OKGazette.com Blogs - OKG Special Events http://www.okgazette.com/oklahoma/blogs-1-1-1-9.html <![CDATA[<em>Gazette</em>’s Halloween Parade launches window painting contest]]>

If you haunt it, flaunt it! In advance of Gazette's Halloween Parade on Oct. 29, Oklahoma Gazette has launched a window painting contest for businesses in the Oklahoma City metro area.

“If you can’t make it to the parade, this contest is a way to still be part of the fun and show off your artistic creativity,” said Brody Longest, Gazette marketing coordinator.

Longest said the theme for the contest is ghosts, and the rules are as follows:
• The design should relate to the theme and must include the phrase “Gazette’s Halloween Parade.”
• Email photos of the process and finished design to blongest@tierramediagroup.com
• Tell us who painted it and where.
• We will upload the photos to the Gazette’s Halloween Parade Facebook page.
• Encourage your patrons/friends/co-workers to vote for you by clicking “Like.” The photo with the most “Like”s wins!

And what does the winner receive? Besides free exposure on said Facebook page, the winner gets a free, quarter-page ad in Oklahoma Gazette! The winner will be announced Oct. 26 via social media and in our Oct. 26 issue, which includes the parade’s official program.

The contest begins Oct. 1, and voting ends Oct. 20, so the sooner you start, the better! For more information, contact Longest at 605-6752 or blongest@tierramediagroup.com.
<![CDATA[Rest of the Best of OKC]]> See, you people love your lists and clamor for more. Shockingly, we didn’t quite cover it all last week, despite running the gamut from Best Coffee Shop to Best Person or Business to Follow on Social Media, so for the third year in a row, we’ve assembled some extras — the rest of the Best of OKC, if you will.

From people and places to the Gazette itself covering these last 52 weeks, we once more not-so-proudly present a handful of additional rankings, in an attempt to satiate your need to have everything numbered in a nice, orderly fashion, but not limited to five slots.

Just remember: Be careful what you wish for. Parental guidance suggested.

8 Best Smart-Aleck and/ or Logic-Challenged Responses We Received in This Year’s Best of OKC Nominations:

1. Best place to have lunch: “gopworms”

2. Best sushi: “cattlemans”  (lambfries pictured)

3. Best vegetarian or healthy menu options: “yuck”

4. Best meal under 10 bucks: “lowes”

5. Best place for a cheap date: “The back seat of my car”

6. Best dance club: “buffalo wings”

7. Best place to take out-of-towners: “motel 8”

8. Best place to have cosmetic procedures performed: “You’re way too fucking RICH!!, don’t do it its evil”

11 Best Lines from Our Food Articles That, Taken out of Context, Read Like Cheap Pornography:

1. “Keep your shades on while you eat, and you won’t see the meat juice spurting out onto your clothes as you attempt to pack this wondrous burger into your mouth.”

2. “No more squeezing on tomatoes or thumping melons!”

3. “‘Have your own testicle festival and pair a couple …’ she said. … Pull on your eatin’ pants and get out there.”

4. “The owners have it hanging, otherwise the servers would be playing it all the time.”

5. “Sausage comes in every shape, size and flavor.”

6. “All right, so you worked hard and took off that holiday weight. Good! That means that you can chomp on some nuts.”

7. “After a couple of bites your breathing gets labored.”

8. “A woman at the table next to us was shrieking with delight every few minutes.”

9. “(It) slaps that sucker in between a 12-inch bun.”

10. “They are yet undecided on whether a ‘special sauce’ will be offered but hope to satisfy people with their particular desires.”

11. “They’re whipping out wieners in Bricktown … 5 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. every Thursday through Sunday.”

8 Best Lines from Some Out-There Letters to the Editor We’re Not Printing:

1. “This happening, especially on weekends and also during Sparks America Bike Week when multitudes of unknowing out of town visitors are fleeced by gun and badge, of their monetary possessions that you dare not question their treatment of these passerby travelers stopped in this small town or a ‘Mayberry’ RFD, shaky handed ‘Barney’ type will readily pull his gun and demand, that you move on down the road.”

2. “I could not believe it, there she was in shorts and a tight blouse, wanting me to wash and lube her car ($2.50).”

3. “Now that the GOVERNMENT has more or less forced HIGH DEFINITION television on anyone who wants a television set, I want to know why we still see murders, weather and sports (and rapes) on our televisions.”

4. “And if you let 200 more white male homosexual men raise another two black male children in about 50 years the BLACK RACE should be almost gone. FROM A BLACK WOMAN AND I KNOW YOU NEVER THOUGHT ABOUT THIS OR DID YOU? AND THAT IS THE WHOLE PLAN.”

5. “I don’t have a clue who that radio sports unenthusiast was — or what AM channel/station I was listening to.”

6. “People will come to Okla. so they can ‘hunt humans.’ Every NUTCASE in Oklahoma will be out on the streets and in the stores WITH A GUN! ARE YOU NUTS??”

7. “Simply put ‘Chung Li’ was the head of the world’s largest and wealthiest criminal network. The MSM also knew all about him. Did you ever hear the name ‘Chung Li’ other than from yours truly?”

8. “you might as well have made the subhead ‘Welcome to Sodom & Gomorrah!’ (which ALSO would’ve steered the ‘good’ readers away from the article).”

12 Best Completely Gratuitous Uses of the F-Bomb Dropped Within Our Pages by Musicians:

1. “It’s a fucking experience.” —Dustin Kuykendall, Left Foot Sally

2. “Some kid comes up to you after the show and asks and you’re like, ‘I have no fucking clue.’” —Josh James, Evergreen Terrace

3. “It’s because I grew up making no fucking money at all in rock ’n’ roll.” —Eddie Money (pictured, handsomely)

4. “We would hide our vehicle, because they always wanted to fuck your vehicle up when they were pissed at you.”—Merle Allin, The Murder Junkies

5. “It’s stuff that I was worried to put into Black Moth ... I thought it might be too fucked-up.”—Tom Fec, Black Moth Super Rainbow

6. “I can do punk, I can do flamenco, I can do mambo, anything I fucking want to do, anything that is ridiculous that pops into my head, and that’s the beauty of The Meatmen.”—Tesco Vee, The Meatmen

7. “But then tattoos got really popular, and you have people coming up to you in grocery stores — little old ladies saying, ‘I love your devil head. What does it say? Fuck?’” —Mike Riggs, Scum of the Earth

8. “Nobody who went to a Mötley Crüe show would say their concerts weren’t just big fucking parties.” —Riley Hahn, Soul Crisis

9. “It ain’t some shit where I got a catchy-ass beat and all you like is the beat and the hook, and you don’t give a fuck about what I’m talking about.” —Freddie Gibbs

10. “I was trying to write another song that everyone loved ... and it was just the most awful fucking shit you could ever write.” —Michael Benjamin Lerner, Telekinesis

11. “My hands were up over my head and I blurted out, ‘Whoa, that’s fucking ridiculous.’”—Carolyn Wonderland

12. “That’s my old shit now. That’s fucked up.” —Ben Folds

1 Photo We Never Got the Chance to Run … Until Now:

12 Strange-Named Sodas You Can Buy at Pops in Arcadia:

1. Fukola Cola

2. Rat Bastard

3. Avery Bug Barf

4. Squamscot Maple Cream

5. Avery Dog Drool

6. Blenheim Not As Hot

7. Freaky Dog Grrrape

8. Avery Kitty Piddle

9. Foxon Park Diet Gassosa

10. Rejuvenizer from the Scary People

11. Avery Monster Mucus

12. Love Potion No. 69 Pink

2 Wholly Wholly Ironic and Perhaps Even Hypocritical Expenses from Rep. Randy Terrill’s Campaign Reports from December 2008 to May 2010:

1. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe, $92.40

2. On the Border Mexican Grill & Cantina, $75.70

10 Inquisitive Tweets from @DanGordon:

1. “Going to bed soon, anything I need to know?” Aug. 8

2. “wakeup call requested for 4:30AM to fly back home to #OKC tomorrow, anything i need to know?” Aug. 8

3. “going to #Canada soon, anything I need to know?” Aug. 6

4. “going to bed soon, anything i need to know?” July 20

5. “going to bed soon, anything i need to know?” July 18

6. “going to bed soon, anything i need to know?” July 17

7. “going to bed soon, anything i need to know?” July 16

8. “going to bed soon, anything i need to know?” July 15

9. “going to bed soon, anything @texconway needs to know?” July 14

10. “going to bed soon, anything i need to know?” July 11

11 Songs from The Spy OKC’s Aug. 1 Playlist Whose Titles We’d Like to See Tackled as Topics on Kelly Ogle’s “My 2 Cents” Segment:

1. Arctic Monkeys, “Don’t Sit Down ’Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair”

2. Kyle Andrews, “Lazer Tag with Imaginary Friends”

3. Broncho, “Can’t Get Past the Lips”

4. Gang Gang Dance, “Adult Goth”

5. Morrissey, “Action Is My Middle Name”

6. Peter Murphy, “I Spit Roses”

7. The Vaccines, “Post Break-Up Sex”

8. The Real Tuesday Weld, “(I Always Kill) The Things I Love”

9. Stepdad, “My Leather, My Fur, My Nails”

10. Make Out, “I Don’t Want Anybody That Wants Me”

11. Teddybears featuring The Flaming Lips, “Crystal Meth Christian”

And now...Introducing Rest of Best of OKC’s Inaugural Local Theater Publicity Photo Awards!


“Ragtime,” Lyric Theatre


“Bye Bye Birdie,” Lyric Academy


“Through the Cracked Mirror,” The Stage Door in Yukon

<![CDATA[BEST OF OKC: People & Media]]>

Best local band/singer/ songwriter: THE FLAMING LIPS 

Well, duh. Voting the Lips as the best band in the metro’s about as obvious as voting Sally Kern for “least tactful public speaker.” Coyne, Drozd, Ivins, Scurlock and company earned this clout by recording wonderfully inventive, bizarre music and showcasing it with mind-blowing concerts. New Year’s Eve is now synonymous with the Lips. It’s not often that a single band can spawn a community-wide cultural event so exciting and fun that people return year after year after year. Rock on!

2. Graham Colton

3. Mike Hosty Worth mentioning: Blues Tiger Band, Pretty Black Chains

Best TV personality or team: GARY ENGLAND

KWTV To whom does Oklahoma turn in our time of greatest need? To one man — our hero — who serves as our state’s watchful protector, spring after stormy spring. While his annual storm-warning efforts haven’t gone unnoticed by those who dole out Emmy Awards (he has two), nor by the Oklahoma Centennial committee (who memorialized his bust in 2007), we like to think Gary England’s greatest honor is the fact that his reporting has not only saved countless lives, but inspired a drinking game. Here’s to you, Gary.

2. David Payne and Lance West, KFOR

3. Rick Mitchell, KOCO Worth mentioning: 2 Movie Guys , KAUT; Liz Dueweke, KO H

Best radio personality or team: JACK & RON

98.9 KISS FM Too-tough trivia: Who’s dominated the “Best radio personality or team” category for at least 10 years? Why, it’s the dynamic duo at 98.9 KISS- FM, of course: Jack Elliott and Ron Williams. The guys’ morning show is an absolute grab-bag, and nothing’s off-limits. Cooking, sex, sports, pop culture, trivia — they do it all, five days a week.

2. Joey & Heather, WILD 104.9 HD

3. Ferris O’Brien, thespyfm.com Worth mentioning: The Morning Animals, WWLS The Sports Animal; Rick & Brad, Rock 100.5 The KATT

Best community leader: KEVIN DURANT

The Oklahoma City Thunder’s 6-foot- 9-inch star forward rose head and shoulders above the rest. KD, who was named Rookie of the Year in the 2007- 08 NBA season, gives Thunder fans a reason to rise together as the league’s reigning scoring champ. This year, Durantula helped hoist the Thunder to the Western Conference Finals. Now, if he can just end the lockout.

2. Mayor Mick Cornett

3. Sen. Andrew Rice Worth mentioning: Cardboard Jim Traber, Gov. Mary Fallin


Iguana Mexican Grill Executive chef Ryan Parrott always has had the freedom to develop and express himself by doing whatever he felt like doing. While building his reputation from the age of 15, he earned the admiration of his fellow chefs in the business. This is one guy with stellar taste who creates crowd-pleasing dishes with fresh pleasures. Congrats, Ryan, and well deserved!

2. Kurt Fleischfresser, The Coach House

3. Bruce Rinehart, Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine Worth mentioning: Jonathon Stranger of Ludivine, Clay Falkner of Signature Grill

Best local website: NEWS9.COM

You whine, “Oh, if only there were one place on the web I could see graphic auto-accident footage, catch Kelly Ogle giving his two cents about McDonald’s Happy Meal apple slices, watch old ‘Star Trek’ cartoons, check out that newfangled ESP weather radar, get a cherry walnut tart recipe and gaze at photos of Robin Marsh,” and we answer, “Point your browser to news9.com.” (But hey, okgazette.com is pretty badass, even without an Ogle.)

2. keepitlocalok.com

3. thelostogle.com Worth mentioning: wimgo.com , oksugar.com

Best person or business to follow on social media: KEVIN DURANT

The Oklahoma City Thunder may not be NBA champs (yet), but the guy in the No. 35 jersey can put this win on his mantle! His nearly 900,000 Twitter followers can’t get enough of KD’s 140-characters-or-less musings like “When someone ask you what they need to work on and you tell them..they aren’t supposed to get mad...SMH” and “Sittin in the airport bored, got a 70 hour layover....who wanna skype wit me.”

