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Megan Rossman, Photography Editor
Photo by LORI DUCKWORTH
By Megan Rossman
April 30, 2015
If you’re a subscriber to Oklahoma Today, you already know: The annual Travel Issue is here. In it, you’ll find our gastronomical travel guide to all things edible in Oklahoma. From food festivals to chefs and producers, this special edition offers a hunger-inducing education on our state’s culinary culture. You’ll also find “29 (More) Food Destinations Worth the Drive,” a follow-up to last year’s 27 featured restaurants. I won’t divulge our selections here, but I will share with you some of my own picks.
The promise of well-prepared meat is always worth a drive. If I could eat steak daily without eviscerating my bank account and possibly my heart, I’d be digesting a ribeye at this moment. If you pick up the aforementioned issue of Oklahoma Today, you’ll find a feature I wrote about three of the best places in Oklahoma to get a steak: Ranch Steakhouse in Oklahoma City, Prhyme in Tulsa, and the Rancher’s Club in Stillwater. Your meat lust will be satisfied at any of these fine-dining staples. The sides and desserts alone are meals within themselves. Nothing satisfies my soul like a hunk of meat, sauteed vegetables, and a big glass of red wine. Except maybe pizza.
Speaking of which, another place I love is Andolini’s Pizzeria in Tulsa and Owasso. The restaurant’s food truck catered my friend’s wedding reception in Tulsa last year. I can’t remember the last time I was so excited to eat at a wedding. I consumed slice after slice until I was embarrassed to go back for more. I still regret letting my shame get the best of me. The house-made smoked mozzarella takes pizza to a whole new level.
I also love convenience, which is why a favorite of mine is Tom Cat Corner in Grove. At this gas station, you can fill up in every sense of the word. It’s Grand Lake tradition to stop for a pulled pork sandwich with onions, pickles, and jalapeños, and a side of potato salad. The meat’s smoked on site, and it’s a cheap, easy meal before you hit the lake—or wherever you’re headed next.
Barbecue is a holy food, and Smokin Joe’s Rib Ranch and RV Park in Davis is one of the best places to consume it. Located within the scenic Arbuckle Mountains region, this highway-side eatery is a short drive from Turner Falls and the Chickasaw Cultural Center. The word overflowing doesn’t quite encompass the quantities of food diners can expect. Order a sandwich and you’ll get a pile of rich, smoked meat with a bun perched on top. If you’re in a hurry, they have a handy to-go window. And you might as well make another pit stop at The Original Fried Pie Shop while you’re in Davis. I recommend blackberry or cherry, but we’re talking about fried pies, so anything you get is going to be good.
In southwestern Oklahoma, you should check in at Salas Mexican Restaurant in Lawton. The crowded parking lot is your first tip-off that Salas is well-versed in all things Tex-Mex. Bring your Nexium and lose yourself in enchiladas, tacos, burritos, brisket nachos, and cream of jalapeño soup. This is my go-to restaurant whenever I’m in Lawton.
To the extreme west, I recommend the Black Mesa Bed & Breakfast in Kenton. It’s not a restaurant, but Vicki Roberts’ morning meals are definitely worth the stay. I went there last year with fellow editors Steffie and Nathan, and we indulged in breakfast casseroles, pancakes, bacon, and the best biscuits I’ve ever had. You will want to cover everything you eat in the prickly pear cactus jelly and syrup Vicki makes from scratch. After you pack in those delicious calories, you’ll be ready for a hike to the top of Oklahoma’s highest elevation, Black Mesa, just five minutes from this peaceful and picturesque B&B.
Whatever road you take in Oklahoma, you’re bound for good food.