While steak may still be the order of the day in the state of Oklahoma, more modern and sustainable eateries are emerging in Oklahoma City, particularly in the ever so trendy Bricktown, which boasts a thriving nightlife in addition to great foodie joints. After I did some research and digging around after getting recommendations from a long time local (thanks Seth), I still opted for Cattleman’s Steakhouse, an old established steakhouse smack in the middle of Stockyards.
Stockyards is the closest thing Oklahoma City has to an “old town” and there you’ll find Cattleman’s Steakhouse on South Agnew which has been around since 1910. Locals still love to go to Cattleman’s for its coffee, legendary breakfasts and of course, the variety of steak offerings. Once a smoke-filled room and a tiny little diner, it’s now a state-wide legend full of western folklore and perfectly-aged steaks.
Their corn-fed beef is Midwest raised and they then slowly age their beef according to what they refer to as a “closely-guarded house secret.” To get a “perfect steak,” they hand-cut the meat in their own butcher shop, then broil it over a sharp, hot flame from real Charcoal.
Steak options on their menu include a t-Bone Steak – this hearty portion is sort of “two Steaks in one”, the Cattlemen’s Strip Sirloin, which is a thick center cut strip sirloin, something they call Top Club, which is extra thick Aged Beef, the classic Filet Mignon, which is broiled in savory juices and then wrapped in bacon, the Rib Eye Steak, the Small Filet, Pepper Steak, Ham Steak and Cattleman’s Chicken Fried Steak. Yum! We tried a few so we could get an idea of Cattleman’s different “cuts” and “styles.”
The appetizer below isn’t fried oysters or calamari and nope, not potatoes or onions either. Below are Cattleman’s well renowned Lamb Fries, which are essentially battered and fried lamb testicles. Whoah Nelly! I have to say that they were delicious!
Their sides are equally delicious…..you can also get traditional Mac & Cheese on the side, sauteed mushrooms or steamed broccoli with cheese sauce.
In addition to their wide array of steaks, there’s a range of sandwiches, fried catfish, chicken breast, spaghetti and they even have fried okra for southern food fans. Cattleman’s is also known for their desserts, most notably their fruit and cream pies. Bring them on please!! The heavenly coconut concoction below was to-die-for and a must order. Vegetarians can skip the steak altogether and just go to Cattleman’s for the pie – it’ll be worth the trip.
Below, chocolate cream and lemon meringue.
Since 1945, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse has become a gathering place for all kinds of folks – from movie stars to rodeo greats, politicians and potentates! The dining room walls have drawings of legendaries who have passed through its doors, including Gene Autry, John Wayne and Ronald Reagan (before he was President), to name a few.
A stone’s throw away, you’ll find Langston’s around the corner, a classic cowboy store, where you can shop for traditional cowboy hats, clothing and boots.
Every state has its historic restaurants, and Cattlemen’s Steakhouse is a major one for Oklahoma — it remains the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Oklahoma City! Visualize it as a cafe when it opened its doors to hungry cowboys, ranchers, cattle haulers and the like in 1910. The Stockyards City area was a beehive of activity back then, as herds of cattle were driven to Oklahoma City in an unending stream to satisfy the East’s growing demand for beef. By 1926, Stockyards City was the home of two major meat processors and the area became known as “Packing Town.” It was in 1926 that H.V. ‘Homer” Paul took over Cattlemen’s, already a well-known establishment among the area’s thousands of workers. Cattlemen’s was one of the few places that stayed open after sundown.
When planning your Oklahoma City agenda, be sure to add Cattleman’s Steakhouse to the list, located at 1309 S Agnew Avenue in Oklahoma City. It’s worth taking the time to meander around the Stockyards area as well.
Today, the Stockyards is still busy and there are cattle auctions regularly, only a few blocks away from the restaurant. We had a chance to visit after lunch — the place seemed to sprawl in all directions. While there were plenty of cattle during our visit, there were also areas that were completely empty. During auction time however, that is not the case.
In Bricktown, the newer and trendier section of Oklahoma City, the hipsters have created demand for more modern style restaurants and bars. Fun vibrant cafes and eateries have emerged, including organic, vegan and farm-to-table restaurants. Previously, the area was actually a major warehouse district and in addition to entertainment, night life and the food scene, the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark and the 16-screen Harkins movie theatre can be found there. There’s also a very cool navigable Canal.
Above Bricktown at night, courtesy of Oklahoma Tourism Board.
A few other restaurant suggestions that focus on fresh, local and/or organic include the following:
PACKARD’S NEW AMERICAN KITCHEN: This fabulous eatery is a great spot for good, local food. Located in the former Packard dealership in the Automobile Alley part of town but still somewhat centrally located, this restaurant focuses on inventive, artisanal spins on classic American fare. They don’t use antibiotics, steroids, hormones or animal by-products and try to source from as many local businesses and farms as possible, including Edmond Pepper Farm (where they get their rabbit) and the Wichita Buffalo Company for their grass fed beef.
