#31 - Cafe 501, Oklahoma City, OK

Last weekend I went to Edmond to run some errands and get my Christmas tree.  The tree was the last errand on my list, since I have to drive home slower with the big old tree hanging out of my trunk, and it's on my way home.   I've always had real trees, and will never get a fake one.  I know the fake ones are easier, and create much less mess when it's time to take them down, but it's just not the same.  Besides, I love the way my house (and car) smells when I get the real thing. Last year I found Sorghum Mill, a great tree farm in Edmond.  Of course the trees are more expensive than the ones I was getting at Lowe's, but they are bigger and last longer. 

I'm really trying to eat someplace new every time I go to Edmond/OKC, which is about every 4-6 weeks. There's tons of places I've never tried so the options are wide open.  Since I also needed to stop at Whole Foods, I decided to try out Cafe 501.  It's located in Classen Curve, a trendy shopping/dining area in Oklahoma City, near the mall and Chesapeake Energy.

There's a beautiful outdoor lounge seating and waterfall wall just outside the main door of Cafe 501, and I'm sure in the early evenings that's a hot-spot.  I was seated immediately at a small table in the corner.  I should have asked for a booth, but they were all occupied and I would have had to wait, and since I was really hungry that wasn't a good option.

I'm not sure if my server was bored, tired, or counting the minutes until her shift was over, but I just didn't get a very good vibe from her.  At first I thought it was just me because I was by myself, but I got the same sense from listening to her with her other tables.  I can't quite put my finger on it, but I wasn't impressed. 

I decided to go with the Hot Brown:
Toasted French Country, Grilled Boar’s Head Turkey, Parmesan Béchamel, Swiss, Grilled Tomato, Bacon, Cheddar Cheese
Yes, I realize it's a little rich, but I didn't eat breakfast so I figured it was okay.  It was really delicious.  The turkey was very moist and had excellent flavor, the bechamel wasn't too heavy, and the bacon was cooked perfectly.  I'm not usually a fan of cooked whole tomatoes, but the flavor definitely went really well with the sandwich. 

I was disappointed that it didn't come with some sort of side, even though the sandwich itself was quite large and more than satisfying.  They have salads on the menu, but I didn't see a side salad option, and the other salads were entree sized.  I heard the server tell the table behind me that they could get a small house salad.  If that's an option, then it should be listed on the menu.  I would have definitely gotten it, had I known.  The brunch "signature plates" come with seasoned potatoes, so I'm not sure why the sandwiches are a la carte.  And in looking at their online menus, only their dinner menu offers a la carte sides.  Doesn't make any sense to me, but maybe that's the "upscale" way of doing things.

Will I go back?  Yes, because I want to give it another shot.  The food was delicious and it's got a great atmosphere.  I'm hoping that I just had the misfortune of catching them on a bad day.  Maybe next time I'll try the Edmond location.