Gazedibles: Surprise! It’s local!

Some restaurants just feel professional. Maybe it’s the snappy menu design or the meticulously clean dining areas. A strong aesthetic style and a sharp employee uniform also go a long way to making a local spot’s ambience feel rooted and more established. Here are local restaurants that have also expanded out of Oklahoma or are so on-point you might think they’re big companies. Surprise! They’re local, and they’re great.

By Greg Elwell. Photos Garett Fisbeck and Gazette / file

Jimmy's Egg (Garett Fisbeck)

Jimmy’s Egg (Garett Fisbeck)

Jimmy’s Egg

Multiple metro locations

jimmysegg.com

There’s a reason Jimmy’s Egg is regularly nominated for Best Breakfast in Oklahoma Gazette’s Best of OKC annual readers’ poll. Customers love the omelets, biscuits and gravy, pancakes and down-home friendly attitude that permeates each Oklahoma-based restaurant chain’s location. Vietnamese refugee Loc Le purchased the original restaurant at 1616 N. May Ave. in 1980 and quickly expanded it into a regional breakfast powerhouse.

Pepperoni Grill (Garett Fisbeck)

Pepperoni Grill (Garett Fisbeck)

Pepperoni Grill

Multiple metro locations

pepperonigrill.net

Kobe beef comes from Japan, but it tastes good in Italian food, too. Edmond-based Pepperoni Grill has a classic trattoria feel, but the menu flows freely into other cuisines. Its Italian Classics menu offers classic spaghetti, Kobe beef lasagna and fettuccine Alfredo. The restaurant also offers pan-seared tilapia, Asian salmon and a fresh-and-filling kale and quinoa salad. There’s even a Gorgonzola-infused half-pound Kobe beef burger if you’re so inclined.

Saturn Grill (Oklahoma Gazette / file)

Saturn Grill (Oklahoma Gazette / file)

Saturn Grill

6432 Avondale Drive

saturngrill.com

405-843-7114

First-time guests at Saturn Grill ask themselves two things: “How did I not know about this place?” and “When are we coming back?” Though it has expanded and contracted since first opening in 2002, there’s no denying Oklahoma City loves Saturn Grill. Owner Joseph Royer’s menu offers the perfect blend of delicious, fast and affordable. Try a sandwich on flatbread that is cooked fresh for each order.

Orange Leaf (Oklahoma Gazette / file)

Orange Leaf (Oklahoma Gazette / file)

Orange Leaf

Multiple metro locations

orangeleafyogurt.com

Though born in San Francisco, Orange Leaf’s headquarters has been right here in Oklahoma City since 2010. In the years since, Orange Leaf sprouted and grew to include hundreds of locations across the globe, including Australia. What makes it such a success? Pull a lever and find out for yourself with a cup of brownie batter or blueberry banana frozen yogurt topped with nuts, candy and fresh fruit.

Taco Mayo (Garett Fisbeck)

Taco Mayo (Garett Fisbeck)

Taco Mayo

Multiple metro locations

tacomayo.com

Taco Mayo fans recommend the Classic menu’s crispy beef tacos, chicken Super Burritos and nachos smothered in queso. Taco Mayo Fresh Mex lovers like its extremely customizable menu, including chef Kurt Fleischfresser’s achiote marinade that adds a big, bold flavor to chicken and steak. Whichever you choose, it’s nice to know you’re enjoying quick Mexican taste and service that has delighted Oklahomans since the first store opened in Norman in 1978.

Charleston's Restaurant (Garett Fisbeck)

Charleston’s Restaurant (Garett Fisbeck)

Charleston’s Restaurant

Multiple metro locations

charlestons.com

Charleston’s Restaurant is kind of like Hogwarts’ Room of Requirement — it can be whatever you need it to be. Those wanting a quick bite knows that Charleston’s baked potato soup and a grilled chicken and avocado club sandwich will power them through the day. Families know it offers a relaxing place to bring the kids for an evening out. And if you’re looking for a date spot, it can be as casual or fancy as you want with delicious prime rib and succulent oven-roasted chicken.

Hideaway Pizza (Garett Fisbeck)

Hideaway Pizza (Garett Fisbeck)

Hideaway Pizza

Multiple metro locations

hideawaypizza.com

Though it recently expanded into Arkansas, Hideaway Pizza belongs to Oklahoma. Its spirit of hospitality is infectious, delivering giant grins to customers who order Just-A-Beginner salads, platters of fried mushrooms and enormous pizzas. The company invites staff and customers to create new flavor combinations, including The Big Bang with Canadian and smoked bacon, pineapple, onions, red bell peppers and a big swirl of Sriracha on top.

 

Print Headline: Surprise! It’s local

Greg is the Gazette's full-time food writer and reviewer. He goes to restaurants a lot. He orders three entrees and gets funny looks and then takes out his camera and people are like, "Ugh. This guy." Greg is writing this right now and it feels weird to keep referring to myself in the third person. On Twitter and Instagram: @Elwelleats

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