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
Beverly’s Pancake House
3115 Northwest Expressway
What works: It’s arguably the best diner food in Oklahoma City. Of course, I haven’t eaten at all the diners. Yet.
What needs work: Please make sure you get my order correct next time. No hard feelings.
Tip(s): Open 24 hours, it’s a much better choice than McDonald’s at 3 a.m.
When I moved back to Oklahoma City after a decade-long absence, I was bummed to see that Beverly’s Pancake House, across from Penn Square Mall, was gone. I felt a longing in my heart that only the words of ’80s hair-metal band Cinderella could describe accurately: “You don’t know what you got ’til it’s gone.
I had spent many of my teen years at Beverly’s, ordering Big Bev Burgers and Tex-Mex skillets after skipping out of class to catch an afternoon movie. I’m sure I could have paid for at least one semester of college with the amount of cash I spent on their delicious food.
When I returned to OKC, I was downright giddy with anticipation to relive those geeky acts of youthful rebellion by taking in a movie at Penn Square and then hopping over to Beverly’s for Chicken in the Rough. Only the movie theater was being renovated. And Beverly’s was gone.
When a friend recently suggested Beverly’s for a late-night dinner, I gloomily intoned that Bev’s was no longer with us.
Imagine my gluttonous delight when I learned that it had only moved farther up the road!
This new Beverly’s was clean and streamlined and retro-cool, looking like the diner in Back to the Future. But as soon as I ordered my Chicken in the Rough — a half of a chicken, quartered and fried in its secret herbs and spices — I knew that this was still the same old Beverly’s. I was home again.
The food has always been top-notch, and I’ve visited the current location several times now. On one particular trip, I ordered fried green tomatoes ($5.99), a Chicken in the Rough meal ($8.99) and, for dessert, pecan pie ($3.99 a slice).
My late-night dining partner had the Farmer’s Daughter ($8.99), a huge breakfast of blueberry pancakes, two eggs, bacon, sausage, ham and hash browns. Now that’s my kind of farmer’s daughter!
The Chicken in the Rough, one of the classic signature dinners for which Beverly’s is locally famous, was absolute fried chicken perfection. The skin was crispy and seasoned so right, with the savory meat delivering deep-fried flavor in every bite.
The mashed potatoes, with the skins still on, are also wonderful — creamy, buttery and obviously fresh.
The fried green tomatoes are my new favorite things ever, and so much better than the movie.
My dining partner’s Farmer’s Daughter was also exceptional. The pancakes were fluffy, the eggs were scrambled with an aura of total expertise, the hash browns were crisp with a hint of buttery goodness, and all the meats were the best that a breakfast meat could possibly be.
Finally, the ample slice of pecan pie was a real treat. There is no better Southern dessert, in my opinion, and Bev’s didn’t let me down. The filling was oh-so-very rich and sinful that I’m pretty sure I need to confess it to a priest. The crust was flaky and the top- ping chewy with a nice nutty crunch. It’s all you could ever want from a pie. Ever.
Looking at the menu, there are many other items I want — nay, need — to try. From the chicken and waffles ($7.99) and the Southern-fried catfish ($9.99) to the sweet potato pancakes ($6.99) to the — for old times’ sake — Big Bev burger ($7.99), there’s still so much I need to ingest from them. Maybe even all in one sitting.
Beverly’s is the perfect late-night dinner spot. It’s open 24 hours. And, really, what better place to go after a concert or midnight movie?
I may have graduated from high school long ago, but Beverly’s steadfast dedication to keeping the classic diner alive in Oklahoma City is a continuing education that I wouldn’t skip for any reason. Even a movie.