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Taco Loco – New Truck on the Block!

March 2, 2011

Have you ever found yourself thinking “MAN! I could really go for some tasty, authentic Mexican street tacos!” But don’t think it’s worth getting your head chopped off in Juarez? Same here. Every day. Literally…every day.

These tacos are LOCO! In a good way.

Luckily, there is an incredible spot located at 24th and Highway 9 in Norman, OK. Amigos, I present to you…TACO LOCO!

Delicious little pieces of taco heaven, and you don’t even have to pack your pistola to feel safe. Although I’m sure most of you good ‘ole Oklahoma boys are totin’ some iron anyway.

This place has all the good ingredients for quality authentic taco tastiness. Dirt parking lot…check. Food from a truck…check. Outside dining only…check.

The menu at Taco Loco isn’t huge, but if there’s not something on there you like…I refuse to be your friend. Just kidding, but seriously.

Tacos, Tortas, Burritos, Gorditas, Quesadillas, Chimichangas, Ceviche, and Flautas. Meats include Beef, Pork, Chorizo, Chicken, Ham, Tongue (yes, beef tongue and it’s DEEElicious.) We both went with tacos. They come with onions and cilantro with your choice of meat, served on corn tortillas. (Not sure if you can get them on flour or not, we didn’t think to ask, but we will when we go back…probably tomorrow.) They also came with a cooked whole jalapeno and some good salsa.

If you don’t like these tacos, I will literally rip your tongue out of your face and stomp on it.

The verdict…incredible. The tacos aren’t very big, but they are only $1.25 each, so we suggest you go ahead and order about a smooth baker’s dozen per person like we did. Maybe not quite that much, but you get the point. They were ready quick, even though they were freshly made to order. The ingredients all tasted fresh, which is always good when your food is coming out of a big parked vehicle.

There is a covered seating area with probably 10-12 tables with chairs, which is actually a pretty cool place to sit and watch the traffic roll by.

They’ve also got Mexican soda pops to gulp down your goozle and wash those darn tacos down right.

Amigos! Get your rear-ends down to Taco Loco, rapido!

You can reach them at 405-600-8658.

Victoria’s Pasta Shop – Norman, OK

January 18, 2011

Somehow, I’ve lived in Norman approximately 24 years and never been to Victoria’s. Victoria’s Pasta Shop, that is. Victoria’s Secret…well that’s another story. Anyway, Victoria’s is located on OU’s Campus Corner at 327 White St. and has been serving up delicious italian food for almost 20 years!

I can’t believe I just recently ate here for the first time. It’s a laid back, friendly environment with great food and very reasonable prices. Basically everything I like in an eating establishment.

I got the black pepper linguini tossed with snow crab and spinach in a lemon garlic butter sauce. Yeah, I know. As soon as I read that description I was sold. I also ordered a lasagna roll, just for kicks. I knew I made the right call as soon as I lapped a lip over the linguini. It has the pepper actually cooked into the noodle itself, which gives it an awesome flavor. The crab was fresh and tasty and the lemon garlic butter was the perfect sauce for this pasta.

Lasagna Roll (left), Black Pepper Linguini (right)

Lasagna Roll (left), Black Pepper Linguini (right). Sorry about the terrible picture, only had my phone with me.

The lasagna roll was also top-notch. Shrimp, spinach and cheese rolled and baked in lasagna, then covered with marinara and alfredo. Easy to see why this is a “Victoria’s Classic.”

Not only was the food hot, fresh and super tasty; there was also a LOT of it. You don’t have to be the head cashier at the K-Mart to know that it’s pretty rare to find a spot with big portions of awesome food for a great price. Victoria’s is one of those joints.

Here’s a link to their menu.

Probably my only complaint would be that it was HOT in there! It was super cold outside and we even sat right by the window and I was still sweatin’ like Snooki at a nightclub!

Overall, I am putting Victoria’s right up towards the top of my list. I plan on being a frequent visitor, so I’ll try some other menu items and let you all know if they live up to my initial impressions.

