8.23.2010 / Labels: Edibles
Phill’s Diner, a place in the neighborhood just made for breakfast and lunch. Cause they don’t do dinner. I love places that don’t do dinner. It reminds of the good advice that always floats around in emails on how to live life well and healthful…eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a college kid with a maxed out credit card. Words to live by, but they’re not my words. Nope, cause I tend to eat like a king morning, day and night. It’s an issue. I’m working on it. After I eat this donut.
So anywho…Phill’s is loaded with tables, booths and two counters. I came for brekkie this weekend, cause it’s my favorite meal of the day. Pretty much any time of day. I was feeling frisky and saw a waffle in my future, but wouldn’t ya know it, the waffle machine broke about 3 minutes after I placed my order. That machine gets quite the workout in this joint. They’re not Belgian waffles, but I’ll be darned if they don’t look Belgian. Deep wells of crusty, sweet carbohydrate, just waiting to be filled with butter and syrup and, my favorite, powdered sugar. Or even peanut butter if I’m feeling a little adventurous. Or nutty.
Instead I switched my order to biscuits and gravy, 2 eggs scrambled, and hash browns. Which is OK too. As much as I wanted a waffle that morning, biscuits and gravy (aka B&G) is actually my favorite comfort food besides a grilled cheese sandwich. Mmmmmm….grilled cheese. They have those too.
Now because B&G is my cocaine, I consider myself an aficionado. That’s just a pretty way of saying I’m picky about my B&G. Now don’t get me wrong, but biscuits come in all shapes and sizes, and in my opinion you really can’t mess up a biscuit. For me, it’s the gravy, the gravy is the key. What I’m about to say may shock some people, but for me it’s true. I don’t care for sausage gravy. Before y’all grab the pitchforks let me explain. I love pork, pork fat, and everything that that entails, but I don’t care for pork meat to be hidden in silky, white, peppery cream gravy. I like the flavor of some bacon or sausage grease as the base of a gravy, but not the meat itself. No sir, no way, well….maybe sometimes….there’s a place in Oklahoma City called Coit’s Drive In and their B&G are my all time favorite, after Mama’s of course, and their gravy is loaded with sausage. But that’s a post for another day. And you will hear about it, oh, yes you will!
Phill’s is the kind of place where people not only tip the waitresses but also make a special trip over to the 16 year old busboy to tip him as well. Saying “it ain’t a tankful Jack, but it’ll help get ya down the road”. Can I just tell you how much I love 16 year old busboys, they are adorable. I wanna pick ‘em up and stash ‘em in my pocket, I have a few chores at home they can handle. Phill’s has the same waitresses week after week, and probably year after year. Asking “hope to see you next Sunday” or “you haven’t been in for a while, everything OK?” and “how ya feeling? you shore look better”. They know you, and miss you. It’s a small town feel in a big city diner. Family from another mother, if you will.
You’re not going to find a bloody mary, or a fresh mimosa at Phill’s, but the food is good and there’s plenty of it. They don’t pretend to be something they’re not, and I love that in a diner. A good, old fashioned, neighborhood diner. Phill’s is found at 32nd and Harvard in midtown. My library is right next door. If B&G is my cocaine, libraries are my secret lover. But, that’s a whole other obsession I’ll get into at another time. Go to Phill’s, eat, drink coffee, and say Hi to Mary.
There are these people. These folks here…..
We’ve known each other going on 15 years now. We grew up together in a little restaurant called Hideaway Pizza. Yes, that Hideaway Pizza, the Stillwater original….The Big Country, Fried Mushrooms, Pente, Tie Dyes, Rock N Roll, Picture Collages and VW Bugs. Only, not the original. Confused yet?! Let me tell you a little story.
Back in the 80’s some Stillwater college kids were slinging pizza, and drinking beer, and doing everything else college kids are supposed to do. Only some of the kids weren’t really kids, some were real life grownups. Grownups who loved the place they worked at soooo much, the real world was a place they didn’t run back to with diplomas in their back pockets and their arms wide open. They had their own fraternity, a family of like minded individuals if you will. Cause that’s what it was, a family. Richard and Marty Dermer created a home away from home for a slew of young kids coming to school at Oklahoma State University. They fed them, they counseled them, and they even gave them shelter to live in occasionally. The Dermers gave these kids a place to find themselves and excel at it, and a tidy little paycheck at the end of the week didn’t hurt either. If you’ve ever been fortunate enough to work here you know what I’m talking about, you are my brothers and sisters.
