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OKG7 Dining

Spreading the word

Carol Smaglinski January 12th, 2011

Here’s a look back at new restaurants you might have missed that opened in 2010. A few of these might be raising eyebrows as the owner’s dream come true, a yearning to open one’s own restaurant. Good luck to all in the new year!

Poblano Grill

2701 S. Interstate 35 Service Road, Moore 759-7371

Management said this location of Poblano Grill has great food and great service in a family atmosphere. There’s even a hamburger on the menu just for kids. New items include a tilapia Mexicana with a dusting of Southwest seasoning with sautéed spinach and its pollo fundido, a chicken dish presented with jalapeño cream cheese. This is one of the many successful ventures of Emerging Brands.

$$ Mexican

Picasso Café

3009 Paseo 602-2002

First off, just looking at the sign outside the place is a hoot, a takeoff on the artist Pablo Picasso himself. Inside, Picasso probably would have loved the appetizer trio, its popular homemade pretzel and would have flipped over its prosciutto and fig pizza. The crust is just right — not too thick and not too thin — plus, it is hand-tossed.

$$$ Contemporary American

Republic Gastropub

5830 N. Classen Blvd. 286-4577

This is under the umbrella of the highly successful Good Egg Dining Group. Not only can you order beer from a huge selection of both tap and bottles, its menu features some interesting pub food such as the traditional Scotch egg with linguica sausage from Portugal, bratwurst, bangers and mash and homemade sauerkraut. And hang on; they’ve got burgers and nachos, too.

$$ Gastropub

Underground Bistro

2915 N. Classen, Suite B-10 778-8469

Jill Lawson and Cory Lawson are the only full-time employees at Underground Bistro (they have part-timers, too), and they are brother and sister-in-law. Big deals here are the grilled chicken club served on white or wheat roll with avocado and bacon, the Mediterranean chicken wrap or its BLT done with — get this — strawberry jam and avocado. There are varying daily specials every day, and it could be tomato basil soup or peach cobbler.

$$ Bistro

Mama E’s Wings and Waffles

900 W. Reno 424-0800

The original Mama E’s was at 3838 Springlake Drive (which is re-opening on Jan. 15, 2011). The phone number now answers at its second location on Reno and Classen. The story goes that people didn’t know if they wanted breakfast or dinner, so they combined it. Now customers eat wings and waffles all day. The soul food selections include neck bones, crisp fried chicken, catfish, meat loaf and juicy pork chops.

$$ Soul food

Banana Island

1500 N.W. 23rd 601-1888

Best bets here are the stir-fried flat noodles (chow kueh teow) and the homemade Indian pancake (roti canai), with a nice listing of desserts such as red bean pancakes or the mango sticky rice. Appetizers include the unique baby oyster omelet and coconut calamari. Also on the menu is barbecue fish, curry red snapper with okra and steamed fish in Thai sauce.

$$ Chinese, Malaysian and Indian

Cha Cha’s

3720 W. Robinson, Norman 928-5250

Cha Cha’s, in west Norman, is finding fame as part of the Hal Smith Restaurant Group. The menu is a blending of Tex- Mex and Baja flavors. You can’t miss with the street tacos, the fish tacos, fajita quesadillas and even blackened tilapia and shrimp. Try the enchiladas with chicken with a green chili sour cream sauce for a real treat.

$$ Mexican

—Carol Smaglinski, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Marianne Pickens

$$: Up to $15

$$$: $15-$30

$$$$: Above $30

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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