Camilya’s–Oklahoma City, OK

Camilya’s Mediterranean Cafe
10942 N. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 418-4141
Camilya's

Camilya’s


Camilya got this restaurant off to a very good start by serving fresh, home cooked style food in a small cafe style setting that did not make customers pay high prices. In 2010 the current owners took over the restaurant, continuing the same type of food that Camilya cooked (since that time some of the family members opened Jerusalem Restaurant in Edmond which is excellent as well and serves the same type of food).

Camilya’s is rather inconspicuous, being a small restaurant in a strip shopping center in the north part of Oklahoma City. Food is cooked on a grill in view of the dining room, and the small scale on which food is prepared is a main reason for its high quality. Even though there are less than a dozen tables in the dining room I have never seen it so full that people had to wait for a table. Those who do eat here, though, seem to appreciate the good quality of the food served in this true “family restaurant.”

Normally when a restaurant changes owners I have to start over in writing descriptions of the food, but in this case there have been few differences from before. The veggie sampler plate has different items than before, several new menu items have been added, and the plates have become more colorful so that I can now take more interesting photographs. I have upgraded the ratings of some of the dishes, but I do not think there are any that needed to be downgraded. I think the “new” Camilya’s is very much like the old one, only better. Technically the original Camilya’s was Syrian cuisine and now it is Jordanian/Palestinian, but I have a very hard time distinguishing the differences between them.

Salads
Several salads are available, served in both small and large portions. Small salads come with many of the dinners, and these can be upgraded for an extra charge. If I have a large enough appetite I think it is worth ordering the fatoosh or Greek salad.

Fatoosh salad

Fatoosh salad

The Fatoosh Salad was one of the freshest and best I have had anywhere. The portions of lettuce and other ingredients were not huge, but the quality was very good.

The Greek Salad came with a very good dressing, and the olives and feta were highlights of the salad.

House salad

House salad

Soups

Lentil soup

Lentil soup

Lentil Soup is apparently a new item that was added in 2010, and it was excellent. This was a home made soup made from yellow lentils, and with a generous amount of vegetables included. This was a smoother soup than others in the city, with the lentils being puréed to the point that round beans were not noticeable. I enjoyed the flavor, the texture, and the inexpensive price of the soup.

Kabobs

Tawook and keftah skewers

Combo dinner with tawook and keftah skewers

The chicken and beef skewers were every bit as good as I had expected, having been referred to Camilya’s in the first place by family members who have too limited a budget to waste it eating out on food that is not truly worthwhile. The Keftah Skewer was made with ground black angus beef seasoned with what is probably a family recipe. I thought it was well prepared, and had especially good spices.

The Tawook Skewer was made with flavorful chicken and similar spices as the keftah skewer. I have gone back and forth on different visits trying to decide whether the chicken or beef was better, but I can definitely say that both are good. I also fall on the side of ordering the chicken because the one here seems better to me than the ones at any other restaurant (while the beef at several restaurants is comparable).

Plates

Gyros

Gyros plate

I would rate the Gyros as one of the best items served at Camilya’s, and it has a flavor that is quite different from many of the small gyros restaurants and take-out places in the city. The meat was tender, flavorful, and definitely high quality. Gyros comes in a sandwich, or the Gyros Plate which comes with a salad.

The bed of Vermicelli Rice on the gyros plate and other dinners is excellent. Hashwa can be substituted for the rice, but most of the time I think the rice is just as satisfying.

Beef shawerma and chicken tawook

Beef shawerma and chicken tawook on the combo plate

Beef Shawerma is the “Mediterranean version of fajita,” according to the menu, and I also thought this was quite good. Made with tenderloin steak, tomatoes, and onions, it provides a different type of beef than the keftah skewer, but I thought the meat was of equal quality. The shawerma normally comes in a sandwich, but it can also be served on a platter if requested.

Sandwiches

Falafel sandwich

Falafel sandwich

Vegetarian items are usually the weak point of Middle Eastern restaurants, but it is not so at Camilya’s. The Falafel has been quite good, and I think this is one of the hardest vegetarian dishes to get right. The key to falafel seems to be preparing it fresh and not making it too greasy. Camilya’s hit the mark on both of these. I have tried the falafel on more than one visit, and it has always been moist with good spices. The pita was very good as well.

