Wednesday, October 30, 2013

New Hong Kong is Seventeen Years Not So New in Tulsa!

     I use UrbanSpoon a lot to check out what diners, bloggers and critics have to say. For every 10 good reviews on this awesome Asian place, there was one bad and it was obvious to me that it either came from a competitor, or someone that doesn't know good food or over-thinks it. This is a "CASH ONLY" place, so glad I checked it out first and read that.

     I walked in and the first thing I notice, an Asian man ordering his food in Chinese to the little sweet lady behind the counter. A sign I've said repeatedly, that when you frequent an ethnic restaurant, if there are people of that same ethnicity ordering, it's gonna be good.  This little joint is another Tulsa owned mom and pop place that has been around for seventeen years and because it isn't fancy or a chain, has not been exposed for the great place that it is.

     I tried to communicate with the lady taking my order but she could barely understand my crazy technique of ordering.  Finally, through the commonality of our passion for excellent Asian cuisine, we understood each other and I ordered what she likes off the menu.  I ordered the Spicy Hunan Beef with roasted pork fried rice and my all time favorite, hot and sour soup.

 Spicy Hunan Beef w/Fried Rice-$4.45 
Roasted Pork Fried Rice (small)$4.45 
Hot & Sour Soup (small) $1.75

     Service was super duper fast and pleasantly friendly. My only complaint is that she forgot the crispy wonton strips for my hot & sour soup...she was so sweet, I got over it quickly.  So much food, enough to make three meals out of it and all together with tax, $11.80.  Next time you're in the mood for authentic fast food Chinese, Google New Hong Kong in Tulsa or look them up in UrbanSpoon Tulsa.  個飽//! or Bon appetit!

New Hong Kong on Urbanspoon

Doc's Wine & Food Presents, Kermit Lynch Wine Dinner, TONIGHT!!

Only a few seats left. So what if it's raining, muggy and cold outside... get cozy inside at Doc's Wine & Food's sexy ambiance with top chef food paired with exquisite wines.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Pita Place Mediterranean Grill...True Heros with the Gyros and So Much More!!

Even though I plan on returning with my "good" camera and a larger appetite, I had to blog on this wonderful, tasteful and moist falafel gyro (pita sandwich). 

     I just happened to be in Bixby and saw the restaurant. It's quite hidden but boy was I happy I did. I've seen their food truck down at Guthrie Green on Food Truck Wednesdays, but had yet to try this Mediterranean delight.  I ordered the Falafel Gyro, which is filled with lightly fried patties of well seasoned ground garbanzo beans, tahini sauce, and topped with fresh lettuce, onions and tomatoes...I think I even tasted the traditional pickles in there. OMG...the falafel is moist, not dry, the pita bread is soft and warm AND the price is right.
 Falafel Vegetarian Pita- w/ lightly fried seasoned ground garbanzo beans, tahini sauce, pickles, lettuce, tomato and onion...delish! $5.79


     The owners, a husband and wife team, were very sweet and friendly, as this is a LOCALLY owned family restaurant. They actually have a buffet Mon-Sun from 11a-2p.

     I'll never understand how people can NOT decipher the difference between chain restaurants vs. locally owned...can you NOT TASTE THE FRESHNESS?!! :-D   Located just east of the Starbucks on the corner of 111th and Memorial, it's a little bit hidden, but so worth the find! 
بون ابيتى!
Καλή σας όρεξη! OR
bon appetit!

Pita Place Mediterranean Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Nelson's Ranch House...Serious Homecooked Comfort Goodness :-)

     Not my first visit, MOST DEFINITELY will not be my last.  It's like country folk that only make and eat home-cooked meals decided to open up their home and start selling their homemade food.  I know it's an actual restaurant, but that's how it feels when I'm there and enjoying the home-cooked goodness.

     A "true foodie" likes a wide variety of foods, from upscale French, to Asian, Mexican, Indian and the always comforting satisfaction we get from good ol' fashioned Southern American home-cooked foods.  Nelson's Ranch House is exactly that. I mean, it's like going to a friend's house that decided to have friends over for a buffet-style meal. Only the invitation is the sign outside the restaurant and no RSVP needed here. Always a good crowd and they get you taken care of pretty darn quick.  I always get mine to go because it's right around the corner from our office, so this is my "work through lunch" go to place.