P.S. I heard somewhere that this is Sam Bradford’s favorite place to eat in Norman. Usually “picks” are bad for a quarterback…but this is a good one sir. A mighty good one.

Read more…

Carican Flavors, Mon!

October 18, 2010

Dis be da taste of de islands mon! Located at 2701 N. Martin Luther King Ave. in Oklahoma City, Carican Flavors (Caribbean/American) is one place you need to go check out if you have some unique tastebuds. It’s a combination of authentic, homestyle, Caribbean cuisine such as Jerk Chicken with some American favorites like Catfish or Mac & Cheese.

Carican Flavors on MLK, don't miss it!

This place ranks pretty high in all aspects. I had an awesome experience here and would feel pretty confident recommending it to fellow mongers. The place is really clean, the people are SUPER nice, and the food is tasty, authentic, and definitely unique. All the food is cooked fresh; no canned stuff here. The options included jerk chicken legs, lamb and carrot stew, beef stew, curry chicken, curry goat, oxtails, mac & cheese, fresh fish of the day was snapper, beans & rice, broccoli, plantains, sweet potatoes, and much more.



Now that's some Carican Flavors!

I decided to double dip and try the jerk chicken and the lamb stew. For my sides I picked the casserole-style macaroni and cheese and rice and beans. To make a long story short, it was ALL GOOD! The jerk chicken was not quite as spicy as I like, but it was still awesome. The lamb was super flavorful, but could have been just a tad more tender. The beans and rice were really good and the mac & cheese was really greasy and really tasty.

They also have a bunch of great drinks like ginger beer (sorry, not booze!) sorrel (made from the petals of the sorrel plant) and the best stinkin’ drink I ever guzzled down, TING!!! There are two kinds, green and pink. I got the pink, and wow children it is delicious. I’m gonna start importing this stuff from Jamaica to my house. It’s a grapefruit soda, but it has a lot of juice in there and it’s really strong and sour and incredible. I’m not kidding, if you find out where to get this by the case, let me know please!

At Carican Flavors, you’ll get plenty of food, great service, a nice clean place to chow down, and most importantly….TING TING TING TING TING! Man I’m thirsty. Check out the pictures page for a peek at the greatness that is pink ting.

Visit Carican Flavors’ web site HERE where you can find their full menu, hours, phone number, special drinks, etc.

Visit their Wimgo page HERE

Leo’s BBQ

October 5, 2010

It was my coworker’s birthday last Wednesday, and we decided to take him out to lunch. We let him choose the spot of course, and he picked Leo’s BBQ at 3631 N. Kelley in OKC. Apparently this place is somewhat of an Oklahoma classic as far as barbecue goes, and somehow I had not yet sniffed it out. It’s been around over 35 years! I’d say that’s a good sign…

It's what's inside that counts...

We hop out and I’m thinking the place has potential, because like most solid BBQ joints, it’s really not too easy on the eyes. If you’re eating barbecue at a new, high-dollar, modern, spotless place…you probably aren’t having great barbecue. Anyway, we head inside, sit down at a rickety old table and make our selections. I quickly chose the ribs, potato salad, baked beans and sweet tea. Pretty routine for most BBQ joints.

Leo's ribs, baked beans & potato salad

When it came out, the delicious smoky scent stiff-wristed me in the snotbox and MAN was it good! The meat was falling off the bone, the beans had a unique (in a good way) flavor that I’m still trying to pinpoint, and the potato salad was country delicious. My buddy got the hotlinks, which I tried, and WOW! I’m usually just sort-of “eh” on hotlinks but for some reason these revved my engine. The sauce is really good too.

Pretty soon our waitress brought us all out a piece of Leo’s famous strawberry banana cake. What an outstanding way to polish of a classic BBQ dinner! I did my best David Copperfield and made that thing DISAPPEAR. I’m glad they only brought me one piece…I probably would have just sat there as long as they kept them coming. Check the pictures page for a pic.

