Thursday, March 18, 2021

Getting Your Fill of Southern Comfort Food in Tulsa


I’ll be the first to admit, when I'm in Oklahoma, all I think about is food. I love southern cooking and there’s nothing like Oklahoma BBQ, biscuits and gravy or a chicken fried steak with white sausage gravy to get you thinking about your next meal. True to Southern tradition, if there’s one thing I do when I come back to Tulsa, it’s that I always eat well.


Eating in is always a pleasure when you’re surrounded by a family of great cooks, including Olivia, who at age four, has gained experience with many dishes, including a few she’s created herself just by being in the kitchen every day with mom and dad.

New wines and champagnes, along with meats cooked in the Sous Vide and finished off on the BBQ were all on our A-list. There were wonderful holiday meals, meats off Tommy’s BBQ (my first meal back is always one of his steaks) and recipes that Jessica cooked from Pinterest and old family favorites.

In a send off to the city I’ve grown to love (we’re back in San Miguel de Allende as of March 9th) half the fun of eating in Tulsa is the adventure of finding a new favorite restaurant, including these everyday spots that hit the high mark with some of the best food in the city.

Buen Provecho!


Antoinette Baking Company

Formerly on Brookside, this wonderful bakery relocated to the Brady Arts District in Tulsa. It’s owned by Molly Martin and Andrea Mohn; childhood best friends that have a full-blown passion for baking.

 

Everything we ate at Antoinette’s was top-quality. We loved the Croissant, Coffee Cake pastry, Cheddar scone and the Sea Salt Chocolate Chip Cookie - one of their signature dishes. The Rice Crispy bars were out of this world, using vanilla and butter to pump up the flavors. The Bread Pudding is some of the best we’ve had; eggier than most of the ones we’ve eaten and topped with a rich, caramel sauce.

 

The bomb of everything was a cookie made with brown butter, pecans and caramelized white chocolate filled with duck fat caramel. It was the BEST COOKIE WE’VE EVER EATEN so far and we’ve had plenty to compare. They don’t make them every day so call to ask when they’ll have them next. 

On our list to try: the Sausage roll with croissant dough wrapped around a Burn Co smoked sausage and cheddar link. On our return trip, we grabbed a different version of the Rice Crispy treat that was covered in caramel and dark chocolate with salt sprinkled on top; a favorite we’d order again. We were also delighted with the shortbread topped with marshmallow, caramel and nuts. 

Don’t miss Canale night on Thursday from 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM and Pie Night on Friday and Saturday from 5:00 PM – closing. Brunch is served every Friday and Saturday from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM. 

When it comes to a number one bakery in Tulsa, Antoinette Baking Company wins - hands down!

Antoinette Baking Company / 207 N Main Street, Tulsa, OK 74103/ Phone: 918-764-8404/ Monday – Thurday 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM/ Friday- Saturday 7:00 AM – 10:00 PM/ Sunday 9:00 AM 3:00 PM - Dine in, Pick-up and Delivery


Lone Wolf Banh Mi

To find authentic Vietnamese food in a town that has limited ethnic restaurants was a total delight. Owned by Philip and Danielle Phillips, the couple began with a food truck back in 2012 and now have 2 locations - one at 11th street and the other on E Archer - and Chicken and the Wolf in Mother Road Market, specializing in Nashville hot chicken.

Lone Wolf Banh Mi has some of the best Vietnamese food we’ve eaten anywhere; it even beat some of the places we use to go on Argyle Street, the Vietnamese section of Chicago.

Our favorite indulgence was the insanely popular Kimchi Fries - fresh cut fries that are smothered in jack and cheddar cheese, onion, jalapeño, cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi, Thai chili aioli, cilantro, candied bacon and Korean chili peanuts. We also loved the Kung Pao Pork Banh Mi with Thai chili aioli and Korean chili peanuts and a Shrimp Rice Bowl with roasted jalapeno aioli. I would love to see some of these dishes in the kitchens of SMA, they were that good!

In my top five favorite restaurants in Tulsa, the dessert was another one-of-a-kind cookie: a salted caramel toffee, white chocolate chip cookie made by Sweet Street, who supplies many of the restaurants in the city.

Lone Wolf Banh Mi/ French – Vietnamese fusion/ 3136 E 11th Street, Tulsa, OK/ Phone: 918-861-4232/ Open 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM / Delivery and Pick Up


Mad Eats

There’s just one word for Chef Erik Reynolds food: whimsical. From Tots to epic shakes that are rimmed with cotton candy, cookies or M&M’s, grown-ups follow suit to make this diner the one you have to eat at before you even think about leaving town.

There are plenty of perfectly executed American dishes on the menu but when it comes to Mexican, try the Street Corn Queso; one of the restaurants most popular dishes.

When it came to dessert, Olivia wanted it all. My dessert was a “Goonies Never Say Die” shake:  a Chocolate and peanut butter mix with an M&M rim, peanut butter cups, chocolate pretzel rod and whipped cream. Also try one of the boozy shakes; my eye was on the Pony Boy Bourbon with Bourbon, salted caramel and candied bacon.

From Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese to hash browns stuffed with sausage, bacon and cheese, we pitched the calorie book the minute we looked at the menu.  

Mad Eats/ 201 S Main St, Owasso, OK 74055/ Phone: 918-401-4353/ Open: Sunday – Thursday 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM / Friday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 9:00 PM - Dine in, delivery and take out.



Burn Co

Living in Mexico is testimony to the fact that you can eat anything for breakfast - Chilaquiles, Carnitas, Menudo, or even Barbacoa - but when I'm headed north to Oklahoma, there is only one breakfast food I crave: authentic, Oklahoma BBQ.