     This time around I ordered the Thursday special. It's roasted chicken and dressing with your choice of sides. They have soooo many sides to choose from. I told the nice man behind the buffet (they plate your meals) to give me what he would get if he were fixing this plate for himself. He gave me the dressing and home-made mac & cheese.  I think by asking him to fix me what he likes it somehow frees my guilt of eating this comfort-food goodness, lol. After all, he chose it, not me ;-)  This also came with gravy, and although it makes sense to be a dark chicken gravy, it sort of tasted like a "red-eye" gravy. It was YUMMO!!
 Roasted Chicken and Dressing with mashed potatoes, rich gravy and mac & cheese.

     The last time I was there, I had the baked cod, baked beans, fried okra and...pie :-D.

     I seriously love this place. Whether your on your "cheat day", need the awesomeness feeling that comfort food gives or, if you just love good food, ya gotta go to Nelson's Ranch House, right in the heart of the Pearl District, also known as TU/Kendall-Whittier.

Nelson's Ranch House on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Dugan Jack's Smokehouse...Sweet. Smokey. Savory. Juicy. Yummyness.

Dugan Jack's Smokehouse is serious, spicy sweet goodness. No joke, serious fall-off-the-bone smokey, tender yummy-ness. Um, that really sums it up :-)

     Located in Sapulpa, now joining in the food truck revolution, I first tried Dugan Jack's Smokehouse meaty savory-ness at BaconFest Tulsa 2013. They had the best smoked beef bites and obviously I have good taste because they also came away with the Boss Hog of BaconFest Tulsa 2013 award (and there was a lot of tasty competition).

     So, Dugan Jack's posted on their Facebook wall they were doing a "special order Friday" last week in Sapulpa, so I decided to partake.  The drive alone was well worth it. I also took lunch to my daughter. For sides we ordered the baked beans, she had the cole slaw and I had the potato salad.  I didn't have my camera and quite honestly, I was so hungry, I just dug right into it but I do wish I'd taken pics of ALL the food. I took my left-over ribs home and took some snap shots of this delicious meat.

     It was smokey, savory and had a sweet crunchy crust. I did NOT have to fight the meat off the bone, the bone just came right out when I pulled on it (that's my test for ribs done right).  The sides were unbelievable...I've never had potato salad quite like this and the coleslaw too. Unique as was the sweet savory taste of the ribs, chopped brisket and hotlinks.

 Look at that gorgeous hunk of juicy, smokey-rib goodness :-)

     I hope they bring their food truck to Tulsa...they'd probably sell out on Food Truck Wednesdays down at Guthrie Green.  Okay, so the food is amazing, now for the down-side, which isn't too bad. The food was a bit pricy for the special trip I made out there. Yes, it was beyond amazing but, in Tulsa, we have so many other great tasting options, that I think prices need to be competitive, especially if you're  relying on Tulsa consumers to help keep your business a success.  

     A little time invested on researching what the most comparable competition is charging might be ideal for this business to consider. I want to see them around in 10 years cause I'll be a regular in Tulsa for sure. In addition to the great food, the service was good and they've always been friendly. Oink! Oink! (pig talk for bon appetit!) 

Dugan Jack's Smokehouse on Urbanspoon

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Hen Bistro on Brookside...Making Me Parles Yummy-ness en Français!

      My friend Michael and I made plans to do one of our favorite past time things, brunch.  So we chose The Hen Bistro on Brookside, the "off-spring" to it's mother restaurant and Tulsa staple, The French Hen.  If you've yet to try THAT Tulsa original French restaurant, then you need to put it on your foodie bucket list.  But alas, this review is about The Hen Bistro.

     If you've ever had rich, savory French-style food, then you will absolutely appreciate this hidden, new, little gem of a place, The Hen Bistro.  The place might be new, but it's owned and operated by local restaurateur Kathy Bondy. Her experience and passion for the industry is what gave me hope when she purchased and saved The French Hen from becoming obsolete.

     I was fortunate enough to run into Kathy and was thrilled I got to visit with her briefly.  She's super friendly and her passion for delicious, fresh food and exceptional service to her patrons is so obvious.  I'm glad she owns these two restaurants that not only consistently send out amazing, perfect food, but also top shelf service. Hm, it's how ALL restaurants, especially locally owned restaurants, should be...glad she loves what she does and gets it.  

