We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton
There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
Devoted to perfection, The Cow Calf-Hay focuses on burgers, that all-time, feel-good food for guys.
The Cow Calf-Hay
3409 Wynn Drive, Edmond
Date established: 2010
General manager: Beck Blevins
Owners: Blevins Brothers of City Bites
Food style: Burgers and daily specials
Average check: $8
What guy doesn’t like a burger? A pretty good one can be had at The Cow Calf-Hay, tucked into a nondescript shopping strip in south Edmond right behind Jamba Juice.
This outpost dedicated to beef has a masculine, meaty formula that has done well thus far for the Blevins brothers of City Bites fame. The place is always packed to capacity.
The burgers done at The Cow would make a carnivore sob … and salivate, giving a down-home favorite an upscale tweak with the use of Certified Angus chuck, grilled flattop-style.
When I visited for my second time, I was greeted warmly just like everyone else who came through the door, and it must be noted that it was mostly men chowing down. Sure, there were tables that were pushed together to accommodate families, but at this Edmond restaurant, everything is presented with a no-frills, macho attitude. Decor includes cows and more cows, and the bathrooms are aptly named “the outhouse.”
People stood in line waiting for takeout, too, which is pretty popular. Hours at The Cow are quite simple: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday. If you want to see and be seen, this is the place, as it is small enough to wave at old friends across the single room.
Lunch offers an array of moderately priced options that feature chicken and beef, but specials pop up every day, too, and could include other types of meat.
We began our lunch with an appetizer of tasty onion rings ($2.99) that came with a small portion of the “famous” onion ring sauce. We were drawn to the special that day, turkey sliders, and the server was a little concerned that there might not be enough. With a colleague eating with me, we polished the two off in seconds. The ground turkey patties were grilled, seasoned nicely and placed between small burger buns. They were simply prepared and mouthwatering fare.
Then it was time for the burgers. We tried the classic cow cheeseburger (one-third pounder, $6.49; one-half pound, $7.49).
The menu read: “Enjoy our classic thick and juicy premium chuck burger covered in melted American cheese, crisp lettuce, fresh tomato, onions and pickles with the customer’s choice of dressing.” And it was all of that. It was cooked just right.
We also inhaled a grilled chicken tender sandwich (we split our food) tucked between Texas toast and dressed up with clean flavors of lettuce, tomato, smoked bacon, American cheese and a choice of dressing served with curly fries.
Service was exceptional, with several servers stopping by to make sure everything was going fine, although we had a little wait.
Those burgers take at least 10 minutes to cook each one, unlike other places that put out wimpy, salty burgers in mere seconds.
The Cow has two signature burgers that are on the uncomplicated menu. One is the Mad Cow burger (one-third pounder, $7.89; halfpounder, $8.89). It is loaded. Certified Angus chuck is topped with diced and grilled chicken, American cheese, grilled Idaho potatoes, smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese and, finally, the dressing that everyone loves: ranch.
The Cow has recently added a new burger to the lineup, the Western BBQ (one-third pound, $7.89; onehalf pound, $8.89). The premium patty is grilled over sliced jalapeños with melted American cheese, smoked bacon, fried onions strings and barbecue sauce.
Other burgers on the menu have cute names, like the Maui Cowi, which comes with pineapple; the Holy Cow, made with grilled, shaved ham; and the Barnyard, with sautéed mushrooms.
Just as in white-tablecloth steakhouses, sides are priced separately and generously proportioned. Curly fries are $1.49 and onion rings were $2.99. Also on the menu are fried eggs (79 cents each), a grilled pineapple slice (50 cents), bacon (2 slices for $1), fresh jalapeños (50 cents) and sautéed mushrooms (79 cents). Dipping sauce (50 cents each) includes creamy pepper gravy, creamy jalapeño gravy, homemade spicy ranch and the onion ring sauce.
A menu specifically for youngsters featured a grilled cheese, a cheeseburger and chicken tenders, with all three items less than $4, and you might even catch the kids drooling.