4 downtown dishes you need to try
We’ve chosen things might have missed at four popular downtown restaurants. Pick one for your next night out, and you won’t be sorry.
Many of us tend to be creatures of habit when it comes to our favorite restaurants. We eat at the same half-dozen spots. Some of us even order the same things each time we’re there.
We’ve chosen four things you might have missed at four popular downtown restaurants. These are slam-dunk dishes. Pick one for your next night out, and you won’t be sorry. It might even convince you to head off your beaten culinary path more often.
Try This: Kung Pao Pork Banh Mi
When Lone Wolf came on the scene, it was just what Tulsa needed. With one bite of kimchi fries, people raved about something they didn’t know they had been missing. And those who had been making a drive for a good banh mi, could now stay put.
But which banh mi to try? In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with the Kung Pao Pork ($8.50). Like all Lone Wolf banh mis, it starts with a baguette, layered with English cucumber, jalapeño, pickled daikon and carrot slaw, and cilantro. Then comes the sweet and spicy ground pork with notes of basil and lime. Top it with Thai chili aioli, and ask for a sprinkle of Korean chili peanuts.
We love this sandwich, but if you’re wanting something to eat with a fork rather than something to sink your teeth into, try the Pao Rice Bowl ($8.50). It gives you all the same flavors, but on top of fried rice rather than stuffed into a baguette.
Another way to add some pao is to add it over your kimchi fries. You won’t regret it.
203 E. Archer St., 918-728-7778 | 3136 E. 11th St., 918-861-4232
Try This: The Italian Benedict
The Italian Benedict ($9) is a blip on a menu full of flashy food calling your name. You could choose the Bolognese, the gnocchi, the parmigiana, which are all delicious. But then you’d be missing out on what might be the best sandwich in Tulsa.
Crisp pancetta, creamy pesto and a fried egg come together for the perfect combination on sourdough bread. The Italian Benedict doesn’t stop there. It also includes salami, tomato, mozzarella and arugula. You have your choice of a Caesar or warm potato salad to go with it. Please, for all that is good in this world, choose the potato salad.
The Benedict is only on the lunch menu. So if you find yourself at Tavolo for dinner and want something similar, try the Uovo Fritto — a fried egg on romaine hearts with pancetta, parmesan, croutons, fried capers and a pesto Caesar dressing ($10). While you’re at it, have the grilled pork chop ($34) with apple tomato garlic compote — a perfect fall dish.
427 S. Boston Ave. | 918-949-4498
Try This: Tavern Burger
It’s easy to get distracted at the Tavern. Maybe you came for the famed Tavern Burger, but the fish and chips or roasted chicken with polenta fries called your name.
Or it’s entirely possible to never make it past the bar snacks, which include bacon popcorn, gourmet deviled eggs, marinated olives, house-made pickles and charred octopus aguachile. A round of snacks and drinks is enough to make most people very happy.
But if you haven’t tasted it, give the Tavern Burger ($15) a try. This is a rich burger with a thick patty, stilton cheese, mushroom cognac cream sauce and a homemade sweet challah bun. The frites served with it are the wispy, super-thin type that are so addictive. Try dipping them in a little of your mushroom sauce, if you have a little extra on your plate.
If you’re looking for a deal, come after 9 p.m. every day of the week when the Tavern Burger is always half price.
201 N. Main St. | 918-949-9801
Try This: Fried Brussels Sprouts
Photo: Valerie Grant
You’ve had drinks at MixCo, but have you been for dinner? MixCo added a full menu a couple of years ago. And while they call it pub fare, this is not an afterthought to beer and mixed drinks.
You’ll want to work your way through the menu of deliciousness, like the fish and chips with malt vinegar pickles or the green chili braised chicken tacos. But whatever you do, add an order of the Fried Brussels Sprouts ($10) to whatever you’re drinking or eating.
Chef Justin Thompson calls them “crispy fried little nuggets of nutrients.” And those little nuggets are dressed with blue cheese and bacon and a tangy apple cider aioli. This is just what you want to snack on with a beer during happy hour or late at night with a MixCo cocktail.
And if you’re having a real splurge day, MixCo’s Pound of Fries ($9) is something to behold. First, pick your seasoning: rosemary bay, roasted garlic herb, chili lime, truffle oil or parmesan and herb. Next, pick your sauce: scallion aioli, harissa ketchup, green goddess or caramelized onion bacon aioli. And finally, eat some of the best fries of your life with no regret.
West Third Street and South Denver Avenue | 918-932-8571