Jamil’s Steakhouse: still around for a reason
Sometimes I get in the mood for a taste of “old” Oklahoma City. You know, someplace that’s been around forever that has maintained a loyal, local clientèle. For this past birthday, we decided we would try Jamil’s Steakhouse since it originated in the same decade I was born – the 60s. I have heard of it all of my life, but had never made the trip cross-town to try it. So my husband and I loaded up the car with my mom and his parents and set out for the trip to Lincoln Blvd, just north of the capital district.
I knew it was going to be good the minute we stepped from the car and were met with a big waft of smoke from the smokehouse in the back parking lot. What a great effect for an appetizer. All of the walls inside are filled with hand-painted portraits of famous Oklahomans. It was great fun to try and guess all of them after we had placed our order, although we didn’t have much time because the minute your menu is taken away, the vast array of Lebanese appetizers begins to arrive.
It begins with individual bowls of tabbouleh, which tasted great. It could have had just a touch more lemon juice for my taste, but was still very good as it was not oily. Next is the hummus and pita bread (you pay for the bread), then a basket of smoked barbecue bologna. Now I have to say I think I swore off of bologna around the age of six, but since we were trying new things that night, I decided to indulge in a piece, and it was mighty tasty. I appreciated the fact they used Head Country barbecue sauce, which is made right here in our own state in Ponca City. Next were the cabbage rolls. The tasting of these was left to Mom and me, as my husband has sworn an oath to maintain at least a six-foot perimeter from all veggies. The cabbage rolls were about the only thing with which we were not impressed. I don’t know – a little bland or something, but we passed after the first couple of bites. The relish tray which also came helped to kick things back up a bit.
Our main dishes arrived soon, and my husband, the meat connoisseur, said his steak was one of the best he had ever tasted. His dad had one of the state foods – chicken fried steak – and said it was delicious and not the least bit greasy for a fried piece of food. The same with my jumbo fried shrimp – crunchy and tasty. And the cocktail sauce had a nice twist – it leaned toward the sweet side, rather than hot with horseradish. Probably the only thing we were disappointed with was the grilled lemon pepper chicken, only because Mom had them hold the lemon pepper (can’t stand anything hot or spicy). That made it rather bland, but only because we asked them to make it that way.
If you dine before 7pm for dinner, the early bird specials are available for $17.99, which include all of the appetizers and a baked potato. The early bird entrees are the fried shrimp, the KC petite sirloin, and the lemon pepper chicken.
The service was impeccable, as we had at least three people attending us. If you go, ask for Kenyatta’s table. He has worked there over three years and says the thing he likes best is meeting all the people and talking to them throughout dinner. Probably the thing I liked best were the old, wooden creaky floors and chairs. In my opinion, nothing adds more ambiance than creaky, wooden things. And, as in most restaurants these days, you’ll need a lighted magnifying glass to be able to read the menu if you’re over 40. I have found the greatest invention called The Owl – it’s a credit card-sized piece of magnifying plastic that also lights up. It stores handily in a wallet or billfold.
Since I am the oldest member of the contributors to this site, I will probably be the only one reviewing the old restaurants. But that’s fine by me. Quality definitely does come with age.