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Ingrid's Kitchen

3701 N. Youngs Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 946-8444

Ingrid's Kitchen at N.W. 36th and Youngs

The Oklahoma City area is blessed with several good German restaurants, and in some ways it is difficult to determine which is the best. Ingrid's Kitchen in the northwest part of Oklahoma City, though, definitely has the advantage of being more accessible to those of us who have a long drive to Choctaw or Moore for some of the good choices. Even those who are willing to go anywhere would want to come to Ingrid's for its excellent food and some specialties that are not found at the other restaurants.

One thing I appreciate about Ingrid's is that it allows customers to eat German food on a more regular basis without having to wait for a special occasion. Many of the other restaurants seem to be more of the variety where you want to sit down, enjoy a big meal, and have a beer. You can do this at Ingrid's as well, but Ingrid's specializes in sandwiches, lunch plates, and deli items. Until recently Ingrid's was only open for breakfast and lunch, but has now started serving dinner as well. I also think Ingrid's is the place to go if you are on a budget, but by the time I pick up some desserts and other items from the deli case this may not turn out to be much of a saving.

The expanded hours coincided with a change of ownership, and I understand the new chef used to be at Castle Falls (another one of the area's excellent German restaurants, although Castle Falls requires a reservation). I enjoy the food a little more after the ownership change and I like the fact that it is now open for dinner, but I was disappointed that it still does not offer some of the dinner items that can be ordered at other German restaurants (although Ingrid's sandwich and lunch menu is hard be beat).

Orders are taken at the counter
Orders are taken at the counter

At Ingrid's all orders are taken at the counter, and are either prepared to go or to eat in the restaurant. Most items are sold individually except dinner or lunch plates that come with side dishes. Because you can order as little or as much as you want, it is rather difficult to determine the cost category of a typical meal here. I have based it on my experience of ordering a sandwich or main dish, one or two side orders, and a drink.

Meat and cheese is available to take home
Meat and cheese is available to take home

There is a large choice of lunch meats, as can be seen in the display counter that sells meat for take-home. Ingrid's menu says that they also sell American products, but the authentic German ones are probably the main reason to come here.

Reuben sandwich
Reuben sandwich

Grilled sandwiches are more expensive than the deli sandwiches, but based on my order of a Reuben I would say this is a very good choice. In fact, this may have been the best corned beef I have ever tried. At first the Sauerkraut was not my favorite item when I tried it as a side dish, but on top of the corned beef in the Reuben it was an excellent enhancement (and the Sauerkraut is home made). The Reuben also comes with Ingrid's "Special Sauce," and I will have to say that everything about this sandwich was special.

After trying the Turkey Reuben at Ingrid's Pantry (Ingrid's new restaurant in Bethany), I would rate this sandwich as equal or better than the traditional reuben, with the sauerkraut, bun, Swiss cheese, and sauce being top notch.

Wiener Schnitzel
Wiener Schnitzel

The Wiener Schnitzel comes in a "Light Order" that makes it a good lunch choice (the light and regular orders are available for both lunch and dinner). This and the other "Specialty Plates" come with three side orders as well as bread, but I think the German Potato Salad is the best of the side dishes. I actually like all of the side dishes, but the potato salad is the one thing that Ingrid's seems to do better than any of the other German restaurants in town.

The schnitzel is made with pork, and some purists say the only authentic Wiener Schnitzel is made with veal. According to the information I have from people who have lived in Germany, though, pork schnitzels are common in the country, are more available and less expensive than veal, and it is a matter of taste concerning what type of meat to eat. Both I and my friends think the Wiener Schnitzel at Ingrid's is very good except that the meat is sometimes tough.

Sauerbraten
Sauerbraten

The Sauerbraten had a good roast beef flavor, but I thought the sauce had a rather weak flavor (it was, however, a good flavor). For this dish I would probably recommend the one I tried in Moore, although I like Ingrid's side dishes better than just about any in town.

Pork chop
Pork chop

The Pork Chop was very good, but the restaurant says it is not German style. I think this has to do with boiling it and then frying it, but regardless of the cooking style this was quite a good meal.

