Tuesday 29 Jul

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Vietnamese comfort food

I’ve always had a love affair with the refreshing, healthy cuisine of Vietnam. I love the fragrances, the fresh herbs, cilantro, basil, mint and other Asian herbs: perilla, Vietnamese coriander and sawtooth cilantro. And I love the contrast and balance in almost every dish: spicy vs. cool, salty vs. sweet and steamed vs. crispy.
07/16/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

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

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

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

07/16/2014 | Comments 0


Ah, the perils of working with special dietary needs. It can make dining out a pain. Luckily, with restaurateurs becoming more savvy to their diners’ needs, there are a bevy of places in OKC to satisfy your craving for the foods you love without losing taste. All choices this week have been road-tested by gluten-sensitive foodies to guarantee satisfaction.
07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Country strong
Restaurant Reviews

Country strong

At the festive and spacious Toby Keith’s, Americana decor amps up the energy.

Carol Smaglinski March 16th, 2011

Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill
310 Johnny Bench Drive
231-0254, www.tobykeithsbar.com

It’s a sure bet that Toby Keith’s I Love this Bar & Grill has turned into one of Bricktown’s “must-do” restaurants for visitors and residents alike. The restaurant, the brainchild of Moore’s own country star, Toby Keith, spreads out along the Bricktown canal. And look close: The shape of the building is inspired by a guitar.

The casual restaurant does not accept reservations and seats people on arrival. But first, you’ve got to park the car. Finding a (free) parking place can be a chore, but with seating for nearly 450, there are people coming and going constantly. We found a spot nearby and walked into the restaurant surrounded by scads of people waiting to be seated.

We visited on a recent Saturday evening, and I was quite surprised to see the number of infants inside the restaurant at that time of night. When we stepped up to the podium, we were told that it would be at least an hour-and-a-half before we could get a seat, but because it was just the two of us, the hostess suggested that we grab a two-top in the bar. It was comfortable, and seated on high stools, we could see what was happening all around us.

above Manager Nicole Dalrymple and server Chelsea Wood

We were greeted by Jake Martin, who was doing double duty as a bartender and server. He was quite friendly and accommodating, and he guided us to the two most requested appetizers.

We started with the Tumbleweed ($7.99), simply called The Weeds by some, in which the chef thinly slices onions and pairs them with jalapeño “toothpicks.” The vegetables are then flash-fried, tangled on a platter into a tall pile and served with a delicious chipotle ranch.

Our second worthy starter was the tamer chicken quesadillas ($8.99), and this could have been a whole meal. Presented on a large platter, the quesadillas were created with smoked Cheddar and Jack cheeses. The flour tortilla also was packed with pulled rotisserie chicken, chipotle sour cream and a smoked tomato guacamole. Both of these appetizers were easy to share between the two of us.

Next up was smoked salmon ($17.99). It was listed under Canal Catch, and while I really doubt the fish came out of the Bricktown canal, it’s fun to pretend. That salmon was marinated, quickly smoked and finished on the grill and then topped with a Pommery mustard sauce. The Pommery mustard is a French mustard that adds the special touch that makes the dish work. Delicious.

The dish came with two side items, which included options like green beans, which are slow cooked with bacon, butter and red onions, and cowboy beans, which are betterthan-average pinto beans slow-cooked and paired with ham hocks, onion and bacon. They left my friend with a satisfied smile.

I decided to do the St. Louis ribs ($18.99), and with my first bite I knew it was the right choice. Those ribs, a full slab, are basted in the restaurant’s own signature barbecue sauce and perfectly done with a bit of that black charring on the edges. The dish was a big hit. At first, I thought it was mild, but then the tangy kick set in. The quality of those ribs was sterling, with lots of meat on the bones and just the right amount of sauce.

The ribs were perfectly done with a bit of that black charring on the edge.

My sides were tasty fried okra, along with seasoned and herbedup mashed potatoes. The mound of potatoes could have served three people comfortably.

For dessert, a slice of smooth and silky buttermilk pie ($5.99), just like grandma used to make, and fried ice cream ($5.99) were lapped up by us.

Toby Keith’s menu is extensive, offering such favorites as steaks, meatloaf and chicken-fried steak. The menu also lists a prime rib — complete with the challenge of “How big a boy are ya?” — that is $1.99 an ounce, with a minimum of 8 ounces. However, that particular item has a limited availability.

Want to hear something neat? A cheeseburger with fries and a drink are on the house for any American soldier with ID (one time only). We can all hold our glasses high to Oklahoma’s Toby Keith and the owners of the restaurant for that wonderful gesture.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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