SAT Question: Bell’s is to Kzoo, as ____ is to OKC…

It was a GLORIOUS Saturday in OKC.  Blue sky as far as the eye could see, and mild temps.  As a result, I once again found myself exploring Bricktown.  There were a LOT of people downtown, by which I surprised at first, but later remembered that this weekend was full of graduations.  That, and there appeared to be a game at the ballpark.  Being the baseball fan I am, I decided to check it out, especially since I hadn’t yet seen the stadium.  I snapped a few pics of statues outside the stadium, including the late Bobby Mercer (former Cub), Johnny Bench, and OKC favorite son Mickey Mantle.

Bobby Mercer
 
 
 
Johnny Bench
 
 
Mickey Mantle
 
Once inside, I decided to walk the perimeter, and check out the entire stadium.  Once I got out in the left field section, I noticed something odd: four outfielders.
 
4, count 'em, 4 outfielders...
 
Now, I’ve seen some teams use odd defensive shifts when faced with a player known for hitting in a certain direction.  Usually this involves moving the second baseman over so the first baseman is alone on the right side, and the second, third, and shortstop are all on the left.  No biggie.  This was the first time I’d ever seen four outfielders.

“Hmmm, perhaps it is late in the game, and they are trying to prevent a double,” I said to myself.  Nope.  It’s the third inning.  Hang on, now that I’m counting, all the other positions are accounted for as well, which means there are TEN men on the field.  “What the heck?!?”

I continued to walk the perimeter, and when I got to the right field sections, I glanced up at the score board. “Mark Harmon Celebrity Baseball Game.”  Ahhh, well there ya go.  That would also explain why the left fielder looked a little slow…it’s cuz he’s old!  Ha ha.  (sadly, not much older than I…)

View from the right field fair pole...

 

Take me out to the ball game...

Once again, my hunger get’s the best of me, and I venture out, eager to try Mickey Mantle’s right across the street.  Alas, my plan is foiled.  They were reserved for a private function.  Probably Mark Harmon.  What, it isn’t enough that he’s a rich, handsome, successful actor, whom the women all love?  And it isn’t enough that he get’s to have ten players on the field at he charity baseball game?  He has to have a whole restaurant to himself, too?  Fine.  I hope his beer was warm, and his food was cold.  *sigh*  No I don’t.  I’m just bitter.  I digress…

I decided to head over to Tapwerks instead.  While not thrilled about the service (I’ll get to that in my next post), I really enjoyed the food, and the beer list reminded me a bit of those found at Shakespeare’s or Gallagher’s back in Kalamazoo.  I apologize for forgetting the name of the burger I ordered, but suffice to say it had BBQ sauce, ham, and bacon on it, and I got an order of “cheesy fries” along with it.  I put quotes around “cheesy fries” because cheese was really more of a side note.  They were loaded with sour cream, onions, and bacon.  Dig it…

Hamburger (with ham), cheesy fries, and Native Amber...

For my beverages, I’m determined to choose what I’ve never had before, and I’m also trying to stay local, and around here that means Coop Ale Works.  Coop is to OKC, as Bell’s is to Kzoo.  My first beer of the night is a Farmhouse Ale, which I thought was delicious.  However, it’s on the sweet end of the spectrum, so I don’t know that I’d want it all the time.  Probably more like and after dinner beer.  It had a sort of sweet/tart thing going on, like a cherry, which actually went well with my burger.

Next up was the Native Amber, also by Coop, which while it had a hoppy taste, also had a bit of a carmel taste to it.  By this time, Tapwerks was being overrun by grad parties, so it was time to mosey on…

My next stop was Bricktown Brewery.  For my Kzoo friends, I’d describe it as a cross between Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and Olde Peninsula.  There’s a brewery on property, but the vibe is more like OP.  I decided to try their Bison Weisen.  It was ok, not really my taste.  It seemed to have more spice overtones than I’d like.  It’s just as well, because the time had come to make a little surprise delivery.

There’s a woman in OKC named Gale, who runs a hotdog cart.  Through contact on Twitter, I learned that she lived in Kzoo for a while.  So, of course, this meant the #EnriqueEffect was about to jump into action! (if you’re not familiar with the #EnriqueEffect, not to worry…I’ll explain in a later post)  I found Gale and her giant wiener, and sneaked up on her.  The moment she saw my red Kzoo hat, she knew who I was.  We exchanged hugs, and then I presented her gift…

Gale and her wiener, showing off her awesome new shirt...

Everyone should have a “Yes, there really is a Kalamazoo” t-shirt!  She, in turn, gave me a Oklahoma hat.  After so many online chats, it was good to finally meet in person.  Oh, and her Nathan’s hotdogs are yummy!  So, if you see her in downtown OKC, stop and get a wiener or two from Gale…you won’t be sorry.

Time for one last stop, and it just so happens that Bourbon Street Cafe was on the way to my car. (I planned it that way, of course)  Like everywhere else, the place was packed with grads and their families.  I took a spot at the bar, ordered some oysters, and tried my first F5 IPA by Coop.  Very tasty.  It has nice citrus notes to it that may make it my regular brew whenever I’m at Bourbon Street cafe.

Ah, Bricktown.  Love it. Still a bunch of places I have yet to try.  Hey, I’ve only been here a week, right?  And I still haven’t really gotten to Automobile Alley, or Deep Deuce yet, either.  I guess I better get crackin’…

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