I think it's safe to say that in this American life and human experience, one thing we can all agree on is cheese fries. It's a ridiculously simple and humble dish, yet you can evoke jealousy out of your friends and loved ones with a tiny brag that you're eating them right now. It's the one dish that has that ultimate power.

In Oklahoma, we take our cheese fries seriously. This isn't Texas where the chef hurries a plate full of soggy, microwaved taters out covered in a layer of melted sliced cheese... Oh no, we go full-on America's Top Chef in the Sooner State. Perfectly crisp potatoes often battered before fried, topped with your choice of meat protein and a concoction of various cheeses that provide that signature strong, stringy stretch but also a supple, savory flavor.

Fair warning, beyond this point you can expect some hunger pangs and serious cravings.

I think the cheese fry most people envision when they think cheese fry is probably the ever-popular dish served up at Texas Roadhouse. Steak fries covered in stretchy cheese, topped with bacon, and served with ranch dressing, it's a pretty solid bare-minimum standard of what this dish is all about. As good as that Texas' version is, the limits do get pushed to the extreme at some of the other good eatin' spots around Oklahoma. Starting with one of our own in Lawton, S&B Burger Joint.

I know, I know... Lawton's S&B isn't the original, but it's a dang good franchise location. It's been a while since I've been in there, but I still think about those impossibly delicious Thunder Fries.

Perfectly crisp fries topped with swiss ham and thunder sauce... maybe a sprinkle of green onion if the chef is feeling Ms. Jackson nasty. It's a dish so stupid-simple but so complex on the palate. One of my personal favs in the state, but S&B doesn't stop there. They have fry dishes topped with all sorts of odd-sounding ingredients. Peanut butter, queso and green chilies, garlic butter and parm... but the show-stopper of epic stoner-food might be their loaded tots.


I'm surprised nobody has done a pizza fry yet... where you just toss pizza sauce and toppings on fries and oven-melt it all together.

It would be no different than telling you a lie if I didn't at least toss Sonic somewhere in this list, might as well get it over with here at the top. While I much prefer the tots to their fries, that chili-cheese mesh of salty and savory flavors hits the spot when you don't have time for a sit-down meal.

Up in OKC, there seems to be a pretty wide array of local, non-franchise type spots that serve up some seriously gourmet looking fry dishes. Take the Tequila Sunfrys from Guyutes for example...

The Most Pits Fries from Burger Punk...

The Okie Poutine at The Mule...

Theta Fries at Johnnie's Charcoal Broiler...

Del Taco's Loaded Queso Fries...

But if you're willing to drive for some of Oklahoma's truly epic and legendary cheese fries, Stillwater is the destination.

Way up in North-Central Oklahoma, there's a little juke-joint that started a revolution in the '70s. You know how some restaurants let you keep those 16-ounce plastic cups you have a million of in your cabinets? That's just one of the traditions that first started at the world-famous Eskimo Joe's.

If you've been in Oklahoma for a while, you can picture the iconic logo in your head. In the '90s, Joe's t-shirts were even the second most often recognized brand in the world, falling just short of the Hard Rock Cafe shirts that we all wore with pride back then.

Started humbly as a student bar just off campus in a small college town, in the same location since day one, Eskimo Joe's set the original standard for cheese fries a long time ago.

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