2. The Lost Ogle

3. OK Sugar Worth mentioning: Floyd Martin , Dan Gordon

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper

<![CDATA[BEST OF OKC: Services]]> Best mechanic: BECK’S GARAGE 

4217 N. Western Located along trendy Western Avenue, Beck’s Garage was ranked as the top “wrench-turners” by Gazette readers. Started by owner Jeff Beck in the early ’90s, the garage later moved to its current location a few years ago. The garage revs its engine for hot rods and vintage cars, but also offers a full array of automotive services for both foreign and domestic vehicles.

2. Metric Motors, 2608 S. Broadway, Edmond

3. Fleet Auto & Transmissions, 701 S.W. 89th Worth mentioning: Cherokee Hills Automotive, Rick Jones Buick GMC

Best dentist:  GRIFFIN SMILES

420 W. 15th, Edmond Brush up those pearly whites of yours and the kiddies, and head over (grinning all the way) to family-friendly Griffin Smiles. Dr. Shannon Griffin and her team have been all smiles since opening the practice in 1999 in Edmond, offering a range of services to anyone needing cosmetic or restorative dental work, or just a consultation.

2. Dr. Amy Croom Kuker, 3727 N.W. 63rd

3. Elite Smiles, Dr. Michelle Sanor, 5701 N. Western Worth mentioning: Crown Heights Dentistry, Dr. Randy Atkinson; Grand Dental Studio, Dr. Mike Kirk

Best yoga/Pilates/ fitness center: YMCA OF GREATER OKLAHOMA CITY

Several metro locations Who knew downward dog or mountain could be found at the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City? From sailing to yoga, the Y is dedicated to building healthy lifestyles. Don’t believe us? Head into any of the gyms and check out the wide range of equipment and exercise rooms. Multiple locations offer group workouts such as Body Pump, SilverSneakers, Chisel and boot camp.

2. 3rd Street Yoga Studio, 106 W. Third, Edmond

3. Spirit House Yoga, 5107 N. Shartel Worth mentioning: Cadence Yoga , M+Yoga


Several metro locations Get some style up top in a place that is heavy on it — that’s obvious just by looking at the logo (that’d be a skull atop not crossbones, but open scissors). Velvet Monkey has three locations to get everything from a trim to feather extensions. Even better, the Plaza District location also has an on-site vintage boutique to get a wardrobe to go with that new ’do.

2. Duncan Bros. Salon, several metro locations

3. Eden Salon & Spa, several metro locations Worth mentioning: Salon Zen/Studio Zen , Trichology Salon Inc .

Best spa services: COTTONWOOD SALON SPA

35 E. 33rd, Edmond Picture this: A full day of indulgence that includes a facial, mani-pedi, massage and something called the Tahitian Body Shine (ooh, exotic). That — and a bunch more — are available at Cottonwood, your pick for pampering in the metro. And don’t think that the full range of spa services are just for you, ladies. Cottonwood offers couples massages along with manicures and pedicures tailored for men.

2. Eden Salon & Spa, several metro locations

3. Renaissance Salon & Spa, 10440 Broadway Extension Worth mentioning: Salon Zen , Heavenly Hands Day Spa

Best place to have cosmetic procedures performed: BODYTRENDS THE ELECTRO SPA

9311 N. Penn and 13316 S. Western Miss USA first runner-up Morgan Woolard is one of the many names on BodyTrends’ client list. This premiere spa offers services that include body and facial re-design, and quick weight and inch loss. The most popular non-surgical procedure is Accent XL, a skin-tightening, cellulite-reduction and fat-melting procedure by AlmaLasers. With two metro locations, the spa even offers tattoo removal.

2. Rejuvena Cosmetic Medical Center, 6424 N. Western

3. Laser Light Skin Clinic, 6442 Avondale Drive Worth mentioning: Advanced Aesthetics , Dr. Juan A . Brou

Best tattoo shop: ATOMIC LOTUS TATTOO

409 N.W. 23rd Atomic Lotus offers a much-needed service to the tattoo connoisseurs of Oklahoma, and does so in a clean and safe manner. The founders of the esteemed 23rd Street Body Piercing started this shop, making it a trustworthy choice for your next tat. With artists from across the country, Atomic Lotus has its reputation for a reason.

2. No Regrets Tattoo, 1712 N.W. 16th

3. Think Ink Tattoos, 1430 W. Lindsey, Norman, Worth mentioning: Bloodline Elite Tattooing, Hudson Tattoo

Best pet care or supplies: PAWS AROUND TOWN

12100 N. May Paws Around Town inside Northpark Mall has everything a dog or cat could want, from birthday cakes and smoothies to Halloween costumes and bows. Established in 2001, the mission at Paws is to make the animals happy, not the humans. Built with your feline or pooch in mind, the store welcomes furry friends of all sizes. Paws prides itself on customer service of a different kind.

2. Neel Veterinary Hospital, 2700 N. MacArthur

3. A-1 Pet Emporium, 9417 N. May Worth mentioning: Mann’s Best Friend, Swaim Serum Company & Pet Wellness Clinic

Best place for continuing education: UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA/ OU HEALTH SCIENCES CENTER

Let’s face it: The University of Oklahoma-Norman campus is such a force that it’d be impossible to leave it off any list. But with seven programs from which to choose, about 4,500 students and countless medical advances, the OU Health Sciences Center in OKC has become a force itself as one of the top health colleges in the country.

2. University of Central Oklahoma

3. Oklahoma State University/OSU-OKC Worth mentioning: Oklahoma City Community College, Francis Tuttle Technology Center

Best new business (that opened after May 1, 2010): PINKITZEL CUPCAKES & CANDY

1389 E. 15th, Edmond, and 150 S. E.K. Gaylord They had us at “cupcakes and candy.” And they seriously had us after we stepped inside, your pick for new business. From the chandeliers to the over-sized art, it’s a pink-and-black nouveau punk dreamland that looks good enough to eat — but we’ll stick to the cupcakes.

2. Switchblade Skate Co., 2132 Interstate 240 Service Road

3. Heirloom Shoe, 4415 N. Western Worth mentioning: Mobile Game Party, Daffodil Hill Salon & Spa

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper
<![CDATA[BEST OF OKC: Shopping]]> Best place to find the perfect gift: BLUE SEVEN

7518 N. May What do you buy for the girl with everything? How about a leather coin purse shaped like a cat? We bet she doesn’t have that. Whether it’s twee or sarcastic, a gag gift or just plain pretty, Blue Seven is your place to go for gifts. Look for beautifully painted ceramic, exotic-smelling candles and journals, along with everything in between.

2. On A Whim, 5850 N. Classen
3. Craig’s Emporium, 3004 Paseo
Worth mentioning: Collected Thread, DNA Galleries

Best fine jewelry: BC CLARK JEWELERS

Several metro locations
After more than a century of making ladies look lovely and men look dapper, BC Clark remains your pick for all things that glitter. It’s not just those engagement rings that have shoppers singing the jeweler’s praises, BC Clark also carries jewelry from top designers, some serious watches and fine gifts. (We’ve got our fingers crossed for the crystal eagle paperweight.)

2. Samuel Gordon Jewelers, 5521 N. Penn
3. Mitchener-Farrand, 2844 W. Wilshire
Worth mentioning: Naifeh Fine Jewelry, Lewis Jewelers


1806 24th NW in Norman and 2240 W. Memorial You know there’s going to be a lot of choices when the “warehouse” is right in the name. Sneakers for the kiddos going back to school? Check. Heels for Mom? Check again. It even carries those crazy Vibram FiveFingers shoes that we still can’t make up our mind about. And, if leaving the house for shoe-shopping is just too much, the store also does a lot of business online.

2. Shoe Gypsy, 6434 Avondale Drive
3. Shoetopia, 307 W. Boyd in Norman
Worth mentioning: Balliets, Heirloom Shoe

Best fashion accessories: BLUE SEVEN

7518 N. May
We love the floaty, fun scarves at Blue Seven, but that’s far from the only accessory to be found in this cool shop. Girls will find purses and clutches, while guys can score hats and wallets. The unisex watches are a can’t-miss, and you can spend a lot of time trying to find the perfect necklace amidst the great jewelry. Like we said, Blue Seven has their accessory game down.

2. On A Whim, 5850 N. Classen
3. Collected Thread, 1705-A N.W. 16th
Worth mentioning: DNA Galleries, Lush Fashion Lounge

Best men’s clothing: MR. OOLEY'S

1901 Northwest Expressway
If you need to look your best, Mr. Ooley’s is your pick. Down a side hall at Penn Square Mall, Mr. Ooley’s has spent nearly a half-century dressing metro men. The well-appointed shop caters to the debonair among us, with high-quality suits, ties and shoes, along with custom and made-to-measure options for discerning gents.

2. Blue Seven, 7518 N. May
3. Warpaint Clothing, 1710 N.W. 16th
Worth mentioning: Spencer Stone Company, Gil’s Clothing Company

Best women’s clothing: BLUE SEVEN

7518 N. May

This marks the third winning appearance by Blue Seven in this year’s contest. You voters must really love that place. And when it comes to women’s clothing, it’s easy to see why. It’ll be even easier when Blue Seven unveils its new women’s boutique inside the store — kind of like what they did with the cool “jeans” room. Until then, enjoy all the dresses, skirts, tops and even rompers you can.

2. On A Whim, 5850 N. Classen Blvd.
3. Balliets, 5801 N.W. Grand
Worth mentioning: Gil’s Clothing Company, Warpaint Clothing

Best kids’ clothing: FUNKY MONKEY

14101 N. May
“Fashion runs wild,” at the Funky Monkey, which outfits the kiddies in trend-setting duds. Among the store’s collection is Juicy Couture stationery, MadPax and Beatrix backpacks, and clothing for infants through size 14.

2. Blue Seven, 7518 N. May
3. Ladybugs and Lizards Children’s Boutique, 1389 E. 15th in Edmond
3. Uptown Kids, 5840 N. Classen
Worth mentioning: Green Bambino

Best vintage clothing or consignment store: DAISY EXCHANGE

2741 S. Service Road in Moore and 6926 Northwest Expressway Buy, sell and trade your way into a wardrobe to end all wardrobes at Daisy Exchange, a family-owned store with two metro locations. Seriously, why shell out big bucks for a designer label when you can dig up something equally awesome at this resale shop? It specializes in trendy, gently worn clothes, so you won’t be stuck with someone’s 1994 pit-stained blouse.

2. Bad Granny’s Bazaar, 1759 N.W. 16th
3. Bohemian Spirit Vintage, 913 W. Britton
Worth mentioning: The Remarkable Shop, Anty Shanty

Best gourmet market or specialty grocer: CRESCENT MARKET

6409 Avondale Drive in Nichols Hills You voters stuck with the tried-and-true classic for your favorite gourmet market. Since 1889, Crescent Market has been rolling out the red carpet (literally — the grocery store is carpeted) for hungry shoppers. And just because it’s got pedigree doesn’t mean it’s not forward-thinking: Crescent Market now carries organic and gluten-free products.

2. Forward Foods, 123 E. Main in Norman and 5123 N. Western
3. Super Cao Nguyen, 2668 N. Military
Worth mentioning: Mediterranean Imports & Deli, Native Roots Market

Best place to shop green: AKIN'S NATURAL FOODS MARKET

2924 N.W. 63rd and 2370 W. Memorial Your daily diet is inextricably linked to your environmental footprint, so the spate of foodie documentaries informs us. And Akin’s is your go-to choice for easing some eco-guilt, since it stocks options that jibe with a green lifestyle, like environmentally conscious brands, organic produce and local meat and dairy.
2. Forward Foods, 123 E. Main in Norman and 5123 N. Western
3. Native Roots Market, 132 W. Main in Norman
Worth mentioning: Green Bambino, Shop Good


2322 N. Broadway With summer being the season for getting sauced (at least one of ’em), it’s important to know where you should go to stock your next party. Byron’s gives you more options than anyone, and offers low prices that will keep you coming back. When it’s affordable booze you seek, there’s really no other option.

2. Spirit Shop, 1117 Garver St. in Norman
3. Broadway Wine Merchants, 824 N. Broadway
Worth mentioning: Sam’s Wholesale Priced Liquors, Pancho’s Liquortown


2500 N. May and 9221 N. Penn Place From fresh to forever flowers, New Leaf Florist has you covered. With more than 152 years of combined service and nine designers on staff, leave it to them to create the event, floral arrangement, fruit or gift basket of your dreams. New Leaf Florist can create a beautiful piece for any occasion or just as a Monday pick-me-up.
2. Trochta’s Flowers and Greenhouses, 6700 N. Broadway Extension
3. A Date with Iris, 4201 N. Western
Worth mentioning: Tony Foss Flowers, Birdie

Best local bookstore: FULL CIRCLE BOOKSTORE

1900 Northwest Expressway Yes, some of us still read the kind of books that aren’t powered by batteries, and Full Circle Bookstore has been the city’s go-to spot for more than 30 years. With more than 60,000 titles in stock, the shop also offers fresh coffee, a cafe and visits from authors both local and national.

2. Second Chance Books & Comics, 3909 N. MacArthur
3. Best of Books, 1313 E. Danforth in Edmond
Worth mentioning: Aladdin Book Shoppe, Archives Books Inc.

Best sporting goods or bicycles: Al’s Bicycles

Several metro locations Some obscure little hipster shop this place ain’t. For more than 30 years, Al’s has been known for its reliable service and wide selection of merchandise. They’re your one-stop bike shop, whether you’re conquering mountaintops, competing in Ironman races, or just cruising down the street to pick up some milk.

