As the parent of young children, I feel unjustifiably qualified to make all sorts of pronouncements about what is and is not good for families.
The movie “Matilda” is good for families. Milk is good for families. Letting daddy sleep for another hour, maybe hour and a half, while you quietly watch Netflix is good for families.
Probably the only place I’m even moderately qualified to use my coveted position as a dad to issue statements is in relation to restaurants. I am, it turns out, somewhat knowledgeable in this area and this area alone.
So, as someone who had sex a few times and created life, let me tell you about The One Cafe in Edmond.
To be clear, its name is “The One Cafe.” It is not the sole cafe in the township of Edmond. But it is one of the few I’d recommend to solo diners, daters, married folks, parents with kids, parents without kids, members of the French Foreign Legion and fans of raw fish.
Part of what makes The One Cafe so popular is that it wanders well outside the bounds of what many people think of as “cafe fare.”
There are sandwiches, yes. And soups. If you’re a dyed-in-the-wool soup and sandwich fan, rest assured, your needs have been considered and met here. Not only are there “premium sandwiches” there are also “grilled panini,” which seems a bit redundant.
I got the bacon ranch chicken club ($6.59, with chips) because sometimes your boy just goes straight for the crowd pleaser. One thing I like about it is that it leaves nothing to the imagination. Everything you need to know about it is right there in the name.
The chicken is pulled, the bacon is crispy-chewy and the ranch is plentiful, but not overpowering. Ranch, like balsamic vinegar and time spent with me, is best in moderation. It adds a nice creaminess to the sandwich and a little flavor, but it lets the bacon and chicken shine through.
My daughter (age 4) shocked me by requesting a cup of broccoli cheddar soup ($2.59) for her lunch. Not only was it extremely affordable, it also tasted really nice. There’s a chicken broth base to the soup, which cuts through the richness of the cheddar and leaves a smooth, slurp-worthy soup. The broccoli is soft, which is what I want in broccoli cheddar soup. Have you ever gotten a hunk of uncooked broccoli in your soup? It goes against the very nature of the dish.
My son (age 7) asked for the grilled ham and cheese kids meal ($5.29, including chips and drink). And then he actually ate it. I didn’t hardly have to beg, either. He just opened his mouth and then used his teeth to remove part of the sandwich and then closed his mouth around the now-detached sandwich piece and chewed it until it was the right size for him to swallow it.
If you’re saying, “So what? Your kid ate food. Big deal.” then I posit that you are not a parent of children, because this is actually a big deal. Most kids have three foods, tops, that they’ll eat in a reasonable amount of time with a reasonable amount whining. Mine like pancakes, rice and refried beans and that’s about it.
Granted, it might have had something to do with the promise of dessert…
The reason I go to The One Cafe is the poke bowl ($10.99).
The dish, first invented by 10-year-old Pallet Town native Ash Ketchum, is a big bowl of raw fish, rice, vegetable and sauces.
At The One Cafe, diners can build their poke bowls on a bed of rice or salad, stacking up layers of crab meat, avocado, onions, cucumbers, salmon, tuna, scallops and more to be eaten with chopsticks and a wild disregard for appearances.
It’s just a delight and it’s made possible by The One Cafe’s growing reputation. The more people coming in to eat it, the fresher the fish, which leads to more people coming in, etc. etc. Personally, I’m a fan of the spicy original sauce with salmon and spicy tuna on a bed of avocado, cucumber, crab and rice.
If you haven’t heard of poke bowls before, hold on to your drawers, because Oklahoma City is about to be hardcore invaded by several poke shops. You can already get it at The One Cafe and Yuzo Sushi Tapas, both of which I heartily and stomachly recommend.
The One Cafe’s other claim to fame are its crepes, which come in both savory and sweet varieties.
After the kids finished their food, which I again reiterate is a miracle, they settled on Puppy Love ($5.49) — a crepe with strawberries, chocolate and strawberry sauces, roasted almonds, whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. (Given my druthers, we’d have gotten the Peach Cheesecake crepe, but I wasn’t about to press my luck.)
Crepes are thin, pliant pancakes that can be folded, rolled, spindled and mutilated at your leisure. If this is the price for getting my kids to eat actual food in an actual restaurant, I’ll gladly pay it.