NORMAN — Eating should be more than just a biological function at football games. It should be part of the immersive experience.
In Oklahoma, Levy Restaurants has upped the dining game in 2022 by adding new partners, vendors, and concessionaires that will satisfy even the most discerning (or just plain picky) palette.
“This is the ultimate,” said Cody Malone, operations director at Levy. “We make memories, right?”
“I can tell you, being at Dodger Stadium as a kid, eating a Dodger Dog and being pelted with peanuts when I was 8 years old, those are the things — in Oklahoma City, when I left the hill at 89ers Stadium.” rolled down field, eat items from an ice cream helmet, these are the memories that will last forever.”
At OU, Sooner Nation has six home games where they can try out the wealth of new opportunities around the stadium. Gather with your family at the traditional pre-game location. Enjoy every bite at your group tailgate.
But don’t ignore the concession stands. You are just too good.
New this year is Cupbop – Korean barbecue in a cup. At Levy’s annual sampler media day this week, we sampled both pork and beef, and both were excellent. In addition to the savory meats, the noodles are marinated before being served on a bed of rice. Tell the server your heat level, 1 to 10. I ordered a 5 and it was very spicy for me.
Nashbird is back this year with its Nashville Spicy Chicken Sandwiches. They are suitably hot. Though a cool bed of coleslaw is standard, I opted for just the chicken breasts between the buns for a closer comparison with the endless sea of flavorful fast-food chicken sandwiches out there. Honestly, this one is at the top of my list. Sometimes the bird’s inherent taste can be overpowered by the heat, but not in this case. The chicken itself was juicy and tasty, and the breaded seasoning matched the meat perfectly.
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Even for those who don’t love corn dogs, Fletcher’s Corny Dogs are simply the best corn dogs in the world. Seriously, trust me and just give it a try. Fletcher’s – the same ones you get at the State Fair of Texas in October – joined the OU franchise family last year. Of course I had one of these, as I will each time they become available.
But I also opted for a few of Levy’s own novelty corn dog items: The Elote Corn Dog has a spicy Tex-Mex flare, and the Flamin’ Hot Cheetos Corn Dog has spicy Cheetos sprinkled on top of sprinkles. Adjust your expectations of what a corn dog can be.
New to OU this year, Boomarang Diner offers a variety of options including the Diner Double: a cheeseburger, a corn dog, and tater tots. It was exactly what you want (and sometimes need) from a baseball concession stand, and unless you’re brave enough to try something new, you absolutely can’t go wrong with this timeless classic.
Midway Deli has been serving Norman since 1955, but its offering is new at Memorial Stadium and includes all-time favorites like The Arnie Italian, The Vulcan, Coach Switzer’s, Ranchero, and Slammin’ Sammy.
You’ll be thirsty for all of this, so head over to H-Tea-0 for a seemingly endless variety of teas made with fruit – without HFCS – featuring raspberry, blueberry, peach, or any combination you fancy can imagine are infused. Blueberry was a bit sweet for me, but the raspberry and peach were perfect.
I don’t usually leave a dining opportunity without diving into the dessert options, and I loved The Baked Bear’s ice cream cookie sandwiches, but what really rounded it off for me was Shake’s Frozen Custard’s Oreo Speedwagon. It’s mashed Oreos mixed with delicious frozen pudding and it was divine. You might also like the Boomer Brownie Chunk.
Of course, this is just a sample. There are many other options such as These include a Boiler Corn Flavor selection, hot dogs, Pizza Hut, a Boomer BLT skewer, a warm pretzel with cheese dip, a cured meat and cheese platter, and the Boomer BBQ Brisket Sandwich.
For Malone, however, what you eat isn’t nearly as important as who you eat it with.
“I’m coming to a game with your dad,” he said. “I came to OU-Nebraska in ’85 or ’86, any year, and I remember eating a hot dog and drinking a large soda and taking home a souvenir soda back then. It creates memories that will last a lifetime.”