tea was good.

Service was OK until we were ready to leave; I had to flag another server down to get our check so we could get back to where the car was parked to meet Raegan and Erin. Our check was $48.74. Not worth it; $17 for small and flavorless chicken. They have had their two chances.

Bellini’s, Oklahoma City, OK

29 May 2013

Bellini's Ristorante on Urbanspoon

Raegan, Erin, and I went to Bellini’s for lunch last Thursday to celebrate the end of school for the year.

I got fettuccine alfredo with chicken, and Raegan and Erin both got pizza. The pizzas were OK. My meal was far from the worst I’ve had, but it was OK at best. There was little al fredo, and it wasn’t overly flavorable or rich.

The iced tea was OK, and service was pretty good. Our check was $61.61. The pizza was very expensive and drove the cost up. I don’t know that the taste justified the cost. I don’t think I would refuse to go again, but I would be reluctant.

We had a window view, and enjoyed seeing the ducks and geese and goslings right outside.

McDonald’s, 10th and I-35, Oklahoma City, OK

27 May 2013

McDonald's on Urbanspoon

I’ve stopped at the location repeatedly as it is on my way to work, and if I just can’t go without some breakfast, it’s a good stop. I usually get a sausage egg and cheese biscuit. Most of the time I hit the drive through. The people in the payment and pickup windows are pretty much all friendly and the service is fast. The food is standard McDonald’s, so it’s OK.

Florence’s, Oklahoma City, OK

27 May 2013

Florence's on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here with Raegan and Erin Friday since it was roughly between them (at Casady) and me (at Tinker).

I got the fried chicken (all light). Pan fried, and wonderful! The meal came with mashers (excellent) and corn (yummy). The gravy on the mashers was something else; it had a chicken flavor that was simply outstanding. I think that stuff ought to be served as soup! Raegan got fried chicken also and enjoyed it. Her sides were green beans and yams, both excellent! Erin got the fried catfish. She liked it, and I tried a bite, it was good. The ranch dressing on her salad was clearly made fresh; it was very good.

We finished the meal with banana pudding and peach cobbler, both very good.

Service was very friendly and fast. The only thing I could count them down on was the tea. It was an instant, and not good at all. I switched to Coke, which was pretty good. Our check was $28.25. I would gladly go back, and will. I could OD on the gravy with no problem.

Earl’s Rib Palace, Bricktown, Oklahoma City, OK

20 May 2013

Earl's Rib Palace on Urbanspoon

We had dinner here last afternoon. We had been to the Myriad (AKA Cox Convention Center) for Ian’s high school graduation, and he got to choose dinner, and chose Earl’s. This was convenient to the nearby theater where we were going to see the new Star Trek movie shortly thereafter.

Ian got ribs, Erin got a loaded baked potato, Raegan got a pulled pork sandwich, and I got a super loaded baked potato (a loaded potato that includes some meat, in my case, chopped brisket). We also had a pile of BBQ wings. All of this was excellent, and nothing was left.

The tea was excellent and kept refilled. Service was excellent. Our check was $44.03. Earl’s is darn fine BBQ.

IHOP, Oklahoma City (I-35 and 122nd)

20 May 2013

IHOP on Urbanspoon

We had dinner tonight at the IHOP. It was a mixed bag. Raegan, Erin, and I got the 2 x 2 x 2, which is a couple eggs, couple pancakes, and couple pieces of bacon. These are hard to screw up, but IHOP managed to get Erin three extra pancakes. Ian got something new on the menu: fried chicken. The chicken was pretty good!

Service was uneven; I ran out of iced tea several times. The temperature in the place was really weird. When we got there, we were seated on the west side of the restaurant, and it was almost too hot. Then the A/C kicked on, and it was quickly uncomfortably cold. We asked several staff to turn the darn thing down or off, but it never really turned off, so we were glad to leave.

Our check was $48.46. We have had uneven experience here, and generally use it only as a fallback. That’s still the case after this visit.

First Watch, Oklahoma City, OK

6 May 2013

First Watch on Urbanspoon

Raegan and I were looking for breakfast in a new location this morning, and I noticed First Watch on Google Maps. There are a number of locations in Tulsa. We decided to give it a try, and got there around 1000. There was a 15 min wait.

