Neighborhood JAM

Today, I’m reviewing Neighborhood JAM, a breakfast and lunch restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma! My freshman year roommate Lexi was in town this weekend, so we decided to go to brunch and catch up. Unfortunately, it was also Mom’s Weekend at OU, which means we had to fight through crowds of mother/daughter duos to get a table. Luckily, Neighborhood JAM has a feature where you can get on their waiting list through the Yelp app. I got us in their virtual waiting list at 9 a.m. and went on my way, getting ready for our brunch date.

Despite getting in line early (and planning to arrive at 11 a.m.), it was 11:40 before we got seated. Since Lexi recently turned 21 (!!!!) I bought us mimosas to celebrate, and they were so good.

Despite being incredibly crowded, the service was pretty fast. I ordered “The Good Ol’ Boy,” which comes with eggs, a biscuit, hashbrowns, and your choice of meat. It was so good (especially since it was past noon when it arrived and I hadn’t eaten anything this morning.)

I loved getting to spend the afternoon with my old roomie and catch up, and this was such a great atmosphere for it! But if you’re craving their breakfast food, I highly recommend getting in line on the Yelp app first. Despite the delay, we would’ve been waiting for an additional three hours if we hadn’t gotten on the wait list at 9 a.m.

Keep checking back to see what restaurant I review next!

-K

The Mont

Today I’m reviewing The Mont, an American/Mexican-style restaurant in Norman, Oklahoma. The Mont definitely has pros as well as some cons, so I’ll start by going over what I like about it.

Pros

First, and I cannot stress this enough, the drinks. Turning 21 was an absolute blessing because it meant I could finally order drinks off their extensive menu and not have to ask for the virgin versions. My personal favorite is their strawberry daiquiri, pictured above. It’s deceptively strong though, so I recommend bringing a friend along to drive you if you’re a lightweight like me.

I also find the food to be very… decent. My sorority likes to go to The Mont together after our chapter meetings on Thursday nights. It’s a great way to bond with your sisters and celebrate an early end to a long week. Our signature food we like to share is plates of loaded cheese fries, which come topped with bacon and chives. They’re very tasty, especially with the ranch dressing they serve on the size. (I have friends that swear it’s just regular ranch, but I know in my heart that it’s special. Don’t fight me on this.) A half order of cheese fries is the perfect amount for two people, although I have been known to finish off an entire plate by myself on occasion.

Cons

Depending on when you go, the service can be pretty slow. Go alone or with a friend during off hours, and it’ll probably be fine. But if you go out in the evening with a group, be prepared for a long wait. I’m not a staying-up-late type of girl, so I easily get grumpy when we’re still sitting there waiting for the checks past 11:00.

Also, I personally believe the food is unfairly priced for what it is. A half order of cheese fries and a drink sets me back $14. The cheese fries and the drink are very tasty, but I’m sure I could find something just as good for half the price elsewhere. I choose The Mont because of the atmosphere, because I want to spend time with my friends, or if I’m really having a craving for their ranch. (It’s special! I swear!)

Overall

If you want a really good drink, overpriced food, slow service, but a nice atmosphere to spend time with friends, The Mont is for you. It’s a Norman staple and definitely somewhere I recommend going at least once, especially if you’re a newly-21 college student!

-K

The Simple Joys of Avocado Toast

A meal that I was really into this summer that I kinda forgot about over the course of fall semester is avocado toast. While this meal is often stereotyped as “basic,” I promise it really does live up to the hype.

My preferred way to eat avocado toast is what is pictured above: mashed avocado on thinly sliced white bread, topped with salt/pepper and feta cheese, with roma tomatoes on the side. The fats in the avocado make it so filling, and I’m easily satisfied for hours afterwards. For me, the game changer is the feta cheese: I put feta on just about everything, so it would make sense that I would put it on my toast, too.

Eggs (scrambled or fried) are also egg-celent (ha, ha) sides to add to your avocado toast. You can easily put them on top for a fresh taste combination or keep them on the side to enjoy separately. When I’m not in a rush, scrambled eggs are a breakfast favorite of mine because they’re just so easy. I haven’t mastered fried eggs yet, but maybe soon.

When I’m feeling particularly spicy, I’ll add hot sauce to my avocado toast combo. My personal favorite brand is Louisiana Hot Sauce, but any hot sauce will do. I find that the heat from the hot sauce balances with the avocado and feta cheese and isn’t too overpowering. (But I’ve also been eating Louisiana Hot Sauce daily for 3 years now, so maybe I’m just used to it.)

How do you eat your avocado toast? I would love some suggestions!

-K

Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets

One of my favorite places to eat in Norman is a restaurant called Tino’s Italian Eats and Sweets. Run by two brothers, Tino’s is a Philidelphia-inspired deli that offers a wide range of food options, from Philly cheesesteaks to Italian ice.

Personally, my go-to order is a soft pretzel and french fries, and the difference maker is the “white whiz”, the cheese dip that comes with it. It’s so good, I could drink it- and once, on a dare, I actually did.

But beyond the food, I love Tino’s because of its atmosphere. There’s always 80s music playing (my favorite), and the workers really make an effort to get to know their regular customers. I love being greeted by Valentino Pistilli, one of the owners, every time I come in. He never fails to greet me when I come in, check on me as I eat, and say goodbye as I’m heading out the door.

I rarely go to Tino’s by myself. Even for a “small,” the french fry portions are huge and I prefer to split them with someone. It’s also a great place to come and work on a project or paper with a friend; they have free Wifi and the casual atmosphere makes it a great place to study.

If you live in the Norman area, I highly recommend stopping by Tino’s on Main Street and giving it a try. And if you get the chance to go, make sure you let me know what you think!

-K