Lamb kabob sandwich

Lamb kabob sandwich

A Lamb Kabob Sandwich has recently been added to the menu, while a larger lamb shank dinner is also available. The sandwich is one of my favorites at Camilya’s, and the best feature is that this is one of the most inexpensive places in the city to order lamb.

Appetizers

Camilya's sampler

Camilya’s sampler with baba ghanouj, falafel, hummus, and grape leaves

Falafel is also served on Camilya’s Sampler plate, an appetizer combination plate containing four vegetarian items. The Hummus was very good, and I think has improved since Camilya served it. The Baba Ghanouj was less flavorful than the hummus, but this is true for me at just about all Middle Eastern restaurants. The Grape Leaves were also excellent.

A falafel platter is available from the Appetizers menu, and is probably too small of a portion to make a meal but can be combined with other appetizers for a filling dinner.

Tabouleh was one of the best vegetable items I have tasted, and as far as I am concerned would always make a good choice. I thought the tabouleh had a strong taste of olive oil, and all ingredients were fresh and good.

Spinach pies

Spinach pies

Spinach Pies are available on Camilya’s sampler, or they can be ordered separately. I was very impressed because the outer dough tasted fresh and did not seem as if it had been frozen (this is a common problem I find at other restaurants). The inside was excellent as well, and I really think this is the best place in Oklahoma City to get spinach pies.

Labaneh

Labaneh

Labaneh, a yogurt dish made with goat’s milk, has been pretty bland and boring many times I have tried it, but Camilya’s makes an extremely good version because of the olive oil dip along with the oregano, thyme, and sesame mix that gives it quite a zesty flavor. In fact, this makes an excellent alternative to any of the salads on the menu (and the labaneh also comes with its own salad).

Side Orders

Hashwa

Hashwa

The Hashwa rice cooked with black angus beef, pine nuts, and almonds makes an excellent dish by itself, or can be ordered as an upgrade to the rice on the dinner plates.

Mojaderah is a vegetarian version of hashwa, made with lentils and steamed rice. This started out as a special but is now on the menu.

Special Menu

Gyros omelette

Gyros omelette

Camilya’s has added a special menu of breakfast items, including the Gyros Omelette. The owners explained that some of the employees used to work at IHOP, so they started preparing omelettes to be served at Camilya’s.

Desserts

Baklava

Baklava

It is hard to resist the Baklava for dessert, since I think this is the best in the city (but other places make baklava that is close). Other more exotic desserts including layali lubnan and kunafa used to be listed on the menu but are no longer included (I am not sure if these are still available from time to time or by special order).

Additional Comments

The Hot Tea is a brewed masala tea that has had a very good flavor, and I think this type of tea goes perfectly with Middle Eastern food. For those who remember the special Middle Eastern style tea served in a pot (shown in the photo of the falafel sandwich), this is no longer served. I do like the masala tea, though.

I have seen Turkish coffee and strawberry banana juice on the menu, but the take-out menu (shown at the bottom of the page) does not list the drinks so I am not sure what is available at the moment.

Apart from the quality of the food, the thing that is impressive about Camilya’s is that it is really like entering a restaurant in the Middle East, with few if any compromises made to change the food for American tastes. In fact, because it seems to be more authentic than many restaurants I think this makes it better. Camilya’s has gyros (normally considered a Greek dish), but the meat is different here than other places, and they cook it in house. Even dishes that do not look as if they would be especially good turn out to be much better than I expected.

For many items Camilya’s is better than any other Middle Eastern restaurants I have tried in the city, but this is not true across the board. The previous cook at Camilya’s opened Jerusalem in Edmond, and I have to say that this is one restaurant that is comparable to Camilya’s in terms of the food. Other restaurants, such as Nunu’s, are better at certain items. I continue to be impressed, though, by the overall quality at Camilya’s.

Camilya’s has not had take home menus for a while so I am including the latest one I have.

I have conflicting information about the hours–recently they were open on Sunday but I am not sure if this is still the case (for a while they were open Sunday for lunch only).

I do not believe there is a charge for you to bring your own wine.