We both ordered a variation of the “Tri-Fecta”, which is a pair of eggs (we both got over easy), some meat (we both got bacon), and either a Belgian Waffle or a pancake (I got the BW, and she got a blueberry pancake). In order: while her eggs were right on the money, mine were right on the border of over hard. The bacon was good. Both the waffle and the pancake were very good, but I do think that the pancake could have used some more texture (Raegan adds some wheat germ to hers, and that’s really good). The pancake was HUGE. I had part of it, and we didn’t finish it. We also shared the Muffin Of The Day, banana. It was a bit crumbly, but good.

The iced tea was good. Raegan got hot tea, and they brought her a large carafe that she got two mugs out of (she brought her own tea bags, which was good as First Watch only provided herbals). Service was pretty good overall, but a bit slow on occasion (they were *very* busy, so there really is no reason to complain).

Our check was $23.26. I think it was a good visit. It’s not a typical diner-style breakfast. The menu is somewhat limited and healthy-oriented. The only gravy option I detected was turkey sausage gravy. We would like to go back and try some of the other food options.

Deep Fork Grill, Oklahoma City, OK

4 May 2013

Deep Fork Grill on Urbanspoon

Raegan and I ate at Deep Fork Grill shortly after they opened, many years ago. We recall that the verdict at the time was, “ok”. Even though we drive past the place at least a couple times a day, usually, it never really occurred to us to go back.

Last weekend, we needed a place to have dinner that was near school and Harding Fine Arts, and I considered Deep Fork. Last evening, Raegan and I were kidless, and we decided to try it. We got there shortly after 1900, and in spite of the parking lot being completely packed, we were seated immediately (turns out there was at least one large party there).

Raegan ordered the cedar salmon, and I got beef stroganoff. To sum it up, both were perfect. The serving sizes were larger than we expected. Raegan described hers at possibly the best salmon she had ever had. I do know that for mine, the noodles were perfectly cooked, the sauce was a rich, full of flavor, thick, and delicious binder for the beef, which was cooked a perfect medium, had great beef flavor, and tender. Hers came with whipped potatoes that were very good (here was the only minor error, she had ordered cheese potatoes). Both meals had asparagus spears as well.

The tea (iced for me, hot for Raegan) was very good and kept refilled. Service was attentive without being intrusive.

Our check was $68.76. This is more than we usually pay for a meal. On the other hand, the atmosphere was a little more than we usually enjoy, and the meal was perfect, and the quantity was more than filling. When I think on similar places (Paseo Grill, or even Ranch Steakhouse), I would have to say that Deep Fork fills a value niche; the food was more expensive, but it was better. So for “special” meals, I think I would lean towards Deep Fork. I like the fact that they are not just steak oriented. And that strog was very good. I look forward to our next visit.

One other thing: I went to Urbanspoon to click “Like” for DFG, and noticed it was only 62% Liked. I went to read the reviews. So many were very, very negative, for both food and service. None of those reflect our visit in the least. It really makes me question the validity of negative reviews. I’m glad I didn’t read those reviews beforehand or we might not have even considered the place.

Smashburger, Oklahoma City, OK (Belle Isle)

25 April 2013

Smashburger on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here Monday; it was conveniently between the school and the bank. I got there around 1145 and left about 45 min later.

I got a Classic Smash (large) with chili cheese fries as my side. First, those fries were really, really good. The chili was a good consistency and tasty. The burger was OK. It had nice texture and decent flavor. The iced tea was excellent.

I like Smashburger OK. If I was crusing by and hungry I would not mind grabbing a quick meal there, but I don’t know that I would ever get the urge for one.

My check was $10.70. Service was very friendly.

Billy Sims BBQ, Oklahoma City, OK (Memorial)

6 April 2013

Billy Sims BBQ on Urbanspoon

After a long week, we had dinner here tonight. As usual, it was very, very good.

I had a three-meat of chicken, sliced brisket, and pulled pork. I also stole one of Ians ribs. And had some of Raegans turkey. And rib. It was all excellent. The chicken this evening was a touch on the almost-dry side, but still was great. It was a feast.

I had a side of chili, outstanding (they make GREAT chili!). Raegan had green beans and potato salad. None of this was left.

Service was the expected fast and friendly, and the iced tea was excellent. Our check was $48.91. Great BBQ!

Soda Pops Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

31 March 2013

Soda Pop's Cafe on Urbanspoon

Raegan and the kids and I were headed to Moore to visit her folks this evening, and decided to check out Soda Pops as it was nearby.

We started out with a plate of excellent bacon and cheese fries. They came with some exellent ranch dressing. These were consumed rapidly.

