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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood: New Fall Mouth-Watering Menu!






     Bill Tackett, owner of Bluestone Steakhouse & Seafood is at it again! He has a new fall menu that brings a whole new meaning to "comfort foods".  It's comfort brought up a few notches to whole new level! 


 









     Let's start with a cocktail, shall we? You know they say if you eat dessert first you won't eat as much of your meal, so I started with this new Pecan Pie Cocktail ;-) It's seriously loaded with rich, creamy pecan pie flavor...from the creamy house-made vanilla bean ice cream to the Pecan Pie flavored Backwoods Moonshine Premium Spirits, perfect for fall. 

     And the cocktail pictured is the creation of Bluestone's bartender Jennifer Willhite. She won first place in the state of Oklahoma for Backwoods Moonshine's Best Cocktail. Did you get that? First place in the state...you know you have to come try this out now and congratulate Jennifer while you enjoy this tasty cocktail.  I shared mine with a friend because I had some food tasting to do and this cocktail was my "dessert first"!



     After a couple of sips of the decadent cocktail, I tried the house-made chicken noodle soup. Your mom never made soup like this. The noodles were perfect in size, thickness and not over cooked. It was one of the most savory soups I've ever had.  If you're in the mood for something comforting yet hearty, this is your savory answer. You can also pick some up and take it to a friend that's feeling under the weather...maybe even say you made it. Just kidding, don't do that, tell them you got it at Bluestone.

Chicken Noodle Goodness, I mean Soup

     Next, I sampled the Italian Roasted Chicken with mashed potatoes and asparagus.  I know I'm constantly talking about the flavors here, but my goodness, that's what I taste, is all the flavors. It's no wonder too, because they marinade the bird in garlic, rosemary, thyme, black crack pepper and sea salt for 24 hours.  I love it when a chef creates food, and the finished dish contains several ingredients, ingredients that "mesh" well beautifully, while retaining the flavor of each individual ingredient, that's magical.

Italian Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Aspargus

     Okay, this next dish is serious fall, let's get warm and fuzzy, rich Italian, wicked-tasty, HOUSE-MADE lasagna. No, I'm not over-exaggerating.  When you try it, you'll remember those words...you will I tell you! Why is this so rich and delicious? Well, it could be due to the house-made, all beef Italian Sausage, made with red wine and spices. This meaty star is added to the lavish bolognese sauce, then topped with mozzarella and ricotta, with no fillers added. It's then topped off with roasted pine nuts and a pesto cream reduction sauce with a hint of Sriracha. SRIRACHA!!!! He had me at Sriracha.

 House-Made Lasagna with house-made all beef sausage, creamy pesto and toasted pine nuts.

     Somethings to know about Bill Tackett: He's a classically trained chef, and has been trained by a leading saucier and could possibly know more about proteins than any other chef in Tulsa. True story. 
Jennifer Willhite, Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood's Bartender Extraordinaire and winner  of the 2014 Backwoods Moonshine Pecan Pie Cocktail for the state of Oklahoma! 

Jennifer Willhite-Bartender and Bill Tackett-Owner, of Bluestone Steakhouse and Seafood

     For more details, visit their website at  http://www.bluestonesteakhouse.com



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Hibiscus Caribbean Bar and Grill: Lots of Jerk Goodness ;-)

                                                                   Hibiscus Caribbean Bar and Grill, located in the heart of Brookside, is what I would imagine authentic Caribbean cuisine to be. I've never been to the Caribbean, but the food takes me there!




     I had a little guest with me and we were seated immediately.  I didn't like where they had us seated, but the window seats were all four tops, which they reserve for parties of four.  And the interior is super, DUPER tiny. They need to get a bigger place, especially since the food is amazing.



     I started with the Fried Plantains and Jamaican Patties.  The Fried Plantains were a little bit too overcooked.  According to our server, the chef's response was it was the plantain, and some are more ripe than others. When I pointed out that the people next to me had perfectly well cooked plantains, it was the excuse I kept getting. It was obvious to even the most elementary mind that it was in the cooking, not the ripeness.  I just REALLY dislike it when there is no accountability, standard or consistency for the food being sent out. That left a bad taste in my mouth, literally. But that bad taste went away...fast.

