Taste Of Oklahoma: Saucy Calf Owners Are Thrilled To Bring Native American Food To Pawhuska

A Native American restaurant is taking over the Osage County town of Pawhuska. Saucy Calf opened about a month ago, and all the recipes have been passed down for generations.

Wednesday, May 15th 2024, 5:37 pm



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A Native American restaurant is taking over the Osage County town of Pawhuska. Saucy Calf opened about a month ago, and all the recipes have been passed down for generations.

From the Indian tacos to the grape dumplings, these recipes have been known to Osage people for decade after decade. Now, they invite everyone else to sit at the table and try out the special recipes for themselves.

Sitting above the main street Pawhuska is a sign showing Osage Chief "Saucy Calf." The restaurant's namesake is Chef Asa Concha's great-great-grandfather.

Family is first for Asa— much of her cooking is thanks to her grandmother.

Saucy Calf is bustling now, a month after opening and serving Native dishes.

Chef Asa grew up making foods like fry bread with her grandmother, mom and aunt.

“Grandma always said, if somebody asks you to cook, don't tell them no," she said.

She has been cooking in Osage kitchens for decades.

She's been with her husband, Jamison, for 14 years. He's also Native and grew up in New Mexico. When the opportunity to open Saucy Calf came up, the two jumped at it.

“It’s like a dream come true, did not expect it to happen," Jamison said. 

Back in the kitchen, Jamison is in charge of the fry bread. It comes together with flour, baking powder and a lot of love. The fry bread fluffs up and gets to a perfect golden brown before flipping. It’s also the base of the rez dog.

The rez dog is one of a ton of menu items brought out for me to sample.

The Indian Taco is likely the most popular food here. A fry bread base gets covered in chili and toppings of your choice.

Asa’s claim to fame is being the winner of the first-ever Indian Taco Championship in 2003.

Jamison’s New Mexican heritage can be found in many menu items with the addition of green chiles, like in the meat pies they bake daily and the stew.

Other Native items are the meat gravy, the corn soup, the pork and hominy soup, and the grape dumplings.

“You make it with grape juice instead of chicken stock," Asa said. 

Finish it off with a decadent dessert fry bread, topped with cool whip, berries, chocolate sauce and more.

The walls are covered with photos of Osage people, authentic artwork, and pictures from Jamison’s several roles as an extra in productions like Killers of the Flower Moon and Reservation Dogs.

The two chefs are always visiting with their customers, many they know, at long family-style tables. They say care and prayer are put into their restaurant and each menu item they offer.

“That's our main ingredient, love and prayer," Jamison said.

Even though the response has been overwhelming, they’re grateful to share a part of Native American history with everyone and invite anyone to pull up a chair and try it for themselves.

Email Taste of Oklahoma ideas: Kristen.Weaver@griffin.news 

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