At Burn Co, the kitchens are lined with eleven Hasty Bake Charcoal ovens; manufactured in Tulsa since 1948. It's all about controlling the inside temperature and the Q-chefs who use the Tasty Bake ovens swear by them, including Adam Myers, one of Burn Co's owners, who worked for Hasty Bake for 12 years.


The menu includes a list of BBQ classics, like the ribs and chicken, a Mac and Cheese that’s covered with so much cheese it’s addictive and the Fatty: bacon wrapped around sausage and finely minced hot links.
The sides are mouth watering as well, especially the smoked potato salad: a hot bowl of grilled potatoes with chopped bell peppers and onions. Also worth mentioning are the sauces. The hot is sweet with just a touch of heat and the mild has a mustard flavor - a combination of sweet, sour and tangy.

Inside the restaurant, you’ll find a store and meat market to purchase seasonings, sauces and your favorite cuts to go. The best part of the meal is the just-made BBQ they pass out while you’re waiting in line to order. 

There’s nothing like a pile of burnt ends to get your appetite up for the best BBQ in Tulsa.

Burn Co./ 1738 S Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74119/ Phone: 918-574-2777/ Open: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:30 AM – 2:30 PM - Dine in, delivery and pick up available 

Burn Co./ 500 Riverwalk Terrace #135, Jenks, OK 74037/ Phone: 918-528-6847/ Open: Tuesday – Saturday: 10:30 AM – 3:00 PM - Dine in, delivery and pick up available

Mother Road Market

Tulsa's first ever food hall has a delicious variety of eats, including an authentic, Korean kitchen.


Umami Fries 
uses 1/4 inch cut fries that are fried twice with house made batter and crown with bulgogi beef, chicken and/or kimchi, along with a wide range of other toppings and seasonings. Brought to you by the folks behind Gogi Gui Korean Grill, Samon and his brother, Chef Saya Xiong, opened in Tulsa in 2012 and introduced a fusion menu before developing the Umami Fries concept that’s now in Mother Road Market. 

Chicken and the Wolf, owned by the same people who own Lone Wolf Banh Mi (above), serve a whopping, chicken sandwich that’s pretty hard to beat. Be careful when you’re ordering the sauce; with Nashville hot chicken, even the extra mild is fiery. 

Mother Road Market - Umami Fries and Chicken and the Wolf/ 1124 S Lewis, Tulsa, OK 74104/ Phone: 918-984-9001/ Hours: 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM Daily except closed Monday - Curbside pick up and outside, patio dining


The Tavern

Saving the best for last, this is one of our favorite taverns in Tulsa. The place is all dark wood and peppered with sunlight; you feel at home the minute you walk in the door. 

The Tavern Burger is a winner - a grind of 5 cuts of meat: short rib, brisket, sirloin, chuck and cheek that’s grilled to medium-rare and topped with Stilton blue cheese, mushroom Cognac cream sauce and served on a fresh-made-daily challah bun ($15) with a huge pile of shoestring fries. It gets our vote for the best burger in town. Also try the spicy chicken sandwich; a step up from the usual chicken sandwich with a triple dose of spice served with habanero aioli. 

Looking back, one of our favorite meals in Tulsa was at the chefs table in the kitchen at The Tavern; a feast that paired each delightful course with a different wine.

The Tavern/ 201 N Main Street, Tulsa, OK 74103/ Phone: 918-949-9801/ Hours: Sunday – Thursday 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM/ Friday – Saturday 11:00 AM – 2:00 AM - Dine in and curbside pickup


Coney I-Lander

This is one restaurant where a $5 bill will get you lunch. A long time Tulsa tradition, Coney I-Lander opened in 1926 with a grilled hot dog, steamed bun and the family’s secret chili recipe sprinkled with onions and cheese. Hungry Tulsans devour them year round, even in the heat of summer and they’re still a deal after all these years - $1.99 each.

Now on the menu: loaded baked potatoes’ and Frito Chili pie, a popular, local specialty.   

Coney I-Lander/ 2838 East 11th Street, Tulsa, OK 74104/ Phone: 918 592-3113/ Daily: 11:00am - 9:00pm


Delta Café

Food is at the heart of almost every great memory that Southerners hold dear  - from Chicken Fried Steak and a Catfish feast to Chicken and Dumplings or a Chicken Pot Pie. You can get good food anywhere, if you know where to look and what to order but if it’s authentic, Southern cooking you’re after, Delta Cafe is your place to eat.

It’s not fancy but the food is good and sometimes it takes a simple kitchen to remind us why we love this food in the first place.

Delta Café Scratch Kitchen/ 4515 E 51st St, Tulsa, OK 74135 / Phone: 918-932-8840

Daily: 8:00AM to 9:00PM


Waldo’s Chicken
 

I LOVE chicken and my search for the perfect bird stopped here. Take your pick - from Southern Fried Chicken that’s brined in pickle juice to the Fire Roasted chicken brined overnight in brown sugar to give it that exceptional taste. Get a double order of Cheddar biscuits with honey butter; six are just a tease. Their salads are overly generous; loaded with fire roasted chicken and blue cheese; more than a meal in a candy red bowl.

When you taste the made-from-scratch difference, you’ll wonder why this Nashville chain waited so long to enter a market where food is defined as anything fried and too big to fit on your plate.  

Waldo’s Chicken/ 4923 E 71st St, Tulsa, OK 74136/ Phone: 918-340-7997 Hours: 1030 AM – 9:30 PM. Open Friday and Saturday until 10:00 PM