As I stopped in for nothing more than a cup of coffee after viewing the remarkable Open World exhibit, I can honestly say I didn’t expect the menu at Café Contemporary, 11 NW 11th in Oklahoma Contemporary, to be a blissful work of art itself.
My friend was buying a piece of vending machine art as I looked over the photocopied menu, amazed by the proliferation of inventive eats that I had never once thought of, begging me to try them on this trip out. As I called her over, I told my friend that I was desperately wanting to review the café, to which she was visibly enthused about as well.
Having ordered our coffees, for an appetizer, we partook in the Charred Curried Cauliflower ($8.00), narrowly beating out the Brussel Sprouts. After lifting the first bite to our waiting mouths, the not-so-blackened cauliflower melted deep and long in our gobs, the crispy bacon mixing with the yuzu cream for a delicately delicious flavor.
With the dipping sauce of curry in a moderately-sized bowl—I forget what those bowls are called, forgive me—it not only made the cauliflower an extra special treat, but everything else that followed, not wanting a single yellow drop of it to go to waste once we finished off the tasty appetizer.
My friend had the Open Faced Curried Chickpea Sandwich ($11.00), a glorious marvel of mango chutney, pickled mustard, curried chickpea and fried spinach on a well-selected slice of what seemed to be rye bread. As I picked off a rather large piece with my fork, I was immediately amazed at the beauty that unfolded inside my body.
As a side, on both our plates a cup of Farro Salad was included. Another dish I had never had before, it consisted of the heretofore unheard of—by me, at least—grain farro, a wonderful collection of wheat-like morsels, mixed with various spices and other accoutrements, making for a perfect addition that, honestly, I wanted more of when I got to the bottom of my cup.
But I didn’t, as I had my own clever concoction to dine on: the Fennel Grilled Cheese Sandwich ($13.00). With a startling mix of mozzarella and goat cheese as the primary culprits of aromatic deliciousness, spicy honey, caramelized fennel, golden raisins, and pistachios added to the richness, with a pair of marble rye bread holding it all in so tight.
This sandwich is a thing of true beauty, a work of art that deserves to be hanging on the wall for all to see. Incorporating so many wonderful tastes under the toasted bread, it truly was the grilled cheese to end all grilled cheeses, letting me know there is so much more to them than slightly melted American singles on cheap white bread.
And there is so much more to try there. Leaving full and satisfied, still, I feel like I missed out on the Poached Pear for dessert but, as I reassured myself, there will definitely be a next time and, believe me, that dessert is definitely on my personal exhibition list. Cómpralo ya!