RATING: 26

Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Bring your own wine

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 20, 2018
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Tawook Skewer, Keftah Skewer, Gyros, Lamb Kabob, Fatoosh Salad, Greek Salad, Labaneh, Spinach Pie, Mojaderah, Hashwa, Baklava

Special Ratings
star 5 Tawook Skewer
star 5 Keftah Skewer
star 5 Beef Shawerma
star 5 Chicken Shawerma
star 5 Lamb Kabob
star 5 Hashwa
star 5 Mojaderah
star 5 Labaneh
star 5 Spinach Pie
star 5 Hummus
star 5 Grape Leaves
star 5 Lentil Soup
star 4 Falafel
star 4 Tabouleh
star 4 Cabbage Rolls
star 4 Baba Ghanouj
star 5 Fatoosh Salad
star 5 Greek Salad
star 5 Vermicelli Rice
star 5 Pita
star 5 Baklava

Menu (Aug. 2015):

 

Chibugan–Del City, OK

Chibugan Filipino Cuisine
4728 S.E. 29th St.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 595-2426

Chibugan

Chibugan in Del City


There have been many articles on the Internet about people’s opinion that Filipino cuisine is one of the best, yet there are extremely few restaurants in the United States in proportion to the number of Filipino people living here. I have watched both Bhing’s Cafe and Evelyn’s Asian Table close, and with both I was convinced that more people would like Filipino food if they tried it. Fortunately there is now another opportunity to try it at Chibugan in Del City (which I was first alerted about in 2016 but I was able to make my first visit in 2018).

I was encouraged when I saw the amount of business the restaurant is doing, and I think they made a wise business choice by locating near Tinker Air Force Base (military bases traditionally attract small mom and pop Asian restaurants nearby because many of the personnel have been to these countries and tried the food). It might seem as if this is a prime example of a niche cuisine that would not attract a large segment of Americans, but I come back to my statement that this will change once people try the food.

With the previous restaurants I visited the biggest hurdle was trying to figure out the menu. I mainly followed the suggestions of the owners and got good results, but I know that this will continue to be an issue with many people. Chibugan has what some people call a “streamlined” menu with additional daily specials posted on the wall, and you can see pictures of the items. Although I still had questions, the staff was very helpful in explaining everything.

Like any cuisine, Filipino food has a large number of styles of food, and at Chibugan you can get what you want from a light lunch to a very substantial meat dinner. The default for Filipino food is that it is not spicy, and mostly it is like other Asian food but with a few twists (for instance I tried one dish that had a large amount of celery).

My experience was that I asked questions about the dishes that looked interesting, and they explained it to the point that I was satisfied that I had made a good choice. I give ratings to restaurants based not only on my own experience, but also on what I think it will be for other people. I felt very comfortable that even those who have no experience with Filipino food will have a good idea about what they are ordering here.

The Food

Chicken rice soup

Chicken rice soup

With any order you get a complimentary Chicken and Rice Soup. This was a very delicious indication of how the rest of the meal would be.

Pansit bihon

Pansit bihon

I ordered two dishes with the idea that I could take some home and have somewhat of a variety of items to report. I turned out that these dishes really could not have been more different. The Pansit Bihon was a very light dish that I would say makes a very good lunch. It was a little like Chinese chow mein but it had a strong celery taste and the lime you put on top makes it taste very tropical. In any case I thought it was very good, and I happen to like this type of healthy but flavorful food.

Pork ribs adobo

Pork ribs adobo

At the opposite end of the scale was Pork Ribs Adobo which was a very substantial meat dish. It had much more flavor that I had expected, but even more surprising was the way the meat fell off the bones in a way that was just right. Much of the flavor came from the sauce and from the seasonings cooked into the meat. I thought this was a very good example of Asian slow cooked meats.

The dish is topped with Asian red chiles, but if you leave these alone the dish is not spicy.

All plates come with Lumpia on the side (the Southeast Asian version of an egg roll).

Also available are canned Philippine fruit drinks in a variety of flavors that I thought was a perfect touch with the meal.

In short, I was very happy with my two meals here (I took the pansit home for lunch the next day).

Previous Post from Mar. 23, 2016:

Chibugan Restaurant in Del City, OK (near Tinker Air Force Base in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area) will be open soon, and as far as I know will be the only Filipino restaurant in the metro.

Chibugan's interior

Chibugan’s interior

It looks as if it is almost ready to go, but they have not yet announced an opening date.  Those in the area, though, may want to keep a lookout for it.

Filipino decorations on the wall

Filipino decorations on the wall

Thanks very much to Arlene Clifton for providing the photos and for giving us a heads up that Filipino food will soon be available in the Oklahoma City area.


