November 2022

Page 65


best new


Best New Restaurants

We celebrate the ingenuity, passion and dedication of Oklahoma City’s restaurants to serving fantastic food, even in the midst of industry woes. Here are 11 new restaurants that share our culinary love.


Ma Der Lao Kitchen

Chef Jeff Chanchaleune’s nationally acclaimed Lao cuisine is both traditional and inventive.

available at

Where the Christmas Magic is Made!

6471 Avondale Drive · Nichols Hills, OK 73116 · 405.607.4323

Even Santa Needs a Little Help!

6471 Avondale Drive Nichols Hills, OK 73116 405.607.4323
best new RESTAURANTS Culture 76 ARTS Bringing Broadway to OKC this theatrical season 78 SPORTS At the Cycle 66 bike tour, the road is the attraction 80 TRAVEL Big Bend is a Lone Star park of mountainous wonder 82 IN CONVO WITH Artist Virginia Sitzes recognizes all art is collaborative 84 LOOKING BACK Oklahoman Jim Thorpe is once again a sole gold medalist 86 ONE MORE THING A home giveaway helps St. Jude Research Hospital provide care DEPARTMENTS 14 FROM THE EDITOR 88 WHAT’S ONLINE Trending 18 STYLE Let your color combos follow the November wind 20 SOCIAL HOUR People and events in the 405 24 HEALTH Protecting mental health during the holidays 26 PERSON OF INTEREST Jazz pianist and retired police officer Justin Echols talks about what’s next Home 30 ENTERTAINING 101 Porch pumpkins and cozy entryways 32 DESIGN Redesigned home for the holidays Dining 68 THE DISH Salad leaves don’t need to fall from your diet 70 THE DRINK El Coyote’s drink menu adds to expanding local cocktail craft 72 LOCAL FLAVOR Drive down to these top Mid-Del restaurants VOLUME EIGHT ISSUE ELEVEN ON THE COVER Dish at Milo. Photo by Rachel Maucieri. 6 NOVEMBER 2022
405.607.1199WinterHouse Interiors 6411 Avondale Rd. Nichols Hills Holiday Open House December 1st 4:00 - 8:00pm T I S T H E S E A S O N

Jason M. Leinen, M.D., ATC Family Medicine/Pain Management Fountain Park Medical Plaza 3110 SW 89th St., Ste 102C OKC, OK 73159 405-703-3611

DERMATOLOGY Ngoc Nguyen, MD Oklahoma Skin Associates 4400 Grant Blvd Yukon, OK 73099 405-467-5340

Cassie Smith, M.D. Oklahoma Endocrine Associates 1616 S Kelly Edmond 73013 405.286.1571


Chris Shadid, MD Shadid Medical Group 608 Liberty Lane Edmond, OK 73034 405.252.8761

Clinton G. Wallis, MD HPI Gastroenterology North OKC/South OKC 6516 N Olie Ave., Ste A OKC 73116 405-486-6960

Jeffrey P. Nees, M.D. Fountain Park Medical Plaza 3110 SW 89th St., Ste 200E OKC, OK 73159 405-486-6720


Brett Braly, M.D. Orthopedic Spine HPI Mediplex 9800 Broadway Ext, Ste 203 OKC, OK 73114 405-424-5415

Ashley C. Cogar, M.D. Orthopedic Hand 6600 N Olie Ave., Ste C OKC, OK 73116 405-419-5665

Robert F. Hines, M.D. Knee/Shoulder/Sports

9800 Broadway

OKC, OK 73114 405-348-6004

Daron C. Hitt, M.D.


3110 SW 89th St., Ste 200A OKC, OK 73159 405-486-6800

C Shane Hume, D O

3115 SW 89th St. OKC, OK 73159 405-427-3705

Paul B. Jacob, D.O.

9800 Broadway


OKC, OK 73114 405-424-5426 M. Brandon Johnson, M.D.




73114 405-424-5417

Medicine HPI Mediplex
Ext, Ste 201
Hand/Plastic Surgery Fountain
Medical Plaza
Orthopedic Spine OSSO Orthopedic & Spine Center
Hip/Knee/Replacement HPI Mediplex
Hip Preservation/Knee/Sports Medicine HPI Mediplex
Broadway Ext,
Orthopedic and Specialty Network

Paul Kammerlocher, M.D. Foot/Ankle OSSO Orthopedic & Spine Center 3115 SW 89th St OKC, OK 73159 405-486-6900

Laura Luick, M.D. Foot/Ankle OSSO Orthopedic & Spine Center/HPI Mediplex North OKC/South OKC 3115 SW 89th St OKC, OK 73159 405-486-6825

Mac Moore, M.D. Shoulder/Knee/Sports Medicine Oklahoma Shoulder & Knee Institute/ North OKC/Hinton 3130 SW 89th St., Ste 100 OKC, OK 73159 405-692-3737

Ryan L. Nelson, D.O. Elbow/Knee/Shoulder/Wrist/Sports Medicine HPI Mediplex 9800 Broadway Ext, Ste 203 OKC, OK 73114 405-330-8847

Barry L. Northcutt, M.D. Knee/Shoulder/Sports Medicine HPI Mediplex/Yukon 9800 Broadway Ext, Ste 201 OKC, OK 73114 405-340-4744

Nathan Odor, MD Hip/Knee Replacement Fountain Park Medical Plaza North OKC/South OKC 3110 SW 89th St., Ste 200D OKC, OK 73159 405-906-4059

Sheri M. Smith, M.D. Foot/Ankle OSSO Orthopedic & Spine Center/HPI Mediplex North OKC/South OKC 3115 SW 89th St OKC, OK 73159 405-419-5610

Garrett Steinmetz, MD Knee/Shoulder/Sports Medicine HPI Mediplex/El Reno 9800 Broadway Ext., Ste 201 OKC 73114 405.486.6895

Robert S Unsell, M.D Hand/Wrist OSSO South 10001 S Western, Ste 101 OKC, OK 73139 405-692-3748

PAIN MANAGEMENT Doug Beacham, D.O. HPI Mediplex 9800 Broadway Ext, Ste 201 OKC, OK 73114 405-424-5415

Darryl D. Robinson, M.D. Longevity Spine South 3110 SW 89th St., Ste 102 OKC, OK 73159 405-703-4950

WOMEN’S HEALTH Benjamin Barenberg, M.D. Urogynecology

9800 Broadway Ext, Ste 200 OKC, OK 73114 405-715-4496

Noel R. Williams, M.D.

9800 Broadway Ext, Ste 200 OKC, OK 73114 405-715-4496

405.427.6776 |
Optimal Health
Gynecology Optimal Health
For More Primary and Family Care Options visit


Jordan Regas


Kaley Regas


Julie Partin


Katie Pollock Estes




SENIOR WRITER Evie Klopp Holzer


Lavinia Creswa, Jake Durham, Kristen Grace, Bennett Hill, Matt Kirouac, Lisa Lloyd, Linda Miller, Annabella Potts


Dale Carty II, Jake Durham, Lexi Hoebing, Jerry Hymer,

Kimberly Martin, Rachel Maucieri, Charlie Neuenschwander, Sarah Strunk, Shevaun Williams









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15. Extent and Nature of Circulation: Average Number of Copies Each Issue During Preceding 12 Months; Number of Copies of Single Issue Published Nearest to Filing Date: A. Total Number of Copies: Average: 20,811; Actual: 20,498

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1. Outside County Nonrequested Copies Stated on PS Form 3541: Average: 5,889; Actual: 4,939.

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18. Signature and Title of Editor, Publisher, Business Manager or Owner: Jordan Regas, Publisher. Date: October 6, 2022.

Volume 8 / Number 11, 405 Magazine (periodicals 21350) is published monthly, 12 times a year, by Hilltop Media Group, 1613 North Broadway Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73103. Periodicals postage paid at Oklahoma City, OK and additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 405 Magazine, P.O. Box 16765, North Hollywood, CA 91615-6765. JOIN THE CONVERSATION Follow 405 Magazine on Facebook and @405Mag on Instagram and Twitter Story Ideas and Letters to the Editor Your views and opinions are welcome. Include your full name, address and daytime phone number and email to Letters sent to 405 Magazine become the magazine’s property, and it owns all rights to their use. 405 Magazine reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity.
Magazine Volume 8, Number 11, November 2022. 405 Magazine is published monthly by Hilltop Media Group at 1613 N. Broadway, Oklahoma City, OK 73103, 405.842.2266. ©Copyright 2022 Hilltop Media Group. All rights reserved. Reproduction of 405 Magazine content, in whole or part by any means, without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. 405 Magazine is not responsible for the care of and/or return of unsolicited materials. 405 Magazine reserves the right to refuse advertising deemed detrimental to the community’s best interest or in questionable taste. Opinions expressed in
12 NOVEMBER 2022

T Is for Thanksgiving

AS WE MOVE INTO THIS BEAUTIFUL SEASON of Thanksgiving, I’ve compiled an A-to-Z list of things about Oklahoma City for which I am thankful.

Affordable housing – one of the best costs of living in the country

Blooming flowers – big, beautiful foliage Chamber of Commerce – always keeping our city moving forward

Downtown – hustling, bustling and lovely this time of year

Education – my daughters go to an amazing public school that we adore

Friendly people – truly the nicest in the world Government – many of our locally elected officials really care about their constituents

Hummingbirds – little jewels of the sky Improvements – constant change for the better Journalists – thank you to my fellow reporters for the important work you do Kid-friendly activities – children are welcome almost everywhere Lake Hefner – this body of water serves so many fun and functional purposes

Medical system s – our health providers mean so much to our family Nature – several nationally recognized parks and trails

Open space – you can actually breathe in fresh air and roam Parking – people here don’t know how truly great we have it!

Quiet evenings – stars and crickets fill the night

Restaurants – the food scene is scrumptious and satisfying

Sunsets – colorful and calming Thunder – one of my deepest obsessions

Underdog mentality – #WhyNot Visitors – our growing tourism industry welcomes wanderers

Will Rogers World Airport – get through security in 10 minutes to hear the live music

Xoxo – you can always count on hugs from Okies (even in 100 degree weather)

You – our much valued readers Zoo – award-winning and always expanding

I truly love OKC, and the residents of this town make our jobs easy with their excellence, creativ ity and hustle. Our features this month make that so apparent. For our cover story, we present the much-anticipated list of “Best New Restaurants” written by aficionado Greg Horton(pg. 36). Just a warning: Reading it and looking through the beau tiful food photographs WILL make you hungry. We are also honored to tell the story of a local Laotian restaurant recently named as one of the best in the country by The New York Times and Bon Appetit (pg. 46)

Also in this issue you will explore a peaceful and scenic Nichols Hills redesign (pg. 32), find mental health resources for those affected by the season (pg. 24), hear all about the shows gracing the OKC Broadway stage (pg. 76) and preview a Texas national park perfect for your next camp ing trip (pg. 80).

