Bistro 38–Oklahoma City, OK

Bistro 38 Thai Green Cuisine
2903 N.W. 36th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 948-2788
Bistro 38

Bistro 38


Bistro 38 Thai Green Cuisine is not the first Thai restaurant to operate in this location, and I believe the change occurred in 2014. The previous restaurant was owned by Sala Thai, although it was apparently operated independently. Bistro 38 is still the same kind of small family run restaurant that I believe was here before, and I think this is a big reason for the positive reviews I have read for both restaurants.

Most of the dine-in customers seem to come at lunch, and otherwise it relies largely on take-out orders. It had a comfortable dining room, I enjoyed the music, and the service was good. The menu was not huge but it looked as if it had several good choices. Outwardly it was very much like the typical strip mall Thai restaurants I find around the city.

One positive about Bistro 38 was that it did not have the Americanized sweet flavor that I find at a number of Thai restaurants. I have only tried a small sample of the dishes here, but I definitely think this is one of the better Thai restaurants in town.

Lunch Specials

Lunch combo

Lunch combo with Panang curry and veggie pad thai

Although the dinner menu is priced well compared to other Thai restaurants, lunch is even more of a bargain. Lunch Specials give you one item (noodles or fried rice) while the Lunch Combo gives you four (the main item which is either curry or pad basil, veggie pad thai, steamed rice, and a veggie spring roll). The menu says no substitutions are allowed, but they did let me get a double portion of the pad thai and delete the spring roll (I am mentioning this mainly to explain why the photo above includes an extra large serving of pad thai).

The choices on the Lunch Combo are good: the Panang Curry is one that I liked and my waitress said was one of the best choices. I definitely had a “happy meal” with this selection (to borrow a phrase I frequently see at Japanese restaurants).

Pad Prik King

Pad prik king

Pad prik king

The Pad Prik King had a good sauce (curry without the coconut milk), crispy green beans, and tofu with a good texture (I ordered the vegetarian version). I found this version to be similar to the ones at several other restaurants (and this is a good thing). The dish was made the right way, and I did not have any complaints.

I did learn, though, not to be timid about the spice scale here (they have a one to four “level of spiciness” and I think about two and a half is the minimum I want to order on this type of dish–this would be equivalent to about two at most other restaurants).

Pad See Ew
I had a sample of the Pad See Ew, a noodle dish with chicken and broccoli. I thought the chicken was very good, the broccoli was crispy (not quite as good a thing to me as the green beans being prepared this way), and the noodles were good. Overall the dish did not seem to have much flavor, though. This was much the same as I have found at most Thai restaurants, but I keep looking for the few who can make noodle dishes more flavorful. They will give you fish sauce for additional flavor, and this certainly helps. Still, although it was good, this was not a five-star dish for me.

Thai Tea

Thai tea

Thai tea

The Thai Tea was very good. The fact that it was milky on top and dark at the bottom was also a good sign that this drink is legit.

Desserts

Green tea ice cream

Green tea ice cream

Bistro 38 has a good Green Tea Ice Cream for dessert (and I enjoyed it more because the food itself was not too sweet). Also this is one of the restaurants where I do not spend all my money on a meal so that a dessert would be unaffordable (I can say, though, that the meals are pretty filling).

Recommendations
Pad prik king is usually a “test dish” for me, and I thought it was done the right way. Although the Panang curry was equally good, the pad see ew and the pad thai seemed lacking in Thai flavors.

When I have asked the waitresses about the best dishes, though, they have been very honest and accurate in their answers. I think most restaurants tend to stand or fall on their best dishes, and here it is easy to find out what they are.


RATING: 23

Cuisine: Thai
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Mon.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Feb. 2, 2017
Number of Visits: 2
Best Items: Panang Curry, Pad Prik King

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: Thai Tea
MSG: N/A
Buffet: No

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Panang Curry
star 5 Pad Prik King
star 4 Pad See Ew
star 4 Veggie Pad Thai
star 5 Green Tea Ice Cream
star 5 Thai Tea

 

Menu (Feb. 2017):

 

Naylamp–Warr Acres, OK

Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant
5805 N.W. 50th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
 (405) 603-3997
Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant

Naylamp in Warr Acres


Naylamp Peruvian Restaurant in Warr Acres is the second location for the popular restaurant located on S.W. 44th St. in Oklahoma City. It is also one of several Peruvian restaurants which have opened in northwest Oklahoma City over the past several years (many of these have since closed, but let’s hope that this restaurant has better success).

