Burgers, Barbecue and Pie

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buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/09 12:51:06 (permalink)
Monday April 23, 2012 (cont.)
 
After long naps for both of us, we woke up refreshed and ready for dinner.  Tonight, we were headed for Eischen's Bar in Okarche, OK, around 45 minutes northwest of Oklahoma City.  We were really looking forward to this, since not only does appear in the Roadfood books (but not on the website), but twice during the day we had others tell us how great this place was.  Eischen's has been in business since 1896 and proudly proclaims itself as the oldest bar in Oklahoma.  The fact that they are open late (the kitchen stays open 'til 10:00) allowed to have a late dinner.
 
Okarche is a small town with a population a little more than 1,000.  Eischen's is easy to find, due to lots of signage. 


We parked in what looked like a bank parking lot and Eischen's is directly behind the bank.  They have two main rooms here, the bar side

and the dining room. 

Both are very dark and surprisingly big, since the building looked small from the outside.
 
Strike #1 occurred as soon as I walked in the door, as there was an unmistakable, unpleasant smell of grease.  As some of you who have read my trip reports might know, I have never complained about this before.  But here, it was powerfully strong.  Like anything though, you get used to it and in a short amount of time, I didn't even notice.  
 
Strike #2 was the floor of the dining room,

which had some kind of green powder on it.  Johnny had seen this before and this is so people won't slip on a slick floor.  So far, Eischen's isn't off to a good start with me.
 
The menu is small

and most come here just for the fried chicken.  And from what Johnny saw on one of the tv food shows, they will only fry up entire chickens, so ordering parts here is not possible.  The chicken was outstanding! 


It had maybe the crispiest skin I have seen on a bird, which I like.  The meat was tender and very juicy, with great flavor.  We both thought this was among the best fried chickens we have ever had, although not quite in a category with Stroud's or a Bon Ton Mini Mart.  Johnny also pointed out that he ran into some spots of the chicken that were grease soaked.  With the chicken, you get slices of bread cut in half,

plus a basket of pickles and onions. 

By the way, we didn't get any plates.  Or silverware.  Or glasses for our cans of soda.  They brought out several sheets of wax paper to eat over.

 
Just to see what is what like, we also tried a roast beef sandwich. 

We found the meat to be dry and I wouldn't recommend it.
 
On the way to the bathroom, I spotted this cartoon hanging on the wall.
 
 
Eischen's Bar
109 N 2nd Street
Okarche, OK
405-263-9939  
 
It was straight back to the hotel, since we were getting off to an early start the next day.
 
Much more to come.....     
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/05/09 12:56:06
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 17:55:32 (permalink)
Tuesday April 24, 2012
 
It was an early departure for us, so we could beat OKC rush hour traffic.  An hour later, we arrived at our breakfast destination, Rock Cafe in Stroud, OK. 

This place has been a Route 66 landmark since 1939.  In 2008, Rock Cafe was devestated by a fire.  Our waitress brought over a coffee table book on Route 66, to show us a photo of owner Dawn Welch in front of the damage. 

Unbelievable!  Obviously, they have rebuilt and now, the inside is much bigger than before.

 
To start us off, we split an order of beignets. 

These came out very hot and had a crunchy exterior.  They were soft inside, but were quite dense.  We would order these again.
 
Johnny ordered the apple streusel crepes. 

These were thicker than typical crepes, but not as thick as a pancake.  Feel free to think of them as crepcakes.  He praised them for not being overly sweet.  Good, thick bacon on the side, but we both would have preferred our hash browns if they were crispier.
 
I went with the chicken fried steak.  Instead of the beef, I substituted it for a pork cutlet. 


Man, was this good!  Juicy, incredibly tender, covered in a mild cream gravy, I couldn't have been happier with it.  The gravy came on the side,

along with a soft biscuit.
 