RATING: 25

Cuisine: Filipino
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun. & Mon.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 17, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Pork Ribs Adobo, Pansit Bihon

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: N/A
MSG: No
Buffet: No

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Pork Ribs Adobo
star 5 Pansit Bihon
star 5 Chicken Soup

Goro Ramen–Oklahoma City, OK

Goro Ramen
1634 N. Blackwelder Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
Goro Ramen

Goro Ramen


I became a fan of ramen when I heard from readers about the excellent ramen restaurants that I should try when I was in Seattle. This was great news when I found out about the flavor treat that this offered, but it may be even better news that this type of food is now spreading throughout the United States.

Unlike other ethnic cuisines, ramen does not seem to be spreading through the migration of Japanese people to cities such as Oklahoma City. Rather, it is a dish that is becoming so popular that anyone who can do a decent job preparing it seems to have all the business they can handle.

The Menu
I do not know the story about Goro or whether the owners have ties to Japan, but I would definitely say they do a good job with the ramen. There are four types of ramen on the menu, including a chilled one. I did not encounter spicy ramen in Seattle, but this is one of the choices here. A few other menu choices are offered, but I believe the expectation is that most people will order ramen.

Spicy Miso

Spicy ramen

Spicy miso ramen

Like the other ramen, Spicy Miso comes in a large serving that really takes a good appetite in order to finish (I found the ramen in Seattle to be about three-fourth the size of the one here). The broth of this soup seemed to have a straightforward explanation–it is miso mixed with red chiles. The result was a spicy and flavorful soup, although it was not as spicy as the typical Korean (kimchee) or Thai red chile dishes I have tried. A very good broth was enhanced by a number of other ingredients (many of which can be seen in the photo). I would make special note of the meatballs, which were quite flavorful.

Other Observations
There were only four types of ramen served, and somehow the cold one did not seem very appealing (although it may surprise me the same way the miso ramen did). The restaurant appears to do only one thing, and that is ramen. I think they do it well, though.

I went at a very off time (about 3:00 pm), and even at this time it was very busy. I have heard that tables are hard to get during lunch hour, but in my own experience there was not any problem.

A pot of green tea was six dollars (half the price of the miso), and I only ordered it because I was sharing with a friend. The flavor of the tea, though, was far beyond the normal version found in Japanese restaurants, and it was definitely an enjoyable experience.

The Plaza District, in which Goro is located, has become one of the hottest restaurant rows in Oklahoma City, with many cuisines being offered. Goro strikes me as not just a trendy restaurant but actually a very good one (I do not understand, though, why more versions of ramen are not offered).

Yelp says Goro has a full bar, so this may be a place people like to come for a while and relax. At lunch, though, it seemed to be a place where most people were in and out fairly quickly.

The Plaza District has free parking on the street, and probably in most cases it would be within a short walking distance of the restaurant. Be aware when looking for Goro, though, that it faces N.W. 16th Street rather than Blackwelder.


RATING: 25

Cuisine: Japanese
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily (Open until midnight)
Accessible: Yes
Alcohol: Yes
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 16, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Item: Spicy Miso

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: Green (brewed)
MSG: No
Buffet: No

 

Special Ratings
star 5 Spicy Miso

ND Foods–The Village, OK

ND Foods
2632 W. Britton Rd.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 840-9364
ND Foods in The Village

ND Foods in The Village


ND Foods seems to thrive on its take-out business, but it does have several tables for those who want to eat in (you place your order and pick up the food at the counter). I have found food taken home to be just as good as when it is served in the restaurant. The common denominator I have seen with reviews and my own experience is that all the food is very good. A couple of dishes did not hit the spot as much for me in terms of flavor, but the quality, freshness, and preparation of the food has been uniformly excellent.

ND Foods is primarily a lunch spot, but does have quite a few items that go equally well for dinner. It has a large selection of sandwiches, with Boar’s Head meat and other deli ingredients that promise to be a very good quality sandwich (I haven’t tried the sandwiches but I took home some of their Boar’s Head turkey).

In addition to regular sandwiches ND Foods serves hot sandwiches, soups, salads, wraps, quesadillas, and there is a daily menu which may include some other items as well.

Some of the items I would consider to me more for dinner include chicken pot pie and stuffed bell peppers (the menu changes every day, and they are likely to run out of some of the “dinner” items as well as lunch ones if demand is particularly high).

