Over the last week, I believe there have been four or five new bars or restaurants open their doors in our great city. It’s hard to keep up with all this progress!
When I heard about the idea of Fassler Hall, I was RIDICULOUSLY excited. Being a fan of all things beer and comfort food like sausages and duck fat fries, this place is right up my alley. Speaking of alleys, it is right above the new mid-century themed bowling alley, Dust Bowl Lanes. We didn’t have time to catch Dust Bowl this time, but were more focused on some delicious German beers and sausages. The OKC location of Fassler Hall/Dust Bowl Lanes is the second installment of the Tulsa favorites. From what I hear, the Tulsa Fassler is known for its amazing music selection, so I’m interested to see if the OKC location continues in this tradition. My Tulsa friends have definitely raved about Fassler Hall, so I was immediately excited to try it out.
When you walk into Fassler Hall, you are immediately struck by the size of the place. It is very large with family-style tables and a bar that goes the entire length of the place. The crowd was what you would expect in Midtown, largely folks in their 20s and 30s looking for a laid-back place to grab a beer and a bite to eat. Two walls of the restaurant are covered in windows and you get a prime view of our ever-growing Oklahoma City skyline.
For the longest time, I have felt like Oklahoma City has been lacking in bars that are largely beer focused. We of course have McNellie’s and their extensive beer selection, but besides that, your next best option was TapWerks in Bricktown. I don’t know about you guys, but I steer clear of Bricktown with every fiber of my being. So McNellie’s was about your only choice if you wanted to grab a laid-back beer with friends after work. Fassler Hall and some of the new bars/restaurants coming to our city are definitely changing the game. McNellie’s and Fassler are owned by the same restaurant group, so I had high expectations going in.
We took our seat at one of the family-style tables and were greeted by a very friendly server. She was very knowledgeable on the beers and the food selection. We chose to obviously grab a couple of beers. I got the Konig Ludwig Hefe-Dunkel and got the biggest size (I couldn’t finish it and had to drink it with both hands!). The beer selection was to be expected…heavy on the German beers, but quite a few you can’t find many other places in Oklahoma City. The Germans definitely know how to make their beer. Behind Belgium, Germany produces, in my opinion, some of the best beers in the world. It’s exciting to have a piece of that in Midtown OKC.
The food menu is largely made up of sausages and some pretty unhealthy, but ridiculously delicious, sides. We got the Jalepeno-Cheddar Sausage dog with a side of the smoked gouda dressing and we also got the sausage sampler because go big or go home (AM I RIGHT?!) with the Bratwurst, Cheddarwurst, and Hunter (a smoked venison, bison, and pork sausage). And of course, duck fat fries were a must for our side because anything in duck fat is immediately amazing. The Jalepeno-Cheddar sausage was just so amazing. I wasn’t horribly hungry when we went to Fassler, but somehow, I ate every bite because it was just so good. I got mine with sauerkraut and of course topped it with “haus mustard” and the smoked gouda sauce. The sausage sampler sausages were all solid, but I believe my favorite was the Hunter. It had a very complex flavor that was unique from the other sausages we tried. Last but not least, the duck fat fries… DUCK FAT FRIES.. So. Good. I dipped mine in the smoked gouda sauce and the haus mustard. The smoked gouda plus the fries was just a perfect combination.
Overall, I think Fassler Hall will be the perfect addition to Oklahoma City. It’s laid-back and not overly complicated. It’s a great place to grab a quick meal and a beer with friends. I’m always a little nervous to try new restaurants right after opening because so often it takes a bit to work out kinks, but Fassler was definitely on their game. I wouldn’t suggest coming to Fassler if you are on a diet, but I would assume most people know that going into a Fassler visit. Fassler Hall is not just another run-of-the mill bar, but truly embraces the German roots from which it was founded. I have heard nothing but positive reviews from friends about Fassler. I’m absolutely sure it will be a huge success in our city.
Final word: Eat there. Drink there. Go there often.
As you know, I’m back from a much too long hiatus from the foodie blog world. I recently had the pleasure of eating at Uptown OKC’s newest restaurant, Pizzeria Gusto. I moved to Mesta Park in May of this year and part of the reason I moved to this part of the city is the exciting potential this area holds. When I tell people that aren’t familiar with Oklahoma City’s revitalization that I live close to 23rd Street, they cringe. Those of us that live here know otherwise. Uptown OKC is RAPIDLY changing and Pizzeria Gusto is one of our first examples of this progress.
When I first heard that Pizzeria Gusto was coming to Uptown, I was less than pleased. Oklahoma City actually has a great deal of really great pizza restaurants…Empire Slice House, The Wedge, Hideaway, Pizza 23, etc….So I was really hoping we would get some cuisine variety up the road. My friends quickly shut my concerns down by letting me know the same folks behind Big Truck Tacos, Mutts, and Back Door BBQ, all some of my favorite eateries in OKC, were behind Pizzeria Gusto. So, I patiently (not so patiently) awaited the arrival of our new restaurant. By patiently, I mean driving by to see the construction progress almost daily and obsessively checking their Facebook for updates. The thing about Pizzeria Gusto is that it offers a different kind of dining experience than the rest of Oklahoma City’s pizza restaurants and I knew the moment I walked in.
