The Hungry Wanderers

Eating and exploring our way through the world

Posts Tagged ‘Oklahoma City’

Cattlemen’s Steakhouse

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 30, 2010

After leaving Bricktown, we headed back south, closer to our hotel, to Stockyards City to find Cattlemen’s Steakhouse which was recommended to us by Michelle and Kylie (thanks ladies!).  According to the Stockyards City website, this area of town honors Oklahoma City’s pioneer history and caters to the every day cowboy and cowgirl.  This was quite evident in the shops and restaurants we passed.

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Cattlemen’s Steakhouse was easy to find on the main street and we were looking forward to what was in store for us.  We had called in advance to find out if it was a place that needed reservations or had a dress code – the answer was no to both 🙂 When we arrived, we didn’t have to wait which we appreciated (we were hungry!).IMG_2738 Cattlemen’s is the oldest, longest-open restaurant in Oklahoma City – it opened in 1910.  The building has grown over time and started as a cafe at one end of the building.  We were seated in the dining room which was dark, leathery, and covered in photos of cattle and cowboys (real and hollywood versions).

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It’s not very clear, but the wall behind the Husband is a photo of tons of cattle.  It spans that entire wall (there’s a better version of it on the Cattlemen’s website).

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The menu itself is quite simple, as a good steakhouse should be.

IMG_2739The front page told us a brief history as well as their intention for the restaurant. IMG_2741 The inside consisted of two pages.  One page for the steak cuts and a second page for those of you non-red meat eaters accompanying your red-meat eaters out for dinner 🙂 Being a steakhouse, we stuck to the left side of the menu.

IMG_2742If you haven’t picked up on it, the Husband and I like to try local beers whenever possible.  Each restaurant we’ve been to on this trip, the Husband asks if they have any beers from _____ (fill in state we’re in).  In Cattlemen’s case, not only did they have Texas beer, they had a specific beer brewed for Cattlemen’s – the Double Deuce (named for its size – 22oz).  The Husband thought it was a fine beer – one he would order again there for the novelty, but probably not anywhere else.

IMG_2747 To start, we knew we had to try the Lamb Fries, as recommended by reader Kylie and our friend Rhonda.  When our waiter brought us the dish, he told us not to ask what they were and just to enjoy them 🙂 It came with cocktail sauce and lemon, as if it were seafood, and I guess it did taste slightly like fried oysters (as others proclaim it does).  I won’t tell you what it actually is – you can check it out on wikipedia here if you’d like.   We thought they were fine and we enjoyed the experience, but I don’t imagine we’d get them again.IMG_2753 Each steak dinner comes with steak, salad, and potato (I think your choice of potato).  For our salad, it’s a reasonably sized side salad with your choice of dressing.  The Husband and I each went with the house dressing on our waiter’s recommendation.  It’s quite mild and creamy, not too much flavor to it, but I enjoyed it.IMG_2756 With that salad, we received a basket of bread, though more like croutons? I didn’t have any, but the Husband enjoyed a slice with the salad.

IMG_2757 In preparation of our potatoes, we were brought a plate of butter, sour cream, bacon, and chives.

IMG_2759 Then, what we were waiting for – our steaks 🙂 We each got the filet, which was wrapped in bacon.  However, the Husband got the regular size (on the left) and I had the petite (on the right).  It may be hard to tell, but the petite was about half the size perhaps).  We each got ours medium rare and they were delicious.  Melt in your mouth good, without any extras like butter like a lot of chain restaurants use.  We each went with the baked potato as well and I was glad to see reasonably sized potatoes.

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Along with these, we also received two warm rolls that were soft and pillowy.  They tasted particularly good dipped in the steak juice.  Yum!

IMG_2764 Overall, we were happy with our meal and glad we got to experience this quintessential Oklahoma City restaurant.  We loved the history and enjoyed the steak.  Our server was very friendly and spent a bit of time chatting with us between courses.  While we had originally planned on visiting Nonna’s for dinner in Bricktown, we were glad we had the chance to check out Cattlemen’s Steakhouse.

