Food Briefs: Oak & Ore celebrates Craft Beer Week, Allisha’s Southern Kitchen and more 

Tyler Troy pours a drink at Oak and Ore in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Tyler Troy pours a drink at Oak and Ore in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015.

Crafty drinkers

Plaza District watering hole Oak & Ore, 1732 NW 16th St., celebrates American Craft Beer Week with a series of special events Sunday through May 21.

At 6 p.m. Sunday, the restaurant and drinking establishment hosts a five-course Founders Beer Dinner for $50 per person (plus tax and gratuity). Oak & Ore pairs items from the new menu with Founders Brewing Co. beers such as Canadian Breakfast Stout. A portion of the proceeds benefit Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma’s backpack program. To register, email oakandore@gmail.com.

Starting 6 p.m. Tuesday through May 19, Oak & Ore hosts breweries as it pours special beers. Prairie Artisan Ales Bomb! Variants Night is Tuesday, Collaboration Nation featuring Amager is May 18 and Avery Affinity is May 19. At 5 p.m. May 20, for the first time in Oklahoma, Oak & Ore serves three Saint Somewhere Brewing Company beers and two from Green Bench Brewing Co.

Then #SessionSaturday, runs noon-5 p.m. May 21, featuring drafts and cans of high-quality, low-alcohol suds from Evil Twin Brewing and Prairie Artisan Ales. Oak & Ore also taps some not-so-sessionable brews, such as Evil Twin’s Bozo Beer and Big Ass Money Stout, each hour.

Burger time

Former Dallas Cowboy linebacker Bradie James visited Oklahoma City last week with a group scouting Oklahoma locations for MOOYAH Burgers, Fries & Shakes.

James said he began franchising while playing in the NFL as a way to turn his paychecks into sustainable income to help support his family. He bought into MOOYAH about five years ago and is now part of the corporate team.

The eatery offers beef, turkey and black bean burgers as well as salads, milkshakes and french fries.

While here, he met with former teammate Roy Williams to get a local’s view on the area. James said he’s interested in bringing the burger chain to Moore and northwest Oklahoma City.

click to enlarge JOE OWNBEY
  • Joe Ownbey

Southern exposure

May welcomes Allisha’s Southern Kitchen, 2747 W. Memorial Road, a new restaurant from veteran owners the Hardy family. Three generations are involved with the venue, with namesake Allisha and her father John taking the lead. The Hardys previously ran Allisha’s Tea Room and Dining on Persimmon Hill.

It celebrates its grand opening Monday through May 19 and will be open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a brunch buffet on weekends.

“We are overwhelmed by the excitement and support of new and longtime customers,” said matriarch Mary Beth Hardy. “Allisha’s Southern Kitchen represents the fulfillment of a dream for our family.”

Zoobilation

Oklahoma Zoological Society hopes some of you want to eat like an animal. Its Zoobilation event is 7-10 p.m. June 16 at The Oklahoma City Zoo, 2000 Remington Place.

The fundraising party features bites from Baked Cakes & Gourmet Desserts, Cafe 501, Casa Perico Mexican Grille, Covell Park, Cuppies & Joe, Fassler Hall, Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge, Grand Casino Hotel & Resort, Jazmo’z Bourbon St. Cafe, Klemm’s Smoke Haus, James E. McNellie’s Public House, Nothing Bundt Cakes, OKC Zoo Catering, Old Germany Restaurant and Turek’s Tavern, The Mantel Wine Bar & Bistro, The Melting Pot, US Foods and West. There also will be specialty cocktails, including the annual Zootini, live music from Urban Addiction and a silent auction. Event net proceeds go to beautify and renovate zoo picnic grounds.

Tickets for the 21-and-up party are $100, available at zoofriends.org or by calling 405-425-0618. It’s an outdoor event, so attire is comfortable casual.

You jelly?

The Oklahoma Agritourism program helps visitors dress their toast the old-fashioned way with Oklahoma Jelly Making Trails.

Okjellymaking.com offers a map of 47 “U-pick” locations for blackberries, peaches, prickly pears, vegetables and herbs. Guests pay to access patches, pick produce and make jelly. Each participating farm has stickers, jelly jar labels and maps to get guests to their next destination.

“Parents bring out the kids because this is something they did when they were a kid,” Bobby Sloan of Buffalo Creek Berry Farm, located near Mustang, said in a media release. “Daycares come out. Assisted living centers come, too.”

Those interested are encouraged to contact a farm to check its hours of operation before heading out.

click to enlarge Chicken fried steak with jalapeno gravy at Cheevers in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015. - GARETT FISBECK
  • Garett Fisbeck
  • Chicken fried steak with jalapeno gravy at Cheevers in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2015.

High a-Cheever’s

The funny thing about brunch at Cheever’s Cafe, 2409 N. Hudson Ave., is that it didn’t work.

Good Egg Dining Group co-owner Keith Paul said the restaurant offered brunch not too long after it opened in 2000, but it didn’t take off.

“It ended after about six months,” he said.

Cheever’s went brunchless until 2011, when it was reinstated on Sundays, and then expanded to Saturdays.

“We had a goal of how much we needed to make on a weekend. It took us two weeks to make that goal,” he said. “In another couple of months, we had doubled it.”

These days, Cheever’s brunch is practically an Oklahoma City institution. Last week, it made OpenTable.com’s list of 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America 2016, an honor Paul said means a lot.

Cheever’s brunch draws 350 guests each Saturday and Sunday to the 80-seat venue, and many diners are devoted to its most popular menu item, The Cowgirl Benedict, a chicken-fried steak-and-egg combo with jalapeño gravy.

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