Random thoughts and ramblings on local food and drink…

Count me as a fan of Flavor of India, the unassuming Indian restaurant in the former space of my beloved Rock N’ Tacos. I’ve made three take-out visits over the past year or so and have been pleased with many of the dishes. Last night, my orders of Saag Chicken, Paneer Tikka Masala, and Chicken Dum Biryani all had excellent flavor. The Garlic Naan was a tad disappointing in the texture department. I prefer a fluffier naan with a bit more char around the edges. All and all, in terms of food, Flavor of India stacks up quite nicely with some of its nearby competitors. Unfortunately, a drab, minimalist decor makes for a rather uninviting dining experience, so you may want to opt for the take-out.

Looking to take advantage of this beautiful weather, I recently took my in-laws to Big Orange Midtown so we could sit out on the patio and enjoy some food. My Hickory Smoke turkey burger with fried onion strings was perfect. It always impresses me how the folks at BO get ground turkey to taste so juicy. My tablemates gave thumbs up on the Mushroom Melt and Atomic Bomb burgers, as well as the BLT Wedge and Green Apple-Maytag salad. We also shared orders of House, Garlic Truffle, and Sweet Potato fries … which were delicious, but unfortunately, arrived at the table way too late. Admittedly, I’m a fast eater, and was finished with my burger by the time the fries hit the table. Tardy fries aside, Big Orange delivered on a wonderful evening.

Not sure how I’d never heard of Cotija’s in downtown until my buddy asked me to go eat lunch there two weeks ago, but I was pleasantly surprised by the food. My Chicken Taco Salad wasn’t blow-me-away fantastic, but a few things on the table did prove to be stellar, including the mole used to top his burrito, as well as the refried beans and the complimentary chips and salsa. Service was also outstanding. It’s obvious Cotija’s knows the importance of getting the food to the table as fast as possible for a mostly  no-nonsense, business lunch crowd. Granted, it’s a small sample size, but the food and service were definitely good enough to warrant a return visit.

A reader recommended that I check out The Humble Crumb Bakery, so I  made the 30-minute drive from WLR to Sherwood to pick up my reserved order of a dozen cinnamon rolls. Betsy, the owner, was nice enough to keep the place open past the 10 a.m. closing time, which was much appreciated from my end. I was expecting the bakery to be located in a typical retail strip, but it’s literally on the side of Betsy’s house. It’s an absolutely adorable setting, and based upon the cinnamon rolls, I definitely recommend you give the place a shot, especially if you reside in the Sherwood/NLR area. This was a classic, no frills cinnamon roll, with a thin glaze and an ample amount of cinnamon. I tend to like my rolls a bit gooier, but again, this is just a personal preference.

While I was in the area, I stopped by the new Hideaway Pizza for a complimentary soft opening lunch. Hideaway is a regional chain based in Oklahoma, and the reports I received from readers on Facebook inspired me to try out the restaurant. The pizza was definitely the hit. Its nice, somewhat doughy crust and ample toppings left me wishing I had passed on the other two dishes on the table, the Paradise Pasta and baked mushroom caps. Both were buttery, cheesy gut bombs that needed some serious fine-tuning. That said … props on the pizza, the nice atmosphere, and friendly service. Hideaway Pizza is not “destination pizza” but will do quite well.