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.
Aila and Johnny Wimpy serve up portions of contemporary western classics with innovative pairings in their rustic restaurant and saloon. Joseph Hamilton of Urban Tulsa Weekly said that the couple, “[has] taken what are in many cases old standards, and brought the presentations into the 21st century with... a culinary style they like to call 'upscale chuck wagon.'" This masterful mingling of old and new shines through in menu items such as the pan-seared scallops with cheese grits in green-chili broth, local ranch buffalo meatloaf from Nowata Ranch, and cowboy pork chops roping flavorful apple butter. From the gravy to the ketchup, the chefs at Go West make all their sauces from scratch, and champion local sources including Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association beef and Oklahoma-brewed beers served by the pint or ten-gallon hat.
An atmosphere of countrified class prevails throughout the bar and grill, from the heavy, carved chef's table to the trophy longhorn looming over the saloon. Outside, the patio can be spotted protruding from the ranch house, flanked by silos emblazoned with neon lassos to ensure it stays put. Ranch-flavored art adorns the walls throughout the interior, from the rustic main dining room to the Will Rogers room, which can be sealed off for a private party of up to 45.
Sunlight filters through the thick leaves of whispering pine tress, illuminating a 20-acre clearing of vineyards, lily ponds, and lush gardens. This is the site of Whispering Pines Restaurant and Lounge, whose fairytale backdrop and upscale French fare has won the veneration of Discover Oklahoma. Guests who find their way onto its grounds are greeted by a towering 1900s-style mansion adorned in ivy and surrounded by a wrap-around porch. Inside, white-clothed tables scatter across deep-red carpets amid hanging artwork and a roaring fireplace.
Owners and head chefs Chinda and Rany Kchao await to serve guests, drawing on years of fine-dining and French-continental culinary experience. The Kchaos and their family bring forth plates of upscale French fare and decadent steaks, punctuating each course with a house-made, palate-cleansing sorbet instead of a palate-cleansing spray from the garden hose. After dinner, guests of the inn climb the grand staircase to the main-house suites or meander across the grounds to independent cottages, where whirlpools and baskets of treats await them. In the morning, servers deliver freshly prepared breakfasts to each room.
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.
The owners and chefs at Santa Fe Cattle rely on old family recipes that demand steaks are aged and cut in-house, rolls are baked fresh each day, and signature sauces are mixed onsite. These touches transform the menu’s casual, regional eats into dishes worthy of John Wayne’s personal dressing-room buffet. Steaks, fajitas, and sliders are plated next to housemade sides of cole slaw, Santa Fe taters, and of course, a bucket of peanuts—which guests shuck directly onto the floor. The peanut shells add character to each one of the restaurant’s 20 locations, which evoke old-west saloons with touches such as brick walls draped in horse saddles and weathered wooden floors.
Manned by experienced chef Jaime Hobart, Manhattan Restaurant dishes up a tongue-tantalizing menu of flavorful steaks, seafood, pastas, and more. Pair a fine fermentation from the impressive wine list with the four-cheese and spinach dip accompanied by herbed tortillas ($9.99) or the Manhattan wedge salad shrouded in creamy parmesan dressing and swarming with vine-ripe tomato taxis crossing a busy intersection of Maytag blue-cheese crumbles and savory bacon ($5.99). Like Grecian statues carved from only the purest blocks of feta cheese, Manhattan Restaurant's succulent steaks are culled exclusively from Oklahoma-raised organic beef. The tender filet mignon ($29.99) and the New York strip ($28.99) arrive steaming next to your choice of two sides, such as braised green beans, candied thimbles, parmesan risotto, and mashed potatoes. Tongues tour the sea with salmon ($21.99), sea bass ($24.99), and ahi ($23.99), each of which can be grilled or blackened and bathed in garlic-lemon butter, ginger soy, spicy creole, or chimichurri sauces. Carb cravers can nibble from the pasta selection of creamy fettuccine with champagne alfredo ($12.99), lobster and dream-stuffed ravioli ($15.99), and eight-layer lasagna ($12.69) plump with ricotta, ground beef, sweet italian sausage, and unfulfilled birthday wishes.