If there’s one thing I can’t get enough of, it’s restaurant options that offer quality food at a reasonable price. I found both of these essentials recently when I visited Yale Diner inside the Whole Foods at 91st and Yale.
Yale Diner is indeed diner food – but with a twist. When you visit a Whole Foods, you are likely on the lookout for organic, vegan, vegetarian, whole food options. This is exactly what you’ll find at Yale Diner. The items you find on the menu are the same high quality that you’ll find on the shelves of Whole Foods – cage-free eggs, no artificial colors, no preservatives, and plenty of vegan and vegetarian options.
While a few different Whole Foods around the globe feature the diner concept, the 91st and Yale Tulsa location is the only one in our region (Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Louisiana) to feature a diner. Yale Diner opened when the store opened in November 2013. And of course, the name Yale Diner is specific to our Yale Whole Foods. My favorite thing about the Yale Diner menu is that it features local menu items – such as Farrell Family Farms biscuits, buns, and breads and Wildhorse Canyon Farms Fruit Spread.
Before I go into much more detail, let me tell you my favorite things about Yale Diner:
- They incorporate locally-sourced products into the menu.
- There are tons of vegetarian and vegan options available. I’m talking like half the menu.
- They serve breakfast ALL DAY. They figured out immediately what it took McDonald’s decades to figure out.
I’ve tried a veritable feast of menu items at Yale Diner (by the way, they just got a new menu, so if you’ve been before but it’s been a while, you need to go again!). The Smothered Burrito is a vegan tofu scramble with mushrooms, onions, green peppers, hash browns and vegan cheddar, all wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla and smothered in a vegan green chile sauce. It’s served with plenty of Romaine, pico de gallo and avocado. The best thing about this item is that you’d have no idea it was vegan if it didn’t say so on the menu. There’s tofu in this thing? you’ll find yourself wondering. This burrito is full of flavor and totally guilt-free. Taco Bell would be appalled.
Next I tested out the Traditional Breakfast, which also offers vegetarian and vegan options. You’ll get two cage-free eggs or tofu scramble served with hash browns, your choice of Diestel Turkey Sausage (what I chose), Applewood-smoked bacon, breakfast ham or vegan sausage patty, and your choice of Farrell Family toast with Wildhorse Canyon Farms Fruit Spread, or Farrell Family Biscuit with gravy (what I chose). Y’all, don’t separate this Oklahoma girl from her biscuits and gravy. Serve me a biscuit from an Oklahoma farm, and I’ll be even happier. This deluxe breakfast did not disappoint and left me stuffed but not regretting my decision, like I so often do at Mom n’ Pop diners.
Of course, I had to test out some lunch/dinner items too. Every month, Yale Diner has a Burger of the Month. When I went in March, the burger was called the Shark Bite. It featured beef, caramelized onions, crispy onions, jalapenos, BBQ sauce, and cream cheese on a sesame seed bun. Yum! The burger was sooo good! The onions on it – caramelized and crispy – combined with the soft cream cheese – really made this burger! I also really enjoyed the shoestring fries served as a side.
I also tried the Chicken Fried Chicken, served with mashed potatoes and green beans. Naturally, the dish also had a healthy portion of gravy on the side. (I liked that they put it on the side, so I could choose for myself how naughty I wanted to be! By the way, I was really naughty!). The chicken was so tasty, and the green beans were some of the best I’ve ever had – they had little pieces of crispy onions mixed in them.
There are so many menu items I didn’t have a chance to try, so I’m looking forward to going back. For example, the Maple
Pecan Cinnamon Waffle! Create your own Frittatas! The Tuna Melt served on a Farrell Family Biscuit and topped with Melted Cheddar! Oh, and let me not forget to mention that Yale Diner has its own espresso machine, so they can make you all kinds of delicious caffeinated beverages (which you can put in an adorable mug of your choice!)
AND they have all kinds of ice cream options, like the Cinnamon Roll Sundae – vanilla ice cream served over mini cinnamon rolls, covered in caramel sauce and topped with whipped cream and raisins, and the Peanut Butter Cup – vanilla ice cream on top of two peanut butter cups, covered in hot fudge and sprinkled with pecans.
You can know when visiting Yale Diner that you’re in good hands – they hire the highest quality chefs. One of their chefs came from The Wild Fork. So whether you actually need groceries at Whole Foods and stop for a meal at Yale Diner while there or head over there specifically for a dine-in or carry-out experience, you’ll be glad you checked it out!