We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton
There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.
— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman
6714 N. Western
What works: Thoughtful, flavorful dishes.
What needs work: Maybe add the sandwiches to the dinner menu, as well.
The tip: Sub cashew cheese for actual cheese if you're looking to cut dairy.
On the east side of the road you’ll see a pleasantly modern and clean structure that looks much like a temple or sanctuary. Although you won’t hear any chanting, you will be greeted with positivity and feel incredibly calm and ready to relieve the post rush-hour jitters.
Start off with one of the St. Vincents (recently added to the menu). The rosé ($7) and brut ($5) are priced per glass and offer a crisp respite. You’ll find both pair well with most menu items or stand-alone if you’re only in for happy hour.
The brut shows nicely with the vegan nachos ($12). Made with black beans, cashew cheese and the kicker — roasted chiles — you won’t even realize the dairy products are absent. For added yum-factor, the dish boasts guacamole and a side of green chili sauce for a kick.
The zuccha chips ($6), flash-fried zucchini sprinkled with sea salt, is a great partner with the rosé. A winning combo of salty and sweet, and the perfect palate preparation for any entrée.
It’s hard to decide which salad to try, so if you’re with someone who doesn’t mind sharing, get the chopped grilled asparagus, lettuce, goat cheese and spiced almonds, all tossed in a red wine vinaigrette ($6-$10). For your second choice, the Brussels sprout salad ($7-$12) is summer on a plate.
The blanched Brussels sprouts, dried apricots, toasted almonds and shaved Parmesan is all tossed in a garlic-red wine vinaigrette that works to create a light and surprisingly filling meal. The tart vinaigrette, sweet apricots and crisp Brussels provide a multidimensional dish. It pairs wonderfully with the brut.
If you’re in for lunch, you’ll have the option of some sandwiches. The house-made veggie burger ($10) is absolutely not your average soy-based alternative. The patty is concocted from black beans, brown rice, roasted beets and carrots, and might be tastier than a traditional burger. Don’t believe me? You’ll just have to try it.
Your plate comes with a side (get the sweet potato fries) and veggies for dressing your sandwich, as well as some house-made sauces to try on your burger. Try this with the brut, as well.
Craving some animal protein?
The organic half chicken ($19) is pan-roasted and comes with mashed potatoes and green beans, or the fish tacos ($14), spice-rubbed flounder with jicama slaw and tomato relish. Both the brut and rosé pair well with chicken and fish.
If you have room for dessert, the chocolate-cherry crème brûlée ($8) is pure decadence — a chocolate crème infused with dried cherry essence. The plate of warm chocolate chip cookies ($8) comes with a glass of milk, and sometimes it hits the spot to end the meal with a traditional, feel-good treat.
So, next time you’re battling N.Western Avenue during the lunch or dinner rush, feeling stressed, pop into West for a Zen-like retreat with food and drink. It’ll stave off the traffic anxiety and leave you feeling centered and satisfied.
Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.