general manager Andrea Durow, once a partner at Moore’s Two Olives Cafe,
decided to not only curb the chain deli trend, but the chain trend, in
“We were trying to serve
fresh food in south suburban Oklahoma City,” Durow said. “There aren’t a
lot of locally owned, made-from-scratch type restaurants here, and we
wanted to offer that to people around here.”
Stuffed Olive certainly strikes the perfect balance between the
convenience of the Panera Bread set and sit-down restaurant quality,
with the added benefit of having the loving feel of homemade food. Each
of the menu’s 16 standard sandwich offerings does its part in showing
off that careful attention.
right, the ham and Brie sandwich
ham and Brie ($6.99) is especially tasty, a warm concoction of gooey
Brie and spiral-sliced ham that finds a brilliant counterpart in the
accompanying subtly sweet caramelized onions and pepper jelly, with mayo
there to smooth out the entire plate.
The Sicilian club ($6.99) is
another standout with fresh turkey, along with salami and provolone
seemingly flown straight in from Italy; the mayo is cut with a bright
basil pesto to add a nice bit of cream and bite.
There are others, like
the hot and hearty CBMS ($6.99) — which is chicken, bacon, mushroom and
Swiss — and the classic muffuletta ($7.25) with a tangy spread of olive
salad and a particularly scrumptious basil vinaigrette.
soups ($4.29 for a cup, $5.99 for a bowl) and salads ($5.95) aren’t
slouches, either. The Caesar BLT takes the standard formula and beefs —
err, porks — it up with bacon, which feels like cheating, but I’m more
than willing to let that slide.
There’s also the Asian-leaning Bonsai
that pairs mixed greens with a healthy portion of fruit (mandarins and
apples), along with feta, spiced nuts and a flavorful ginger-soy sauce
right, the strawberry spinach salad and chicken corn soup
Durow notes that many customers gravitate toward some of the
healthier options, especially the OMG chicken salad ($6.99) and the
pesto garden ($7.25), the latter of which is served open-faced on
focaccia with a salty artichoke heart, onion, olive salad, mushroom, the
aforementioned pesto mayo and creamy goat cheese.
The tomato-basil soup
is another popular choice, and all three dishes seem to lead to a fair
amount of repeat customers.
have a lot of regulars who get the same thing every time,” Durow said.
“Some of them come in for dinner multiple times a week and just order
whatever special we have that night.”
dinner specials — rib-eye steaks, lasagna, Alfredo pasta and pork
tenderloin can pop up on any given night — are starting to gain a
following of their own. They are sold until gone, and being that there
is no full dinner menu (other than the sandwiches, soups and salads),
they can go fast.
right, the pesto garden with blackened chicken
homemade food is just a little better than what you can find at home and
pairs well with the cozy, modest atmosphere that nods to bistro
ambience: open, airy and nearly always filled with lively, talkative
All in all, The Stuffed Olive seems to be successful in its endeavor to make food that makes one feel right at home.
“There aren’t many strangers in here.
see their neighbors,” Durow said. “We have a lot of customers, but they
all seem to be close-knit. It’s a good community over here.”
Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive
aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.
Photos by Mark Hancock