     Okay, that was the only negative thing about that place because everything else was phenomenal.  The Jamaican Patties were awesome. We tried the beef and chicken. It was almost hummus like consistency but oh so savory and tasty. The crust was perfect in texture, flakey-ness and taste as it absorbed the meat flavors.

 Fried Plantains- $5.99


Jamaican Patty-$3.99

     Next, we finished with the Red Snapper.  You could literally hear the "oohs and aaahhs" from diners as the platter was being brought to our table. It's beautiful and aromatic.  I've never had red snapper like this.  It's scored, seasoned, deep fried and sauteed in an orange juice and sweet vinegar relish.  You can taste the fried savoriness and the citrus notes of the orange juice and vinegar relish. A perfect balance of goodness that makes you want more.


 Red Snapper-$19.99

     I only know of one other Caribbean food restaurant in Tulsa and it's fairly new. I'm excited to try it out and compare the two.  I have a feeling it's going to be hard to beat Hibiscus. The interior is decorated faithful to the Caribbean culture and yes, Bob Marley art and poetry through out.  Everyone was enjoying the food, the atmosphere and company.  It's a great place to take a date, family and/or friends.

Happy place, happy face :-D

     "Me only have one ambition, y'know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen.  I like to see mankind live together- black, white, Chinese, everyone - that's all."- Bob Marley  

     Next time you're in the mood for something Caribbean, yet made locally and fresh with a little spice, take your taste buds to Hibiscus!   

Hibiscus Caribbean Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Monday, October 13, 2014

BGB: Brownies Gourmet Burgers...Should Be BBIT (Best Burgers In Town)

                                                                                                                         Most Tulsans and even non-locals, have visited Brownies in Tulsa. But, did you know they've recently introduced their gourmet side to Tulsa? Located in the heart of Utica Square, Brownies Gourmet Burgers, aka BGB includes the strong, savory flavors, but with an upscale gourmet twist.


     So good friend Michael and I decided we were craving something good and hearty with good flavor...we opted for Brownies Gourmet Burgers aka BGB in Utica Square.  We were greeted with friendly faces and seated immediately.

     I like that this location offers adult beverages and cocktails as well as their famous house-made root beer.

     We started with the Firecracker Fritters...these consist of jalapenos, cheddar cheese, corn, red peppers, onions atop a creamy cilantro lime créme.  Oh the flavors...serious top notch starters.
Firecracker Fritters- $6

     Next, Michael decided he was sooo hungry, so he ordered the Jumpin Jalapeno Burger AND the Suit n Tie Fries.  The Jalapeno Burger is comprised of tequila sautéed jalapenos, pickled red onion, cilantro, arugula, chipotle aioli, monterey jack cheese, and a lime wedge. The Suit n Tie Fries were amazing. They're made with truffle oil, garlic, parmesan, black pepper, and a sprinkle of fresh parsley. The dipping sauce they came with was a house-made spicy ketchup. So balanced, rich, savory and delicious.

Jumpin Jalapeno Burger- $9


Suit n Tie Fries- $6

     I ordered the house-made root beer, which tasted more like a rich, creamy, cream soda...it was so perfect with my burger!!  For my meal, I ordered the Bankok Burger, which is made with cucumber, pickled carrot, cilantro, avocado, butter lettuce, house-made spicy ketchup, and lime créme. What made this so tasty was, well the beef of the burger for one. It's beefy and fresh...the other was the combination of ingredients on this burger. I almost NEVER order a burger without cheese. This one didn't come with cheese, but because of the fresh crunch of the cucumber and carrots, combined with the beautiful avocado and lime créme, I didn't miss the cheese at all.


Bankok Burger- $9

House-Made Root Beer- $3 (refills inlcuded)

     Chef James Hibbard is talented in creating these wonderful burger combinations...it's like taking a trip around the world between the Jumpin Jalapeno, the Bankok, The Kimmi (which has house-made kimchi slaw) and the Ambrosia (served with naan), just to name a few!

     I am making it my year-end's mission to try every burger on that menu before the end of the year! And, some of their signature cocktails to wash all the yummyness down with will be sampled as well.