2. Red Coyote Running and Fitness, 5800 N. Classen
3. Schlegel Bicycles, 900 N. Broadway
Worth mentioning: 405 Bicycles, Buchanan Bicycles


3434 W. Reno Mathis Brothers Furniture has been an Oklahoman staple since the late 1940s when Don and Bud Mathis helped at their parents’ furniture store in OKC. Shoppers are free to browse its sprawling selection from premium to popular value brands.

2. Suburban Contemporary Furnishings, 201 N. Portland
3. Galleria Furniture, 3700 W. Interstate 40 Service Road
Worth mentioning: Bob Mills Furniture, Dane Design Contemporary Furniture

Best place to buy your next vehicle: BOB HOWARD AUTO GROUP

Several metro locations The bodacious Battle of the Bobs continues this year as Bob Howard Auto Group claims the top spot among voters. Multiple locations offer a selection among Acura, Buick, GMC, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Honda, Nissan, Toyota or Scion vehicles, plus a wide range of used vehicles. Bob Howard makes shopping easy, too, by making its inventory searchable online.

2. Bob Moore Auto Group, several metro locations
3. Jackie Cooper BMW, 14145 N. Broadway Extension in Edmond
Worth mentioning: Fowler Volkswagen, Diffee Ford Lincoln

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper

<![CDATA[BEST OF OKC: Entertainment]]>

Best place to hear live music: VZD’S RESTAURANT & CLUB 

4200 N. Western Heralded throughout the metro for its great beer selection and tasty appetizers, VZD’s is an institution. No self-respecting alt-country band or folksinger would even think of skipping VZD’s pub hall, but that’s not to say the owners cater to a specific genre. Nearing 40 years of operation, the venue hosts the diverse “Acoustic Oklahoma” showcase, ’80s tribute nights, Bo Diddley, dubstep DJs, Dixie Chicks, power-pop rockers and even the Red Hot Chili Peppers once upon a time. Gotta respect the classics, man.

2. The Blue Door, 2805 N. McKinley

3. Blue Note Lounge, 2408 N. Robinson Worth mentioning: The Conservatory, The Deli

Best place to see a concert: OKC ZOO AMPHITHEATRE

2101 N.E. 50th How better to see a show than with a couple thousand of your dearest friends? Hordes of Oklahomans flock to the outdoor venue each year to see and hear some of the biggest names in hard rock, country, metal and classic rock. Often braving the heat and open-air half-dome, fans return home with ears, hearts and heads throbbing from swirling light shows, national-caliber acts and speakers that stack high like the Devon tower. Bigger is better, amigo.

2. Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker

3. OKC Arena (now Chesapeake Energy Arena), 100 W. Reno Worth mentioning: Diamond Ballroom, River wind Casino

Best dance club: GROOVY’S

5705 Mosteller Never has a winner’s name been so appropriate for a given category. Groovy’s is an obvious place to dance, juke, jive or whatever else you want to call it. Make a guilty-pleasure selection on the jukebox, grab a drink, and try not to commit a party foul while cuttin’ a rug.

2. Copa, 2200 N.W. 39th Expressway

3. Skky Bar, 7 S. Mickey Mantle Worth mentioning: City Walk, Kamp’s


5830 N. Classen Blvd. Republic isn’t your average pub, but given the food, drinks, atmosphere and the sports constantly playing on the so-large-you-can’t-miss-them TVs, you might not be able to tell the difference. The tech-savvy take on traditional pubs offers a number of unique menu items, many of which simply add some twists to the classics, all of which mix well with the huge selection of beverages.

2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations

3. Coach’s Bar & Grill, several metro locations Worth mentioning: Henry Hudson’s Pub, The Dugout


5708 N. May Karaoke is one of those odd combinations where you’re very likely to have fun, but almost equally likely to embarrass yourself. With that being said, Nancy’s is one spot where you can get the best out of such a combination. Stop by and have a cold beverage while you think about which song you’ll butcher next in front of all your friends.

2. Cookie’s, 2304 N. Western

3. Mr. Bill’s, 1101 Elm, Norman Worth mentioning: City Walk, Friends Restaurant and Club

Best fancy-pants bar: REPUBLIC GASTROPUB

5830 N. Classen Blvd. In the chic and sleek Classen Curve, your pick of Republic Gastropub proves that beer can, indeed, be fancy-pants. The beer list is massive (and impressive), but if you just can’t choose, go for one of the flights, which includes several selections to sample. And for dessert? Make it an ice cream beer float.

2. Seven47, 747 Asp, Norman

3. Skky Bar, 7 S. Mickey Mantle Worth mentioning: Ludivine, Purple Bar

Best new bar (that opened after May 1, 2010): THE GARAGE

307 E. Main Norman Voters kept it casual and picked The Garage as your favorite new spot to chill and throw back a few. The lowkey Norman bar turns out burgers and beer, with live music and games for a winning combination. Plus, where else but Chuck E. Cheese can you dominate at Skee-Ball?

2. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson

3. The Office Drinks & Nosh, 5929 N. May Worth mentioning: Saints, West

Best place for a cheap date: OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO

2101 N.E. 50th If your debt ceiling is down to your ankles, you can still make his or her heart a-flutter for not a lot of paper with a date at the Oklahoma City Zoo. Who knows? Maybe seeing the zoo’s new baby elephant and bat-eared fox kits may unleash the beast in your partner afterward. Rawr!

2. Big Truck Tacos, 530 N.W. 23rd

3. Lake Hefner, 3301 N.W. Grand Worth mentioning: Bricktown, Louie’s Grill & Bar

Best art gallery: IAO GALLERY

706 W. Sheridan The “I” in “IAO” stands for “Individual,” and this is one gallery that always stands out. Now resting comfortably in its historic Film Row home, the brick base for all things arty hosts some incredible exhibitions of art in a variety of media, not to mention poetry readings, film and video screenings, and performance art.

2. DNA Galleries, 1705-B N.W. 16th

3. a.k.a. gallery, 3001 Paseo Worth mentioning: JRB Art at The Elms , Istvan Gallery


1544 W. State Highway 9 Voters love to get their gamble on at this Chickasaw Nation-owned casino. The 219,000 square-foot oasis features more than 2,700 electronic games, 50-plus blackjack and poker tables, as well as a 100-room hotel and 1,500-seat theater.

2. FireLake Grand Casino, 777 Grand Casino, Shawnee

3. Remington Park Casino, 1 Remington Place Worth mentioning: WinStar World Casino, Lucky Star Casino


415 Couch From films to furniture, the Oklahoma City Museum of Art has brought Oklahomans opportunities of enrichment since its incorporation in 1945. The museum always has daring exhibitions and classic collections. Taking pride in cinema, it offers screenings in independent, foreign films and the classics. A wide variety of art awaits adventure.

2. Sam Noble Museum of Natural History, 2401 Chautauqua, Norman

3. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd Worth mentioning: National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum , Museum of Osteology


To run for the community, for the family members and survivors of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing and for the Memorial — that is the purpose of this annual marathon. The run has raised more than $3 million in its 11 years. Thomas Hill and Chet Collier founded the race, which this year boasted nearly 25,000 runners and walkers from 49 states and six countries.

