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I Ate Oklahoma in Bon Appetit


I Ate Oklahoma is brought to you in part by:

::cue the music::


Guys. GUYS. I wrote a story for Bon Appetit magazine! How insane is that? 

Oh, man, and I worked so hard on not blabbing about it (mostly because I was worried they were going to decide that it was crap and I was crap and then you guys would be all, "What happened to being in Bon Appetit, Greg?" and I'd be like, "Uhhh, it turns out I suck.") and then it was published and—whew—suddenly it was real.

If you haven't already, please click the link for the story and read it. I interviewed famed OU coach Barry Switzer about his decades-long friendship with Pasquale Benso, or Patsy as Switzer called him, and how it led to the "Table of Truth" at Othello's Italian Restaurant in Norman.

One story that didn't make it into Bon Appetit is one of my favorites, but it just didn't quite fit with the "Red Sauce America" theme.

Patsy, according to Switzer, was quite a ladies' man and there was a woman he was seeing named Judy. When the Sooners went to the Orange Bowl, coach Switzer took Patsy with him and Patsy brought Judy.

About a month after the game, Patsy and Barry were sitting at the Table of Truth and Patsy said, "Hey coach, I haven't heard from Judy in while. Do you think she's seeing somebody new?" and Switzer said, "Well, it's been about a month and you haven't talked to her? Yeah...she might have moved on."

Patsy was upset because he'd taken her to a bowl game and paid for everything and he thought they'd had a good time. Switzer then asked, "Did you ever try calling her?" and Patsy thought about it and realized he hadn't reached out to her, either.

At that moment, Judy comes in the restaurant and walks over to the table where the pair were sitting. She says hello to the coach and then turns to Patsy and asks, "Hey, Patsy: Why didn't you ever call?"

To which he replies, "Judy, when your phone doesn’t ring...you know it’s me."

Coach Switzer loved that story so much his son ended up using that line in a song.

Patsy and the Coach

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.