You will meet a jazz musician with an incredible story (pg. 26), applaud the arts advocate behind a new mural festival (pg. 82) and get reacquainted with a legendary Native athlete (pg. 84).

Once again, we are genuinely thankful for you. All of you reading this and all of you making OKC the dynamic city that it is.

With gratitude,

We recently pulled off our first 405 Magazine signature community event, Secret Supper. It was such a treat to share a meal with so many of you and we are thankful to the talented chefs and vendors who participated! You will read more about this and our other upcoming events in future issues, but in the meantime, please enjoy these sneak peek photos from the evening.

14 NOVEMBER 2022
FORMA OPTICS AND ART Pontiac Building . 1100 N Broadway Ave, Suite 102 . Oklahoma City, OK 73103 . (405) 768-4295 . @formaopticsart @juuriart83 @portraitartincubator International Artist Juuri models Portrait Eyewear.
ICONIC THEN ICONIC NOW The 1964 Cadillac Series 62 Coupe combined style with power, boasting an all-new V8 engine with more horsepower and torque. Today, the powerful Escalade V is the first SUV to offer the “V” badge. VISIT YOUR LOCAL CADILLAC DEALER TODAY BOB MOORE OF NORMAN BOB MOORE CADILLAC WILSON CADILLAC JOE COOPER CADILLAC CUMMINS CADILLAC
Seasonal Soirees This fall’s events around the OKC metro. p. 20 TRENDING STYLE 18 SOCIAL HOUR 20 HEALTH 24 PERSON OF INTEREST 26 JERRY HYMER 17405MAGAZINE.COM


November Chilly breezes and countless blends this season
AS A NEW AIR MAKES ITS WAY THROUGH THE CITY and trees shed their colorful leaves, let your wardrobe reflect the picturesque scene before you. Mixing greens, oranges and browns doesn’t have to be a neutral-tone nightmare. Like those leaves, there are hundreds of shades and color combinations that can result in a beautiful finished product. If you top your look with a funky earring and the perfect bag, not even the harshest of winds can keep you from being your own main character this November. TRENDING STYLE 1. Free People, Block Party Crop Blazer Jacket; Silver Accents 2. Cecelia NY, Carcie Platform Boot; Betsy King Shoes 3. Zobel, Deco Disc Earrings; Naifeh Fine Jewelry 4. Anya Shoulder Bag; Nhu Avenue 5. Misa, Poppy Dress; Edit & Co. 6. Dear John, HighRise Jeanne Cropped Flare; Silver Accents 7. Voluspa, Spiced Pumpkin Latte Candle; Essentials 18 NOVEMBER 2022 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Faces of the 405 Party

405 Magazine celebrated its annual Faces of the 405 Party in style. The exclusive evening was held at the Joinery and included dinner, drinks, a champagne toast and community connections among many of OKC’s movers, shakers and difference-makers.

Agnieszka Rakhmatullaev, Mark Beutler, Julie Partin, Alexander Mickelthwate, Jordan Regas, Kaley Regas, Capri Regas Ben Blasi and Julia Moreland Raylee Lewis, Lillian Meador, Leesa Neidel Leesa Neidel, Jennifer Hamer, Samantha Robertson, Lindsay Clark J.D. Baker, Dr. Noel R. Williams, Cynthia Whitaker-Attalla, Kim Williams, Alexander Mickelthwate Jordan Regas, Keven Calonkey Carl, John Carl, Drew Smith Grace Boyle, Jacqui Ford, Jimmy Norwood, Drew Smith Ginny Freeman and Kristy Freeman Clark
20 NOVEMBER 2022


Renaissance Ball

The much-anticipated 46th annual Renaissance Ball kicked off the Oklahoma City Museum of Art’s season with a black-tie gala featuring dinner and dancing. The event was held at the Oklahoma City Golf and Country Club and included Mood Party Rentals, Cory’s AV, Trochta’s and Walker Companies as vendors. The Late Night after-party featured an open bar and the music of DJ Lucy Wrubel. The evening raised more than $388,000 for the museum.

Justin and Liz Acklin, Sunny Cearley, Adam Brooks Lucy Wrubel Sean and Jill Trauschke, Sable and Joe Hendrix Event chair and co-chairs Bobby Wegener, Meredith Wegener, Mark Beffort, Julie Beffort and Michael Anderson Rachel Peck, Jessica Summers, Collins Peck, Marnie and Clayton Taylor
22 NOVEMBER 2022

Minding Your Mental Health

Local resources to find help in a sometimes difficult season

FALL AND WINTER BRING shorter days with less sunlight, and for about 10 million Americans, the onset of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Symptoms include fatigue, changes in appetite and persistent feelings of sadness. Considering the compounding effects of other chronic forms of depression, and the upcoming holiday season, which brings stress for so

many, mental health care takes significant importance at the end of the year.

There is no shame in seeking mental health care services, but finding the right therapist can be challenging. Psychology Today ( has one of the most comprehensive search engines for finding a therapist, psychiatrist, treatment center or support group in the 405. Each

licensed professional provides a short bio, a list of treatment specialties and an indication of whether they offer virtual sessions and accept certain insurance plans. Many therapists also have sliding payment scales — worth bearing in mind given that an estimated third of therapy sessions are canceled due to out-of-pocket and secondary costs, according to a survey by Verywell Mind.

Teletherapy services such as BetterHelp ( can also connect you to online sessions on your smartphone, computer or tablet. There are search options for individual therapy, couples counseling and assistance for teenagers. BetterHelp requires a membership that can cost between $60-90 a week depending on availability and location. Coupon codes are available to offset some of the initial costs.

Local resources, such as Hope Community Services and Red Rock Behavioral Health Services, are available at locations throughout Oklahoma. In addition to individual and group therapy, Hope Community Services ( provides programs for substance abuse and housing assistance. Red Rock ( has a range of therapies for adults and children and mental health services, especially for Medicaid patients. The center offers in-person and online services, as well as its own crisis hotline: 405-987-ROCK (7625).

In July, Oklahoma launched its new statewide mental health hotline, the phone number 988. This direct, three-digit lifeline, similar to 911, is meant for anyone experiencing or witness ing a mental health crisis. Through call or text, users will be connected to a trained health professional to discuss the situ ation. About 80% of calls can reach a resolution, according to the Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services. In other cases, the state call center is able to send out a mobile crisis team that includes a mental health professional and trained peer support. This intervention is faceto-face support and could include transportation and assis tance with checking in at either an urgent care or crisis center. The lifeline has a relationship with every certified community mental health, community behavioral health and compre hensive community addiction recovery center in Oklahoma.

The goal of 988 is to connect and support callers in the least restrictive or invasive manner, only involving law enforce ment if absolutely necessary. In addition to crisis calls, 988 is a resource for all Oklahomans to find local mental health and substance abuse treatment services along with online addi tional assistance. This single point of contact allows easier access to services to help reduce crisis situations.

To learn more about the lifeline, visit


“For any new comers to Dr Noel R. Williams, MD - Optimal Health Associates - MonaLisa Touch, he saved my life. I was 30 years old and suffered from migraines to where I was taking medicine daily to stop them. After breaking down and crying to my regular doctor, he referred me to Noel. Noel took one look at me and said “you are estrogen dominant”. This was 21 years ago when natural hormone replacement was completely new to me. He was so knowledgeable and the only gynecologist who went against the traditional pharmaceutical machine. He started me on natural progesterone cream, within 3 days, my devastating, life stopping migraines were gone. He has always been far ahead of the pack.”

For over 27 years the providers of Optimal Health Associates have been the leaders in hormonal and menopausal medicine care in OK

We were the first to recognize the importance of using naturally derived hormones versus synthetic, testosterone therapy in women, progesterone cream, pellets plus so much more. If you are having challenges with your hormones; whether a man or a woman we are the place to come for compassionate and individualized hormone care.


Rejuvenating Through Jazz

Pianist and retired police officer Justin Echols shares the power of music

IN 2004, VETERAN AND Oklahoma City police officer Justin Echols endured a catastrophic, head-on car accident that changed his life. He suffered severe brain and spinal injuries, and he thought he would be required to resign from the police force and be unable to provide for his children and aging mother. “It was a time of fear,” Echols recalled. While recovering, he found listening to jazz music therapeu tic. The sounds of Nat King Cole, Ray Charles and Louis Armstrong soothed him when he awoke at night and could not fall back asleep.

Echols sang in church choir as a child but never had regular access to a piano. When his mother moved in with him after the accident, she brought one, and he was immediately drawn to it. “I had an ear for it, instantly,” he said. “Because of growing up in church choir, I had an intuitive ear for harmony. I started tinkering with melodies.”

While recovering the same year, Echols had the opportunity to sing “America the Beautiful” with a big band orchestra for the Oklahoma City Police Department. “I recognized the other songs they were playing,” he said. “I asked them to play ‘When I Fall in Love,’ and singing for the first time with an orchestra gave me chills.” Shortly after, he acquired Harry Connick Jr.’s new release at the time, the CD/DVD set Other Hours . After watching it, Echols decided that if he couldn’t be a police officer again, he wanted to be a jazz pianist.

“I called the director of the orches tra that I had sung with and asked her to give me piano lessons,” Echols said.

“Within a year, I was playing Bach and Beethoven.” When Echols was inducted into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame in 2012, just six years after he started playing piano, he was both working as an instructor for the police academy and flying into New York on many weekends to meet with jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and then-Juilliard professor Antonio Ciacca. He received South OKC Chamber’s Native Son Award in 2019 and the Oklahoma Hall of Fame Legacy


Award in 2021. He retired from his posi tion as police officer in May.

While recognizing the honor of these awards and feeling great excite ment about his upcoming national tour with Kristin Chenoweth, Echols nodded and said, “I’ve still got the larger part of my career left.” He acknowledges that after the acclaim early in his career, he’s lost much of his youthful excitement about the limelight. He is now focused on what he wants his personal legacy to be. “I want my life to be as impactful as my music.”

He continued, “I love playing the national anthem in a packed bar, by me, a Black man, a former veteran and police officer. It’s a way of inviting all Americans into that moment. A cowboy may be sitting next to me, holding my hand and singing ‘America the Beauti ful.’ That moment is true to my story. I’m compelled to believe that there is still something that I’m supposed to do.”

His musical path forward could be to continue touring on large interna tional stages, or to open a bar and lounge of his own closer to home. Either way, Echols wants to use the power of music for good. “I’m thinking about what I can do to have a positive impact on culture,” he said. “I want to play songs that change people’s lives.”

