New restaurants in the metro are expanding Oklahoma City’s collective palate with eclectic dining options, as well as such classic favorites as burgers and tacos.
Hillbillies Po Boy & Oyster Bar, 1 N.W. Ninth, which occupies the old Pachinko Parlor building, opened earlier this month. The concept from S&B’s Burger Joint owner Bryan Neel features Louisiana-style cooking, moonshine cocktails and alligator ribs. The menu includes several po’ boy options with bread baked at Norman’s La Baguette.
The alligator ribs have a texture like pork ribs, but are leaner and more delicate. The flavor is not gamey, and the molasses barbecue sauce adds a tangy, sweet note that goes well with Abita Purple Haze. Hillbillies has beer from three breweries: New Orleans-based Abita, Great Divide (on tap) and Anderson Valley.
It’s closed on Sundays for the time being, but Neel said it will open later this year for Creole Sunday brunch. For a sample now, moonshine Bloody Marys are available on the menu. While some of the moonshine is ordered in, Hillbillies created its own infused variety, including a Jolly Rancher Red Hot version.
“Moonshine can taste like gasoline if you’re not careful, so balance is important,” Neel said.
He also his eye on another project.
S&B’s Burger Joint is opening its biggest location yet, in a former Denny’s building at 14020 N. May.
Neel said the menu will be nearly identical to the other locations but will include a full horseshoe bar. He promises it will be the best layout of all the S&B’s, with a target date for opening in mid-July.
Classen Curve is now home to chef Ryan Parrott’s new restaurant, Tamazul, 5820 N. Classen Blvd. The name comes from a painting by Mexican artist Francisco Toledo. The cuisine is inspired by Mexico’s Oaxaca region, associated with delicious chiles and moles.
Located in the old Matthew Kenney facility, Tamazul features a full bar with a definite emphasis on Mexico. Parrott said he wants to emphasize mezcal, and the selection is impressive. The bar also boasts an excellent selection of tequila and whiskey. The wines are from South America and Spain, while the beers are from Central and South America.
In terms of food, Tamazul offers metro diners some tastes that are unique to OKC. Parrot created a menu that’s authentically Oaxacan, and he’s added his own twist to classic Mexican dishes.
The menu is expansive but manageable, giving patrons an array of choices, including salads, tacos, enchiladas, quesadillas and seafood specialties. Beef also features prominently on the menu, including a rib-eye and short ribs.
A different Drum
A new offering by the Deep Fork Group called The Drum Room specializes in fried chicken and “Southern-style fixin’s.” Located at 4309 N. Western, it features chicken wings, fried chicken and chicken and waffles. Salads and lighter fare are also available. The restaurant boasts a full bar with specialty cocktails and a large beer selection.
Co-owner Wade Starr was already thinking about the concept when he came across the sign that now hangs in front of The Drum Room. The sign, which belonged to a former Drum Room restaurant in Kansas City, Mo., seemed perfect, so he brought it — and the name — back to Oklahoma City.
The restaurant will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily. The full menu will be available until 10 p.m., and then a modified, late-night menu available until 1 a.m.
Automobile Alley now has a full-size patio for dining and drinking. Located behind Schlegel Bicycles, 900 N. Broadway, Peloton Wine Bar and Cafe features an interesting menu, a solid wine list and amazing bottle prices.
Dishes are available in full or half portions. The focus is on paninis and deli sandwiches, but the appetizer menu includes hummus, shrimp and salmon.
Interior seating is limited to about 10 diners, but the full-size back patio will be able to accommodate several large groups.