STILLWATER — Football season means Pistol Pete will be in the spotlight. But when it comes to eating out, the biggest mascot in town is Eskimo Joe.
Eskimo Joe's, 501 W Elm, will be bulging with fans on game days, so while it will be one of the first places fans will look for a burger, there are plenty of other excellent options.
The lark of childhood friends Steve File and Stan Clark, Eskimo Joe's started as a bar with a funky mascot. Joe and his trusty dog, Buffy, were created by Bill Thompson for $35 in 1975. Thirteen years later, Clark took out a classified ad in Rolling Stone magazine for "Stillwater's Jumpin' Little Juke Joint," and suddenly people around the globe were sporting Eskimo Joe and Buffy.
More than two decades later, Eskimo Joe's has a clothing empire and two other restaurant concepts: Mexico Joe's and Joeseppi's.
Two decades before Eskimo Joe's, folks were visiting a hole in the wall called The Hideaway that specialized in a then-unique dish: pizza pie. While there are now 10 Hideaway locations in the Oklahoma City and Tulsa areas, the original Hideaway still operates independently at 230 S Knoblock in Stillwater, serving a myriad of pies but none more popular than the Special, which offers different toppings on each slice.
For Mexican food, The Oklahoman's sports staff swears by the food at El Vaquero, 5020 W Sixth Ave. Also, El Tapatio, 1711 N Boomer Road, has a loyal following. Bad Brad's Barbecue, 3317 E Sixth Ave., and Coney Island, 223 S Washington, also draw good crowds. But my two favorite spots are about as diametrically opposed as you could imagine.