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Megan Rossman, Associate Editor
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
Just Eat It
By Megan Rossman
February 7, 2013
I’ve said it before and proved it with numerous blogs: I love a good list. They’re almost as dear to me as food. So it was only a matter of time before I combined my two passions. While I could easily triple this lineup of great places to eat, I didn’t. Nor did I include any restaurants outside of Oklahoma City, other than two statewide chains. It’s not meant as a slight; I just eat most of my food in OKC. If you have restaurant suggestions for any part of the state, please share them with us.
Without further delay, here are some places I recommend you patronize:
Picasso Cafe—Two words: lobster bisque. It’s made with brandy cream. It’s served with toast points. You’re a fool if you don’t try it. Everything I’ve eaten at this Paseo restaurant is delicious. The pizzas are good—try the prosciutto with figs, mozzarella, and bleu cheese—and so are the sandwiches. There’s always a beer special, too, if you want some of that. Once a month, Picasso hosts a popular multiple-course vegetarian dinner, and there are plenty of veggie options on the regular menu. It’s the perfect neighborhood restaurant/bar; the atmosphere is warm and cozy, the wait staff is awesome, and they have live music all the time. 3009 Paseo Street. (405) 602-2002 or picassosonpaseo.com.
Flint—I’m a big taco fan. They’re easy to make, so they constitute many of my home-cooked dinners. If I’m going to eat some that aren’t prepared by me, the grilled vegetable tacos at Flint are among my favorite. In fact, they’re a lot better than anything I cook. At Flint, vegetables, potatoes, chickpeas, white beans, tomato tapenade, and crumbled feta are rolled into small pieces of flatbread and served with a side. If I’m feeling comfortable with my gluttonous tendencies, I get the tacos with za’atar fries. The name suggests they’re Middle Eastern-flavored, but they taste like they were fried in pepperoni pizza-flavored oil. It’s genius. 15 North Robinson Avenue. (405) 605-0657 or flintokc.com.
Saigon Baguette—This is the best you’re going to do if you want to eat cheap and well. The banh mi sandwiches are $2.50. They’re delicious and they’re filling. Try the chicken one. You can also get fried egg rolls and choose from an array of canned Asian drinks. Saigon Baguette is easy to find—it’s in the tiny but conspicuous milk bottle building on Classen, near Northwest Twenty-Third Street. Make sure you bring cash, because they don’t take cards here. 2426 North Classen Boulevard. (405) 524-2660.
Panang Thai Restaurant—My biggest complaint with this place is the indecision its menu invokes. Do I get pad Thai or Evil Jungle Chicken Curry? Or maybe the shredded papaya salad with shrimp? Hands down, it’s my favorite Thai restaurant in Oklahoma City. 9022 South Pennsylvania Avenue. (405) 691-9989 or panangthaifood.com.
Braum’s—I’m a regular at the Braum’s on Northwest Sixteenth and Classen. As far as I’m concerned, Braum’s is the only place to buy milk. If you want a hefty burger and fat, crinkly fries, go no further. And there’s ice cream, of course. Managing editor Nathan Gunter strongly recommends the super-tart limeade. Located everywhere! braums.com
Grandy’s—You can get pot roast from a drive-thru here. It’s something to keep in mind. Multiple locations throughout Oklahoma and other states. grandys.com.
Zorba’s—Oh, Zorba’s. It’s hard to miss this local favorite, with its flashing sign and palace-like façade. Here, you’ve got your standard Greek fare of gyros and kabobs, but my favorite item is the vegetable sampler. It’s a feast of pitas, hummus, baba ghannouj, dolma, tabouleh, falafel, spanakopita, and tiropita. Also try the Eggplant Divine appetizer, a blend of cheeses, tomatoes, eggplant, and potatoes. The good news is you’re probably not going to go wrong with anything you order. 6014 North May Avenue. (405) 947-7788 or zorbasokc.com.
Iron Starr Urban BBQ—Ordinarily, I would eschew an “upscale” barbecue restaurant, but Iron Starr is undeniably good and close to my house. The meat is great, but it’s the sides that keep me coming back: Fancy Mac & Cheese with Gruyère, spicy corn pudding, braised greens, and crispy green beans. If you want an amazing sandwich, try the BBQ Club, with smoked turkey breast, brisket, bacon, and cheese on Texas toast, drizzled with BBQ aioli. A friend visiting me from out of state declared it was maybe the best sandwich he ever had. Also, consider the Giant Chocolate Cake, and after a big meal here, consider getting it to go. It’s ten dollars per slice, but it’s dense and rich and can easily feed several people. 3700 North Shartel Avenue. (405) 524-5925 or ironstarrbbq.com.