Circle of life
In 2011, we saw them come and go, and Oklahoma Gazette has been there along the way.
Among them to go were Perri’s Pizza & Cafe at 2104 W. Britton; the kids at Casady School sure miss the pizza! Also shutting down was Market C, 401 N.W. 23rd, under the umbrella of A Good Egg Dining Group. Now that former storefront functions as a catering hub for Good Egg.
Never people to rest, owners Heather and Keith Paul brought Oklahoma City the wildly popular Tucker’s Onion Burgers, 324 N.W. 23rd. That eatery, incidentally, was recently named the state’s Greenest Restaurant by the Green Restaurant Association, a national nonprofit that spearheads the effort of environment sustainability in the restaurant industry.
In Guthrie, Granny Had One, 113 Harrison, closed, while diners in the town are now raising their glasses at Geno’s Chophouse.
The colorful Adobe Grill Gourmet Mexicano, which did business at 5120 N. Shartel, is now the space for the Green Bambino, where it is all about babies, no longer burritos.
“The number you have reached is not in service.” That’s what you get when you dial the number for Chili Dog Express, 321 E. Second in Edmond. It is now The One Cafe with sandwiches, salads, crepes and soup. Also closing was Wild Bill’s BBQ with a Mexican Twist, 3207 N.W. 23rd, and Bandolero’s VIP Mexican Grill, 5714 S. Shields.
Also closed: The Bossy Squirrel in Norman, Maggie’s Cafe in Bethany, the Prohibition Room in the historic Gold Dome, the Whole Enchilada Cafe in downtown Oklahoma City and Boneyard Grill in a northwest Oklahoma City site that still stands empty.
And in a big move in Moore, Vaughan Foods Inc. was bought out by Reser’s Fine Foods of Oregon for $18.25 million. It will continue operations in Moore and Fort Worth.
2012 food trends
The James Beard Foundation released picks for the hot food trends of 2012. It mentions bloody good food — literally. Blood is appearing on menus more and more, from blood pancakes to sauces thickened with the red stuff.
There is also talk about smaller portion sizes. While fast food goes supersize, other full-size dishes are shrinking down to “small plates” and single “bite” servings. Watch out for new cupcakes called canelés, a favorite in Bordeaux, made from and egg-yolk-enriched, crêpe-like batter baked in copper molds and lined with caramel and beeswax.
Ron Watkins has been in the fish business for more than 35 years. As the co-owner of the 15-year-old Avalon Seafood, 7712 N. May, he brings in fish from all over the globe.
Best fish advice: “Buy it fresh, not frozen, and do not overcook it. Look at my website at avalonseafoods.com and the directions are there.”
I miss: “My Pi pizza with the olive oil on the top and on the 1-inch thick crust.”
Food you would never eat: “Blue cheese.”
What do you wish you knew five years ago?: “Wish I knew about the recession now.”
Favorite fish: “Ivory Coast tuna, and I love salmon.”
Best feature: “I am a good peopleperson.”
Nice recent happening: “As a certified academic coach, I volunteered with an elementary school in Nichols Hills to do coaching with the kids on their grades.”
Favorite vacation spot: “Tahlequah, Oklahoma.”
Date night?: “The public library, and we never miss the annual book sale and spend all day there.”
Most admire in people: “Serenity and if they are comfortable in their own skin.”
Energy source: “Helping people.” Funny fish story: “Alaskan halibut is usually 60 to 80 pounds. We got one that was over 250 pounds, and it took three of us to get it on the cutting table, and it hung over both sides. It was huge!”
If you find a waiter or waitress attractive, do you tip them more? We asked Oklahoma Gazette Facebook fans, and here are the verbatim answers.
“of course!” — Floyd Martin
“No way. I tip well and frequently because the wait staff can, in many situations, be making below minimum wage plus whatever tips they manage to rake in. Very seldom have I been in a situation where the waiter/waitress was deliberately rude or inept. Anyone who’s been going to restaurants for years knows when it’s busy and the staff are rushing around and apt not to be as attentive or a waiter/waitress is new (which always sucks). Looks? What the heck? What does that have to do with the price of jerky in Montana?” —Karen Chapman
“Looks have no affect on my tipping a wait person, for me it is based on service and their attitude.” —Ed Ward
“good looks certainly dont hurt. but if your attitude and wait skills suck, so will your tip.” —Tim Heitzman
“NO way.....if it’s great service,,,the tip does not matter.....if the service sucks.... no tip.” —Joe Gatz
“I tip 20% regardless, unless they are rude” —Hans Owens
“I usually made more money if I wore a little make-up to my serving job. There’s a balance, though - I made less if I was wearing a lot of make-up. I never kept track, so I couldn’t tell you if those are genuinely consistent findings, though.” —Monica K. Helms
“Looks do not affect the tip unless they look dirty, then I tip less. It’s very unappetizing to be be served food by someone with dirty fingernails or body odor. I tip above average when the service is above average. If the establishment is crowded I take that into consideration. A waiter that stands around chit-chatting with other waiters won’t be getting extra from me though.” —Laura Skalicky