#170 - The Pump Bar & Grill, Oklahoma City OK

After walking around the Uptown 23rd Farmer’s Market for a couple of hours, I was famished.  They only had a couple of samples, and I hadn’t eaten since before church. My original plan was to eat from one of the food trucks, but the lines were long and it was blazingly hot. All I wanted to do was sit down in the AC.

The Pump Bar has a prime location at the market. It’s on the corner of the 2 streets that the market is on. I asked a woman handing out magazines if they served food, and she said yes, and that it was really amazing. Sold. 

I figured that this place used to be a gas station, and lo and behold I was right. It was originally a Texaco gas station from 1929 - 1978.  The restaurant opened in 2014. Very cool piece of history and great use of space.

There’s a bouncer as soon as you walk through the fence onto the property.  Very key on market day when there’s tons of kids in the area. As he handed me back my license, he said “no way you’re born in ‘70”.  I knew I would like this place.

The bartenders and servers are a very eclectic bunch. I kind of felt like a few of them were in a punk rock band. Wait…do people even say that anymore?! The movie Blues Brothers was playing on the big TV’s behind the bar, and when we asked the bartender said the owner really likes the era before the early 70’s.  Sounds good to me. I can’t even tell you the last time I saw that movie, so it was fun to take that step back in time.

There was one open seat at the bar, so I jumped at the chance to sit there. Of course, my first request was water. I could have guzzled a gallon of it in record time. I chatted with Erin, one of the bartenders, and she was very friendly and helpful. I also met a great young couple who had just moved from Dallas to OKC.  We had a great conversation about everything at the market. We asked Erin if they selected the location because of the market.  Nope, they just got super lucky.

I had a mimosa, right after the water, served in an extremely classy cup

I love the presentation.  Why mess with china that could very easily break?! I also saw this lovely concoction being served while I waited for my food

Gold, light, and 151 rum, apricot brandy, orange and pineapple juice;
finished with a float of dark rum
It’s called an Ian’s Zombie, and has all kinds of rum in it. I decided to try one.  Really, really good. Not super strong at the start, but the kick sneaks up on you. About 30% in, it got stronger with every sip. Since I was by myself and had to drive back to Stillwater, I stopped about 3/4 way through.

I browsed through the regular menu, and then one of the bartenders gave me the farmer’s market menu, and that’s the only food that is available on market day. The BLT immediately jumped out at me, so I went with that. I asked if it came with anything, and the bartender said chips. I had seen tater tots on the regular menu under “bites” and asked if I could get those instead

I definitely wasn't expecting this big a portion! I had thought I would just get a small side, but nope. A whole potato and then some. I guess it makes sense, since they're on the appetizer menu so are meant to share. These were so good. They came out screaming hot and crispy. The garlic aioli was delicious but no overwhelming garlic flavor, and the sriracha ketchup had just enough bite.

Arugula, candied bacon, heirloom tomato, spicy Gruyere fondue, fried egg
The BLT was outstanding. The egg was perfectly cooked, the bread was toasted brioche and really delicious, and the bacon was a thicker cut. I like that they used arugula instead of lettuce.  It provided a little peppery bite to the sandwich that added great flavor. I devoured the sandwich. I only made it through half the tots before I had to wave the white flag. I took the rest home, and munched on them later in the day. I was pleasantly surprised they were still good even after the trip home and without reheating. And even more key? The serving container fit perfectly in the to-go box

Will I go back? As I was enjoying the afternoon, I texted Michele to tell her I found us a fantastic Sunday Funday spot. The food was excellent, the bartenders were really friendly, there was a great atmosphere, and I would love to spend a few hours out on the patio.