Michael's happy face :-D

     The menu is well thought out and put together nicely from starters and cocktails to the burgers and side items.  Employees are nice, knowledgeable and versed on each menu item.  This is definitely not a greasy spoon gourmet burger joint...it's top notch, clean and consistent. I would say BGB is now Tulsa's BEST gourmet burger joint, no question.

     What will help grow this place is the "Brownies" name that we've all come to know and love with over 58 years in Tulsa, it's well branded here.  What will make this place a success is the food...people will want to make it their "go to" burger place every time.
     

     Bon appetit!

Brownie's Gourmet Burgers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Himalayas-Aroma of India: Possibly the Tastiest Indian Food...EH-VER!!!!

     Wow...tastiest Indian food in Tulsa, hands down. Friendly people, clean place and the food, oh that delicious, savory, deep flavored food. I'm so happy they're located just down the street from my office!

     Once again, I traveled out of the office for some grub. A co-worker suggested the Himalayas-Aroma of India. I had never been so of course, I was in!  They have a $9.99 all you can eat buffet. I know, that "all you can eat" can be dangerous. But it's so filling, one round is all we could ALL go. I tried everything on the buffet.

     The food is vibrant and soulfully delicious with the eyes, then you have that aroma...good Lord, that aroma. You've practically taken in that food before your first bite.  I love it when food is as beautiful as it is aromatic and tasty.





     I know, lots of pics of the same plate, BUT, isn't it gorgeous?!  They have the traditional and BEST dishes on their buffet. EVERYTHING IS SO FRESH!!! Even the 
naan was better than I've tasted in any other Indian restaurant. I asked the owner if they made their naan traditionally, by tossing the dough up against the tandoor and he said yes. OMG, it's so freakin' good.

     You MUST visit this little gem. It's on the west side of 47th and Memorial...आनंद लें! (Enjoy!)

Himalayas - Aroma of India on Urbanspoon


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Stonehorse Cafe and Market: Straight Forward, Fresh, Mouthwatering Eats.


     It's been at least ten years since I've been to the Stonehorse Cafe and Market. I hate that I let so much time pass between visits. To say the food is phenomenal is to say the least. I HATE that I forgot to bring my "good" camera. Thank goodness the food stood on it's own with my phone camera :-)



     My date suggested eating dinner that night at a place that I've never been to. I told him I wanted to revisit Stonehorse. By the way, I love a guy that has impeccable taste in food :-)

        He ordered the Long Island Duck...and of course, he gave me a taste. Ah, when someone just knows what to do on a date with a foodie. It's the best!  

 Grilled Long Island Duck Breast, Duck Sausage, Spicy Shimp Risotto- $24


     It was packed aroma and pure essence of each individual flavor. You could taste the richness of the risotto, but it was balanced with it's spiciness. The sauteed spinach and most flavorful, tender duck breast just made this a dish that made you grateful to be a foodie who appreciates dishes like these.
     

           I ordered the Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad...wow. Amazing fresh flavor, but not ordinary, more like flavor x's 10. I also added the Pan Roasted Scottish King Salmon...you know when you get that fish protein that's got a great crisp on the outside and just soft, falling apart flakiness on the inside? Yeah, that was going on with this salmon.



Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad, Roasted Hazelnuts, Brown Butter Vinaigrette- $8.50
Plus added Pan Roasted Scottish King Salmon- +$9



     The Sous Chef and line cook were having a great time in the kitchen. Everyone from the hostesses to the servers and kitchen staff were friendly and accommodating.  



     I even got permission to take a snapshot of this food creative talent, Chef Tim Inman. He was gettin' busy but honored me with a pic pause for my blog.  I mean, how does one ask a chef of this stature to pose for a photo, belonging to a blogger who is essentially a nobody? Thank goodness I have no fear to ask thanks to my real day job as an account executive.
Chef Tim Inman, owner/chef of Stonehorse Cafe and Market

     Wonder if he'd allow me to do an indepth interview about his food, his inspiration and dare I ask about his musical tastes? One foodie/music junkie can dream, yes? 

     If you've never been or if it's been way too long since your last visit to Stonehorse Cafe and Market...get your taste buds down there pronto. Bon appetit!

Stonehorse Café on Urbanspoon