I went to Pizzeria Gusto on a Friday night just a couple weeks after they opened. I was pleasantly surprised to walk into a vibrant restaurant with modern, yet also classic decor. We had to wait just a bit, so we took a seat at the bar because DRINKZ. I was pretty much blown away by their cocktail and beer menu. I happen to be a huge fan of the fancy cocktail. The more ingredients in a cocktail that are unknown to me, the better. I started the night off with “The Lovers of Pompeii,” which was a cocktail made with Galliano. Galliano is a sweet herbal liqueur and the bartender was super excited to use it. He said it is always a delight to make a drink with the Galliano as it is such a fun and diverse liquor. This drink was also made with Amaro Nonino, which is another Italian herbal liqueur. This drink was totally on the fruity side, but was very interesting and yummy, as I had never tried either Gilliano or Amaro Nonino. I was very impressed by Pizzeria Gusto’s authenticity in liquors. Every one of the drinks had an Italian liquor that I had never tried. In addition to the awesome cocktails, their beer selection was AWESOME. I will tell you…I immediately harshly judge a bar or restaurant if their beer selection is sub-par. Pizzeria Gusto did no disappoint by offering quite a few craft brews and very few “common” beers. I was super happy to NOT see a Bud Light or Miller on the menu. In this day and age of awesome beer, there is just absolutely no excuse for folks to drink that watered-down nonsense.
Obviously, I didn’t come to Pizzeria Gusto to just get drinks, so then comes the food. Something that I believe makes Pizzeria Gusto unique in the OKC pizza market is that it isn’t just a pizza restaurant. Their small plates, which include Italian classics such as meatballs, bruschetta, fried calamari, and arancini are just the perfect plate to start out your meal. We chose to try the calamari and arancini this time around. The calamari was just outstanding and served with this great tomato dipping sauce. The arancini was also great. For those that don’t know, arancini is fried risotto balls with cheese (carbs on carbs on carbs). It was served with an awesome marinara sauce. I have high marinara standards. I make my own marinara sauce and just love Italian food. If a restaurant fails on the marinara front, they fail in my heart. Pizzeria Gusto did the opposite. Their marinara was the perfect combination of tartness from the tomatoes and sweet and savory from the spices.
NOW FOR THE MAIN EVENT
We came to Pizzeria Gusto to eat pizza obviously. Pizzeria Gusto is unique in that they offer Neapolitan-style pizza. I’m a huge fan of this cooking style because it is just so simple and accentuates the flavors of tomato, herbs, and cheese, which are three things I just absolutely love. I could have just stuck to a simple Margherita pizza, which is a true Neopolitan-style pizza staple but, my table chose to try out the Chicken pizza and Meatball pizza. The chicken pizza was topped with goat cheese and arugula, so how could you go wrong? I believe the true star was the meatball pizza. I’m a big fan of all things meat, so I have always had a soft spot in my heart for a meatball pizza. Pizzeria Gusto’s was outstanding. What makes their meatball pizza great is that it wasn’t complicated. It was pizza with meatballs with a few peppers added in to the mix. If you ask any Italian what Americans do wrong with pizza is that we complicate it and don’t use pure ingredients. That’s what Pizzeria Gusto does best. Their oven-fired pizza has the perfect equation of fresh ingredients, char from the hot, Italian-style pizza oven, and enough TLC to show they really care about providing an authentic, delicious meal for those that come through their doors.
The take-away from Pizzeria Gusto is that the atmosphere is that of a bigger city…something you would see in a New York City or Washington, D.C. I had just come from a vacation in New York City just a few days before I went to Pizzeria Gusto and I felt like I was eating in a small restaurant in the Lower East Side. You aren’t going to get some revolutionary, out-of-the-box pizza experience like you would at some pizza restaurants in town, but you will get an authentic, thoughtful meal that will absolutely satisfy. Pizzeria Gusto is absolutely great for date night or a night with family or friends.
This restaurant experience gives me hope for my dear city, which is so rapidly changing. I cannot wait to see what other food adventures we will get to experience in the near future.
In 2010, I had this crazy idea to start a blog where I documented my food adventures across the state of Oklahoma. I ate, I wrote, and I enjoyed every second of it. Somewhere in between, I moved from Norman to Oklahoma City, had a baby, and started my own business. Even with all of the changes, one thing held true- my love for food grew more and more every day. I had let the blog go in the middle of the chaos of life, but I always missed sharing my food adventures with my friends on the Interwebs.I have left a few of my older posts from 2010 up on the site. Most of this information still holds true, so feel free to read through. Here begins our new chapter…
My name is Cassi Peters. I’m 29-years-old, a mommy of 3-year-old Josi and four rowdy dogs (yes…four…you read that right), a small-business owner, and a very proud Oklahoman. I’m so proud to be an Okie that I have the state outline tattooed on my wrist. I’m a total music nerd and am a self-proclaimed workaholic. I have a love affair with food and all things with flavor. I enjoy a perfectly made fancy cocktail and can’t get enough of craft beer. My love affair with food doesn’t stop at our many fine dining establishments in Oklahoma City, I’m also obsessed with cooking. There is no happier place for this Okie Foodie than in my Mesta Park kitchen cooking a delicious meal for friends and family.
I’m very passionate about all the different pieces of my life and I look forward to sharing so many adventures with you. Oklahoma City is rapidly changing and becoming a city full of delicious food excursions and I hope Okie Foodie can help guide you along.