You can listen to Echols perform at Junior’s on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. and Red Piano Lounge at The Skirvin on Fridays. He’s also available to contact for upscale private events at

“I want my life to be as impactful as my music...I’m thinking about what I can do to have a positive impact on culture. I want to play songs that change people’s lives.”
GET MORE OUT OF YOUR CITY SUBSCRIBE TO 405 MAGAZINE! 405 connects you to the best of the Oklahoma City metro’s dining, events, travel and homes. Visit to subscribe. 27405MAGAZINE.COM
Music Give the Gift Give the for thegift ofMusic
Edmond Oklahoma CityNorman
Give the for thegift ofMusic Give the Gift of Music

An Early Gift

Molly Cooke brought sleek and artistic allure to the Hammock home right before Christmas. p. 32 29405MAGAZINE.COM

The Queens of Curb Appeal

Seasonal beauty from The Pampered Porch

PINTEREST-WORTHY PORCH AND CURB appeal: it’s what pretty much everyone wants, especially during the holidays. That’s why Heather Powell and Sarah Harlow founded Pampered Porch to help homeowners spruce up their outdoor living spaces and entryways. For this customized porch, the client gave her preferred color palette and asked for a boho-meets-fall design. Voila!

30 NOVEMBER 2022
WE MAKE HOME IMPROVEMENT LOANS If you’re looking to repaint, remodel or expand, we have loans to t your needs. With competitive rates and our commitment to timely loan decisions, you’ll nd nancing at Arvest a great experience. Let us help you with your lending needs, contact us today. Denise Esparza Consumer Loan Advisor 201 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Oklahoma City (405) 671-8227 o ce (405) 765-8660 cell NMLS #1887482 Loans subject to credit approval. Member FDIC Equal Housing Lender STUDIOMOKC.COM | 405.849.6151 | CASADY SQUARE 9313 N. PENNSYLVANIA AVE. OKLAHOMA CITY, OK 73120 YOUR NEWEST CHOICE FOR LUXURY KITCHEN, BATH, HOMEGOODS, TILE & MORE 31405MAGAZINE.COM

Built on Trust

The Hammock family’s holiday homecoming

’TWAS THE WEEK BEFORE CHRISTMAS, AND ALL through the house: pure chaos.

Interior designer Molly Cooke was laying rugs, placing furniture and hanging art while subcontractors buzzed around her. Painters were finishing up. Elec tricians came and went. Countertops were being installed. Those final days were busy and long, but this team was fully committed. Working alongside Kent Stanford and James Staggs of Stanford Remodeling, Cooke wanted homeowners Jessie and Jason Hammock to spend Christmas in their newly renovated home.

“The holidays can be hectic,” said Jason Hammock. “Molly, Kent and James took time out of their holiday schedule to make sure we were taken care of, which meant a lot to us.”

His Nichols Hills home was taken down to the studs during a 14-month overhaul. Now fully settled in, he and wife, Jessie, couldn’t be more thrilled.

“This is my happy place,” Jessie Hammock said. “I just feel at home, in all senses of the word.”


FAR LEFT: A custom Kravet sectional suits the home’s relaxed and Californiamodern vibes perfectly.

TOP LEFT: A curious arch and ceiling draw visitors into the living room.

BOTTOM LEFT: The powder bath features a Pierre Frey wallpaper called “Shaman,” designed by two students at the National School of Decorative Arts in Paris.

BOTTOM RIGHT: The circular Circa Lighting fixture and marble surround sourced from Pacific Shores round out the family’s formal living room.


To celebrate the conclusion of the project, Cooke enlisted Calvert’s Plant Interiors to install garland around the doorways and mantel — a special touch for special clients.

Cooke attributes the project’s success to the positive communication and connection between her and the clients. The Hammocks established a solid vision for the home: a sleek Cali fornia-modern design warmed by tonal neutrals. Then, they trusted Cooke to execute it.

“They had one million percent trust in me — they would always ask, ‘What do you think is best?’” Cooke said, adding that the relationship evolved to a point where she could buy items with out their approval. “There were so many things, like accessories, the coffee table and art, that I did not even run by them. That [level of trust] is very, very rare.”

The single-level home wraps around the backyard with views from every room, so exterior design was as important as interior. Jason Hammock sketched out his idea, and Stanford

The kitchen fuses natural tones and textures with walnut cabinets, Alexandrita quartzite (quarried in Brazil and purchased locally at Architectural Surface) and a herringbone wood floor.

The dining room is extra user friendly with a washable snake rug from Ruggable. Custom fluted cabinet fronts by Stanford Remodeling and custom cut mirrors by the Glass Company make this bathroom truly unique.
34 NOVEMBER 2022

Remodeling turned that sketch into reality. Meanwhile, Stan Jennings with Professional Lawn Care incorporated beautiful landscaping.

“The inspiration for the patio came from the triangular designs of the Sheats–Goldstein Residence in Los Angeles,” Jason Hammock said. “[The patio] is really cool, and it’s where we entertain guests when the weather is nice.”

Jessie Hammock says the easy flow of the home lends itself to entertain ing, something the couple thoroughly enjoys. Other crowd-pleasers can be spot ted in the design, too, like the bar-style glass rinser Jason Hammock insisted they add to the kitchen. (He makes a mean cocktail.)

While the kitchen is the couple’s favor ite space, the living room also warrants attention with its intriguing archway and wood-paneled ceiling.

“I think those two features give that room a ‘wow’ factor,” Cooke said. “It’s the only arch in the home, but it makes that room so inviting and so curious. If you are hanging out in their common areas — their dining room or formal living room — and you see that arch, it makes you want to go back in there.”

Another highlight of the home is the artwork. The Hammocks have garnered a substantial collection over the years, with several finds from Emily Reynolds of Anonyma Fine Art. Pieces with significant meaning finish out the rooms.

“Art makes you feel something,” Jessie Hammock said. “You see a piece, and it evokes different emotions or reminds you of a memory. We love to travel, and art is the very best souvenir to remind us of our favorite times.”

New “favorite times” are now in the works inside the home, as the Hammocks welcomed a new baby late June.

“We actually told Molly, Kent and James that Jess was pregnant when we were doing our final walk-through the week before Christmas,” Jason Hammock said — one more detail that made their holiday homecoming one to remember.

The Kyle Bunting cowhide rug in the entry was made in Austin. A serene bedroom was achieved through Holly Hunt wallpaper a cork with foil inlays and silk-blend draperies by Mokum.
36 NOVEMBER 2022

11 of our favorite new restaurants for 2022



AAS WE’VE HONORED NEW RESTAURANTS in the 405 over the past few years, we’ve had to note how many extra obstacles new and existing eateries alike have had to overcome since 2019. This year is no exception, only instead of COVID, it’s inflation, supply chain issues and staffing dif ficulties dominating industry news. Dreams don’t die in the face of adversity, though, and restaura teurs are not giving up. In fact, they’re finding new ways to do business, just as they did during the worst of the pandemic.

Service models are changing, and we don’t yet know what the future looks like. We do believe that counter service will continue to be a preferred model, but other arrangements hold promise, too (see Sedalia’s on pg. 39). Staffing shortages have made life difficult for the servers, bartenders and support staff who do show up, and more than ever, restaurateurs are asking diners to be patient, kind and generous. Meanwhile, diners themselves are cutting back on eating out as food prices continue to soar.

Still, we are a food city, so restaurants will con tinue to be central to entertainment and travel stories about OKC, as well as factoring profound ly into the experience of locals and visitors. The James Beard Award win for Florence Jones and the nominations for Chef Andrew Black and Chef Zach Hutton, as well as national accolades for Chef Jeff Chanchaleune, make it apparent that the rest of the country now knows we’re a food city, too.

And so the dreams continue, even in the face of the adverse conditions, and hospitality profes sionals keep taking the metaphorical body blows without giving up on — of all things — feeding us food we love. There is something powerfully in spirational about the men and women who work so hard to do such a simple, important task: it’s just food, but it’s not just food when we take into account the love, passion, hard work, hospitality and endurance of these professionals. We hope you get the chance to try all these Best New Restaurants, and we’d love to hear from you about your experiences.

38 NOVEMBER 2022


2727 NW 10th St., OKC

CHEF ZACK WALTERS and his front-of-house genius wife Silvana are operating Sedalia’s out of the Walters’ family business, an old play ground equipment company near N. May and NW 10th. The building wasn’t designed to be a restaurant, so the couple retrofitted and re fitted the facility to include everything necessary to turn it into a small oyster bar with a big patio. (Which will be wrapped starting this winter.)

The emphasis is seafood, and oysters are available fresh or smoked. Chef Walters sources fresh seafood from all over, including anticuchos (skewered meat and octopus), an homage to his wife’s Bolivian heritage. The menu changes each week, giving diners new crudos, conservas and roasted fish dishes look forward to — to say nothing of what is likely the best freshly baked pumpernickel bread in the metro. The wine list is small, quirky and uber-modern, and the gin and tonic with house-made tonic is a must.


308 W. Edmond Rd., Edmond

WE ARE FULLY IN FAVOR of people bringing excellent Peruvian food to the metro, and Edmond seems on a roll lately with its expanding in ternational options. The menu is set up such that people who aren’t ad venturous eaters can find something familiar, but you’re really here for the lomo al jugo, tamales, tacu tacu and huancaina.

Octopus anticuchos at Sedalia's
Flaming scallops at Culprits
40 NOVEMBER 2022


100 E. Sheridan Ave., OKC

IF YOU WANT TO SEE a renaissance in Bricktown, starting with great food is a solid strategy. The new Renaissance Hotel asked Jeff Dixon to oper ate Culprits on the ground floor, and the choice paid off. Dixon invited James Beard finalist Chef James Fox from Phoenix’s Vecina to consult on the menus, resulting in food that’s easily the best Provision Concepts has yet produced. The rack of lamb is a standout, as is the whiskey cake. Dixon’s love for sushi drives that part of the menu — the crunchy salmon roll is a great place to start. For hearty appetites, chicken-fried rib-eye is an easy yes, but the best thing on the menu is the vodka mezzi pasta dish.


121 E. Sheridan Ave., OKC

THE BRICKTOWN TAVERN has al ready undergone a menu shift, but it was a solid decision to move away from elegant dining to a more pub vibe, given that the building was Tapwerks for much of its history. Executive Chef Chris McKenna brought a ton of expe rience and a palate for comfort food to the task. The Danny Sammy — an Italian meats sandwich — the burger, meat balls and fish and chips are everything you could want from a solid pub.