Making a meal out of the food here can be a little tricky because some of main dishes are quite large (and may be more suitable for two people), some of the side dishes are a little pricey, and some of the side dishes themselves are better shared. My suggestion is that you will also want to save room for one of their many excellent desserts.  Side dishes include appetizers such as hummus, chips and salsa, and dip. However, they also have an excellent mac & cheese (which really could be a main dish) and other similar choices.

The history of ND Foods is that it was originally located near N.W. 50th and Western, and around 2010 moved to Britton Road in The Village (in the same strip center as Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler). The Britton Road location was originally not open evenings, but now stays open until 7:30. They purposely only prepare a portion of the menu every day (rotating items frequently), but I think they are adding new items and specials as time goes on.

Stuffed Bell Peppers
Dinner entrees change daily, but on my first visit they had more than half of the items available that were listed on the menu. When I say these are “dinners” this mainly refers to the amount of food served, since I think some of them could easily be enough for lunch with an equal portion left over for the next day. Everything I tried was excellent, and tasted freshly prepared.

Stuffed bell peppers

Stuffed bell peppers

One of favorites was the Stuffed Bell Peppers with a very flavorful tomato sauce on top. The meat had just the right blend of seasonings and ingredients to make it stand out from many similar dishes I have had elsewhere. I am also not usually a fan of bell peppers, but these were cooked just right to give them an appealing texture.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken pot pie

Chicken pot pie

The Chicken Pot Pie was also excellent, and is a good choice if you want to be quite full or have leftovers. I do not know who else even serves pot pies other than cafeterias (and I am not sure if they do), but the one at ND Foods was much better than average. The gravy was light (but not thin), the chicken was excellent (I think it was all white meat), and the dinner did not taste salty. I do not think this is a low calorie meal, but it seemed to have the type of ingredients that would make it more healthy than the typical pot pie.

Chicken Wild Rice Casserole

Chicken and wild rice casserole

Chicken and wild rice casserole

I am not much of a cheese lover, so I was surprised to find out that this was one of the main ingredients of the Chicken Wild Rice Casserole (which was listed as “Chicken Wild Rice” on the changeable menu board). The cheese was much better than average, though, and I thought it melted just right to give a good flavor and texture. The dish was also very peppery, and between this and the cheese it was not my favorite dish at ND Food, but at the same time I could not say there was anything really unappealing about it (just that the menu did not give me a good description of it).

Mac & Cheese

Mac & cheese

Mac & cheese

The Mac and Cheese might be considered either a main dish or a side dish (although a side dish that would probably feed two people).  I thought it was exceptionally good, especially since I first tried it after a visit to the dentist when I wanted to eat something soft and easy to chew.  The cheese had a perfect balance of having body yet being runny enough to cover all of the noodles equally.

Sandwiches

Chicken salad sandwich

Soup and sandwich with clam chowder and chicken salad sandwich

The Chicken Salad Sandwich is also among my favorite items, but part of the reason is that you can get a half sandwich and soup for a reasonable price. I generally do not order chicken salad because most of them are made with mayonnaise, but this one with sour cream was a step up from the others.

Tuna sandwich and lobster bisque

Tuna sandwich and lobster bisque

The Tuna Sandwich is not my favorite item here in terms of flavor, but it is a treat because it is made in house and offers a fresh alternative to some of the other sandwiches served in the city. One thing that prevents me from ordering a whole sandwich it is its size (a half sandwich, shown in the photo next to the soup, is more than enough if you get soup or a side order with it). I give this sandwich five stars, but it is just that most of the time I would go with chicken rather than tuna.

Soups
Soups change daily and are not listed on the restaurant’s menu. They are all fresh and made in house, and I do not know how a person could go wrong with any of them.

The Clam Chowder (shown on the photo with the chicken salad sandwich) had a good flavor and a minor imperfection of the broth being a little congealed (at least this is what was in my notes). My overall recommendation is to order it because it is quite good.

The Lobster Bisque (shown in the photo of the tuna sandwich) had a good flavor, and led me to believe that any tomato based soup at ND would be worthwhile.

Side Dishes
Some side dishes such as the Green Beans and Corn had a rather bland flavor, but they were fresh.

German potato salad

German potato salad

The German Potato Salad, though, tasted like it had too much vinegar or something else was off so that it had little resemblance to the same dish served at Ingrid’s.

I thought the mac and cheese was a much better side dish than the others I tried, but several others are available that I have not yet samples.

