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New Restaurants

18 Jul

I love trying new restaurants, and Nate and I will often try a place we haven’t been before when eating out. It seems like a ton of new places have opened in the past month or two, and my list of place to try is getting pretty lengthy.

Pie Junkie – In the Plaza District. I especially love what they’ve come up with for HappyPi hour.
1711 NW 16th Street
Tues – Fri: 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
HappyPi hour, Tuesday through Friday, from 5-6 p.m. and slices cost only $3.14

Peloton Wine Bar & Cafe – Located behind Schlegel. We have actually grabbed a bite to eat here. It’s small with not a lot of indoor seating, but the patio was awesome. The food was good and reasonably priced. I want to go back and try a few more things.
900 N Broadway
Mon – Thurs: 7:30 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 7:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Old School Bagel Cafe – Apparently they’ve been around for quite a while, but the downtown location is new.
Leadership Square, 211 N. Robinson

Cow Calf Hay – City Bites’ burger restaurant.
212 N. Harvey
Mon – Fri: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Packard’s New American Kitchen – I haven’t heard the most glowing reviews from friends, but their patio looks awesome. I’m looking forward to trying it eventually.
201 NW 10th St
Mon – Fri: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Mon – Thurs: 5 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Kitchen 324 – I’ve had chai and a croissant, and they didn’t disappoint. I can’t wait to go back for a full meal. Plus the restaurant is an extra lovely designed place.
324 N. Robinson
7 a.m. – 2 p.m., daily

Tamazul – Just opened in Classen Curve. I believe Chef Ryan Parrott is behind it which is always a good sign!
5820 N Classen Blvd, Ste. 1
Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sun: 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.

Sauced – It’s been around for a while, but I haven’t tried it under the new ownership (which I think it’s been under for 2 or 3 years).
2912 Paseo Drive
Mon: 4pm-9pm
Tues -Thur: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Fri & Sat: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Sun: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Empire Slice House – Opening in the Plaza District sometime this summer.
1734 NW 16th St.

Chopt – We tried this one a few weeks ago. It was good, but nothing I couldn’t already make at home. Hopefully it lasts and does well for the lunch crowd in the neighborhood.
726 W. Sheridan Avenue
Mon – Fri: 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Hillbilly Po’Boy’s & Oysters – I don’t know much about Po’Boy’s, but it can’t hurt to try them.
1 Nw 9th St
Mon – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Guernsey Park – Located behind Cuppie’s & Joe and it looks pretty fancy!
2418 N Guernsey Ave
Mon – Thu: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Fri – Sat: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Whiskey Cake – They have another location in TX (does that make it a chain?), but it’s supposed to be a farm-to-kitchen type restaurant.
1845 Northwest Expressway
Mon – Thu: 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.
Fri: 11 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sat: 9 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Sun: 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

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I Love Local Restaurants – Elemental Coffee Crepes

19 Jun

While my cousin was in town last weekend I met her and her fiance for brunch on Saturday morning.

AllisonKirby
I’ve had Elemental’s Crepe Brunch that they serve on Saturday and Sunday on my to-do list for quite a while, and this turned out to be a perfect opportunity to try it out. They serve 4 different crepes until 2 p.m., and the menu changes every week. A lot of times they’ll post the crepe options on their Facebook or Twitter so you can check what you might be interested in before you go.

The menu is just printed on a paper taped to the counter at the register, so don’t be confused if you don’t see it on the menu board.

This past weekend they were serving:
Raspberries Red: Puree of red raspberries, drizzled with Askinosie dark chocolate sauce.
The Patriot: Lemon sugar crepe topped with strawberries, blueberries, and cream.
Roast Beast: Peppery roast beef, aged cheddar cheese, and smoky barbecue sauce.
Mango Madness: Crepe filled with refried black beans and topped with mango salsa and guacamole.