300 Oklahoma City Blvd., OKC

THE SCISSORTAIL PARK burger joint from Brian Bo gert’s Social Order Dining Collective is going to be some people’s first introduction to Oklahoma City’s food scene, and we are 100% on board with that. The burgers are excellent, and standing out in a market that includes nationally famous burgers is impressive in its own right, but Spark doubles down with a fantastic chicken sand wich and a corn dog so good that state fair vendors should ask for the recipe. The signature pink sauce is not a gimmick; it’s an excellent parmesan aioli that works beautifully with the crinkle-cut fries, and the shakes are as silky and crave-able as we’d hoped. You can get the fro zen cocktails to go, and we can’t think of a good reason to say no to that.


6201 N. Western Ave., OKC

LOCATED INSIDE THE ELLISON HOTEL, Milo is Chef Josh Valentine’s Okie-centric concept that tran scends the archetypal “hotel restaurant.” His influence can be seen in everything from breakfast to brunch to dinner, and his signature skill with pork is best found in the pork adovada and house-made breakfast sau sage on the Okie Pig. Benjamin Lee bison — an excel lent product from Sayre, Oklahoma — is the heart of the bison picadillo sopes. You’ll also find striped bass, trout, steaks, pierogies and stellar desserts from pas try chef Kaci Messerly. Tristan Torres’s bar program, especially the craft cocktails, is excellent.

Crispy pork rillettes at Milo
42 NOVEMBER 2022


714 N. Broadway Ave., OKC

AUTOMOBILE ALLEY has needed some thing good to fill the space formerly occu pied by Cultivar since before the pandemic.

Saj exceeded all expectations with its tradi tional Lebanese cuisine based on the family matriarch’s recipes. The dolmas are magi cal; the falafel is the perfect combination of crispy on the outside and moist on the inside; the baklava — made from scratch in house — is a beautifully balanced bite that doesn’t overdo the sweetness.


301 NW 13th St., OKC

CHEF ALYSSA ULRICH is overseeing an operation that started as a neighborhood bakery and now looks set to expand to be a full-service restaurant with wholesale accounts, cocktails and enough parking to always draw a crowd. The breakfast sandwiches are outstanding, as are the pastries. The Midnight Cowboy croissant is the star, but all her croissants are excel lent, and the seasonal options will surely build a fan base.

A sampling from the pastry case at Gilded Acorn
44 NOVEMBER 2022


Park Ave., OKC

CHEF ANDREW BLACK’S lovely patisserie in the First National complex brings together pastries, oysters, caviar, Champagne and the best egg sal ad in OKC. The salads and sandwiches will be the heart of the lunch program, especially the Cham pagne-poached chicken sandwich and the house salad, which is so good you’ll wonder how a sim ple salad can be so flavorful. When we asked Chef Black, he shrugged, smiled and said, “This is what we do.” The decor is stunning, too; we foresee many, many girlfriend dates with open bottles of bubbles and platters of oysters, plus high tea res ervations are already requiring a larger space.


427 NW 23rd St., OKC

IVAN WONG brought some of the recipes from Szechuan Story — he’s a partner in that Asian District hot spot — when he opened Formosa in Uptown 23rd. It’s looking to capitalize on late-night diners leaving Tower Theatre and surrounding bars. The dumplings are the draw, but the full bar and other small plates will make the late-night crowd happy.

2201 NW 150th St., Edmond

YOU KNOW YOU’RE ONTO A GOOD THING when national chains start opening up with the same menu as Chef Kevin Lee’s delicious Korean fried chicken. The double-fried birds are crunchy, juicy, savory and satisfying, with the boneless thighs as the obvious standout. You’re going to want the mac and cheese, as well as the inexplicably addictive banana pudding dessert. The cocktail program is small and excellent and prominently features Guthrie-based Wanderfolk spirits.


Ma der Magic‘Come
Eat’ — in sensational Lao style
46 NOVEMBER 2022
WORDS Greg Horton PHOTOGRAPHY Lexi Hoebing and Rachel Maucieri

IN WHAT IS LIKELY one of the most bizarre versions of six degrees of separation ever, Oklahoma City’s Plaza District is connected to Luang Prabang — the former royal city of Laos — by only four degrees of separation. That means that if you’re reading this, you’re connected to Sisa vang Vatthana, the final Laotian king, by only five degrees. The connector is James Beard Award-nominated Chef Jeff Chanchaleune, chef-owner of Ma Der Lao Kitchen.

“My grandfather was the postmaster general for the king, so he had to flee the country in 1975,” Chanchaleune said. “The communists were overrunning the country, and no one knew what would happen to the families who worked for the king.”

What happened to loyalists after the country fell to the Soviet-backed Pathet Lao was typi cally relocation to the infamous re-education camps, where the king and his wife would die — allegedly of malaria — in 1978. Chanchaleune’s grandfather rounded up his family and crossed the border into Thailand, where he settled in a refugee camp before being airlifted to Altus Air Force Base in southwest Oklahoma. The chef’s mother, then a teen, followed in the early 1980s.

His father, Sengdalack, who goes by Lack, and his mother, Naly, met at Northwest Classen High School; he was from the royal city, and she was a country girl, but both were bound by their commonality as refugees and by being part of a very small community — it still is — of Lao immigrants in the metro. After high school, Lack enrolled at the American Culinary Federation, where he became a certified chef. His career includes executive roles at popular upscale OKC restaurants Eagle’s Nest and Michael’s Grill.

“My father is the one who pulled me into the kitchen,” Chanchaleune said. “Eventually, he opened his own American-style diner in Mustang called J & L Restaurant, and when he closed it, we moved to Guthrie. That’s how I ended up at Guthrie High School.”

Perhaps this is a good time to pause and imag ine a Lao teenager who was headed to high school in a small town north of Oklahoma City, where,

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ABOVE: Jeslyn Chanchaleune behind the bar at Ma Der
RIGHT: Jeff and Rachel Chanchaleune
FAR RIGHT: Crispy rice salad (nam khao)
48 NOVEMBER 2022

according to his recollection, he was one of only two Asian students and who was coming from a country with which most Oklahomans had little familiar ity. The only reference point his classmates had was an episode of Mike Judge’s “King of the Hill” in which title character Hank Hill has a conversation with his Lao neighbor, Kahn Souphanousinphone.

“So are you Chinese or Japanese?”

“I live in California last 20 year, but first come from Laos.”


“Laos. We Laotian.”

“The ocean? What ocean?” another character asks.

Chanchaleuene remembers the ocean part as the only semi-joke about Asians he heard from his classmates. “It was the only thing about Laos many of them had ever heard,” he said. “No one at the school even knew where Laos is. My friends would come to my house, and the funky smells coming from the kitchen were all new. They loved my mom’s food, though, especially the sticky rice with Golden Mountain Seasoning.”

At Northwest Classen, his younger sister Jeslyn Chanchaleune, bar manager and cocktail genius at Ma Der, had a similarly warm reception. “I never felt like a minority in high school,” she said. “It was mostly Hispanic kids then, and there was a handful of Lao students. We all knew each other, and even now, many of them call my mother ‘Mom.’ She always had an open invitation for our friends to eat with us.”

The connection of food and hospitality has been made uncountable times, and when adding the connector of culture, the trinity embodies what Chef Jeff is doing at Ma Der. He’s not just cooking, and he’s not just putting himself and his food on the table; he’s offering a glimpse into Lao culture. The flavors run from bright to umami, and from zippy to pungent, but the balance he achieves in all the dishes is impressive.

“I want Lao guests to be proud of the food here when they introduce their friends to it, and I want them to be proud there is a Lao restaurant moving Lao food forward,” Chanchaleune said. “I’ve tweaked the recipes a bit, but I’ve stayed true to Lao cuisine.”

His problem is similar to that faced by young Korean and Viet namese chefs who want to present their traditional cuisine with a modern, cheffy twist. When Chae, the utterly brilliant modern Korean concept on NW 23rd St. (R.I.P.), first opened, the owner and chef would get regular complaints from older guests who were upset that the restaurant did not offer banchan, the bowls of pickled vegetables and other specialty items that accompany meals in traditional Korean restaurants. That the food could be modern and still respect tradition seemed to be a hard right turn for the traditionally minded.

Immigrant populations bring recipes with them from their home countries, and three generations later, without connections to the cuisine in their old homes, the food ossifies into the styles, techniques and ingredients the immigrant population brought with them. It stops evolving and can be a comfortable reminder of home for the original generation, even as successive generations become more acclimated to the new culture. Chefs raised in the new culture are understandably eager to bring their education and experience to the cuisine of their childhood. That can create a disconnect between generations, while those outside the commu nity remain blissfully unaware of the conflict.

Forward movement — a phrase that is admittedly a matter of perspective — requires sensitivity and respect, and it’s this chal lenge that Chanchaleune has mastered at Ma Der. His approach might not have been intentional, but it certainly provided the best way forward: He worked on recipes with his mother and grand mother, as well as James Beard Award-finalist Chef Seng Luangrath of D.C. area Lao restaurants Padaek and Thip Khao.

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“I want Lao guests to be proud of the food here when they introduce their friends to it, and I want them to be proud there is a Lao restaurant moving Lao food forward.”

“I asked Chef Seng how she brought Lao food to U.S. diners,” Chanchaleune said. “She gave me great feedback, and the last time she was in Dallas, she drove up here to eat at Ma Der, and she again offered excellent feedback. The approach is to keep the food as traditional as possible while using techniques, seasonings and high-quality ingredients to move it forward.”

The best examples are his pork belly dishes. Pork is not a traditional protein in Laos, but Chef Jeff loves it, so he offers it at Ma Der. He adopted the same approach at Gun — now Goro, where he remains a partner. To help translate, he used catfish for the kara age dishes because it was more familiar to Oklahomans; catfish is popular in Lao cuisine, as well.

“Lao food is regional, just as it is in most coun tries,” Chanchaleune said. “The food in the south is more rustic and more pungent, and the food in the north is fresher and lighter, with citrus and herbs. Both have the same base proteins, though: beef, chicken and fish, especially catfish. You don’t find pork in Lao cooking as a rule.”

He grew up eating his father’s northern food and his mother’s southern cooking. “I could tell they were different, but as a kid I didn’t understand regionality,” he said. “I just learned to love both.”

You can taste both in his dishes at Ma Der, too. If there is a divisive dish on the menu, it’s the papaya salad. The Thai version is fruity to the point of sweet, but papaya salad from south ern Laos is made with fish sauce — some diners unfamiliar with the style would say too much fish sauce — leading to a funky, umami flavor quite unlike what you expect when the menu says “papaya.” His larb, meanwhile, is popping with acid, fresh greens, zippy ingredients and a satis fying freshness that leaves you wanting more. There is much to be loved in both approaches, and Chanchaleune nails the balance through out the menu.

