Neighbors Cafe: not just for people as old as my mom
Neighbors Cafe is located at 5900 NW 38 Street in Oklahoma City (map). They are open seven days a week from 7am-3pm. Phone is 405.491.0878 and orders can be faxed in to 405.491.0839.
Mom has been trying to get me to go to Neighbors Cafe for about five years now, and I’ve refused on the grounds that I’m not old enough yet. I mean come on, it’s where she and my granddad went for lunch every Friday. So, with the recent passing of my granddad, she wanted to go “for old time’s sake,” and since my brother conveniently lives in Dallas, I was the only person handy enough to take her (sigh). So off we went.
First of all, if Mom didn’t have that handicapped sticker, we wouldn’t have found a parking place. Of course, skeptic that I am, I wrote the crowded parking lot off to the fact that it’s in a strip mall and all of the other cars were obviously there for the other businesses. But I was proven wrong as we walked in and grabbed the only booth left by a window. By the time our menus were dropped off, I noticed all of the tables in the dining room were taken. I was beginning to think that perhaps I judged this place too quickly. After all, they were doing some serious business.
But it’s tough to let go of your preconceptions, so I began perusing my menu options with the blase’ attitude still firmly intact. Given my experience with most corner cafes, I figured that even the carpet in this place was likely loaded with grease. So, I was very pleasantly surprised that the first items on the menu were fresh-squeezed juices and handmade fruit smoothies ($2.99), followed by specialty coffees ($1.99) — not your typical greasy-spoon menu items. Still needing something reasonably low-fat but more substantial than fruit juice, I proceeded on down the menu and hit the salad section. Naturally I doubted how good a diner salad could be, but that’s what sounded good and some of the my mom’s “senior” friends who we ran into out in the parking lot were raving about the salads. So, I ordered the Santa Fe salad with grilled chicken ($5.99). Mom chose the veggie omelet with home fries ($4.59). I told her the fries cancel out the veggies. She ignored me and added three packets of sugar to her decaf.
A group of younger guys occupied the table next to us. They ordered the Friday special — fried catfish. I stole two or three looks at their plates and it looked pretty good. As I was eating my huge salad with the homemade chipotle dressing (very tasty and spicy), I continued down the menu looking for additional reasonably healthy choices. The omelets can also be ordered with egg whites or egg substitute — that’s good. And the other breakfast entrees come with a choice of a side of fresh fruit. That’s good too. There’s also a nice variety of burgers, which looked really good on the little man’s plate behind mom.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised with my “senior” dining experience here. Neighbors Cafe serves quite a bit of quality food at great prices. I think you’ll definitely be surprised as I was if you go in expecting your typical greasy spoon experience. The owners were on vacation the day we went in, so I didn’t get to do my usual interview, but that will give me a reason to go back next Friday and try the burgers.
So, if you take your parents out and they want to go here, bring them. Now, I can’t say I would bring my hip, big-city brother here, but for a handy little place with a homey atmosphere and pretty good food, it’s nice. By the time we left, there was a line of people clear out the door waiting for tables. I suppose I should learn not to pre-judge a place before I see how crowded it is.