Norman, Cow Town, Oklahoma City
From Hot Springs, Arkansas I went directly to Norman, Oklahoma. I actually only went to Hot Springs because it was on the way to this Oklahoma where my favorite person to share food porn pictures with resides.
I met him and his wife several years ago on “The Lost Shaker of Salt Adventure”, one of the trips of my former work-life and we instantly became partners in crime. Over dinner on the first night of that trip to the Florida Keys, we were sharing stories of chili cook-offs - I was explaining how I became a judge for a chili cook-off in Islamorada (that is an entirely different, longer story) and he had entered as a contestant in his region. After some time he looked at me with a very serious expression and said, "Are you into food porn?"- I had never heard that expression before and looked at his wife for an explanation. We’ve been exchanging food porn and recipes to each other for several years since.
So, needless to say, during my visit to Oklahoma, we had some good food in cow town; the best (and my first) Rocky Mountain oysters; and the tastiest country fried steak EVER. I even got a personal tour of this up and coming city, along with the Bombing Memorial and the Boathouse District which hosts an array of outdoor adventure and watersport activities.
I've looked over A LOT of "best cities" lists in the past couple of months and wasn't too surprised to see Norman, Oklahoma listed especially after visiting and hearing the local perspective. I may agree with them considering the nearby airport, arts and culture, food, and a cost of living that this Miami girl finds remarkable.