2. Race for the Cure

3. Mistletoe Market Worth mentioning: Relay for Life, Red Tie Night

Best local event or festival: FESTIVAL OF THE ARTS

A rite of spring for art and food enthusiasts alike, the downtown arts fest kicks off Oklahoma’s festival season. Artists, art-lovers and a delicious array of food fill downtown OKC. It doesn’t cost a thing, so who could ask for a better melting pot of culture? Rocking downtown for more than 40 years, the five-day festival is a beloved community event. Even when it rains.

2. Paseo Arts Festival

3. Norman Music Festival Worth mentioning: deadCENTER Film Festival, Medieval Fair of Norman

Best performing arts group: LYRIC THEATRE

All the world’s a stage, and you’ve chosen Lyric Theatre to be the director. This long-running theater company (founded in 1963) has staged everything from “A Chorus Line” (its last production of this summer’s season) to “A Christmas Carol” (coming this holiday). And the show continues at both the Civic Center and at Lyric at the Plaza. Get ready for “Xanadu” and “Spring Awakening” in 2012!

2. Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park

3. Oklahoma City Ballet Worth mentioning: Perpetual Motion Modern Dance, CityRep

Best family entertainment: OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER

OKC has embraced the Thunder so much, it’s difficult to believe there was life before the team. When it comes to family fun time, voters love the thrill of the game: the deafening cheers, tense close-calls, Rumble’s antics and city pride.

2. Oklahoma City Zoo, 2101 N.E. 50th

3. Science Museum Oklahoma, 2100 N.E. 52nd Worth mentioning: Frontier City, HeyDay Entertainment Center

Best place to take out-of-towners: BRICKTOWN

Got a cousin who’s vegetarian? Or maybe you’re trying to impress the in-laws? Bricktown has something for everyone, and the urban setting is sure to impress. Cruise streets named for our most beloved Okies — Mickey Mantle, Wanda Jackson and The Flaming Lips — before you see the RedHawks or sit down for dinner!

2. Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum, 620 N. Harvey

3. Pops, 660 W. Highway 66, Arcadia Worth mentioning: Oklahoma City Zoo, National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper
<![CDATA[BEST OF OKC: Food & Drink]]> Best coffee shop: CUPPIES & JOE

727 N.W. 23rd A small pleasure of life is the uplift from the aroma of a great cup of coffee. Nowadays, we all need to slow down a bit, but who can after stopping at Cuppies & Joe for that needed caffeine boost to get us on our way? Captivatingly cool, Cuppies & Joe’s cupcakes are intensely flavored. By the way, their coffee is roasted by Elemental Coffee Roasters, a local company.

2. Java Dave’s, several metro locations

3. The Red Cup, 3122 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: Gray Owl Coffee, Coffee Slingers

Best breakfast or brunch: JIMMY’S EGG

several metro locations The cock crows when the light rouses, and at Jimmy’s Egg, the food starts pouring out of the kitchen at 6 a.m. and does not stop until 2 p.m. Whether it’s the traditional bacon and over-easy eggs, or an omelet packed with everything but the kitchen sink, there is so much on the menu that some patrons eat there daily. This local family concept is now being franchised throughout the U.S.

2. Classen Grill, 5124 Classen Circle

3. La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Worth mentioning: The Diner, Seven47

Best place to have lunch: BIG TRUCK TACOS

530 N.W. 23rd Anybody up for lunch? Then hustle on over to Big Truck Tacos, where it only takes one visit to understand what all the fuss is about. The owners, who brought along years of experience and know-how, have managed to maintain the high standards of the food they cook, yet have a blast doing it.

2. Irma’s Burger Shack, 1035 N.W. 63rd and 1120 Classen Drive

3. Saturn Grill, 6432 Avondale Drive and 4401 W. Memorial Worth mentioning: City Bites , Coolgreens

Best appetizers: LOUIE’S GRILL & BAR

several metro locations It’s a chow-down with Louie’s Grill & Bar’s best-selling golden fried pickles and boneless chicken wings. Makes one wonder: Where in the world did they find those fine feathered friends with no bones? End your search for lip-smacking apps by stopping by any one of the metro’s several Louie’s locations.

2. Republic Gastropub, 5830 N. Classen Blvd.

3. Deep Fork, 5418 N. Western Worth mentioning: Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, Bolero Tapas Bar & Restaurant


several metro locations The undisputed prince of pizza in the metro area, Hideaway is your pick for perfect pie. Everything that goes on its yummy menu is top-notch, and locals eat up the friendly service and casual ambience. Hideaway is one of Oklahoma’s least pretentious, yet most ambitious fleet of restaurants, with locations throughout the metro, including the latest in Automobile Alley.

2. The Wedge Pizzeria, 4709 N. Western and 230 N.E. First

3. Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza, 5860 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: Humble Pie, Joey’s Pizzeria


1035 N.W. 63rd and 1120 Classen Drive Irma’s is the hands-down winner for the best damn hamburger in town. Find the old gal, who is actually fictitious, at two locations. Keep your shades on while you eat, and you won’t see the meat juice spurting out onto your clothes as you attempt to pack this wondrous burger into your mouth. Its No Name Ranch beef has become mandatory for some.

2. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, several metro locations

3. Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Pennsylvania Worth mentioning: S & B’s Burger Joint, The Cow, Calf-Hay 

Best barbecue: EARL’S RIB PALACE

several metro locations All hail the king! This classic concept has managed to stay on top of the heap of all the blockbuster barbecue joints. When we want something, we want it now! And what we want is barbecue. The food at Earl’s includes mouthwatering grilled chicken, juicy burgers and baked beans.

2. Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, 3700 N. Shartel

3. Van’s Pig Stand, several metro locations Worth mentioning: Swadley’s Bar-B -Q, Steve’s Rib

Best sandwiches: CITY BITES

several metro locations At City Bites, it is certainly hard to imagine a better sandwich. You voters agreed, and patrons have made it a destination for years. The four Blevins brothers, Mark, Brad, Gary and Eric, have been slapping those phenomenal sandwiches together since 1986. Some prefer dessert first and never miss nibbling on the cookies and brownies.

2. Someplace Else, A Deli & Bakery, 2310 N. Western

3. Saturn Grill, 6432 Avondale Drive and 4401 W. Memorial Worth mentioning: ND Foods, Hobby’s Hoagies 


1309 S. Agnew Cattlemen’s Steakhouse stays packed day after day with hungry customers cutting into the thick, juicy steaks. Inarguably the mother ship of steakhouses in Oklahoma, this award-winning restaurant has a menu with a taste for adventure and is the city’s crème de la crème for beef. It’s a little schlep to get to Cattlemen’s, but the drive is certainly worth it. Start out with the lamb fries. Happily, nothing has changed.

2. Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard in Edmond

3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: Ranch Steak house, Junior’s

Best sushi: SUSHI NEKO

4318 N. Western All sushi appetites lead to none other than Sushi Neko, where the fare is impeccable and created with ultimate precision. The chefs maintain a highvoltage charge with their sushi rolls, along with dizzying menu items such as jumbo shrimp, curry udon and salmon. This first-rate place has been around long enough to know just how to make us swoon.

2. Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western

3. In the Raw Sushi, 575 S. University, Norman and 200 S. Oklahoma Worth mentioning: Pachinko Parlor, Saii Asian Bistro

Best seafood: PEARL’S OYSTER BAR

5641 N. Classen Blvd. Pearl’s Oyster Bar has done it again. Think “seafood,” and Pearl’s pops up. This is a real sweet spot with chefs who are comfortable in the cuisine. (You’ll never find a stinky piece of fish here!) Fantasies start with oysters and everything from the sea. Drool over the weekend New Orleans brunch favorites in this decades-old institution.

2. Sushi Neko, 4318 N. Western

3. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Pennsylvania and 12252 N. May Worth mentioning: Crabtown, The Shack Sea food and Oyster Bar Best vegetarian or healthy menu options

Best vegetarian: COOLGREENS

6475 Avondale Drive and 14201 N. May It’s easy to eat healthy when there are so many delicious options. Want hearts of palm on that salad? You got it! Toasted pecans in the wrap? No problem! Whether ordering off the diverse menu or building your own meal, it’s obvious the staff at Coolgreens goes for quality. And for you veggies out there, get your protein fix with the tofu or chickpeas.

2. The Earth Cafe and Deli, 750 Asp, Norman

3. Picasso Cafe, 3009 Paseo Worth mentioning: The Red Cup, Matthew Kenney OKC

Best comfort food: CHEEVER’S CAFE

2409 N. Hudson You voters must like your comfort with a bit of class. The gorgeous Cheever’s, in a renovated flower shop, turns out comfy favorites (like a chicken-fried steak), but does so in style. A typical greasy spoon, this is not. And if your idea of comfort veers more toward the healthy, fear not: Cheever’s has you covered with salads and lighter fare.

2. Ann’s Chicken Fry House, 4106 N.W. 39th

3. Iron Starr Urban Barbeque, 3700 N. Shartel Worth mentioning: Mama E’s Soul Food, Cajun King

Best meal under 10 bucks: BIG TRUCK TACOS

530 N.W. 23rd Who needs Taco Bell to eat like a (broke) king when you have Big Truck? It’s open late, it’s cheap (without needing to clarify it’s using actual beef) and it’s delicious. The only hard part about eating at Big Truck is deciding if you want to try the 5th Amendment. We say go for it. It’s not like it’s going to set your bank account back too much.

2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations

3. Cafe 7, 14101 N. May Worth mentioning: Saturn Grill, City Bites

Best locally made beer: BRICKTOWN BREWERY

1 N. Oklahoma Bricktown Brewery has been in the beer-brewing game the longest, and you voted it the best. The brewery and restaurant, a stalwart of Bricktown businesses, recently started updating its look, food and even that favorite beer. Lots of changes are in store at this spot, so head there to try out the new selections.

2. COOP Ale Works, 1124 N.W. 51st

3. Choc Beer Worth mentioning: Mustang Brewery, Coach’s Bar & Grill

Best cocktails: PROHIBITION ROOM

Well, this one’s bittersweet. Like Old Yeller, sometimes the things you love the most leave you (although, hopefully, there was no frothing at the mouth at Prohibition Room). That’s right: As of this writing, Prohibition Room is closed, with no definite plans of reopening. Now we have the sads. We loved the pitchers of Prohibition Tea and classic cocktails that made us feel like Don Draper.

2. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson

3. Blu Fine Wine & Food, 201 S. Crawford, Norman Worth mentioning: The Lobby Bar, Tramps


several metro locations You planted some sugar on La Baguette Bakery & Cafe. From delectable cakes to perfect pastries baked in Norman, La Baguette has been creating indulgent desserts since 1984. And you don’t need to trek down south to sample the goodness; La Baguette’s desserts can be found in restaurants and hotels across the metro.

2. Sara Sara Cupcakes, 7 N.W. Ninth

3. Cuppies & Joe, 727 N.W. 23rd Worth mentioning: Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante and Bar, Sugar.

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper

<![CDATA[BEST OF OKC: Restaurants]]> Best restaurant downtown: IGUANA MEXICAN GRILL

9 N.W. Ninth They had us at the chips and salsa, and apparently you, too. The colorful Iguana has been whipping up fantastic, Latin-inspired dishes (try the fish tacos!) and some seriously amazing margaritas for a couple of years now. But it’s the cool atmosphere that really makes this place — it’s fun, festive and always a memorable meal.

2. Zio’s Italian Kitchen, 12 E. California and 2035 S. Meridian

3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: Nonna’s Euro-American Ristorante and Bar, Ludivine

Best restaurant on the Northside: REDROCK CANYON GRILL

9221 Lake Hefner Parkway Hang out at this airy, laid-back restaurant and bar that draws locals looking for simply cooked plates of splendid food. The lakeside Redrock is constantly thronged with diners, yet its chefs deal nicely with the constant stress and pressure. There is an exciting flavor fusion going on, and it shows in its first-class, creative menu.

2. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, 2824 N. Pennsylvania and 12252 N. May

3. Pearl’s Oyster Bar, 5641 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: Ranch Steak house, Gopuram Taste of India

Best restaurant on the Southside: CATTLEMEN’S STEAKHOUSE

1309 S. Agnew At Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, the cowboys come out early for breakfast knowing that this is a place where the fare is good, prices are fair and the eatery is clean. Its down-home service is friendly, but never intimidating. This is what Oklahoma cooking is all about, and Cattlemen’s is a sweet taste of Americana.

2. Ted’s Cafe Escondido, 8324 S. Western

3. Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, several metro locations. Worth mentioning: Dan’s Old Time Diner, Grill on the Hill

Best restaurant in Yukon/Mustang: INTERURBAN

11316 W. Reno, Yukon Cheers to more good years for the winner! Interurban has several metro locations, including your pick in Yukon. The owners are culinary and hospitality professionals dating back to the first Interurban that opened in 1976. Menu items are straightforward, but incredibly delicious. People gobble up crisp salads, pizza, sandwiches, burgers and more.

2. Alfredo’s Mexican Cafe, 1751 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon

3. Primo’s d’Italia, 1215 Garth Brooks Blvd., Yukon. Worth mentioning: Bad Brad’s BBQ, Harry’s American Grill & Bar

Best restaurant in Midwest City/Del City: BASIL MEDITERRANEAN CAFE

6620 E. Reno, Midwest City At Basil Mediterranean, a hungry diner can nosh extremely well. The menu offers one of the healthiest cuisines around, something that people are really getting smart about these days. There’s nothing to be afraid of here, because they simply have the best artichoke spinach dip, and patrons feast on its fantastic gyro platter and other dishes.

