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TLO Grocery Store Review: FireLake Discount Foods

After the sheer physical, moral and downright psychological breakdowns that were incited by my recent trip to WinCo foods in Moore, an afternoon stop by the Citizen Potawatomi Nation’s FireLake Discount Foods, 1570 S. Gordon Cooper Dr. in Shawnee, has thoroughly reignited my own personal fire for getting back out there and actually shopping for my edible goods and other sundries, Wal-Mart delivery services be damned.

Well-situated and even better designed, FireLake Discount Foods is all about those wide open spaces (room to make my own mistakes), with plenty of clean floor-space to freely move about and get lost in your own world of consumer validation, nary a rude customer angrily nipping at your heels or hurling epithets because you so blatantly stopped the flow of uneasy traffic to read the calorie count on a box of Tabasco Cheez-Its, you tubby snack cracker lovin’ jerk, you.

Sauntering gently through the produce section like a sleepy forest nymph looking for a playful new romance, one of the first things that I fell deeply in love with was the amount of Made in Oklahoma products that FireLake themselves manufacture, otherworldly items such as Sweet Potato Butter and Blackeyed Pea Dip to eat-straight-out-the-jar gimmes like Cherry Cobbler and Pumpkin Butter, not to mention a whole range of proudly pickled objects of desire, from hard-boiled eggs to little red sausages. I can’t even get most this stuff at any of my beloved Mexican stores, at least not without it being pre-fried and refried.

Natives keep it real, ya’ll.

For those of you who like to send food back at restaurants for the Munchhausen-like attention it creates, FireLake does one better for you and has a whole section of gluten-free and organic meals cordoned off for you and your imaginary health needs, promptly and obviously displayed without the need to hunt and peck and loudly ask the next available stock-boy where they are located. (Although, to be fair, half of the section was filled with take and bake pizzas that were decidedly not gluten-free or organic, but hey, at least they tried, hoss.)

Speaking of meat and nothing but meat, their “Butcher’s Block” area offered some downright delicious deals con carne, including a package of  about 20 freshly-cut pork loin steaks for about $12 bucks total, which can be taken home, put two-to-a-Ziploc and frozen for consumption throughout the month. That’s at least 15-to-20 meals that I’m excited for because I also picked up a bottle of the hard-to-find cult Made-in-Oklahoma BBQ sauce Little Pig that I can wait to smother on them mothers.

Before I could crack that pig open though, steaks or sauce, I couldn’t wait to get home to serve up these Tejano Gold Mexican hot link sausages, justifiably in a tortilla like the package blurb recommends and, hot damn, you’ll never have a better pre-packaged hot link in your life. If you do, it’s probably from New Braunfels, where these little red devils called home before moving into my stomach, forward mail appropriately. I’ll see you at the crossroads.

Complete one circle of the thestore, before heading to check out, make sure to go a little nuts with the George Washington’s at FireLake’s most helpful in-store dollar store, filled with every one single-simolean priced item your thrifty little heart aflutter and atwichin’ could ever deeply desire, from party favors and coloring books to brand new DVDs and a wide range of cooking utensils, just to name barely a few of the cheap goods that even the angels at Dollar Tree fear to tread on.

Usually, I am pretty good at avoiding impulse buys at the check-out stand, but once my eyes passed over the Rolos and caught a jar of pickled okra for $4.99, like a Southern-fried Rod Stewart, my bloated and belated heart can’t tell me no. And really, that’s the ultimate magic of FireLake Discount Foods. With an electric, eclectic and definitely eccentric stock of eats and treats, much with a much-embraced Made-in-Oklahoma flair, it might seem a little out of the way, but I’ll take the extra miles anyday over the extra headaches shopping in one of the city’s mildly dystopic less-than-super markets.

Not to mention they carry my favorite brand of pickled pig’s feet. ¡Cómpralo ya!


 Make More Grocery Stores Native. Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler.

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