No time to waste

Moonsky's Cajun chicken and shrimp cheesesteak

Moonsky’s Cheesesteaks and Daylight Donuts sits at the corner of North Lewis Avenue and East Pine Street. Like its placement in the restaurant’s title, donuts are an afterthought for the Moonsky’s sandwich-loving regulars.

And there are plenty of regulars at Moonsky’s.

I popped by on a Wednesday to ask for a good time to chat. "Not right now," the manager said. Between the torrent of register clicks, drive-thru dings, and shouted order numbers, it seems there is no good time to chat at Moonsky’s. It’s either a breakfast or lunch rush for the tiny shop from 9 a.m. until close at 3:30 p.m.

During those hours, Moonsky’s Cajun chicken and shrimp sandwich reigns king. I repeatedly heard the words "chicken and shrimp"—at the counter, from the drive-thru window, and by the manager, who confirmed orders over the phone. In three minutes, I counted at least 10 orders for the Cajun combo.

Naturally, that’s what I had to eat.

A Cajun chicken and shrimp combo comes with the titular sandwich, fries, and a fountain or canned drink. Cans of Big Red are available if you’d like a horrible and confusing medicinal-meets-bubblegum-meets-soft drink situation alongside the excellent sandwich.

It’s easy to see why the Cajun chicken and shrimp combo is such a hot seller. Or easy to taste why, at least.

For starters, the bread is perfect. My girlfriend is a repeat offender at the shop and describes the bread as "divine." She also says the sandwich is "juicy" and "the right spice temp." A crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside baguette is stuffed with Cajun-spiced chunks of chicken and shrimp. And it comes with a just-right amount of mayo, provolone cheese, onions, lettuce, and tomato. (Beef sandwiches come with American cheese.) A sign at the counter explains what "everything on it" means and says you must be prepared to "order correctly the first time."

Shouts of "I’m the only one here!" and "I knew that was you; how are you doing?!" through the drive-thru window underscore the frantic pace of Moonsky’s and the importance of ordering right "the first time." They don’t have time to waste.

The fries that come with the meal are above bad but fly under the radar of memorable. For pro status, buy a donut with your combo so the fries are just packing peanuts for what you’re shipping to your stomach.

Remember what I said about the donuts being an afterthought? Well, they’re still fantastic—they’re Daylight Donuts. People might wait three hours at Hurts to get a donut stuffed with gummy worms, but a true Tulsan knows Daylight is capital-T donut Truth.

Moonsky’s is one of 1,000 Daylight Donut franchises located in the U.S. (including Hawaii). Daylight Donuts was founded in Tulsa in 1954 by Tommy and Lucille Day, in hopes of making a lighter donut.  With their last name and singular mission, success was as certain as their company’s moniker. But Moonksy’s is in the minority of these spots when it comes to their eclectic menu—it stands out among the other franchises.

The Cajun chicken and shrimp is the most popular item, but it is far from the only option. Their donut game is as strong as it is traditional, featuring bars, twists, and fritters sharing cabinet space with the trusty glazed life-preservers. In addition to donuts, Moonsky’s offers beef cheesesteaks (duh), po’ boys, croissant sandwiches, biscuits and gravy, Cajun pies, chicken (tenders and nuggets), sausage rolls, and eggrolls.

I’m not sure if it would make you a genius or psychopath, but try ordering a cheesesteak on two bear claws instead of the baguette.

But wait a minute—it would be negligent to skip Moonsky’s perfect baguette. Order a donut with your combo, but save the last bite of your sandwich for after you’ve downed the Daylight.

The sandwich is the real dessert.

Moonsky’s Cheesesteaks and Daylight Donuts

2216 E. Pine St. | (918) 599-8530

Mon.–Sat., 5 a.m.–3:30 p.m.

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