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BY: Heather Brown

Back in the day, Interurban was the popular streetcar people-mover between Oklahoma City and Norman. The system eventually went away as cars and highways took over transportation needs. Norman’s Interurban station survived and was transformed into a restaurant in 1976.

Since then, the locally owned and operated eatery has grown to three other metro locations and stores in Tulsa, Chickasha, Ardmore and Duncan. Norman’s original Interurban moved from the railroad tracks a few years ago and now stands on the south end of the miracle mile of restaurants — mostly national chains — stretching along Ed Noble Parkway. Its new building is an attractive, futuristic structure with a flying V-shaped roof, glass block walls and a full-window entryway.

It has a diabolical way of extracting money before you even walk in the door, with an adorable, coin-operated Interurban Flyer kiddie ride on the sidewalk.

Inside,
the contemporary theme continues with oversized canvases of trolley
cars on the walls, track lighting and spacious teak and leather booth
seating. Low lighting, delicate background music and fresh flowers
contribute to an attractive place.

BY: Heather Brown

 

We
were greeted promptly at the door and led to a table right away. Server
Justin Thrash expertly walked the thin line between attentiveness and
annoying hover.

“We’re family-oriented,” manager Nate Clark said. “Our main goal is to make people happy.”

Interurban
does that with a large menu that could be called International
American. Hints are taken from Asian and Mexican cuisines, but most
dishes would be familiar at similar spots coast to coast. Cajun flavor
makes a few appearances, and Tex-Mex is well-represented. There’s even a
Cuban sandwich ($7.99) with the traditional filling of pork, ham and Swiss cheese held together by nonpurist ciabatta, rather than Cuban bread.

Brett’s
Fish Tacos ($10.49) are a superb catch because of the scintillating
combination of flavors. Blackened tilapia, avocado spears, shredded
cabbage, Jack cheese and pineapple salsa are swaddled in a pair of flour
tortillas. Save for the side of borracho beans needing some spicy oomph
in the department of rocking taste buds, fish tacos come with
unqualified recommendation.

Heather’s Macaroni and Cheese ($10.99) is a pretty name for a pasta dish, unless it reminds you of Heathers, the
1988 Winona Ryder movie. Elbow-shaped noodles are stirred with grilled
chicken, Alfredo sauce, Parmesan, American and pepper Jack cheeses.
Heather should be proud to be immortalized through this macaroni plate.

An
ugly name for a tasty meal is the Barking Fish sandwich ($10.29). The
simplicity of tuna grilled to order and served on a toast- ed
bun with lemon, caper and aioli sauce is howling good. A little heart
shape appears on the menu next to this sandwich, so what’s not to love?

The
chicken-fried steak ($10.79) was not “fork tender” as described on the
menu. However, the otherwise-delicious hunk of well-breaded fried beef
disappeared from my plate.

The
cream gravy was excellent, and fancy mashed potatoes likewise. A small
section of boiled and unadorned sweet corn begged to be grilled instead
or tarted up in some way. There was also a scrumptious beer-batter
muffin on the side.

Don’t
skip dessert. Pineapple and raisin bread pudding with sweet tequila
sauce ($4.99) may sound like a culinary train wreck, but it’s divine.

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