There was a time not too terribly long ago in Oklahoma City when there was a chain on every corner and the closest you could get to local was to make a trip to your farmers market and make the food yourself. We always celebrate all things local, and luckily, it’s getting easier for OKC restaurants to incorporate locally grown, all- natural ingredients into what they offer.
— By Devon Green
photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
Football season is finally here! We call it soccer, but that doesn’t have to stop you from indulging in two favorite European traditions: walking and pub crawling. Since the Energy FC games will be alcohol-free, we’ve created a list of pubs and taverns within walking distance from Clement E. Pribil Stadium at Bishop McGuinness Catholic High School.
— by Devon Green
photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
While the idea of fried dough may or may not be American in origin, the traditional ring-shaped confection that we know and love does originate here. According to The Smithsonian, doughnuts were created by an enterprising New England sailor’s mother who wanted a way to store and transport pastry. Regardless of its origin, the doughnut is a modern favorite.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
There are sandwiches, and then there are sandwiches.
There are the kind my mom used to make, or have us make for ourselves. Loaf bread, Oscar Mayer cold cuts, cheese and mayo or mustard or — hold onto your hat — both. Technically, that’s a sandwich. It will sustain you, but unless you are coming from a famine-plagued land, I do not think it will excite you.
There are restaurants, even “sandwich shops,” that serve something similar to those aforementioned sandwiches. Those are not restaurants I generally visit twice.
And why would you when such a thing as a Hobby’s Hoagies exists?
With two locations — 325 N. Walker and 222 S. Santa Fe in Edmond — Hobby’s is there to make you forget those other sandwiches. No longer will the counselor hold your hand, show you an outline of those bland stacks of bread and meats and ask you to point out where the sandwich hurt you.
Hobby’s sub sandwiches start with a really good roll. Tender inside, a little chew on the outside. That’s the kind of roll that can be stuffed with hot or cold fillings and doused in sauce without ever coming close to disintegrating in your hands.
The first sub you should get is The Special Italian ($7.39 for a 12-inch), especially in the summer. Chilled meats, including capocollo ham, salami and regular ham, with provolone, shredded lettuce, onion and tomato. Sounds kind of pedestrian, yeah? It would be without the cherry pepper mash they put on top. Now, it’s got zing and zip and zazz. So, so much zazz. Somebody put that sandwich on the zazz train to Zazzville and it never came back.
That cherry pepper mash does a lot for the other sandwiches, too. But it’s a role player. It never dominates the sandwich; it only accentuates.
Arguably, the Philly cheese steak ($8.19 for a 12-inch) doesn’t need the help. It’s chopped steak, mixed with onions and peppers and melted cheese. It is delicious on its own, but the cherry peppers just perk it up.
I probably get the Philly more than anything else at Hobby’s because every bite delivers. But, about three or four times in a foot-long sandwich, you’ll get a perfect bite. It’s just the right combination of chewy bread, savory steak, cherry peppers and melted cheese.
Hobby’s also does a respectable tuna sub ($7.19 for a 12-inch) and a tremendous grilled cheese ($3.89), although the latter comes on grilled Texas toast, buttered to perfection.
If that was all Hobby’s did, I’d be satisfied. But it also makes a pretty outstanding pizza, especially if you’re the type who craves a pie from back East. I am an equal-opportunity pizza devourer and destroyer — like Shiva, but with a taste for pepperoni — and OKC has plenty of great pizzas from which to choose.
I can’t say that I’d rather have Hobby’s than any other pie in the metro, but I certainly won’t be disappointed if you show up at my door bearing one of these beauties. Simple sausage is great, but if you want to really confuse and delight your taste buds, the Philly cheese steak pizza ($17.49 for an extra-large pie) is the way to go.
Hobby’s does homemade desserts, too, but I find myself drawn time and again to that back-East favorite, the Tastykake. I would apologize, but … have you tried a Tastykake? I would sing Boyz II Men songs to Tastykakes, had the owners of Hobby’s and members of the seminal ’90s R&B group not asked me to stop.
Listen, some people like their white bread, mayo and reconstituted turkey-ham sandwiches. I will not argue with them. Partly because arguing personal taste is ridiculous, but mostly because they’ll stay at home with those sandwiches.
And while they’re home, that’s one less person in line at Hobby’s, meaning my bounteous sandwich and pizza feast will come that much sooner.
Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.