5. Waffle Champion

I LOVE Waffle Champion. If you never had a savory belgium waffle from this food truck, you are truly missing out. Gourmet ingredients in a sweet waffle is a great way to mix great flavors. Bonus: The girls who work the truck are really nice and thank you for tweeting them. Cher and I had Waffle Champion during the Paseo Arts Festival. Eating the wonderful waffle full of meat, cheese and egg while people-watching in the Paseo Arts District makes for great meal #5 of 2012.

4. Nic’s Burgers with Cher

It’s not very often I get to have lunch with Cher during the week or eat at Nic’s. It was Cher’s idea, which makes it even better. We grabbed the two last spots at the counter before the rush. Nic’s is an OKC institution and has been featured on Food Network’s DinersDriveIns and Dives. Hanging with Cher and eating one of the best burgers anywhere is a great day and makes for great meal #4 in 2012.

3. Stella with the Rococo crew

Nothing is better than dining with professional chefs. Rococo Restaurants Boss man Bruce Rinehart and his wife Amber invited Cher and I to dinner with them, chefs Jason Bustamante and Don Duncan plus their girlfriends. The combination of wonderful food, wine and company made for a great evening. We sampled almost everything on the menu and talked about the taste, textures and wine combinations. Owner Lori Tyler runs a fantastic restaurant with a great culinary/service staff. Great meal #3 in 2012.

2. Cattlemen’s Steakhouse for my birthday

You cannot go wrong with the historic Cattleman’s in Stockyard City. Steak, potatoes, house dressing and pie are always a good choice. Spending my birthday with Cher, my Dad/Wanda and Cher’s parents Bob/Jeannie eating steak is as good as it gets. I grew up in the stockyards where my Grandfather owned a service station, traded cattle and other business ventures. This place will always hold a special place in my heart. Great meal #2 by a slight margin (almost #1).

1. Rococo Penn with out-of-town family

We eat at Rococo Penn often, but I almost never get to see my cousin Ryan and his partner Brett. When they came to town (from Dallas) looking for an evening out, we took them to our favorite places. Not only did we have great conversations, but we all sampled stellar appetizers, seafood and lots (and lots) of drinks. We had the world famous crab cake, steak, pork chops, salmon, duck and desserts. Great company, food and service made for the #1 great meal of 2012.

Bonus: Nebu Cafe in the Devon Tower

Cher loves to have lunch at Nebu in the Devon Tower. I don’t get downtown for lunch very often. I had lunch recently with Cher at Nebu and was very happy I did. The greatness of Nebu has little to do with the food or service but the community space that the Devon corporation has created in downtown Oklahoma City is incredible.

Thank you to Larry Nichols and the Devon leadership for not just building your headquarters in OKC, but for creating a community space (along with the Myriad Gardens, streetscapes, etc.) the rivals any metro area on the planet. Inviting the citizens and tourist of our great city to your campus is the greatest gift this city has received in decades. I love this city/state. I am so proud of what has happened in the downtown area and Devon deserves a huge amount of credit for being the catalyst.

Go downtown and see for yourself. The energy is outstanding.