Although it isn't located on New Orleans' Bourbon Street, the vibrant spirit of the Crescent City still thrives at Jazmo'z Bourbon Street Caf?. Nowhere is that more evident than in its cuisine, which is filled with Cajun and creole flavors. Start meals with a serving of spicy gumbo, then savor the eatery's craw?sh ?touff?e, which features a rich, dark roux teeming with crawfish, green peppers, onion, and celery with dirty rice. Finish things off with light and airy beignets topped with powdered sugar. And that's just a taste of the classic New Orleans cuisine available. The restaurant also offers oysters baton rouge, shrimp creole, and the city's iconic sandwich: the po' boy.
The Po' Boy's Past
Many accounts credit brothers and caf? owners Bennie and Clovis Martin with inventing the po' boy and giving it its distinctive name. In 1929, when as many as 1,100 New Orleans streetcar conductors and motormen went on strike, the Martin brothers showed their support for the striking tradesmen by handing out free sandwiches made from scraps of roast beef, dollops of gravy, and french bread. Every time a cash-strapped worker visited the restaurant, staff members would signal the kitchen by calling out, "Here comes another poor boy!"
True to its name, Jazmo'z offers several options for outdoor dining. At the Oklahoma City location, a balcony and patio tables shaded by umbrellas overlook the Bricktown Canal. Nightly performances from jazz and blues bands add to the ambiance of guests' alfresco meals.
Led by executive chef Erik Reynolds, who was voted Best Chef in 2011 by Urban Tulsa Weekly readers, Smoke on Cherry Street's experienced chefs take locally sourced ingredients and transform them into culinary works of art. An ever-evolving menu showcases the creativity chefs unleash on ingredients heckled for at local farmers’ market, which often results in refined takes on American classics such as crispy quail legs and crab-stuffed fried green tomatoes. While munching on the contemporary fare, diners can visually gorge on local artwork and the flat-screen TVs that line the exposed brick walls of the dining room. Within that dining room, incandescent light illuminates traditional table settings, spinach stuck in strangers' teeth, and lounge-style seating.
While its cuisine occupies a rightful place in the spotlight, Smoke's beating heart is its rugged cigar room, where smokers can puff away on cigars purchased onsite or brought from home. Wood-paneled walls and leather furniture surround a humidor filled with cigars from international brands including Cohiba and Romeo y Julieta. The room also comes equipped with a ventilation system that replenishes smoky air with the same fresh oxygen mixture Jennifer Lopez breathes eight times every hour.
On a quest to spread their knowledge of tea’s health benefits, owners Larry and Tamara Rhoads have shared tea with more than 300,000 Teaoli customers. They choose loose-leaf teas from the world over—black Assam tea from Indian plantations, green blends from Japan and China, and exotic herbals from the White House’s lawn. The teas aren’t the only well-traveled items resting on Teaoli’s shelves. Making the trek from Modena and Tuscany, cold-pressed 100% extra-virgin olive oils and white and dark balsamic vinegars smuggle in flavors ranging from smooth and savory to fruity and sweet. All of the balsamics develop their flavors in barrels made of oak, chestnut, cherry, and ash, where they steep with ingredients such as dark chocolate, black cherry, and fig. All of these flavors can be sampled in-store as knowledgeable employees stand ready to answer questions and relay the health benefits and uses of tea, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.
Pieces of split hickory tumble into the bottom of the smoker. On the racks above, chefs lay on freshly trimmed cuts of meat?including beef brisket, pork shoulder, and tenderloin?to braise for up to 12 hours in the velvety smoke. A veteran of the pipe-fabrication business who builds his own smokers in his spare time, Steve Ohman knew what he wanted when shopping for his two commercial smokers, which have anchored Stone Mill BBQ and Steakhouse since it opened in 2003.
But other aspects of the restaurant also bear his personal stamp. All of the menu's meats and seafood come spiced in Ohman's own blend of seasonings, and he built the restaurant's wood tables from scratch with the help of his wife and kids. The restaurant's rustic yet elegant decor of exposed wooden trusses, split-log furnishings, and a wagon-wheel-turned-chandelier complement the main dining space's stone double fireplace.
At Cinnabon, the aromas of scrumptious baked goods waft through the air as chilled beverages help to sate the snack appetites of weary mall-walkers. Munch on a variety of cinnamon-infused treats, from the classic Cinnabon, temptingly filled with Cinnabon’s famous makara cinnamon ($2.99), to the Caramel Pecanbon, topped with an edible medley of luscious caramel and tasty pecans ($3.49). An assortment of goodies can be toted home in one of the store’s CinnaPacks, good for at least four classic rolls or nine Minibons ($9.99; combo packs add $1.50, Pecanbons add $2). Revitalize the taste buds with a frosty Chillatta, a frozen drink available in chocolate mocha, strawberry, strawberry banana, and tropical blast, each more refreshing than a game of patty-cake against a polar bear ($3.99–$4.79).
Sara Brinson loved making cupcakes with her family and friends. When she died unexpectedly in 2007, a cupcake bakery seemed a fitting way to honor her memory. Since then, executive chef Eric Smith has assembled a menu of 21 original, seasonally inspired cupcake recipes. Rather than being slathered with inches of frosting, each treat conveys its unique flavor profile with elegant minimalism. A single blueberry perches on pristine buttercream, a cluster of toasted marshmallows sits like a cloud that drifted too close to the sun atop a cocoa-puff-inspired creation, and a ring of br?l?ed pineapple perfectly fits an upside-down-style cakelet.
Customers stopping in to pick up special orders for weddings or parties might still be tempted to sit and enjoy the sweet smells for a while inside the bakery?s two cafes, one a dollhouse of a cottage in Edmond, and the other a mod-styled, royal-frosting-white downtown space. Both locations reach out to their communities in a variety of ways, from selecting charities to benefit with their sales to date-night and family events.