Back Alley Blues & BBQ couples its crowded menu of Memphis-style slow-smoked barbecue with thrice-weekly sets from top bluesmen. Commence feasts with crispy deep-fried pickles smothered in ranch dressing ($5.95), or demolish the candied bacon ($5.95), whose brown-sugar dusting satiates carnivorous sweet teeth while perplexing vacationing Oompa Loompas. A meaty triad of pulled pork, chopped beef, and a hot link assemble beneath a toasted bun in the eponymous Back Alley Beatdown sandwich ($8.95), and Memphis-style smoked pork ($11.95) arrives drenched in vinegar-based Memphis-style barbecue sauce. Award-winning peach cobbler ($4.95), which an Urban Tulsa Weekly writer raves "has just rocketed to the top of my favorite dessert in Tulsa," stands little chance of surviving tableside once it arrives. Patrons can tap toes to live music every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and enjoy recorded renditions of Delta blues standards during the rest of the week. The Tulsa World describes Back Alley Blues & BBQ's lively interior by pointing out, "The brick walls of the old building sport huge, colorful, blues-themed murals, and one wall has a row of guitars painted by artists," not unlike the self-painted sauce-mustache masterpieces many guests leave with.
Despite their nomadic tendencies, hot-dog carts are known to show up in the nick of time to crush hunger with bun-filled offerings. The Dog House's carts pop up after concerts and events at Cain's Ballroom, Brady Theater, and Flytrap Music Hall, aiding night owls in need of juicy encased meats. Hungry citizens can operate their own hand shovels to devour tasty franks, including the hot link dog, smothered in mustard and sauerkraut ($4), and the popular Tulsa dog, loaded with mustard, crispy bacon, onions, and peppers, and topped with a spicy-sweet Head Country barbecue sauce ($5). The Seattle dog bathes in a creamy pool of spicy mustard, onions, and cream cheese ($4), and for an extra $1, chips and a soda can be paired with any dog for maximum chowing.
After the tremendous success of the original 61st Street taqueria, La Flama owners Lupe and Fermin Soto decided to branch out with a second location near Woodland Hills Mall, designing a more upscale experience but maintaining the authentic cuisine that made the first La Flama a savory success. Enjoy a sit-down lunch or dinner—a sharp contrast to hustling to order from a still-moving taco truck—and start with a small plate of tacos al pastor, corn tortillas topped with marinated pork, pineapple, and an onion-cilantro blend ($2 each). For still-growling stomachs, fill up with bite after bite of grilled San Lucas chicken, a succulent poultry breast slathered in melted monterey-jack cheese, topped with avocado slices, and paired with peppered shrimp ($15). The enchiladas del mar is a seasoned seafood selection of fresh scallops, shrimp, and shredded crab in a tomato sauce served atop three cheese enchiladas with rice and beans ($13). The bovine-inclined will kowtow to the steak Tampiqueno, a 10-ounce rib eye served under a blanket of monterey-jack cheese, grilled onions, roasted poblano peppers, and slices of tomato ($15).
The Ripe Tomato dishes out light lunchtime fare,and its vegetarian-friendly menu is awash with tasty homemade sauces and organic breads. Soups and salads neighbor creative sandwich combinations like Nate’s Plate ($9.45), its melange of smoked turkey, melted cheese, pepperoni, and black olives bookended by crisply grilled Tuscan bread. Meanwhile, the Very Very Berry salad ($10.25) balances nature’s mercurial fruits with levelheaded lettuce to colonize mouths with a harmonious and bipartisan taste regime.
The griddle masters at Golden Grill Cafe warm midsections with all-day breakfasts and made-from-scratch dishes, which were praised by Tulsa World for tickling nostalgia bones with their adherence to traditional diner-style fare. Regardless of when they rise to catch the worm, birds can arrive in their best footed onesies for a Pancakes Party, a festive collection of two made-from-scratch pancakes boogying with two eggs, a choice of meat, and a shower of syrup ($6.99). Trusty dental spurs pierce through western omelets loaded with bell peppers, onion, ham, and cheddar cheese ($6.99), and scrambled eggs, sausage, onions, and potatoes hide like the FBI's most-wanted taco meat inside the breakfast burrito's giant tortilla ($6.99). Later in the day, patrons can feast on handhelds such as the philly cheesesteak sandwich, a toasted hoagie roll firmly gripping grilled rib-eye steak shavings, sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and melted cheese ($7.99), or the Golden burger ($6.99), which can only be prepared by a certified alchemist.
Arnold's Old Fashioned Hamburgers has been frying up mouth-dousing patties for 25 years in a retro diner, drowning out tummy grumbles with fast-food staples and tunes from its Wurlitzer jukebox. Patrons amble up to the blue-and-pink, glass-block counter to grab a classic hamburger, served in traditional burger-joint wax paper, along with a side of fries and a hefty soda. Padded purple and white booths cushion guests during dine-in feasts, and a drive-thru window serves on-the-go spreads to motorists and honking cars full of migrating geese.