Kirby got the Patriot, Alli got the Mango Madness and mine below is the Roast Beast. We also got coffee or chai to drink. I know mine was delicious and I think Kirby and Allison liked theirs too.

CrepeSo, next time I find a reason to go eat brunch time crepes I will. The one problem with eating a crepe at 10:30 when you haven’t had breakfast and intend for it to also be your lunch is it’s not a large meal. Maybe next time I’ll go for a sweet crepe as dessert after lunch!

AllisonSommer

Elemental Coffee
815 N Hudson
OKC, OK 73102
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday 8 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Sunday 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Norman Saturday

18 Apr

Last Saturday there was a free Iron and Wine show in Norman we wanted to go to. It was also the day of the OU Spring Game. So we made an afternoon and evening of it all in Norman! We picked up lunch at Pickleman’s, attended the Spring Game, made a quick stop in at the Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, took a break for a drink at the Library Bar & Grill, picked up dessert for later at Crimson & Whipped Cream, grabbed dinner to go from Pad Thai, and enjoyed the Iron and Wine concert.

I don’t have any pictures of Pickleman’s, but the former OU player Kenny Stills was in line in front of us!

The spring game was interesting. The offense plays the defense, so they have the scoring set up differently. Offense of course gets points for scoring, but the defense got points for things that it’s important for defense to do. I have enough trouble following a regular football game, so I was a bit lost! But it was still fun to cheer for the big catches, and I brought my new camera along to try out.

SpringGame

After the game we considered going in to the Fred Jones Jr. Art Museum, but it was less than an hour till closing and I assumed I’d have to pay. Then we walked by a big sign they had out front that said “The museum is always free.” We turned right around and went in. Since we only had about 40 minutes we probably didn’t even see a quarter of what they had, but I was impressed with what I saw and I’m looking forward to going back!

FJJMA

I’ve been wanting to try Crimson & Whipped Cream for a while. They’re a member of Keep it Local, so I always see them on the list and am curious. I expected it to be similar to Cuppies & Joe with lots of cupcakes, but instead it was a mix of all sorts of treats and what looked like a pretty big drink menu. We picked out several things to try and they packed them to-go for us. We got: a chocolate cupcake with peanut butter frosting, a strawberry granola bar, a Nutella cinnamon roll, and an oatmeal cream pie. All of them were quite tasty, and I’ll definitely stop by again and trying some other things.

Crimson&WhippedCreamTreats Crimson&WhippedCreamBox

Our choice for dinner was Pad Thai. It had been recommended as the best Thai food in Norman. We were running a little short on time so we each ordered a pad Thai to-go. After an unfortunate 40 minute wait (their kitchen exhaust fan stopped working and they had to turn away people who they’d already seated!) we got our food. They were very apologetic about the wait and offered us free drinks, so I won’t hold the wait against them. The portions were huge, and the pad Thai was a little sweet and I thought tasted a bit tomatoey. Nate ordered a 4 star which I tasted and it wasn’t very hot, so if you go order a 5 star if you like spice! I’d go again, but probably try curry or something different next time.

PadThai

The Iron and Wine show had a bit of a rocky start – everyone at the front stood up to listen, and everyone at the back, where we were, started talking really loudly. About half way through we got a little fed up, picked up our bits, and moved into the standing crowd. All in all it was a really great show, and we should’ve just moved forward sooner!

IronandWineConcert

Since they weren’t checking cameras or anything I carried in my new zoom lens, and we had some fun testing it out.

IronandWine5 IronandWine IronandWine3

I Love Local Restaurants – LOCAL

26 Feb

The weekend after Valentine’s Day Nate took me to LOCAL in Norman for a little Valentine’s dinner. We’d both been wanting to try LOCAL since it opened last year, so we were pretty excited. I think a lot of other people had the same idea as us – to go out not on Valentine’s Day – so there was a little wait before we could be seated. We were in no hurry though, so it wasn’t a problem.

