‘Oregon Boys’ fare brings in crowd

Robert Smith
Kai and Terry Esrom, proprietors of the Brothers Hominy Diner, keep the hearty fare and the lively conversation going on Main Street in Hominy. The brothers like the Oklahoma culture and offer a menu adapted to their surroundings — for instance, the “Purple Power Breakfast” for the kids. Robert Smith/Journal-Capital

HOMINY — The Esrom brothers were reared to be Ducks fans; now they’re in Bucks country and the menu at Brothers Hominy Diner reflects it. If you’re in the mood for a big bite, the “Bucks Lineman Burger” may be the third-of-a-pound remedy for you at their restaurant, located at 111 W. Main St.

The colors of the Hominy Bucks high school teams are purple and white. The Esroms’ menu is white with purple script. These two catch on pretty quick.

They call Kai and Terry Esrom the “Oregon Boys” because that’s where the brothers hail from. Terry, 58, is the more recent arrival in Oklahoma and he’s still got that green-and-yellow University of Oregon ball cap on while he’s cooking. The traces of their background are either on the surface or pretty close, but they’re enjoying Oklahoma.

Kai, 57, moved some 18 years ago for a sales job. Terry moved a little over a year ago, in part because he found that he’s more politically conservative than Oregon has become; and that some Oregonians have lost their civility about it all.

Terry tells a story about how a woman swore and spit at him in Portland when she saw a Tennessee Titans football team cap on his head, with the prominent “T” and the flame emanating from it. “You must have voted for Trump,” she said.

Terry learned from Kai that every county in Oklahoma voted majority-Republican in the presidential election. That made an impression, and he likes that he can walk in stores in Osage County and see scripture quotations posted. He particularly remembered a store in Skiatook.

Anyway, Kai’s wife had passed away and Terry was fed up with Portland liberals and today the two are cooking up burgers and chicken fried steaks and ribeyes and omelets in Hominy USA. They opened a few weeks ago.

The restaurant idea was not new. Each of the brothers has considerable experience working in restaurants and they talked perhaps 30 years ago about having one of their own. When Terry moved to Oklahoma, they began looking for a good spot for their restaurant. The Esroms credit Hominy businessman and former city manager Tex Bayouth with the fact they ended up where they did.

As the Esroms provided a sample of their pot roast to a customer, Kai made a note that all the gravy and sauce and soup they serve is fresh-made; no store-bought mixes.

Some things are pretty unlikely to change with the territory, however. Terry mentions that football great Mel Renfro, who starred with the Dallas Cowboys, went to the same high school as his mother.

“I’ve got his autographed picture,” Terry says. “We’re gonna put it on the wall.”

Renfro was, you guessed it, a Duck, before he was a Cowboy.

Brothers Hominy Diner is closed on Sunday, but open 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday.