Local eats

Farmers market salad at Local
BY: Mark Hancock

There are many restaurants in the metro area with a farm-to-fork emphasis, but Local in Norman has taken it to the next level with an aim to create a menu solely based on seasonally available, homegrown produce and meat.

Don’t be fooled by its strip mall location; Local is a large and spacious restaurant that features a modern design with soft lighting and comfortable decor. But it’s perfect for an intimate dinner, too.

There are quite a few tables, and other seating options include a cozy lounge area connected to the bar, as well as a shaded patio.

The menu varies based on what’s being harvested, though some items are available year-round with seasonal modification.

I began dinner with smothered french fries ($5), a happy-hour special with roasted red peppers,
red onion and goat cheese. The fries were thinly cut, warm and crispy.
The roasted red pepper, goat cheese and red onions all carried strong
flavors that weren’t overwhelming but meshed well together. The fries
were served with truffle aioli and ketchup, both housemade.

Next up was the farmers market salad ($5), a menu item that stays year-round, with updates based on what’s in season.

salad was a fresh menagerie of mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber,
herbed goat cheese and marinated eggplant. It was topped with a blend
of spices and a great house-made green goddess dressing, which was light
but flavorful and made with a dairy or cream base, spices and garlic.

the entrée, the four meat meatloaf ($16) included Oklahoma beef,
buffalo, pork and lamb — thick and hearty. The blend of meats came
topped with a mushroom sauce and crispy bacon. The sides were grilled
zucchini and warm, cheesy au gratin potatoes. The meal gave off a
home-cooked vibe, which was pleasantly unexpected. A lighter portion of
the meal ($9) is also available.

went again for lunch — it’s that good. This time, an order of
portobello fries ($7) started the meal. They were six thick-cut fries
that were crispy outside and had a nice amount of spice. They were
breaded with cornmeal and served with truffle aioli. The mushrooms were
warm and flavorful, and the aioli was a nice touch to the dish.

next part of the meal was the lamb dip sandwich ($10), which was no
ordinary sandwich. Instead of an overstuffed sandwich with heaps of meat
and cheese, the baguette offered a balanced bread-to-contents ratio and
was filled with warm, thinly sliced lamb and melted Swiss. It was messy
but oh-so-edible with a mild (but greasy) warm au jus.

food at Local is fresh and delicious, and the menu is much more diverse
than one might expect. There are typical healthy options like soups and
salads, but it also features items like burgers, enchiladas and
ravioli, for those craving something with a bit more caloric density.

Ryan Querbach

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