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Cattlemen's Steakhouse on Urbanspoon

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Cambria Suites – Oklahoma City

Posted by Amanda @ The Hungry Wanderers on April 30, 2010

(Apparently I’m slacking in my blog post writing so the Husband has lapped me in his posts.  Today we’re taking a quick step back to Oklahoma City 🙂  )

When searching for a hotel in Oklahoma City, we had some difficulty finding a unique and/or boutique hotel in our price range.  When that search seemed to be failing, I decided to check out the Choice Hotels website to see if they had any of their boutique partner lines in the city.  Unfortunately, they didn’t, but one of their newer lines – Cambria Suites – was in the city.  It feel within our price range, had availability, and wasn’t a line we had tried before so I went ahead and booked it.  I’m glad we did 🙂

The hotel was located south of the city, near the airport I believe, but a reasonable distance from the city itself and the sites we planned to see.  Check-in was simple, the lobby was spacious and modern, and we saw a pool and decent sized fitness center.  We headed to the room to see what we got.

As soon as we walked in, we were impressed.  Immediately as you enter the room, there was a decent sized sitting area, with a couch, armchair, and nice flat panel television.

IMG_2715 Just past the sitting area, there was a desk and an artistic use of space for a separating wall.IMG_2716 The bed was plush (seriously, really, really comfortable – though perhaps too many pillows) and there was also a flat panel television.  The closet happened to be on this side of the room and when we poked our heads in, it was huge and had a very large (relatively speaking) safe (not that we used either).

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The room came with a microwave, refrigerator, and coffee maker.IMG_2721

And last, but not least, a spacious bathroom.  The toiletries were Bath & Body Works, which I loved.

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IMG_2720 We were actually so impressed with the room, I asked the next morning at check-out if this had been an upgraded room (being frequent travelers, we sometimes qualify for upgrades at Choice Hotels).  It wasn’t! This was the standard room and we told them we were impressed.  While we didn’t interact much with the staff and stayed only the one night, we thought the service we received and both our room and the hotel were quite nice.  It was also in a location with a number of interesting restaurants to check out.  If we’re ever in Oklahoma City again, I can imagine us staying here another night.

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Oklahoma City – A Jewel in the Plains

Posted by gingerbreadpirate on April 28, 2010

As we we continued our cruise along I-40, we finally got to the great state of Oklahoma.

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As we pulled into Oklahoma City, we had three things on our mind, besides checking into the Cambria Suites:  See the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial, see Bricktown, and find something to eat.

We wanted to see the Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial first, as we weren’t sure how late it was open, and we wanted to capitalize on the setting sun.  We headed off to the memorial, not really knowing what to expect.  We’ve both been to any number of memorials from all our time in D.C., but those are not nearly as personal to the community in which it resides as the Oklahoma City bombing. 

IMG_8749Not to say that the D.C memorials aren’t TRENDOUSLY personal to those that the events impacted.  I remember going to the WWII memorial with my grandfather, who served in both major theatres during his tenure with the Army, and it was truly emotional, for him more than myself, but it was still emotional for me.  But this was a memorial built by the people that it directly impacted, and not a memorial built by a piece of legislation to remember and honor those that were involved in something bigger than themselves (like the Vietnam Memorial or the WWI Memorial, or even the Iwo Jima Memorial).  The 9/11 Memorial at the Pentagon may very well be the same kind of emotion, and the eventual 9/11 Memorial in NY will probably feel the same way, but this was, for us, a new experience. 

IMG_8633For whatever reason, the white balance seems to be off in most of my pictures, and I’m sorry.  They have almost a sterile feel.  It really was an emotional and touching, and I’m bummed the discoloration of the pictures detracts from the somber atmosphere of the memorial.  I hope you get the idea, though. 

The memorial is really quite large.  What used to be 5th Street, where the bomb was parked, is now the reflecting pool above. 

IMG_8640Where the federal building was, there is a field of chairs with bronze backs and stone seats on glass pedestals.  This gives them the appearance of floating during the daylight and the glow at night.  There is one chair for each victim that died in the bombing, and they are arranged in rows for each floor of the building.  You’ll notice that in almost every picture, there’s an American flag.  They seem to grow like rabbits in the city, peeking out from behind every building.

IMG_8658The chairs also came in two sizes, adult and child-size.  I can’t believe I managed to miss a picture of both.  It was remarkably tough seeing a long row of child-sized chairs in the second row.  