Desserts

Three berry pie

Three berry pie

There are so many desserts available it is hard to choose, but the Three Berry Pie was about as good as it gets when it comes to dessert. A single piece of pie or cake costs over five dollars, but it comes in a large size and is worth it because of its home made quality. I thought the pie was just sweet enough to be good but not overly sweet, and the berries tasted fresh. The crust was excellent, and was on the flaky side (but it did not fall apart). The crust and the filling were both top notch.

Strawberry cupcake

Strawberry cupcake

The Strawberry Cupcake was also very good, but I cannot describe very many qualities about it other than “sweet” (but I think that is the point of eating a cupcake).

Key lime pie

Key lime pie

ND has a very good version of Key Lime Pie that I think compares very favorably to the ones served in other restaurants.  There was a good balance between the lime and the other flavors.  You also get a generous portion at a good price.

Chocolate chip sandwich

Chocolate chip sandwich

The Chocolate Chip Sandwich was as delicious as the other desserts I have tried here. It was very rich, and a little goes a long way. I am getting to the point that if I have sweets I really want to make them count in terms of flavor, and the cookies here meet this test.


RATING: 23

Cuisine: American
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 16, 2018
Number of Visits: 6
Best Items: Stuffed Bell Peppers, Chicken Pot Pie, Mac & Cheese, Chicken Salad Sandwich, Lobster Bisque, Three Berry Pie

Special Ratings
star 5 Stuffed Bell Peppers
star 5 Chicken Pot Pie
star 5 Mac & Cheese
star 5 Chicken Salad Sandwich
star 5 Tuna Sandwich
star 4 Chicken Wild Rice
star 4 Green Beans
star 2 German Potato Salad
star 4 Clam Chowder
star 5 Lobster Bisque
star 5 Three Berry Pie
star 4 Strawberry Cupcake
star 5 Key Lime Pie
star 5 Chocolate Chip Sandwich

Menu (Nov. 2017):

 

Leo’s BBQ–Oklahoma City, OK

Leo’s BBQ
3631 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 424-5367
Leo's BBQ

Leo’s BBQ


It is hard to find a barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma that does not have at least one item on the menu that evokes a loyal following, but within this distinguished group Leo’s has a reputation of being one of the best.

After many years I was able to make my first visit to Leo’s, but I do have the advantage of trying everything on the menu (available on Leo’s Special). Even sharing this as well as a smaller plate with a friend, it was almost too much to eat. We did make a very good dent in it, though.

Leo's smoker

Leo’s smoker is where the magic is done

I did not find any item that I thought was the absolute best in Oklahoma, but the combination plate had a consistency of flavor that I really do not find at many restaurants, and this may be Leo’s greatest strength. I did think the ribs were the best item here, but everything else was good as well.

The one item I did think may be the best in Oklahoma was the sauce. I like the sauce in almost every barbecue restaurant I have tried in the state, while the same cannot be said for other states. While I think Leo’s has just the right balance of flavors, many other restaurants do it pretty well. Thus I think the sauce is probably not enough to give Leo’s a recommendation as the best place in the city that you could try, but it is a good start.

The side dishes here were not my favorite, but they were good. The strawberry and banana cake served with every meal, though, is rightly acclaimed as one of the best features of the restaurant.

The Barbecue

Leo's Special

Leo’s Special

With Leo’s Special (shown in the above photo) or the smaller Leo’s Special Light, you can literally try everything on the menu. This is really too much to eat, but in my case I was sharing. All of the meats were five star, and this is one thing that sets Leo’s apart from many other restaurants. To me, if they make tasty bologna and hot links, they are doing something very special.

I thought the star of the show, though, was the Ribs. They were small in size but very good in flavor.

Brisket Light Dinner

Brisket Light Dinner

The Brisket was the other item that I thought Leo’s did best. The Light Dinner (shown here) has more of it than is served on Leo’s Special, but this is definitely a good choice if you want to concentrate on a single meat. Unlike some of the chain restaurants, this version contained burnt ends that I thought enhanced the flavor (although the majority of the meat was cooked the regular way that you would find anywhere). For some reason it is hard to find really good brisket in Oklahoma, but Leo’s has it.

I did not make many notes about the Bologna or Hot Links except that I was surprised how much I liked them. There is something in Leo’s cooking method that makes almost everything turn out better than expected.

Side Dishes
They do not have many choices for side dishes, and the ones I tried were not outstanding, but I enjoyed them nonetheless.