NSLocal

Their seating area is rather large (Nate told me he thinks the space used to be a Furr’s Cafeteria), so it was exciting to see a local spot so busy!

LOCAL is a member of Keep it Local, so once seated we ordered truffle chips which you get for free with your card. They came with three dipping sauces my favorite of which was the ketchupy barbeque sauce.

They do their menu seasonally and focus on foods that are local, sustainable, and in season. The menu was fairly small (1 page) but still managed to cover a wide range of foods from meat loaf to pasta and vegetables. I tend to be a terrible decision maker, so fewer choices are always good for me! Another thing I noticed was that over half the menu items had special markings next to them indicating that they were or could be prepared Vegan, Vegetarian, or Gluten Free. While I don’t keep to a meat or gluten free diet I have several friends that do, so it’s nice to know that LOCAL will gladly prepare meals to their needs. Nate ordered stacked enchiladas, and I asked our waitress if she would recommend the ratatouille or primavera. She said definitely the primavera.

I had intended to take a picture of our plates when they arrived because I knew they would look fantastic. You’ll just have to trust me that they looked so fantastic that we both dug right in, and I completely forgot about taking a picture! Nate’s enchiladas were tasty right down to the pickled onion (who would have thought pickled onion was even a good idea!). My primavera was just as good as our waitress promised. The pasta and pesto combination was topped with green beans, broccoli, mushrooms, egg plant, and probably other vegetables I’m forgetting. My favorite part was that the green beans and broccoli still had just a little crunch left. Just as we were eating our last bites I remembered my plan to take pictures, so  here’s a picture of our two clean plates.

LocalNorman

After dinner we had discussed heading back to the city and stopping by Cuppies and Joe for dessert, but our meals were so good (and I’d just had a cupcake from Cuppies the day before) that we decided to splurge on dessert at LOCAL. Boy was that a good decision! Our waitress recommended the Sticky Toffee Pudding which was a delicious warm bread pudding with crunchy toffee bits. I’m not sure that I’ve ever tried bread pudding before, but that one sold me on it.

BreadPudding

So, after one meal I’m a big fan of LOCAL. The metro has another restaurant or two that do the small seasonal menu focusing on local items, but this one, in my opinion does it right for everyone. It’s reasonably priced, and I think anyone, no matter how unadventurous your taste buds are, could find something to like on the menu. So check out LOCAL! I was just browsing their website and they offer so much more that I didn’t even cover: a kids play/eating area, a market that includes to-go meals, a private gallery/eating area for events.

LOCAL
2262 West Main Street
Norman, OK 73069
Tuesday – Thursday 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

I Love Local Restaurants – The Mule

8 Oct

For Nate’s birthday meal he picked a new restaurant that just opened in the plaza district, The Mule. I’d been wanting to try it too so I think we were both pretty excited. It had been described to me as – all they serve is beer and grilled cheeses. While the menu was a bit more extensive than that the drinks and sandwiches did seem to be their focus. The weekend we went was the Plaza Festival, so the food menu was limited to three sandwiches and the sides that come with a sandwich (tomato soup, fries or onion rings).

I ordered a 5-cheese grilled cheese with fries, and Nate got the Portacatoosa grilled cheese ( goat cheese, Portobello mushrooms, sun-dried tomato pesto, and Fontina) with tomato soup. We traded halves, and while mine was delicious, I love goat cheese and mushrooms so Nate’s was spectacular. The fries were seasoned really uniquely and a little spicy. We didn’t ever pin down what the spices were but possibly cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger. The tomato soup was creamy with some tomato chunks – really yummy!

The food was great the atmosphere laid back, and I can’t wait to go back and try some more grilled cheeses!

The Mule
1630 N Blackwelder Ave
OKC, OK 73106
Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 12 a.m.

