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TLO Restaurant Review: Kaiser’s Grateful Bean Café

6:03 AM EDT on June 1, 2021

As funny as it seems—at least it was for me, as I sat there on the patio—in my many years of living in Oklahoma City, I had never once been to Kaiser’s Grateful Bean Café, 1039 N. Walker, or any other of its incarnations or iterations. But, after taking my lovable pup Sean to the Midtown Mutts Dog Park last Saturday, my friend and I figured that now would be as good a time as any to try it.

I vaguely remember Kaiser’s from high school, back in a more dangerous era when driving down to that area was usually putting your life at risk, but it was seemingly okay because you were near St. Anthony’s. My friend told me it was once a punk club, while I recall it being a vegetarian joint; it seems to have kept that wild spirit on the menu—I seem to remember that they served buffalo burgers on there.

Sadly, according to the guy behind the counter, they don’t serve them anymore.

But, still, between the seriously off-kilter burgers and wondrous ice cream flavors, I was more than able to find a few things to eat; we placed our orders, starting off with the traditional Egg Cream ($3.25), a fizzy drink out of New York City that was brought to my personal attention by Lou Reed on his 1996 album Set the Twilight Reeling.

Although the tune delivers precise directions on its making, I’m not sure how accurate this concoction is; the cool beverage seemed to contain milk, carbonated water and flavored syrup—three primary things needed to make an egg cream. For me, it was entirely delicious and wholly refreshing like any Reed song, although my friend said that it was “alright.”

To be fair, I don’t think she really likes Reed all that much.

Our sandwiches were presented together and delivered by the chef, no less. My friend had the—let me get this name right—Stephanie’s Golden Gate Grilled Cheese and Jalapenos ($4.95), a hot-enough mix that, when the various sandwich additives like lettuce, tomato and so on were added, made for a physically impressive meal that was, quite truly, one of the best grilled cheeses I’ve ever had.

But, as for my sandwich, I had originally ordered the Bodacious Walnut-Beet Burger, if only to tick-off the beef-obsessed fanboys that conflate sexual prowess with hardcore Stitt-support. Sadly, edging so close to closing time, it simply was not to be; instead, I went with the Wild-Caught Salmon Burger ($9.95), a fish sandwich that I’m sure, to many, is no better.

Two grilled salmon patties on a toasted bun, after I placed the burger vegetables on top, each bite was an aquarian delight, cooked unpretentiously and served deliciously as I gently gorged on the eats. Even Sean agreed, as I gave him a small bite of the exquisite fish patty and a small forkful of the homemade potato salad, his tail wagging furiously in the hopes of more.

My friend and I sat at the table, the meals swimming down our gullets gracefully. Since we were at an ice cream shop, a small scoop seemed apropos to finish things off; we settled for some Non-Dairy Vegan Coconut Ice Cream ($4.95), a delicious enough treat that, I’m sure, very few will ever try.  Cómpralo ya!

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

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