     They don't have a brunch menu but it didn't matter because as soon as  Michael and I began studying the menu, we had to start wiping the drool from our faces. 

     Michael started with the Sherry Dill Tomato Bisque and then he had the Veal Meatloaf served atop parmesan mashed potatoes.  I had the Cabernet Braised Short Ribs, which is also served atop the parmesan mashed potatoes but I asked to substitute with Sweet Potato Au Gratin, which is usually served with the Berkshire Pork Chop...they were happy to accommodate. This made me happy because Michael and I were able to try each others' swapping is always the way to go.

 Sherry Dill Tomato Bisque-$6

Veal Meatloaf with Parmesan Mashed Potatoes-$14
Cabernet Braised Short Ribs with Sweet Potato Au Gratin- $14

     I love rich, savory foods that have flavor bursting from within.  Our server and bartender (we sat at the bar) made me a perfect Mimosa. It's large in serving and balanced with champagne to orange juice ratio.  Normally, I get a photo of our server and a name, but this time, I was too excited about the food to remember to do so. She was great, attentive and provided perfect service.

     The atmosphere is classic, upscale trendy...well lit in the daytime and nicely dim-lit in the evening, which is PERFECT for a cozy date or great conversation with friends.  It has a HUGE WALL of WINE BOTTLES and is modestly decorated with French themed artwork. While it is an updated design, they balanced it with the reminder that it is a French restaurant by hanging a beautiful chandelier in the center of the dinning area.  For you sports fans with great taste in food, you'll also find a cool TV screen which doubles as the mirrored wall behind the bar.

 Hi Michael :-)

     There are always pros and cons to restaurants. The only downside here, is they don't serve "brunch" items.  I was hoping for some life-changing French brunchy food, but then again, do the French even eat breakfast/brunch style foods? It literally didn't matter to us because the food is so freakin' good... Bon Appetit!

     Remember, if you see a review, be it mine or any review, consider the source and just judge a place for yourself. It has to be said, anytime I see a negative review and one of the complaints is portions, it's usually followed by a service complaint.  Most of the time, it's the people that don't really know GOOD food and need to stick to chain restaurants, where the portions are big and suddenly, service isn't an issue to them because they got their money's worth with the big portions.

The Hen Bistro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Cactus Jacks is Back!


Yum, Food Truck Wednesday is always my favorite day of the week. This week we chose Cactus Jacks. Formerly a restaurant in Cleveland, Ok, now hitting the food scene and streets in Tulsa.

     I'm gonna keep this short and sweet because I do write weekly about the glorious food trucks visited on (insert voice of that guy that does those monster truck show commercials here), Food Truck Wednesday.   

      THIS time, I brought a friend and new recruit with me...first time "food truck" consumer Cathy.  She and I both ordered the same thing (need to train her on how it's done...I order one item, she orders another and then we share) but next time will be different.  Okay, we also couldn't leave our boss and TV star out so we brought back for him, the Cactus Jack, which is brisket, smoked cheddar cheese, jalapenos, and BBQ sauce. 

 The Cactus Jack-brisket, smoked cheddar cheese, jalapenos and BBQ sauce.
     Sadly, this wasn't a big hit for my boss. He said it was a bit on the dry side and didn't have much flavor. I always quote what people say if I didn't get to sample it myself. Keep in mind, my boss is a master BBQer and meat smoker, so he is going to be more critical than the average Joe...maybe even more than ME. Nah.

     Okay, next, Cathy and I ordered the daily special, which was the pulled pork sandwich with chips and a drink, all for $7!     
      Smoked Pulled Pork Sandwich-pulled pork & BBQ Sauce

     It was pretty good...while there was anything special or unique here, it was very tasty and totally hit the spot. The sandwich itself was HUGE and more than satisfying. We were starving pre-food-scarfing and were beyond full after eating that sandwich, to the point that we couldn't finish our drink or chips. It was tasty and if you like BBQ,  you'll find this agreeable as well.

      The service was fast and VERY friendly...look at the sweet smile! Hi Jessie! (Jessie is awesome.)

Y'all come back now...ya hear?!

                         Former Food Truck virgin          Scandalous Food Truckie

Cactus Jack's on Urbanspoon