Because of the others which have been open, I have several points of comparison for Peruvian food. I understand that the owners of Naylamp are related to some of the people who have operated the other restaurants, but this does not mean the food has been the same. Even when a spinoff of Inca Trail opened in Bethany I thought the food had noticeable differences, so I have to say that everyone has their own interpretation of how Peruvian food should be prepared.

Other reviews of Naylamp indicate that ceviche is a very popular dish here. I did not try it, but the dishes I did try are the same ones I have ordered at other restaurants. Naylamp has the Chicha Morada drink, something that I think bolsters people’s claim of the restaurant’s authenticity.

Chicken

Quarter chicken

Quarter chicken

Of the two chicken dishes I sampled, I thought the Quarter Chicken was better in terms of flavor and of how it compared to other restaurants. The meat was a little dry, but the flavors were good.

Pollo saltado

Pollo saltado

The Pollo Saltado I ordered also had chicken which was a little dry, but overall it was still a good dish. I just think if you can make it to Zarate’s in Edmond you will get a better one (the one at Zarate’s also comes with a plantain and a choice of either green or yellow sauce, and I think this makes a big difference). The flavor of the pollo saltado was fine but I think it needs some of these other items to make it a complete dish.

A Preliminary Assessment
Both my rating of the restaurant and my comments are subject to change because I have had such a small sample of the food. Nevertheless, people on the west side of Oklahoma City now have another option for ethnic food (which is apparently authentic), and this goes along with one of the main purposes for this blog. I enjoyed my experience at Naylamp, and even though South American food is not spicy like Mexican food, it is nonetheless flavorful.

The chicha morada drink was good and I would recommend getting it with a meal. I would also recommend asking if they have a choice of sauces (I usually like the green one) and side dishes (I usually like the plantains). I don’t know if ordering all these things would run up the price to the point I would not want to order them, but I think it would be worth inquiring.


RATING: 22

Cuisine: Peruvian
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Tue.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 16, 2016

Number of Visits: 1

Best Item: Quarter Chicken

 

Special Ratings
star 4 Pollo Saltado
star 5 Quarter Chicken (or Half Chicken, etc.)

Cattlemen’s–Oklahoma City, OK

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse
1309 S. Agnew Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 236-0416
Cattlemen's Cafe

Cattlemen’s Cafe at the Stockyards


Probably a stereotype easily evoked in people’s minds about the Sooner State is one in which western garb is the accepted mode of dress and cowboys may be seen sauntering along the dusty streets into the sunset. In the Stockyards section of Oklahoma City, this perception is not far from the truth. For most of the twentieth century, and into the present one, Cattlemen’s Restaurant has been a gathering spot not only for those who make their living from various aspects of bovine husbandry, but also for locals and tourists who feel more comfortable in a down home cafe than in the typical fancy steak house in which boots and a cowboy hat would seem as out of place as country and western music over the piped music system.

While this reviewer generally likes to avoid “tourist traps,” a visit to Cattlemen’s is highly recommended, even if it seems that the clientele is composed more of camera laden tourists than the cowboys who have been Cattlemen’s “bread and butter” for so long. The food and service have remained true to the time when the restaurant had not gained national recognition, and it is an experience that is difficult to match, even in the cattle producing regions of the Southwest.

Starters

House salad

Cattlemen’s famous house salad

The House Salad is highly acclaimed for the creamy garlic dressing, and I found the lettuce to be about as fresh as can be expected given the transportation logistics of supplying this vegetable not normally grown in the immediate vicinity. It did seem, however, that there were too many white, pale, and practically inedible plant parts thrown into the salad.

Cattlemen’s is renowned for its Lamb Fries, served as either an appetizer or a main course. Served with a tangy sauce, they make a unique and flavorful dish. Personally, though, I did not find much that I considered special about this delicacy. I think I already have enough hair on my chest that I do not wish to regularly consume something that is purported to grow more.

