FOOD: Opposites Attract

Somewhere between chocolate-covered pretzels and deep-fried twinkies we learned an important principle of life. Anything good can be even better when matched with its polar opposite…as if we didn’t learn that during our turbulent high school dating days. Food mimics life. The good, the bad, the ugly—it all finds delicious new purpose when paired with something different. Heat meets sweet. Fruit accents meat. Tangy melds with mild. We’re drawn to unexpected tastes that seem to contradict but somehow delight. And these clever combos are trending on menus everywhere.

Chic & Sweet

Duck Tenders from Nikkellette'sWidely celebrated for their signature layered Ribbon Cakes topped with fresh flowers, Nikkellette’s Café and Raspberries ‘n Crème Bakery in north OKC also attracts hungry fans with their show-stopping lunch menu. Recently remodeled into one fashionable space by sisters Nikki Griggs and Bridgette Close, this boutique eatery welcomes guests with chic decor and an amazing display of luscious cakes and bakery treats. The sisters continue the proud tradition and recipes of their mother, Mary Jane Close, who originally owned the café.

Headlining the menu at this fashionable bistro, spicy duck tenders are paired with raspberry chipotle, balancing bold flavor with a hint of sweet. Another must-try for variety-seekers is the Everything but the Kitchen Sink salad. With seasoned beef, grilled chicken, toasted almonds, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, pico de gallo, cheddar and blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs and raspberry chipotle dressing, this mega-salad eats like a meal. The Italian Nachos, Crab Monterey Dip and Fish Tacos with cabbage and peppers also offer the adventurous flavor combos we crave.

Pizza Perfect

No longer just the fall-back food when you’re too busy to cook, pizza has taken center stage as a cuisine of choice. After all, what better place than a golden baked dough to showcase today’s freshest, most creative food pairings? Upper Crust Wood Fired Pizza features artisan-style pies with specialty ingredients like truffle oil, prosciutto, eggplant, capers and arugula. The Some Like it Hot pizza blends spicy Italian sausage and a medley of peppers topped with a balsamic reduction. Edmond Upper Crust proprietor, Matt Biard, comments that “the tangy and tart punch of the balsamic glaze cools the spice.”

Other inventive combos on the menu include pan-crisped fish atop spicy orange vinaigrette and salsa and a breaded goat cheese appetizer topped with fig preserve. Even the drinks are creative, with signature sips like the Cucumber Gimlet and Pear-Grapefruit Fizz. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, their specialty pizzas and a bottle of wine are just $25. All day Sunday, a pitcher of draft beer and pie are just $20.

Tea with a Twist

Ice Cream Waffle from All About ChaCoffee and tea enthusiasts know all about enjoying the best, and in Edmond, they know All About Cha is a beverage paradise. Boasting an array of the finest hot and cold drinks, including many traditional oriental teas, this contemporary spot also dazzles customers with fun, fresh foods. Wraps, crepes, muffins and salads are staples, along with decadent mousse and cakes.

Morning and evening, one splendid treat draws oohs and ahhs as it is paraded across the café. The Ice Cream Waffle features a scoop of chocolate and vanilla ice cream and whipped crème on a Belgium Waffle. The Combination Waffle includes blueberries nestled in the deep pockets of the waffle. The tart and sweet flavors make this breakfast-style dessert a special attraction. Owner Chang Yi says, “People see it and start asking questions about what it is.” Look for downtown and Tulsa locations of this hip hangout coming soon!

Dining in, Done Right

Dining at home can be as rewarding as eating out when Millie’s Table does the work. Take-and-bake freezer entrées, veggies and desserts, ready to heat and eat, treat you to all the delicious options you demand, including home-style favorites and spiced-right specialties. Pick up Bleu Cheese Herb Biscuit Bites on a sweet yeast roll served with apricot preserve for a kick of sweet and tangy. Try savory raspberry, apricot or spicy orange-glazed pork chops. Or take home the Caribbean Pineapple Chicken infused with a curry and coconut milk sauce, topped with jalapeños. The Pecan Praline Chicken coated in Dijon mustard and spread with a pecan praline topping blends all the best food extravagances in an easy, pop-in-the-oven entrée. Millie’s Table in Edmond offers same-day call-in meals and full service catering, too.

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