Dessert
The Strawberry and Banana Cake comes with every dinner, and I think is definitely something you will want to try.

Other Comments
On my first visit to a restaurant I often go a little wild on the ordering, and that was definitely the case on Leo’s Special, which includes all of the restaurant’s meats. I am glad I tried everything, but I think normally Leo’s Special Light would be the way to go (I got the regular Leo’s Special because it had two ribs and I wanted my dining companion to have one as well).

This leads me, though, to my biggest disappointment about the restaurant. At the chain restaurants (which I think most people know but I will not name) I can get two or three meat combination plates, which lets me try everything I really want to have for any particular meal. Leo’s system of making you choose between one meat or all of them, though, is something I find a little bit unusual. The food here is particularly good, but I do not care for the way the menu choices are set up.

Other weaknesses here are the fact that they do not have chicken or turkey, and the side dishes were not memorable to me. The sauce was excellent, which makes up for some of the weak points, but the fact is that every restaurant will have pluses and minuses.

I really did like the homey atmosphere here that gives you the feeling of the way a barbecue restaurant should be.


RATING: 24

Cuisine: Barbecue
Cost: $$
Hours: Closed Sun.
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: No

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 15, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Items: Ribs, Brisket, Sauce, Cake

Special Ratings
star 5 Ribs
star 5 Brisket
star 5 Hot Links
star 5 Bologna
star 4 Beans
star 4 Potato Salad
star 5 Strawberry & Banana Cake
star 5 Barbecue Sauce

Menu (Aug. 2018):

 

Hibachi Buffet–Weatherford, OK

Hibachi Buffet
1231 E. Main St.
Weatherford, OK
(580) 772-2408
Hibachi Buffet

Hibachi Buffet


One of my favorite stops along Interstate 40 used to be Young China Restaurant in downtown Weatherford. The food tasted more like what I would find in large cities than in small towns where Americanized Chinese is the standard. The owners were also able to prepare special requests to a limited extent, but mostly I relied on them to tell me what I could order that had more of a Chinese flavor than an Americanized one. These were the same owners who now have Hibachi Buffet, a much larger restaurant with both a menu and buffet as Young China had.

When I went to Hibachi Buffet the owners were not there but there was a large choice of items either on the buffet or available from the menu. I ended up getting what I thought was a very good dish, and I was glad to find out that the flavor seemed to be the same as it was as Young China. It threw me off a little bit seeing the name “Hibachi” and the fact that they serve sushi, but this is still a Chinese restaurant with a good selection of items.

Pork with Garlic Sauce

Pork with garlic sauce

Pork with garlic sauce

My choice of Pork with Garlic Sauce was somewhat influenced by my experience at Young China, knowing that the brown sauces are very good and that the restaurant had good vegetables. Although many of the vegetables were not Chinese style, such as the broccoli and carrots, I was happy with the quantity of vegetables that were served. They had a good flavor, and I particularly liked the fresh mushrooms that were included (the mushrooms were typical of those served in authentic Chinese dishes). The meat was good as well, and I liked the high vegetable to meat ratio.

The sauce was probably the best part of the dish, though, in the sense that this is usually where the restaurants make it too Americanized. This one had a subtle sweetness rather than an overwhelming one, and the flavors were balanced to make it taste Chinese. It was a little bit spicy, and if you want it more so you probably can ask for it (or likely just get some chiles from the buffet).

The Buffet
There was an impressive display of items on the buffet, but if you are not extremely hungry the menu has single items at a good price. I would guess that this buffet is probably better than most, based on what I tried from the menu. They also have sushi items available in the buffet.

The buffet is available both at lunch and dinner.

An Assessment
I am glad that the tradition of Young China now lives on in Hibachi Buffet. Weatherford is a town of about 10,000 people and does not have Chinatown style food, but it does have what I consider to be higher quality Chinese food than in most towns of similar size. This, combined with the price, is a very good deal.

My price category ($) is for the menu items, and if you get the buffet I think it would be $$ (still reasonable, though, compared to many other buffets).


RATING: 22

Cuisine: Chinese
Cost: $
Hours: Open Daily
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: N/A

Most Recent Visit: Aug. 13, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Item: Pork with Garlic Sauce

 

Asian Food Details

Tea: Jasmine (bags)
MSG: N/A
Buffet: Yes (lunch and dinner)
Special Ratings
star 5 Pork with Garlic Sauce

 

Menu (Aug. 2018):