Eating Your Way Through OKC
Surprising your palate one bite at a time …
photos by Dawn Garcia[dropcap letter=”OKC”]Oklahoma City surprised me in every way – and I loved it! From dining to sightseeing to art and of course, the people, I found a special place in my travel heart for OKC. While researching new restaurants to the area and a hopeful sense of adventure, I visited quite a few places. Having already highlighted two of my favorites, there were two more restaurants that truly left me hungry for more – and they embraced a dining mentality much like we do here in Los Angeles: be bold, take risks, don’t underestimate flavor, and be true to your ingredients. The truth is, I was impressed by the culinary possibilities in Oklahoma City.
So whether you are a local Okie or you’re traveling there for the first time, the two restaurants below are high on our recommendations list. Why? Because much like the city, there is tremendous care that goes into both eateries. There is food that appeals to your need for comfort, a healthy alternative, fresh and locally sourced fare, inventiveness, and of course, gluttony. Whether it’s a fresh brewed latte or a deep fried oyster, these two restaurants have you covered. (And you won’t be disappointed.)
Be sure to check out the 1st edition of our favorite eats in OKC, here.[separator type=”thin”]
324 N. Robinson
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Perfect for families, a date, or a power meeting!
Located in the Braniff building, the location of Kitchen 324 is a historic site in OKC. While this is a relatively new restaurant to the area, it houses a selection of locally sourced produce, baked goods, a broad array of cheeses, homemade dishes and comfort food with panache. We started off with a glass of Veuve du Vernay, a kids lemonade and a bottle of sparkling water with fresh slices of lemon. The menu is inviting and the bright, open airiness of the restaurant makes you feel like you’re in LA, New York or Chicago. It is modern and pristine and the service is impeccable. The food was equally tasty.
½ dozen OYSTERS on the HALF SHELL
This was a great selection of oysters but it was the in-house lemon infused vinaigrette-like sauce that complimented these oceanic gems that put it over the top.
Grilled Brussel sprouts with hazelnuts and sage | I love Brussel sprouts but what I love even more is when I’m surprised by how they’re prepared. This dish utilizes nature in it’s finest forms by adding the texture and bittersweet blend of hazelnut and sage. It’s herbaceous and bold all at once.
POTATO LEEK SOUP
It must be said that rarely is a soup something to gush over but this potato leek soup is genuinely delicious. It isn’t bland in any way and is clearly made with love and the right culmination of spices.
REALLY FANCY GRILLED CHEESE
Smoked cheddar, jack cheese, poblano-peach preserves, fresh thyme, pressed sourdough | This grilled cheese definitely meets “gourmet” standards. The smoked cheddar combined with thyme and poblano-peach preserves makes that jack cheese happy to have been melted in between.
SHORT RIB RAGU
Pappardelle pasta, parmesan, shishito peppers | The short rib was cooked flawlessly, pasta was bursting with flavor thanks to the kick of shishito peppers. This was a unique twist on a familiar dish.
Kale gremolata, scarlet quinoa with apples and squash | This is a great vegetarian alternative but my dish was a bit dry and lacking in the abundance of flavor I was hoping for. I think with more citrus running throughout, it would liven up what could be a great plate.
CHOCOLATE MOUSSE W A CAPPUCCINO
I’m a sucker for a rich chocolate mousse and this one was a lovely and light finish. In spite of the richness of the chocolate, the gentle whip and the tart of the fresh berries made this a win. Couple that with their cappuccinos? Let’s just say you’ll feel empowered.
1 NW 9th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Ideal for families, girls or guys night out, or happy hour.
While this used to be called Hillbilly’s Po’boy & Oysters, this is a must-eat because of their deep-fried devotion to making just about everything taste like a worthy cause for a “cheat day”. With service that is down right homey from the bar to the kitchen, Hillbilly served up some of the tastiest deep fried dishes I’ve had in some time. Starting with deep fried oysters to bread pudding that is so decadent you’ll want to swim in it, this stop has a few dishes you definitely need to try. Décor that is reminiscent of a backwoods cabin and all the charm of a Louisiana bayou, the cocktails and the unique play on cajun food done Oklahoma-style, makes Hillbilly’s a restaurant that you’ll want to frequent. It’s good ole southern hospitality …
BLOODY MARY LOU
Ole Smoky Moonshine, fresh jalapeño, sriracha, worcestershire, celery, and olives | This needs no explanation. An avid gal on the hunt for the perfect bloody Mary, Hillbilly’s is up there with my all time faves. Trust me, you’ll agree.
House made chips loaded with fried oysters, melted parmesan cheese, and orange remoulade | As crazy as it sounds, these could easily replace regular, boring nachos! Fried oysters go so well with the saltiness of their house made chips and the offset of the orange remoulade will please your palate.
HORNY TOAD FRIED OYSTERS
Hand breaded, fresh oysters flash fried & served with your choice of dipping sauce | Again I say, fried oysters win. The oysters weren’t tough or lost in the batter, in fact the contrast of texture is ideal. Pair that with their selection of dips and you’re golden.
UNCLE JESSE’S CRISPY WHITE FISH
Fried, seasonal ocean white fish topped with southern slaw and cider sauce | A twist on fish n’chips, the batter is light and crisp without being too oily. The southern slaw is spicy and light.
Crispy fried crawfish, served on sweet pepper slaw, topped with fried wontons, green onions, and
sriracha mayo | Spicy AND battered? While I wanted this to be amazing, it lacked in overall composition. The siracha mayo is good on its own and killer with some of their fries but the crawfish was lacking.
Shrimp po’boy with pickled cabbage | This sounded and looked better than it tasted but there were a slew of other “Mains” that are certainly worth entertaining.
Baked to perfection and topped with an apple pie moonshine glaze. Add salted caramel ice cream for $2 | Decadence meets grandma’s bread pudding. This is the best bread pudding I have ever had (really!). When dissected, the “bread” is like a warm bite of freshly baked pie and the pudding is like sweet caramel apple. All in all, this is spectacular and we all agree that the caramel ice cream is definitely something you should opt for!
When you’re thinking of just where to go that might surprise you … consider Oklahoma City.