Soul Food and Southern Comfort
Finding an exceptional restaurant with local flavor can be one of the most memorable parts of any getaway experience. Oklahoma offers many culinary treats, but a delicious meal at a good soul food restaurant is always worth traveling a few miles off the beaten path.
|Photo: Shauna Lawyer Struby|
Out of state travelers are usually enamored with Oklahoma's chicken fried steaks smothered in cream gravy. But chicken fried steaks aren’t the only unique culinary experience travelers might find in Oklahoma. Oklahoma also offers several authentic soul food restaurants. The term "soul food" became popular in the 1960s and is used to define traditional African-American foods. The soul food served today really isn’t all that different from traditional Southern comfort food.
McCormick's Grill, Boley
Boley, located between Henryetta and Oklahoma City on Highway 62, is one of Oklahoma’s historic all-black towns. McCormick's Grill, or Pookie’s as it is called by the locals, offers daily specials such as pork chops, collard greens and yams. The huge Pookie Burger and catfish are two of the local favorites. Friendly people in this quaint small-town café, combined with delicious food, make for a wonderful culinary adventure.
Massey's Barbecue, Okmulgee
Just northeast of Boley in Okmulgee is Massey’s Barbecue. It’s nothing fancy, but the ribs are so amazing that people return time and again just to enjoy them. The menu also features chopped pork, hot links, chicken, sliced beef, chopped beef and a variety of homemade pies. Try the massive sandwich piled high with beef, a rib, bologna and a hot link. They didn't waste any time on creating ambiance; it’s all about the food at Massey’s. And it works.
Bob's Smokehouse Bar-B-Q, Muskogee
Bob’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Q in Muskogee takes pride in the fact that they still make their barbecue the old way with hickory wood. If you want to combine your soul food experience with meeting an interesting character, Bob's Smokehouse is a great choice. Bob is happy to shoot the breeze with you as you enjoy your meal. Bob has a huge garden next to the restaurant where he grows his own veggies and melons, and you can certainly taste the freshness when they are in season. A good time to try out Bob's Smokehouse is during Black History Month each February when Bob offers a small buffet of traditional soul food. You can enjoy chicken and dumplings, try pig’s feet or neck bone, surprisingly good collard greens or maybe even some gumbo. Then you can always finish off with a sweet potato pie.
Mama E's, Oklahoma City
As seen on Drive-ins, Diners and Dives, Mama E’s is a true soul food experience. Menu items include chicken and waffles, burgers, catfish, fried ribs and pork chop sandwiches. Take an appetite and order the Soul Food Daily Special. You might even consider taking a friend and sharing the plate.