I Love Local Restaurants/Shops – Birthday Lunch Edition – Mediterranean Imports & Deli

19 Aug

Yesterday was my birthday, so Nate took me to lunch at Mediterranean Imports & Deli. It’s a small little shop with half of the space dedicated to groceries and the other half a little restaurant. I’ve been several times to pick up different items from the grocery section (if you’re ever making hummus and need tahini they sell jars for way cheap compared to the regular grocery store), but had never had the opportunity to try the restaurant.

We arrived around 1:30 or 2 p.m. and there was only one open parking space and one open table. The restaurant side did start slowing down right after we got there, but the grocery section was a very bustling, busy place! They’ve got a nice looking outdoor seating area that I was hoping we’d be able to enjoy since the weather has been fantastic the past few days. We were getting some much-needed rain, so we stuck to the dry indoor seating. Nate ordered a combo platter which came with Greek salad, gyro meat, falafel, meat or spinach pie, and pita, and I got a gyro sandwich, a side of grape leaves, and a meat pie. Our favorite things were the spinach pie and the grape leaves. A friend recommended the meat pie, and it tasted good but was a bit on the tough side. At $1.25 though I’d give it another shot. I enjoyed everything I tried and would swing by again to try other items on the menu and get another spinach pie!

After eating we perused the grocery section for a bit. They have a pretty impressive selection of cheese and lots of imported foods that you might not find at the regular store. Before leaving I picked out a delicious slice of apple strudel for dessert.  Mediterranean Imports & Deli is a great gem of OKC and a fun place to check out if you want to try some Mediterranean foods!

Mediterranean Imports & Deli
5620 N. May Ave.
OKC, OK 73112
Kitchen: Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Grocery: Monday-Saturday 9:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m.

I Love Local Restaurants – Pops

20 Jun

One of my favorite places to go for a treat is POPS. While their food is awesome it’s the wall full of glass bottled pops in every flavor imaginable that keeps bringing me back. Chai soda, cucumber soda, peanut butter and jelly soda, peach pop…you name it they probably have it. They’re a part of Keep it Local so you can get 10% off your pop or in the restaurant with your card.

Like I said their food is awesome, so if you’re going to eat it’s best to go  for an early or late lunch or dinner when the wait hopefully won’t be so long. Or if you don’t mind waiting you can pick out a few pops to try while you wait. They also have great outdoor seating if the weather is nice.

POPS
660 W. Highway 66
Arcadia, OK 73007

Restaurant:
Lunch/Dinner: Daily 10:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Breakfast: Saturday & Sunday Only 7:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Store: Open Daily 6:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

And of course, be sure to get your picture with the large pop bottle before you leave!

OKC Snow Cone Map

15 Jun

Who doesn’t love a snow cone on a hot day?! I definitely do. The only problem is those little stands can sometimes be elusive especially if you’re in a part of town you don’t often frequent. So last summer I started an OKC Snow Cone Stands Map. The best part is that anyone with a Google log-in can add to it! So if you see that your favorite stand is missing, please add it (click Edit and grab a little blue marker from the top). Or if a stand on there is no longer in business or the details are wrong, you can help me update it (click edit and click on the stand marker you want to edit).

I Love Local Restaurants – Custino’s Italian Kitchen

7 Jun

Sunday evening after a long weekend of Corporate Challenging we tried a new restaurant, Custino’s Italian Kitchen, that just opened on Britton Rd. I’d read an article from NewsOK that made me even more excited to try it out. Most everything on the menu is around $6 (the only things over $10 are pizzas and lasagna), they have a dining room and a drive through, and the portions are huge.

I was a little bummed because they were out of the ravioli, but there were plenty of other choices. We ordered 10 layer lasagna, spaghetti with a meatball, and a regular cannoli. If you can stop yourself from gobbling up a whole slice of lasagna there is definitely enough for lunch the next day. All of our food was really delicious, and I plan to go back to try the ravioli and the Italian roast beef sandwich.

Custino’s Italian Kitchen
2724 W. Britton Rd.
OKC, OK 73120
Tuesday – Sunday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.

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