Thursday, August 27, 2015

Land Run Review

Ok, so, my original plan for this post was to talk about some back-to-school food tips & tricks and some recipes, and I still plan on doing that, just not today.  The reason being is that I have no photos of the things I was going to talk about.  However, I have been wanting to introduce you all to a newly opened local restaurant that I tried recently, and am very excited about!  It's called, Land Run Grill & Wine Bar.

This American-style restaurant has a frontier theme, friendly staff, and the most amazing burgers I have ever had in my entire life!  Seriously, that's saying something.  My foodie buddy had mentioned it to me one day and we decided to go check it out.  When we walked in the front door we were greeted warmly and seated in a booth, as requested.  We were going to try the cozy outdoor patio, complete with running misters, but it was a bit toasty that day, so we opted for an inside experience for our first time there.  The ambiance was fun with cowboy decor and rustic light wood paneling and rope accents everywhere.

My lunch companion and I ordered a couple of beers to quench our thirst while we perused the menu. The beer selection was limited, but I realize this place is a "wine bar", it says so in the title, however, neither of us are fond of wine, so we went for the brews and they had something for both our tastes.   As foodies, we decided it was our duty to order an appetizer and dessert with our entrees to get a good scope of what this place had to offer across the board.  A personal preference for me to really assess a restaurant's quality of food and service is to go between lunch and dinner rushes.  I have found that the middle of the afternoon is when you really get to know the truth about an establishment, the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Our beverages came out quickly and we asked several questions about the menu items.  

The waitress did not have a lot of knowledge, but she seemed to be very new to the staff.  The questions she couldn't answer, she was very good about finding someone who did know, and that gentleman came over and seemed genuinely happy to give us the information that we needed. 

After some deliberation, we decided to on the Spinach & Artichoke Dip for our starter.  It was served with fresh tortilla chips which were very good and well seasoned.  The dip itself didn't do anything to "wow" us per se, it was average, but we were satisfied with it overall.  

The menu is quite extensive, which I was a bit leery about, as most of the time, when a menu offers too big of a selection, the quality usually suffers.  But the many selections they offered were made by using some of the same ingredients in several different dishes, so it works.  For instance, they have slow-roasted pulled pork on hand for an entree, but then they offer some specialty burgers, baked potatoes, and appetizers that also include a pulled pork element.  There are vegetarian options (not just substitutions) throughout the menu, French bread pizzas, salads, steaks, hot wings (and other chicken items), fish, cold or grilled sandwiches, and a "Buckaroo" menu for the kids.  But I was in the mood for a burger that day, so I looked over that part of the menu the most.  Wow, what a page it was!  There were so many I wanted to try including the "T-Town" which was actually a sausage/hamburger mixture smothered with chili, three different kinds of cheeses, and onions.  The menu said it is served with a fork because "You'll need it!" 

My friend went with the "Riverside" which was a beef burger with whole grilled green chilies, pepper jack cheese, avocado, lettuce and tomato.  He got mac & cheese on the side topped with green chilies and bacon.  I opted for the "Eggsplosion" which was a beef burger with fried egg, bacon, mayo, tomato, red onion, lettuce, and American cheese.  I had them nix the mayo, tomato, and onion though because I'm picky like that.  I got a side of "Sidewinder Fries" and when we took our first bites, we looked at each other, eyes wide, and full of happy!

The toppings gave us a nice variety of flavors, but we both agreed that these burgers did not need any toppings at all!  They were bursting with flavor all their own, and were juicy and grilled to perfection. I almost wished that I had went with a classic "The Burger" but I can't say I was at all disappointed with the "Eggsplosion" in any way.  And my "Sidewinder Fries"?  OMG!  Crispy and seasoned awesomely on the outside, and perfectly fluffy and soft on the inside.  My counterpart's mac & cheese didn't last long at all.  The buns were nicely toasted and our sides were perfect compliments to our burger choices.  Land Run also offers, sweet potato fries, steamed veggies, fried okra, potato salad, pasta salad, cole slaw baked potatoes, black-eyed peas, chips, and pinto beans, so there's plenty to choose from.  

The dessert menu consists of only two items at this time, so we decided to try one of each.  I chose the "Cast Iron Skillet Cobbler" of which I could get apple or cherry (so I guess there are three desserts, technically).  I chose the apple topped with vanilla ice cream.  The cobbler had just come out of the oven and the ice cream was served on the side. To my delight, it started melting a bit when I heaped it on the hot cobbler - yum!

My friend got the "Aunt June's Root Beer Bread Pudding" and he loved it!  I had a bite of his dessert and I don't like bread pudding in general, it's a texture thing, but it was very tasty indeed.

Prices are on par with other restaurants of this caliber/style.  They also have daily specials to keep your eye on.  If any of you have been there to partake in their wine selection, please let us all know what you thought about their selection in the comments.  All-in-all a fantastic experience: a true Oklahoman atmosphere, happy and friendly staff, fresh hot food, and the most amazing burgers, even at 3 o'clock in the afternoon!  I am so thrilled to not only recommend this place, but to go back many times in the near future.  Maybe next time, I'll try my dining experience on the patio.

Land Run is located on the east side of Norman, OK at 1400 12th Ave. just south of Lindsey. Download their menu here

Happy National Burger Day!!!

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