Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar serves up locally sourced food, freshly juiced drinks, and their own garden in the heart of Oklahoma City
Every August my parents come to visit for a couple of weeks. Of course it’s the hottest time of the year, and I’m crazy busy getting ready for football season. But it’s really nice to have them in town. They usually come together, but this trip my mom was driving out with 3 of her sisters. My dad isn’t big on driving for that length of time, and 5 adults in a car for 19 hours each way would be miserable. So he flew back from Maryland with me, and we had about a week with just us.
I work extra crazy hours during the week so that I have time to do personal stuff with my parents on the weekends. My dad and I were in OKC on Sunday, and when it was time for lunch we started discussing options. I usually ask his opinion on cuisine, and then pick something from there. After some back and forth, I decided to go back to Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar.
Whiskey Cake has 3 locations; the one we visited in OKC, as well as Plano and San Antonio TX. My first visit to Whiskey Cake was last winter. It is a farm-to-table restaurant that locally sources almost all of their food. They also have a garden outside where they grow several herbs and vegetables, and inside are herbs that are grown by members of the staff.
On both visits it’s been very busy, but we were seated immediately. There are several different seating areas, including a large bar seating area, main dining room, and then an outdoor patio. They also have a large open kitchen, and I learned from our server that they don’t have any freezers so you know everything has to be super fresh.
Whiskey Cake has a weekend brunch menu that includes a large bloody Mary bar with a lot of variety. I am not a fan of Bloody Mary’s, because I can’t get past the tomato juice.
One of the unique aspects of Whiskey Cake The servers push their fresh juices hard. But for me, there’s way too much stuff going on in them. On my last trip, the guy at the table next to me tried one, and immediately sent it back. His wife did like hers, though.
We started with fried green tomatoes
These were really good. The batter is excellent, like an onion ring batter. The sauce has a slight kick, and the flavor combination of the dip with the tomatoes is delicious.
My dad has been a vegetarian since ’93, and my mom became one when I moved out of the house in ’94. For a long time restaurants were not vegetarian friendly, offering maybe 1 or 2 dishes without meat. Restaurants have come a long way since then, with many featuring vegetarian menus, and all have more options. Typically my dad goes straight to the salmon dish on the menu; however, we had salmon two nights before. Eventually, he settled on the chickpea & edamame royale
My dad doesn’t do spicy…his forehead will literally start to sweat after just a couple of bites. Therefore he got the mustard on the side. He then ate a couple bites of the mustard by itself, and proclaimed that it wasn’t good. I told him you’re not supposed to eat mustard straight, but by then it was too late, so he just left it off. I tasted the sandwich; it has a very interesting texture, but it is very flavorful. Mustard drama aside, he liked the sandwich.
Of course, I had a lot of indecision on what to get. I don’t do well with large menus. While the Whiskey Cake menu isn’t huge, there are a lot of options to choose from. I finally settled on the BBQ Banh Mi
Wow, there are a lot of flavors and textures going on in this sandwich. The pork is excellent, very tender and juicy. They are not shy with the jalapenos, and the heat is no joke. Sauteeing the jalapenos, or even pickling them, would tone down the heat significantly. I’ve recently become a big fan of pickled vegetables, as they add such a wonderful bite and flavor. The hoagie is huge, and too much bread for the sandwich. I powered through the first half, and then ate the insides. I read a review that said the sandwich didn’t live up to the same sandwich at Vietnamese restaurants. Not a knock on Whiskey Cake, but the chance of this living up to what you find at an authentic Vietnamese place is small. This is their version of it, and it says so right on the menu.
All sandwiches and burgers come with house made kettle chips on the side. I really like the chips, and they are crunchy and delicious. I believe that serving them warm would put them over the top.
On my last visit I didn’t get fries because they are an a la carte side, and too much for one person. I took advantage of my dad being with me, and got an order of the handcut Parmesan fries.
I’m a huge french fry snob, and these were really disappointing. They were scorching hot, which is exactly how they should be. However, they were mushy. I expected freshly grated Parmesan, but this looks like it came from the green bottle at the grocery store. The parmesan seems to be a garnish, so after the top layer of fries, no more parmesan. I want to give them one more chance.
Another reviewer said their server asked what they wanted as sides, which is odd because the entrees already come with sides. Their server also didn’t relay that the other sides are a la carte. The Whiskey Cake menu lists prices for all items except for the sides, and makes it seem as though sides can be interchanged and substituted without charge. I do agree with the reviewer that this was a little sneaky of the server, and in my opinion unprofessional. My server on my first visit told me the sides were a la carte when I asked to substitute fries, so maybe the reviewer just got a bad server.
I will definitely continue to eat at Whiskey Cake. The food is very good, I like the atmosphere, and I love that their products are locally sourced. And besides, I still have yet to try their namesake dessert.