On our way to Oklahoma City, we stopped in Amarillo for the night and go to the Bank of America branch. Other than that, it was not a destination stop. Just down the highway from the RV park was the ‘Big Texan Steak Ranch’, something of an attraction in the area. On the whole, it was worth the experience, but I wouldn’t go there just for the steak. I am not sure if ‘filet’ meant mignon or some other cut of meat, but I have had better at the Outback Steakhouse. The ranch offers free limo pickup service for area RV parks and hotels. The ranch also has a brewery, so since I was not driving, I could sample the product. I had a nice dark wheat ale.
We had a check that needed depositing, drawn on a Canadian Bank. This is something we do on a regular basis, so we have been to a number of Bank of America branches along our travels. Now all of the branches that we have visited before to make such a transaction, the staff were knowledgable and new exactly how to deposit the check, get the current foreign currency rate for Canada, convert the amount from Canadian to American dollars, and deposit the check. The branch in Amarillo, I don’t think knew what Canada was. The head teller was on the phone for about 20 minutes trying to get information on what to do, and then wanted to fill out a paper form in triplicate to send the check for collection, which means sending it to head office and totally manual processing. We took the check back and said no thanks. In the end, we went to a branch in Oklahoma City and deposited the check. They at least knew what they were doing.
Our plan was for a one week layover in OKC. We knew we wanted to visit the memorial, and there were also a couple of DDD places in town that needed visiting. We still had that Canadian check that needed depositing so a trip to the closest Bank of America was in order. We were in need of a visit to Camping World for some maintenance supplies and also a visit to Whole Foods. Friends had also recommended a visit to the Cowboy Museum which was about a 2 minute drive from the RV park. It was going to be a busy week.
The OKC Memorial and Museum was a very draining experience. We went into the museum first. There was a Water Board meeting going on next door that was being recorded. You sit down in a small theatre and watch images and listen to the minutes of the meeting up until 9:03 when the explosion occurs and the lights go out. The entire museum experience was emotionally draining as you view the artifacts of victims and survivors of the bombing.
The memorial garden is also an emotional experience. The Survivor Tree was situated in the middle of the parking lot across the street from where the bomb truck was parked. It is aptly named, not only surviving the bomb blast, but also the trauma of fire trucks and heavy construction equipment tramping across it’s roots immediately following during the rescure effort and during the months after during the clean up of the site. The Field of Empty Chairs is a very poignant visual of the effects of the bombing. Each row represents a floor of the building, and each chair a person who died in the blast. The second row (floor) is mostly little chairs, representing the children in the day care center who died in the blast.
The National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum , formerly known as the Cowboy Museum , was a suggestion of friends of ours who raved about it’s art collection, and they were right. The art collection is amazing. One section of the museum deals with the impact of ‘western’ on TV and movies, and the stars that made the ‘western’ genre. The collections of firearms, clothing, horse tackle and all things western, is amazing. The restaurant at the museum as was also surprising very good and often caters events at the museum. The museum was a 2 minute drive from the RV park, so really handy.
Oklahoma City has a number of DDD joints:
With Lynn now being a vegetarian, some were going to be a tough sell or not even a consideration. Nic’s is a burger joint, so that was out of the question. Leo’s was only a 8 minute drive from the RV park, so the plan was to bring some home for me while Lynn had a veggie patty. Ingrid’s served euro-american cuisine, so that was a prime target, but Cattlemen’s Steakhouse would probably be another tough sell. Somehow Mama E’s slipped through the cracks.
It seems that being featured on DDD can either be a curse or boon for a restaurant. We had come across several in our travels that failed to survive the publicity that comes with the TV exposure. Some had closed while others could not cope and went downhill from the experience. And then again, we came across others that just kept on trucking, churning out good food.
Leo’s BBQ falls into the first category - it might have been good at some point, but at this point in time, not in the same league as Texas Pride, or even Lonnie Q’s. After reading the reviews on the DDD web site, I had to wonder if I had indeed eaten at the same place. A number of items that people had raved about, were no longer on the menu, while others were a supreme disappointment. The ribs that I had were over-smoked and too crispy on the ends.
Ingrid’s Kitchen seems to have survived the trauma of being featured on the show. We went on a weekday for dinner and the chef seems to have been experimenting with some new items. One of the sides that came with my schnitzel was a new potato salad. I found it a bit too vinegary. Lynn had a seafood dish while I had the schnitzel. It was good, but not outstanding. My other side was sauerkraut, of which I am not a fan. The other aspect of the restaurant, is the bakery. If you don’t know what you want for dessert, you just go next door to the bakery and pick something out of the display. The European desserts are just delicious. They also have a deli if you need something quick to go.
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|Goliad TX Spring 2013|
|Kerrville TX and NHOG 2013|
|Sanger TX Spring|
|Guthrie OK, Spring|
|Junction City KS, Spring 2013|
|Colorado and Woodland Park|
|Early Summer 2013|
|Late Summer 2013|