Gazedibles: Bean counter 

The humble bean should get more respect than being a punchline for making you “toot.” Full of protein and heart-healthy fiber, it’s one of the most important foods for staying healthy and active. These seven restaurants showcase the versatility of beans.

By Jacob Threadgill with provided and Gazette / file photos

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Grill on the Hill
324 SW 25th St.
grillonthehillokc.com | 405-634-9866

Pinto beans and cornbread is one of the quintessential Oklahoma dinners, and Grill on the Hill offers its version — with chunks of ham and topped with red onions — for just  $5.99. If you consider that combination a little boring, spice it up with Buffalo strip tacos and a side of pinto beans.

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El Majahual
3301 SW 29th St.
405-602-2661

The setting and menu at El Majahual are rightfully centered on the El Salvadoran specialty pupusa. If the combination of cheese, desired filling and masa doesn’t bring you back, then the refried black beans will do the trick. You can order them with breakfast, lunch and diner at this family-owned restaurant just west of Interstate 44.

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Cafe 110
110 N. Robinson Ave.
cafe110okc.com | 405-724-7195

The enchilada chicken bowl is one of the top-selling items at this downtown eatery, which is also open for dinner. The chicken is moist and tender, but the smoky black beans will have you coming back for more.

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Oozie Mediterranean Restaurant
1211 N. Shartel Ave., Suite 102
oozierestaurant.com | 405-724-7659

Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, it’s the same legume with the scientific name Cicer arietinum. Regardless, they make the hearty filling of falafel all the more nutritious with a kick from plenty of garlic and spices at Oozie, which is serving Lebanese dishes at its location on the bottom floor of a medical building. The only downside is that it’s closed for the weekends and after 5 p.m. on weekdays.

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Sheesh Mahal
4621 N. May Ave.
405-778-8469

Beans don’t have to be a side dish. If you order the chana masala at Sheesh Mahal, you’ll be satisfied with a hearty and flavorful dish. The chickpeas are stewed in a flavorful tomato curry that is perfectly paired with basmati rice and your preferred style of naan. If you’re looking for more chickpea options, consider ordering a chaat appetizer.

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Maples Barbecue
1800 NW 16th St.
maplesbarbecue.com | 405-604-3344

Baked beans go with barbecue like peanut butter and jelly. It’s hard to think of the two without each other. When you think you might be digging into a vegetarian side dish, don’t worry at Maples, where you’re getting a dish of baked beans mixed with brisket burnt ends, which are one of the reasons to visit this Austin-style-inspired barbecue restaurant.

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Iguana Mexican Grill
9 NW Ninth St.
iguanamexicangrill.com 405-606-7172

Life is about making hard decisions. Whether you want pinto beans or black beans, Iguana has you covered. Pinto beans are served whole while the black variety comes refried and topped with cheese with any entrée. We also recommend the chalupa nachos: half-moon crispy tortilla shells topped with black bean puree, cheese and jalapeño.

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