We really liked the feel of Rock Cafe.  There  in the center table was a group of locals, swapping stories and laughs over cups of coffee.  I eavesdropped a little.  One guy was wearing a prank visor, which made it look like he had ghost white hair.  He told them that tomorrow he was going to wear his Rafastarian (instead of Rastafarian) hat, which got a chuckle from the crowd.  And not long after our food arrived, a woman walked in and said in a loud voice, "I smell chicken fried steak.  And I want a bite!"  This was owner Dawn Welch and she chatted with us for a few minutes at our table, before heading for the kitchen.  A very likable person, it is thought that the character Sally Carrera from the movie Cars is based on her.  In fact, there are several cutouts of cars that appeared in the movie in front of the restaurant.

 
We got back in our car and continued on towards Tulsa.
 
Rock Cafe
114 W. Main Street
Stroud, OK
918-968-3990 
 
Much more to come..... 
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/05/12 17:57:27
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 19:47:49 (permalink)
Tuesday April 24, 2012 (cont.) 
 
Arriving in Tulsa too early for any of the lunch restaurants to be open, we had to kill some time.  So, our first stop was the famous Golden Driller. 


This monument to the oil worker stands at 76 feet and is the tallest free standing statue in the world and the third tallest statue in the U.S.A.  Very impressive!  We also made a quick stop at the University of Tulsa's bookstore, where I bought a Golden Hurricanes t-shirt.
 
We drove to our lunch destination Claud's Hamburgers

and were the first customers in the door when they opened.  Claud's is a great looking, small, white burger stand with all counter seats. 

As you can see on the menu board,

it is all about the burgers here.
 
Knowing how much food we had ahead of us again today, we both took it easy and ordered just regular cheeseburgers.  Onion, mustard and pickle automatically come on your burger.  They will add tomato and lettuce upon request, which Johnny did, but I declined.  Once again, we chose our seats wisely as the grill was right in front of us.  There were two men behind the counter and the younger one was making our burgers.  We watched the beef sizzle

and then they put the buns right on the grill for a short amount of time.  

American cheese was then added and then the top bun.

 
In just a few minutes, we had some beautiful burgers set down in front us. 

Although not particularly big,

these provided big flavor.  Not greasy, it still was juicy and there was a little pink on the inside despite being so thin.  This was an excellent burger!
 
Still, something was amiss.  We were halfway through when Johnny remembered that there are supposed to be onions fried right into the beef, like at the other onion burger joints.  It even says that right on the menu.  You can see the raw onions on top of the bottom bun in this photo. 

Drat!  It sure seems the young guy made a mistake.  While we were very happy with what we were eating, we couldn't help but wonder how much better it could be with the fried onions.  Immediately after making our burgers, the older man took over the grill.  We considered saying something, but what was the point?  On my next visit to Tulsa, I may need to revisit to see what I missed.
 
Claud's Hamburgers
3834 S. Peoria Avenue
Tulsa, OK
918-742-8332
 
Back to the car for lunch # 2!
 
Much more to come.....   
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/05/12 19:52:37
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buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 19:56:46 (permalink)
Before I forget, I wanted to post this link.  Tulsa just might be the most burger crazy city in the U.S. and this blog is an invaluable source.
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 20:03:26 (permalink)
buffetbuster,
 
You are killing me with all your burgers. 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
That chicken fried pork & gravy for breakfast has me drooling.  'Scuse me Davydd, but that's the way to eat breaded pork - toss the bun and taste the meat.
 
jrp
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buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 20:35:45 (permalink)
JRPfeff-
Thanks for taking the time to post all those burger photos in a row.  It is easier to compare them.  Right now, I am leaning towards the double at Jack's being the best looking, though not the best tasting.  We still have a few more contenders from Tulsa coming up.
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 20:38:27 (permalink)
And you know what happened when we stopped in Tulsa for a onion burger ... I had a little man standing on my shoulder.  A Traveling Man.
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buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 20:47:09 (permalink)
Jim-
I hate traveling with that guy!  Which place was it?
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 21:13:23 (permalink)
I think it was Hank's.  We pulled in after 6:00 on a Saturday Sunday Saturday.
 
nb - I checked the trip report and it was a Saturday.  What's up with that?
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/05/12 22:14:20
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buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 21:30:44 (permalink)
Sorry to hear that.  You may not want to read what I say about Hank's then!
JRPfeff
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 22:07:04 (permalink)
No, you'll probably make me that much more determined to eat there.
 
