Oklahoma City, OK
The Oklahoma City area is blessed with several good German restaurants, and in some ways it is difficult to determine which is the best. Ingrid’s Kitchen in the northwest part of Oklahoma City, though, definitely has the advantage of being more accessible to those who live in Oklahoma City rather than one of the far flung suburbs such as Moore. Even those for whom distance is not an issue would want to come to Ingrid’s for its excellent food and some specialties that are not found at the other restaurants. (Note: as of 2019 Old Germany in Choctaw is permanently closed, so the number of other German food choices seems to be dwindling).
One thing I appreciate about Ingrid’s is that it allows customers to eat German food on a more regular basis without having to wait for a special occasion. Many of the other restaurants seem to be more of the variety where you want to sit down, enjoy a big meal, and have a beer. You can do this at Ingrid’s as well, but Ingrid’s specializes in sandwiches, lunch plates, and deli items. In the past Ingrid’s was only open for breakfast and lunch, but has now started serving dinner as well. I also think Ingrid’s is the place to go if you are on a budget, but by the time I pick up some desserts and other items from the deli case this may not turn out to be much of a saving.
The expanded hours coincided with a change of ownership, and I understand the new chef used to be at Castle Falls (another one of the area’s excellent German restaurants, although Castle Falls requires a reservation). I have enjoyed the food a little more since the ownership change and I like the fact that it is now open for dinner, but I am disappointed that it still does not offer some of the dinner items that can be ordered at other German restaurants (although Ingrid’s is still best for sandwiches and lunch items).
At Ingrid’s all orders are taken at the counter, and are either prepared to go or to eat in the restaurant. Most items are sold individually except dinner or lunch plates that come with side dishes. Because you can order as little or as much as you want, it is rather difficult to determine the cost category of a typical meal here. I have based it on my experience of ordering a sandwich or main dish, one or two side orders, and a drink.
There is a large choice of lunch meats, as can be seen in the display counter that sells meat for take-home. Ingrid’s menu says that they also sell American products, but the authentic German ones are probably the main reason to come here.
Grilled sandwiches are more expensive than the deli sandwiches, but based on my order of a Reuben I would say this is a very good choice. In fact, this may have been the best corned beef I have ever tried. Sauerkraut makes a good side dish, but I think it is even better on top of the corned beef in the Reuben (and the Sauerkraut is home made). The Reuben also comes with Ingrid’s “Special Sauce,” and I will have to say that everything about this sandwich was special.
I first tried the Turkey Reuben at Ingrid’s Pantry (Ingrid’s former spinoff restaurant in Bethany), and now this is my favorite sandwich here. The sauerkraut, bun, Swiss cheese, and sauce are all top notch, and I think the flavor of the turkey goes well with them all.
The Bratwurst has not been terribly impressive to me, but there is more than one variety served. Some of my trips to Ingrid’s Pantry made me lean more toward the smoked bratwurst, which I enjoyed quite a bit.
Fine Bratwurst is one of the five types of bratwurst Ingrid’s serves, and is served either on a sandwich or a plate. I did not order the one in the photo so I cannot comment about its flavor, although I do know that the person ordered it with German mustard only and instead got everything (it is hard to remove the mayonnaise and Swiss to end up with a sandwich that only has a German mustard flavor). In any case, it seems that with the current management (2018) you might have difficulty with special requests that are different from the standard menu items.
The Wiener Schnitzel comes in a “Light Order” that makes it a good lunch choice (the light and regular orders are available for both lunch and dinner). This and the other “Specialty Plates” come with three side orders as well as bread, but I think the German Potato Salad is the best of the side dishes. I actually like all of the side dishes, but the potato salad is the one thing that Ingrid’s seems to do better than any of the other German restaurants in town.
The schnitzel is made with pork, and some purists say the only authentic Wiener Schnitzel is made with veal. According to the information I have from people who have lived in Germany, though, pork schnitzels are common in the country, are more available and less expensive than veal, and it is a matter of taste concerning what type of meat to eat. Both I and my friends think the Wiener Schnitzel at Ingrid’s is very good except that the meat is sometimes tough (it does not seem to be pounded enough to tenderize it according to German custom).
Other Meat Dishes
The Sauerbraten had a good roast beef flavor, but I thought the sauce had a rather weak flavor (it was, however, a good flavor). For this dish I would probably recommend the one I tried at Royal Bavaria in Moore, although the side dishes at Ingrid’s are very competitive with the other restaurants.
The Pork Chop was very good, but the restaurant says it is not German style. I think this has to do with boiling it and then frying it, but regardless of the cooking style this was quite a good meal.
I used to rave about the Chicken Jäger Schnitzel, but it now seems to be permanently gone from the menu. All I can say is that if it ever comes back or is available as a special, this has been the best item I have tried at Ingrid’s.
Although the restaurant has removed some items from the menu, they do have dinner specials of items that are not on the menu which are available after 5:00 p.m. (I know because I once got there about fifteen minutes early when the special was already posted and was available to order).
