4308 N. Western, OKC
Dates of consumption:
- October 26, 2014 for Sunday Brunch
- December 13, 2014 for my wedding lunch
Rating: 5 out of 5 lip smacks
Price Range: $$
- Fried Green Tomato Sandwich $9.00
- Mimosa Pint $5.00
- Fish and Chips $10.00
- Smithwick’s Irish Beer
Ok, now that I have your attention with the food porn, let me give you some words to feast on.
The Barrel is located in Crown Heights in the building that used to occupy the famous Cafe Nova. I am not going to lie: I was very depressed when Cafe Nova shut down. I used to LOVE going for Sunday brunch with my girlfriends. When the Barrel opened up, I was a little hesitant to give it a shot…I mean, how could it replace Cafe Nova? Well, It did! and in a big way.
The first time I dined here was for brunch with my bestie. We try to do brunch every other Sunday, and I had been wanting to try this place out as I was looking for somewhere unique and good to host my upcoming wedding reception. We got a nice sunny spot on the patio and we were promptly greeted by our server who could tell by the looks on our faces that we wanted a mimosa. Come on, it’s Sunday. Of course I want a mimosa! Upon looking at their tempting brunch menu, we both decided that we were going to have the Fried Green Tomato Sandwich.
Fried Green tomato sandwich is served on their house-made “dossaint” (looks like a donut cut in half, but is soft and flaky like a croissant) with a perfectly fried green tomato, an egg cooked to your liking–I got mine over-medium, and topped with a basil-cream sauce. It is served with heavenly herb-roasted potatoes, fresh fruit, and spicy ketchup. This breakfast didn’t disappoint. The perfectly cooked egg oozed warm yolk over the tomato, blending with the basil-cream sauce, and delivering a textural treat with a nice crisp from the dossaint and the fried tomato. The potatoes were perfectly crisp on the outside, warm and soft on the inside, and electrified my taste buds with the punch of spicy ketchup. Washed it down with the perfect mimosa and I was one happy lady.
Since it passed my brunch inspection, I decided to see if I could book a large party on 12-13-14, my wedding day. I called and spoke with a manager and my wedding party was booked! Not only was it booked, I got a call from the GM, David, and he set the whole thing up for me. He prepared a custom menu for my guests, with kids meals, and a selection of some of the most popular items off the regular menu. He stayed in contact with me wonderfully the whole time, and even called the day before to double-check on the head count and to let me know where he had our section set up. If you have ever planned a wedding, even a small one, you know how stressful even the small stuff is. This was going to be a family gathering in which everyone had to pay for their own meal. I know it may sound cheap, but we were on a very tight budget with Christmas and other things coming up. This place had a great variety of items for all budget and they were all delicious.
Upon entering, we were warmly greeted by the Hostess, and the manager on duty came by to congratulate us. To my wonderful surprise, they had menus printed out with our wedding date sitting at each space. This extra touch really made me feel pampered. Our server, Rachel, promptly came by and got our drink orders. I explained to her that I wanted to buy appetizers for everyone and that most were on separate checks. She got the kids orders in quickly so they could eat, got the adults tasty beverages, and everyone enjoyed the Barrel Chips and Barrel Fries that were served to munch on while they waited on their lunch. For my lunch, I had the Fish and Chips. Lightly breaded Cod with a mushy-pea tartar sauce. Served with Barrel Fries and spicy ketchup. I love my husband, but I also love the spicy ketchup. If you aren’t a fan of peas, don’t worry as this tartar sauce doesn’t taste like peas. If you ever go to Ireland, they serve their fish and chips with a side of mushy peas…so I love how the chef incorporated this tradition into this amazing dish. The cod was perfectly cooked, light and crispy and not greasy, and when dipped in the mushy-pea tartar sauce, it was heaven. Wash it down with an Irish Smithwick’s ale and you have the perfect combo.
What I love about this place is it puts a modern twist on traditional pub food. I go there and feel like I could be in Ireland, minus the American accents. Great music, excellent staff, amazing food.
I really want to express my gratitude to the staff there, and especially to David, the manager, and Rachel, our server. They went the extra mile to make sure we were taken care of. As a former server myself, I know how challenging large parties can be. Rachel handled herself professionally and was on top of her game.
I gave the 5 out of 5 lip smack rating based on food quality and taste, the excellent service, and the experience. I highly recommend trying this place out for Sunday Brunch or dinner any time.