I do not really expect to influence people’s eating preferences or decide on my own which are the best dishes at Oklahoma City restaurants. However, this year’s politics seem to indicate that our message may be better received if we come off as self-confident and a little audacious, so I will be this way in support of a good cause–giving readers the benefit of my highly refined taste in food to impart my vast knowledge of the best dishes that can be found anywhere in the city.
OK, even I do not believe what I just said, but nevertheless I will list some of my personal favorite items at various restaurants. Even though many of the restaurants listed are excellent all around, these are the items I find that are the best to order. I have already started a series of posts along the same theme, including Pollo Guero at El Birrias, Chicken Tawook at Camilya’s, and some of the city’s best Enchiladas. However, this is my first attempt at creating a comprehensive list.
These, then, are dishes I have found to be among the best of the best, and that others may want to try:
- All natural Oklahoma beef — Ranch Steakhouse (OKC)
A number of restaurants have excellent steaks but this is my favorite
- Hamburger with Johnnie’s Sauce — Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler (OKC and The Village) Veggie burger is an excellent substitute
- Onion Burger— Johnnie’s Grill (El Reno)
There are a number of choices in the metro for hamburgers, and for me eating a hamburger is a splurge, but I like these two when I do (but the veggie burger at Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler is something I eat more frequently)
- Ribs — Van’s (Shawnee)
- Ribs — Swadley’s (Bethany)
- Pulled Pork — Billy Sims (OKC)
- Chicken — Billy Sims (OKC)
- Molasses Chicken — Cheever’s (OKC)
- Grilled Chicken — Green & Grilled (OKC)
Most of my favorite meats are listed in barbecue and ethnic restaurants
- Fried Chicken — Cajun King (Warr Acres)
- Fried Chicken — Olde Orchard (Bethany)
- Fried Chicken — Ann’s Chicken Fry (OKC) Only available on weekends
- Fried Chicken — Eischen’s (Okarche) Maybe the best chicken, but it is not really in the Oklahoma City metro area
- Turkey Reuben — Ingrid’s (OKC)
- Cuban — Cafe 7 (OKC)
- Turkey and Guacamole — Cafe 7 (OKC)
- Pear Salad — Boulevard Steakhouse (Edmond)
- Apple Spinach Salad — Green & Grilled (OKC)
- 24 Ingredient Salad — Castle Falls (OKC) Castle Falls is open on weekends and is by reservation only. I am not sure of the status of this salad, and whether it is still being served.
- Tiramisu — La Baguette (OKC)
- Black Forest — Ingrid’s (OKC)
This list could be much longer but these are two of the best
- Enchiladas de Rajas — Casa Perico (OKC)
- Enchiladas Verdes — Abel’s (Warr Acres)
- Tomatillo Enchiladas — Poblano Grill (OKC) Not on the menu but can be special ordered
- Enchiladas Verdes — San Marcos (OKC)
- Tacos Calvillo — Abel’s (Warr Acres)
- Tacos al Pastor — Abel’s (Warr Acres)
- Tacos (various) — Taqueria La Original (OKC)
- Pollo Guero — El Birrias (OKC)
- Pozole — Birrieria Diaz (Bethany)
- Flautas — Chalo’s Tacos (Bethany)
- Tamales — Chalo’s Tacos (Bethany)
- Gorditas — Abel’s (Warr Acres)
- Pollo Saltado — Zarate’s (Edmond)
- Passaro Preto — Cafe do Brasil (OKC)
- Spaghetti with Cacciatore Sauce — Papa Dio’s (The Village) This can be ordered as a main dish or as a side dish with any dinner which comes with spaghetti
- Eggplant Parmesan — Vito’s (OKC)
- Chicken Parmigiana — Tommy’s (OKC)
- Lombardy Pizza — Flip’s (OKC)
- Margherita — Humble Pie (Edmond)
- Chicken and Mushroom Crepes — La Baguette (OKC)
- Chicken Confit — La Baguette (OKC)
- Wienerschnitzel — Old Germany (Choctaw)
- Chicken Jager Schnitzel — Old Germany (Choctaw)
- Hahnchenbrust — Royal Bavaria (Moore)
- Haehnchen Chicken — Castle Falls (OKC) Open on weekends by reservation only
The three chicken dishes are very similar and all are good–I’m not sure which is best
- Tagines — Cous Cous Cafe (OKC)
- Ghormeh Sabzi — Travel By Taste (Warr Acres)
- Chicken Tawook — Camilya’s (OKC)
- Eggplant Casserole — Nunu’s (OKC) Thursday only–served every 2nd Thursday–the Green Bean Casserole rotated with it is also one of my favorite dishes
- Ribs — Jamil’s (OKC) Middle Eastern style ribs served as an appetizer with dinner, or you can order it as a dinner