I got a chicken fried steak. It was excellent! I rate it an 8.5 out of 10. The CFS was fork tender and had good breading. It wasn’t just absolutely chock full of beef flavor, but it had enough. It was bedded down in gravy, and I asked for some extra. The gravy was pretty darn good as well. My second side was green beans was very good as well. Erin got a cheeseburger. I tried it, and it was pretty decent. Again, not a lot of beef flavor, but better than average. Ian got chicken fingers, good stuff. Raegan got deep fried catfish, and liked it. It was huge!

The iced tea was excellent, and service was great. Our check was $49.14. This was a good restaurant and a good value. I will be glad to visit again.

Sophabella’s, Oklahoma City, OK

27 March 2013

Sophabella's Chicago Grill on Urbanspoon

Wow, great food! We’ve wanted to try Sophabella’s for a while, and decided to give it a try Monday. Well worth it.

We had an extended pre-dinner wait while Ian drove across town. We started with zucchini chips, which are breaded and deep fried zuc, and garlic cheese bread. Both excellent. We had an outstanding ranch dressing, and an amazing marinara to dip the stuff in, a perfect appetizer. I loved those zucchinis in particular. Raegan also had lobster bisque, and loved it. I had a single meatball. Permit me a short diversion. My standard for meatballs are those my Dad made. I think they were 90% beef and 10% bread crumbs, and they were wonderful, with flavor and great texture. I think most meatballs that are restaurant made are a 50% each mixture, and as a result they have little texture. This meatball made by Sophabella’s was very close to the standard meatball I would like to have all the time. It was flavorful, had beef texture, just all around outstanding.

For dinner, Erin got fettuccine al fredo, Ian chicken parmigiana, Raegan chicken gnocci, Pat mostacciolli, and I got chicken mushroom marsala. I tried parts of the meals Raegan, Ian, and Erin got; in each case, simply outstanding for flavor and heat. My chicken marsala was the best I have ever had. Pat reported hers was excellent.

After that fantastic set of main courses, we ordered desserts. Erin got a brownie and ice cream dessert, Raegan and I (and everyone else!) shared a banana cobbler (really!), and Ian got a sundae. None of any of this survived.

The iced tea was excellent, and all drinks were kept refilled. Service was outstanding. There was nothing in the slightest in the negative that could be reported about this meal. Our check (for five) was $152.34. Expensive, yes, but the meal was entirely worth it.

Would be go to Sophabella’s regularly? Not for long :). But it’s the top place in my book for special events in the future. I’m already thinking of our 25th…

Paseo Grill, Oklahoma City, OK

24 March 2013

Paseo Grill on Urbanspoon

I met Raegan and the kids for lunch here last Wednesday, since it was Spring Break. We had planned on trying the Red Rooster, but it is smoking only, and a cloud of the obnoxious stuff rolled out the door when we opened it. We went to Paseo Grill instead.

We got there about 1200 and left at 1330. Raegan and I started with soup: cream of mushroom for her, and beef and veg for me. Both excellent. She continued with a crab avocado salad, and me with a chicken caesar salad. Erin had the same salad, and Ian a steak sandwich. All of this food was very good. The salads had a small portion size, I thought.

We ended up with a couple desserts: bread pudding (excellent) and two chocolate devines (also very good).

Our check for all this was $87.78. I think this is the most, or second-most, expensive lunch we have had. I walked out feeling a little… under-satisfied. I don’t think the meal was worth the price. Now, the desserts were $19 of that, but even then, the meal part was almost $70. Service was OK (not spectacular). The tea was OK (except they kept filling the darn glass with as much ice as they could pack in; I asked twice for a no-ice pour). But the salads were bland and small. The other two meals were small as well.

So I would say that while some people would, I’m certain, love Paseo Grill, I will likely not be back. I am not into small servings and large price, just to say we are eating in the arts district.

Meiki’s Italian, Oklahoma City, OK

9 March 2013

Meiki's Italian American on Urbanspoon

We ate dinner here maybe five years ago with friends. This evening, Erin had a birthday party near Rockwell and Britton, and I saw the Urbanspoon listing was generally favorable, so we gave it a try.

Ian got a meatball sandwich and devoured it. Raegan got manicotti and enjoyed it. Erin and our friend Pat got fettuccine al fredo, and thought it was very good, although Erin didn’t finish hers. I got fettuccine al fredo with chicken. It was pretty darn good, but this stuff had a flavor I’ve noted in other restaurants. Raegan thought it tasted like teriyaki sauce (which would be weird for an Italian place), but I was catching the same flavor as an aftertaste of the chicken.

