Q-ing in Oklahoma City
I have been back in San Diego for now over a week since my trip out to Oklahoma City and I am now feeling the remorse of the lack of barbecue in my life. I needed to make this post because I have to give nods to the best meals I had while I was out there.
Earl’s Rib Place
Earl’s Rib Place is a local Oklahoma chain with 5 restaurants spread around Oklahoma City, Edmond, and Moore. After the first day of work out at OKC, KN and I headed over to Earl’s and I knew the moment when I stepped out of the car, I was going to meat heaven. The smell of barbecue is just intoxicating and it just automatically triggers the primal instincts in us and causes us to start salivating.
KN and I each ordered the 2 meat combo plate that comes with a choice of 2 sides. I ordered the spare ribs, smoked bologna, and an extra order of the hot link (because I just couldn’t decide), with the green beans and corn on the cob. KN ordered the smoked BBQ chicken turkey (thanks KN for correcting me! I couldn’t remember which one we had) and smoked ham, with fried okra and green beans as well. The 2 of us basically just swamped half of our orders with each other and had a sampling of 5 meats. Boy, oh boy! Was it delicious! The flavors are so deeply ingrained in the meats that it needed no sauce! Earl’s of course have their BBQ sauces available for you on the table if you wanted it. These babies needed no additional anything at all!
I talked so much about the meats (which were the stars of course), but the sides need their due as well. Corn on the cob is as you would expect, sweet and perfect for BBQ. The fried okra was crispy and the coating was seasoned well thus, needing no sauce either. The green bean unfortunately did not taste that good. It had a vinegar based soak so both KN and I did not enjoy the taste. Otherwise, amazing meal!
Braum’s Ice Cream & Dairy Store
After our meal at Earl’s, we needed dessert and considering it was 100+ degrees, what else besides ice cream would do?! I had done my research on local ice creameries and Braum’s kept coming up in my search. There are multiple stores throughout Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Arkansas. The most interesting thing about this chain is that the company owns their dairy herd, farms and ranches, processing plant, bakery, retail stores and delivery trucks. From the beginning to the end result on your cone, the Braum company controls every step. Talk about quality control and assurance!
The store we were at was no more than 5 minutes away from the Earl’s we ate at. Once we got there, we were struck by how cheap everything was. I mean, look at my double dip waffle cone in the picture up there! That cost me $1.99!!!! (or was it $2.99?…either way) That is FREAKING CHEAP! And this stuff is all locally made! So not only are you supporting a local business with their farm, fresh ingredients, but that huge cold, creamy monster will cost you less than $5. Unheard of here in San Diego!!! And it was not as if the price was reflective of the quality because it was superb. My mint chocolate chip was the favorite of the 2. It had a subtle mint flavor, coating the delicious creamy dairy base, with tons of chocolate flakes. The strawberry cheesecake was good, but not to the same level as the mint chocolate chip.
County Line BBQ
How many times does it take for you to hear from strangers how good a place is before you really believe it? We had asked all around the office in OKC, where their favorite place to get barbecue was and time and time again we got the response: “County Line BBQ”. I had heard this response at least from about 5 people. Now, when you get the same response from multiple people, you know there has to be something about this place to get people to give you an identical response.
So on our second to last night in OKC, KN and I ventured out to County Line BBQ, which let me tell you…it was kind of in the middle of no where. Heck! Let’s fast forward a bit: when our waitress found out that we were from out of town, she immediately asked, “How did you two even find out about us?” We told her that practically the whole office pointed us to their establishment and we just had to get out here.
We started out with a whole freak loaf of bread: half wheat and half white. Now, it turns out this place also bakes their own bread and my oh my…it brought me back to my bakery days! There is absolutely NOTHING that surpasses fresh baked bread. This loaf came out piping hot, soft and fluffy in the center, and melts in your mouth. KN and I had to remind ourselves from eating the whole loaf in order to save room for our main meal!
Once again, KN and I ordered the 5 meat combo to get a sample of everything the restaurant had to offer. Our platter included: smoked peppered turkey, brisket, beef and pork ribs, and smoked sausage. We chose the green beans and fried okra for our sides. Let’s just start with the sides (it’s easier): the green beans were O.M.G amazing! We don’t know what they used, but the beans had a little after kick of spice and they were so packed with flavor, it was insane! Compared to that, the fried okra unfortunately fell totally off the chart. They were kind of cold and you knew they weren’t made to order. However, we did come around 8:15pm and the place closes at 9pm. In fact, when we came in, the restaurant was pretty much empty except for 2 tables that were finishing their meal. So I guess I can understand yet, I wished the okra was made to order because I think it would have been delicious.
The meats were so good! The smell of smoked meat hangs outside all over the restaurant and it was reflective on our plates. Since I don’t eat beef, KN had to tell me how the brisket and beef ribs were, which she gave 2 enthusiastic thumbs up. The turkey here was so moist and tender, with a nice flavor that wasn’t too overpowering. The sausage was good with a nice snap from the casing. Wonderfully spiced and juicy, it was a darn good sausage. The pork ribs were good too, but I think I have found that I actually prefer the other smoked meats over ribs. When I was thinking back on how I felt while eating this meal, I kept thinking about the green beans and smoked turkey. Considering how I am not much of a roasted turkey kind of person, this place knows how to cook a gobbler for me.
Easy to say, KN and I demolished the meal without struggle. However, I would not go without dessert and by the time we finished dinner, it was getting pretty late for OKC standards. Under the suggestion of our waitress, we ordered the Kahlua Brownie a la mode.
A moist brownie with walnuts, sits on a pool of chocolate sauce and Kahlua, topped with 3 scoops of house made vanilla bean ice cream, drizzled with chocolate sauce and doused in more Kahlua. This was a sinfully indulgent dessert and let’s just say KN and I needed that kick of liquor and boy did we get our liquor there. The waitress wasn’t kidding when she said she was going to douse the dessert with Kahlua! I am pretty much a light weight when it comes to liquor and ever bite was liquor filled. KN and I polished off the dessert and we were both now high on sugar and giddy with alcohol. That was a great way to end the night.
Oklahoma City…you may not have a lot but what you do have, you do well and are proud of it. I would love to go back and continue trying more and more of your barbecue. Thank you all in OKC for your hospitality and abundance of amazing BBQ. Keep doing what you’re doing and I’ll dreaming of more Q until the day I return!
Earl’s Rib Place