Several buildings besides the target federal building were destroyed in the blast.  All of them have been left undeveloped for the memorial.  As we walked around the grounds, we came across the Children’s Garden.  The artwork was provided by children from around the country as part of their outpouring of support.

IMG_8692 One of the adjacent buildings was mildly damaged, but was able to be structurally repaired.  Windows were blown out and the exterior wall was damaged by debris.  Aside from being structurally shored, the wall still remains in its condition as it did after the blast.  This includes some graffiti from a rescue worker involved in the recovery and cleanup efforts.

IMG_8678 This tree managed to survive the blast and is known today as the survivor tree.  It is actually situated between the above building and the reflecting pool (formerly 5th St.).  You can see how close the reflecting pool is if you look to the left.

IMG_8675 I took one last picture before we departed the memorial.

IMG_8672 As we walked across the street from the memorial, we found a statue of Jesus facing away from the memorial.  “How very odd?”  There was a plaque that explained St. Joseph’s Cathedral had been almost completely destroyed, and this statue had been erected as a memorial in 1997.  The memorial shows Jesus with the caption “And Jesus wept…,” the shortest verse of the King James bible (in reference to the death of his friend Lazarus).

IMG_8713  Jesus faces a stone wall with 168 voids; one for each victim that died in the blast.

IMG_8715It was an incredible experience, and we would recommend anyone that remembers the event to go and see what they’ve done with the memorials.  They are fabulous testaments to both honor victims of the blast, and resolutely announce the American spirit of perseverance.

From there we headed to Bricktown on Kylie’s and Michelle’s recommendation. 

IMG_8746 It’s another revitalized part of town with a baseball stadium, movie theatre, and a large handful of independent restaurants; just our kind of place.  It’s obvious that the revitalization process is still ongoing, as some buildings are awaiting some kind of refurbishment, and are currently vacant.  The town has a great start at building a tremendous downtown experience, though.

IMG_8733 Here’s another flag.

IMG_8743 A nice little canal splits the neighborhood.

IMG_8744 And a pleasant park or two dots the area.

IMG_8739 Once again, based on our readers’ recommendations, we planned on going to Nonna’s for dinner.  Unfortunately, Nonna’s is closed on Mondays, so we would have to find alternative arrangements.  We figured that Cattlemen’s Steakhouse might be a good place to start, since it was another recommendation on the list. 

IMG_8726 Unfortunately, it wasn’t in Bricktown, and we were starving, so we stopped for a bite to eat at the Bricktown Brewery.

IMG_2724 We figured we’d try a sampler and have an appetizer and head out to Cattlemen’s.  It was what we expected; a brewpub tucked into a fun neighborhood.

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IMG_2735 We ordered up an appetizer to satisfy the grumbling stomach.  We had the Irish nachos.

IMG_2727They looked as good on the menu as they did on the table.  They were really good, and I couldn’t keep my hands off them until the Wife got the picture.

IMG_2733 They also had four brewed beers on tap, so we tried a sampler. 

IMG_2729 From left-to-right we had the Copperhead, the Hefeweizen, the Red Brick, and the Blueberry Ale.

IMG_2725 The blueberry beer actually had blueberries in it. 

IMG_2731 The beers were pretty lackluster, if you ask me.  The hefeweizen was overpowered with banana and clove flavors and smells overpowered the remainder of the beer, and really made it unenjoyable.  The copperhead was true to its description as it was light bodied; remarkably light-bodied.  This really didn’t appeal to us, either.  The red brick was good, but I don’t generally care for English malt beers. The blueberry was excellent.  It was darker than most blueberry beers I’ve had before, which I think added to it tremendously.  I would stack it up against any blueberry I’ve ever had, and expect it to be a competitor.  Sadly, though, when I go to the corner brewery, I need a solid staple beer (pale ale, golden lager, malty porter, etc.) to bring me back, and the Bricktown Brewery only provided a tasty specialty beer.

Oklahoma City had a lot going for it.  Bricktown was nice, and there were clearly other neighborhoods that would have been interesting to explore.  There also seemed like there were lots of parks and open space to enjoy.  I don’t think I would recommend Oklahoma City as a travel destination of any sort (conventions or business aside), but if you find yourself passing through, you will find that you have a plethora of opportunities to enjoy your spare time.

Bricktown Brewery on Urbanspoon

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