Southern comfort

Taking its name from western movie star John Wayne and its culinary inspiration from the South, Duke’s Southern Kitchen offers classic regional specialties just like Grandma used to make.



Marion Robert Morrison, perhaps better known by his stage name, John Wayne, was the biggest box office draw of all time. The larger-than-life actor epitomized rugged masculinity and became an enduring American icon, often playing characters with questionable values. He also came to represent the South and the West in his movies, often camping out with his horse and dining on traditional chuck wagon fare.

The South also inspired Tulsa restaurateur Tim Baker. Remembering road trips taken to the Carolinas, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana with his family as a young man, he wanted to bring the classic Southern cuisine he tasted to Tulsa. His restaurant, Duke’s Southern Kitchen, was to become not only a glossary of Southern cooking but also a shrine to Mr. Wayne, aka “The Duke.”

When you enter the restaurant, you have the choice of going straight to the large bar area or into the wide-open dining room. While the space is pretty new, the décor’s aim is to take you back in time.

Whether it is an old Hollywood men’s club (the large, dark and cozy bar area is lined with portraits and movie posters of “The Duke” himself) or a diner in Dixie (the entrance resembles a barbecue shack you might find next to a Southern railroad crossing), Duke’s definitely sets the mood.

The menu is loaded with dishes your grandmother probably made for supper — that is, if your grandmother lived in the South. Think regional specialties such as pulled pork from the Carolinas, battered shrimp from the Gulf Coast and spicy Cajun etouffée from Louisiana.

For starters, my husband, Tate, and I shared an order of fried green tomatoes topped with lemon-basil aioli and crumbled fresh goat cheese ($7). The rich cheese and dressing were nice foils to the crisp and tart tomatoes. Other popular starters include fried okra and hoecake sliders with pulled pork (both $6). We also chose to go tag team on a bowl of gumbo ($5/$9) and a classic wedge salad. It was evident that the smoked chicken gumbo was started with a rich, dark roux and the holy trinity  — sautéed onion, celery and green pepper — the building blocks for a good pot of gumbo.

The chicken was tender and the rice blend added nice texture to a bowl of soup that could easily have been bland and boring. I could have eaten a whole pot, and I mopped up the remains with some good crusty bread. Maybe next time.

The Avery Island wedge ($6), named for the Louisiana home of Tabasco sauce, was a nice spin on the original wedge — tender Bibb lettuce replaces bland iceberg and is topped with a tart and rich buttermilk blue cheese dressing, cornmeal croutons and spicy Tabasco-fried onions.

My family has deep roots in Mississippi, and I remember eating fried chicken hot from the cast-iron skillet at my grandmother’s home. Duke’s offers up its version, possibly the most popular item on the menu, steaming hot and super crispy, paired with classic mashed potatoes, Bourbon cream gravy and green beans.

Baker’s intent was to serve classic dishes that have been kicked up a notch or so but retain their identity. This fried chicken would make my ’Nama proud, although we weren’t crazy about the gravy. On a past visit, I very much enjoyed the shrimp and grits ($17), served with roasted hominy and red pepper succotash. Other popular entrées include the classic blackened redfish ($17), which chef Paul Prudhomme made famous back in the ’80s, as well as fried catfish ($13) and rock shrimp and andouille sausage etouffé ($15).

After much debate, Tate settled on a fried shrimp po’ boy ($9). We both thought this could have been much better — the shrimp were tiny and relatively flavorless and the soft bread fell apart. We’ve both had better versions in which simple usually means better — fresh, plump shrimp; crusty bread; and classic dressing (mayo, lettuce, tomato and a bit of Tabasco). Other sandwich choices include a fried green tomato BLT ($7), barbecue pulled pork sandwich ($9) and a Dixie burger smothered with house-made chili and cheddar ($8).

The family-friendly joint also features live music in the main dining room on Friday and Saturday nights. Follow the curved staircase upstairs for a second full bar, more dining space (including “Duke’s Table”) and a private dining room.

Desserts are not to be passed on — classic offerings, such as bread pudding, pecan pie and cobbler, are all made in-house and are delicious.

Neither one of my grandmothers is still living, which makes me sad on many levels, if not the most important — to be able to sit around the family table and enjoy their cooking. At least I know there is somewhere right here in Tulsa where I can go and feel right at home.

Duke's Southern Food on Urbanspoon

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Tulsan Kelly Morrison inspires audiences through her music, which has been featured in two recent films.
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May 2018

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
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Website »

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FlyingTee is fun for the whole family and on Sundays, kids eat free! *Limit one free meal from the kids’ menu with each purchase of an adult entrée. Not valid on brunches or holidays.

Cost: Free with purchase

Where:
FlyingTee
600 Riverwalk Terrace
Jenks, OK  74037
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Telephone: 918-528-7717
Website »

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It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
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Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

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A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

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The Oklahoma Aquarium hosts Scout Days to honor all youth organizations and their members (such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Camp Fire, 4-H, FFA, etc.). There are special activities offered from...

Cost: $7 per student (age 3 and over) and or; $10 per adult

Where:
Oklahoma Aquarium
300 Aquarium Drive
Jenks, OK  74037
View map »


Telephone: 191-829-63474
Contact Name: Kara Lovell
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

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Throughout the show, Tommy Terrific explores Armstrong's fascinating life and numerous accomplishments. This very interactive show is great educational entertainment for children of all...

