Traffic pattern 

Photo: Shannon Cornman

For those winging their way into the Wiley Post Airport, there’s a little diner called Annie Okie’s Runway Cafe, 5915 Phillip J. Rhoads Ave. If you’ve landed for a brief refueling on your way to the next little airport, it’s an easy place to stop and grab a bite before your next takeoff.

But you don’t need to take flying lessons to eat there. You won’t need a ticket or to go past a gate. It’s just there inside the main building. Seat yourself. Nobody’s trying to be fancy.

As far as diners go, Annie Okie’s does a pretty good job of delivering a little bit of everything. Your best bet, in my estimation, is to stop in for breakfast.

The most unique item on the menu is the Oreo pancakes ($5.69), which, true to its name, are full of crushed and crumbled Oreo cookies. It’s a surprisingly staid dish. None of the overwhelming sugary sweetness you might predict. With a little whipped butter and syrup, you get a touch of chocolate and a bit more texture.

The regular pancakes ($4.99) are light and fluffy, and you get two big ones, but there’s nothing particularly special about them.

Better
were the omelets, which seem like they’re baked, giving the eggs a bit
of rise. The Annie Okie ($7.69) is filled with mozzarella, chunks of ham
steak and fresh mushrooms. It’s the ingredients that make this a
keeper. This cafe, like many, has learned to use one ingredient several
ways, and it leans heavily on its ham steak in a number of dishes. The
fresh mushrooms are a welcome change from so many places that are
content to just open a can.

The
chicken-fried steak and eggs ($7.69) was pretty good even though the
steak comes to Annie’s pre-breaded. The eggs (I get mine over-medium
because I’m not a monster) were cooked perfectly, and the toast that
came on the side was buttery and perfect. It’s little things, sometimes,
that make a breakfast memorable.

The
biscuits and gravy ($2.79) were tasty, while the grits were pretty
bland. Choose your sides carefully. The bacon — do you guys like bacon? I
can’t remember — was done just right: thin and crisp but not
overcooked.

For lunch,
I recommend the Mile-High Club ($7.59), which brings back that ham
steak and pairs it with toast and turkey and even some honey mustard. Of
all the mustards, honey is my least favorite, but this one didn’t
overwhelm the sandwich at all. If you’re looking for something light but
you don’t want to be hungry again in 15 minutes, this is a pretty good
sandwich.

For
something a bit heavier and a bit more flavorful, I quite enjoyed the
chicken diablo ($7.79). Annie’s says it marinates its chicken breasts,
and it shows. The chicken was cooked through but still juicy. The bulk
of the flavor came from sauteed peppers and onions and guacamole with a
few strips of bacon, just in case you were worried it was too healthy.

The
burger ... well. I had the bacon cheeseburger (aka When Pigs Fly,
$6.59), and it was fine. The problem with a burger that’s just fine is
that in Oklahoma City (or Bethany or Warr Acres or whichever
principality reigns over there), there’s always a better burger just a
few minutes away. If you land there and you want a burger but you don’t
have a car, this is OK. But if you’re in the mood for something better,
39th Street is a stone’s throw away and you’ll find many options I’d
recommend over this.

If
there’s one thing you can’t get anywhere but Annie Okie’s Runway Cafe,
it’s that view of the runway. Take your kids and sit in the atrium and
you’re sure to see a few small planes taxi in or take off as long as
it’s not too windy.

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