Bake shop, casual cafe, and source of take-out meals, Queenie's is a nice way to start the day before tackling the full panoply of Tulsa's grand, grease-glistening hamburgers, chili and chili dogs. Lunch is served, too. One early-morning patron told me that the grilled cheese sandwich is the best she's ever eaten – in particular, the "Santa Fe" version that includes green chiles; her dining companion recommended the BLT with excellent egg salad added to the traditional trio. Next visit to Tulsa, perhaps I will be able to divert my attention from cast-iron-stomach cuisine to lunch at Queenie's.
Or, perhaps not. In any case, I do recommend breakfast. While the blueberry almond pancakes are ok, if a little thick, what wows me is house-made granola. Such a well-balanced cereal, really more about seeds and grains than fluffier things – nut sweet, more than sugar-sweet. It is a real southwestern cereal, the Gary Cooper of breakfasts.
Pastries are not so taciturn. A cranberry ginger scone is nose-tickling gingery, floral-fruity, a compact little breakfast all by itself. While perhaps too intense to accompany that first cup of coffee, caramel banana cake is one of those sweet, dense hunks of food that's nearly impossible to stop eating once you have a first bite.
As you might guess from the dishes served, Queenie's is a polite sort of place, more tea room than diner. I had no problem finding a table first thing in the morning, but my tipsters told me that if I do return for lunch, the house seat-yourself policy means that I will vie with others for a place to eat.
"Queenie's granola is not extremely sweet, which means the flavors of the fruit on top sing loud and clear."
"There is enough ginger in the cranberry ginger scone to make this pastry a real eye opener."
"The piece of caramel banana cake I took for a dashboard snack after breakfast was yesterday's. It wasn't quite as soft and moist as a totally fresh slice, but I had no problem whatsoever devouring all of the spicy-sweet pastry."
"Queenie's is a casual place, but the table settings are precise."
"Tulsa is not a big breakfast town, which is why Queenie's is well worth knowing about. I was the first person in the door at 7am. By the time I left, the place was buzzing."