Cost: Free

Where:
41st and Riverside
400 Civic Center
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Riverparks Authority
Telephone: 918-596-2008
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

Join the Imagination Station for stories and songs in the park. Bring a blanket or a lawn chair. Afterward, cool off in the splash pad. Sponsored by River Parks Authority and Friends of the...

Cost: free

Where:
41st and Riverside Plaza
4100 S. Riverside Dr.
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Friends of the Helmerich Library
Telephone: 918-596-2001
Contact Name: Ryan Howell
Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Invictus Healthcare System is offering free cancer screenings to all Oklahoma residents from June 1-June 8. We encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to take control of their...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Invictus Healthcare System
9709 East 79th Street
Tulsa, OK  74133
View map »


Sponsor: Invictus Healthcare System
Telephone: 918-994-4000
Contact Name: Taylor Martin
Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

More information

Crossing borders is central Consuelo J. Underwood’s artistic practice. In this exhibition inspired by land, politics, and spirit, Underwood speaks to her individual understanding of borders...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Telephone: 918-895-6302
Website »

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Come join us at the 2018 Take Me Fishing Day with Tess and Lacey from News on 6 at the Broken Arrow Events Park near NSU. This fun and family-friendly fishing event will have goodies for the first...

Cost: FREE

Where:
Broken Arrow Events Park
21101 East 101st Street
Broken Arrow , OK  74014
View map »

More information

Make some great memories with your kids at the annual Take Me Fishing Event by Zebco on Saturday, June 2, 7AM - Noon. It's free, fun, and family-friendly. Located at 4 Tulsa area parks---...

Cost: Free

Where:
Mohawk, LaFortune, Veterans-Jenks, BA Events Park
Mohawk Park-East Side Pond; LaFortune Park-51st / Hudson St.; Veterans Park-Jenks; BA Events Park-21101 E. 101st St.
4 Tulsa Area Parks , OK
View map »


Sponsor: Zebco
Telephone: 1-800-494-3224
Website »

More information

Opening to the public on Thursday, Nov. 16, the 110th anniversary of Oklahoma statehood, “The Art of Oklahoma” celebrates the Museum’s outstanding and...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

The work of renowned artist Christopher Curtis will be featured at Tulsa Botanic Garden’s first sculpture exhibit March 17 through August 26. Curtis works primarily in stone and he often...

Cost: FREE for Garden members; $8 ages 13+, $4 ages 3-12. Kids 2 and under free

Where:
Tulsa Botanic Garden
3900 Tulsa Botanic Drive
Tulsa, OK  74127
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Botanic Garden
Telephone: 918-289-0330
Contact Name: Lori Hutson
Website »

More information

A leading figure in both contemporary film and art, Apichatpong Weerasethakul (born 1970) has developed a singular, realist-surrealist style in which the portrayal of the everyday alongside...

Cost: Free with admission

Where:
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch Dr.
Oklahoma City, OK  73102
View map »


Website »

More information

 ORU offers a wide variety of summer camps from basketball camp to swimming camp for all ages. For a schedule and list of options visit ORUCES.com/camps.

Cost: Prices Vary

Where:
Mabee Center
7777 S Lewis Ave
Tulsa, OK  74171
View map »


Telephone: 918-495-6000
Website »

More information

Listen to the stories from the borderlands as Underwood leads an artist talk about her inspirations, creations, and travels. As she shares the voices of her indigenous ancestors, she will discuss...

Cost: Free

Where:
108 Contemporary
108 E M.B. Brady St.
Tulsa, OK  74103
View map »


Sponsor: 108 Contemporary
Website »

More information

Break the rules of conventional museums at the third annual Please Touch the Art exhibit. Mark your calendars for the opening reception Friday, June 1 from 5 - 9 p.m., in conjunction with the Tulsa...

Cost: free and open to the public

Where:
McKeon Center for Creativity
910 S. Boston Ave.
TCC Metro Campus
Tulsa, OK  74119
View map »


Sponsor: McKeon Center for Creativity
Telephone: 918-595-7339
Contact Name: Cindy Barton

More information

It's a girl thing. Tulsa Metro Sound a cappella Show Chorus presents a Chocolate Remix. Come see what fun things we do weekly as we live, laugh and love our music. If you want to rekindle...

Cost: 0.00

Where:
Christ Church Episcopal
10901 South Yale Ave
Tulsa, OK
View map »


Sponsor: Tulsa Metro Sound
Telephone: 918-352-6091
Contact Name: Candace C
Website »

More information

The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) hosts a Swing dance and lessons  The Oklahoma Swing Syndicate (TOSS) is the only UNESCO recognized dance organization in Oklahoma.  We are a 501c3...

Cost: $7

Where:
Community Center - South Minister Presby Church
3500 So Peoria
1/2 west of Peoria, on 35pl behind the church
Tulsa, OK  74102
View map »


Sponsor: The Ok Swing Syndicate
Telephone: 918-450-691
Contact Name: Rita Robbins
Website »

More information

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TULtalk


QUIZ: Which Renaissance Festival Character Are You?

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7 Reasons to Love Mayfest

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The lab’s nano exhibition will travel to nine THA family housing communities in 18 months, spending six to eight weeks at each site.

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