Even though NE 23rd Street is one of the most historical streets in Oklahoma City, many locals tend to forget that it’s also home to some of the most grassroots and homegrown eateries in town, the best having a specific focus on soul food, barbecue and old-fashioned Southern cooking. NE 23rd Street restaurants are OKC’s culinary history all in a few blocks and really should be revered as such.
Winning big can be hungry, thirsty work. We scoured Oklahoma’s casinos for your best bets on sustenance whether you are on a winning streak, holding, folding, walking away, running, or just down to your last five bucks.
Green & Grilled
8547 N. Rockwell
What works: pork and chicken entrees, spinach rice and bacon spinach salad.
What needs work: A little more salt would be nice, but you can add that yourself.
Tips: You can email your order in, but remember to call and confirm. Great for take-out.
Green & Grilled focuses on serving healthy food.
It’s a focus that has paid off, and it proves that simple, flavorful and (gulp) healthy food can be really good. Really, really good.
Your choices of entree are few but powerful: chicken, steak, pork and tofu. Each comes with a side and half a salad ($7.99 for steak, chicken and pork, $7.65 for tofu).
Why only four choices? Probably because quality is the top priority. A big menu can be impressive, but it can also mean scattershot quality.
That’s not a problem at Green & Grilled. I’ve tried just about everything on the menu, and it’s spot-on.
My personal favorites are the pork and chicken because both of them have a tender texture and provide a showcase for Green & Grilled’s marinades. The chicken rests overnight in green onion and spiced adobo. The pork adds in pineapple. The result is a flavor that tantalizes without becoming overpowering.
The sides ($1.50 when purchased separately), too, are simple. Spinach rice and carrot rice are fluffy with a mild garlic flavor. There’s also a steamed, salted potato and corn on the cob or, if you’re the sort who frets about carbs, an avocado.
A word, if you don’t mind, about portion sizes. I like big portions. I shouldn’t, but my waistline is a clear indication of how often an overflowing mountain of food is put in front of me and a clean plate is taken away.
Green & Grilled serves enough food to sate your hunger, but not so much as to stuff you. You know how some people stop eating when they’re not hungry? Yeah, I don’t do that. Unless I order a second entree (it’s been known to happen), I can’t overeat at Green & Grilled. It’s kind of nice, honestly.
Salad? Yeah, OK. A whole salad will run you $5.49 if you don’t get the meal. Very fresh. Very tasty. The bacon spinach salad was a winner for me. It’s a big pile of baby spinach topped with sliced mushrooms, hard-boiled egg and kalamata olives. And bacon, of course. Enough to taste it, not enough to make it a breadless BLT. It comes with honey mustard dressing, which is fine, but I prefer the herb ranch or cilantro lime vinaigrette, myself.Be sure to try some soup ($4.39), too. Tuesday’s broccoli cheese isn’t a creamy cheese dip like some places make it, and Friday’s pureed lentil was hearty and earthy. (Full disclosure: I added some salt to mine. And a dollop of heavy cream to the lentil when I took it home. Why am I telling you this? Are you my new therapist?) The portobello soup is available daily, and I would probably eat it daily. It’s tasty.
And that’s true of almost the entire menu. It’s tasty.
I would eat it if it was bad for me, but it’s not. It’s healthy. And so long as you’re not allergic to inexpensive, delicious meals that will fill you up without making you burst, I think you’ll enjoy it. Because enjoying your food is healthy for you, too.