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Bite Size

Bite Size: 10-5-11

News and notes on OKC dining

Carol Smaglinski October 5th, 2011

In Norman, where people eat, sleep and breathe football, one Campus Corner restaurant is taking steps to make game-day eating just a little greener. O’Connell’s Pub and Grill, 769 Asp, introduced its new 100 percent “compostable,” FDA-approved food service tray. The sturdy new tray is made from plant fiber and offers all of the benefits of their polystyrene cousins, but unlike Styrofoam, will decompose within 30-45 days.

“For 42 years, O’Connell’s has been a game-day destination for countless Sooner fans, many of whom not only enjoy the burgers, but also the camaraderie,” said Jeff Stewart, O’Connell’s owner. “Our game-day tradition continues this year with the same great food. We’re just making the celebration a little more sustainable with our new, environmentally friendly food containers.”

Stewart’s wife works in food packaging and introduced him to the greener trays.

Oklahoma Seniors’ Cabaret Extravaganza takes the stage this Friday at 7 p.m. and again at 3 p.m. on Sunday at Hillsdale Free Will Baptist College, 3701 S. Interstate 35 Service Road in Moore. Oklahoma Seniors’ Cabaret is a nonprofit organization, and tickets are $10 each.

“Our goal this year is $12,000 to be given to Meals on Wheels for seniors,” said Joan Colee, founder of the cabaret. “We are the first, and original, organization to highlight the talents of our senior citizens.”

For more information, call 840-1242.

I can’t tell you how many times local restaurant owner Tommy Byrd has been mistaken by people for Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon.

“People stop me all of the time and ask if I am Aubrey McClendon,” Byrd said.

Come on, people. Aubrey’s taller!

“On some days, my head is filled with such wild and original thoughts that I can barely utter a word. On other days, the liquor store is closed.” —guitarist and composer Frank Varano in “Keep Calm and Drink Up”

Earth 2 Urban, 1235 S.W. Second, is holding its grand opening celebration at 6 p.m. on Oct. 22. The locavore market and on-site kitchen is a partnership between Urban Agrarian, a mobile local foods market, and Earth Elements.

This new, locally owned business will be a healthy option for food in the downtown area. The celebration will include food from local producers, tours of the market and kitchen, plus live music.

In Oklahoma City for decades, Beverly’s Pancake House, 3135 Northwest Expressway, recently celebrated its 90th anniversary.

“Lots of famous people have eaten there,” said Renee Masoudy, the owner of the landmark eatery. In 2007, Masoudy moved Beverly’s from its original site to its new location. Taking over from previous owners, Masoudy certainly accomplished her goal of making Beverly’s homey and comfortable for her regular customers.

The original Beverly’s venture began back in 1921 with hard work done by Beverly Osborne and his wife, Rubye. They came up with the signature “Chicken in the Rough,” a main course that showed off golden fried chicken that came with honey and a biscuit. And the rest, as they say, is history. Reach Beverly’s at 848-5050.

Good economy, bad economy — it really doesn’t matter. We gotta eat! After waiting so long while it was being built, Whole Foods Market has pinpointed 8 a.m. Oct. 12 as its opening date. That’s a Wednesday, so mark your calendars. The new Whole Foods, 6001 N. Western, is in the sleek Classen Triangle development across the street from Classen Curve. Thus far, more than 120 people have been offered positions with the company.

Perhaps this has happened to you in a restaurant: The server delivers your food and informs you that there is “dirt” on your plate.

Before you dial up the health department, be aware that the edible dirt is really dirt-like ingredients that may add an earthy flavor to food and could be made from charred or dried foods such as mushrooms, onions, chickpeas or olives, or anything in the food line that can be dried and made into a powder. However, it   is not supposed to taste like dirt. Remember, if you have a complaint, make it after the first bite. Don’t eat it all and then start yelling.

In cars or on the backs of motorcycles, a Progressive Meal Poker Run is set for 10 a.m. Oct. 16, with registration at Thunder Roadhouse, 900 W. Memorial.

Sponsored by the Oklahoma chapter of the American Culinary Federation, the first bike will set out at 11 a.m. Food will be at Gage’s Steakhouse in Guthrie, Pops in Arcadia, Woody’s Sports Bar & Grill and CocoFlow in Bricktown before ending back at Thunder Roadhouse.

Pre-registration for drivers is $20 for singles/$35 per couple before Oct. 8 or $25 for singles/$45 for couples after that. For more, reach Susan Zubik at 503-7417.

Casey Klepper, the founder of Klepper Capital Group, is a restaurant franchisee of Smashburger and the owner of Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt.

He formerly was involved with Old Chicago franchises in Oklahoma and Texas, as well as the Bricktown Brewery.

Where are the Smashburgers?

“The first is at the Outlet Shoppes at (Interstate) 40 and Council Road. Another Smashburger will open in October at Memorial and Penn.”

People say you look like: “Mark- Paul Gosselaar, but now I get compared to Willem Dafoe.”

If you had an hour to burn: “I’d be with my kids, Cabrine, 11, and Bodie, 9.”

Native of: “New York; The Bronx.” You’d show a foreign exchange student: “I love Oklahoma and would take them to one of my restaurants, and then downtown OKC and Bricktown.”

Don’t ask me to eat: “Ricotta cheese.” But you love: “Alaskan king crab legs.”

Date night: “Iguana, Musashi’s for the entertainment and Smashburger, which is going real well.”

What’s boosting your bottom line?

“We flash-cook the never-frozen meat, so it explodes in your mouth and you get all its juice from the meat.”

You prefer: “A Sam Adams or a Cherry Coke with a burger. I love Cheetos.”

Ideal vacation: “Depends on my mood — skiing or going to the beach.”

Hidden talent: “I played ice hockey with the OKC men’s league.”

Trust your horoscope? “No, but I do like the science of the stars.”

Recent wild happening: “Opening day at Smashburger where people were ordering cheeseburgers at 8 a.m. We sold 123 burgers between 8 and 10 in the morning. I worked 15 hours straight at the window.”

When dining out, do you ever check the bill for errors before paying? Any horror stories? That’s the question we asked on Oklahoma Gazette’s Facebook page. Here are your answers, verbatim.

Kimberley Sue Carver “After hosting a dinner at Ralph & Kacoo’s in Baton Rouge for 20,my children & grandchildren, I placed my credit card in the holder and also $60 cash for the waiter and he opened it and handed me back the cash and said ‘oh , no, madam my tip is included!’ so I gave him the cash anyway for being so honest! Not a horror story but a WONDERFUL story!”

Carolyn Mills Herr “Always and have found errors and had them fixed on the spot. Also, if I get something comped I include the price of the item in the tip.”

Ed Ward “Yes. We once got a ticket for a table near us. It was a table of 10 people! Luckily we caught it right before the waiter came to pick up our card.”

Jill Smith “We were in Boston once about 16 years ago. There were about 13 of us. We sat at separate tables. Mom got pancakes made with batter that had gone bad. THEN, they tried to charge all 3 groups for the entire bill for EVERYBODY, even though we had all been sitting at separate tables and had been given checks for what each table had ordered.”

Sterling Brown “At a restaurant in Santa Fe, NM, the waiter charged an extra ten dollars above the tab. We had left him a more than 20% tip. Because he added it after we left, I didn’t discover the added charge until I received my credit card statement. The manager of the restaurant was very helpful in resolving the issue.”

—Carol Smaglinski

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