Gazedibles: Legacy-building 

To honor the final week of Black History Month, we are highlighting seven black-owned restaurants in the metro that opened in the past few years. 

By  Jacob Threadgill with photos by Alexa Ace, provided and Gazette / file

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Brielle’s Bistro

9205 NE 23rd St. | 405-259-8473

Brielle’s recently celebrated its one-year anniversary by adding a full bar with beer and liquor to the restaurant, which means its selection of all-day breakfast and Cajun classics are bolstered with a good time. It has earned the reputation of delivering some of the area’s best étouffée in addition to serving homemade cakes, burgers, po’boys, gumbo and prime rib.

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Big O’s Pork & Dreams

285 S. Santa Fe Ave., Edmond

porkanddreams.com | 405-432-4115

Another successful leap from food truck to brick-and-mortar came with the opening of Big O’s late last year. Affable owner Owen Wilson has taken his background as a youth counselor and paired it with his family’s hickory-smoked barbecue tradition to develop a unique operation. Big O’s works in conjunction with the DreamCAST Development Program, which partners with local schools to find deserving youths to mentor and help them achieve their dreams.

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Cornish Smokehouse

801 SW 119th St.

cornishsmokehouse.com | 405-703-1300

This family-run operation from husband-and-wife duo Chris and Nicole Cornish graduated from food truck to brick-and-mortar last year. It serves all of the classics — ribs, brisket, sausage and chicken — but it has a secret weapon: jerk sauce made with ingredients shipped from Jamaica. You can add it to anything, but it takes smoked fried chicken and wings to another level.

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Polk’s House

2319 N. Lottie Ave.

polkshouse.net | 405-887-0539

James and Shacopie Polk opened their restaurant in a vintage Valentine Diner just off 23rd Street in 2017. It delivers on its slogan of serving “gourmet food at an affordable price” with a menu that includes fixed items like burgers, fried fish and even steak. But Polk’s House excels with soul food on  weekends and rotating daily specials throughout the week that range from Cornish game hen to chicken teriyaki and prime rib. Check its Facebook page for daily specials. 


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Tez Wings

3801 N. Oak Grove Drive, Midwest City | 405-546-8777

The city of Buffalo, New York, might have popularized the chicken wing and hot sauce combination, but Tez Wings is serving a Chicago variety. The wings are lightly battered and covered in a lemon pepper seasoning, and customers have the ability to add either mild or hot versions of Tez Wings’ sweet and savory sauce to the wings and fries. It recently added catfish to the menu and will use a food truck for event and catering opportunities. 

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Chef Paul’s Place

217 S. Sooner Road, Del City | 405-537-7901

This recent addition to Del City is a mixture of classic comfort food like chicken-fried steak and catfish but also so much more. Chef Paul offers Traveling Tuesday by taking cuisine from around the world like a German bierock hand pie, schnitzel or pad thai. The restaurant offers daily specials, sandwiches like its fried hamburger — a classic burger wrapped in a flour tortilla and deep-fried — and a Saturday buffet for $10.95.

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Vesa’s Soul Food

8937 NE 10th St., Midwest City | 405-455-6650

After years of friends and family telling Travessa Burge to open a restaurant, she took the plunge in September 2017 by taking her Louisiana-born recipes to Midwest City. Burge readies the kitchen each morning before going to her other business, a nearby hair salon. She oversees the seasoning for Vesa’s excellent fried catfish, sides and her signature 7Up bundt cake. Check out its monthly soul food buffet the third Saturday of every month. 

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