Unique appetizers include mussels with Andouille Sausage, Garlic, Smoked Tomato Broth, Green Onions, their Duck Rillette, served with Creole Mustard, Luxardo Cherry Compote, Caper Berries and Toast, the Beer-Battered Crab Beignets with Comeback Sauce and the ever so delicious Pork Ribs with honey-chipotle glaze and pickled vegetables. (below)
Above shot taken from their Instagram feed in April 2015.
Fabulous entree options include a Filet with Whipped Potatoes, Asparagus, Glazed Carrots and Horseradish-Chive Butter, a Ribeye, served with Crispy Fingerling Potatoes, Gorgonzola, Arugula, Lemon, and Pizzaiola Sauce, Pork Chop with Jalapeño-Cheddar Grits, Broccolini, Bacon Jam and Pickled Onions, and for fish, Salmon with Snap Peas, Smoked Carrot Purée, Oyster Mushrooms, Sweet-Chile Glaze, and Sesame Seeds or the Blackened Redfish, a Crawfish Étouffée with Risotto and Green Onions.
Also worth mentioning is their Roasted Half Cornish Hen, with Whipped Potatoes and Glazed Carrots and their Lamb Ragu, which is served with Peas, Goat Cheese and Mint Gremolata. Yum!
Packard’s New American Kitchen
201 NW 10th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 7310
VAST: Vast is the place you want to go to be seen and to people watch. Located on the 49th Floor of the Devon Tower and 850 feet above downtown Oklahoma City, Vast boasts incredible views and chic drinks. They’re known for their fresh fare and cool cocktails, trendy late-night dinners and leisure lunches.
Above and below photos, from Vast Site.
They’re located in the middle of downtown and while they may be known for their fabulous drinks, their food is top notch as well and executive chef Patrick Williams and culinary team are proud to tout that they source from local producers. I was thrilled to see this as a growing trend in America’s southern belt prior to hitting Oklahoma, so even more excited to see the trend continue through America’s mid-core. Bravo!
Imagine a crab deviled egg appetizer made with Louisiana Blue Crab, capers and arugula, or how about Quail stuffed with Pickled Shiitake while taking in stunning city views? There’s also the ever so tempting Roasted Garlic Gnocchi and the Seared Gulf Shrimp with Smoked Paprika Butter and a Sweet Potato Polenta.
They offer fresh soups and salads as well however their entrees is what will stop your heart beating, just for a moment or two. Imagine that view again while you graze on Seared Salmon with Sauteed Baby Kale, and Orange Gremolata, a Crispy Chicken Breast & Braised Shank with Cornbread Pudding, a Grilled Niman Ranch Pork Chop with Root Vegetable Hash or the Seared Duck Breast with Confit and Cabbage served with a Horseradish Crème Fraiche. Ouch! They also have a delicious Rack of Lamb that is smoked and roasted, and a Pappardelle Pasta with Mascarpone and Wild Mushrooms.
Vast is bound to change your view of what you think the Oklahoma food scene might look like!! Two Thumbs Up say three local sources since we were not able to go – the afternoon we were hoping to grab lunch there, it was closed.
333 W Sheridan Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
KITCHEN NO. 324: This casual but fresh place is the just the spot if you want sustainable and organic all the way. They have a variety of delicious fresh juices, sandwiches and salads and is a great place for lunch.
Think of it as a bit of a plush cafe where even things like cupcakes will forever change the way you think of sweets!
Their mantra and focus is all about bringing neighborhood fresh choices and authentic hospitality to Oklahoma City. No. 324 is actually their address, but the story of The Braniff goes beyond its 1923 brick and limestone. One of Oklahoma City’s most historical buildings, it was once home to Paul R. Braniff’s airline company. Rumor has it the aviation pioneer would buzz over his house daily just to let his wife know he was home for dinner.
They have a craft bakery as well as a wide array of salad choices, from Kale Caesar with Garlic Crouton Crumbs which you can get with Grilled Chicken, Salmon or Beef Tenderloin and a Kitchen Salad with Beef Tenderloin, Avocado, Green Leaf and House Bacon with Roasted Corn (Yum!), to a Poached Pear Salad with Dried Figs, Cranberries, Toasted Pecans, Shaved Prosciutto and Bleu Cheese. OMG!!
For mains, options include a Hand Carved Petite Filet with Sherry Jus, Baked Potato Cake and Green Beans, a Fried Chicken Pot Pie, a Romesco Crusted Salmon with Israeli Cous Cous and Brussels Sprouts, a House Crafted Turkey Meatloaf (we love love love the sound of this one) with a Smoked Turkey Gravy and Baked Potato Cake, a Cauliflower Steak or a delicious Short Rib Ragu, served over Pappardella Pasta, Parmesan and Shishito Peppers.
Two thumbs up for their approach and for bringing local, organic and all things healthy to Oklahoma City! Above three photos from Kitchen No. 324’s website.
Kitchen No. 324
324 N Robinson Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
4 other choices worth mentioning that came highly recommended from the local tourism folks include:
- Cheever’s Cafe – more info at: http://www.cheeverscafe.com/
- Paseo Grill – more info at: http://www.paseogrill.com/
- The George – more info at: http://thegeorgeprime.com/
- Ludivine – more info at: http://ludivineokc.com/