Archive for category Southwest Oklahoma
I remember when I was a little girl scrounging up my change so I could walk down Main Street in Marlow to get a slice of pizza from DiCintio’s. My neighbor Jamie and I would do this on a weekly basis. It was just a little hole in the wall pizza joint that sold pizza by the slice. We thought we were the bees knees going out on our own to grab our own lunch without our moms. That was one thing I loved about small town living. I grew up wandering the little town on summer days and my mom didn’t have to worry.
A few years after, Giuseppe’s opened up in the old bank next door. This was all the rage in the area. We really don’t have a wealth of fine dining establishments in my little country town. I remember being impressed as a young’n, but it still impresses me today.
I order (every time without fail) the chicken parmesan. I also get a side of pesto sauce for a dipping sauce for my bread. While I was in high school, I would go here for lunch and grab a side of pesto, a meatball, bread, and salad. Such a great lunch. I love Italian food and try to eat it as much as possible, but Giuseppe’s has hit the nail on the head with chicken parmesan. It is such a simple dish that doesn’t really push any boundaries, but it is that simplicity that keeps me going back every time. My mother orders the light portion of garlic shrimp. This is great. It’s a yummy white wine butter sauce and is packed with flavor. My dear grandmother sticks to light portion of vegetable lasagna. I’m a big fan of vegetable lasagna’s and wish I could find a good Italian market much like Vace which I used to frequent in DC for a good prepared vegetable lasagna. I honestly don’t have the patience to make it! Back on track…
The Italian food here is delicious. Sometimes you have to pinch yourself to realize you are in rural Oklahoma. The atmosphere of the restaurant is great. White table cloths, vintage exposed brick, old original ceiling tiles, mafia type music playing in the background. Like I said, this used to be a bank back when Marlow was a boomtown. It definitely maintains that old west feel. Giueseppe’s has put Marlow on the map. It is a must stop when driving through town. I sometimes tell people where I grew up and they instantly ask me if that is where that good Italian restaurant is. Yes, we are proud of our little hometown Italian restaurant. The only thing left for improvement is the wine list is scarce. I’m a big fan of wine with my Italian food and there isn’t a large selection. And yes, you can still order the pizza here I was so proud to buy as a little tot.
One of my favorite things about Oklahoma is the cultural pockets of our state. Because of the nature of frontierism, we are blessed with rich cultural pockets throughout the state. Giuseppe’s isn’t trying to cook good Italian food, they DO cook good Italian food. It’s a must eat in Oklahoma.
There once was a day that the Okie Foodie did not like BBQ. There once was a day the Okie Foodie was not very smart… At one point in my life I would complain profusely every time I would be with someone and they would want to eat BBQ. I turned my nose up like I was too good for the succulent, smoked meat, and then Roy’s BBQ in Chickasha came into my life.
It was 2002 and I was a senior at Marlow High School. I was heading to a football scrimmage and happened to be riding with a fellow cheerleader, the high school football coach’s wife, and her family. I remember one fella in the car suggested that we stop in Chickasha at Roy’s BBQ since we were passing through. I sat in the back of their Suburban loathing the fact that I was going to have to put BBQ in my super hungry belly. I of course pretended I was excited to eat at this place to be polite…even though I had never even heard of it. We pulled up to this shack off of Highway 81 in Chickasha, and I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous to go in. The place did not quite look like your typical restaurant with the cinder block walls and its neon sign on top, but since I wasn’t running the show I was stuck. We walked in and sat ourselves in one of the gingham checked tablecloth covered tables and I looked at the menu with dismay. All they had was ribs, brisket, chopped pork, and chopped beef. I did not know what I was going to do as I was NOT a fan of BBQ. Usually when I was dragged into a BBQ setting, I figured brisket could be covered in enough sauce that I could at least pretend to like it. So I got my food, and literally MY LIFE WAS CHANGED. I suddenly had the most perfectly moist beef brisket in my mouth, with the perfect spicy vinegar BBQ sauce, topped off with the most amazing cole slaw and potato salad I had ever had, all complemented by Roy’s signature waffle fries. I was hooked at this point. I was OFFICIALLY a BBQ fan. This single meal at a shack in Chickasha changed my foodie life.