Steaks
Of course, the main reason to come to Cattlemen’s is for the steaks. Several varieties are available, ranging from the highly marbled rib eye to leaner cuts such as the filet. All of the cuts taste as you may remember them from the days before mass-production cattle ranches and feed lots pumped the animals full of growth hormones and antibiotics before being shipped to chain steak house restaurants and the places offering the “$7.99 specials.” The biggest shock I received after a number of years without visiting Cattlemen’s was how much the prices had increased into the range of some of the fancy steak houses, while the second biggest surprise was how much the steaks still tasted as they did years ago.

The Rib Eye Steak is one of the recommended cuts for a special treat, as it costs a little more than some of the other cuts. Cattlemen’s features a USDA prime cut that is supposed to be the best steak available, but the regular rib eye I ordered was in the top category of my beef experience. The expertise of the cooks in preparing the meat to the red, pink, or brown level ordered by the customer is a large part of the positive experience here. Fat and gristle are removed from the steak before serving, so it would not be unreasonable for the waiter to pick up a “clean plate” at the end of the meal with only the shallowest pool of juice leftover from the steak ponding on the bottom of the plate.

The Filet is the smallest steak served, and also one of the best. The staff at Cattlemen’s recommends ordering this steak medium to medium rare, so this might be a consideration in figuring out whether or not to order this particular cut.

Strip steak

Cattlemen’s strip

The Cattlemen’s Strip was the first steak listed on the menu, but I did not think it lived up to other cuts I have tried. This is known as a New York strip or Kansas City strip at most restaurants, and is usually a cut I find very flavorful and enjoyable. At Cattlemen’s, though, it had quite a bit of gristle and was cooked unevenly.

Back to the positive category, though, I would recommend the T-Bone as one of the better choices that are served (I shared a take-out order so I have a good idea about the taste but not how filling it is compared to the other steaks).

Side Dishes
The Baked Potato is usually as exceptional as the main dishes, but I have not always found it to be so lately. With a limited menu, the establishment has gained a lot of its reputation by producing high quality, perfectly cooked potatoes that taste as if they were subjected to the slowest cooking process possible. Of course with such a reputation there is nowhere for it to go but down if the potatoes happen to be a little “off.” I have experienced good ones over the years, but I do not know if recent experiences are an indication that the quality of the restaurant has changed. I really do not go to the restaurant enough to judge if the food is really different than it used to be. The sour cream, cheese, and bacon bit toppings that come with the potato are of a pretty standard quality, and it is really the tuber itself that provides the basis for the experiences I have had.

Dessert

Something from the pie case

Pie is available for dessert

Cattlemen’s keeps a pie case near the front door so patrons can hardly avoid having to make the decision of whether to eat more, even though I do not think anyone ever complains about the regular meals not being of sufficient quantity. The Pie does not match the quality of my grandmother’s, but it is pretty good for ones served in restaurants.

Other Choices
Prime rib is served on weekends, and chicken fried steak is always available. Other dinners are served, such as chicken and seafood. It is not often, though, that a person would have the opportunity to enjoy steaks of the quality served at Cattlemen’s, so this seems to be the choice of most diners. While Cattlemen’s is not as inexpensive as it used to be, the “stockyards ambiance” does not require that prices be at the inflated levels that customers have come to expect at most places in order to enjoy a high quality steak.

Additional Comments
I have seen mixed opinions on the Internet about whether Cattlemen’s really has the best steaks in Oklahoma City, or whether it is mainly a matter of the history, setting, and reputation that the restaurant enjoys. My own opinion is that some of the steaks will probably live up to people’s expectations, while others may not. It seems that a really top-notch steakhouse should have cuts such as the New York strip that are equally enjoyable as the filet, and I have not found this to be the case at Cattlemen’s. Some places in OKC might give Cattlemen’s some stiff competition in the steaks, but I still think Cattlemen’s delivers what people expect–excellent steaks in a setting that may be even more memorable than the food.


RATING: 24

Cuisine: Steaks
Cost: $$$
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer

Most Recent Visit: Jul. 11, 2014
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Filet, Rib Eye, T-Bone, House Salad

Special Ratings
star 5 Filet
star 5 Rib Eye
star 5 T-Bone
star 4 Cattlemen’s Strip Steak
star 4 Baked Potato
star 5 House Salad
star 3 Lamb Fries