Arizona is known for its southwest flavors. Being an Arizona native, I love the spicy flavor of the local traditional fare. But I am also married to a man with deep southern roots and have come love the flavors of southern food. Luckily, I don’t have to travel all the way to his family’s farm in Virginia for really amazing authentic southern flavors. Okra, located on 7th Street just south of Bethany Home Road in Phoenix, is serving up deep southern home style food with a fine dining flare.

Located in a quiet corner around back of The Crown on 7th, Okra is a very bright, open venue that also feels intimate. Sit down at one of the tables, grab a spot at the bar or soak up the perfect Arizona weather on their spacious patio. I can assure you there isn’t a bad seat in the house! Chef Cullen Campbell recently revamped the menu and I was invited out to taste new items.

I like to start most of my meals with a drink. I also love bourbon and the Okra Mixologist, Micah Olson, has created a drink that is a little sexy and a little punk rock called “Blister in the Sun”. Combining Maker’s Mark 46 bourbon, habañero honey and grapefruit, this drink has a kick that is mellowed by the sweet smokiness of the bourbon. A truly perfect combination of the south and the southwest.

Okra

This “Blister In The Sun” is a sexy homage to one of my favorite bands. Photo by Kamilla Graham

Chef Cullen really pays homage to his own southern roots with the use of house made pickles, coleslaw and smoked meats. Start your dinner with an order of roasted brussel sprouts, bbq lamb neck with a little yogurt and chives. I really love lamb and brussel sprouts and they came together beautifully in this shareable dish.

Okra

This dish is a flavorful combination of comfort foods! Brussels Sprouts and bbq lamb. Photo by Kamilla Graham

I swooned over the BBQ Meatloaf. I wasn’t a fan of meatloaf as a kid, but my husband makes an amazing juicy meatloaf that doesn’t taste like ketchup and converted me. Okra serves up what is now my second favorite meatloaf. Ever. Sliced and smoked, this meatloaf rests on a bed of perfectly smooth mashed potatoes and is topped to the sky with skinny breaded fried onions and drizzled with a spicy, sweet BBQ sauce. This meatloaf has sky high flavor and I was told it can also be ordered on a sandwich.

Okra

Flavor stacked to the sky with this bbq meatloaf.

To finish out dinner skip the pie. Instead order the canned biscuit doughnut and be sure to order it ala mode! Trust me. This dessert is served hot and it is sweet but not too sweet; perfectly topped off with a scoop of buttercream ice cream, caramel and, because waste not want not, the doughnut hole! It is simple and homey. The perfect touch.

Okra

Flashbacks to Sunday morning with this canned biscuit donut ala mode. Photo by Kamilla Graham

When you go:

The Crown on 7th
5813 North 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85014

Okra is open for dinner weekly! Be sure to stop by for everyone’s favorite hour: Happy Hour (which is actually 2 -3 hours)!

Mon-Thurs 4pm-10pm
Fri 4pm to 11pm
Sat 3pm to 11pm
Sun 3pm to 9pm
Happy Hour M-F 4pm-6pm; Sat-Sun 3pm-6pm

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Chef Cullen Campbell  & Micah Olsen combine southern flavors and fine dining; bringing it all to the southwest with Okra Cookhouse & Cocktails.