Even though NE 23rd Street is one of the most historical streets in Oklahoma City, many locals tend to forget that it’s also home to some of the most grassroots and homegrown eateries in town, the best having a specific focus on soul food, barbecue and old-fashioned Southern cooking. NE 23rd Street restaurants are OKC’s culinary history all in a few blocks and really should be revered as such.
Winning big can be hungry, thirsty work. We scoured Oklahoma’s casinos for your best bets on sustenance whether you are on a winning streak, holding, folding, walking away, running, or just down to your last five bucks.
Enduring, simple favorites like gyros, kebabs and falafel are drawing customers into Edmond’s Let’s Do Greek. It is a charming spot that breeds familiarity and friendliness.
Just a few blocks off Broadway Extension, Let’s Do Greek is in a wonderful location that once housed Falcone’s Pizzeria. Outside, groups of tall daisies sway in the breeze, and a nice pond can be viewed through the restaurant’s large windows.
That outdoor scene is so inviting, owner Mahshid (Marsha) Aguilar said people often order food, then take it outside and sit around the pond on the grass and have a picnic. There were even some swans that stayed for a few months, but they have flown on.The menu has items that are mostly short-order food, including gyros ($3.99) done with meat, onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce or a type of gyro called The Workx ($4.89) done with all of that, plus an addition of lettuce, black olives and feta cheese. Also look for its famous chicken oregano, along with more elaborate dishes such as souvlakia chicken ($7.49), a curry chicken stew ($6.99) and a Grecian burger ($3.99). There is only one item on the menu over 10 bucks, and that’s the combo plate of gyros and souvlakia chicken.
I found portions to be very generous. My first dish was the signature oregano chicken ($7.69), with an intriguing mix of spices covering the rice that had just the right spice and heat level for me. The chicken had a delightful, homey flavor and was presented with warm triangles of pita. It’s a dish that is an original from Aguilar herself, who not only works the front of the house, but often in the kitchen, too.
The beef souvlakia involved skewered, marinated beef kebabs served with an attractive array of grilled tomatoes, freshly sliced onions, lettuce and tzatziki, which is the Greek condiment of fresh yogurt, cucumber and dill. I also went home with a take-out gyro ($3.99) and came back days later for its scrumptious souvlakia chicken ($5.99).
For dessert, the chocolate cake ($2.50) was not the dark, dark chocolate that we are so used to, rather a lighter chocolate that was
quite delicious. I was interested in finding out what the baklava cake ($2.25) was like, something I had never sampled before. Baklava cake is done with pistachios and almonds and a light addition of cardamom — Aguilar’s version was lovely.
Next time, I’ll try the Greekalicious ($3.99), which is warmed baklava, served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with honey — a sex bomb of a dessert.
Let’s Do Greek also sells phyllo dough and hard-to-find Middle Eastern grocery items.
Food is sacred to Greece, where people eat together and enjoy conversation, making food an important part of the social network. That’s what is going on with the Aguilar family, too. The television, which has become ubiquitous at most restaurants, was turned down so as to not intrude on the conversations.
Before opening Let’s Do Greek, Aguilar and her family owned and operated La Greek in Midwest City for more than 25 years. Just two years ago, it was sold, but Aguilar missed it so much, she and her husband, Gleen, took over the Edmond spot.
Inside, next to the flag of Greece, tags and badges from the military personnel at Tinker Air Force Base are pinned to the wall. Now, Edmond’s military, police and firefighters are leaving their badges, too, and coming back for more provisions.
Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.