Thursday 31 Jul

Pickin’ and grinnin’

Sand Stone Spring Vineyard, 9211 Sloan Road, in Mustang offers a unique opportunity for a glimpse into the wine industry. From now until mid-August, the winery welcomes visitors to pick their own grapes.
07/30/2014 | Comments 0

Food briefs: You’re toast, er, pretzel

There’s a new food truck on the scene.
07/22/2014 | Comments 0

Upward mobility

Locals can have fresh microgreens and herbs for cooking in a new and convenient way. Microgreens, a chef favorite, are petite vegetable greens that add color, nutrition and flavor to dishes.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Late-night bites

What a wealth of choices! We remember the days when the only places to eat after 10 p.m. were Denny’s and Waffle House. Next time you’re out late with friends, check out OKC’s abundance of local late-night eatery options.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Gazette staff

07/30/2014 | Comments 0

OKG eat: Cool places, cooler drinks

We know. It’s hot. It’s summer in Oklahoma. Cool down by sampling cocktails that local bars and restaurants have concocted just for you. Find a nice, air conditioned space or a shaded patio and while away the hours drinking the flavors of summer. You might decide it’s not that bad after all.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock, Shannon Cornman and Lauren Hamilton

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

New kids on the block

There are a wealth of new local eateries cropping up in the metro and even more coming. If they’re not on your radar, they should be. From the comfy atmosphere at The Barrel on Western Avenue to the laid-back vibe at the Plaza District’s coffee shop, you might find a new regular hangout.

— by Devon Green, photos by Mark Hancock and Shannon Cornman

07/16/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Food · Restaurant Reviews · Principles of pasta
Restaurant Reviews

Principles of pasta

An old-school spaghetti joint sticks to the tasty basics.

Greg Elwell September 26th, 2012

Meiki's Italian-American
6916 Northwest Expressway

What works: angel hair with pesto and a great calzone
What needs work:
boring salads
Lunch specials give good discounts on pasta favorites.

Credit: Shannon Cornman

The market for Italian food is confusing.

Much to my chagrin, there are plenty in our fair city who think that the height of Italian cuisine can be found at Olive Garden. (Their breadsticks are good.) And there are plenty of other mass-market spaghetti slingers, too. Carino’s and Fazoli’s, not traditional Italian, have found a need and filled it.

Whither, then, the independent Italian restaurant? Whither Meiki’s Italian-American?

After decades of feeding hungry tourists on Route 66, Meiki’s, a classic spaghetti joint if there ever was one, has moved to a strip mall in northwest Oklahoma City. It’s still serving up the same tasty pasta dishes as before, but to a new crop of customers.

Where does Meiki’s fit in the hierarchy of quality? The menu is small, but that focus results in some real winners.

First among them is the angel hair pasta with pesto ($11.25). I usually think of pesto as a very assertive sauce; Meiki’s version is a little milder with a lot more olive oil. Still, the basil flavor permeates the thin, tender noodles. If you order this, and I recommend you do, be sure to toss the pasta every few bites to redistribute the sauce. Gravity has a tendency to draw the flavor toward the bottom of the bowl.

If you’re looking for something with that classic red sauce taste, I like the spaghetti with meat sauce ($11.25). You can get it with plain marinara or with meatballs, but the consistency and flavors really come through with the meat sauce. The meatballs — while tender — were not worth the extra money.

Do you like cheese? Of course you do. Even lactose-intolerant people like cheese, but it’s forbidden. If you want to take your cheesy desires to the next level, might I recommend the manicotti ($11.25)?

Meiki’s manicotti takes tender crepes filled with ricotta and coats them in an oregano-heavy marinara with tons of shredded mozzarella. Then the whole delicious pile is shoved into the oven. What you get is a mix of the creamy, stringy cheeses and the tangy sauce. It’s a real delight.

Entrees come with salads and garlic bread. I like to spend the extra 50 cents and upgrade to a Caesar salad, mostly because I’m not wild about iceberg lettuce. The garlic bread … eh. Use it to mop up your extra sauce, but don’t expect a ton of flavor.

There is a chicken breast sandwich on the menu, because there has to be one, as mandated by the Poultry Expansion Act of 1954. But for more flavor, I would steer you toward Meiki’s chicken pocket ($7.99). Here the chicken has been marinated, seared and chopped into big chunks, mixed with onions and mushrooms and cheese, all piled into bread made from pizza dough. Maybe it’s not as appealing to the anti-taste crowd, but I enjoyed it.

I’m saving the best for last — because that’s a famous saying, and I like to abide by them. It’s the calzone ($12.25 for a whole/$6.99 for a half). It’s big and full of supreme pizza toppings, and you dip it in marinara. I want to eat one right now! It’s that good. They’re big, they’re tasty and I recommend you try one.

Meiki’s isn’t the cheapest eats on the block, but if inexpensive is your only goal, stay home and boil your own pasta. What they provide is a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of old-school Italian favorites.

Oklahoma Gazette’s restaurant review policy is to highlight the positive aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or service when appropriate.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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