The people were friendly, the food was old-fashioned and tasty, and the place has that “hole-in-the-wall” feel. Apparently they have another location downtown as well, but I can firmly recommend the original location. There is clearly good reason why Leo’s is an OKC BBQ classic.

Check out their Wimgo page HERE

Check out the Diners Drive-Ins and Dives video on Leo’s HERE – It’s pretty awesome and will give you the more in-depth story on Leo’s!

Benvenuti’s Italian – Downtown Norman Noses-In-The-Air

October 5, 2010

This will be a short review, just thought the Mongers fans should know what’s going on with the little Italian place in Downtown Norman.   This restaurant is on Main Street right across the street from Coach’s.  You have probably driven by and didn’t even notice it was there.

I have eaten there once before and the food WAS amazing.  I am not a big Italian food lover, I generally think tomato sauce and noodles are pretty generic to most restaurants, however this place does have exceptional food.  But exceptional food, for me, does not make up for terrible service.  Benvenuti’s is an upscale place, with a snooty atmosphere, which is not my typical type of hangout, but I’ll put up with it for great food occasionally.  My wife and I went down the other night, on a Saturday, and the place was pretty busy.  We asked to sit out on the patio, and the hostess gave us a disgusted look and said “sure…”  We go out there and there is another table seated, so I’m thinking, what’s the big deal, we’re not the only ones out here?  The hostess asks us if we want a wine list, which I say no, and she walks off without saying another word.  So we sit and discuss the menu…. and we sit… and we sit…  After about 10 minutes of not seeing a server, there was a wreck in front of the restaurant on Main, and 5 or 6 servers come out on the patio to see what’s going on.  Not one even acknowledges us.  They go back inside and we sit for another 5 minutes before I’ve had enough.  We walk out.  I will most likely not be back.  If I’m gonna give you between sixty and a hundred of my dollar bills for a meal, you need to make me feel welcome. 

Benvenuti’s.  Get your nose out of the air.  I see boogers in it.

FAIRmongers!!! The Foodmongers OK State Fair Special!

September 23, 2010

What is the biggest fall junk food event in Oklahoma City?  Who are the best food critics in Oklahoma City?

This week the FoodMongers are doing our tribute to the Great State Fair of Oklahoma with our FAIRmongers special.  We went and scoped out as many booths as we could, without puking, to let you know what is awesome and what is a waste of your money.  There are so many choices at the fair that it makes it nearly impossible for a fair novice to wade through the junk to find deliciousness.  Below is a guide to happy tastebuds.  You’re welcome.

I intentionally starved myself pre-fair night so I could cram in as much as possible, so when we arrived, I was craving something substantial to start off.  We came in the north side of the fair, and walked around the big circle around the tower.  I immediately smelled and spotted the roasted corn booth.  Bingo.  I got a corn and a bottle of water for $6.  Bargain!… not.  Tasty, yes.  It was sweet and smoky and dipped in butter.  You can’t go wrong here.

My wife promptly got a corndog, which for her, is a fair go-to.  I passed on that.  I think corndogs are what I would eat if I was trapped in a Sam’s and the meat section and all the frozen pizzas were already gone.  We continued down the

Prounounced "teddy-yaki cheek-in"

food row to the south and I spotted the tall chinese food trailer that has teryaki chicken on a stick.  As we came closer, I could see the large scewers of chicken laying on a grill right inside the window of the trailer.  It smelled incredible.  I got 1, but wanted 2.  Pace yourself….  The cook took it off the grill and basted it with a teriyaki glaze before putting it on my plate.  $5.  Not bad for fair prices.  There’s a solid half pound of meat here.  It was hot, fresh, tender, and very juicy!  I patted myself on the back and we moved down the row.