My sweet dear husband Joe Bob and I have our relationship based on a few things: our love of music, our obsession with OU football, and our passion for eating great BBQ. We travel the state and the country in search of BBQ even with our honeymoon spent in Memphis, TN touring the city’s fine BBQ establishments. I like to think of myself as a southern BBQ fan. As many of you know out there, there are four locations of distinct BBQ: Memphis, South Carolina, Kansas City, and Texas. I personally would like to add a fifth location of great BBQ and that is Oklahoma. We cook beef and pork equally great and have sauces here in our state that are a little on the spicy side with a strong vinegar flavor. I personally favor this flavor as opposed to a sweet Kansas City sauce or a mustard based South Carolina sauce.
Joe and I are the perfect balance of a BBQ couple. I prefer beef brisket and he prefers pork ribs. At every BBQ restaurant we get to try the food full circle. I love the brisket at Roy’s. It is perfectly moist without being greasy and is complemented perfectly with their spicy BBQ sauce and some onions and pickles. I always get the half order and find that this is plenty of food for me. I get their cole slaw, which has more of a salty, spicy flavor than normal cole slaw and their potato salad. Joe always gets their pork ribs that have so much flavor and have the perfect fall off the bone, greasy consistency. He complements his pork with baked beans which are not sweet, but have a more salty flavor and potato salad. They also bring out the perfect amount of white bread to eat with your meal.
Every time we drive through Chickasha, we make sure to stop by Roy’s for some of the best BBQ in Oklahoma. This place is usually packed. They are closed on Mondays and they kind of close when they want in the evening. You seat yourself and they do quite a few of to-go orders. This place is a true Oklahoma staple restaurant. It is a great BBQ experience that you wouldn’t quite expect here in the Sooner state. You have to pinch yourself to realize that you are not in the deep south. This is absolutely one of my top 5 restaurants of all time.
I would not be an Okie Foodie without going to an Oklahoma classic, the Meers Store and Restaurant. This place is known for their amazing longhorn burgers that are literally the best burgers I have ever eaten in my life. And believe me, I know burgers. I like to think of myself as a connoisseur of sorts. The southwest Oklahoma classic is located in the MIDDLE OF NOWHERE just steps from the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. To get to Meers, you have to travel around some curvy country roads with a beautiful wind farm (go clean energy!) for scenery, and then you pop out at the famous Meers Store and Restaurant.
Pulling up to the restaurant, you will think that you have gone back into time when the area was out in the wild frontier and the Wichita Mountains were supposedly rich with gold. Meers began as a gold mining town which boomed to 500 people at one time, but now just has living there the family that runs the famous store. Whenever you walk into the place…you will notice that the store is about 4 different buildings combined into one. Everything in this place is as old as the hills. I have never been here where you didn’t have at least a 15-20 minute wait (sometimes longer!). But believe me, it is well worth it.
I was very excited to bring Joe Bob here for the first time. Me being a southwestern Oklahoma native have indulged myself in one or two Meers burgers in my past, but Joe who is from Green Country has never had the pleasure. He actually didn’t hear about it from me, but the Meers Store and Restaurant is quite a favorite pit stop by Air Force pilot trainees (my hubbadub is an Air Force pilot if you didn’t guess already). When any of them stop in nearby Ft. Sill or if they are in training at Altus Air Force Base, it becomes almost tradition that they grab a Meers burger. Whenever you walk in, you will notice class patch stickers on the door and covering the walls. This of course made Joe Bob all sorts of nostalgic!
They have a wide array of food on the menu, food that will stick to your bones, but I have to recommend that you stick to the classic Meers burger. This MASSIVE burger made from lean longhorn beef packs the flavor punch. It fills up your whole plate (I think I heard it was 7 inches in diameter!) and will be sure to fill your whole belly. The buttered bun with the flavorful longhorn beef is just to die for. What makes this even better is the family that owns the place actually raises all of the longhorn beef that they use in the restaurant. So that will make all you hippies and localvores happy out there. You can tell by taking that first bite that this beef is different from what you can get at your local store. It is lean, flavorful, and simply delicious (there is literally no grease…).
I suggest to anyone who wants an outing on a Saturday afternoon to make the drive on down to the Wichita Mountain Wildlife Refuge. Take in the sights of buffalo roaming the prairie, the fun and fabulous prairie dog towns, and longhorn grazing the range. Seeing this place and the beauty of nature (without barbed wire fences in the way!) is breathtaking. But, the real gem of the area, has to be the Meers Store and Restaurant. So get your tail-end off your couch on a Saturday afteroon, and make the drive down to eat (in my opinion) the best burger in Oklahoma.
In other news…the Okie Foodie is headed to New Orleans for the weekend. I can’t wait to eat some of the amazing food in the city. Any suggestions foodiers?