Bygone bites

Bishop’s New Waffle House at 15 E. Third St. in the 1920s

For more than 50 years, one of Tulsa’s most popular dining places was Bishop’s Restaurant. Founded in 1913 as a counter-only café/diner by W. W. Bishop at 15 E. Third St., business boomed and it eventually was enlarged to become Bishop’s New Waffle House. 

In 1930, Bishop partnered with J. H. Powers, and the men moved the establishment to 510 S. Main St. The larger 24-hour, full-scale restaurant (with its U-shaped counter, red seats and black-and-white tiled floors) catered to Tulans of all stripes, including J. Paul Getty, William G. Skelly and Harry Sinclair. 

Customers flocked to Bishop’s in droves for breakfast, lunch or dinner. The menu included the mouth-watering Brown Derby: ground beef patties served with french fries or onion rings, grilled onions, hot rolls and Sauce Diablo. A Bishop’s opened in Oklahoma City, followed by a "Bishop’s Driv-Inn" at East 10th Street and South Boston Avenue. The original Bishop’s closed its doors Feb. 19, 1966.

Below are some of Bishop's most popular recipes.


Brown Derby 

1 pound ground beef

1 egg

2 cups chicken broth

1 tablespoon Worcestershire

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

½ teaspoon mustard


In a bowl, mix ingredients, adding broth last to give mixture the consistency of soupy meatloaf. Using 1 cup of the mixture for each portion, make thick patties and brown them in a pan of hot oil. Set aside.


Sauce Diablo

1 can beef gravy

1 tablespoon mustard

1 teaspoon A-1 Sauce

1 tablespoon Worcestershire 

½ cup catsup

1 tablespoon margarine


In a saucepan, boil ingredients for 2 minutes. Drain the meat patties and put in a baking dish. Cover with Sauce Diablo. Bake 30 minutes at 150 degrees; longer if desired.


Wine-Oil Dressing

½ cup honey

1 tablespoon salt (or to taste)

½ cup red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 pint garlic-flavored salad oil (Vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil would work well.)


In an electric blender, mix honey and salt until creamy. Add vinegar and lemon juice. On slow speed, add salad oil very slowly. Blend until thick.

Garlic-flavored oil: Put 3 cloves garlic in a pint of salad oil and let it stand overnight.


Rum Cake


1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

1 cup butter

2 cups white sugar

4 eggs

3 cups all-purpose flour

½ teaspoon baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

1 pinch salt

1 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup dark rum


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10-inch tube pan or a 12-cup Bundt pan. Chop nuts and sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the pan.

Cream 1 cup of the butter with 2 cups of the white sugar. Add eggs, mixing well after each. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and add alternately with the buttermilk to the egg mixture. Stir in the vanilla and rum. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. While cake is baking, prepare the glaze.


Rum Butter Glaze:

1 cup butter

¼ cup water

1 cup sugar

½ cup dark rum


In a saucepan, melt butter; add water and sugar. Boil for 5 minutes, stirring constantly.

Allow to cool. Stir in rum.

Remove cake from oven, poke holes in it with a fork and pour all of the Rum Butter glaze over cake while cake is still warm. Leave cake in pan for 2 hours before turning over onto serving dish. Top with whipped cream, if desired.


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