Paseo continues to blossom; Bricktown Brewery gets twisted
A recent lunch trip to the Paseo Arts District revealed history’s most gradual comeback continues.
You know about neighborhood veterans like Picasso Café, Paseo Grill and Sauced. More recently, you’ve been introduced to Scratch Kitchen, Buttermilk, Holey Rollers Donuts and the new-fangled taqueria Oso Paseo.
Just east of Paseo’s main drag a couple of exciting developments are at different junctures. The Mayan Taqueria and Cantina opened at the corner of NW 30 Street and Hudson late last year. It took over the space occupied by El Fogoncito.
Was a fan of that gem, but The Mayan is even more polished. Enjoyed some phenomenal Queso Fundido with beef and chorizo and a Cochinita Pibil burrito, which was on special. Word is a liquor license is on its way, expanding the taqueria’s horizons into Margaritaville.
But that’s not nearly all.
Construction on Frida looks either on or ahead of schedule for spring opening, and 84 Hospitality’s newest concept is starting to take shape. Gun Izakaya will soon open in a portion of the former Craig’s Emporium, adding to an impressive arsenal that currently includes Empire Slice House, Easy E, and Goro in the Plaza District, Revolucion west of downtown, a bar in Uptown called Ponyboy and a mobile kitchen called Burger Punk.
Chef Jeff Chanceleune, who is a partner in 84 Hospitality, including founding chef of Goro, told me back in the fall the concept initially was part of Goro.
“We just didn’t quite have enough space to do it all the way,” Chanceleune said.
The Plaza’s loss is the Paseo’s gain with Gun, which will feature Japanese street food like yakitori (grilled chicken skewers), okonomiyaki (savory griddle cake), fried chicken, and house-made pickles. Sake, beer and whiskey are ideal for washing down these traditional Japanese noshes, but don’t expect the bar to be limited to those spirits.
Finally, I ran into chef Tim Mort of Holey Rollers, who will install the menu for the soon-to-return Red Rooster. Renovations were under way when we spoke, and he expected to be testing out kitchen equipment imminently. The Red Rooster’s return to the market is being driven by Holey Rollers principles Andrea Koester, Josh Gautreaux and John Otjen. Look for that iconic bar to return this spring.
Bricktown Brewery adds a six-pack
Bricktown Brewery rolled out a new array of items to its menu this week, which I was able to sample recently.
Not quite a decade ago, Buck Warfield led a group of investors into purchasing and stabilizing the pioneering concept. Warfield, who had a brew pub background, and his partners took the original single concept and have expanded into a regional chain of more than a dozen locations stretching from El Paso, Texas, to Springfield, Mo.
Warfield expressed his satisfaction with changes to changes to state liquor laws over the last two summers. He said it’s allowed his brewers to improve beer quality to the point the company is now considering canning and distribution.
Menu additions include sandwiches, salads, and appetizers.
The first thing we tried was a hot fig and goat cheese dip served with toasted pita and apple slices. The dip was creamy and rich, which worked well with the pita but a smear across an apple slice was heaven. Seriously.
The Pork Green Chili Totchos are a fusion of popular gut-bombs topped with a fried egg. Tater tots are made in house then topped with pulled pork, green chili, cheese, and bacon, before the fried egg is dropped on top. Everything about this dish screams “don’t do it,” but of course it’s delicious so you do.
A pair of salads have been added. One for those watching their calories, and the other looking to jump weight classes.
The Fried Chickpea Salad includes feta, sliced avocado, cucumbers, red peppers and red onions tossed in Balsamic Vinaigrette. Fried chickpeas replace the standard croutons. The Protein Salad Bowl could be served over tater tots thanks to the pulled pork, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and bacon. But it’s not; however it is served over romaine lettuce and topped with a fried egg.
Two new sandwiches range from classic to fair fare. The Steak & Cheddar Sandwich is a combination of sliced tri-tip and white cheddar on grilled bread with rosemary au jus, which makes a great dip for fries. California might be wrong about a lot of things, but sliced tri-tip isn’t one of them.
The Mac’d Grilled Cheese & Ham Sandwich with San Marzano Tomato Soup for dipping makes me wonder if Bricktown Brewery might be considering a booth at the State Fair of Oklahoma in September. Where else do you find a grilled ham and cheese stuffed with macaroni and cheese? Well, any of Bricktown Brewery’s five metro locations, I suppose.
The concept can be found at its original location downtown, Remington Park, Midwest City, Shawnee, and Edmond.
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Last week Social Order Dining Collective and Gogi Go chef Kevin Lee’s run on Guy’s Grocery Games ended in the Ultimate Protein Battle. Kevin had a nice run on the show, which will next feature local talent in March when chef Corey “Slawta” Harris of Off the Hook appears on the show. …