This past Saturday was one of the most idyllic days of the semester. It was a lesson in how weekends (or off-work days) are meant to be, a perfect pause filled with relaxed exploration and recuperation, a genuine break in the daily grind.
Riding along in the passenger seat of a best friend’s car, fluffy “snow trees” in full bloom whirl past the windows, spring’s beautiful answer to a winter devoid of its miniature icy sculptures. As the downtown buildings come into view, thoughts return to our culinary mission: to admire and experience the chocolatier treasure trove said to be found at Glacier chocolates.
A mutual friend and Glacier chocolate guardian has sent us on this hunt, one that, with the bumbling grace of college students, we have meant to go on for weeks. However, no other day could have compared with this day’s perfection, and we rest in the happy knowledge that some serious good has come from our accidental adventure-procrastination.
Glacier is located in Tulsa’s quirky-cool zone, The Brady Arts District. The old brick buildings and stark blue sky contrast nicely with the just-modern-enough interiors of restaurants, bars, art galleries, coffee shops, and music venues. With a casually chic mix of professionalism, historic, artsy, and modern tones, it is a place where anyone can find their favorite niche, or even explore others, without too high a risk of being looked down on for your perceived “cool factor” in the process.
Walking into Glacier you are almost instantly met with rows of artisanal delights that any chocolate lover could melt over, and thankfully our faithful friend is behind the counter to guide our overwhelmed and delighted souls through the grandeur before us.
While we start to excitedly pour over the goods, I creep over to the vegan section Ty has revealed (THE VEGAN SECTION!) afraid to get too excited – but alas! Two varieties of chocolate turtles, and multi-flavored and hued gem-shaped chocolates wink gold, ruby, and sapphire off their polished surfaces. It is beauty, it is grace, it is Miss United States, and as I follow my friend to check out with 3 vegan dessert jewels (checking my collegiate bank balance in the process), the primary chocolate mission is complete.
However there is more to experience and Ty, now dubbed the foodie guide, tells us to check out Antoinette Baking Co. and Chimera around the corner.
While Glacier is a treasure hall of chocolate kings, Antoinette is the epitome of queenly indulgence. “Let Them Eat Cake!” reads a sign outside the front door (too soon?), and indeed there is cake and plenty more to be had, in voluminous, luscious quantities. However, it is a culinary adventure for another day, as this 20-something vegan and her fellow 20-something adventurer were getting too hungry to ingredient-check everything in the place.
We stepped out from Antoinette’s bright, indulgent atmosphere and strolled across the street to Ty’s other recommendation, Chimera. Passing by fashionably groomed bearded men and casually stylish women on their way out the door, we enter a very different zone. Art appears on every wall, and natural materials lend a warm woodsy tone that nicely softens the sleek urban vibe. Chimera seems to be a place that is at the top of its game in every culinary aspect – food, coffee, and drinks are expertly crafted behind the neat, somewhat vintage looking bar, drawing crowds of professionals, art lovers, and foodie freaks like myself. And lo and behold – EVERYTHING.
CAN BE MADE
It has been months since I was last able to dive into a culinary world of this many scrumptious possibilities at the same time (Spiral Diner, looking at you, you beaut), and the excitement for this foodie is overwhelming. A plethora of breakfast tacos, a somewhat traditional childhood meal and delight (that was recently reunited again at Whole Foods), gleam on the first half of the page with quirky names to boot. Bowls of goodness on the next half, am I salivating? – and I know I must cease and choose or risk turning the friendly face across the counter into one of annoyance. Asking for help, for a foodie guide (where are you, Ty?!), for anything, the bowl is decided on, and (internally) I skip off on a cloud of glee to meet my friend at the table, where she awaits a beautiful donut and one of the epic breakfast tacos.
Feeling decidedly uncool and loving every minute of it, the dishes arrive and – oh my. The bowl is stacked with leafy loveliness, perfectly done tofu eggs, fresh avocado, incredible potato wedges, deliciously smoked adzuki strips, black beans, and I chose the tomatillo salsa to top it off. (Looking back I’m realizing the chipotle sauce may not be vegan, a mistake made in hunger and excitement, but if it’s not it would be easily substituted out for anything else).
My friend’s delicious looking breakfast taco arrives as well, a small mountain of black beans, caramelized onions, Fauxrizo, arugula, avocado crema and cilantro.
We are stuffed, we are delighted, we have not done any homework and now must drive out of the arts district to a favorite coffee shop better suited to studying – Fair Fellow.
Fair Fellow has a bright, white, clean, simple interior, accented by tasteful pops of color, plants, art, and wood. Large windows aid in the airy, energized feel of the place. Their beans can be found in shops around the city, and for good reason. Though Fair Fellow has an amazing house made almond milk, I’ve been trying to cut back on the “hard caffeine drinks” and opt for their kombucha instead. It. Is. Amazing. Refreshing, sparkling, and bright, the flavors revive the senses and bring me back to a state of calm wakefulness. There, as the coffee hits and kombucha sparkles, the perfection of the day bubbles over, sending us into fits of laughter and off the wall hilarity as our computer screens remain utterly blank.
I still can’t remember if any homework did get done that day, but the foodie finds and laughter releases were worth every penny and minute spent!
Signing off for now,
A Contented Treasure Hunting 20-Something