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Letter #207: Oklahoma’s Best Kept Secret

April 25, 2011

Dear Oklahoma,

There are a ton of great things about you. My family’s here. The flat plains make sunsets worth more than a million bucks. The Thunder (your storms are pretty awesome too, but I mean KD and the rest of the team…Thunder Up!). You’re just a great state filled with great people.

This weekend, I went to maybe your best kept secret. It’s famous around these parts, but outsiders wouldn’t know anything about it. Saturday night my family went to Okarche, OK, my parents’ hometown and home to Eischen’s Bar. Opened in 1896, Eischen’s is the oldest bar in the state, and until 1993 when it caught on fire everything was original. The attendance of people coming to Eischen’s was so high and people were waiting so long to be served, they expanded after the fire into the local IGA next door and now occupies about half a city block.

Brooke's, the Illinois girl, first time...Eischen's exceeded her expectations!

Now, when I say my family went to a bar this weekend, some of you (especially any non-Okies) are wondering what kind of family does Lindsay come from?! Night before Easter and they went to a bar? You’re exactly right, but this bar has much more to offer than alcohol. This bar has become one of the most famous family restaurants in the state, and it’s not famous for its’ beer. Eischen’s is famous for its’ fried chicken, a secret recipe that only family members know. I’m not the biggest fried chicken eater, but give me Eischen’s and I become a huge fried chicken eater! It is awesome!

The whole fam including our fourth sister for the weekend, Brooke! Chad, sorry your face is hidden. Apparently my nephews had run off!

This isn’t an establishment of options either. The menu consists of eight items and in my opinion really only two: chicken and fried okra! I promise, it’s the best fried chicken and okra I’ve had in my entire life. The only other side dish received is plain ole’ white bread cut in half along with an arrangement of sweet pickles, onions and dill pickles. Cue the invention of the pickle sandwich!

A whole chicken...a few pieces may have gotten snagged already!

Best fried okra of my life!

The pickle sandwich...only place we eat these, but they are a highlight of our experience!

So, you order whole chickens, eat on paper place mats with no silverware and expect a wait of at least an hour to find a seat and get food. I’m telling you, this place is legendary, iconic and people from around the state come to partake in the greatness. The wait is worth it, even Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives says so. Non-Okie readers, when you’re in the great state, let me know. I’ll take you for an experience of a lifetime. Okies, I’ll take you if I’m around, but load up your family, head to Okarche and make an evening out of visiting the oldest bar and best chicken in the state!

Offering greatness all throughout the state,

Lover of good ole’ Oklahoma

Posts you might have missed over the holiday:

He is Risen!

Garden Tomb

Good Friday

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