Kamps–Edmond, OK

Kamps Cafe (Closed)
3325 S. Boulevard
Edmond, OK
Kamps

Kamps in Edmond


The name 1910 keep showing up in connection to Kamps, noting the year when Bill Kamp’s Meat Market first opened in downtown Oklahoma City (Kamp’s Meat Market is currently operating at 7310 N. Western Avenue in OKC). Kamps Cafe in downtown Oklahoma City with a second location in Edmond are an outgrowth of the market, but they have a larger menu than would be expected at a regular meat market and deli.

I have only had a chance to try the restaurant one time, and this was at the Edmond location. I got an idea of the overall good quality of the food, and it is a good sign when I am happy with an item I order at random from the menu (in this case it was the grilled chicken pesto).

The dish I really wanted to try was the Hobo Pie (chicken pot pie with green chiles). It is listed on the menu as a special dish with the suggestion to “Get it while it lasts.” Unfortunately it had run out when I was there in the early evening, but I assume they have a fairly good supply if you go around noon or the early lunch hour.

The dining room was a little bit like a fast food restaurant. This is a place where you order and pick up your food at the counter, so it is a good restaurant for people who do not have a lot of time for a meal but they do want one of good quality. Other than sandwiches, though, the menu is mainly limited to salads and soups.

Kamps is popular for breakfast, and opens at 7:00 a.m. (7:30 on Sat.). It is open for dinner, but menu items are mostly the type of thing people like to have for lunch. It seemed that a lot of people were there for the WiFi, and they have a good Barista selection.

The Food

Grilled chicken pesto

Grilled chicken pesto

With a large variety of sandwiches available, I thought my choice of Grilled Chicken Pesto worked out well. It was not spicy, but the parmesan pesto ranch dressing gave an interesting flavor to the sandwich. The chicken breast had more flavor than many I have tried. The size of the sandwich was pretty good for those who want to make a dinner meal out of the food here (side dishes are relatively inexpensive).

I did not think the Pasta Salad really stood out as being special, but it was solid and was better than the side dishes at quite a few other places.

Comparisons with Other Restaurants
This was more of a straight sandwich place than other restaurants such as Cafe 7, Saturn Grill, etc. I thought the quality of the sandwich was comparable to other restaurants I have tried, and the chicken sandwich was interesting in terms of getting something fairly healthy that also tastes good. Kamps would be in my rotation if I ate enough sandwiches to have a rotation, and it seems to have unique sandwiches rather than just giving different versions of the same ones.


RATING: 23

Cuisine: Sandwiches
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: N/A

Most Recent Visit: Jul. 26, 2017
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Grilled Chicken Pesto

Special Ratings
star 5 Grilled Chicken Pesto
star 5 Pasta Salad

Menu (Jul. 2017):

 

 

Stray Dog Cafe–Bethany, OK

Stray Dog Cafe
6722 N.W. 39th Expressway
Bethany, OK
(405) 470-3747
Stray Dog Cafe

Stray Dog Cafe


I have only eaten at Stray Dog Cafe once, but my reaction was positive. It started out as a hot dog restaurant, but they turned it into a cafe with a fairly extensive menu at breakfast and a variety of items at lunch. For dinner it is only open on Friday and Saturday nights, but they make the menu pretty interesting with choices such as the pollo loco that I ordered.

One thing it is famous for is having a popcorn machine and serving the popcorn to each table as an appetizer. I do not know if they do this at breakfast, which seems to be the most popular meal here, but it is available at other times.

This is a restaurant that tries to catch the spirit of Route 66, on which it is located. The food is a step up from the greasy spoon type of restaurants which dot the highway, but it is still down-to-earth everyday type of food.

Other sources say their specialties include the corn dog, a chili cheese dog, and their namesake “Stray Dog” which is a coney island style hot dog. Desserts are made by a third party and when I was there they seemed to have a very impressive pie display.

There is an overflow parking lot behind the building in case spaces are not available on the street.

El Pollo Loco

El pollo loco

El pollo loco

El Pollo Loco was one of the weekend specials (served Friday and Saturday nights) that expand the menu beyond the normal dishes. I am not sure what I can say about the regular menu except that my food had a good flavor and was of good quality. I enjoyed the food more than I thought I would from a non-Mexican restaurant, and I thought they really did their research to make it the right way.

This was a grilled chicken sandwich with two types of toppings (the ones on the left of the photo were American toppings and the ones on the right were Mexican). I used all of the Mexican style toppings except one, and one of the keys to this is that you can omit whatever you do not want. In my case I found it to be too spicy with the jalapeños, so these were discarded after I took the first bite. The sandwich came with a ghost pepper mayo, and this was plenty spicy enough. I thought the flavor was excellent, and I was especially impressed with the bun compared to the standard ones I find in restaurants. I was certainly a convert to this restaurant, even though what I tried is not served all the time.

Desserts

Coconut pie

Coconut pie

Desserts are a specialty of Stray Dog Cafe, and they have a pie display as well as other desserts which are available (such as a cinnamon roll for breakfast). The Coconut Pie was in the high range of what I would consider to be a good pie.

Recommendations
I definitely had a good experience with my dinner special at Stray Dog Cafe, but comments from reviewers on the Internet are also very strong that the breakfasts and lunches here are worthwhile. The Restaurant was featured on Discover Oklahoma, where the owner and some of the customers are interviewed. To me the most interesting food seems to be the dinner specials on Friday and Saturday night, but many people say the regular menu items are very good as well.