I added Erins meal to mine, mixed it all up, and the odd flavor receeded. I also took a taste of the side of al fredo we had ordered (to dip the garlic bread in). Wow, that stuff was perfect, and yet didn’t have the weird flavor. So the weird taste was in the chicken. I asked our server to ask the cook staff what the chicken was cooked in, but they were busy and couldn’t answer. Hmmm…

The rest of the meal was great. The garlic bread, our caesar salads, the tea, all perfect. Service was just right. Our check was $73.42, decent value for all that food for five.

But that odd flavor has me a bit bugged. I’ve tasted it at a lot of Italian places. It’s not unpleasant, but it also detracts just a bit from the meal. I like al fredo. Good stuff if it isn’t too rich, and has a good buttery and cream flavor. I would expect chicken to be used in al fredo to be sauteed (too many places grill it, I usually ask to have it sauteed, but I didn’t this evening), and I would expect it to be sauteed in chunks in EEVO, maybe with a little garlic. Then it all (noodles, chicken, and al fredo) should be tossed to mix the stuff up. I need to find out what the taste is.

Kaiser’s, Oklahoma City, OK

3 March 2013

Kaiser's American Bistro on Urbanspoon

We’ve been by Kaiser’s many times, but don’t get downtown that often. Yesterday, we were near downtown, and looking for lunch, and Raegan suggested trying Kaiser’s. After the obligatory 360+ turn around the traffic circle in front, we had lunch!

We got there right at noon. It was pretty busy.

Erin just got potato soup; it was very good. Raegan got potato soup and a half turkey and swiss on a croissant. She liked it. She also got vanilla soda and liked that as well. I got the two-piece fried chicken, all light (the default is one light and one dark piece). The chicken pieces were pretty small, half the size of some chicken pieces. Given that, while the first couple bites of each piece were very good, the chicken was overcooked. It was a bit stringy also. I was literally hungry again in a couple hours after the meal. The mashers were great, as were the green beans. The gravy was some of the best I’ve hed recently; I got some extra to dip the chicken into. Loved that gravy. I got a vanilla bean shake that I really liked.

The iced tea was OK; it was China Mist. Sevice was OK. Our check was $37.45.

That chicken had some real potential, but it was small and overcooked. If it had been cooked just a couple minutes less, I think it could have been perfect. The pieces needed to be a bit larger also.

I look forward to another visit, and I will try their burger next.

Taco Bueno, Oklahoma City, OK (Memorial)

21 February 2013

Taco Bueno on Urbanspoon

I had lunch here with Raegan and the kids back on 22 Dec (I just found the receipt). It was pretty good for “fast food”.

I had a Beef BOB, and Raegan had a chicken BOB. Erin had a party burrito. Ian had a couple chicken taco rollups. The BOBs had a generous amount of ground beef and chicken, the rollups just the right amount of chicken, and the burrito was utterly demolished. We also had pintos and cheese and some chips and queso.

Given how late it was (2145) we were served quickly and courteously. They didn’t have tea out in the dining area, but the crew got it for us from the drive through. The check was only $24.36. Good food, fast.

Wendy’s, Oklahoma City, OK (Lincoln)

21 February 2013

Wendy's Old-Fashioned Hamburgers on Urbanspoon

Ian and I were heading home Monday evening, and needed dinner, so I suggested Wendy’s. I used Google Maps to find the nearest location on the way home, and it turned out to be 37th and Lincoln.

We got there about 2100, and left about 20 minutes later. We both got a double cheeseburger and fries. The cheeseburger was far from the worst I’ve had, but it was not bad at all. I like Wendy’s beef, and the burger was cooked pretty much like a good burger needs to be cooked: texture and a bit of a crust. The beef wasn’t exactly bursting with flavor, but it beat the heck out of what Sonic (for example) uses.

I got tea (pretty good) and Ian got DP (also pretty good). The burgers were cooked in real-time, and so came out hot.

Of the major chains, Wendy’s is probably the best for cheeseburgers. McDonald’s and Burger King are both bland bland bland.

Our check was $16.86. The staff was super friendly. Not a bad experience.

Inca Trail Peruvian Restaurant, Oklahoma City, OK

21 February 2013

Inca Trail Peruvian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Raegan, Erin, and I had dinner here last Friday evening. It was great! Inca Trail was recommended to me by my friend John.

