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Chop-Chop! OKC's Finest Pork Chops

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#PigOutOKC is brought to you by the Oklahoma Pork Council. Twice a month we’ll be delving into restaurants and recipes that bring home the bacon (among other delicious cuts of pork). Experiencing your own pork-fueled adventure? Use the hashtag #PigOutOKC to let the rest of us in on the fun.

It really is unfair how versatile pork is. There are so many iconic cuts and preparations that chickens are probably starting to feel very self-conscious. 

Bacon, obviously, is wildly popular. Ribs are the gold standard of barbecue. Ham is at or near the pinnacle of luncheon meats AND fancy holiday meals. My love for the extremely versatile Boston butt roast is well-documented on this site. Even pork rinds live at the extreme ends of “cheap snack foods” and “gourmet artisan snack foods.” 

But the piece of pork that lives most indelibly in my mind is the pork chop. Chops are, in my mind at least, the pork equivalent of a steak—a whole-muscle cut that is perfect for any occasion from a backyard barbecue to a fancy restaurant entree. 

That isn’t to say that every pork chop is a masterpiece. Chops tend to be leaner cuts, which can lead to dry, even chalky meat if overcooked. I guess what I’m saying is, lots of restaurants cook pork chops, but this list is full of places that do them really, really well. (And not really, really well-done, btw, because you can eat your pork a little pink in the middle. It’s fine. I swear.) 

Tomahawk pork chop

The Hamilton

thehamiltonokc.com

12232 N. May Ave. in OKC (entrance on the east side of Northpark Mall)

Tomahawk Pork Chop - $24 

The details on this one might change, season to season, but the skills of Chef Michael Paske and his crew shine through regardless. A treat for the eyes, yes, but The Hamilton’s tomahawk pork chop is truly meant for your palate. Dip and dab a bit of whipped potatoes and red onion marmalade on your bites to enjoy a rollercoaster of a bite. If you’ve written off pork chops in the past, this one will make you a believer.

Red Rock Canyon Grill 

redrockcanyongrill.com

Locations in OKC, Norman, and Tulsa

Bone-In Pork Chop - $19 

Red Rock Canyon Grill is in the upper echelon of Hal Smith Restaurant Group concepts, but it still caters to those whose tastes tend toward homestyle classics. This massive bone-in pork chop comes crusted in mustard and topped with a sweet onion and apple compote alongside a buttery pile of mashed red potatoes, which is just how your mom would make it if your mom was an accomplished restaurant chef.

Fried pork chops

Vesa's Soul Food

facebook.com/VesasOKC

8937 NE 10th St. in Midwest City

Fried Pork Chops - $10.50

I definitely got stood up on a date at Vesa’s Soul Food, so the fact that I think so fondly about it really comes down to the quality of the fried pork chops. This funky Cajun-tinged diner in Midwest City is friendly on your wallet and your tummy with a variety of down-home sides to pair with these lusciously juicy, perfectly seasoned fried chops. These bones were made for gnawing!

Patrono

patronookc.com

305 N. Walker Ave. in OKC

Grilled 12 oz Bone-In Pork Chop - $32

Chef Jonathan Krell is #KrellinIt every day at Patrono. It’s one of those spots I recommend to just about everybody, because I trust his palate without question. As good as they are with the minutiae, Krell’s kitchen is equally skilled at the big stuff, like grilling a massive 12 oz. pork chop on the bone to perfection. For a real chops-steaks comparison, try this bad boy on for size. With sweet onion mostarda on top and chianti-braised cabbage on the side, this one really packs a wallop. 

Pork chop

Packard's New American Kitchen

packardsokc.com

201 NW 10th St. in OKC

Pork Chop - $25

Can I tell you a secret? Yeah, just you. Shhhhh. Don’t tell nobody. The first time I had Packard’s pork chop, I was mostly after the jalapeño-cheddar grits that come underneath it. What can I say? I’m a grits enthusiast. But after a single bite of this double-thick, ultra-juicy chop, which comes with a pile of bacon jam and pickled onions on top, I was focused on the meat. Plus, Packard’s basically performs magic with their crispy Brussels sprouts, which come on the side.

Paseo Grill

paseogrill.com

2909 Paseo in OKC

Pork Chop - $18

Loin chops are easy to cook, but difficult to master, thanks to a general lack of fat. But Paseo Grill meets and exceeds this challenge with their 8 oz. boneless loin chop. First they give it a shiatsu and rub it down with mustard and herbs, just to relax it. Then they toss it on the fire to get it right at medium-well (perfect for those who are still prone to hesitate with pork) and spoon on delicate lemon beurre blanc. Take a bite. I dare you. Now look down. Uh-oh, somebody just joined the Clean Plate Club.

Santa Fe spice bone-in pork chop

Frida Southwest

fridasouthwest.com

500 Paseo in OKC

Santa Fe Spice Bone-In Pork Chop - $28

The reasons to dine at Frida Southwest are almost too numerous to mention. The food is tops, natch, but the drinks are absolutely bonkers, and the space itself is a masterpiece. The owners aimed for the moon and hit the stars with this place. But while you’re there gawking at the decor and the architecture, you ought to order the incredibly tasty Santa Fe spice bone-in pork chop, which bring the flavor without overpowering you with heat. On the side: green chile-pork belly hominy hash, red chile broccolini, and a drizzle of ancho-maple glaze for more of that sweet spice.

The Oklahoma Pork Council represents the interests all of pork producers throughout the state, promoting pork and pork products, funding research and educating consumers and producers about the pork industry. Learn more about the OPC, find recipes and more at OKPork.org.

About the Author

Founder and Eater-in-Chief of I Ate Oklahoma, Greg Elwell has been reviewing restaurants and writing about Oklahoma’s food culture for more than a decade. Where a normal person orders one meal, this guy gets three. He is almost certainly going to die young and those who love him most are fairly ambivalent about it. You can email Greg at greg@iateoklahoma.com.

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