“I’ve been saying it for years and I’ll continue to say it: Jeff is the best chef in Oklahoma,” said Rachel Cope, founder and CEO of 84 Hospitality, the parent company of Goro Ramen and Izakaya. “I mean this with no disrespect to some of the other greats, but the guy’s imagination and palate are really incredible. He can cook anything, and

Ma Der has soup features four days a week, including the remarkable khao soi.

he always manages to put his own spin on it, so you know it’s his just from tasting it. He’s also the most humble and hard-working. I’m proud to call him a partner at Goro and wish him all the good things in the future.”

Chanchaleune is easy to like, which is an important quality in hospitality. Matched with a tremendous work ethic, it makes him a chef that other chefs like, too. His enthusiasm for Ma Der is bone deep and clearly genuine, so much so that it’s infectious, and his pedagogical approach is more as a friend and fan of food encour aging you to love what he loves via experience than a chef talking down to unenlightened diners. It’s honestly the best approach when the menu contains words like jaew, larb, nam khao and sai oua.

Some of that is just Chef Jeff, but some is the family he was raised in. He met his wife Rachel (nee Arthur) Chanchaleune when they both worked at In the Raw in Norman. She speaks of the experience of marrying into a Lao family with visible fondness.

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50 NOVEMBER 2022

“There was never any ‘outsider’ talk,” she said. “They were so welcoming, and [although] there was some amusement at a white girl eating Lao country food, I was never allowed to feel out of place. This was my home; they were my family.”

She is an excellent guide to educating Oklahoma diners who know little to nothing about Lao food. “My experience with Asian food growing up was a favorite Chinese buffet, and my experience of seafood was going to Red Lobster for my dad’s birthday. Papaya salad was a tough one, and so was the fresh fish, but now I’m OK with both. I always loved the sai oua.”

Loving the sai oua is the easiest thing to do for anyone who loves housemade sausage — or what is easily a top 10 dish in Oklahoma City. While it’s not designed for this, adding it to the nam khao (crispy rice salad) is so delicious that we’ll just call it an evolution of the cuisine rather than some westerner mashing two dishes together.

While Oklahoma City has slowly become more appreciative of what Chan chaleune is doing, the rest of the country’s progress is faster. After positive words in Saveur, the national press started hearing about this small Lao joint

in Oklahoma City. On his birthday this year, Chef Jeff woke to discover that Bon Appetit had named Ma Der the best new restaurant in Oklahoma, and two weeks later, the New York Times included him in its annual list of 50 favorite restaurants in the U.S.

“Our business has doubled, and it started the Thursday night the Bon Appetit article dropped,” Chanchaleune said. “Once we made the Times, we started getting guests from all over the country.”

As if having nationally famous food on plates and in bowls (his khao soi soup is a must) wasn’t enough, Ma Der also features one of the city’s best cocktail programs thanks to the aforementioned Jeslyn Chanchaleune and Daniel Johnson. In Oklahoma, it’s a rare thing for an Asian restaurant to have a stellar bar program, but Ma Der’s is special. The tamarind whisky sour will convince any cocktail fan that they’ve arrived at a bar that understands craft.

Add to that Ma Der’s Monday pop-ups, when Chef Jeff plays with flavor combinations that stretch the parameters of Lao food, and which are so popular they typically sell out, and we’re left to wonder how he is able to do everything so well.

“I’m just trying to make Ma Der what I want it to be, expand the menus and work on the pop-ups,” he said.

That’s the humility that Cope mentioned, and we’re grate ful he decided to combine that humility with hard work and natural talent — and more than that, we’re grateful he’s trusted us enough to try to translate Lao food for us.

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What is the difference between “cosmetic veneers” and “cosmetic bonding”?

“Veneers” are custom made to fit over the front of the tooth to change the shape, size, and color of the tooth. It requires lab or ma chine fabrication. “Cosmetic bonding” is a procedure used to repair a chip or close spac es between teeth or change the shape of a tooth by adding composite resin. It is done directly chairside by the clinician.

Then what is this “cosmetic bonding” I see on social media?

Depending on your social media source, cos metic veneers are usually made from one of three basic materials: porcelain, ceramic, or composite resin. Often what you see on social media categorized “veneers” is some form of porcelain or ceramic. When catego rized as “bonding” it is usually a form of com posite resin.

What are the pros and cons of porcelain/ ceramic veneers vs composite bonding?

Porcelain/ceramic veneers

- Pros: last longer, are stronger and have good color stability.

- Cons: Porcelain/ceramic veneers often re quire removal of some tooth structure and costs more money. It is highly dependent on the artistry and skill level of the lab technician.

Composite bonding

- Pros: Composite bonding is done chairside (in one day), is easy to repair, and is often cheaper.

- Cons: it is not as strong as ceramic veneers and loses life and luster much quicker than por celain/ceramic veneers. It is highly dependent on the artistry and skill of the dentist.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for veneers vs. bonding?

The process begins with an oral evaluation and x-rays by a dentist. Based on the health, align ment, and how your teeth function together, we can discuss options on what is best for you.

Pragma Dental 1900 NW Expressway Suite 205 Oklahoma City, OK 73118 405.200.1993 |

Joshua G. Brock, DDS

Tell us about your practice.

This started as a joke, but I always call my practice a modern day mom and pop shop. My wife Eryn and I met in high school when we got voted “best smile” in the yearbook. Coincidentally, I always wanted to be a dentist and Eryn always wanted to be a dental hygienist. Three years ago, we took over for an accomplished dentist named Krista Jones who ran an incredible, comprehensive, and cosmetic dental practice for over 30 years. In a time when big corporations are taking over the medical and dental field, my wife and I strive to continue to provide a private and personal dental practice in the 405.

What are some common misconceptions about oral health?

So many people I talk to have misconceptions about the cosmetic aspects of dentistry. While it is amazing to completely transform someone’s before and after photos, not everything is about beautiful white teeth. We use crowns and veneers to restore broken or chipped teeth, to regain the length in a bite that has collapsed over time, and/ or to accomplish a more balanced occlusion. The same misconceptions exist when it comes to In visalign treatment. Not only are we closing spac es and rotating teeth, we are improving patients’ overall oral health by eliminating traumatic occlu sion, restoring proper alignment, and preventing further loss of their supporting bone and tissue structure. All cosmetic dentistry should be com prehensive and restorative in nature.

How do you handle patients who are anxious about dental care?

One of my favorite things is to help anxious patients overcome their fear of the dentist. In my practice, I get to spend ample time with all my patients, getting to know them and building a real relationship with them. The time we take to have real and open com munication allows our patients to let go and fully trust us. While we offer amenities like blankets and pillows to relax our patients for every appointment, nothing can replace trust and compassion.

Joshua G. Brock, DDS Cosmetic & Family Dentistry 2000 E 15th St STE 200, Edmond, OK 73013 405.341.0203 | 62 NOVEMBER 2022

Grace Jun, DDS


What is the difference between “cosmetic veneers” and “cosmetic bonding”?

“Veneers” are custom made to fit over the front of the tooth to change the shape, size, and color of the tooth. It requires lab or ma chine fabrication. “Cosmetic bonding” is a procedure used to repair a chip or close spac es between teeth or change the shape of a tooth by adding composite resin. It is done directly chairside by the clinician.

Then what is this “cosmetic bonding” I see on social media?

Depending on your social media source, cos metic veneers are usually made from one of three basic materials: porcelain, ceramic, or composite resin. Often what you see on social media categorized “veneers” is some form of porcelain or ceramic. When catego rized as “bonding” it is usually a form of com posite resin.

What are the pros and cons of porcelain/ ceramic veneers vs composite bonding?

Porcelain/ceramic veneers

- Pros: last longer, are stronger and have good color stability.

- Cons: Porcelain/ceramic veneers often re quire removal of some tooth structure and costs more money. It is highly dependent on the artistry and skill level of the lab technician.


- Pros: Composite bonding is done chairside (in one day), is easy to repair, and is often cheaper.

- Cons: it is not as strong as ceramic veneers and loses life and luster much quicker than por celain/ceramic veneers. It is highly dependent on the artistry and skill of the dentist.

How do I know if I’m a good candidate for veneers vs. bonding?

The process begins with an oral evaluation and x-rays by a dentist. Based on the health, align ment, and how your teeth function together, we can discuss options on what is best for you.


Dental 1900 NW Expressway Suite 205 Oklahoma City, OK 73118 405.200.1993 |

Dr. Shannon Lewis

Braces r


ave ra ge for ortho d onti c t rea tm e nt i s $ 65 0 0 Som e spec i a l ca ses mi g ht cost mo re if two p h a ses a re req ui red b ut th ose s itu a tion s a re by fa r th e minori ty Th e re a re m a ny a ffo rdab l e o p tion s if you as k a roun d Trea tm e nt a t Lewi s Ortho d onti cs sta

Lewis Orthodontics

2900 N Kelly Ave, Edmond, OK 73003 8811 E



2900 N Kelly Ave, Edmond, OK 73003 8811 E Reno Ste 101 Midwest City OK 73110 405.330.5095

Lewis Orthodontics
| Dr. Shannon Lewis MYTHS Braces run $7000-$8000 Fa l se! Don ’t ove r pay Th e n a tion a l ave ra ge for ortho d onti c t rea tm e nt i s $ 65 0 0 Som e spec i a l ca ses mi g ht cost mo re if two p h a ses a re req ui red b ut th ose s itu a tion s a re by fa r th e minori ty Th e re a re m a ny a ffo rdab l e o p tion s if you as k a roun d Trea tm e nt a t Lewi s Ortho d onti cs sta r ts a t $ 4 99 5 b efo re in s u ra n ce a n d I’m s u re th e re a re oth e r offi ces i n th a t ra n ge as we ll Internet aligners are just as good as an orthodontist . Thi s i s not tru e Onlin e ortho d onti cs onl y se pa ra tes yo u f rom your mon ey I n o rde r to ge t your b ite cor rec t yo u n eed to see a b oa rd ce rtifi ed ortho d onti st who pe r form s thi s wor k eve r y d ay M y offi ce continu es to see pe o p l e wh o fe ll for th e sa l es p i tc h a n d th e n com e to u s to c l ea n thin gs up. It ends up costing more than if they had just just called a b oa rd ce rtifi ed ortho d onti st ASK THE EXPERT P R OM O T I O N PROMOTION ASK THE EXPERTS
101 Midwest City OK
405.330.5095 | lewisbraces com
$8000 Fa l se! Don ’t ove r pay Th e n a tion a l
r ts a t $ 4 99 5 b efo re in s u ra n ce a n d I’m s u re th e re a re oth e r offi ces i n th a t ra n ge as we ll Internet aligners are just as good as an orthodontist Thi s i s not tru e Onlin e ortho d onti cs onl y se pa ra tes yo u f rom your mon ey I n o rde r to ge t your b ite cor rec t yo u n eed to see a b oa rd ce rtifi ed ortho d onti st who pe r form s thi s wor k eve r y d ay M y offi ce continu es to see pe o p l e wh o fe ll for th e sa l es p i tc h a n d th e n com e to u s to c l ea n thin gs up. It ends up costing more than if they had just just called a b oa rd ce rtifi ed ortho d onti st ASK THE EXPERT P R OM O T I O N PROMOTION ASK THE EXPERTS 64 NOVEMBER 2022
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Matching Mixes El Coyote’s star cocktails complement and elevate its New Mexico-style menu. p. 70 RACHEL MAUCIERI DINING THE DISH 68 THE DRINK 70 LOCAL FLAVOR 72 67405MAGAZINE.COM

Autumn Leaves

Salad isn’t just for summer — try these heartier fall variations


with holiday-based temptations, beginning with Halloween and moving right through Thanks giving to build up to the year’s end. It’s easier to eat lighter in the summer; no one wants heavy fare when the temps are moving back and forth across the 100-degree mark. But fall and winter bring comfort food in waves, and one of the easi est ways to enjoy the season and its flavors with out going overboard in terms of calories is with salad. Yes, salad.

