Taste Buds Travel

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Recently I’ve been following along with Jessica Jardine and Krissy Wall on their new YouTube series Taste Buds, presented by Ford. They’ve been traveling around the country and checking out some exciting cities to show off what each of them has to offer. We’ve seen some amazing shopping and some seriously fun outings, but what has really inspired me so far has been all the delicious eateries.  In particular their visit to Cane & Table New Orleans, a James Beard nominated restaurant where owner Nic Detrich has created an amazing concept around his tiki inspired cocktails.  Or proto-tikis as he’s come to call his creations.  Maybe I’ve been watching too much Mad Men, but I’m seriously loving the Tiki Cocktail Renaissance going on across the country!

Over the past several years I’ve been extra proud of my hometown of Oklahoma City. We’re in the middle of a major growth revival with some amazing establishments opening up every day.  To showcase what we’ve got in our city, I’m working with Ford to put together a small list of some of my favorite places.  If you find yourself in the Sooner state be sure to check these out!

Café Evoke located in Edmond, Oklahoma (a suburb of OKC) is always one of my morning stops during the work week for the perfect cup of coffee.  They also have a great lunch, but this day I got to visit them on the weekend for Sunday brunch.  Waffles anyone?  We tried both of their sweet and savory varieties, alongside some perfectly crafted cappuccinos.

cafe evoke cappuccino Cafe Evoke Edmond Oklahoma cafe evoke oklahoma cafe evoke menu Cafe Evoke blueberry waffles cafe evoke mural

Cafe 501 located in Oklahoma City at the Classen Curve is among the top lunch spots in the city.  I grew up eating at their original location in Edmond and still have fond memories of their amazing cookies and cakes.  I relived some of those childhood memories by devouring a ricotta cheese cookie and their 501 brownie.  Both are to die for!  Of course I’m an adult so I couldn’t just eat dessert.  We shared the Thai Shrimp Wrap and the Fresh Strawberry and Spinach Salad.  Another favorite of mine is the cobb salad and their tomato soup is perfect in the winter!

cafe 501 patio classen curve cafe 501 cookies cafe 501 classen curve cafe 501 shrimp wrap cafe 501 strawberry salad cafe 501 classen curve interior

A new arrival in the Oklahoma City metro is The Pump Bar, a remodeled 1929 Texaco gas station that now serves craft cocktails, and a wide selection of beers and spirits.  It’s an absolutely charming bar that also offers some delicious eats like their Tater Tots with siracha ketchup and garlic aioli.  Whether you choose to chill inside at the bar or outside on their large patio, you’re likely to find some super friendly servers and a lot of laidback customers.  I ordered The Last Word which is a classic cocktail of gin, maraschino liqueur, and green chartreuse.  Not only does this bar offer great atmosphere but best of all they are dog friendly!  Next time, I’m bringing Foxy Roxy.

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Located next door to The Pump Bar is another newly opened establishment Pizzeria Gusto.  Touted as Oklahoma City’s first Neapolitan style pizza restaurant, it serves up some delicious wood oven fired pizza pies.  During our visit, to make sure we got our serving of vegetables we started off with the roasted carrots and fennel in a harissa yogurt sauce… and a side of their homemade Italian sausage.  Then we splurged with a chicken pizza.  Unfortunately, there was no room left for dessert but next time I’ll finish my meal with a side of ricotta donuts!

pizzaria gusto Oklahoma City roast carrots pizzaria gusto chicken pizzapizzaria gusto interiorpizzaria gusto barstyling white jeans | allyson in wonderland

I’m more and more impressed every day by the quality of Oklahoma City’s local fare.  It’s truly becoming a creative and vibrant community with a lot to offer everyone.  I’d love to hear from you all about some of your favorite places in your hometowns.  Let me know down in the comments where I should visit when I’m in your neck of the woods!

Don’t forget to follow along on Taste Buds adventure with their friends at Ford.  To watch their latest episode and see which city is next follow the link.  When you check it out make sure to bring your appetite!