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Opening (Your Mouth) Night in OKC!

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I Ate Oklahoma is brought to you in part by:

This is it! 2018 is finally coming to a close and the only way to truly celebrate it is by watching explosions in a public place.

I don’t know about your year, but if it’s anything like the one the rest of us had, 2019 can’t come soon enough. Some people think about New Year’s Eve as a fond send off for the year we’re leaving, but I think it’s a mercy killing punctuated by champagne and a countdown.

Arts Council Oklahoma City, which is putting on Opening Night, takes a much more celebratory bent — they’re surrounded by great art all year long, too, so maybe that’s why they’re in such a good mood — and as such they’ve pulled together some of the state’s best food trucks for Finale Alley (just south of Bicentennial Park on Colcord).

In honor of New Year’s Eve, I’m going to countdown some of the must-have dishes you can enjoy from 7 p.m. to midnight.

TEN!

Snow S'more is a truck for all seasons, serving up delicious shave ice and decadent s'mores made with Bedre chocolate and homemade marshmallows and graham crackers. Since the forecast is chilly with a chance of IT’S DECEMBER 31ST WHAT DO YOU THINK IT’S LIKE OUTSIDE, it’s a fair bet you’ll be inclined to forgo the ice and stick to the gooey, melty s'mores.

NINE!

California transplants started Taco Nation and they’ve been winning fans with Baja-style tacos, nachos, quesadilla and burritos ever since. Since it’s outdoors and you’re walking around a bunch, ultra-portable food seems like a no-brainer. Plus...it’s Mexican food, the most American food there is.

EIGHT!

Climb aboard Junction Coffee’s double-decker bus and warm up with a hot chocolate. Or, if you’re someone who isn’t used to seeing the other side of midnight (ahem, me) a double-strong espresso beverage will keep you wired right up until the fireworks go off. And if you’re sleepy after fireworks...that’s on you.

SEVEN!

Not only does Mission In-Pasta-Bowl have one of the greatest names in all of food truck-dom, they have mastered the art of serving dishes that taste like they took a long time to make almost instantly. Carbo loading for the new year? This is the stop for you.

SIX!

Nashville-style hot chicken has the dual benefit of turning your body into a radiant oven with delicious heat and keeping you awake until midnight because of burning sensation on your tongue. Chef Ray’s Street Eats also serves chicken that doesn’t require access to the burn ward — in fact, eating sweet tea chicken might be the best thing you do all year.

FIVE!

Though it recently changed hands, the new owners of La Gumbo Ya Ya are still making great Cajun food. Remixed with their own Puerto Rican flavors, this food truck made a big splash at the Oklahoma State Fair and now you can chow down on red beans and rice as 2019 comes into view.

FOUR!

The problem some folks have with Indian and Pakistani foods is that, despite how good it tastes, their taste buds just can’t hang with the heat. Don’t let Sizzle n Spice’s name fool you: this truck serves a family-friendly menu that even the most spice-averse among us can enjoy. And while gyros aren’t technically Indian cuisine, I can tell you that Sizzle n Spice’s version is the one my kids ask for all the time.

THREE!

If your 2019 is going to start with a brand-new diet, then send 2018 off in style with a juicy smoked turkey leg from King’s Custom Smoked Meats. This barbecue joint has its meats on point. Besides, there has to be a food truck serving turkey legs. That’s basically a city code at this point.

TWO!

Rolling Cafe doesn’t need a gimmick. They serve American food with a southwest twist — sultry spices infused into their chicken and sandwiches — with a menu that is forever changing. If you’re looking for something different, this place will have it, and it’ll taste good, too.

ONE!

Everybody likes burgers. Do you know the first non-vegetarian food vegetarians try to mimic when they swear off meat? It’s burgers. And you won’t find a finer burger truck than BlueJ’s Rolling Grill. I highly recommend the mushroom burger and, to keep the fungus among us, an order of truffle fries. Eat your dinner at BlueJ’s and you might find yourself saying, “You know what? 2018 wasn’t so bad after all.”

Wristbands for Arts Council Oklahoma City’s Opening Night are $10 and you can buy them at the event. In addition to food trucks and fireworks, there’s a live band and even a 21-and-older tent for grabbing that glass of champers for a midnight toast.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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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