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- El Rancho Grande for Over 60 Years
Hair of the…pig?
Recently, after being out with the swine flu, I decided to follow the old adage and seek a cure by finding the hair of the dog that bit me, or in this case pig (admittedly, I should have sought out the gentleman who was next to me on that flight from Dallas to New York that couldn’t stop coughing, but that is probably better suited for a bounty hunter blog than a food one). In desperate need of pork, I called McNellie’s resident pig expert, Brian Fontaine, and told him to line us out a lunch. Fontaine, who runs the Colony and Tiny Lounge, grew up in Appalachia, which seems to give him an other worldly knowledge when it comes to non-bovine meat. Fontaine promptly lined us out a trip down East Archer – Tulsa’s unofficial bar-b-que lane. We drove past Wilson’s and Latimer’s (which was not open anyway), and arrived at the friendly confines of Stutt’s House of Bar-b-que. Fontaine declared Stutt’s as “the place for St. Louis style pork ribs” – reconfirming while I’d called him in the first place.
Stutt’s is not a large place by any means – it seats around 20 people. But just as their website says – http://stuttshouseofbarbeque.com/ – it’s like visiting grandma’s house. The server was friendly and prompt and the food arrived in a timely manner. We each had the lunch deal – a choice of two meats, two sides, a drink, and a piece of buttermilk pie for $8.25. As Fontaine had mentioned, the ribs were quite good. But I was actually more excited by the bologna that I got as a second meat. I’m a bit nostalgic about bar-b-que bologna. As a child, I remember my dad getting Jamil’s carry out on fairly regular basis. My favorite part was always the large tin foil ball of bar-b-que bologna. These early experiences with the beautiful mystery pork that have stayed with me and I still find myself unable to pass it up when I see it on a menu. On a side note, it was also these trips to Jamil’s as a child that taught me one of the true joys of carry out food – arriving before the food is ready so you have time for a drink. My dad used to sit at the desk, which bizarrely sat in the middle of Jamil’s kitchen, and would have a Johnny Walker and soda while we waited on the food. Even though my wife doesn’t seem to understand it, I have stood by the “drink while waiting” as one of the true perks of carryout food… where was I. Oh yes, the bologna. It was great, it had just enough hickory smoke to give it flavor and it served as the perfect transportation device for the copious amounts of Stutt’s hot sauce that I had fallen in love with by that point. In addition to the meats, I also had a side of baked beans and coleslaw, which were delicious. And as is usually the case with bar-b-que, I was provided with Texas toast to soak up any remains.
There were also two unexpected., non meat related delights – one being the buttermilk pie. The pie filling was somewhere in between a good custard and one of the rectangular shaped, cream filled pies you get in the convenience store – which is meant to be a compliment in every way. The sweetness might have been a bit overbearing when eaten alone, but when it’s following up a fairly spicy meat binge, it’s perfect. I also had a homemade lemonade, which rivaled the best from the state fair. Sure, again, it’s a bit on the sweet side, but this is Stutt’s, not Stonehorse, and sometimes it’s the simple things that are best.
And as for the original quest, I’m not entirely sure the meat healed me. But between the ribs and bologna I think I covered as many parts of a pig as one can, so one can only hope that it’s as good as a flu shot.
Stutts House of Barbecue
2021 E Apache St, Tulsa, OK
About Elliot Nelson:
Elliot Nelson is a Tulsa restaurateur responsible for bringing Tulsa four great establishments: McNellies, Dilly Deli, El Guapo and Yokozuna. Elliot has traveled the world to find the best food and cultures to create a unique experience for all of his guests. As a frequent contributor to Tulsa Food, Elliot will bring articles about food and culture from around the world, great beers and wines, and how to incorporate them into your lifestyle. All of Elliot’s Tulsa restaurants are located in the Blue Dome District in Downtown Tulsa, OK. He has also opened a McNellies location in Midtown Oklahoma City, OK and is planning to open a location in Norman, OK this year.
Stay tuned for more articles from Elliot Nelson…For more information or to visit one of Elliot’s restaurants visit the links below: