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The Year of The Iguana

I Ate Oklahoma is brought to you in part by:

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of Iguana Mexican Grill. And I’ve got lots of secrets I keep from you guys. Lots. Seriously, I’m not super boring. I have a rich inner life.

Shut up.

Anyway, I’ve reviewed dinner at Iguana and brunch at Iguana and if I could get a Lyft sponsorship for a stomach pump on standby, I’d review all the drinks at Iguana. It was great when it opened and it’s been great since Chef Marc Dunham came on as owner in the last couple of years, working with long-time Chef de Cuisine Juan Quixtan and general manager Ross Davis to reinvigorate the menu.

And now, to paraphrase Vince Vaughn, they’re growns up and they’re growns up and they’re growns up. Iguana, an early standard bearer in Oklahoma City’s new culinary age, is 10 years old.

God I love Iguana.

It’s a sign of my advanced age that 2008 doesn’t seem that long ago, but it’s hard to fathom that the Taco John Taco Tuesday debacle happened 8 years ago. Hard to believe how 9th Street, where Iguana was once the sole restaurant occupant, has become a cool little inlet of deliciousness.

And if 10 years doesn’t impress you much, let’s put it in perspective. The majority of restaurants don’t last a year. Of those that make it past a year, 70 percent close in the next 3-5 years. A decade in business is huge. And once you make it over that hump, the likelihood of staying open is greatly increased.

It wasn’t luck that got them here. Iguana mixes some very region specific dishes into a menu of Tex-Mex favorites, making it easy for food snobs (like me) to dine with sane people (like you) without a fuss.

To celebrate, the restaurant is throwing a week-long party Oct. 29-Nov. 4 with lunch specials, live music and the return of some old-school menu items, including Iguana burgers, stacked enchiladas and $1 tacos.

Davis said the anniversary party will kick off a year-long celebration with monthly specials and activities, including the annual Cinco De Mayo party.

Check out the lineup of anniversary activities at www.iguanamexicangrill.com.

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About the Author

Founder and Eater-in-Chief of I Ate Oklahoma, Greg Elwell has been reviewing restaurants and writing about Oklahoma’s food culture for more than a decade. Where a normal person orders one meal, this guy gets three. He is almost certainly going to die young and those who love him most are fairly ambivalent about it. You can email Greg at greg@iateoklahoma.com.

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