Luke Fry, executive chef of Scratch at 132 W. Main St. in Norman, describes the keywords of fall salad as spiced, crunchy, roasty and creamy. The ingredients move away from zippy acids, citrus and warm-weather vegetables to squash, nuts, pepitas, baking spices and heavier but still healthy-ish compositions.

“My favorite is the combination of heat and fall spices,” Fry said. “I like combining clove and cinnamon and nutmeg with chili powder and cayenne, so not only do you get the warmth in your soul from a nice allspice-roasted piece of butternut squash, but you can also get the warmth in your mouth from the smoked guajillo-maple brittle.”

Definitely not spring and summer salad talk in that description, but it does sound delicious and hearty. For the fall and early winter, Scratch has a butternut squash and brie salad: roasted butternut squash tossed with spinach, drunken cranberries and fresh orange segments in an orange-clove vinaigrette, served with maple-ba con pecan brittle and creamy warm brie. It’s a meal in a bowl, redolent with the aromas of fall.

Cafe 7 (14101 N. May Ave., OKC) has been a salad destination since it opened 15 years ago, and changes its salads seasonally, which means you’re getting fresh, seasonal ingredients. The bonus is that the pricing is right for families without sacrificing quality. Co-founder and operating partner J. Mays is a salad maestro, whose approach is always based on combin ing layers of flavors and textures in creative, satisfying salads.

“When the weather starts to get cooler, I think most everyone realizes what is right around the corner with glutinous holiday meals,” Mays said. “So for me, the perfect fall salad is something that is light and filling with flavors that reflect the season — apples, walnuts and sun-dried cranberries are a magical trio that lend their complementary flavors to dishes ranging from oatmeal to poultry. When mixed with balsamic vinaigrette and greens, they make a

fantastic salad.”

Cafe 7’s signature salad wasn’t created as a fall dish, but it works beautifully as one, with romaine lettuce and field greens tossed with roasted chicken breast, cranberries, apples, toasted walnuts, fresh tomatoes and bacon, finished with balsamic dressing. The crunchi ness is one of its most satisfying qualities — sort of like eating tortilla chips, but better for you.

If you want to cheat just a little, pop into Gilded Acorn, Chef Andrew Black’s newest concept at 146 Park Ave. in downtown OKC, and get its remarkable egg salad on greens. The egg salad is good enough to eat by itself with just a spoon, but if you put it on greens, it’s magically transformed into a salad. Fair warning: While you’re in Gilded Acorn, you’ll be tempted by the pastry case. On the other hand, this is basically the holiday season, and you’re having a salad … so bon appétit.

The signature salad at Cafe 7 is perfect for fall dining.
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Raising the Bar (Program)

New Britton District restaurant

EL COYOTE OPENED IN SEPTEMBER at 925 W. Britton Rd. to much fanfare and long waiting lists. The New Mexico-style concept from Chef Jonathon Stranger features stacked enchi ladas, blue corn tortillas, tacos, hominy served posole style and other Santa Fe and Albuquerque specialties. The bar and patio are sure to bring even more traffic to the growing Britton District along what used to be the Britton municipality’s main street.

To complement the food, Stranger’s bar program features some of the usual suspects — like margar itas in various guises — but he’s also done some thing that we’ve been waiting to see happen in the metro: He’s made what might be the 405’s first

frozen horchata cocktail. Others have spiked horchata with rum before, but it’s never been frozen, and this represents a much appre ciated and long overdue evolution of the form.

Horchata has a long history in its earliest iterations, which involved boiled barley water and horchata de chufa, as well as standard arguments about who did what first. The Span ish brought a form of the beverage to the Western Hemisphere, and it’s become a staple all across Mexico, where it’s part of the agua fresca category. Traditionally, white rice is soaked in water and cinnamon and then strained. Other spices can be added, but the basic mixture is just rice milk and cinnamon. The bever age is poured over ice.

Stranger also introduced a prickly pear cocktail — the Santa Fe Sunset — that relies on blanco tequila for the kick. Prickly pear juice is a tradi tional beverage in Mexico and the Southwestern United States, and like horchata, it’s simple to spike. In fact, fermenting prickly pear juice leads to one of the best versions of tepache, a fermented beverage often made with pineapple.

The trend of creating bar programs where the ingredients in the drinks mirror and complement the food is a very welcome one, and incorporating new-to-Oklahoma flavors from around the world in cocktails is a smart and delicious way to increase our city’s palate. El Coyote — along with Ma Der, Grey Sweater and Trompudo’s Tacos — is leading the way in this endeavor.

El Coyote brings innovative drinks to OKC
A trio of cocktails at El Coyote, including the spiked horchata (right).
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3839 NW 63rd Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73116

405.848.0099 |
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While CPAP use is effective and usually the first choice of treatment, the patient may not always be compliant with the machine. After one year, 25% of patients are actually still using it. The OAT device is very effective in treating mild to moderate sleep apnea with a compliance rate as high as 90% over a two and a half year period. If you are interested in oral appliance sleep therapy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, contact us at 405.755.4450 today! Our dentist and team will be happy to assist you. DO YOU WAKE UP IN THE MORNING FEELING LIKE YOU HAVE NOT SLEPT? DO YOU HAVE HEADACHES FREQUENTLY IN THE MORNING? HAVE YOU BEEN TOLD YOU SNORE? YOU MIGHT BE SUFFERING FROM SLEEP APNEA! • Extreme drowsiness during the day • Personality changes and irritability • Difficulty staying asleep • Snoring • Awakening with a very dry or sore throat • Frequent morning headaches We recommend that you talk to our dentist, as well as your doctor, if you suffer from the symptoms of sleep apnea. Common signs of sleep apnea include:
Dr. Laura Ousley

Max Flavor in Mid-Del

10 Mid-Del restaurants you need to try now

TO A LARGER THAN NECESSARY degree, traffic patterns determine where we eat most of the time. Destination restaurants for special events are the most common excep tion, but most people tend to eat at restaurants within a couple miles of home and work, or along a route between. That cuts us off from delicious food in other parts of the 405. We’d like to take some time to highlight several great choices in areas of the city you might not visit often, or that might be near you but just outside your normal driving routes, in hopes of broadening your horizons of deliciousness. We begin with 10 Mid-Del Restaurants to Try Now.

Chibugan , 4728 SE 29th St., Del City

Stellar Filipino food is what you’ll get from this Del City eatery. The lumpia are excellent, as is the pancit, and the lunch specials are affordable and filling.

Creperie and European Cafe, 2839 S. Douglas Blvd., Midwest City

It doesn’t matter if it’s breakfast or lunch; you’re here for the crepes, which are delicious.

Made properly, and loaded with a variety of fresh ingredients, they are the star of the menu, but don’t overlook the sandwiches and made-from-scratch soups.

Hawaiian BBQ, 6000 SE 15th St., OKC

It’s technically east OKC, but it’s definitely considered Mid-Del, and this is where you find the best bulgogi in the 405.

Korean House, 4716 SE 29th St., Del City

Although it’s not in its original location, this Del City staple is the OG among Korean joints in the city. The specialities of the house are the barbecue items: bulgogi, bulgalbi and samgyeopsal. You can cook your own if that’s your preference, but we like to leave it up to the experts.

Tacos Jalisco, 9003 E. Reno Ave., Midwest City

Finding mulitas around town got harder once Cardenas SLP closed, but this MWC truck scratches the itch deliciously. It’s a traditional taco truck with some surprise additions to a truck menu, like enchiladas and fajitas.

Tandoor, 1901 E. Reno Ave., OKC This one is also technically east

OKC, but it’s close enough that we’re including it, because it’s also one of the very best Indian restaurants in the 405. The butter chicken and tikka masala are incredible, and vegetarians will find plenty of options too. Unless you’re a heathead, ask for mild to medium spice.

Taqueria La Fondita #2 , 1709 S. Sunnylane Rd., Del City

This is one of the pleasant surprises on the SE side, as finding a traditional taqueria this good that’s not on the SW side of OKC feels like a huge win. The tacos, as expected, are fantastic, as is everything else from the escabeche to the beans.

Taste of Soul , 4605 SE 29th St., Del City

The giant egg roll concept started as a truck, and when it landed in a brick and mortar, Del City was the winner. It’s worth the drive for these as-advertised giant egg rolls, featuring traditional and creative options: chicken, cheeseburger, turkeyjalapeño, breakfast style, etc.

WePancakes , 1017 S. Air Depot Blvd., Midwest City

Midwest City folks love this breakfast joint, thanks in large part to more than a dozen styles of pancakes – if it’s in the name, you’d better be good at it, and WePancakes is. Choose among options like traditional buttermilk, blueberry lemon ricotta, pina colada and something you have to try: donut pancakes. It has French toast and crepes, as well as a full lineup of traditional breakfast items.

Wing Star and More, 4500 S. Sunnylane Rd., OKC

The “and more” is a messy, delicious cheeseburger — among other things — but the wings are the star (as you’d expect). To the critic who calls boneless wings “chicken nuggets,” these morsels are excellent no matter what you call them. The parmesan sauce is easy to like, and the spicy sauce has some sincere heat to it.