We stopped next just a few trailers down at one that advertised fried bacon-cheddar mashed potatoes.  I’m typically not a huge fan of battered and deep fried, but anything with bacon and cheese has my attention.  Again $5, but I don’t think we got as much food with this Abe Lincoln.  We got 4 golfball-ish sized pieces of potato and a side of ranch for dipping.  Go to the pictures page for a snapshot.  I thought the flavor was very good, cheesy, bacony, and the potatoes had a fairly heavy garlic flavor.  All that dipped in ranch is pretty solid in my book.  It was very greasy and heavy though, so don’t go crazy on this one, it could end your night of gluttony early.  My wife had 1 and was done.  She was not that impressed.

After this we met up with the other half of our FoodMongers party, and my compadre Hunter was gnawing on something that looked delicious.  I’ll let him tell you about his finds when he adds to this entry.  We moved west toward the arena where some friends had spotted the talk of the fair this year – the chocolate covered bacon booth.  We step up and order, one order of bacon, and a bottle of water.  $8!  ouch.  This better be a lot of bacon.  It comes out in a small chinese takeout box.  The LITTLE ones.  It also came out of a refrigerator.  Uh oh, this is not looking good.  I bit off a piece of one and chewed it.  Did I get any bacon in mine?  I can’t taste it.  I can feel the grit in my mouth of a crunchy strip of bacon, but no hint of bacon flavor.  Bummer.  I would say this was my biggest fair disappointment.  I gave it a thumbs down.  The chocolate had good flavor, but don’t get me drooling with the word bacon and then give me some decent chocolate with a little crunch.

We walked around for a little while longer, went through the car show, did some people watching, and my belly was about done.  So we decided to hit up the booth that is always THE highlight of fair gluttony for us.  The cinnamon roll both.  Now there are lots of cinnamon roll booths here, but don’t be fooled by imposters.

Yes, it’s worth the wait

To make sure that you don’t succumb to the falseness of the OTHER cinnamon roll stands, I made sure to take a picture of THE cinnamon roll stand.  It is a big green beacon of hope and always has a massive line in front.  Don’t be scared, get in line.  You may very well wait 30 minutes for a cinnamon roll.  You may get frustrated in line and want to get on your phone and send us hate mail during this time.  Just wait it out and once you lap a lip over what you purchase there you will understand.  It is like the Krispy Kreme of cinnamon rolls.  They have an assembly line in there cooking them up fresh.  You will get a hot, fresh, artery clogging treat every time here.  This is not a time to pinch pennies either.  I suggest double icing and a large milk.  Don’t worry about the cost.  It’s close to $10 for this type of order, but I guarantee almost every $10 meal you’ve had doesn’t hold a candle to what you’re about to experience.  If you’re the type of guy that doesn’t like to cry in public, I suggest you take your first bite alone.  I’m just sayin’…  You need to go to our pictures page to see the redneck masterpiece that is THE fair cinnamon roll.  I almost can’t put into words what it will do to your tastebuds.  Just get one.

I am going to end this segment now, and we are most likely returning before the fair’s end to be your fair test dummies, and you will hear from us again.  Hunter will follow this up soon with his experience also.

Donut Burger! Ooooh yessir!

Hunter here. Sorry it took me forever to add to this, I’ve been busy! Let me start off by saying the OK State Fair did not disappoint. There were mullets and jorts galore, and of course, delicious treats like the Donut Burger! It’s basically a burger patty, bacon and cheese with a glazed donut sliced in half and used as the bun. It might sound weird at first but trust me, it’s pretty awesome. It’s just like having a regular burger with a sweet bun. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a little suga on yo burga!

Now it didn’t look exactly like the sign, and I didn’t get a great picture of it…I was trying not to get icing all over my phone, but the pic is on the pictures page.
I had a couple of bites of some fried mac & cheese, which was pretty outstanding, and pretty much exactly like it sounds. Mac & cheese inside of little triangle breaded, fried nuggets. Can’t go wrong there.
I also had a little bit of the standard foot-long corn dog. Nothing special here. A corn dog is a corn dog is a corn dog…regardless of length. Basically the only advantage here is that you don’t have to feel like a fatty and say you ate two.
I had taste tests of various other fair treats, but I believe Adam covered most of them, and I am essentially in agreement with his judgment. I’ll end by saying this…When you go to the fair, be prepared to leave all health-conscious, organic-loving debbie downers behind. You need the full experience. This is the world of Deep-fried, chocolate-covered, butter-dipped, cheese-stuffed, extra everything awesomeness. Respect the redneck cuisine and enjoy yourself. OKFM said so.
Oh, and don’t stay too long, because by the time you feel a little rumble in the jungle…you’d be best to avoid the state fair port-o-potties at all costs. I’m just sayin’.

