5 New Restaurants to Try in 2016

It’s time for the most popular post of Tulsa Places each year…where we offer suggestions on the new restaurants in the Tulsa area that are worth checking out!

DSC_0044#1 and #2: Toast, Franklin’s Pork and Barrel
201 S. Main St. and 203 S. Main St., Broken Arrow

Toast and Franklin’s Pork and Barrel are two restaurants with two separate menus under one roof. Ben Buie, who also owns Potbelly’s in Broken Arrow, opened the two restaurants in Broken Arrow’s Rose District in October 2015.

#1: Toast

Toast offersDSC_0036 breakfast, brunch, lunch and day-time cocktails Tuesday through Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. It has quickly become a favorite among Broken Arrow locals, who rave about the Lemon Blueberry Pancakes and homemade Cheddar Biscuits.

When I visited Toast, I tried perhaps the most unique item on the menu – the Southwest Bruschetta Benny – mozzarella with an avocado salad, two poached eggs, cilantro pesto hollandaise on tortilla chips with balsamic drizzle and pumpkin seeds. Wow! This is one flavorful brunch item! Who would have thought to make a variation of Eggs Benedict using tortilla chips? It was delicious, and I especially enjoyed the cilantro pesto
hollandaise.

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Toast features two other variations of Bennies: Franklin’s Benny – a cheddar biscuit topped with Canadian bacon, two poached eggs, and hollandaise – and the Salmon Cake Benny.DSC_0039

Other popular menu items at Toast are Crepes (Nutella or Berry Cream), the Green Chile Breakfast Burrito and Biscuits and Gravy. The mimosas are free-flowing at Toast, with three different types to choose from, along with other interesting breakfast libations, such as “Cereal Milk Shots.”

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#2: Franklin’s Pork and Barrel

DSC_0040Franklin’s serves upscale American food with a southwest flair. It is open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Franklin’s offers menu items you’re unlikely to find other places in Green Country – like the Peanut Butter and Sriracha Burger and sides like Skillet Corn Lime-Scented Sweet Potato and Hominy Grits.

The menu is diverse – featuring barbeque-themed items like Pulled Pork, Smoked Meatloaf Sliders, and a Bar-B-Que Platter, sandwiches like the Franklin’s Cuban, Smoked Meatloaf Sliders, and the Smoked Pimento Cheese Burger. For those who are not in the mood for red meat, dishes like Seared Organic Scottish Salmon, Mahi Mahi Oscar, the Santa Fe Turkey Sandwich, and Three DSC_0046Way Chili with Smoked Chicken are available.

I tried the Chipotle Mac N Cheese with Pork Belly. Don’t get scared, folks – pork belly is essentially bacon. Who doesn’t
love mac and cheese with a hint of spice and a touch of bacon?

These two restaurants under one roof are definitely worthy of two visits to Broken Arrow’s Rose District!


#3: Taziki’s

4925 E 71st St, Tulsa, OK 74136

IMG_3849When Taziki’s opened in Tulsa in December 2015, it became the 50th Taziki’s location nationwide. It’s the first location in Oklahoma and was started by the same folks who brought Papa John’s and Genghis Grill to Tulsa.

The ambiance is inviting – huge pictures of the owner’s trip to Greece adorn the walls, and a warm fireplace beckons patrons. It’s hard to do Greek food well, and it’s perhaps even harder to do “fast casual” Greek food well, but Taziki’s nails it. Granted, Taziki’s is Greek food with an American take.

The menu offers a number of options that would be great for lunch or dinner – everything from gyros to salads to sandwiches to “Taziki’s feasts,” which are meat or vegetarian plates served with a choice of basmati rice or roasted new potatoes and a generous portion of Greek salad.

IMG_3851I tried the Grilled Shrimp Feast. Plump shrimp grilled with lemon juice, butter, and a touch of blackened season – yum! I was impressed by the generous-sized Greek salad, complete with plenty of feta cheese.

One of my friends tried the Herb-Roasted Pork Loin Feast. The pork is rubbed in Taziki’s signature blend of herbs and seasonings, grilled and served with tomato chutney aioli with a side of grilled asparagus. She said it was some of the best pork she’s ever had!

My other friend tried the Lamb and Skordalia Gyro – skordalia (a thick, garlic-based puree), roasted red peppers and grilled onions. The gyros and deli items are served with a choice of side – basmati rice, roasted new potatoes, pasta salad, fresh-cut fruit or tomato-cucumber salad.

We also indulged in Baklava. It was everything you expect the flaky, sticky dessert to be! You can’t go Greek for lunch without getting Baklava!

Taziki’s is open Sunday through Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Taziki’s has already made plans to expand to a second Tulsa location on Cherry Street.