Note: Corrected previous post, I think it was a Sunday.  I was right the first time.
post edited by JRPfeff - 2012/05/12 22:15:06
buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 22:10:29 (permalink)
Tuesday April 24, 2012 (cont.)
 
Next up was a quick meal at the small Tulsa chain, Coney I-Lander

They have a great sign, but the building looks like a typical non-descript fast food joint.  I tried to visit this hot dog restaurant on my last visit to Tulsa, but they were closed for the entire holiday weekend.  Since it was cousin Johnny's turn to buy, he went up to the counter,

while I grabbed a booth.  
 
He brought back a couple hot dogs, a tamale and root beers.  

We ate the tamale first. 

It was filled with moist beef and covered with chili and cheese.  Not too bad.  The hot dogs are indeed small. 

We liked the soft steamed buns and the chili, which was beanless and had no heat to it.  The wiener itself was of low quality.  The side of the root beer cup shows the house motto: 

Since 1926, We Haven't Changed a Bite!  Just over where we were sitting was a word scramble,

which Johnny quickly solved.  I was too busy eating!
 
Coney I-Lander
7462 E. Admiral Place
Tulsa, OK
918-836-2336
 
One famous tourist attraction that I completely missed during my previous visit to Tulsa was the giant praying hands at Oral Roberts University.  I would not make that mistake again. 


This is the largest bronze sculpture in the world. 
 
From there, we drove to downtown Tulsa to check in to our hotel.
 
Much more to come.....       
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/12 22:33:47 (permalink)
BB:  I have spent a lot of time in Tulsa and I know it well.  The praying hand with the defunct hospital is famous along with Oral Roberts.  Thank God that he was not killed because he got his millions of dollars and in spite of that the enormous hospital failed.  I started a business there around 1985 and it is still very active with abouy 150 employees
 
In regard to the place with the green floors, I would have left right then and there.  I have no respect for any place that is not mega clean.
 
I sure do enjoy your trips and reports and photos.  You are among the  best among several other best.
 
Paul E. Smith
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/13 18:09:05 (permalink)
buffetbuster




We got back in our car and continued on towards Tulsa.

  

 
Buffetbuster


Ok, I have to ask, Is this the car that you rented for your trip?
 
I'm amazed at all of the great looking burgers you've found in Oklahom. I'll certainly have to try a few when  I visit next year.
 
You know, my expression of disapproval had to pop up when you ordere the pork cutlet instead of the chicken fried steak !
 
buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/13 22:40:19 (permalink)
WJ-
Considering how much beef I ate on this trip, I thought you would cut me a break on the disapproval face.  Then you are really going to be unhappy with my next meal!
mr chips
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 00:40:27 (permalink)
This is the first time I have looked at this report, BB. It is quite an adventure and i have enjoyed reading and look forward to my network upgrade to see the photos,
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 03:25:45 (permalink)
 
Looks like an old 1960's Pizza Hut Building to me?   They may not have changed but I betcha they moved once...LOL
 
buffetbuster

Tuesday April 24, 2012 (cont.)

Next up was a quick meal at the small Tulsa chain, Coney I-Lander

They have a great sign, but the building looks like a typical non-descript fast food joint.  I tried to visit this hot dog restaurant on my last visit to Tulsa, but they were closed for the entire holiday weekend.  Since it was cousin Johnny's turn to buy, he went up to the counter,

while I grabbed a booth.  

He brought back a couple hot dogs, a tamale and root beers.  

We ate the tamale first. 

It was filled with moist beef and covered with chili and cheese.  Not too bad.  The hot dogs are indeed small. 

We liked the soft steamed buns and the chili, which was beanless and had no heat to it.  The wiener itself was of low quality.  The side of the root beer cup shows the house motto: 

Since 1926, We Haven't Changed a Bite!  Just over where we were sitting was a word scramble,

which Johnny quickly solved.  I was too busy eating!

