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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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.
Ike's is an early 20th century urban chili parlor in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Eats are cheap and cross-counter attitude is served in abundance.
Fried onion burgers are an El Reno specialty, but popular throughout Oklahoma. The best we've found is at J & W Grill in Chickasha.
One of the great Southwest BBQs and the pride of Oklahoma! Van's ribs are superb, as is the pig sandwich: vividly-sauced pork bunned with zesty relish.
Behold happy hour at Hodges Bend in Tulsa’s East Village: an ice cold martini and juicy, brioche-bunned burger with fries and pimento ketchup.
Oklahoma City’s Elemental Coffee Roasters offers small-batch coffee, creative sandwiches & (huge) crave-worthy salted chocolate chip cookies.
Tulsa’s Dilly Diner serves an all-day breakfast that includes the hefty “Jed” -- a doughy cinnamon roll that arrives on a dinner plate with a steak knife.
The Jones Assembly is a repurposed Oklahoma City industrial venue serving unique New American cuisine.
A handful of Coney I-Lander restaurants around Tulsa serve beguiling little weenies topped with mustard, raw onions & no-bean chili. Cheese shreds optional.