Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Time Jay Shipped Me Off to Oklahoma for a Week: Part II

by Blair "B-Rex" Loup

Much like Baton Rouge, Stillwater, Oklahoma, is a college town. Oklahoma City aside, Stillwater is considered to be a bustling oasis amid the rolling plains. Home to the world-famous Eskimo Joe's, Stillwater has recently opened the doors on its first craft brewery and is 23 years deep in a red-dirt tradition: the Calf Fry.

Eskimo Joe's is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, and, like Rotolo’s, they've become famous for their plastic cups and for being the only company in America that prints more t-shirts than Hard Rock CafĂ©.

Legitimately, most of the other casual restaurants in the area have adopted the same cups printed in a similar style. It's so ubiquitous that Eskimo Joe's cups are an actual unit of measurement in Stillwater.

Most of the shirts that are printed in Stillwater came from the warehouse Eskimo Joe's owns. If something were to happen to their cups or shirt printing operation, or the well of cheese fries dried up, I'm not entirely sure life would go on in Stillwater.

Needless to say, they’ve come a long way from being a hole-in-the-wall bar. Now that you have a grasp on how important this place is to Stillwater, let’s talk about the cheese fries.

These cheese fries are sacred to anyone in Stillwater and any student who has attended OSU, but in my mind I kept thinking, “Okay, cheese is good and so are fries. Together they’re delicious, but can these cheese fries be that groundbreaking?” The answer to that question is no, they can't.

But what is so incredible about these cheese fries is the sweet pepper bacon they're topped with. You take ordinary bacon, make it a little sweet, and add a kick of black pepper. Suddenly, these scrumptious cheese fries transform into groundbreaking cheese fries. They absolutely live up to the hype, and if you happen to be in the area, I suggest you pop in, grab some cheese fries, grab a shirt, and don’t forget to take your cup on the way out.

The legendary Sweet Pepper Bacon Cheese Fries at Eskimo Joe's
The legendary Sweet Pepper Bacon Cheese Fries at Eskimo Joe's

Drinking Iron Monk's Milk Stout  with Co-Founder Dave Monk
Drinking Iron Monk's Milk Stout
with Co-Founder Dave Monk

Iron Monk Brewing Company shows a lot of promise. Co-Founder Dave Monk has his PhD. in biology, which is a great start to making solid brews. While we were touring the brewery, Dave and I were talking about some of the great beers in Louisiana and tasting their creamy milk stout and bold double IPA. I look forward to seeing more from them in the future and you can find them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (@IronMonkBeer) to see what they’re up to.

As an adventurous eater, I jumped at the chance to eat fried bull testicles in Oklahoma; it’s the part of this trip I looked forward to for months.

The Stillwater Calf Fry is a colossal festival in the middle of nowhere where young men in their flashiest cowboy hats and young women in their shortest cutoffs go to listen to country music and eat bull testicles.

If you can’t see the magic in this, stop reading now.

I will say that if you’re looking for tasty testes, you may want to eat them elsewhere. The calf fries at the Calf Fry are frozen, pre-breaded, and then dropped into a deep fryer. They taste like fried—nothing more, nothing less. In any case, the event is a sight to behold.

Calf Fries at the Calf Fry in Stillwater, Oklahoma
Calf Fries at the Calf Fry in Stillwater, Oklahoma

In the end, I'm okay with Jay shipping me off to Oklahoma any day. The people are passionate and forward-thinking in a way that's making room for some very cool stuff.

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