Erin and I got the roasted chicken. It was simply wonderful tasting. The spice used to flavor the chicken, whatever it is, was perfect. The meal started with some very, very good chicken and rice soup; loved that stuff. Raegan got a seafood salad and really liked it, except that it was a little too spicy for her that night (she wants to go back and get it again).

We got a couple desserts. First was my second try of flan (wow, great stuff), and we also got a fruity helados, very good. Service was prompt and right on the money. Our check was $42.53. I look forward to visiting again.

Cracker Barrel, Oklahoma City, OK (I-35 and 122nd)

13 February 2013

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store on Urbanspoon

We used to eat at this place quite often, since it was the closest restaurant to the house. The quality of both food and service steadily dropped over time. The last time I ate at this CB was almost two years ago. This evening, we decided to give it another try.

We got there about 1820 and left at 1940. It was not even 25% full, but OTOH it was quite snowy. Erin got the trout and devoured it. Raegan got pancakes and bacon, nothing left. Ian got chicken tenders, gone. I got the Tuesday special, butter baked (half) chicken, completely gone. So the food was pretty good.

Service was OK. The tea was OK, but it was a bit off. Our check was $59.42. I wouldn’t write the place completely off.

Smokey’s BBQ & Diner, Oklahoma City, OK

9 February 2013

Smokey's BBQ & Diner on Urbanspoon

Raegan had a meeting in Warr Acres tonight, so I looked for chow in the area, and saw Smokey’s. We got there around 1730.

Erin got smoked turkey and chicken with green beans and potato skins; Reagen got pulled pork and turkey; Ian got ribs; I got sliced brisket and chicken. The chicken was decent, pretty tender, but without very much flavor. The turkey was exellent, tender and with lots of flavor. The ribs were tender enough, but didn’t have much in the way of a crust, and were pretty greasy. The pulled pork was pretty good. The brisket was excellent. The sides were all at least very good, except we all thought the green beans had too much black pepper. The potato skins Erin got were very good, and the onion rings I got were excellent.

I was not impressed by the sauces. The mild was too sweet. The medium was a mustard-based sauce that was decent. The hot was too hot and had little flavor. I tried mixing mild and hot, and took one bite and that was it. That needs to be worked on; I would focus on the mild.

We got to try the potato chips that are made right there at Smokey’s, and they were very good! We also got to try the peanut butter and chocolate pie – WOW! That was some great dessert.

The iced tea was excellent. Service was prompt and very courteous. We got a lot of pretty good food for a decent price. Our check was $62.07. I look forward to going back.

Leo’s Barbeque, Oklahoma City, OK

8 February 2013

Leo's Barbeque on Urbanspoon

The last time I was able to eat at Leo’s was back in the mid-90s; I met my Mom there after she had an errand to run in the OKC area. I recall it was very good; it still is.

I had lunch here today. I got there at 1145 and was seated immediately; 15 minutes later the place was packed. I purused the menu a couple minutes, and didn’t find what I was looking for, but when I asked my server she said that a combo of ribs and brisket was no problem. I got potato salad and baked beans for my sides.

Those first: I am not a huge fan of potato salad, since people tend to put a lot of weird (to me) stuff in them; I like potatoes, mayo and mustard, and some pickle relish. This stuff was close to that, and I liked it a lot. The baked beans had brisket in them, including a couple pieces of beef fat. YUM YUM YUM. Those were some of the best BBQ beans I’ve had.

The brisket was outstanding; just the right amount of tender, a nice smoky flavor. The ribs were an 8 on a scale of 1 to JT’s. They didn’t have quite as much meat, and there were some tough parts to them, but the outside was a nice crisp, and the meat had a decent, smoky flavor to it.

The BBQ sauce was OK, but not one of my favorites. It was way sweet, and had no bite to it at all.

I got the famous strawberry and banana cake, with some icing on it. A nice end to the meal.

Service was perfect. The iced tea was perfect. My check was $12.99, good value.

I will not wait 10+ years to go back.

Bunny’s Onion Burgers, Oklahoma City, OK

8 February 2013

Bunny's Onion Burgers on Urbanspoon

I had just arrived in OKC from Boston, and was pretty hungry, and remembered that Bunny’s was on Meridian, so decided to give it a try.

I got a #22, which is a double cheeseburger with fried onions and pickles. I got a basket, which comes with fries and a drink. The fries were not too bad, and the tea was OK also. The burger was, as most onion burgers are, a MESS. A good mess, in this case. It was greasy and hot and the grease was steadily eroding the bun. All of this was pretty much expected. The burger was pretty good, although it was a touch overcooked, and most of the beef flavor was overcome by the onions. This is what you expect from an onion burger, though. I liked it, and wouldn’t mind getting another one.

