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Ardmore offers a wide range of new, healthy food and beverage options

Drew Butler
The Daily Ardmoreite
A line of vehicles wait for their tea on the opening day of HTeaO in Ardmore on Friday.

Southern Oklahomans have a wide range of new options when they want to grab a quick bite to eat or purchase a refreshing beverage. Three of the most recently opened establishments all pride themselves on their fresh, natural ingredients and their ability to offer healthy options to their patrons.

OK Poke (poke rhymes with okay) opened its doors at 2612 W. Broadway on May 6, and allows customers to build their own poke bowls with a wide range of proteins, vegetables and sauces. Owner Andrea Aycox said poke is a type of traditional Hawaiian dish made with raw fish, and she’s excited to bring it to the area.

“My dad owns a poke place in Oceanside, California,” Aycox said. “The name of that place is the Poke Cafe, and they’ve owned it for about five years. So my husband and I decided to open this together. We started looking at the sushi places around here, and this is basically sushi in a bowl. We love poke, and we thought Ardmore would love poke, too.”

Aycox said the restaurant gets all of it’s sushi from Dallas, and the sushi is flown in fresh. There are also cooked options available for those who are not fans of sushi.

“Because we live in Southern Oklahoma, we wanted to offer some cooked products as well,” Aycox said. “So we have crawfish, chicken and octopus. The rest is raw.”

She said one of her favorite parts of running the restaurant is getting to meet new people, including some native Hawaiians.

“There’s a lot of Hawaiians who live here, and they’ve been into the restaurant and have made suggestions about trying this or that,” Aycox said. “We’re taking that into consideration for some cool new things to have here.”

Another restaurant that recently opened its doors is the Tropical Smoothie Cafe located at 2401 12th Ave. NW. The restaurant offers a wide range of smoothies for both the health conscious and those seeking a sweet treat. They also offer several sandwich, flatbread and quesadilla options.

General Manager Jillian Clayburn said this is the sixth location for the franchise with the other five all located in the Oklahoma City metro area.

“We trained in the city for 12 weeks during COVID, and then we sped up here about a month ago,” Clayburn said. “At first it was drive-through only, but now we’ve got the doors open. But we’re still taking orders online for to-go and curbside.”

One of their most popular smoothies is the Bahama Mama made with white chocolate, strawberry and coconut. Another popular favorite is the Island Green made with spinach, kale, mango, pineapple and banana with no additional sugar. 

Clayburn said all of their ingredients are fresh and the response from the public has been great.

“We’re one of the few healthy choices in town, and I’ve heard stories from people who have already lost 10 pounds,” Clayburn said. “They come in twice a day. It’s been wonderful.”

A final option is HTeaO which opened its doors at 352 N. Commerce on Friday. The tea room serves 24 flavors of sweet and unsweet teas, though they also sell a variety of chips and other snack items.

General Manager Amber Dove described their teas.

“We have no preservatives in our tea, no artificial flavors — nothing like that,” Dove said. “Our tea bags actually have the fresh fruit in them, and we use reverse osmosis water for everything — all of our ice, the water, everything. The tea that is sweetened only uses pure cane sugar.

Dove said HTeaO employs 26 people, and they enjoyed getting to meet their customers on opening day.

“We’ve loved seeing everybody come through, and we love getting to have that personal connection with everyone who comes in or goes through our drive through,” Dove said.