Kid-friendly Places · Yummy Places

BBQ? Mexican? = tacocue. Yes, please.

In a world that is continually saying “yes” to fast casual eateries and most certainly places like Qdoba, Chipotle, Torchy’s, and Fuzzy’s, tacocue americano eatery has entered the scene as a unique twist on the typical taco. Just last week, it opened its first location at 9107 S. Sheridan Rd. in Tulsa.

Jeff Jackson, CEO and President of Legendary Q Brands, the franchisor of Billy Sims BBQ, launched tacocue and has hopes that it will become a franchise as popular as Billy Sims.

When I first heard about tacocue’s concept of BBQ and Mexican fusion, I was hesitant. I mean, I love BBQ, and I love Mexican, but combining the two? It worried me. I quickly discovered there was nothing to worry about when I bit into my tacocue burrito, loaded with pulled pork, guac, pico de gallo, and all the other typical burrito fixings (all of which are made from scratch at tacocue!). The tacocue pulled pork was soft and succulent, and the combination of flavors was delightful. When I followed my tacocue visit by a visit to Qdoba the following day, I wished I had gone back to tacocue!

The four menu items include the Taco Duo (two tacos), Bowl (Salad or Rice), Burrito, and Quesadilla. The eight different meats (Pulled Pork, Smoked Chicken, Hot Link, Chorizo, Hamlet Ham (because they’re co-located with the Hamlet for now), Brisket, Steak and Breakfast Bacon) are seasoned and smoked using pecan wood.

Upon selecting their menu item and smoked meat choice, guests can then choose from over 20 ingredient options to fill their item with, including three salsas – the spiciest of which is tacocue’s “KA-BOOM Sauce.” I tried the tiniest of bite of KA-BOOM Sauce, and let me tell you, it is not for the faint of heart! Only try this sauce if you’re ready to have chapped lips for the next couple days. I had the salsa verde (their medium sauce) on my burrito, and it was plenty spicy, but not overwhelming. And of course, there’s also mild sauce for the cautious.

I took the Taco Duo home to my husband. They were filled with smoked chicken and pulled pork, with a number of fixings, including cojita cheese, which I’ve never seen at any of the other taco joints. He commented on how flavorful they were and begged me to go back.

tacocue is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Their breakfast menu offers tacos, burritos, bowls, and quesadillas served with Pulled Pork, Hot Link, Chorizo, Hamlet Ham, Brisket, and Breakfast Bacon served alongside eggs.

I was most impressed by tacocue’s beautiful patio room (below). It can be opened up to the outdoors when the weather is nice and includes plenty of heat lamps if it’s a bit chilly. With a couple of TVs, it looks like a great place to watch a game. The main dining room is filled with fun pop art decor, created by Jeff’s wife, who is a graphic artist.

Affordable, tasty, and unique, tacocue is a welcome addition to the Tulsa fast casual dining scene!

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Yummy Places

Maxxwells Restaurant Serves Up Delicious Eats Inside Campbell Hotel

maxxwellsIf you’re looking for consistently delicious food at a reasonable price in a classy setting, pay a visit to Maxxwells Restaurant inside the historic Campbell Hotel at 2626 E. 11th st. in Tulsa. I love the charm that both this hotel and the restaurant hold. Situated right along Route 66, the restaurant fittingly features black and white photos from Tulsa’s past and booths and a bar that will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

IMG_4787When my husband and I recently visited Maxxwells for lunch, we were pleased to find that it wasn’t very crowded, making it the perfect spot for a little date in the middle of our work day. He ordered the Buffalo Chicken Wrap ($11) — grilled chicken tossed in buffalo sauce, lettuce, celery, and blue cheese in a flour tortilla, with a side of sweet potato tots. He said the wrap was a little spicy, and the celery gave it a nice crunch.

The real star of his dish was the sweet potato tots. He had tried those before and had discovered that they are basically golden nuggets of goodness. I tried a couple and was truly impressed. They were better than sweet potato fries and better than regular tots – the best of both worlds combined!

I went for a lunch menu item — the half sandwich and soup ($7). I opted for the Open Face Turkey Melt — IMG_4788bacon, tomato, lettuce, Swiss and chipotle aioli on toasted wheat bread with a cup of Tomato Basil soup. The sandwich was delicious! The chipotle aioli definitely made this sandwich. My soup was served very hot and flavorful.

Other menu items that we have our eyes on for future visits include the Smokey Mac n’ Cheese — tossed smoked sausage and diced chicken breast, their Chicken Fried Steak and Chicken Fried Chicken, and the Spinach Salad Hot Bacon Vinaigrette. Oh, and I didn’t even mention that they have a complete breakfast menu and serve breakfast all day long.

