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Food

Top 20 OKC Restaurants that I Wish Were Still Open, Part II”¦

8:00 PM EDT on October 2, 2008

Last week, I unveiled Part I of my "Top 20 OKC Restaurants that I Wish Were Still Open." Here is a rundown:

20. Showbiz Pizza Place
19. Terra Luna Grill
18. The Eagles Nest
17. UR Cooks
16. Jimmy Johnson's Three Rings Bar and Grill
15. Monterey Jack's Cafe Y Cantina
14. Le Petit Jardin Ice Cream Parlour
13. Garfield's
12. Applewood's
11. Split-T Bar and Grille
10. Dodson's Cafeteria

Notice how I listed restaurants 20 through 10 and didn't stop at number 11? I wish I had a clever excuse for that, but I really don't. Maybe I should just lie and say Gary England made me do it.

Anyway, check out 9 -1 after the jump.

9. Bahama Breeze
Sure, it was a chain restaurant, but I'm not sure why this place didn't succeed. Dining on the patio overlooking Lake Hefner was a nice atmosphere. Plus they had good food and some cheap "house brewed" beer called Aruba Red. Hell, every time I was there I had to wait for a damn table. Who knows what happened"¦

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8. Tapwerks on Western
Yeah, you really didn't go there for the food, but this place was pretty cool. Before there was a Tapwerks in Bricktown (or really any bar in Bricktown) it was the place to be. I would actually wait in line to get in and drink the huge selection of beers they had on tap. Now, I think it's been gobbled up by Chesapeake. Boring.

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7. Dairy Queen
Every now and then, I find myself wanting a chocolate dipped vanilla ice cream cone. Unfortunately, I live in the land of Braum's, where dipped cones suffered a sad, sad demise.

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6. Taco Tico
I don't remember too much about Taco Tico. I was raised on Mexican fast food from other establishments (Bell, Mayo and Bueno to name a few), but according to Clark Matthews, he was going to go on strike for one week if I didn't mention this place.

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5. Molly Murphy's
Maybe it was because I was a kid, but I never really got this place. I never understood the charm of going to a restaurant where the servers were dressed in costumes and made fun of you when you went to the bathroom. Apparently a lot of other people did understand the charm, because it's one of the most remembered dead restaurants from Oklahoma City. Hell, the ex-waiters even have a reunion website. That's saying something"¦

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4. The original Los Tacos
Technically, this fast food joint reopened a few years ago at SW 89th and Penn. Although the food may be the same (colossally huge burritos served in a never-had-it-anywhere-else yellow tortilla) the charm of the old restaurant is gone.

The old Los Tacos was located on SW 44th and Blackwelder in what looked to be an old 1950's style drive in. You would place your order by parking your car and stepping up to the ordering window. Then you would go back to your car and wait. When your order was ready, someone from the staff would wave at you. It was that simple. That old school charm is now totally lost at their new strip mall location.

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3. Bill Moore's Steak House
You've probably never heard of this place. It was a small little diner located on S. Shields in Oklahoma City. When I was kid, it was the Sunday morning breakfast destination for me and my family. They served the best biscuits and gravy in the world. Seriously, if I had two briefcases left on Deal or No Deal and they were worth 500K and 1million, and the banker called and offered me a plate of biscuits and gravy and some hash browns from Bill Moore's, I would take the breakfast. It was that good.

Unfortunately, in the mid-1990s Bill Moore's was the site of a grizzly domestic murder-suicide involving the Moore family. I think it got bought a year or two after that. How's that for a buzz kill?

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2. The Original Varsity*

The Original Varsity was the best sports bar in Oklahoma City. It was located in the lower floor of some office building at 63rd and Grand. It didn't have any windows, cheesy sports memorabilia from the late 80's decked the walls, and it's TV's and projectors looked like they were bought from Curtis-Mathis. It was almost like someone decided to build a bomb shelter in 1989 and figured they should make it like a sports bar just in case everyone survived.

Somehow, though, the concept worked. Each year a big group of my friends would arrive at about 10:00am on the first day of March Madness (a Thursday) and lay claim to a large table in the TV pit. We would end up staying the entire day, drinking and eating way too much, and watching all the NCAA basketball one could handle in a 12 hour period. The following day we would be there again, insanely hungover, yet going full throttle.

This past year was our first year to not be at The Varsity. My pathetic ex-roommate decided we should give Bolton's in Edmond a try. It sucked and closed soon after. Not coincidentally, it will not be making this list.

*I tried a bunch of google image searches looking for a pic of this place and stumbled across the one above. I figured it would work.

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1. Crystal's Pizza
If you told me tomorrow that Crystal's Pizza was opening a replica restaurant somewhere in Oklahoma City, I would send Jim Traber a Valentine, vote for Jim Inhofe and make out with Jenni Carlson. I'd even play checkers with Clark Matthews, because Crystal's Pizza was just that awesome.

If you don't remember it, Crystal's was a family friendly pizza place located on Northwest Expressway and Rockwell (the pic above is from one in Fort Worth). The pizza was good, but what made it so great was the atmosphere. It had a two level arcade, tons of games and a movie theater that played really old cartoons. It was almost like somebody took a big old house and made it a pizza place.

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