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Chow chat

Carol Smaglinski June 15th, 2011

Brian Smith, 53, is a local disc jockey and a load of fun. You have probably seen him all over town at weddings, parties and corporate events.

Not only does he play music that covers a wide range, at times he will get out and show the people how to dance certain steps, too.

Who are your clients? “Devon is my best client, along with Tinker Federal (Credit) Union, Western Concepts, St. Anthony, Cafe do Brasil and Allison’s Fun Company.”

The start of your career? “I got my degree in 1981 from the University of Central Oklahoma in radio and TV and spent several years at KXY. I started Chameleon Entertainment in 1996.”

Family: “Wife, Trinity, and son, Lincoln, 6, a real ‘firecracker.’”

You die and come back as: “Wolfman Jack or Alan Freed, not Dick Clark — he’s the poster child, but not the real deal.”

Nobody knows: “That I’ve run in three marathons and used to run 100 miles a week.”

Your first professional party: “(It) was for Hertz with a party of 600 people, and they were going bananas. I started with (former partner) Rick Ayers in ’86, and we thought, ‘Could we really make a living doing this?’ And we did.”

A fun job as a kid: “Scooping ice cream for Baskin-Robbins, and I ate all the ice cream I wanted.”

Best part of your job: “Every party is different. It’s live, and I see the people’s reaction, the body language and I see how to read the crowd.”

What everyone needs: “Great food, music and friends. I use music like food to nourish myself. Music is like a spa for the ears.”

You would like to go incognito: “To any black club.”

How’d you meet your wife? “On Nov. 6, 1992, on the dance floor. I asked her if she would like to make a fool of herself, and we danced all night, and one year later to the day, we were married. The couple that dances together stays together.”

GO WEST FOR COTTON CANDY

While dining in the patio area at West recently and enjoying the music by local band Shakers of Salt, I saw this bright ball of pink on a plate at the next table. What was it? Co-owner Rick Haynes stopped over and explained that it was cherryflavored cotton candy, that sugary confection usually only found at state fairs, carnivals and the circus.

Those who head to West, 6714 N. Western, for dinner are presented with a plateful of the candy (one per table) for a sticky-sweet finish. The treat is made in the restaurant in a cotton candy machine.

“It’s gotten quite popular,” said Justin Neely, the new manager. “We make it fresh everyday and have about five or six different flavors.”

Patrons at West may remember Neely from his more than seven years spent as a manager at Flip’s Wine Bar & Trattoria. Neely moved to Phoenix, then came back to help open Red Prime Steak before bringing his experience over to West.

Reach West at 607-4072.

DAVE & BUSTER’S ON THE WAY

Smicklas Chevrolet moved out and Dave & Buster’s is coming soon. The food and gaming concept will open at the site at 5501 N. May in about five months. The Dallas-based chain has already hit Oklahoma with a Tulsa location that has been open for more than two years.

More than 50 locations are spread over the nation, and Dave & Buster’s features appetizers, burgers, steaks, pasta, seafood, chicken and good desserts. We’ll let you know!

THE TASTE OF WINE

In a 2010 article in Santé, a magazine for restaurant professionals, Greg Harrington, the owner/winemaker at Gramercy Cellars in Walla Walla, Wash., addressed the primary taste of wine.

“Wine geeks break the world into two different parts; the Old World and the New World. For complicated reasons, these wines taste very different from each other, but they show characteristics of either fruit or earth.”

So what’s old and what’s new?

“Old World countries included France, Italy, Germany, Spain and Portugal. Australia, South America, South Africa, New Zealand and the United States is considered the New World,” Harrington said.

“We set up a simple rule to describe taste: Old–world wines have predominantly earthy flavors (e.g., mushroom, cigar, mineral, stone, tar, clove, herbs). New-world wines have predominantly fruity flavors (e.g., berry, cherry, apple, mango, orange). In my years of training servers in the business, I have seen the light bulb turn on for countless servers,” he said.

GUTHRIE BEGINS ITS FARMERS MARKET

Get out to historic downtown Guthrie for its Farmer & Crafters Market that began on June 4. The market will continue from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday until September.

The focus is on local products and produce.

“We have local farmers, artists, crafters and even something for the family pet at our market,” said Veronica Morava, director of sales for the Guthrie Chamber of Commerce.

Along with the food and goods, there will be face painters at the market for the youngsters, which add to the relaxed family atmosphere. This is the fourth year for the Guthrie market, and the vendor list gets larger every year.

The Gunfighters, Guthrie’s historical re-enactors, also frequent the market, Morava added. “This is an event for everyone in your family!” Find the farmers’ market on First Street between Harrison Avenue and Oklahoma Avenue. Applications for vendors are currently being accepted. For more information, call 282-1947.

CHANGES FOR BRICKTOWN BREWERY

In May, Edmond-based Enduring Brands, a restaurant ownership group, began a remodeling and rebranding campaign for Bricktown Brewery, 1 N. Oklahoma.

The group has made improvements that have changed the building’s exterior and interior, and they have developed a new food menu and beer.

Chef Ron Charlton worked on the new menu. Charlton, who received his chef’s training at the New York-based Culinary Institute of America, has been a working chef and owned a restaurant in Colorado for more than 15 years.

As part of the overhaul, Enduring Brands formed a partnership with the Made in Oklahoma Coalition to use MIO ingredients and products in the development of the new menu, which includes more made-from-scratch items, rather than the packaged foods that are common in some restaurants. Look for items like gourmet hamburgers, steaks and prime rib, as well as signature side items.

Meanwhile, brewmaster Mark Carter was given the task to reformulate all of the pub’s signature, hand-crafted beer. An Oklahoma native, Carter joined Bricktown Brewery in 2002 and was trained as a brewer’s assistant until 2006.

The overall feel for its new menu is being described by the company as “Oklahoma cuisine meets Southern hospitality.”

The restaurant closed May 31 through June 2 to complete the majority of the renovations and will host a grand re-opening and fundraiser on July 8.

The building was originally built in 1903 and was the former site of a candy factory and a wholesale grocery. Bricktown Brewery opened in 1992 as Oklahoma’s first brewpub. Reach the revamped Bricktown Brewery at 232-2739.

DRINKING IN THE LIBRARY

For the sixth time, Esquire magazine named its Best Bars in America. The June/July issue compiled a list of 169 bars around the nation, and Norman’s The Library Bar & Grill, 607 W. Boyd, was the only Oklahoma spot on the list.

BYTES

It’s a fact! Salsa outsells ketchup these days. And what goes great with salsa? Nachos. Last week on Oklahoma Gazette’s Facebook page, we asked readers where they went for nachos. Here are your answers, verbatim.

“Sauced on Paseo also has Delish Italian Nachos” —Patrick Petsemoie

“This might sound goofy, but I love Coach’s chicken nachos. I’m not even a huge nachos fan, but when I go there, there’s a good chance I order them.”  —Jeremy Cowen

“VZD’s Veggie Nachos with cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli and lots of cheese are the yummiest. I want some now!” —Kimberly Hickerson

“Senior tequila’s in Edmond! They have the best white cheese dip.” —Keith Speer

“Pepes in Norman! Hands down!” —Kelli Crockett

“Smokestack nachos at Iron Starr!” —Stephanie Jones

“Flips Italian Nachos” —Kiel McClure

“Jamaican Jerk at Zarate’s are the bomb!” —Rosetta Geter

“I love the Mont’s bean and cheese nachos with extra jalapenos and sour cream...” —Heidi Holeman Kamm

“Red Cup’s!”  —Rena Marrs Parker

—Carol Smaglinski

 
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