OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — A light breeze from the south, a fathomless sky without a cloud in sight, glorious full sunshine, a balmy 70 degrees … weather like this in November is a gift. So what do you do on what is likely to be the last warm weekend of the year? You get outside. Maybe take a book and go to a park.
If you’re anywhere near downtown OKC, you might be tempted to go to Scissortail Park – especially if, like me, you’re hoping to swing by its new purveyor of “burgers, bites and cold delights” and give Spark a try.
Spark is the latest concept from The Social Order (Fuzzy’s Tacos and The Jones Assembly) perched on the Oklahoma City Boulevard, which puts it at the north end of Scissortail Park and just west of the new Omni Hotel, an easy saunter from the Myriad Gardens and the Paycom Center. Location, location, location.
There’s more seating space inside than I was expecting, as well as an ample patio area and, you know, the entirety of the adjacent park for picnics.
Dining options include a footlong corn dog, chicken sandwich, and a couple of bowls (one quinoa and veggies, one granola and fruit) for the meatless crowd, although most of Spark’s development points are invested in burgers, fries, and custard.
It sounds simple, but the cumulative attention to getting details right really pays off. The cheese on my double Spark burger was just the right degree of melted, the pickle chips were thick and crunchy, the potato bun sturdy enough to hold together throughout a lengthy savoring process. By the way, the patties are fairly thin, somewhat in the vein of Steak ’n Shake, so a double might be the way to go.
Restrained though it is, the menu also makes room for innovative touches without trying to reinvent the wheel: I’m looking forward to trying the swiss, pineapple and candied jalapeños of the Shaka Spark next time, and the signature pink fries are more than just Instagram bait, even if I kept expecting the pink sauce to be sweet rather than more of a tangy aioli. And speaking of sweetness, my only reservation about the freshly scooped custard with a dozen-plus possible toppings is that the portion might be a little big. Which is a good problem to have.
Is it the best burger in OKC?
That’s some extremely stiff competition in a field crowded with heavyweights like New State and Tucker’s and the Interurban (I’m a sucker for honey pepper bacon) and Patty Wagon and the always-sensational Nic’s. Hell, Alton Brown just got through calling Bar Arbolada’s offering “the best double cheeseburger in America” a few days ago.
But Spark could have made food that was just okay and counted on the nearby park and arena to draw clientele; instead, its food is genuinely very good on its own merits, much better than it had to be, and that level of quality serving as an additional draw even beyond those potential diners merely passing by has to be the icing on the cake. Or sprinkles on the custard, in this case.
Incidentally, if you’re still wearing a mask in crowded public areas, (a) good for you, and (b) it’s also a great way to be sure nobody can tell whether you might have a little dab or two of chocolate custard around your mustache region.
I’m going to miss this weather – I always do when winter approaches – but even as an afternoon in the park becomes less appealing, the Thunder season and all the bustle of downtown in December (the event and the month) should keep bringing people into the area, ready for some well-executed classic tastes. The Social Order is ready with a Spark of inspiration.
Spark, 300 Oklahoma City Boulevard
Last Updated November 10, 2021, 6:46 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor