TLO Restaurant Review: Okie Tonk Café

“You always take me to the nicest places…”

By the dim light of the Miller Lite lamp hanging over the pool table, my ladyfriend mocked this latest dinner outing and, you know, she’s kind of right. When people date food critics, they often have visions of romantic bistros and amorous dinners, usually as a string quartet plays in the background while our arms intertwine and we drink Champagne from crystal flutes.

But I’m obviously not that critic. I know this because I brought her to the Okie Tonk Café, 1003 SW 19th in Moore, with low-key lusty intentions.

As if the far trashier cousin of Toby Keith opened a thrown-together pub, the Okie Tonk Café is a down and dirty bar and grill that suits Moore perfectly, located at the end of a strip-mall with plenty of ragged flags and torn tassels blowing in the wind out front when we showed up that Saturday afternoon.

Walking past the many maskless patrons, all ignoring most social distancing rules, we quietly seated ourselves far enough to be comfortably hungry from the possibly infected masses. The genteel waitress found us in the dark dining area and brought us a couple of their photocopied menus, many of the dishes starting with the word “Okie.”

Before ordering dinner, however, I put in an order for one of the Okie Tonk’s signature—if that signature was illegible, mind you—drinks called The Lost Ogle. Made with Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Vodka, Peach Schnapps, orange juice and soda, it perfectly captured the acidic tongue and brave demeanor that this website has had for over a decade, with no commenters around to make you feel bad for drinking it.

“Bottoms up,” I whispered to myself.

We ordered our eats as I sipped The Lost Ogle, enjoying the scummy ambiance of the joint, absorbing the dank passions that a place like this brings out in me and my nethers. I don’t think she was feeling those well-worn tingles as much as I was, but it didn’t matter because within minutes they brought out our appetizers of Sooner Cheese Dip ($6.99) and Okie Taco’s ($9.99).

While the Sooner Cheese Dip tasted pretty much like any other cheese dip around Moore, the Okie Taco’s—their apostrophe—were a delicate creation of shrunken Indian tacos, with beef, beans, cheese, onions and lettuce and the possibility of sour cream and salsa, served on a crispy miniature frybread. The menu said that this item will soon be a “legend,” and they’re not too far off.

Like a buxom mermaid swimming about in the Canadian River, my ladyfriend ordered the Catfish Sandwich ($9.99) because nothing’s too good for her. With a trio of chivalrous catfish filets, deep fried to a golden hue and served on a hoagie roll with lettuce, tomatoes, coleslaw and plenty of tartar sauce, she seemed mostly happy with it, especially after spritzing a few wedges of lemon across the top.

But, of course, I had to ruin things by referring to my Okie Bad Boy ($13.99) as a “hemorrhagic wound that had recently opened,” said in the most loving way possible or so I thought. A chargrilled burger patty topped with chili, cheese, a fried egg, peanut butter and jelly, while it seemed to make my ladyfriend a bit green behind her gills, it was the impetuous way that I made visible love to my aroused burger, frighteningly unashamed, that bothered her the most.

And as we lovingly shared an order of Okie Fries ($2.99), I realized the Okie Tonk Café might not be the “nicest” place in Moore to dine at—that would be the barbeque shack in the front of GFF Foods, natch—I can freely admit that I truly enjoyed the rigid fare of the darkened Okie Tonk Café and—though I seriously doubt it—maybe my ladyfriend did too. Cómpralo ya!

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