Cattlemen’s Steakhouse in OKC is the oldest restaurant in Oklahoma. You can’t go wrong with dry-aged, hand cut steaks, and lamb fries. Yes, lamb fries.
When I began this blog 3 1/2 years ago, I was such a creature of habit. I ate at the same restaurants, always ordered my favorite dishes, and cooked the same things regularly. I began the blog to force me out of my comfort zone, and my goal was 100 brand new restaurants in 18 months. After a few weeks I added repeat restaurants and new recipes as well. It took about 2 years to hit 100 new restaurants, and by then I was hooked. About 10 months ago I started working on my social media presence, joined a blogger group, and got more active with sharing posts. I still have a long way to go to get my blog where I want it to be, and the seasonal nature of my job makes it even more challenging. But I won’t give up.
So why is all of this important? Well, because this post is #200!!
When I hit post #100 I was in Kansas City. The restaurant was just okay, and sadly not worth its place on the list. So of course #200 had to be a standout, and my friend Dick was in town at the perfect time. He’s our rep for our season tickets and, more importantly, a great friend. He was staying near the airport, so we decided on Cattlemen’s Steakhouse.
Anyone who has lived in Oklahoma for any length of time has heard of Cattlemen’s. It’s in Historic Stockyards City, southwest of downtown OKC. Oh, and it just happens to be the oldest restaurant in Oklahoma. It opened in 1910, and in 1945, then-owner Hank Frey lost the restaurant to the current owner in a game of craps.
The restaurant started as Cattlemen’s Cafe, a small diner with counter seating and tables. The main dining room was added later, and is packed to the brim with booth seating. Upstairs is a waiting area with cocktail tables and TV’s, and small bar. I love that they retained some of the history, including the Cattlemen’s Cafe sign and the diner side of the building.
Cattlemen’s doesn’t take reservations, but our wait was only about 20 minutes on Monday night. I have the feeling that the wait is significantly longer on the weekends.
Cattlemen’s opens at 6AM daily, and is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Their steaks are dry-aged, hand cut, never frozen, then broiled over an open flame. The dinner menu is very simple, featuring appetizers, entrees, desserts, sides and steaks. Sandwiches and salads are additions to the lunch menu, as well as a more limited entree selection.The breakfast menu is unique, as all of the steaks on the lunch and dinner menus are also available for breakfast.
So, in the South they eat lamb fries and calf fries. What are lamb/calf fries you ask? Well, they’re not fries…they are the testicles. I had never heard of calf/lamb fries until I moved to Oklahoma. And when my friends told me about them, I flat out refused to try them. But in the spirit of food blog research, we started with the lamb fries
I took a deep breath before tasting, and even closed my eyes–like that would make any sort of difference. These lamb fries are fabulous! Freshly fried, lightly breaded, incredibly tender. The cocktail sauce was light and very fresh. I had to stop myself from eating these. Never in a million years did I think I would ever say that.
Entrees come with a salads. I got the house dressing, which is like a creamy garlic ranch.
I usually ask for dressing on the side, but clearly forgot. I’m glad I did though, because I like the presentation with the spice on top. That’s something I haven’t seen before. The salad was crisp and cold, and the dressing was very good.
I’ve never seen croutons this big before, and I like the unique twist.
Each entree comes with baked potato as a side. A few other sides are available a la carte. We both skipped the baked potato, and ordered onion rings, mushrooms, and mac & cheese to share
The onion rings weren’t as hot as I would like, and I prefer breaded over battered. However, they are very flavorful.
Cooked mushrooms almost never look pretty. However, it’s all about the taste. These mushrooms are wonderful. Scorching hot, and a good plump size.
I can’t say enough good about this mac & cheese. My mom makes an amazing baked mac & cheese, and I always compare others to her recipe. I’m usually disappointed, but this is one is officially one of my favorites. It was scorching hot, ooey gooey, has several different kinds of cheese, and a wonderful milk sauce.
Dick got the t-bone
This is such a huge piece of meat! He did some damage, and somehow convinced me to take the rest home.
I got the ribeye
Ribeye is by far my favorite cut of meat, and this one does not disappoint. Cooked to a perfect medium, tender, juicy, and the au jus has amazing flavor. I only made it through half of my steak, so between both sets of leftovers I have steak for a week. Or a couple of days.
Will I go back to Cattlemen’s? No question. The food is fantastic, the atmosphere is really good, and I’d love to try it for lunch or even breakfast.