So a few of these college kids and grownups came together and said….one day….one day we will have a place like this for other kids. A place to work, and grow, and learn, and earn, and have fun. But we’re also gonna make a boat load of money. And thus was born the Hideaway on Cherry Street. And then the Hideaway on Harvard. And then the world. Kinda. It’s still only an Oklahoma Tradition, but the concept is there, the food is great, and the future is bright. They now have locations all over the Tulsa and Oklahoma City metro areas. So, if you’ve lived here all your life and haven’t had some Hideaway Pizza, then shame on you. If your new to Oklahoma and haven’t had some Hideaway Pizza, then what are you waiting for?!
And….back to these people. These folks here…..
These are my brothers and sisters, a strong crew of about 6 to 8 people that after all these years still love and care about each other. And it all started in a restaurant. We have loved, and lost. We have laughed and cried. We are experiencing the human connection in a way some people never achieve. We can be independent. We can be incestuous. We love each other. A lot. Not all of us had the traditional college experiences, some of us never graduated, some of us are still learning, some of us have chosen the school of life. But our experience is shared, even after all these years.
Last night a few of us got together for baseball and beer. I’m not sure it gets anymore All-American than that. The new Tulsa Drillers Stadium, an outstanding little venue if you haven’t been there yet. The food smells and the atmosphere drew me in immediately. There’s a little something for everyone at the ballpark, even Vegans like my friend Mark. Although the taco salad kiosk was calling my name, I went for the tried and true Dipping Dots ice cream. Holly found a pretzel with cheese. Mark had some yummy french fries, but the Boca Burger and vegetarian sausage we’re calling his name. All in all, I found the concession choices to be pretty affordable for a stadium venue. I have surely seen worse in other places. Rather than a $5 pretzel and an extra $1.50 for a side of cheese, at a Drillers game both can be had for the low low low price of $3. Impressive!
The Drillers are having an outstanding year, or so I’ve heard. To be honest, and don’t get me wrong because I LOVE live baseball, but I didn’t watch much of the game. When I get around this group of friends we can’t stop talking and laughing and apparently drinking. The picture above is what the ground before us looked like towards the end of the 7th inning. I had to add some color to help you get an idea of the abundance of beer we had, only I took the picture after we drank most of the beer stockpile. But you get the idea. Funny thing about Thursday night at Drillers games, Thirsty Thursdays as they’re called, $1 beers. One. Dollar. Beers. Seriously, does it get much better than that?! A $5 ticket for a lawn seat, and $1 beers. Hello mama! And if you show up after the 8th inning like our hardworking massage therapist friend Julie, you can get into the stadium for free. Not sure if that’s actually standard operating procedure for the stadium, but Julie is really cute and sweet and friendly, so it would be hard for a hardworking doorman to not let her in to meet her friends. Holly and I agreed, it was a place to see and to be seen.
Now after the game you could easily walk across the train tracks and have a beer at McNellies, or El Guapo’s, or Joe Mama’s Pizza. Cause the Blue Dome District is also a place to see and be seen. There is a bevy of fun and interesting restaurants and bars all over downtown. But this crew went home, well, to one home. Zack’s home. Where we drank a few more beers. Danced in our bare feet. Snuggled on couches. Folded a mountain of laundry, not a pile mind you, but a mountain. Yes Zack, you’re welcome. But most of all, we reconnected. As only old and true friends can do.
8.19.2010 / Labels: Point of View
2.22.2010 / Labels: Native Color
2.19.2010 / Labels: Point of View
I wanted to show you what it looks like from the inside, but for some reason they don’t want you taking pictures inside their bank. Fascists. Not really, they’re actually quite nice for a bank. Not that I’d know any different, I’ve only been banking here since 1995. That is the year I turned 18. It was an interesting year.
2.17.2010 / Labels: Native Color