Mar 31, 2011


Hey fellow dispatchers! My name is Kaylee McDaniel and I am the Sustainable Travel Initiatives and Communications Assistant at OTRD. It’s a long title that pretty much means that I get to write about one of the places I love best: Oklahoma. I was born and raised here, and I love exploring the state and telling other people about what I find. As a recent college grad, my main requirements for Oklahoma adventures are (1) that they are fun and (2) that they are cheap.

One of the reasons I love living in Oklahoma is because of the number of great Mexican restaurants throughout the state. I love Mexican food, and I will take any opportunity to try out a new establishment. So when I met a friend in Tulsa a few weeks ago, I immediately knew I had to sample the Mexican food all my Tulsa friends were buzzing about: Eloté Café.

While it’s relatively new to the restaurant scene (owners Jeremy and Libby Auld opened in May 2008), Eloté has already established a firm reputation for serving locally-sourced, healthy and tasty Mexican food.

In other words, it is the Holy Trinity of Mexican cuisine.

Eloté’s menu takes advantage of nearby farms to provide customers with fresh, local foods—without the high price tag associated with organic eating. Throughout the year, farmers markets provide inspiration for the seasonal menu items. The chicken is always free range, and a Bixby farm provides the beef. The restaurant’s bread and pastry items are also made at a local bakery.

Once I realized how much care and attention the owners put into the menu items, I knew that anything I ordered would be tasty and satisfying. According to my Tulsan friends, the puffy tacos were the lunch specialty, so I ordered the salmon version and prepared myself to be impressed.

One bite of my tacos and I had found one of my new favorite restaurants. The cinnamon-covered churros helped confirm my growing realization that I HAVE to visit this restaurant again.

Sometime between bites, I had the presence of mind to actually take in the atmosphere of the restaurant, which includes a bar made of 100 percent recycled materials and a mysterious wrestling ring in the corner. Eloté is the only restaurant that I know of that has its own certified wrestling federation. These luchadors (think Nacho Libre) entertain the public at matches throughout the year.

Whether it’s eating local and healthy foods, watching people get clobbered in a wrestling match, or just enjoying some darn good Mexican dishes, Eloté offers something for everyone’s tastes.


Mar 3, 2011


The small town of Krebs is often referred to as Oklahoma's "Little Italy". This title ultimately reaches back to the late 19th century when the area's coal mining industry fostered a large community of Italian immigrants.

Today Krebs' Italian American roots still stand firm, as evidenced by its abundance of delicious eateries and Italian grocers. The concentration of such great food and drink has certainly made Krebs a destination for hungry Oklahoma foodies in search of the perfect marinara and the finest of cured meats.

Of course if you know anything about Lacey and I, you know the siren song of soft cheese and homemade pasta is far too much for us to handle....

Our trip started at Lovera's Grocery which stocks a wide array of homemade cheeses, cured meats, sauces, pasta, pickled veggies, and much much more. The store is family owned and operated and this aspect shines through with it's incredible customer service. Sneaking a few samples from the deli counter is always my favorite part of shopping here, although walking out with a bag full of mouth watering morsels is certainly nothing to be ignored.

We picked up all the necessary items to make a delicious lasagna, but that was to be saved for dinner...

Across the street from Lovera's Grocery is a convenience store called Krebs Korner that actually serves fresh Italian food made from products found at Lovera's. With so many great food options in Krebs, it might seem odd eating lunch in a gas station, but trust me, you've never eaten convenience store food like this. Fresh pizza and sandwiches that are out of this world, and very reasonably priced. Just looking at the picture above is making me hungry!

Probably one of the most famous placed in Krebs is a wonderful family style Italian restaurant called Pete's Place. Pete's Place has a fantastic history that you can read all about here, but for now I want to focus on a slightly more obscure aspect of Pete's: Choc Beer.

Many Oklahoman's are familiar with the locally brewed Choc Beer, but some may not be aware that this delicious brew is made in the same building as Pete's Place. Tours are available to those who are interested, and of course the tasty brew can be bought on site. We brought home a sampler case to go with the lasagna we has planned for later in the evening.

On the way home we stopped at a few antique stores in the nearby city of McAlester, and found an incredible deal on these Frankoma plant potters. Lacey was quick to get them set up with some pretty looking succulents. My fingers are crossed that they'll have a good life in our living room, but as most people who know us can personally attest, horticulture is not our specialty.

Finally the payoff! Delicious lasagna cooked solely from ingredients purchased at Lovera's finished off with Choc Spring India Pale Ale. I must say it was perfect - although that's all Lacey's doing....