RATING: N/R

Cuisine: American
Cost: $$
Hours: Breakfast & lunch Tue-Sat; dinner Fri & Sat
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: No

Most Recent Visit: Jul. 22, 2017
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: El Pollo Loco, Pie

Special Ratings
star 5 El Pollo Loco
star 5 Coconut Pie

Oklahoma Station–Oklahoma City, OK

Oklahoma Station Bar B Q (Closed)
4331 N.W. 50th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
Oklahoma Station BBQ

Oklahoma Station BBQ


Although Oklahoma Station is one of the oldest barbecue restaurants in Oklahoma City, a change of ownership in 2015 not only prompted me to start over with a new review but more importantly, I think the food is quite different than before. The menu is the same and on the outside everything looks the same, but I have noticed marked differences in the items I have ordered.

In some cases these differences are good. For instance, the smoked turkey not only seems better than before, it is also my current choice as the best in Oklahoma City (this has been the case the three times I have gone to the new Oklahoma Station, so I don’t think this is likely to change).

The outside smoker

The outside smoker

Some items are about the same as before, and this is a good thing. Included on this list are the okra, sweet beans, creamy cole slaw, and most of all the incomparable banana pudding (at least I have not found any others that match the pudding at Oklahoma Station).

Some other meat items pose quite a mystery to me as to why they could be so good before but so forgettable at the current restaurant (especially when the turkey has been consistently good).

The Barbecue
The first thing I should point out is that there are more meat items available than are listed in the review, and as is the case with most barbecue restaurants, I have not been able to try them all. You can get a head start, though, with the three meat combination dinner (shown in the next two photos). Both of these served as a meal for two people with leftovers to take home, but your appetite may vary.

Three meat dinner

Brisket, turkey, ribs, creamy cole slaw, Texas toast, okra

The Smoked Turkey has seen a marked improvement over the ones I tried at the “old” restaurant. The gentleman in the serving line included it in his list of recommendations, and based on this I would say asking the employees is a good starting point if you are not sure which items to order.

I thought the turkey had everything required of good barbecue– it was cooked well, it had a good smoky flavor, and the meat was high quality. I recently had the opportunity to order the turkey at Swadley’s (another contender for the best turkey in the city), and I would say Oklahoma Station was the clear winner.

Three meat dinner with pork tenderloin, ham, and turkey

Pork tenderloin, ham, turkey, creamy cole slaw, okra, apple cobbler, sweet beans

The Pork Tenderloin was one of my favorite items before, but the one I had recently was dry. In fact, dry meat was a common theme with many of the meats I have ordered here. The Brisket had the added problem of being tough, but it had a better flavor than many of the others.

The Pork Spare Ribs have been my biggest disappointment at the new restaurant, with the texture and flavor of the meat seeming so wrong I was wondering if they just had a bad day.

Ham is an item I have only tried at the new restaurant, and I thought it had an excellent flavor but was dry. Somewhat inexplicably a piece I took home as a leftover was much better, so based on this I am rating this as one of the better items at the restaurant.

Side Dishes
The creamy Cole Slaw was one of the best in the city at the old restaurant, and I think it is the same now. They have two types of cole slaw, and I have always found it best to stick with the creamy one (rather than the vinegar based version).

The Sweet Beans were excellent.

The fried Okra has been excellent two out of three times, with a good flavor and texture. Like all the side dishes they frequently put out fresh batches, but if you happen to be there when they do not look fresh out of the oven I would advise ordering something else.

Several other vegetables and side dish choices are available, and I think the selection here is unmatched by any other barbecue restaurant in the city. Generally the items are fresh, but in the case of the okra they will tell you if it is not right out of the oven (and therefore you may not want to order it).

Be sure to check the “relish bar” in front of the restaurant for pickles or other appetizers (customers can take whatever they want).

Desserts

Banana pudding and cherry cobbler

Banana pudding and cherry cobbler

The Banana Pudding was my favorite dessert at the old restaurant, and is still available. Somehow they have found the secret to making the best banana pudding I have found anywhere, but I think the secret is just keeping it simple but making sure everything is fresh and follows the recipe correctly.

There was a great variation in the cobbler, though. The Apple Cobbler was excellent, but I thought the Cherry Cobbler was bland.

Additional Comments
I have discovered that high quality iced tea is an integral part to the full enjoyment of a barbecue meal, and the fresh brewed tea here is among the best (sweet tea is also available).

The trouble with the new Oklahoma Station, compared to the old one, is that only a few items have impressed me as being standouts. If you are looking for turkey and banana pudding, I would say this is the best restaurant in town. Some other items are solid, including the ham and several of the side dishes. I had one fairly good experience with the pork tenderloin, but it was not up to the standard I found at the old restaurant. The brisket and ribs are certainly letdowns compared to what the restaurant served before (in my opinion, of course, but I do owe it to readers to give you my best judgment).


RATING: 18

Cuisine: Barbecue
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. Evening
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: No

Most Recent Visit: Jun. 24, 2017
Number of Visits: 3
Best Items: Turkey, Sweet Beans, Cole Slaw, Banana Pudding

Special Ratings
star 5 Turkey
star 4 Ham
star 4 Pork Tenderloin
star 3 Brisket
star 3 Ribs
star 4 Okra
star 5 Sweet Beans
star 5 Cole Slaw
star 5 Banana Pudding
star 3 Cherry Cobbler