My “early bird special” was in fact a plate of Goulash on spatzle that came with a salad and some very good dark rye bread. This was quite different from other goulash dishes I have had in that it was not heavy on spices (there was not a discernible taste of spices such as paprika) and it was more of a meat dish with sauce than a stew (which is how I would characterize other goulashes I have tried). They said it was from a family recipe (I am not sure if this was from the owner’s family or someone else’s). To me it is always enjoyable to find a dish that is quite different from others I have tried, yet is still very good.
I have had different feelings about some of the side dishes, but generally I have enjoyed them more after the restaurant’s ownership change (but I don’t know whether they have actually changed or whether it was just my perception of them). I have never been disappointed with the German Potato Salad, and I have found this to be the best in the city. I noticed dill in it, which seems to be an authentic touch.
The Red Cabbage is consistently very good, but most times I think the Sauerkraut is even better.
I formerly said I did not like the Cucumber Salad as much as the one at Castle Falls, but the new chef is the one who used to be at Castle Falls, so I think the salads are much the same (my memory of the Castle Falls salad is now a little fuzzy but I do know that the one at Ingrid’s is good).
The best salad I have had at Ingrid’s, though, was the Special Salad that came with the goulash dinner special (I do not think this salad is the same as any of the ones listed on the menu). I should note that the salads were some of my favorite items at Castle Falls, and perhaps these same salads are becoming available at Ingrid’s.
A side of German mustard comes with just about everything, and if any is left over this is a great addition to my sandwiches at home. (It is also worthwhile to check out the bottles of German mustard available at the deli, which include Siegi’s from Tulsa).
It is hard to go to Ingrid’s and not end up picking up some pastries either as dessert or to take home. The choices rival just about any bakery in town, and the quality has always been considered among the top two or three by my family. I like the pastries because they are always made with fresh ingredients, and many follow the European custom of not being as sweet as seems to be the normal case in the U. S.
I have not personally visited Germany, but I have it on good authority that the Cream Horn sold at Ingrid’s is a very good representation of the authentic German variety. It was less sweet than most desserts, but had a fresh cream that stood in contrast to many dairy products that seem artificial.
The Coffee Cake (made with different types of fruit) is definitely one of my favorite pastries. It has an excellent flavor, and is not too sweet.
This photo includes a variety of the pastries available, and I really think it would be overwhelming to try them all. Out of the ones pictured I especially liked the Hamantaschen (the triangle shaped sweet roll with a cherry filling).
Ingrid’s cakes are popular for birthday cakes, or you can buy individual slices. I really have no idea which cakes are the best because I do not think I will ever be able to try all of them. There are some, though, that I know are good choices.
The Black Forest Cake is really one of the best cakes I have ordered anywhere, with a rich combination of cream, cake, fruit, nuts, and chocolate that would be difficult to match. The thing that impressed me was not only the complexity of the cake, but also that each part was done perfectly, and added to the overall quality of the cake. The fruit filling inside was not too sweet, and gave just the right flavor to the cake (Black Forest is made with a liqueur that gives it a distinctive flavor).
I have made it one of my missions to try the strawberry cake at every bakery that sells them, and the one here had a good, rich strawberry taste. I also think freshness is one of the most important features with Ingrid’s cakes.
The most surprising discovery for me was the German Chocolate Cake because of the fact that I have not cared much for about 80 percent of the ones I have tried. Thanks to being encouraged to try this one, though (by my mom, who is the foremost cake expert I know), I have another item to add to my list of favorites at Ingrid’s.
Pies are also excellent, and the Peach Pie really seemed to be the best I have ever had (not counting, of course, the ones that my mother or grandmother made). The syrup tasted home made instead of commercial, and the crust was fresh and crispy.
The Dutch Apple Pie is another of their excellent choices. I think that while a couple of my all time favorite desserts at Ingrid’s are cakes, the pies are what I have found to be consistently good no matter what flavor you order.
Ingrid’s Kitchen sells beer in a separate bar area for its own Biergarten. Another interesting feature of the restaurant is live music on Saturdays at noontime (dance music but not necessarily German).
Ingrid’s has succeeded in attracting a large clientele with good food, affordable prices, and a casual setting. This combination of factors can easily make German food a part of many people’s staple diet (as it should be). Not all of us can get to Ingrid’s as often as we would like, but the opening of the new satellite restaurant at N.W. 63rd and May Avenue makes it more convenient for many. I know that many people are willing to travel whatever distance is necessary to enjoy Ingrid’s Kitchen, which is justifiably regarded as one of Oklahoma City’s landmark restaurants.
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. Evening
Smoking: No smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Drinks
Most Recent Visit: Oct. 2, 2018
Number of Visits: 10+
Best Items: Reuben, Turkey Reuben, German Potato Salad, Sauerkraut, Black Forest, German Chocolate Cake, Coffee Cake, Peach Pie
|German Potato Salad|
|German Chocolate Cake|
Menu (Apr. 2017):