TLO Restaurant Review: Heather’s Stockyards Café
8:14 AM EDT on August 10, 2021
Not too far from my house are the stockyards, the last true bastion of Oklahoma City’s yee-haw, giddy-up cowboy culture. While one of their most famous restaurants, Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, has been written about by not only me but people with far greater reach, I seriously doubt anyone has taken the time to try Heather’s Stockyards Café, 2501 Exchange Ave.
Known as Stockyards City Café and, on the menu, Heather’s Place in the Yard, at first glance, surrounded by the semis and such, it’s a very easy place to miss. But thank God for the continuous signage that helps point you in the right direction to the parking lot and the bare building with only a neon “Open” sign to help guide the way.
Inside, while just as plain, one of the most energetic servers I’ve ever met—I think his name was Desmond—showed us to our booth and set out some waters and menus. The only guy there, apparently, he threw out a few recommendations and before we knew it, had our plates in front of us, with only a moderate wait time.
My friend had ordered the Create Your Own Omelet ($8.00) special, filled with mostly vegetables like onions and mushrooms, Biting into it, she found it pretty generic and, sadly, I agreed with her. But what really made the meal were the biscuits and gravy, pure comfort food that took me back to the breakfasts that my father, when he was alive, used to craft every Sunday morning.
Plump and doughy, as I cut into the biscuit, a wave of homemade gravy poured over it, encompassing the chunky forkful. One helping became two and two, three; I couldn’t help myself—these were some of the best biscuits and gravy I’ve had in the Oklahoma City area for a number of years, with no pomp or circumstance needed.
As my friend continued to chow down on her own breakfast adventure, I started my own lunch travel with the perfectly named Cowboy Club on Texas Toast ($7.00). One of the biggest burgers I’ve ever had, the one-third pound patty—hand-shaped and seemingly larger—was accommodated with bacon, cheese, lettuce, and tomato, all on a pair of the thickest Texas toast—the best toast, if you ask me.
“¡Dios mío!” I scram in my head, not wanting to start a scene. This was a thick, juicy burger that had that long-lost pan-fried taste—if it even was—that I have sorely missed for many years, also a specialty of my father’s. Doubling-down with so much fried okra, it was quite purposefully one of the finest sandwiches in town.
After a few bites, I put it away though because I had to try the one true test I had for Heather’s: the Ricky Booby ($6.00). Yes, you read that right...Booby. Ostensibly a fried bologna sandwich, it is the one true Oklahoma meal that, for me, is judged the harshest than possibly any food on any menu by many people.
I’ve gotta say that Heather’s passed that test with flying colors. Paying the extra dollar for a fried egg on top, besides the thick-cut bologna it had plenty of cheese, lettuce, and tomato to make me smile wide and smile big. Alongside a nice scoop of tater tots, it was the best—the best!—fried bologna sandwich in town, hands down and deserves to be tried again and again. At least by me.
As I was paying the bill, I realized I’ve now come to a dark crossroads in my life: do I continue to write for the Lost Ogle or start shoveling manure in the stockyards just to be closer to Heather’s and that truly country cooking? Cómpralo ya!