There are a few things I know for sure.
- Wearing a T-shirt in the pool always looks worse than just going shirtless, even if you’re fat.
- I am fat.
- Beth Lyon knows how to cook.
I’ve been following Beth’s career for the last several years and there’s nothing she can’t do. Nothing. She cooked Kitchen No. 324. She cheffed up Anchor Down. She made health food delicious at Provision Kitchen and then hopped over to The Press and wrote their menu.
She had an amazing dinner based on chakras and I don’t even know anything about chakras, but I’ll eat that food any day of the week.
And now she’s doing her own thing: Beth Lyon’s Black Cat. Half the menu is vegan. Half the menu is for omnivores. All of it is GMO-free, using quality ingredients like organic chicken and grass-fed beef and it’s all top-to-bottom delicious.
Part of the trick is that her truck is pretty huge. When I stopped by, she had her dad in doing some prep work and then famed chef/food writer/man who knows how to wear some shorts Scotty Irani stopped by and helped cook, too.
Her mobile kitchen is actually bigger than the one at Anchor Down.
The problem with that, though, is that it’s not terribly mobile. For now you can find her at the corner of NW 47th Street and May Avenue, but it’s best to keep up to date on her whereabouts via Instagram.
The first thing you will order, because it is basically the eleventh commandment, is the Magic Tea. It’s made with hibiscus and rose water and it’s bright red and sweet and glorious and if, god forbid, I was captured and put in a giant hamster cage, the only way my kidnappers could keep me calm would be to make a giant dropper of Magic Tea I can sip on whenever I get off my enormous spinning wheel.
I’m not about to get into all the voodoo that Beth does to make that tea so magical, but mission accomplished. If you’re getting it to go, maybe bring your own cup with a lid. (She also sells the stuff to make your own and you best believe I’m scraping together my pennies for my own jar.)
Her best seller is chipotle chicken tacos (three for $10) because Oklahoma. She cooks the chicken in spices and then shreds it. She crisps corn tortillas on the griddle, stacks on the chicken, adds freshly made jalapeno slaw, a heaping dollop of mashed avocado and a heavy squirt of tangy tomatillo salsa.
Okay, sorry about that Oklahoma crack. After tasting these, I understand exactly why they sell so well. The chicken is moist with a lovely warm spice and the jalapeno slaw has a perfect crunch and a pop lime tartness. The tortilla is warm and has just a little crunch to it. If you like avocado, you’re in luck, because there’s a lot on here. And the tomatillo salsa adds just the right amount of tang.
If you’re interested in a vegan version, you’re in luck, because the mushroom fajitas (three for $10) can be mixed and matched with the chicken tacos. Try a bit of both! The mushroom fajitas have peppers, onions and sliced fresh mushrooms caramelizing and sizzling on the griddle. They’re topped with the same slaw/avocado/tomatillo combination. It’s a good lower calorie option. I almost said “healthy option,” but this is Beth. She’s not going to serve something that isn’t a) good b) good for you c) good for your soul.
I didn’t get a chance to try the grilled peach salad, but I did take a picture of it in case you want to see it. Yeah. Yeaaaaaah. Lookit that. She’s had to use California peaches, due to troubles sourcing from Stratford, OK, but she grills it and slices it and put it on a bed of greens with quinoa, nuts, seeds and cranberries.
Finally, let me tell you about a party in your mouth just waiting to happen: the blackened meatloaf po-boy ($13).
Wait...what did you thi-oh, you’re gross. Get your head out of the gutter! Or I’ll get my head out of the gutter. Whatever.
Beth’s family has roots in Louisiana and you can taste it loud and clear on this sandwich. If you’ve ever had less-than-charitable feelings about meatloaf, this will change your mind. It’s moist, it’s packed with cajun flavor and it’s so tender, it’s waiting for prom night to finally hold your hand.
Lettuce and tomato are lovely additions, adding a lighter, fresher feel, but the MVP is the cajun mayo, which has some serious cayenne flavor. I offered a bite to Scotty, but it was made in bad faith — I definitely didn’t want to share. If the menu was just this sandwich and magic tea, I’d still be knocking down Beth’s door at least once a week.
Find the Black Cat. Pet the Black Cat. It’ll bring you nothing but delicious luck.