- Vegetable Plate — Queen of Sheba (OKC)
- Roast Pork Tofu Hot Pot — Fung’s Kitchen (OKC) added 2-25-16
- Szechuan Eggplant — Chow’s (OKC)
- Fresh Fish with Ginger and Onions — Chow’s (OKC)
- Roasted Pork and Tofu Casserole — Grand House (OKC)
- Fu-jjian Tofu — Grand House (OKC)
- Spare Ribs and Bittermelon — Fung’s Kitchen (OKC)
- Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce — Szechuan Bistro (OKC) added 2-25-16
Chinese (Lunch Specials)
- Green Beans with Minced Pork — Chow’s (OKC)
- Fish with Black Bean Sauce — Grand Village (OKC)
- Shredded Pork in Garlic Sauce — Szechuan Bistro (OKC) added 2-25-16
- Vietnamese Pork Chop — Golden Phoenix (OKC)
- Chicken and Lemongrass Vermicelli Bowl — Kim Wah (The Village) This is also available at Lido, which uses the same recipe
- Chicken Vermicelli Bowl (Bun) — Pho Ca Dao (OKC) More authentic and technically better than the same dish at Lido and Kim Wah, but did not have lemongrass
- Pho — Pho Cuong (OKC)
- Beef Noodle Soup — Pho Kim Long (OKC)
- Pad Prik Khing — Charm Thai (Warr Acres)
- Green Curry — Tana Thai (The Village)
- Salmon Teriyaki — Tokyo (OKC) Available on the Happy Lunch or Tokyo Box
- Tempura Udon — Tokyo (OKC)
- Chicken Katsu — Tokyo (OKC)
- Spicy Potato Stew — Fusion Cafe (Norman)
- Kimchi Chee Kae — B-Won (Del City)
- Cauliflower Kashmiri — Taj (OKC) Not on the menu but can be special ordered
- Channa Masala — Ajanta (OKC)
See my Oklahoma Reviews for more information about these restaurants.
I’ve noticed that you like to only add a listing for MSG on chinese restaurants… and you have an introduction saying that you’re very sensitive to it. If that is the case, I do not understand why you do not have any issues with parmesan cheese or aged steaks. Both have high concentrations of Monosodium Glutamate. Are you knowledgeable of what makes up MSG?
I have occasionally had issues with other restaurants besides Chinese or Asian restaurants, the most notable being salad dressings, certain sauces, and some seasonings (although I am not discounting the possibility that it might have been some steaks as you mentioned rather than the seasoning that was on them).
The main problem for me seems to be when they add MSG, either as they are cooking the food or earlier when they prepare the sauces. Most of the time I can avoid a problem by asking them not to add MSG if this is their normal practice, or by not ordering food with added MSG such as hot and sour soup, etc. If I know they add MSG I simply want to advise readers of this fact.
I do not know if items with naturally occurring MSG such as soy sauce and fish sauce cause the same problem. I seem to be all right eating these in moderate quantities.
I was not aware of an issue with aged steak or parmesan cheese. Isn’t the MSG in parmesan naturally occurring (probably for me it would be like soy sauce in that I would not want to eat too much). In any case I leave it open to anyone to comment about any restaurant where they think there is an issue. Readers can also contact me by e-mail with any questions or comments.
I have had to make my first revision to this list after hearing that Dot Wo Chinese Restaurant in Edmond closed in December 2015. A long time favorite of mine was the bean cake clay pot dish, which I thought they did better than anybody. Thus I have deleted this item from the list (formerly listed under “Chinese”).
The Dot Wo in Oklahoma City on N. May near N.W. 63rd St. serves this same dish, but the one I ordered recently did not seem to match the one in Edmond.
Instead I am recommending the roast pork tofu hot pot at Fung’s Kitchen. Fung’s sauce is very much like the one at Dot Wo (I think the two restaurants are owned by the same extended family, but in any case the food is very similar). Grand House also has a good roasted pork and tofu casserole (which I had previously listed), but Fung’s is probably where you should go if you liked the old Dot Wo in Edmond and want to get the same food.
Because of a recent visit to Szechuan Bistro I have also added one of their dishes to the list. I think the shredded pork in garlic sauce is the best dish I have had so far from their regular menu (this is also available as a lunch special).