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Jamil's Steakhouse

4901 N. Lincoln Blvd.
Oklahoma City, OK
(405) 525-8352

Rear entrance to Jamil's from the parking lot

Jamil's may be the last example in the city of a very distintive type of Oklahoma restaurant-- the Lebanese style steakhouse. Based primarily in Tulsa and Sapulpa, these steak restaurants operated by families with Lebanese roots specialize in Middle Eastern style appetizers with American style entrees (with steak being the primary example). The Lebanese style appetizers come free with the meal, and I think are much appreciated by all customers (unless they are a vegetarian) even though the cost of the steak itself is higher than would be found in other restaurants.

The idea of a steakhouse may be that they only serve steaks, but such is not the case with Jamil's or other Lebanese steakhouses in Oklahoma. Jamil's has a rather diverse menu of main dishes including chicken, pork, beef, and seafood (the same was true with Eddy's Steakhouse that closed a few years ago and which introduced me to the "Lebanese steakhouse" concept). One of the most interesting things about Jamil's is that some of the menu items are notated by a star, indicating that these items are the owner's favorites. I do not know how much faith to put in these suggestions, but I was very pleased with the "starred item" I ordered, and at the prices Jamil's charges I would think many people would appreciate having similar help in deciding what to order.

I remember a time when going out to eat was more rare and more of a special occasion for me and my family than it is today, and eating at a restaurant usually involved consuming a large quantity of food. While I sometimes criticize restaurants which served oversized portions, I will have to say that when you go to Jamil's you have to expect to eat a lot of food (this is just part of the experience). It was good, I got full, and this is part of what I expect with a "special occasion" restaurant. The only thing I ask in such a restaurant is that the experience be worthwhile, and for me it was at Jamil's.

Jamil's appetizers
Hummus, tabouli, and a relish tray are brought as appetizers

Of course part of what defines the Oklahoma Lebanese steakhouses is the appetizers. Jamil's does not serve the standard bread and salad, but rather an array of Middle Eastern style items. All of the items shown in the above photo are shared by the table, so each person does not get a lot of any one thing. I have thought, though, that merely coming for the appetizers would make a good meal.

The Tabouli seems to be the item recognized in reviews I have read as being one of the highlights of the restaurant. The one here was flavorful and well balanced. In fact, I thought it came the closest to having the right proportions of everything that I have found in Oklahoma.

The Hummus was really a dip, and did not have the pool of olive oil I find in the city's true Middle Eastern restaurants. I came close to giving it a lower rating because it is not "authentic," but at the same time it was quite good and I will have to say it was probably as enjoyable as the other versions I have tried.

The relish tray was not very noteworthy to me, and with all of the food already served and still to come I did not think I should fill up with very much of it.

Cabbage roll
A cabbage roll is served with each dinner

The Cabbage Roll is one of the standout items at the restaurant. Each diner receives an individual roll after ordering, and I would say if somebody did not want theirs I could easily eat two of them. It had a very good seasoning, and was not unlike the rolls served in the city's authentic Lebanese restaurants such as Nunu's.

Smoked bologna
A plate of smoked bologna is brought to each table

A plate of Smoked Bologna is also brought out after patrons order their dinner, and is shared by the table. I did not think this was very remarkable except for the barbecue sauce that was served with it. Also this was the first time I could remember that I had even tried smoked bologna, so it was worthwhile as part of the overall experience.

Fried pita
Fried pita can be ordered as an appetizer

Our table ordered Fried Pita which cost extra, but was a good addition to the hummus and tabouli. This pita was fresh and good quality.

Smoked ribs
Hickory smoked ribs with a slice of smoked bologna

Hickory Smoked Ribs seemed to be a good choice out of the items that were marked with a star on the menu. My main line of thinking was that I could get a steak just about anywhere, and I wanted to try something different. What I did not realize until I got the plate was that this was a really good barbecue plate, and set a higher standard for me when I evaluate the ribs at any of the state's barbecue restaurants. The ribs were loaded with meat, and I thought used a better grade of meat than is typically used at barbecue places. The cooking method seemed to be the traditional hickory smoked barbecue slow cooking, and the ribs certainly tasted as if they were done this way. They had a smoked flavor but not too much of one (which for me is a good thing since I like a slight smoky aftertaste). The sauce was excellent (and was the same one served with the smoked bologna). Overall this gave me a better barbecue rib experience than I think I have had at any of the city's barbecue restaurants.

I remember that Eddy's Steakhouse used to serve individual ribs to customers as appetizers, but I did not have ribs at Eddy's or anywhere else that compared to the ones at Jamil's.

Small filet
Small filet

The Small Filet at eight ounces was about the right size for me, but the one pictured was one that I only sampled. I thought it had a rather plain flavor for high end steak houses, but I have been spoiled by Ranch Steakhouse and others in the city. The meat was good, though, consisting of USDA choice Angus beef.

Another "starred" dish I was considering ordering (before deciding on the ribs) was teriyaki chicken, which the waitress told me had a sweet flavor. I am mentioning this to point out the fact that Jamil's has a large selection of meats other than steak. Even among the steaks there are some that seem to be more highly recommended (with a star on the menu). Until I have experience with some of the other selections I will have to say that going with the recommended dishes is probably a good choice.

Because of all the appetizers and courses that are brought out dining here takes some time, and I wanted to have the time in order to enjoy all the different highlights of the meal. Lunch is also served, but I have not seen the menu and I do not know which appetizers are served.

There is a bar at Jamil's and this likely contributes to many people's enjoyment of the fine dining experience here. The restaurant is not too stuffy so casual attire is fine, but it did not seem like much of a children's restaurant unless they are used to long drawn out meals.

I think the "Lebanese steakhouse" experience is something that is probably little known outside Oklahoma but well worthwhile if you are able to swing it. The steak was good, but the hickory smoked ribs were probably better than any I have had in any of the local barbecue restaurants. The Lebanese appetizers may have been slightly altered from the way they are served in the Middle East, but I thought they were some of the best I have had anywhere.



Cuisine: Steaks
Cost: $$$$
Hours: Closed Sun. & Sat. lunch
Accessible: Yes
Smoking: No Smoking
Alcohol: Beer, Wine, Drinks

Most Recent Visit
Oct. 10, 2011

Number of Visits: 1

Best Items
Ribs, Cabbage Roll, Tabouli

Special Ratings
Cabbage Roll:
Smoked Bologna:
Baked Potato:

Restaurant Web Site