Pancit and lumpia at Chibugan
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Dean McGee Sur geons Help You Put Your Best Face Forward

When the signs of aging, stress, or sun damage appear, the oculofacial plastic surgeons at the Dean McGee Eye Institute (DMEI) – Dr. Jeremy Tan and Dr. Thai Do – can help reverse the effects. According to Dr. Do, “oculoplastic surgeons have specialized training in eyelid and facial anatomy to develop the surgical finesse necessary to treat complex conditions around the eyes.”

Common cosmetic procedures performed by the team at DMEI include blepharoplasty (removal of excess eyelid skin), ptosis repair (droopy eyelid lifting), endoscopic forehead and brow lift, mid-face lift, lower eyelid fat removal, and injectables (Botox, fillers, etc).

“We strive for natural-looking results,” states Dr. Tan. “The best compliment we receive from patients after they heal from surgery is that their friends and family tell them they look well rested.”

To discover what the oculoplastics team at DMEI can do for you, call 405.271.1096 to schedule your evaluation today.

CULTURE Creating and Collaborating Virginia Sitzes wants to uplift all Oklahoma artists through arts programs and platforms. p. 82CHARLIE NEUENSCHWANDER ARTS 76 SPORTS 78 TRAVEL 80 IN CONVO WITH 82 LOOKING BACK 84 ONE MORE THING 86 75405MAGAZINE.COM

Hitting All the Notes

More musical magic awaits OKC Broadway’s latest season


RAISED THE CURTAINS on its 202223 season. The theater program returned to the stage in September with Hairspray. This upbeat musical had audiences rooting for high school dance fan Tracy Turnblad as she fights for racial equality in 1960s Baltimore. Fans of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” might have recognized Nina West from season 11 as the iconic Edna Turnblad, a role originated by drag queen Divine and made famous by Harvey Fierstein and John Travolta. Hadestown , the winner of the 2019 Tony Award for Best Musical, took the stage in Octo ber. Through soulful music sung by an incredi ble, diverse cast, Hadestown is a retelling of the

ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. After bringing two award-winning musicals to the 405, OKC Broadway has more entertaining acts to follow.

The musical Tootsie, based on the 1982 film starring Dustin Hoffman, runs from Nov. 15-20. This production tells the story of a struggling actor who lands the role of a lifetime — star ring in a new Broadway musical. With a Tony Award-winning book by Robert Horn and a score by David Yazbek, Tootsie is known for coming at the audience with tons of jokes and physical comedy and will be great fun for kids aged 10 and older as well as adults.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats is the first season special, running Dec. 30 to Jan. 1, which is a purrfect way to start 2023 … after all, Jellicle cats meet once a year. The second season special is The Book of Mormon, written by “South Park” team Trey Parker and Matt Stone along with Robert Lopez, coming Jan. 13-15. Credited as being one of the most successful musicals of all time, The Book of Mormon tells the story of a pair of missionaries who are sent to a remote Ugandan village and the hilarious antics that follow. This show has themes that everyone can relate to, regardless of religious

beliefs. But it does contain some strong language, so it’s most appropriate for ages 13 and up.

From Feb. 14-19, OKC Broadway presents rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar, in its celebrated 50th anniversary production. One of the most spec tacular and emotional shows of the season, this Andrew Lloyd Webber smash hit tells the story of the last seven days of the life of Jesus as seen through the eyes of Judas.

Following is the show all parents have been waiting for — Disney’s Frozen will finally arrive at the Civic Center March 22 to April 2. Join prin cesses Elsa and Anna as they learn to be bold and courageous and, of course, find that sibling love trumps all.

The season wraps up with the return of Hamil ton, May 24 to June 4. If you somehow missed the acclaimed musical when it was last in Oklahoma City, here is another chance to see the magic in person. Alexander Hamilton is arguably one of the most influential founding fathers, and Lin-Man uel Miranda brought him back to life with perhaps the biggest musical of our generation.

For more information on this season’s musicals or to purchase tickets, visit

LEFT Cats, RIGHT ABOVE Tootsie, RIGHT BELOW Jesus Christ Superstar
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C M Y CM MY CY CMY K 405HalfNov22.pdf 1 9/16/22 11:34 AM 77405MAGAZINE.COM

Get Your Kicks With Cycle 66

The biking tour pedals back to Edmond’s part of the historic road

OKLAHOMA IS HOME TO THE LONGEST DRIV able stretch of historic Route 66. Over 2,400 miles make up the journey from Chicago to Santa Monica, with more than 400 miles running through this great state. Each year, activities and events occur along the route, which bring in millions of dollars for surrounding communities. Case in point: On Nov. 6, the second annual Cycle 66 will celebrate the nostalgia and heritage of Route 66 with a series of bicycle races and rides as this national landmark nears its 100th anniversary. Cycle 66 was initially intended to be a motorcycle rally event. State and local officials embraced the concept, but also sought to reimagine “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” for a modern audi ence. They wanted something more inclusive, and the idea evolved from motorcycles to bicycles. Edmond — an active community with the motto “A Great Place to Grow” — felt like the clear choice to host the event.

“I think Route 66 is a big reason we are doing this,” said Jennifer Seaton, director of Visit Edmond and Cycle 66 board chair. “Edmond, of course, is … a popular suburb of Oklahoma City. We expect thousands of visitors to dine and shop at local downtown Edmond businesses.”

Cycle 66 promotes health, wellness and family fun. This year, participants can choose from several rides. From train ing wheels to tricycles, kids of all ages are welcome and encouraged to deco rate their bikes for an exciting 1-mile ride around Edmond. Adults can participate in a 10-mile leisurely group ride showcas ing downtown Edmond, the University of Central Oklahoma and many of the community’s best parks.

Intermediate riders will want to clip in for the 33-mile route. Designed for those who enjoy a challenge, this route begins in downtown Edmond and runs south to the state Capitol before returning. The advanced 66-mile course is for those look ing to push themselves farther. Riders will get a taste of the Mother Road on a route that begins in Edmond and continues through Oklahoma City, Jones, Luther and

Arcadia before reversing course.

This year, Cycle 66 has partnered with local nonprofit cycling organization OKC Velo to help host the criterium, or The Crit. Amateur cyclists will compete on a looping closed course. “The cycling racing world is organized by skill or age with five different skill or age level classes,” said Cycle 66 crit director Tony Steward. “Every skill or age level has its own time on the course. Races are between 30 and 60 minutes, but they are pack races with everyone together in fields of 50 to 100. It’s fast, exciting, and will be happening in downtown Edmond.”

Riders of all age groups and skill levels are encouraged to sign up for the event, and there are no equipment requirements.

“This is a ride for everyone,” said Cycle 66 founder Mike Osbourn. “If you want to ride your 1978 bike with a banana seat, you are welcome to do that. Last year, we anticipated 200 to 250 riders, and we ended up with 550.”

Entry fees begin at $10, and registra tion can be completed until the day of the event. For more information or to register, visit

Cyclists chat at the Cycle 66 bike tour in Edmond in 2021.
78 NOVEMBER 2022
Join Automobile Alley for the 7th annual holiday open house featuring shopping and festivities, pop-up programming, photos with Santa, and glowing light displays. At KODA we’ll make the best use of your hour in the gym and help you optimize the other 23. Contact us now for a free intro and group class! It doesn’t have to be fun, but we think it should be. 3825 Nw 166th St, Ste #B17, Edmond OK 73012 405.757.7114 405.947.6828 • 5420 N. PORTLAND AVE., OKC Still Using Chain Pharmacies? Go Local for Fast & Friendly Service 3rd Generation Family-Owned Pharmacy Proudly Serving the Metro Area Since 1982! - We Accept all Major Insurances & Great Cash Pricescompound medications at affordable prices 79405MAGAZINE.COM

Beauty at Big Bend

Everything really is bigger in Texas, especially this national park

FROM 72-OUNCE STEAKS TO THE LONGEST-RUNNING state fair in the country, Texas is a state that goes big — a sentiment shared with its nature, too. Located in a far-flung corner of west Texas, four and a half hours southeast of El Paso, Big Bend National Park is a momentous park that lives up to its name with 1,200 square miles of mountains, canyons, wildlife and epic desert terrain bisected by one of America’s most iconic rivers, the Rio Grande, whose bending shape forms the border with Mexico.

As one of the most remote national parks in the country, Big Bend is a wonderland of solitude and serenity, and of soaring peaks and craggy canyons. Out here, in an isolated corner of Texas devoid of human devel opment, it’s hard to believe you’re on the same planet as cities like Dallas, let alone the same state. It epitomizes the notion of national parks:

COURTESY OF LAJITAS GOLF RESORT The golf course at Lajitas Golf Resort features rocky terrain. The wide landscape makes for breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
80 NOVEMBER 2022

For something with more amenities and modernity, head 12 miles south west to Lajitas, home to the 27,000-acre Lajitas Golf Resort. The resort boasts its own “international” airport, a golf course designed by PGA-winning Lanny Wadkins, the Agave Spa and unique activity options like cowboy-led lessons on how to shoot single-action pistols. Comfy accommodations are spread across multiple sections, including Old West-in spired rooms at Cavalry Post, swimming pool-adjacent suites at La Cuesta, hacien da-style villas and rooms at the Badlands Hotel — including the Clay Henry Suite, named for the beer-drinking goat mayor of Lajitas. Yes, really.

What to Do

the Rio Grande at the end of gravelly Hot Springs Road. Located in the remnants of a former bathhouse, the geothermal-heated spring is separated by a stone barricade from the river.

The action doesn’t have to end at sunset, either. Being so remote, Big Bend is one of the best places on the continent for stargazing, with the least light pollution of any national park in the contiguous 48 states. In addition to periodic rangerled stargazing programs and moonlight hikes, all you need to do to experience the twinkling spectacle is look up.

Where to Eat and Drink

After a day on the trails, mosey over to Terlingua’s spirited saloon, the Starlight Theatre, where the food far exceeds the call of desert duty. The menu specializes in margaritas and contemporary riffs on Texan cuisine, like tequila-marinated Texas quail with blueberry-balsamic reduction, chickenfried Texas antelope with Lone Star Beer gravy and pork medallions with a spicy chipotle sauce.

The views of Lake Michigan and environs from Indiana Dunes National Park are stunning.

beautiful, unmarred landscapes of otherworldly flora and fauna, far removed from the habitual clutches of Wi-Fi. A tranquil escape from civilization — this is the majesty of Big Bend National Park.

Where to Stay

Just outside the park, Terlingua is a tiny town teeming with dusty lore. A once-bustling mining town under the operation of the Chisos Mining Company, Terlingua boomed during World War I with increased demands for quicksilver. It served its population of 2,000 residents with a school, postal service, a restaurant, a doctor and a hotel. While the mine has long since shuttered, with most residents leaving Terlingua an abandoned ghost town, an updated hotel remains. Surrounded by mine shafts and gnarly cacti, the Big Bend Holiday Hotel has the endearing charms of Wild West Texas with rooms, suites and entire houses available as eccentric lodging. These include cottage-style casitas, Uh Clem’s Room with a grotto shower and the Rock House, a former trading post on the Rio Grande complete with a grill on the riverside terrace and an on-site housekeeper.