Mama E’s Wings & Waffles

September 18, 2010

My fellow mongers…Yesterday I had one of the most incredible food experiences of my life. I’d go as far as to say it might be the tastiest meal I’ve ever lapped a lip over.

The place responsible for my bliss – Mama E’s Wings and Waffles. The site of this soul food sensation – 3838 Springlake Dr. OKC, OK 73111.

Mama E's - Don't pass it by!!

You might drive right by this little yellow & black building and not take a second glance, but after this review, you best pull in and get you some – Foodmonger’s orders!

The second I walked in, I was greeted warmly and I immediately knew coming here was a good choice! Not to mention it smelled like HEAVEN! I looked ahead, when what to my wondering eyes did appear, but wings, waffles, collared greens, corn bread, mac & cheese, neckbones, mashed potatoes, sweet yams, fried catfish, blackeyed peas, beans, pumpkin pie, chocolate cake – do I need to go on? I mean if you aren’t wide-eyed and watery-mouthed at this point, I’m questioning whether you are human! I literally almost asked if I could get a sampler of everything in the joint.

I settled on the trademark Wings and Waffles with mac and cheese as my side. Also, your order includes kool-aid and a piece of cake! The kool-aid, by the way, has some secret ingredient that made it AMAZING! It was super sweet and really tart, which was different, but now I think it’s the only way I can drink it!

I took a seat in the dining area, which is fairly small, but still comfy. The white walls are now almost black, being signed by all of Mama E’s satisfied grubbers. (pic on Pictures page)

When my food came out, you should have seen the look on my face. Imagine a chunky kid with a backpack full of money walking into a walmart-sized candy store.

Wooo! Wings & Waffles!

Three giant, fried chicken wings sitting on top of a tire-sized waffle, covered in sweet sweet powdered sugar. I made it rain syrup on everything and went to work. The chicken was ridiculously tasty. The waffle was better than any I’ve had, including places dedicated to breakfast food. The mac & cheese was thick, creamy and delicious. Over the next 15 minutes I didn’t say much…I was in the food ZONE. You know, when you kind of get tunnel vision and you’re so focused on your food that you don’t realize what’s going on around you? Is that just me? Anyway I snapped out of it when my coworker said, “Why do they call it soul food anyway?” To which I responded, “Dude look at my face…” and he saw my ugly mug covered in powdered sugar, syrup and grease, beaming from ear to ear and laughed. I said “Tell me this isn’t making you feel good! Tell me this food isn’t good for your soul!”

By the end of my lunch, I was lost in food euphoria. Go ahead and add “Food High” to the foodmonger dictionary. Although I will warn you that the food here is so good, it’s easy to overeat. Be prepared to undo the ol’ top button of your jeans. Trust me you will NEED one of these (video) – Perfect Fit Button

Let me put it this way, if you don’t like the food here, then you’re gonna die! Why, you ask? Because if you don’t like the food here, you don’t like food, and you sort of need to eat to live.

Check out the Mama E’s “Diners Drive-In’s and Dives” segment on YouTube HERE! It’s awesome – watch it! “Make it REAL healthy!” he says! I love it! “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with no pig’s feet pardna!”

This place is officially my new favorite, and I will be taking everyone I know here. Actually, I say we round up all the mongers and do a Friday lunch here – who’s in?!

By the way, later that night, I went to the fair with Adam and some friends…FAIRMongers review will be coming soon. Come back to read about the Donut Burger and Chocolate Covered Bacon!