West and OKC Food Writer Lunch #2
Yesterday I met up with some other Oklahoma City Food Writers/Bloggers for lunch. It’s our second time to all meet together and dive-bomb a place.
The great thing about our get-togethers is that…
#1 We order almost everything on the menu and..
#2 I get to show you a picture of almost everything on the menu.
There’s a new place in town – West (located in the old Iguana Lounge building just North of 63rd Street on Western).
West is the new baby of Rick and David Haynes from Johnnie’s Charcoal Broiler fame (started by their father). The brothers also recently opened Pachinko Parlor, a not-so-traditional sushi place in Oklahoma City. With West, the brothers offer something a little fancier than your typical casual American restaurant. You’ll see items like goat cheese, wild mushrooms and fennel stock on their menu. And the result is fabulous.
I parked around back and therefore ended up walking around 3/4 of the building. By doing so, I got a few glimpes of their really nice patios. There is this rather large patio in the back of the restaurant complete with heaters.
And then a more-narrow patio on another side of the building with some really cushioned couches (at the far end).
The interior is really nice.
There is a large front room.
And there is a very elegantly decorated back dining area with a southwest flare.
As for the food? Let me just show you a little of what we ordered.
For starters, we got the Bruschetta ($7.00), which was loaded with wild mushrooms, corn, bacon and goat cheese. All of these were piled onto one enormous slice of toasted bread. The drizzle of olive oil around the plate completed it nicely.
This was delicious and the flavors worked really nicely together.
Also arriving was an order of Sweet Potato Fries ($5.00).
The fries were very light and crispy and the savory remoulade sauce that came along side of it was delicious!
We also received a few orders of these…their onion rings ($4.00 small/$6.00 large).
These are reminescent of Johnnie’s recipe (which I usually love), but these just didn’t wow me during the visit. However, in all fairness, I think it’s because I got to them in the cool-down stage so I’m sure another try would be more pleasing.
But what really did wow me were these – the Zuccha Chips ($3.00).
The Zuccha Chips are razor thin slices of zucchini that are flash fried and then sprinkled with sea salt. I really, really loved these. In fact, Dave Cathey (The Food Dude) mentioned that these would be great over pasta and I heartily agree. (By the way, read Dave’s review of West here.)
Vivian ordered a bowl of the Tomato Basil Soup ($6.00) which has grilled cheese croutons on it.
She said it was very good.
Next, we moved on to bigger (but not necessarily better) things, because the appetizers were wonderful! For my entree, I ordered the Simple Plate of Seasonal Vegetables ($10.00) and this was so good and perfect for lunch.
This plate was Israeli couscous (small pearls that are sort of pasta-like). Underneath the couscous, was a light drizzle of balsamic and the grilled vegetables that lay around and on top of it, were smoky and yummy. There was a mild spicy heat source coming from somewhere, (perhaps chili oil or red pepper flakes?) possibly cooked into the couscous, but I couldn’t tell. This would be a great option for a vegetarian plate and West does also have some vegan offerings as well, like their Vegan nachos ($8.00 -black beans, cashew cheese and roasted chilies).
The eatery also offers whole wheat pasta substitutions and gluten free options as well on their menu.
Dave ordered the West Beef Tenderloin sandwich ($12.00).
He seemed to really enjoy this, and it consisted of, well, you guessed it -beef tenderloin with braised onions, dijon mustard, and arugula, on tuscan bread.
The fries in the glass were crispy and good and added a quaint touch.
Greg ordered the Organic Half Chicken which was pan roasted in natural jus, and sat atop some mashed potatoes that were surrounded by green beans.
He seemed happy, but then he always does seem happy.
Sheri got the House Made Veggie Burger ($8.00). She said the patty was fantastic but she’d prefer it without the bun, as it got a little lost in too much bread.
The patty consisted of black beans, brown rice, roasted beets and carrots.
West also offers pastas and Tim got the Rigatoni ($15.00).
The Rigatoni looked hearty and had Italian sausage, goat cheese, and roasted red peppers in a red sauce. Tim said he really appreciated the goat cheese in it and it added something special.
The others ordered sandwiches and and I think it was Jeff who ordered the West Grilled Cheese ($7.00).
The West Grilled Cheese ($7.00) is not your ordinary grilled cheese sandwich, as you can see above.
West’s Grilled Cheese is put together with Tuscan bread, herbed ricotta, mozzarella, goat cheese and pesto. Sandwiches typically come with sweet potato or regular fries, but I believe he substituted the West Macaroni and Cheese.
Vivian got a sandwich that looked similar…The Portabello Caprese.
This sandwich had a grilled portobello cap, buffalo mozzarella, roasted tomato, arugula, pesto, and cherry balsamic, on ciabatta bread.
West doesn’t offer a lunch menu (yet), but as you can see above, prices range from $7 on upward so lunch would be affordable here. The food was solidly good and gourmet themed and we all enjoyed our visit.
We were all way too stuffed to order dessert. I am anxious to go back sometime and sample some of their desserts because I am intrigued to try Chocolate Crepes or Prosecco Chocolate Pudding.
I also want to try the dinner offerings like the “Filet Your Way” which is 8 ounces of beef tenderloin cooked one of four ways with various delectable sounding toppings like creamed spinach and triple mushroom.
But this visit held way too much food for our group.
And for this group, that’s saying a lot!
Try West soon, you’ll love the atmosphere and the flavors.
And someone try that Crepe for me!
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