Coney I-Lander
7462 E. Admiral Place
Tulsa, OK
918-836-2336

One famous tourist attraction that I completely missed during my previous visit to Tulsa was the giant praying hands at Oral Roberts University.  I would not make that mistake again. 


This is the largest bronze sculpture in the world. 

From there, we drove to downtown Tulsa to check in to our hotel.

Much more to come.....       


leethebard
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 05:24:17 (permalink)
Keep it coming...love the burgers....great report.
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 06:52:43 (permalink)
Big Glenn-
Johnny and I thought the same thing, that must have been an old Pizza Hut building.  And it surely doesn't go back to 1926.  From what I read, the original Coney I-Lander location was in downtown Tulsa. 
easydoesit
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 10:02:57 (permalink)
buffetbuster, I have to echo the many others who are now salivating for burgers.  As one said, your report is a true resource.  We are heading to visit friends in Texas soon, and a couple days in Oklahoma at restaurants and museums are now in the plan.
 
But regard the onions fried in at Claud's -- I did think, when reading the menu, that they meant you have to request them fried in, like you have to request the lettuce and tomato.  
 
At least that's the way I read it.
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 11:23:05 (permalink)

Upon re-reading the menu at Clauds I do see that you apparently have to order the onions cooked in. I didn't read it that way the first time.
post edited by ces1948 - 2012/05/14 11:24:30
buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 11:37:10 (permalink)
Neither did I ces1948.  But, now that I see it, that sure looks like what happened.  Now I feel bad for accusing the young cook of making a mistake, when it looks like our error. 
 
Thanks for pointing that our easydoesit.  And have a wonderful time on your trip to Texas/Oklahoma.  If you hit any of the burgers places written about here or find some new ones, it would be greatly appreciated if you could report back and tell us what you found.
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 13:33:12 (permalink)
Tuesday April 24 (cont.)
 
Before we arrived in Tulsa, I wrote long time Roadfood member Howard Baratz if he would be interested in joining us for a meal while we were in town.  I had never met Howard before, but we have a mutual friend who told me he is a great guy and we would enjoy his company.  He replied that the timing was perfect, since Mrs. Baratz was out of town.  We settled on Tuesday evening dinner and Howard picked us up at our hotel.  When Howard asked where I wanted to go, White River Fish Market was my top choice.  Part of the reason is because Howard (along with tiki) is the one who recommended Michael Stern visit the place, which ultimately led to it being reviewed here on Roadfood.
 
White River Fish Market

is in what looks like a small strip mall.  They have a wonderful fish neon sign in the parking lot. 

Arriving around 6:30PM, there was already a good crowd.  The first thing you notice when you walk in is all the beautiful fresh seafood on display. 

 


They aren't kidding about the market part of their name and we were told that most of the top restaurants in the city get their seafood here.  Everything you see here is flown in fresh.
 
We quickly moved to the front of the line to place our order.  The selection here is daunting,


but Howard helpfully offered good advice.  After you pay, you find some open seats and the food is brought to you.  The dining room itself is large and comfortable.

 
I believe all three of us started off with the gumbo. 

There wasn't a lot of sausage, onions and beef in it, but it made up for it with terrific flavor and just the right amount of heat.  Delicious!
 
Howard got the grilled sea bass,

which he was nice enough to allow Johnny and I to taste.  This fish just melted in your mouth and I have already decided that is what I am going to order the next time here.  
 
Johnny, a.k.a. Captain Combo, couldn't resist the fried combination dinner. 

On the plate, you see catfish, sea scallops, shrimp, deviled crab and hush puppies.  His favorite may have been the large scallops, which were well cooked (not rubbery) with a light coating.  He also liked the onion and green pepper flavor in the deviled crab and thought the catfish was very moist and delicate.  One of his sides was the onion rings. 

As you can see, there were lots of whole rings and even more half pieces.  Though they were on the greasy side, they were a hit with all three of us.
 
My meal started off with the shrimp cocktail. 