From extraordinary hikes to raft rides through sky-scraping canyons, there’s no shortage of all-natural awe in Big Bend. The Chisos Mountains are the only mountain range contained entirely within a national park, with 150-plus miles of hiking trails ranging from peaceful strolls to hardcore treks. The Chisos Basin Loop Trail is an easy entry point, a two-mile jaunt on a tree-lined trail culminating with sweeping desert vistas, while the Lost Mine Trail is an arduous five-mile trip through juniper forest to the crest of a rocky ridge overlooking a sprawling valley. En route, be on the lookout for Big Bend’s resident wildlife — bobcats, javelinas and mountain lions are all rare sights, while far-morecommon roadrunners and coyotes make the place look like real-life “Looney Tunes.”

This may be the arid desert, but water activities are front and center, with the mighty Rio Grande offering paradise for paddlers. Kayaks, canoes, rafts and stand-up paddleboards are all available from area outfitters, most of whom offer guided river floats through the canyons. Chief among them is Santa Elena Canyon, the tallest in the park, lined with a grassy hiking trail shrouded in merciful shade. Depending on the water level, the river may experience rapids or be practically still. Just be sure not to make landfall on the south side of the river, as border crossings into Mexico aren’t treated lightly.

For something more relaxing, luxuriate in natural hot springs that bubble up at 105 degrees Fahrenheit on the shore of

Lajitas also offers an assortment of options, including Candelilla Cafe, Boardwalk Bakery and Pizzeria and the Thirsty Goat Saloon. Named for the town’s goat mayor, who routinely makes the rounds through the bar to chug Lone Star Beer by the bottle, the upscale saloon serves crafty Tex-Mex fare like fried quail legs drizzled with hot honey, brisket quesadillas and Clay Henry’s Nachos, heaped with ground beef, beans, roasted poblano queso and guacamole. Because apparently the goat mayor of Lajitas likes nachos as much as he likes beer.

Zip line at Lajitas Golf Resort The open ranges allow for different shooting activities from sporting clays to single-action pistols. The resort in Lajitas, Texas, offers equestrian trails for interested riders.


Arts advocate Virginia Sitzes is calling all creatives

I’VE ALWAYS VIEWED ART AS individually driven. Each work represents the unique talent and message of a single artist, and art is interpreted through one’s own subjec tive lens. However, after sitting down with printmaker, muralist and arts advocate Virginia Sitzes, I’ve begun to see art differently.

With a passion for bringing artists together, Sitzes co-founded Art Group and Sunny Dayz Mural Festival, two welcoming platforms for emerging and underrepresented artists. She also collaborates with the Oklahoma Arts Institute, the Department of Education’s Art Tech program and print exchange Connect: Collect, to boost creatives and support their art. Artists need community, and Sitzes is always connecting.

When it comes to carrying Art Group and Sunny Dayz forward, what keeps you going?

I see it as a win-win; I see no negative coming out of supporting artists and art here. I think one piece of art, even if it only makes one person feel not so alone and think, “Oh my God, someone else had that thought and felt that way” — that’s worth it. Art changes lives consistently.

Why is supporting local artists so important to you?

I really care about the arts in Oklahoma. I believe that art has a lot of secret-agent power to create change because people experience art every day and they have no idea. So I think creating these communities, projects and initiatives is not just bettering the arts in Oklahoma, but actually bettering the culture at large here. There are really devastating things that happen in this state. I often do feel like I want to go somewhere where I

feel more supported as a female, as an artist — but if everyone leaves, how is change going to happen?

With a mission to uplift female and nonbinary artists, Sunny Dayz Mural Festival has landed in both the Britton District and Edmond. Where to next?

With Sunny Dayz, after the first few years of going into more established places and getting those experiences under our belts, we want to take it to rural places and really blast them with public art. You see where the funding goes in this state, and it’s not [going] to rural art education. Art introduces new ways of thinking, and I think that’s important. Everyone should be a critical thinker.

Describe your art.

My personal work is colorful, abstract, experimental and process-driven. I really like making and making and making, and having it be a very intuitive process … My most recent work has been exploring internal landscapes. We’re made up of so many layers, especially in the form of memories. Some are really apparent when

you go back to them, while others are covered up. That’s a lot of what I’ve been thinking about lately: what shows through, what gets covered up.

What advice do you give emerging artists?

You need a team — a great team — and a solid support system. When I’m really feeling really [bad], there’s going to be someone else that isn’t in that space who can help me with a different perspective or just be there with me. I couldn’t do it without every single person involved.

I think creating these communities, projects and initiatives is not just bettering the arts in Oklahoma, but actually bettering the culture at large here.

LEFT: Jim Thorpe played for the New York Giants after losing his amateur status. BELOW, Richard Thorpe next to a mural of his father in 1983.

Glory Restored

Legendary athlete Jim Thorpe’s gold medals are back in the books


At the Stockholm Olympics in 1912, Oklaho man Jim Thorpe won two gold medals: one in the pentathlon and another in the decath lon, in which he set a world record of 8,412 points. Crowds cheered enthusiastically at his athletic feats. King Gustav V of Sweden report edly declared, “You, sir, are the greatest athlete in the world.”

Thorpe accomplished what no other athlete had. He became an international sports celeb rity and was welcomed in New York with a tick er-tape parade. The celebration was short-lived. Early the following year, he was stripped of his medals, awards and titles when it became known he had been paid to play professional minor league baseball. That was against the rules. Rules, learned later, that were not always enforced.

Thorpe was the first Native American to win an Olympic gold medal. It has been said Ameri can officials were most vocal about taking away his medals because they believed the games belonged to amateurs. Historians say racism also figured into their decision.

Thorpe was born in Indian Territory near Prague and grew up in the Sac and Fox Nation. No doubt born with natural talent, he finetuned those athletic skills at Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. He was a standout in track and field, football, baseball and lacrosse. He even won the 1912 Inter-Col legiate Ballroom Dancing Championship.

After the Olympics and the devastating deci sion, Thorpe turned to what he knew. He played both major and minor league baseball, and then professional football — where he also served as the American Professional Football Asso ciation’s first president and later a player and coach for the Canton Bulldogs. He was also on the first All-NFL team in 1923. Five years later, he retired from professional athletics. In 1950, he was voted the Associated Press Athlete of the Half Century.

Thorpe’s life was a series of highs and a few lows. He tended to be modest and rarely lamented the loss of his medals. After sports, he worked as a stunt performer and Hollywood character actor. Two ex-wives and seven chil dren meant hefty financial obligations, so he

often took jobs as a security guard, ditch digger and construction worker.

Later in life, he reportedly suffered from alcoholism and poor health. He suffered a third heart attack and died March 28, 1953, three decades before the International Olym pic Committee presented duplicate medals to his children. His Olympic records and status as sole gold medalist in the two events were not then reinstated, though.

Fast forward to July of this year, when the IOC justly named Thorpe sole champion of both the decathlon and the pentathlon, rather than co-champion. Finally, the record books accu rately reflect Thorpe’s achievements, thanks in part to family members and supporters who worked for decades to bring about change.

Gail Hendrix, Thorpe’s great-granddaughter who lives in Yale where her father once lived with his first wife and children, told the Still water News Press that it was “the longest compe tition in Olympic history.”

Thorpe, still considered one of the greatest athletes ever, is buried in Pennsylvania. His third wife asked Oklahoma to erect a monu ment near his hometown of Prague, but no agreement could be reached. Mauch Chunk, Pennsylvania, stepped up with an offer and renamed itself Jim Thorpe once the tomb was in place in 1954.

The Sac and Fox Nation and Thorpe’s family hoped to get his remains removed and buried on tribal ground in Oklahoma, but the court did not rule in their favor. Thorpe’s remains may be in a town he had never been to, but his reputation has been restored for all the world to know.

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A Dream Home to Build Better Futures

The St. Jude Dream Home giveaway helps the nonprofit hospital take care of thousands


Danny Thomas did not know where else to turn. Struggling to find work, Thomas attended mass one evening in Detroit, and prayed for guidance over looming medical bills. The next day, he was offered a small role that paid him more than he had given the church, according to the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital website.

Later, amid further career troubles, he turned to St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of desper ate cases and lost causes. St. Jude’s name is often invoked in prayer by those suffering from unem ployment, financial strain or disease. After pray ing to the saint, his career exploded, culminating in an Emmy Award; however, he never forgot the promise he made.

Thomas had a dream that “no child should die in the dawn of life,” and on Feb. 4, 1962, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital officially opened its doors. Since then, research into childhood

cancer has advanced tremendously, and St. Jude’s efforts are part of the rise in children’s cancer survival rates. “It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children,” said Chas sidy Satterfield, the area executive director for St. Jude in Oklahoma. “Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20% to more than 80% since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago.”

There are eight affiliate clinics across the U.S., including one in Tulsa, and regional fundraising offices in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. In addition to cancer research, St. Jude Children’s Hospital removes the burden of travel, housing and treatment costs to families so they can focus on their children. Volunteers and donations are what make this possible.

On Aug. 25, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospi tal announced the 2022 winner of the annual St.

FOX 25 reporter Malcolm Tubbs presents at the St. Jude Dream Home celebration.
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Jude Dream Home Giveaway for Oklahoma City. This year’s winner received a 2,700-square-foot home worth an estimated $580,000 built by Shaw Homes, which has donated its services for the last three years, with another commitment in 2023. Additional spon sors include The Oklahoman, 101.9 the Twister, Bob Moore Auto Group and Homeland.

“We have given away nearly 600 homes in 19 states and 44 markets nationwide, and have raised over $550 million,” said Satterfield. “People can win the house and other prizes by reserving a $100 ticket. Those who toured the Dream Home could also sign up to win our Open House prize: a $5,000 shopping spree courtesy of Mathis Brothers. All proceeds will help ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”

Giveaways like this fund St. Jude’s strategic plan: a six-year, $11.5 billion investment to help raise survival rates of the six most common forms of childhood cancer from 20% to 30% by 2030. “The plan is ambitious, and its goals are far-reaching,” said James Downing, the president and CEO of the hospital. “We’re committing substantial resources to broaden scientific under standing, raise survival rates, improve quality of life and connect researchers worldwide in the quest to find cures and save children with cancer and other deadly diseases.”

To learn more about St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and upcoming Dream Home Giveaways, visit

“All proceeds will help ensure that families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food — because all a family should worry about is helping their child live.”
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