Bratwurst plate to go
Bratwurst plate to go

The Bratwurst has not been terribly impressive to me, but there is more than one variety served. Some recent trips to Ingrid's Pantry have made me lean more toward the smoked bratwurst, which I enjoyed quite a bit.

Chicken Jager Schnitzel
Chicken Jager Schnitzel at Ingrid's

The Chicken Jäger Schnitzel has been etched in my memory as the best item I have tried at Ingrid's, but unfortunately it is only served as a special (my understanding is that it is available on Mondays). Ingrid's served it as a sandwich, while other restaurants in the Metro offer it on a plate with mushroom sauce. There was something about the havarti, bacon, and "zesty mayonnaise" that put this dish on the top of my list of favorites at Ingrid's. The meat was tender and had a good flavor, and the havarti was much better than the average cheese.

I have had different feelings about some of the side dishes, but generally I have enjoyed them more after the restaurant's ownership change (but I don't know whether they have actually changed or whether it was just my perception of them). I have never been disappointed with the German Potato Salad, and I have found this to be the best in the city. I noticed dill in it, which seems to be an authentic touch.

The Red Cabbage is consistently very good, but most times I think the Sauerkraut is even better.

I have tried some of the salad side servings such as Cucumber, but so far I have not found them to be as enjoyable as at Castle Falls (which I think sets the standard for German salads).

A side of German mustard comes with just about everything, and if any is left over this is a great addition to my sandwiches at home.

Pastries are one of Ingrid's specialties
Pastries are one of Ingrid's specialties

It is hard to go to Ingrid's and not end up picking up some pastries either as dessert or to take home. The choices rival just about any bakery in town, and the quality has always been considered among the top two or three by my family. I like the pastries because they are always made with fresh ingredients, and many follow the European custom of not being as sweet as seems to be the normal case in the U. S.

Ingrid's cakes
Ingrid's cakes are suitable for a birthday or special occasion

Ingrid's cakes are popular for birthday cakes, or you can buy individual slices. I have made it one of my missions to try the strawberry cake at every bakery that sells them, and the one here had a good, rich strawberry taste. I also think freshness is one of the most important features with Ingrid's cakes.

Black forest cake
Black forest cake

The Black Forest Cake is really one of the best cakes I have ordered anywhere, with a rich combination of cream, cake, fruit, nuts, and chocolate that would be difficult to match. The thing that impressed me was not only the complexity of the cake, but that each part was done perfectly, and added to the overall quality of the cake. The fruit filling inside was not too sweet, and gave just the right flavor to the cake.

Cream horn
Cream horn

I have not personally visited Germany, but I have it on good authority that the Cream Horn sold at Ingrid's is a very good representation of the authentic German variety. It was less sweet than most desserts, but had a fresh cream that stood in contrast to many dairy products that seem artificial.

Ingrid's Kitchen sells beer in a separate bar area for its own Biergarten, but this is not available at Ingrid's Pantry.

Ingrid's has succeeded in attracting a large clientele with good food, affordable prices, and a casual setting. This combination of factors can easily make German food a part of many people's staple diet (as it should be). Not all of us can get to Ingrid's as often as we would like, but the opening of the new satellite restaurant in Bethany helps. I know that many people, though, are willing to travel whatever distance is necessary to enjoy Ingrid's Kitchen, which is justifiably regarded as one of Oklahoma City's landmark restaurants.

RELATED ARTICLES
Oct. 5, 2012 : Ingrid's Kitchen Update
Jul. 6, 2012 : Where to find the best cake in OKC

RESTAURANT DETAILS

RATING: 24

Cuisine: German
Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily except Sun. Dinner
Additional Location: 2421 N. Council Rd.
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Wine
Special Features: Serves Breakfast, Sunday Brunch

Most Recent Visit
Jul. 28, 2012

Number of Visits: 9

Best Items
Chicken Jäger Schnitzel, Reuben, Turkey Reuben, German Potato Salad, Black Forest, Cream Horn

Special Ratings
Wiener Schnitzel:
Jäger Schnitzel: chicken
Bratwurst:
Reuben Sandwich:
Turkey Reuben:
Potato Salad:
Red Cabbage:
Sauerkraut:
Cream Horn:

Restaurant Web Site
Ingrid's Kitchen



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