2. Mr. Spriggs BBQ, 1017 S. Air Depot, Midwest City

3. Don’s Alley, 4601 S.E. 29th, Del City Worth mentioning: Mid-Del Taco, Korean House

Best restaurant in Norman: THE MONT

1300 Classen, Norman The Mont is one of the go-to places for students, a place for hunger to go on holiday every day. Norman residents repeat this happy scenario, so it is no wonder that The Mont has been so successful. Sitting inside or on the patio, order food and drinks that present an overall mix of nothing but the best.

2. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina, 702 N. Porter, Norman

3. Victoria’s Pasta Shop, 327 White, Norman Worth mentioning: Seven47, Benvenuti ’s Ristorante

Best restaurant in Edmond: FLATIRE BURGERS

318 E. Ayers, Edmond Flatire Burgers, a sister restaurant to the well-liked Lottinvilles, shows off its stuff with damn good burgers. The capable staff keep those tables turning, pleasing a diversity of students and fans at this restaurant, situated right on the edge of the University of Central Oklahoma. No kidding: Some guys and gals consider the inside of Flatire as their own living rooms.

2. Cafe 501, 501 S. Boulevard, Edmond

3. Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard, Edmond Worth mentioning: Othello’s of Edmond, Lottinvilles Restaurant & Bar

Best Mexican or Latin restaurant: TED’S CAFE ESCONDIDO

Several metro locations Walk into any one of the Ted’s, and it’s obvious they mean business. Lines are long, but fast, perhaps because people have tasted its pièce de résistance — the Atomic salsa —and need air. When Ted Curtis hung the sign on the first Ted’s, people probably wondered, “A Mexican restaurant named Ted’s?” Now there are several locations, all going strong.

2. Iguana Mexican Grill, 9 N.W. Ninth

3. Tarahumara’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina, 702 N. Porter, Norman Worth mentioning: Chelino’s Mexican Restaurant, 1492 New World Latin Cuisine

Best Asian restaurant: MUSASHI’S

4315 N. Western There won’t ever be any good or bad surprises at Musashi’s, because what its loyal customers get is consistency they can count on. Musashi’s has an outstanding Japanese ambience, but what distinguishes this from the rest is the extra bit of interest the staff takes in everyone’s meals. Those knife-wielding hibachi chefs are so entertaining; just remember to duck.

2. Sushi Neko, 4318 N. Western

3. Grand House, 2701 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: Lido, Saii Asian Bistro

Best Italian restaurant: ZIO’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

12 E. California and 2035 S. Meridian Bursting with enthusiasm, Zio’s servers seem to deliver the food quicker than lightning. But who really cares when the food, a combination of comfort and spice, is as good as it is? The restaurant specializes in classic Italian dishes, and if you listen closely, you will hear a slight hum of contentment in the air when the dishes arrive.

2. Victoria’s Pasta Shop, 327 White, Norman

3. Stella, 1201 N. Walker Worth mentioning: Othello’s , Papa Dio’s

Best European or Mediterranean restaurant: ZORBA’S MEDITERRANEAN CUISINE

6014 N. May When you win the lottery someday, you may never have to cook again. You can just eat every day at Zorba’s. No more squeezing on tomatoes or thumping melons! You’ll find all of the basics here, along with more unusual finds like skewers of beef or chicken bursting with flavor, or its hummus or baba ghanoush, all Middle Eastern delights.

2. La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May

3. Greek House, 768 Jenkins, Norman Worth mentioning: Mediterranean Imports & Deli, Nunu’s Mediterranean Cafe & Market

Best upscale restaurant: DEEP FORK

5418 N. Western Deep Fork constantly wins friends and influences people, and the Deep Fork Group has never gotten too big for its britches. The dining until 2 a.m. every Friday and Saturday is perfect for night owls. During the day, the red carpet gets rolled out with attention to detail, comfortable seating, fresh flowers, an excellent wine selection and awe-inspiring menu items — great for romance.

2. Boulevard Steakhouse, 505 S. Boulevard, Edmond

3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: The Coach House, Ludivine

Best casual-dining restaurant: BIG TRUCK TACOS

530 N.W. 23rd Are you ready to order? Every once in a while, some knucklehead will go inside and actually take his or her time ordering. Although it’s difficult to wade through all the menu possibilities, anything you choose will hit those taste buds with great satisfaction.

2. Louie’s Grill & Bar, several metro locations

3. Republic Gastropub, 5830 N. Classen Blvd. Worth mentioning: The Wedge Pizzeria, Irma’s Burger Shack

Best family-friendly restaurant: POPS

660 W. Highway 66, Arcadia Terrific for family outings, take a short drive to Arcadia and stop by Pops, which is gaining national prominence. A gas station and restaurant, Pops has folks who challenge them to serve their fave soda from any state — and most likely they can do it. Friendly people are never far from your table when you order up a burger and a shake from its extensive menu.

2. Hideaway Pizza, several metro locations

3. Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler, several metro locations Worth mentioning: Irma’s Burger Shack , Iguana Mexican Grill

Best restaurant ambience: REDROCK CANYON GRILL

9221 Lake Hefner Parkway You can’t beat a lake view, and that’s just what Redrock Canyon Grill offers its diners. Massive windows flood the place with light, making dusk a big deal at this popular spot. (Dine there around sunset and find out why.) If outdoors is the way you want to eat, cozy up to a big fireplace, and let the waves serve as your soundtrack.

2. Paseo Grill, 2909 Paseo

3. RED Prime Steak, 504 N. Broadway Worth mentioning: Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine, Ludivine

Best little-known restaurant:PICASSO CAFE

3009 Paseo The new owners of this Paseo spot looked to another famous name for their eatery. And the artistic vibe doesn’t stop at the moniker — head inside for a pretty little restaurant with art on the walls and cool music being played. The menu is diverse (they love vegetarians and meat-eaters alike) and the bar still puts out top-notch drinks (try the Pimm’s Cup).

2. Nic’s Grill, 1201 N. Penn

3. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson Worth mentioning: The Cow Calf-Hay, Burger Rush

Best new restaurant (that opened after May 1, 2010): MUTT’S AMAZING HOT DOGS

1400 N.W. 23rd Can you strike gold twice? The owners of Big Truck Tacos have proven so with their new concept, Mutt’s, voted your favorite new place to chow down. The dogs here run the gamut from the classic all-beef kosher to an upscale duck dog. And don’t pass up the sides at this retrochic spot — there are deviled eggs, baked beans, fried pickles and more.

2. Rococo Restaurant & Fine Wine at Northpark, 12252 N. May

3. Ludivine, 805 N. Hudson Worth mentioning: West, The Cow Calf-Hay

Photos by Shannon Cornman, Mark Hancock and Lindsey Cooper
<![CDATA[OKG Parade announces concert lineup]]>

We're very, very, very excited to announce that this year's outdoor music stage at the OKG Parade will feature Colourmusic, Heavenly States