Friday, December 28, 2012
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill (Thackerville, OK)
My wife and I drove up to the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma for a Little Big Town concert. Despite being heralded as the second largest casino in the world, the WinStar has slim pickens as far as restaurants go. In keeping with our country music theme for the evening, we decided to try out Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill for dinner.
The decor is exactly what you would expect from Toby Keith: American flags, truck tailgates, neon beer signs, and a full-size Ford F-150 on the wall. There isn't much for ambiance here though despite all of the assorted redneck nick-nacks. The restaurant itself is a huge space, but there really aren't that many tables for the immense size.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill isn't what you would consider a true barbecue joint, but they did have ribs on the menu, so I thought it was worth a review. We started with an order of Tater Skins for an appetizer, and then I ordered a full rack of St. Louis Ribs, with Freedom Fries, Cowboy Beans, and cornbread on the side.
The Tater Skins were fantastic. They were big, crispy, covered in cheese and bacon, and came with both ranch and sour cream for dipping. How could you go wrong with that?
The Freedom Fries, however, were a different story. The fries were pretty limp and soggy, so I'm guessing they hadn't been cooked to order. They had some nice seasoning, but I couldn't get past the texture enough to eat more than 3. The Cowboy Beans were pretty disappointing too. They were bland and in desperate need of salt. Not even the big chunks of bacon could save them. A big part of me suspects they came from a can. Of my sides, the cornbread was the clear winner. It had a good sweet flavor, but it would have been nice if it was a little flakier and a little less grainy.
My St. Louis Ribs came to the table drowning in sauce, which is what I assumed their version of St. Louis-style barbecue would look like. The sauce had a nice sweet taste, but could have used a little more kick to it, even just some black pepper. The ribs were almost too tender, to the point that all the meat pulled off the bone in one bite. I would guess that they been cooking for several hours longer than needed, and then probably steamed themselves to death for another hour or two waiting for me to order them. It was almost like eating pulled pork, and the bone was just there so that you knew they were supposed to be ribs.
I wasn't expecting much from Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill, which is good because they didn't have much to give. If we ever go back to the WinStar for another concert, I'd probably try a burger instead.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill
WinStar World Casino
777 Casino Ave. #1
Thackerville, OK 73459