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The dining options along Automobile Alley have revved their engines and taken off.

Vivian Boroff August 31st, 2011

Cruising through the streets of downtown Oklahoma City, you will find many enjoyable places to dine. No part of town, however, will capture your taste buds the way Automobile Alley will.

Located in the neighborhood along N. Broadway from N.W. Fourth up to N.W. 10th, restaurants such as Red Prime Steak and Iguana Mexican Grill, along with Coffee Slingers, have definitely paved the way for niche dining in this historic part of downtown.

New to the neighborhood is the latest outpost of Hideaway Pizza, 901 N. Broadway. Hideaway was recently voted the metro’s best pizza during Oklahoma Gazette’s Best Of OKC, but it has so much more to offer than that.

General Manager Randy Carlson and Manager Rachel Zielke pointed out a few really great features of this new location. Besides the urban look, the biggest difference at the newest Hideaway is the full-service bar, which will be the restaurant group’s flagship bar. From the bar, Hideaway is producing some signature cocktails, such as Bloody Marys made with its pizza sauce and margaritas made with its own sweet and sour concoction.

“We are just really excited to be here,” Zielke said. “The neighborhood is great and a perfect fit for Hideaway. We get a great draw from the lunch crowd, and surprisingly also from the after-church crowd on Sundays.”

Carlson pointed out a window on the south side of the building where people passing by can watch as employees roll and toss pizza dough. “It has been a real draw to bring people who are just walking by into the building,” he said.

And Hideaway isn’t just about pizza. On a recent visit, my server Danny Santos recommended his favorite sandwich, called The Dagwood, which comes loaded with a variety of meats, cheeses, lettuce, tomatoes and Italian Dressing. For dessert, try the new frozen lemonade pie — it’s like a cross between cheesecake and lemon sorbet.

Soon to be joining the restaurants of Automobile Alley will be a second location of S & B’s Burger Joint. The original location at 5929 N. May is definitely the hippest burger joint in OKC. With its unique burger menu, great cocktails and overall hip environment, it is a favorite place to grab a burger or slider. Make your way there and try my personal favorites, The Elvis (a little peanut butter and bacon go a long way to please this happy eater) and the bacon Bloody Mary.

The new restaurant will be adding a location on Ninth Street, just across from Iguana Mexican Grill, and has a prospective December opening date.

“We are really excited about the new location,” said Denise McConnell, general manager. “Our menu will stay the same. (Co-owner) Shannon (Roper) has done an excellent job creating unusual combinations with the sliders and burgers that our customers love. The environment in Automobile Alley is a perfect fit for us, and we are very excited to become a part of it.”

Developer and restaurateur Steve Mason, who owns many of the area buildings, spoke about some of the ongoing projects in Automobile Alley. “I am really pleased with the new restaurants in the neighborhood,” he said. “There is definitely room to grow here, and we are looking at a couple of other restaurant concepts to bring into the neighborhood. Both Hideaway and S & B’s Burger Joint are welcome additions to the neighborhood and fit

MEANWHILE, ON NINTH STREET
With the incredible success of Iguana Mexican Grill’s Taco Tuesday promotions, Iguana has definitely led the way for the restaurants on Ninth Street. Chef Ryan Parrott has created mini tacos such as barbacoa and lengua for only $1 — but these tasty deals mean you will have to fight crowds to get in on a Tuesday.

Get a little taste of all that is offered in the neighborhood at the Ninth Street crawl, which has become a ritual for many. First stop is Pachinko Parlor, owned by Rick and David Haynes and chef Eric Smith, where chef Avery Cannon serves up a great sushi menu that is half-price during happy hour (4-6 p.m.). Then head over to Iguana, where Parrott and chef Lee Bennett will serve as many $1 tacos as you desire. And last but definitely not least, stop by Sara Sara Cupcakes, owned by Dana Brinson, to finish off the evening with a cupcake and a drink from their milk bar.

Just wait a few more years and who knows how many more restaurants will be lining the area streets. —Vivian Boroff


 
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