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TLO Restaurant Review: The Mule

Since my stroke at the beginning of 2022, I have been to the Plaza District about two times – once to eat at the splendid Ma Der Lao Kitchen with Patrick, the other for a random window shopping trip.

That being said, the eatery that always comes to mind when I think of The Plaza is the venerable Mule. Eating there regularly in the pre-pandemic days, I never reviewed it, selfishly trying to keep it all to myself.

But last week, I righted a wrong and came back to this restaurant to give it the grand royal review.

The passing years must’ve flown by, because The Mule has moved down the street to a new location—1800 N.W. 16th, the former home of Maples and Chiltepe.

Growing out of the dark interior and drab exterior of the old surroundings, the new spot has a cheery vibe and refreshed hipster soul, bringing a new attitude that bodes well with the exciting food. Before the seating was a little boxy, but now, I was free to be me, as I spread out for the recent photos.

On a great date with a new ingénue, I decided to start with one of my favorites—the vainglorious Okie Poutine ($10.50). A plate of sturdy French fries, absolutely smothered in white gravy and, for the real rub, the best Watonga Cheese Curds you have ever seen.

The should-be-trademarked dish is probably the best thing to come from the Canada-Oklahoma Treaty of the past few years. I am truly blown away each time I have it.

The combination of the fastidious white gravy and the seminal French fries already make it a treat to be had, but the addition of fresh made-in-Texas Watonga Cheese Curds, makes it true Oklahoman dining. All you need is a lumberjack in a Mo’ Better shirt to instill some pride.

For an entrée, my date decided on sampling the very friendly Herbivore sandwich ($12.00) with a beet salad, which is excruciating healthy and made me fret about my current life decisions.

This sandwich has everything that is good and pure in the world: Vienna wheat bread, cashew cheese, roasted beets, mushrooms, sundried tomato pesto, avocado, grilled jalapeños, grilled onions, and of course, chipotle aioli.

Taking an offered bite, it was a blooming garden in full personification. Its lush beets and delicate mushrooms are given ample space and time with the beautiful cashew cheese spread on the marvelous Vienna wheat bread. With a personable beet salad to go, this is a pure overload in true vegan taste.

Despite being polar opposites in the kitchen, I had a good time with the Angry Texan ($14.00) – even if it was named after Ted Cruz and his delegates from Hell.

Just kidding. Kind of.

Packed with braised short ribs, cheddar cheese, an onion ring, BBQ sauce, a little mayo, and some coleslaw, on a baguette that wears its bleeding heart on its molasses sleeve. The short ribs have a juicy taste, with a smattering of cheese for a bolder flavor.

My itchy trigger-finger was wanting more of that sweet BBQ sauce that dipped down my hand as my sandwich pulled apart on the plate. The moistness of the meat was too overbearing, but, as I learned, this Angry Texan was a sweet pussycat, with full flavor abounding.

Even though it's in a new spot, and it had been a while since I visited, it was yet another good meal at the Mule. Someday, I hope to come back for seconds and, realistically, thirds.

Cómpralo ya!


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

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