Oh man, was this good!  These shrimp were plump and fresh and this may have been my favorite item here.  The entree was the grilled mahi mahi,

which was nice and moist and seperated easily with a fork.  There were a few bones, which is no big deal.  I definitely took advantage of the cup of butter on the side and enjoyed dragging bit of firm fish through it.  The hushpuppies come with all meals.  I am not typically a fan of hush puppies, but these were better than average.  They had a thick, crunchy outside coating and the flavor was greatly enhanced by red pepper.  One of my sides was the spiced rice, which was basically just dirty rice and was nothing special.  But Johnny and I both enjoyed the cole slaw,

which was wet, sweet and minced into small bits.
 
After all the red meat I had eaten on the trip so far, White River Fish Market was just the change of pace meal that I needed.  A big thanks to Howard for bringing us here!
 
White River Fish Market
1708 N. Sheridan 
Tulsa, OK
918-835-1910
 
Apparently, my reputation preceded me here as Howard suggested a pie stop before we called it a night.
 
Much more to come.....               
post edited by buffetbuster - 2012/05/16 21:22:01
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 18:48:27 (permalink)
BB & Johnnie,
  You continue to inspire us to target those places that you report !!
You two will be entered into the Legends of the RoadFood  for our children's children to read of and admire.
 
    Much Like the "Cisco Kid and Pancho"  ,
    "The Lone Ranger and Tonto" 
       (or maybe the Smothers Brothers!)

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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 19:48:37 (permalink)
Fantastic trip report, buffetbuster! No need to ever apologize for too many photos of those burgers. And I love the term "pig stand!" That just says it all. Thanks for this no calorie tour of all these wonderful Roadfood eats!
Louis
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/14 20:44:27 (permalink)
About Eischen's Bar:  If the okra is $6.00 it had better be good!
 
About Coney I-Lander in Tulsa: I tried the location that was in the Sterns' books because they recommended it.  But I wasn't too impressed.
 
I found a much better Coney I-Lander down the road a couple of miles toward the center of town (2838 East 11th; ph. 918-592-3113.)  The chili was excellent, as was the tamale; both were much better than the hot dog.  I think the Sterns--and everyone else--should check out this other location.  They might be surprised.
 
post edited by Louis - 2012/05/18 21:59:38
iceomat
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/15 01:10:29 (permalink)
Louis
About Eischen's Bar:  If the okra is $6.00 it had better be damn good!

 
  The portions are huge. An order is enough for three or four people. Well, maybe not these two guys.
 
buffetbuster, next time you are in OKC you should try the (in)famous Bobo's Chicken. It's the real deal.
post edited by iceomat - 2012/05/15 01:14:12
buffetbuster
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/15 06:01:38 (permalink)
MayorAl-
Thanks again for pulling that photo out.  I just wish I could still fit into that Cypress Grill t-shirt!
 
tcrouzer-
Your right!  As much as I like the name bbq parlor, pig stand is even better.  And thanks for the compliment.
 
iceomat-
I did a little reading on Bobo's Chicken and it looks like the real thing.  Thanks for the tip!  As we were leaving OKC and Central Oklahoma, we were both thinking we could easily spend another week and not run out of interesting places to eat.
rumaki
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/15 12:05:01 (permalink)
I was in Tulsa a few years ago to speak at a conference, and didn't have a car,  so I was very limited in my ability to get around.
 
But I did go to the "Blue Dome District," to see the famous gas station with the blue dome.  I ate across the street at the diner -- had biscuits and gravy -- OK, but not world-altering.  
http://www.bluedometulsa.com/index2.php#/home/
 
Tulsa has fabulous Art Deco architecture.  Did you get to see some of it -- between burgers, I mean?
 
post edited by rumaki - 2012/05/15 12:06:30
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Re:Burgers, Barbecue and Pie 2012/05/15 12:49:38 (permalink)
rumaki-
Being a big fan of Art Deco, I checked out a lot of the sights during my last trip to Tulsa in 2008.  You can see part of it in this trip report.  But, I know nothing of the Blue Dome District.  Very nice! 
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