What To Eat in Oklahoma
No state has more varieties of good hamburger than Oklahoma, from the onion-fried burgers that perfume the town of El Reno to the chopped-up “hot hamburger” of Bartlesville. Old Route 66 takes travelers to magnificent stockyards steaks as well as to memorable chicken-fried steaks and western barbecue parlors where beef brisket and hot links star.
It seems logical that the southwest's favorite comfort food, chicken-fried steak, traces its heritage back to central European immigrant cooks who found themselves without the fixin's for a fine, tender cut of veal to make wiener schnitzel. Instead, they took a hunk of cow and beat the chaw out of it, then fried it up like southern-style chicken and served it with pan-dripping peppered milk gravy and mashed potatoes. Beware, though: while chicken fried steak can be a taste of tender heaven, especially along old Route 66 in Oklahoma, the roads of the west also lead to some really hideous versions.
Named for a Spanish dish that makes use of leftover bread (the word translates as crumbs), migas is (or, more correctly, migas
are) scrambled eggs laced with strips of corn tortilla. Migas may also contain diced tomatoes and onions, crumbled chorizo sausage, and melted cheese. When a hangover remedy is sought, hot jalapeno peppers will be added; and eaters frequently spritz migas with hot sauce or spoon on spicy salsa. Side dishes include refried beans, grits, and fried potatoes.
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Robert’s is El Reno, Oklahoma's oldest hamburger restaurant, dishing out excellent onion-fried burgers as well as diner breakfast at a 14-stool counter.
An original Route 66 cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma, Clanton's is where locals gather for chicken fried steak, catfish every Friday, and blue-ribbon pies.
Country Dove Tea Room serves lovely lunch for road-trippers along Route 66 in Elk City, Oklahoma. French silk pie is the best, ever!
Hank's hash-house hamburgers are good and greasy, a Tulsa best. Also on the menu: Frito chili pie, corn dogs and chocolate-covered peanut butter bon bons.
Dilapidated but very friendly, Leo's BBQ on the outskirts of Oklahoma City serves fiery hot links, beef brisket, pit-cooked bologna, and magnificent spare ribs.
Oklahoma BBQ shines at this 30+ year old smokehouse with a broad menu that includes not just brisket, ribs & hot links but also burgers, calf fries and cobbler.
Surrounded by the Oklahoma stockyards, Cattlemen’s is the consummate western steak house. Steak is as good as it gets; steak soup is a surprise winner.
A handful of Coney I-Lander restaurants around Tulsa serve little beguiling weenies topped with mustard, raw onions & no-bean chili. Cheese shreds optional.
In the hamburger-rich city of Tulsa, Freddie's is a star. They're plebeian burgers, oozing juice, slip-sliding in their buns: a delicious royal mess!