Skip to Content

TLO Restaurant Review: OnCue Express


As Memorial Day weekend approaches, let’s be honest: you’re not gonna be eating in town. No, if you’re lucky enough to escape this wet, tornadic hellhole, if only for three days, chances are a new dining adventure awaits you someplace wonderful and dry.

But you gotta get gas and snacks before you leave town, right? And if the comments in the recent 7-11 piece are any indication, you’ll be doing all of your filling up at one of our wonderful local OnCues, correct?

Based out of Stillwater, the Metro’s answer to QuikTrip has ballooned to over 65 locations throughout the state, oftentimes featuring a larger selection of convenience foods and cleaner restrooms than 7-11, but your run-ins with angry homeless dudes, penis-flashing pervs and the occasional violent gang interaction may vary from store to store. (To be fair, however, if I am going to get stabbed while buying a Little Debbie Fudge Round and a Sugar-Free Rockstar, I do pray to God it’s on the cool, clean floors of an OnCue.)

When first walking into an OnCue, through those automated doors where a nice gust of air-condition greets you, it can be frustrating as where to start. I mean, you got frozen yogurt over here, roller grill items over there and soda fountains in-between. Let’s go ahead and break it down into sections so that, as you’re getting ready to head out on that holiday road known as I-35, you know what you’re getting into—and what’ll eventually be coming out of you.



The roller grill. That special place where all of those wonderful tube-shaped meat-snacks are typically 2 for $3 and always ready to serve, featuring a unique assortment of foods and flavors that’ll please everyone in the family.

For example, the Pepperoni Pizza Roller, at first glance, seems like one big Totino’s pizza roll, until you bite into it and realize the emphasis isn’t on marinara and sausage, but thick, chewy dough that takes a lot of liquid to wash down. Maybe they squeeze a little pizza juice in those things, but not enough to write home about.

On the other hand, the Mihn Vegetable-Pork Eggroll was about as delicious as a microwavable La Choy eggroll that you microwaved for a few minutes and, sure, it’s still cold in the middle, but screw it, you’re fat and can’t wait to eat it. It’s definitely one of the better selections on the grill, but I’d poke around and find one that’s been sitting out for more than a few hours so the outside is nice and crispy and the inside an overcooked mess. Those are the best.

The Jumbo State Fair Corndog is tasty as hell when it comes fresh off the roller grill, but if you don’t eat it within at least 30 seconds of removing, it becomes congealed and cold, with the honey-glazed batter-sheath softening to the consistency of Big League Chew and the wiener buried inside a rubbery Bar-S frank found at the bottom of the crisper. Microwaving it only makes it worse. The only solution? Mustard and lots of it.


Finally, we have Tornados. They used to be called taquitos, but now everyone just calls them Tornados. Self-described as a “whirlwind of flavor,” I gotta be honest: I never met a tornado I didn’t like. Greasy as my Mexican hair in the summer and twice as crunchy, these rolled tortilla and meat-packed banditos are full of vitamins and other things a growing body needs, so my pro-tip is to load up on about five or six of them.

For this outing, I tried the newest Tornado flavor: pepperoni and, you know, it was damn fine cross-cultural culinary crossover. I also grabbed my old stand-by, cheesy pepperjack, with its spicy Pimento Cheese-like filling; it is a real taste-bud teaser, providing heat in just the right spots and queso in the others. Either way, you can’t go wrong with a Tornado. They're the perfect long-distance travel companion!

But what can you go wrong with, you ask? How about the deformed Devil’s dick that is the Monster Chili Dog? Quite possibly one of the most nauseating things I’ve ever put in my mouth—and you should have seen some of the things I’ve put in my mouth—this grotesquerie from the Seventh Circle of Hell’s buffet area consists of a foot-long hot dog wrapped in a corn tortilla with some sort of nasty chili as a buffer—a few bites and I was done.

And by done, I mean flop-sweating with a stomach-ache that, for at least an hour, had me believing I was dying of cervical cancer. Avoid at all costs, unless your road-trip plans includes OnTaCuema’s Revenge.



While many people consider the hot dog to be the quintessential convenience store snack, I’ve always found them problematic at best, and OnCue’s are really no exception. The buns, kept below the roller grills, separately in a steamer drawer and contained in a plastic container, are always soaking wet from condensation or stale from non-use. Sometimes, as in this case, I was lucky enough to get both.

The actual selection of your impending frankfurter has less to do with the flavor than what condiments you want to top them off with. For example, if you like chili and cheese, I recommend an all-beef dog, but if you want to go nuts with the vegetables, go for a brat instead. And, if there’s one thing that I can truly compliment OnCue on, it’s their well-stocked, well-varied condiment station, featuring everything from sauerkraut to pico de gallo. I haven’t been to hot dog restaurants that have that much variety.

I settled on a jalapeno chedderbrat for my Chicago-style dog (loaded with sauerkraut, green peppers, relish, a pickle and spicy brown mustard) and an all-beef cheeseburger dog for my chili and cheese add-ons.


First off, once I got home, the OnCue buns were absolutely useless, so I ended up replacing them with my own, carefully transferring the franks and topping to some nice, dry bread. Once that was settled, I gotta say… OnCue roller-heats a pretty good dog. The chedderbrat was extra juicy, spraying me in the eye with its meat-water, and the cheeseburger dog, while a bit dryer, definitely benefited from the chili and cheese.

Here’s the problem though: do you really want to start off a road-trip with some loaded dogs? Think long and hard about it, no matter how tempting those sultry sirens of pork-sweat may appear.


O.K., can I just go ahead and say this right here, right now, with no pretension? OnCue has got the best frozen yogurt in town, for a mostly reasonable price. You can have your Orange Leafs and Pinkberrys, for my dollar, it don’t get no better than gas station frozen yogurt!

I know it’s gonna go right to my thighs, but I just adore the New York Cheesecake self-serve frozen yogurt, topped with cherries, raspberries and I think Butterfinger bits but I might have gotten Snickers pieces instead.


A smaller size, enough for a taste to whet the palate is always a fun way to start a road-trip, whether it’s a family vacay to the Magic Kingdom or leaving a terribly abusive relationship in the dead of night. I’ve done both and frozen yogurt is definitely a surefire way to crack a smile as you turn the key and pull out onto the highway in search of fun and adventure. And possibly a sexual awakening.

Or you can just stay home and eat hot dogs and Tornados and frozen yogurt and cry about all the wrong turns your life has taken. Whatever.

Louis Fowler can't wait to see which local news outlet will rip this idea off from him next week. Follow him on Twitter at @LouisFowler to find out!

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter