Black Pepper Linguini at Victoria's in Norman Oklahoma

Victoria’s Pasta Shop: Campus Corner Round-up, part one

by | July 5, 2011 | 13 Comments


Victoria's Pasta Shop

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327 White Street
Norman, OK 73071

I don’t live or work in Norman, so I don’t get to dine there very often. And this is a shame, since Norman has many excellent and unique restaurants. We’ve covered a few of them over the years, but I don’t think it’s enough. So, I’m going to make a concerted effort to get down to Norman more frequently and I’m starting my adventures with a round-up of restaurants in one of OKC’s most delightful dining and shopping districts, Campus Corner.

Exterior of Victoria's The Pasta Shop in Norman Oklahoma

Our first stop on the Campus Corner Round-Up is Victoria’s, The Pasta Shop. This place has been on my radar for a long time, but I had never visited until recently. I’m really glad I finally got to try it. Victoria’s offers some excellent, no-frills pasta dishes at great prices in a quintessential college-town environment.

My visit was in the summer, so I imagine the vibe is a little different than when school is in full swing. Still, things were hopping on a Friday night. The house was full. We found a seat right away at just after 6pm, but shortly thereafter, people were having to wait for tables.

The building is old and it has a lot of character and charm, with aged hardwood floors and high ceilings. These features also make for a pretty loud room when full. I don’t mind the lively atmosphere, but it is something to keep in mind. My wife and I had a bit of trouble hearing each other throughout our meal.

The more distracting thing about the environment, though, was the heat. Again, we went on a hot summer evening and Victoria’s offered little relief from the high temperatures outside. I thought maybe they were having a/c trouble, so I asked around and found that this is typical on warm nights. It’s definitely not the end of the world, but it was uncomfortable enough for me to mention so that you can be aware. UPDATE (7/7/2011) – Victoria’s has informed us that they’ve installed a new a/c unit to resolve the heat issue. So, this may be a non-issue now.

But even with the noise and the heat, I have no trouble recommending that you give Victoria’s a try. There’s so much to enjoy here, it’s worth enduring a few minor inconveniences.

For starters, it’s one of the only places in OKC serving fresh pasta. Their noodles are prepared by a mom and pop operation in Oklahoma City and delivered fresh to their store several times a week. The difference between fresh and dried pasta is huge. I love the texture you get in every dish here.

I also like the “no-frills” approach. The dishes here are simple combinations of a few pastas, sauces and toppings. Presentations are nothing special — just mounds of pasta loaded on plates. I might not be a fan of this approach if they were charging hefty prices for it. But I tried a bit of the basic spaghetti with classic marinara, and I’ve got to say, I’d take this simple combination of fresh spaghetti with tangy marinara served in a decent portion for $5.79 any time.

Of course, you can get a little fancier at Victoria’s if you want. You can build your own pasta with a choice of noodle, two toppings and a sauce for $7.99. Or start with a basic combination and add any number of toppings ala carte. Plus, Victoria’s has a few specialties like Tortellini, Cheese Lasagna, Shrimp Scampi, and the one that made me very happy — the Black Pepper Linguini.

Victoria’s Black Pepper Linguini ($8.69 – see a pic) is one of those dishes that’s so simple you wonder why everyone isn’t serving it. It’s just a pasta (black pepper linguini) with two toppings (snow crab and spinach), and a lemon-garlic butter sauce. The textures were perfect. Again, there’s no substitute for fresh pasta and they dice the crab into small chunks that blend in so well. The flavors are subtle and fresh and again, so simple, but I really enjoyed everything about this dish. If I lived closer and if I didn’t have to visit all the other local, campus corner restaurants for the series, I would definitely be braving the heat to have this again soon.

My wife tried what our server told us they are known for — the Lasagna Rolls. These have shrimp, spinach and cheese rolled up in fresh lasagna strips and served with marinara and alfredo sauces. You get two of them for $8.69 or get two of them and a pasta for $10.99 (see a pic). The rolls were great. Again, just a very simple dish in a simple presentation, but good quality for a good price.

I think you get the picture about my take on Victoria’s. It’s not fancy, and it may be a little hot in the summer, but it’s very good and very affordable. Enjoy a fresh take on classics or try some of their specialties. I know that I’ll be back to explore more of the menu.

Service was also great on our visit. Our waiter was very friendly and always there when we needed him. He even split our Caesar Salad into two portions for us to share ($3.99 - see a pic), which I appreciated.

Have you been to Victoria’s? Please let us know what you think in the comments below.

See more pictures from Victoria’s The Pasta Shop in our Facebook photo album.

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More Photos from Victoria’s Pasta Shop

Sign at Victoria's Pasta Shop in Norman OklahomaExterior of Victoria's Pasta Shop in Norman OklahomaCaesar Salad at Victoria's Pasta Shop in Norman OklahomaBlack Pepper Linguini at Victoria's Pasta Shop in Norman OklahomaPasta at Victoria's Pasta Shop in Norman Oklahoma

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Tuesday, July 5th, 2011. It is filed under:

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  • Megan says:
    July 5th, 2011 at 10:24 am   

    Victoria’s is delicious and affordable, and the portion sizes are just right. I highly recommend their pesto sauce which changes every day. It’s always great.

  • D says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 7:39 am   

    Have been to Victoria’s about 4 times over the past 10 years (keep trying to give them a chance) and have always left with a less than impressed feeling. Actually, I have the same reaction about all Italian restaurants in OK. Have been to most of them from Kreb’s to OKC, nothing spectacular. Have to get up past the rust belt to get the good stuff!

    More excited about the campus corner round-up than Victoria’s. Campus corner is a volatile area, many restaurants come and go, but there have been some mainstays for many years! Looking forward to your other reviews!

  • Oni says:
    July 6th, 2011 at 8:35 pm   

    This is one of those places that you either love or hate; there is no in-between. And neither side understands the other.

    I’m not a fan. I’ve tried them several times, as I really like to support local businesses, but I cannot get into this place.

    The dishes are bland. Sometimes, I get bits and pieces of my guests’ meals (ie broccoli from my dad’s order in my dish). This was fine when I was 5 and got a few fries in my Burger King sack and I had ordered onion rings, but not so much at a table service restaurant. Forgetting the annoyance, you can seriously make someone sick. Am I overreacting? What if it was something with peanuts? Oh, and I especially like the untoasted garlic bread.

    Servers can be inattentive and rude. I’ve had good service there, but I’ve also experienced flat out rudeness and back talk.

    All in all, it seems that if you pour enough cheese on your food (look at your own pics) that a lot of people will like it.

    But I’m glad you are getting to Norman. There are some great places here and I’m sure your Norman followers (and OKC readers who will be visiting Norman) will appreciate that.

    If you are looking for classics on the Corner, check out Pepe Delgado’s, Cafe Plaid, or Cookies and Cream (baked items). If you are looking for new places, check out Crimson and Whipped Cream, Coriander Cafe, or Blackbird.

  • Dave says:
    July 8th, 2011 at 5:07 pm   

    I like the food but agree that the service can be spotty. I guess that’s what you get in a college town with high turnover of employees.

  • Alisa says:
    July 10th, 2011 at 11:10 pm   

    I love Victoria’s. It has always been a great place for a night out and a great place to bring out of town guest. And the black pepper linguine is awesome.

    Actually that whole row is pretty solid. The banh mi at Coriander Cafe is fantastic and Crimson and Whipped Cream is a super nice addition to Campus Corner.

    Thanks for adding more Norman to the site!

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We wouldn't have tried it if we hadn't seen all the great reviews here!

AJ, left as a comment about Inca Trail