Service was very good; my check was $9.48. Good stuff.

Joeys Cafe, Oklahoma City, OK

7 February 2013

Joey's Cafe on Urbanspoon

We’ve passed Joeys many times, but they close at 1500 and we seem to pass in the evening. We hit them for a late lunch last Saturday. We got there around 1230.

Raegan started with some vegetable soup that was pretty good, and went on to a HUGE chicken cobb salad. It was seemingly endless. Erin and Ian got cheeseburgers; I tried a bite of Erins and it was very good. I got a pot roast dinner with mashed potatoes and a salad; this was EXCELLENT. That pot roast had full beef flavor, and was a perfect medium, with a rich brown gravy. The mashers were prefect as well. The pot roast also came with some steamed side veg. The carrots and broccoli needed to be steamed a bit more.

Service was right on the money. The iced tea was very good. Our check was $48.40, which I think is pretty decent value. I’d like to try this place again.

Pioneer Pies, Oklahoma City, OK

28 January 2013

Pioneer Pies Restaurant & Bakery on Urbanspoon

We used to eat at Pioneer Pies a lot. When we lived in NW OKC, a location right on NWX was convenient, and after we moved to the east side, the location on Hefner was sort of convenient. Eventually both locations closed. I noticed the location on I-240 in December, and we decided to eat dinner there 03 January. It was not a very good experience.

First of all, I asked what was in the chili. The first response was jalapenos. Not a good start. I got some onion rings instead. They were quite undercooked.

Dinner was no improvement. Erin got a bowl of potato soup. It was exceedingly thick and bland. Neither of us liked it. Ian had the chicken fried steak. The breading was amazingly thick; it was 3x thicker than the beef. The beef had little flavor and was very tough. He didn’t finish it, and I didn’t either. Raegan had the chicken fried chicken. It was better than the CFS, but not much; it suffered from the same thick breading, but was at least tender. I got a bowl of beef stew. It was full of chopped-up bell peppers that destroyed what taste the beef stew had.

An Open Letter To Restaurants That Serve Beef Stew (that includes Jason’s Deli):

Please do not put bell peppers in beef stew! Bell peppers are pungent and destroy the subtle flavor of a good stew. Many people do not like them. I think that bell peppers are mainly used to cover up food that is bland, but a good stew stands on its own.

Thank you.

Back to Pioneer Pies. We ended up the meal with some pie that was OK.

I don’t think I will go back ever. The more I think about it, the more I believe this was a terrible meal. Service was very friendly and prompt, but the food was basically lousy. Our check was $60.10. Not worth it.

Texas Roadhouse, Oklahoma City, OK

24 January 2013

Texas Roadhouse on Urbanspoon

A group of work associates of mine had dinner last Tuesday at the Texas Roadhouse near Crossroads Mall in south OKC.

I was not terribly enthusiastic about this. I have been to three other Texas Roadhouse locations over the years (Shreveport, LA, and two locations in Texas), and in each case, the steaks were all uniformly charred. The manager of the Shreveport location told me when I asked that the serious charring was company policy. My plan for the evening was something non-steak, like CFS. So as we waited for our table (we had a group of 10), I looked at steaks being taken to tables, and not one of them was charred. They looked like I expected a steak to look.

I decided to take a chance and ordered a ribeye. I also ordered some fried pickles and onion rings for the table. These were really good. I especially liked the ranch dressing that came with the appetizers. They also have really good rolls, with some flavored butter.

For my sides, I had some chili and baked potato. These were really good. The chili had steak chunks in it, and had just the right amount of spice. The steak was a pleasant surprise. I had asked for it medium, but it came medium rare+. I focused on the baked potato, and the steak finished cooking and firmed up. It was a decent steak. It was not exactly bursting with flavor, but was tasty. It was tender, and juicy all the way through. Not a bit of steak, potato, or chili survived.

The tea was excellent. Service was very good (especially given that we had a table of 10, and the restaurant was very crowded). We did have an extorted 13.82723455% tip included (why not 14%?), but I sweetened that somewhat.

I have avoided Texas Roadhouse locations over the years. I think that Logan’s or Longhorn steaks are better than the steak I got at TR, but I am willing to try TR again to check the consistency of the beef. The overall experience was very good.