After moving back to OKC after 7 years in the PNW I am greeted with a plethora of new restaurants to explore, one of which is Aurora. It is nestled in the Plaza District on 16th street on the corner. I have actually driven by this place a few times but was under the impression it was just a coffee shop with some light pastries. I wandered in on a Sunday morning around opening (8am) and was amazed to find an incredibly cute space with a plethora of seats and table service. Their space extends all the way back ending with a patio in the back that welcomes furry friends (leashed). They have an entire brunch menu featuring specialty coffees and cocktails that will delight a range of palates and dietary needs. Upon reading more about them they want to fuel your day in a delicious, healthy, local way and I would 100% say they succeeded.
No breakfast is complete without coffee – so let’s start there! They had your typical coffee options – lattes, cappuccinos, americanos, drip, etc. BUT they also had some fun options including – Blueberry Muffin, Campfire, and Island. The Campfire is a s’mores latte with espresso, marshmallow and chocolate syrups and comes with whipped cream and teddy grahams – seriously adorable and delicious. I grabbed an iced campfire because OKC is hot as hell and this PNW girl is nowhere near ready for anything above 70 degrees. Their Island Latte also intrigued me – espresso, macadamia nut syrup and white chocolate; just how they do in Hawaii. If you can’t decide, get both like me! Both were on the lighter, less sweet side, which I appreciated because you could actually taste the espresso without it being overpowered by syrups.
Now for the main event – their dishes. They have a pretty large selection ranging from lighter to heavier mains with plenty of sweet and savory options. Enjoy biscuits, burgers, omelets, breakfast tacos and much more. I went with the Shrimp + Grits because this southern at heart girl can never pass up this dish and also grabbed the Steak + Eggs. The shrimp + grits are served with goat cheese grits and tomato reduction topped with perfectly cooked shrimp. The dish had an incredible balance of salty, slightly spicy and a lemon wedge to brighten up and cut through the creamy grits. The tomato reduction was to die for – I honestly wish the dish had more of this sauce and a bit less of the grits. While the grits were creamy, warm, and cheesy they overpowered the dish a bit because it was served with so much of them. I recommend adding a side of eggs (runny yolk preferred) to make this dish even more breakfast-y and give you some extra protein to offset the carbs from the grits. Overall though I would definitely give it a solid 8 or 9 out of 10 for the flavor. Next up was the Steak + Eggs – a true classic. Aurora serves a NY Strip, cooked your way, with 2 eggs (also cooked your way) + potatoes and avocado. It even comes with both green and red salsas. The steak was tender and juicy with a light flavor; the potatoes could have been a bit crispier but they were soft on the inside. Overall I would give this dish a 7 or 8 out of 10. Very solid, and a safe choice if you want something more basic and simple.