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Slide into Home


Home Run Sliders pitches out sliders, sides and a ketchup bar to end all ketchup bars.

Jenny Coon Peterson June 8th, 2011

Just a few doors down from the University of Central Oklahoma Jazz Lab and across from a green space in Edmond, Home Run Sliders is a new concept from the Deep Fork Group that is hoping to hit it out of the park with its gourmet twist on American classics. (There ends the baseball puns. Promise.)

Home Run Sliders
Credits: Shannon Cornman

It’s a great location for this casual eatery, where the fun vibe is to eat well, then get back outside to play — maybe right across the street in the very pretty Stephenson Park.

Home Run Sliders, 128 E. Fifth, is Deep Fork Group’s first real foray into Edmond, but it’s not like the owners and staff aren’t familiar with the community.

“One of our owners, Rod Meyer, has lived in Edmond for a long time,” said Josh Richardson, corporate chef for Deep Fork and the guy behind the menu at Home Run. “He just has a love of Edmond, and we all love the community.”

Richardson, who has been with Deep Fork for three years and previously trained with Kurt Fleischfresser and Alain Buthion, is also from Edmond.

“It’s like coming home,” he said. “I know the mentality and enjoy the town a lot.”

He thinks the baseball-themed restaurant is a perfect fit for a place like Edmond. “There’s so many Little

League (teams) around here, and Edmond High School is so prevalent with baseball. It’s just a fun hand-in-glove, so to speak, kind of thing.”

The baseball theme is obvious from the start. Even the handles to the doors of the place are shaped like bats. Inside, the theme continues without getting obnoxious. There’s a collage of old baseball photos and news articles on one wall, surrounded by large paintings of baseball cards (including Honus Wagner, which Richardson said is the most monetarily valuable card out there).

The famous stadiums aren’t ignored either. A painting of Fenway Park is just inside the front doors, and a Wrigley Field sign on another wall holds a chalkboard announcing the latest winner of the Slider Derby.

That’s just one of the ways Home Run Sliders seems to be becoming a part of the community from the start. The Slider Derby is a weekly slidereating contest held at 7 p.m. each Wednesday.

“It’s pretty fun because you get the kids from (UCO), plus a couple high school kids,” Richardson said. “It’s like they’re all on a level playing field because they’re all hungry.”

The goal of the derby is to eat as many sliders as possible in five minutes, plus a side of Tater Tots and a glass of water. And what do they win?

“Well, bragging rights, obviously,” he said. “They get a gift certificate to here, their name on the board.”

Home Run Sliders also offers a 10 percent discount to Little League and high school baseball players who come in uniform.

“We’re hoping to get them in after the game,” Richardson said. “Maybe Dad wants to get a beer because it’s really hot outside, and the kids can all get a burger that’s just their size.”

Richardson said the burgers will appeal to both parents and kids. “The flavor profile is such that it’s appealing to the kids. They may not necessarily know why, but they’re like, ‘That’s a really yummy burger,’ and the parents are more foodie-oriented and they can really appreciate it.

“It’s just classic things with a little bit of a twist and a little bit of ‘churched-up’ aspect to it,” Richardson said.

Take, for example, The Ump, which is a variation on the blackand-blue with blackened, sweetened candy bacon and blue cheese. Even the classic tots get an update. Richardson said they’re gourmet tots made in-house with two different kinds of cheese, chives, spices and more.

The sliders are formed from a blend of meat made especially for Home Run, which Richardson said is just another aspect of turning the restaurant into more than a burger joint. “It’s like taking fine dining but applying the concepts to hamburgers.”

So how many sliders should one person order? That depends on how hungry you are.

“I have this little window so I can see people,” Richardson said, pointing to a rectangle window that connects the counter up front with the kitchen in back. “I’ll look at people and I’ll try to gauge if, ‘Do they want three? He looks like he hasn’t eaten all day.’ But the average person generally gets two with a side item. I really can’t eat more than two.”

CATCH THE KETCHUP

Lined up along one wall at Home Run Sliders, 20 nozzles perch atop a two-tier, blonde wood bar. And they’re all full of ketchup concoctions.

“We took variations of different themes, like there’s a roasted garlic and red bell pepper; there’s a wasabi-soy. Another chef and I worked on them together. Some of them worked, and those are the ones over there,” said Josh Richardson, chef at Home Run Sliders, gesturing to the bar that sits underneath a sign proclaiming it the “World’s Greatest Ketchup Bar.”

No telling if it’s the greatest, but according to the people at Deep Fork, it is the largest in the state.

The number of ketchups stays the same, but the flavors rotate. And those flavors, like a strawberry quince, can get pretty unique.

Richardson said that, although they all still taste like ketchup and look like ketchup, each flavor was given a little something extra.

Take the Theta, which Richardson said is full of “special stuff … little bit of this, little bit of that. Trade secrets.”

There’s also a Dr Pepper ketchup — a guest favorite — and a ketchup based on a Chicago dog, pumped with all the ingredients you’d find in the famous hot dog of the Windy City.

“Some of them are obviously different because of the ingredients that are put in there,” Richardson said, “and they’re not going to go with each thing on the menu, but in pairing them with different things, they really accompany them well.” —Jenny Coon Peterson

 
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