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Bite Size: 8-24-11


News and notes on OKC dining

Carol Smaglinski August 24th, 2011


HAPPY ANNIVERSARY
Gourmet Gallery is offering 20-percent discount during a 10th-anniversary open house from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at both locations, 2820 N.W. 122nd in Oklahoma City and 1532 S. Boulevard in Edmond. Vendor representatives will offer samples of recipes alongside grilling demonstrations by American Propane.

OPENINGS
Divine Swine, 7801 N. May, is aiming for the end of the month for an opening date. It will serve breakfast and lunch. We all know about contractors and inspectors, don’t we?

Owners and business partners chef Joshua Valentine and Courtney Evans are so anxious to get going. Valentine said he is most proud of his homemade bacon and made-from-scratch bread. Now all we need is some mayonnaise and fresh tomatoes. Reach Divine Swine at 843-3400.

CLOSINGS
Bossy Squirrel Cafe, 104 E. Gray in Norman, has closed. It is now the site of Sergio’s Italian Bistro.

WHAT'S IN A NAME? THREE GRANNIES
Here’s the skinny on how Irma’s Burger Shack got its moniker.

Before the owners opened the original Irma’s, 1035 N.W. 63rd, known for its relaxing atmosphere and killer burgers, Linda Lee (part owner of Irma’s) combined her two grandmother’s names of Etta and Norma and came up with “Irma” as her choice.

“I went and told Kurt Fleischfresser (another part owner) that I wanted to name the burger place ‘Irma’s’ and he said, ‘Great!’ That was because his grandmother … was actually named Irma,” Lee said.

Here’s the amusing part. The photo they chose of “Irma” was discovered on the Internet by Chris Lower (another Irma’s owner). In the photo was a gal from the late ’40s or ’50s clutching a can of beer.

So the icon is fictitious, while the handle is a combination of three grandmothers. So there, we can end the rumor!

Grab a bite to eat at the original Irma’s or a second location in Midtown, 1120 Classen Drive.

Incidentally, while trying to dig up the background on exactly how Irma’s was named, I originally called Fleischfresser, who was conducting a staff meeting. It turns out he and his staff were addressing the same subject at the same time. Talk about a coincidence.

ROCOCO ENTERING CATERING BUSINESS
Rococo is now offering catering. The restaurant has two locations, 2824 N. Penn (the original) and 12252 N. May in Northpark Mall.

Owner and executive chef Bruce Rinehart announced that he has appointed longtime caterer Sam Fitch as the director of catering for Rococo’s new venture.

“When Bruce introduced Rococo to Oklahoma City, he opened up an exciting new kind of venue to which Oklahoma City citizens had never experienced in their hometown,” Fitch said. “I want to add to the tradition that Rococo has become, and with Rococo’s new catering options, Oklahoma City culinary arts fans have yet another reason to applaud.”

Rococo’s full menu, fine wine and great service can cater events up to 500 people.

CHOW CHAT
Chef Mark Amme is the owner (with his wife, Ann) of the Red Stone Inn, 3101 N.E. 50th. The bed and breakfast does breakfast and lunch for guests who stay over and caters for weddings and other events.

Food you’d never eat: “Squid ink.

It is so dense and (in other chef positions) when I had to make the squid ink pasta dish, I couldn’t handle it.”

But you would kill for: “A tenderloin steak, pizza and bacon.”

Your own signature dish in a restaurant: “Steak Arthur done with a balsamic reduction. It is easy to mess up.”

You kind of look like: “A skinny Chris Farley.”

Personal motto: “Sail your own course, and don’t let anyone take your wind.”

People don’t know that you were:

“Once a motocross racer.”

Love your: “Garlic press.” Date night: “At The Metro, Sophabella’s, Fuji Japanese Restaurant in Edmond and Stella, all close friends.”

Favorite junk food: “All kinds of candy.”

Sudden windfall comes along: “I’d put it all into my B&B.”

Strangest request from a guest:

“A gal had a list on printer paper — things that she couldn’t or wouldn’t eat — with 40 or 50 items. I guess she took it everywhere with her.”

Any requests for whipped cream from the guests: “No, but they use it. You name it, we’ve found it.”

—Carol Smaglinski

 
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