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Food

TLO Restaurant Review: Libby’s Café

6:02 AM EDT on March 16, 2021

In the bet-friendly berg of Goldsby sits an always-full diner off the highway known as Libby’s Café, 111 N. Main Ave. As part of my recent tour of duty turning fractured romantic relationships into sought-after friendships, I invited my recent ex-ladyfriend out to lunch, the first in a couple of months.

With a full house on a windy Saturday afternoon, Libby’s has a classic look to it, with various woodwork on the walls and leather chairs, strangely, for sale when you walk in. We were seated towards the back and after looking at the menu for a few minutes, ordered as we eagerly talked about what’s currently going on in our lives. It was good to laugh with her again.

As we sat at the roomy table under some homespun tchotchkes, I realized she’s not a bad person at all—she never was—and someone that, if anything, I’d definitely like to keep as a close friend, with much of the help in realizing that coming from Libby’s and their fine downhome cooking. I’ll admit it.

The appetizer was quickly brought to our table, starting with the aptly-named Chicken Chunks ($7.45). Although they resembled Cattleman’s lamb fries right down to the golden breading, I went ahead and dipped them in the homemade ranch, munching on one or two of these tiny nuggets down my stingy gullet, enjoying every bite of the white chicken meat and zesty coating. No testicles here!

As we finished that plate quickly off, she was brought a gratuitously large bowl that, honestly, was ridiculous in every way possible—and I mean that as a total compliment!—the Steak Salad ($13.45). Ostensibly a large salad with the usual accompaniments—lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and shredded cheese—but here a large 8 oz. sirloin steak dropped right on top, gently sliced into thick slivers.

While I have been a big proponent of salads in my many years writing about Oklahoma’s famed eats, honestly, I think this may be the best of them all simply for the sheer willingness to call this a salad. Sure, I know it defeats the true purpose of a salad and what it should be, but this is one tasty hill I’m willing to die on, quite literally because there’s no way this isn’t a raspberry in the face of creation.

As for me, my entrée was the Hand-Breaded Fried Chicken Breast ($9.45), complete with a sturdy dinner roll and two vegetables, of which I partook in the blasé fried okra and the amazing real (as per the menu) mashed potatoes. Seriously, these potatoes and accompanying gravy took me back to being a kid and traveling to Waurika to sample my step-grandma Mabel’s homemade dinners some twenty-five years ago.

But, I had ordered the chicken breast, pounded flat and covered in an aromatic breading that would’ve absolutely made the meal in not for the aforementioned potatoes. With each juicy cut making a temporary home in my mouth, this was a remarkable feast that I had not counted on and felt fortunate to be eating that afternoon.

Really, I felt fortunate about everything that afternoon. Not only did I get a world-class dinner—by Oklahoma standards, at least—but I reconnected with someone that I truly didn’t want to let go of. While our romantic relationship may be over, I graciously feel strong about this new one. Cómpralo ya!

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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