Happy 2013 all!
The holidays were a bit brutal and took time away from blogging on the site, but I am back and ready to go! The first review for 2013 is on The Mule.
The Mule is located in the Plaza District - NW 16th between Classen and Penn Ave. The Plaza District is what I would deem OKC’s version of San Francisco’s Haight Street. It has a bit of a hipster vibe, and many of the stores focus on art or music. The Mule seems to be the perfect addition to this thriving OKC neighborhood.
My recent visit to The Mule happened to be a busy evening. It was the first night they were open after the Christmas holiday. The very friendly hostess offered to put our names down on the waiting list but also suggested we check to see if there was any seating at the bar since it was open seating. As luck would have it, there were two empty chairs at the bar, so we snagged them. (This was a no kids night – hooray!)
The Mule is not your typical restaurant (or bar for that matter.) Their motto, Hot Melts | Cold Beer , is the perfect description of this grilled cheese sandwich meets hipster bar joint. The atmosphere is relaxed and casual but can get a bit loud if the restaurant is busy.
First off, I like the menu. It’s minimal, which I appreciate. There are 4 appetizers and 4 salads – all of which range from $6-$7.50. They include the Okie Poutine (hand-cut french fries, house white gravy, Watonga cheese curds), and the Classic which is a dipping cup of their house tomato soup, served with 2 classic cheddar grilled cheese sandwiches. YUM.
For entrees, you have your choice of 10 unique “sandies” as they like to call them. With names like Caprese, Herbivore and Fancy Pants, it’s obvious these are NOT your mom’s grilled cheese sandwiches. The Caprese is smeared with sundried tomato and basil petso, marinated tomatoes, fontina & Parmesan cheeses and a rosemary balsamic vinegar. This particular visit, I decided the Big Ass Grilled Cheese was calling my name (with bacon, of course). All sandies range in price from $7-10 and come with your choice of french fries, onion rings, soup or seasonal salad (onion rings and salad are a small additional charge.)
The sandwiches are well prepared. My BAGC with bacon had perfectly toasted slices of bread filled with gooey melted cheeses (which are chefs choice) and sandwiched in there were smoky bacon strips. My only critique is I wish the bacon would have been a bit crispier, but that’s probably just a personal preference on how I like my bacon cooked. My hub chose the special, and it was amazing. It was roasted pork belly with a tomato jam, arugula and a homemade aioli – and it was spectacular. Our sides were french fries, which had a distinct aroma that smelled a bit like ground cloves, but was actually a pepper (one I can’t remember off the top of my head!). The onion rings are a nice change from your traditional thick-coated rings you find in many restaurants around town. The batter resembles more of a tempura batter, light and super crunchy. We both enjoyed them.
Now, if the food isn’t good enough, get ready for beverages. The Mule carries a great selection of beers, which pair perfectly with the sandwiches. Everything from local favorites like Coop DNR to Mustang to what they labeled “Creatures of Habit” beers like Shiner Bock and Modelo Especial. One of my absolute favorite beers is Trois Pistoles, and as luck would have it, they carry it by the bottle. When I saw it on the menu, I immediately looked at my fabulous husband and said “I’m ordering the Trois Pistoles, which means you are driving home.” (It has a high alcohol content. One and done for me.)
As if the beer selection wasn’t great, they also serve drinks called “Mules”. They are made with ginger beer and each variety has a different distinct alcohol included in it. For example, the Moscow Mule contains Stoli Vodka, Ginger Beer, and Lime. I didn’t get a chance to try one, but I did purchase one for my friend Dan Gordon with their “Leave a Drink” board. The concept is very cool – you purchase a drink for someone, then their name is put on a the large chalk board until they come in and claim their beverage. You can purchase anything for anyone, as evident by the CoopAle F5 that someone purchased for Gary England or a shot of Jameson left for our Vice President Joe Biden.
We enjoyed our visit to The Mule. It has a fun, relaxed vibe and is a great place to meet friends for a drink and some good eats. Prices are reasonable with nothing on the menu over $10. Although you can bring children, I will probably stick to visiting on date nights. It’s definitely worth a visit.