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#4: Eritrean & Ethiopian Café
PhotoGrid_14491528091416934 S Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74136
With Bonita James 

The Tulsa Places bloggers weren’t mentally prepared to eat at an Ethiopian restaurant during a lunch break. Squeezing in a culinary adventure in between a mind full of work stuff lead to a jarring realization that we were about to eat foreign food, with our hands. We didn’t see a single utensil in the place.

DSC_0003

 

Our waiter and owner of Eritrean & Ethiopian Cafe had a contagious smile. He graciously explained to us the best dishes on the menu.
DSC_0004We started out with a delicious appetizer – the Sambusa with Veggie. It’s a vegetable shell pastry filled with lentil, onions and jalapenos. It’s not as spicy as you might expect. It comes with a delicious dipping sauce, and you can also opt for Sambusa with Chicken.

Taking one for the vegetarians out there, I (Bonita) quickly became torn between the ATKILT and the SHIRO WOT. My decision was made when I learned SHIRO WOT was our waiter’s “birthday meal” his wife prepares for him every year. I felt lucky she prepared one for me that day.

Let’s start with the mega space our meals took up. The largest plates I’ve 20160107_112813ever seen blanketed in a thin, almost-purple injera (a spongy flatbread that is about 18 inches in diameter), with SHIRO WOT steaming in a bowl in the middle. I’m a fan of chickpeas, and this dish’s main ingredient is chickpea flour. The spice of the dish comes from the Berbere sauce. It reminded me of curry but had elements I couldn’t quite place. The chili peppers in the berbere brought enough heat to give my sinuses a relief. The aroma was delectable.

The act of eating it made us question if we should have a demo on how to eat Ethiopian food. Using the injera as a vehicle, the yummy dish made it to my mouth. Luckily, my makeshift bib made it out clean.

I (Lindsay) tried the DERO TIBS – chicken breast with garlic, onions, green peppers and tomatoes. It reminded me a little of fajitas, actually! It was also served with a huge helping of injera.

DSC_0005We have to give the owners of Eritrean & Ethiopian Cafe props. They know their patrons are mostly Americans, proven as the tables filled up with Okie-accented guests. This cafe is eager to share Ethiopian cuisine and they have even noted which items on the menu Americans prefer, such as the Vege-Combo – seven veggies.

When you go to Eritrean and Ethiopian Cafe, have an open mind and a little time to spare. It’s worth taking the time to chat with the owners, take it all in, and enjoy.

Eritrean & Ethiopian Cafe is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. It’s definitely an experience worth having in 2016!

Bonus: Pop into the Ebute-Metta Tropical market next door. They carry African and Caribbean ethnic foods and have a nice selection of hot sauces and jerk seasoning.

 

#5: Rincon Mexican Grill and Cantina
6219 E 61st St, Tulsa, OK 74136


IMG_3965I know what you’re thinking — just what Tulsa needs, another Mexican restaurant! Well, in my opinion, yes! You can never get too much Mexican food… salsa, margaritas, chimichangas, come to me! Now, it’s true that most Mexican restaurants are essentially the same… tacos, burritos, refried beans and rice. But one thing I noticed about Rincon is that their service is exceptional. I’m talking about even when your salsa is not even close to being empty, the waitress was there to give you a fresh one. Speaking of the salsa, the chips were served with two salsas — a medium salsa and also a fire-roasted one as well.

My husband’s go-to item to try at Mexican restaurants is the Chicken Chimichanga, so that’s what he tried (above). Served with a generous portion of white queso, rice, and your choice of refried, IMG_3966black, or pinto beans, it was certainly enough to satisfy a grown man. He mentioned that the chimichanga was crispy and baked to perfection.

I decided to try the Del Mar (seafood) Platter, which had a Blackened Mahi Mahi Taco, Shrimp Taco and Seafood Enchilada with Mexican rice and black beans. The Shrimp Taco was especially delicious, with a pico de gallo perfectly complimenting the fish.

Rincon also has a nice little bar tucked into the restaurant. The atmosphere of the restaurant is a step up from most typical Mexican restaurants, and the staff will go above and beyond to make your experience enjoyable. I noticed a few unique IMG_3968items on the menu that you don’t normally find at Mexican restaurants, like Baby Back Ribs.

I’ll definitely be back to try mas!

 

Which new restaurants in the Tulsa area did we forget? What are your favorite new restaurants in the area (opened 2015 or sooner)?

 

Author: Lindsay

When I’m not updating this blog, I’m a wife, a mom to a sweet little boy and a cute miniature Schnauzer, and a marketing professional. I love running and have 2 marathons and 7 half-marathons under my belt. I'm passionate about knowing God better and helping others get closer to Him!

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