FOOD: Dirt Chic

Written by Laura Beam in the October 2014 Issue

The frozen-to-fork movement is over. We’ve evolved. Microwaves everywhere sigh with relief. The canned veggies lining our pantries look like sad ex-boyfriends who finally realize what they’ve lost. We’re so over it. We need more. The preserved earthen wonders in bags and cans have been decidedly upstaged by the growing glamour of fresh, locally sourced produce and meats. Not only are they tastier, but many are farmed using sustainable methods, adding to the eco-appeal of these homegrown treasures.

We should have seen this coming. It was only a matter of time once we started recycling milk cartons and shampoo bottles before we’d take interest in the origins of our food. Perhaps one too many Ecoli scares and beef recalls have given us pause. These days, even calories and carbs are marching behind a tired drum of consciousness that can no longer fully satisfy our nutritional savvy—smart food choices are driven by more than mere math.

We’re not alone. Area restaurants are embracing the trendy ‘Locavore’ movement, featuring menu items that incorporate indigenous fare by the forkful. If it’s good for the environment, good for the local economy and just plain good to eat, this is a trend worth tasting.

Made-In-Oklahoma is Menu Magic

Bricktown Brewery BurgerIt doesn’t get more Oklahoman than Bricktown Brewery. The name is forever synonymous with OKC’s downtown-proud era and sense of community that has bolstered the state since 1992. With multiple metro and state locations, this trendsetting brew-pub is renowned for its impressive craft beers brewed in downtown OKC and in Oklahoma and neighboring states. It also boasts a surprising, one-of-a-kind menu loaded with saucy and sassy indigenous fare. It’s like someone thought of all your favorite tastes and created specialty foods for each mood. Yum!

Bacon, bourbon and beer highlight the diverse menu, along with outstanding dishes featuring Made-In-Oklahoma products. Head Country Bar-B-Q Sauce jazzes up the pork nachos, Kitchen Sink Burger, Pork on Pork Sandwich and more. Watonga Cheese infuses the beer-battered cheese curds and J&M Farms mushrooms punch up the Spinach, Bacon & Mushroom Salad. When asked why locals enjoy choosing dishes with Made-In-Oklahoma products, Vice President of Operations, Mike Beighey, says, “I’ve done a lot of different restaurants in different states and Oklahomans are just proud to be Oklahomans.” True enough!

Pizza Gets Real

It’s a good day when you can consider pizza as a smart meal option. It’s all about choices. Top That! Pizza, founded in 2010, is a pioneer in the personalized pizza concept. Pizzas are crafted in a sandwich-style assembly line and baked to a bubbly bliss in less than five minutes. Three crusts, eight sauces, 10 cheeses and a colorful collage of more than 30 unlimited toppings at one great price give diners unlimited creative license.

True to the local food trend, Top That! Pizza features chorizo, Polish sausage and hot links from the renowned Siegi’s in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Locally harvested mushrooms hail from northeast Oklahoma and dough is sourced from Tulsa. Even their dessert has local origins. Eight flavors of Eileen’s Cookies in Edmond are available. Manager Kaleb Robertson notes that diners also appreciate “seeing how the food is handled,” another key ingredient in consumers’ new-found food consciousness.

Charmed, I’m Sure

Southern Okie Gourmet Pumpkin SpreadMade-from-scratch with all-natural ingredients, Southern Okie’s gourmet apple, pumpkin, pear and peach spreads, handcrafted and produced in Oklahoma, have risen to highest acclaim. President and owner, Gina Hollingsworth, says, “Consumers love eating fresh food as well as supporting the local economy.”

The genesis of the company, the original gourmet apple spread, sparked immediate enthusiasm. With no preservatives, yet intense flavor, the spread is like apple pie in a jar. Delicious on toast, biscuits and ice cream, the gourmet spreads also add a saucy signature kick to recipes in the most surprisingly delicious ways. The gourmet spreads are available in stores across the metro and numerous inventive recipes are available online to make even the simplest foods into gourmet treats!

For more information, visit bricktownbrewery.com, topthatpizza.com and southernokie.com.

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