#41 - Eischen's, Okarchee, OK

I'm a huge fan of fried chicken.  It's one of my favorite things ever.  When I was a kid we used to go to Roy Rogers (a fast food restaurant on the east coast) every so often and I would always get the 2 piece dark meat.  However, my mom refused to let me eat the skin...the best part of the fried chicken...the crunchy, greasy deliciousness.  She would make me take it off and throw it away.  Seriously??  What's the point of eating fried chicken without the skin? 

Ever since I moved to Oklahoma, I've heard about Eischen's, the oldest bar in Oklahoma.  Everyone raved about it.  Whenever I would tell people I'd never been, they would look at me like I was crazy, and say "you've got to go".  But for whatever reason, I never made it.  A few weeks ago I posted on Facebook about how I'd never been and wanted to make sure to get there before my 6-year anniversary in March.  I was shocked at how many of my friends who were born and raised in Oklahoma had never been. 

Mary and I were going to Bedlam basketball in Norman, and decided it was the perfect opportunity to make my first pilgrimage.  It's a little over an hour from Stillwater, and then another hour to Norman.  One very important thing to note...if you put "Eischen's Bar" into the GPS it will take you to the address, but it's not to Eischen's...it's to a random neighborhood about 10 minutes away.  So make sure you do the actual address, in Okarchee.

I had originally thought about going for dinner after the game, but Mary suggested that we do lunch instead, because it gets more crowded as the day goes on.  They don't do reservations, you seat yourself, and in the evening it can take 2+ hours to get your food.  We arrived about 11:15, which was perfect because there were no more than 20 people there. 

You hear about dive bars and dive restaurants...Eischen's is both, rolled into one. Instead of a soda fountain, they just have canned soda that they bring you with a styrofoam cup with ice.  They only take cash,  don't serve tea or coffee, but they do have beer.  And they only have 8 things on the menu. 

We went with the fried chicken and fried okra.  Your only option is an entire chicken.  It comes with white bread, onions, and pickles. 

About halfway through the chicken Mary stopped short and announced "you forgot to take a picture"...cardinal sin of the food blog. I found these online, and they are perfect representations of our meal.

The chicken was phenomenal!!  Perfectly crisp, not greasy, and boiling hot.  And it only took about 15 minutes for our order to come to the table, which was great.  I can't even imagine having to sit there for 2 hours at night waiting for my food, while people around me are eating all the deliciousness.

I've never liked okra.  When I was a kid my mom steamed it, so it was gross and slimy and I absolutely refused to eat it.  One day my dad told me I couldn't leave the table until I ate one piece.  For some reason I decided it was the seeds that made it taste bad, so I was determined to pick out every single seed before I would taste it.  He finally gave up.  I've developed a taste--sort of--for fried okra...as long as I've got ranch or ketchup to dip it in.  This okra was really good, but they give you a ton of it.  Maybe they've got an okra farm out back.  Honestly, they should offer a half serving.  I realize that would require another menu item, but I still think they should do it.

I like onions, but I'm not really sure of the purpose of half a raw white onion with your meal.  The pickles were awesome, and I'm pretty sure homemade.  I tried a bite of the white bread...basic white Wonder bread...boring, and only gets in the way of eating the other stuff.  Next time I would tell them to skip the bread and onions, and double up on the pickles.

We had to force ourselves to eat the entire chicken, and took a couple of breathing breaks in between.  It's just way too good to leave any, plus we didn't want the leftovers sitting in the car that long.  By the time we were done we were in a complete food coma, and considered skipping the game and just heading back to Stillwater.  But we powered through. 
Will I go back?  That's a very silly question on this place.  But probably only every couple months.  I'm not sure my arteries could survive eating here regularly.