deadCenter Dining

7 minutes

To paraphrase the words of the immortal Aaron Neville: “I don’t know much, but I know I love food.” And when the deadCenter Film Festival returns to Oklahoma City each year, as it has done for a whopping twenty years, I like to help people find great restaurants to patronize before and after films.

This year will be different. I mean, everything is different this year, isn’t it? But for the first time, deadCenter will be a virtual event. No more waiting in line, hoping to get into a popular screening? Yeah! No more walking around with friends and grabbing a bite at someplace new? Boo!

But if deadCenter can go on while you’re watching from your computer, so too can the food. I’ve gathered a few ideas for takeout or delivery food to enjoy from the comfort of your couch or backyard or bed or wherever it is you’re cool with eating and enjoying a film.

The Nghiems perform at 51st St. Speakeasy in Oklahoma City. Photo provided by The Nghiems

The Nghiems perform at 51st St. Speakeasy in Oklahoma City. Photo provided by The Nghiems

Cigarettes and Coffee by The Nghiems

Local band The Nghiems are showing their 2019 music video Cigarettes and Coffee as one of the festival’s shorts—always one of the most crowd-pleasing categories. While I’m not much for cigarettes, I can definitely point you to some great coffee. If you’re grabbing takeout in Oklahoma City, a few of the shops that would normally get deadCenter traffic include Clarity Coffee, Leaf + Bean, and Stella Nova, which hosted several filmmaker panels last year. If you’re not leaving the house, maybe treat yourself to a locally roasted bag of beans from KLLR Coffee, Leap Roasters, or EÔTÉ Coffee.

Hilarious short "Coffee Shop Names" plays as part of deadCenter Film Festival's Adulting Shorts program. Photo provided by deadCenter

Hilarious short "Coffee Shop Names" plays as part of deadCenter Film Festival's Adulting Shorts program. Photo provided by deadCenter

Adulting Shorts

While I’m 100 percent over the term adulting for the foreseeable forever, I do plan on watching the Adulting Shorts program at deadCenter, which looks hilarious. Consuming small bites of film puts me in the mood for the ultimate snack-turned-meal: charcuterie. I’m wild about the charcuterie program at Mary Eddy’s Kitchen x Lounge at 21c Hotel, and the cheese selection at En Croûte in Nichols Hills is one of the best in the city.

Feature film "Breaking Fast" is set during nightly iftar meals during Ramadan. Photo provided by deadCenter

Feature film "Breaking Fast" is set during nightly iftar meals during Ramadan. Photo provided by deadCenter

Breaking Fast

A romantic comedy set against the backdrop of Ramadan, Breaking Fast is one of the narrative features at this year’s deadCenter. As long as you’re watching people eat Iftars—the nightly meal eaten by Muslims during Ramadan—why not eat the same food? Zam Zam Grill in Oklahoma City is one of the most popular spots for Ramadan dining, so you can experience similar cuisine while watching two people fall in love.

Messy horror film "GetAWAY" is fun to pair with Oklahoma's beloved barbecue. Photo provided by deadCenter

Messy horror film "GetAWAY" is fun to pair with Oklahoma's beloved barbecue. Photo provided by deadCenter

GetAWAY

Watch the trailer for GetAWAY, a horror movie about making a horror movie, and you’ll get some 1980s slasher flick vibes with some fun modern-day winks to the audience. Looks like it’s going to get pretty messy, so why not indulge in some equally messy fare from one of Oklahoma’s great barbecue restaurants? Maybe it’s macabre to munch on ribs from Bedlam Bar-B-Q while seeing college students attacked by a maniac. Perhaps it is ghoulish to enjoy a brisket sandwich dripping with espresso barbecue sauce from Back Door Barbecue as the crew is attacked with a hatchet. But it also sounds fun.

Eat like a sasquatch while enjoying the documentary "Big Fur."  Photo provided by deadCenter

Eat like a sasquatch while enjoying the documentary "Big Fur." Photo provided by deadCenter

Big Fur

Maybe it’s just because I’m working on a Bigfoot story of my own, but “Big Fur”—a documentary about a taxidermist putting together a replica sasquatch—is the film I’m most excited to watch this year. And when I think about these massive creatures tromping through the woods, I usually think of them eating deer. Venison isn’t the easiest to come by in restaurants, so how about a steak instead? Oklahoma City is known for great steaks, from the rustic charms of Cattlemen’s to the pricier fine-dining fare of The Ranch and Red Prime.

But those are my tastes, not yours, so if you’d like to do some deadCenter dining of your own, visit deadCenter’s virtual festival page to see what’s streaming and figure out your own perfectly paired menu.

Written By
Greg Elwell

Web Editor Greg worked for newspapers, medical research organizations, and government institutions before he joined *Oklahoma Today*. He also is the publisher of the website I Ate Oklahoma.

Greg Elwell
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