IMG_4789We decided to indulge in dessert and ordered a slice of House Made Cheesecake ($5). It was served with fresh strawberries and whipped cream and was simply divine.

Maxxwells is open 7 days a week, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s most certainly a Tulsa destination worth checking out!

Yummy Places

Amazing Italian Food … Surprising Location (near Tulsa)

Luigi's SkiatookA friend of mine recently posted a photo on Instagram of a huge plate of pasta that made me want to drive immediately to the location she tagged … Luigi’s Italian Restaurant in Skiatook. That’s right… Skiatook, Oklahoma — a short 30 minute drive from Tulsa. With the implementation of much self-control, I was able to abstain from driving immediately to Skiatook, and instead planned out a date night for my husband and I a few days after spotting the  slobber-inducing photo.

Upon arriving at Luigi’s (104 W. Rogers Blvd in Skiatook), we were immediately impressed at how classy, clean, and spacious the restaurant is. This is no hole-in-the-wall Italian eatery. Our server greeted us and asked if we would like the candle on our table lighted. Romance and “mood lighting” in Skiatook? We were a bit taken aback, but of course we welcomed the lighting of the candle, along with a basket full of garlic butter-smothered rolls and olive oil dipping sauce.

Let’s be real for a moment. In my opinion, Italian restaurants typically don’t have that great of a pre-meal. You usually get some sort of crusty loaf and buttery dip. But pre-meals are one of the most important parts of any restaurant experience. (If you don’t agree, just think about why people go to Red Lobster and Texas Roadhouse). Luigi’s totally surpassed our expectations in the pre-meal area. These rolls were incredibly warm, flavorful, and the sauce was delicious. Neither of us could think of another Italian restaurant that serves better bread, actually.

photo 4(1)On to the meal. My husband ordered a dish called Chicken Champagne.photo 3(1) Yes, as you can imagine from the name, this is a chicken and penne pasta dish cooked in champagne. He enjoyed every last bite of it, along with a glass of Chardonnay to complement the chicken.

I tried something called the Pasta Sampler. It included portions of Luigi’s manicotti, ravioli, and lasagna. It was a great way to try three of their most popular pastas. Their homemade marinara sauce was delectable, and I was totally satisfied with all three pastas. I enjoyed a glass of sweet Moscato along with these classic Italian dishes.

Everything about our experience at Luigi’s was fantastic. My only regret is that we didn’t save room for dessert! I’m sure we will be back very soon! It is definitely worth the drive, and a great addition to downtown for our neighbors to the north!

Luigi's Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Yummy Places

Hodges Bend: It’s Coffee, It’s Alcohol…It’s Perfect!

photo 1When I think of the perfect place in Tulsa to go for a relaxing drink with friends or the sexy man who is my husband, I think of Hodges Bend. This classy, 1940’s-esque coffee shop/bar will steal your heart with its old-fashioned ambiance (complete with bartenders wearing vests and bow ties) and warm your belly with its creative libations and caffeinated beverages. You will truly feel as though you’re stepping back in time when you enter Hodges Bend, due to the nostalgic decor and also the selection of classic music.

This downtown drink stop is located in the eastern-most corner of downtown Tulsa that is slowly being revived. Hodges Bend, at 823 E 3rd St., prides itself on a unique menu, with cocktails like the Wake Up Call (espresso, rye, triple sec, maple syrup, chocolate bitters), the Tobacco Old Fashioned (rum, tobacco bitters, orange peel), and the Moscow Muller (vodka, Muller thurgau, ginger). I selected the refreshingly strong Prescription Julep, featuring mint, cognac, rye and rum.
This drink is surprising in that it seems to never end. Because it features quite a bit of ice to offset the strength of the cognac and rum, I enjoyed “second drink” (as Pam from The Office dubbed it) for quite a long time.

My husband tried the Malasanna, a blend of red wine, sherry, luxadro and lemon. It was truly unlike any cocktail either of us had ever tasted, combining the
richness of red wine and sherry with the zing of citrus.

Hodges Bend also features a wide variety of wines, beers and ciders.

But Hodges Bend isn’t just a spot for Happy Hour or a late-night drink. It’s a perfect place to grab your morning brew or schedule an a.m. meeting with a colleague. With a delightfully huge espresso machine, Hodges Bend can brew whatever your caffeine-seeking palate is craving. Check out their coffee selection
here
. Food-wise, they offer a selection of pastries and treats, as well as a cheese plate.

If a single word could sum up an experience at Hodges Bend, it would be “comfort.” Some bars make some people feel uncomfortable, but at Hodges Bend, they’ve managed to blend the serenity of a coffee shop with the class of an old-fashioned bar. It is undoubtedly a much-needed addition to the downtown Tulsa scene.

Hodges Bend on Urbanspoon