With our picks of the un-fair fare of Oklahoma City come indie-owned and offbeat, hand-friendly offerings from street vendors and shaded-lane shops.
1. Gale VanCampen’s Hot Dog OKC tops the list with her one-of-a kind cart, parked 7 p.m.-2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays at 202 E. Sheridan Ave. in Bricktown.
She started modestly with a shaved ice stand in the Walmart parking lot in The Village back in 1997, moved a cart to the Bricktown Canal in 2000 and realized she needed more help getting through the winter months.
Today, money isn’t a problem. She launched Hot Dog OKC in 2008, and her cart moved to its new location last year. “You can say hot dogs are recession-proof,” she said, then laughed.
Her catchphrase, “Wiener up!” is now a hashtag tweeted by fans of her fare and her customers, including American Pickers television star Frank Fritz, Miami Heat owner Micky Arison and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. He tweeted, “Everyone should stop by!” and complimented VanCampen’s social media prowess.
The star-power is so bright, she’s revamping her Celebrity Dogs menu. Look for it soon @HotDogOKC and hotdogokc.com.
But the Casey Cornett Dog stays, she said. It’s a straightforward crowd-pleaser, much like the namesake’s daddy, Mayor Mick, in an election year.
At four bucks, it includes a grilled Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog topped with yellow mustard, chili, cheese and jalapeños with Fritos Corn Chips sprinkled on top.
2. So much jerky, so little time. The Beef Jerky Emporium offerings may be better than bacon. Owner Mark Garvey now has three locations: 9346 N. May Ave., 4405 SW Third St. and 810 W. Danforth Road in Edmond. Beef, fish, game and turkey jerky sit next to pork rinds, habañero pralines and cheeses. Low-sodium jerky is $7.95.
3. Hand-breaded, fried, juicy tendergroin. That’s right, lamb fries start at $8.95. Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, 1309 S. Agnew Ave., is famous for ’em. The dish was featured on The Travel Channel’s Man v. Food. Owner Dick Stubbs runs possibly the oldest eatery in the city, open since 1910.
4. Hot, hot, hot. There’s nothing quite like wrapping one’s big mouth around the Flaming Lips taco, loaded with hickory-smoked tongue, fresh pico de gallo, sliced avocado and queso fresco. It’s $3.35 at Big Truck Tacos (it’s a brick-and-mortar), 530 NW 23rd St., owned by Chris Lower. Follow on Twitter to learn more about drive-bys of its actual food truck, @bigtrucktacos.
5. Be a champ. Find out what your friends on social media are talking about when they post pics of hot, fresh-pressed, hand-crafted “deconstructed waffle” sandwiches. An applewood bacon, free-range egg and cheddar sandwich is $8.
Waffle Champion began as a food truck and grew into a restaurant, owned by OKC resident Todd Woodruff, at 1212 N. Walker Ave.