Eat, Drink and Gather at Leon’s

By on October 22, 2010

I always eat before I drink — I learned that the hard way — but I never seem to eat WHERE I drink. Dinner at home and then a night on the town is more my style. But if you want to combine the two, with an emphasis on the liquid part, you might want to consider Leon’s. The interior is pretty much pure drinking establishment, with a nice long bar if you want to meet a lot of new friends, and two floors of smaller rooms if you want to feel cozy with your old ones. (There’s also a separate family-friendly dining room, where children are welcome and in fact eat free on Sunday afternoons.) Lots of big flat-screen TVs tuned to whatever game is on. And the food, when you get around to it, isn’t just an afterthought. The menu is far superior to what you think of as pub food, and almost everything is priced around $10.

It’s about six pages long, the menu, with a platoon of appetizers that seem designed for game-watching: chips with a seven-layer dip, stuffed jalapenos, tamales, corned beef egg rolls. (All around $9, reduced to $5 on weekday afternoons.) There are salads, with steak salad ($11) and chicken tamale salad ($13) alongside more leafy offerings. Then there are sliders, mini-sandwiches of pulled pork or corned beef or chicken, and burgers and pizzas too.

We skipped all that, and skipped the bar, and ate outside. There’s a small patio overlooking Brookside, and it was a fine place to sit and watch the cruising cars on a sunny autumn afternoon. There are a few pasta selections, and we got the Chicken Parmesan ($12).

It’s as good as it looks. Two thin chicken fillets with a crunchy breading and a nice topping of tomatoes and melted cheese comfortably reclining on a bed of wide noodles tossed in herbs and butter. I chose something from my favorite part of the menu, the sandwiches. These beauties, all named after local sports heroes, are over the top. You can get grilled chicken with fried goat cheese, or salmon with gouda cheese and bacon, or house-smoked brisket with BBQ sauce and onion. I got this.

It’s the “Barry Sanders” ($10), their riff on a Philly cheese-steak, with nuggets of juicy skirt steak (how nice to see skirt steak in Tulsa), melted Mozzarella, roasted peppers and onions, all juicy and gooey and melted together. It comes with fries and it makes a fine meal, and I ate every bit, and half the Chicken Parmesan too. I didn’t even feel the need for drinks.

Leon’s
3301 S. Peoria Ave.
Tulsa, OK
(918) 933-5366
www.leonstulsa.com
Open daily from 11 AM to 10 PM (on Fri. and Sat., open to 1 AM)

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About Brian Schwartz:

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society.  www.theomegasociety.com

I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola.

“A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

Brian Schwartz

About Brian Schwartz

Born in NYC, age 0, on my birthday. College in Oxford at age 16. Law School in New Haven, Conn. 6 years travel in Africa and Asia. Haven’t done much lately. Still, I’m the only Tulsa member of the little-known Omega Society. www.theomegasociety.com I speak enough Chinese to order food not on any English menu. Spanish French Italian too (not fluently but food-ently) My favorite restaurant is Jean-Georges in New York. But those NYC chefs would sell their soul to get the produce available from the farms around Inola. “A writer writes alone. His words tumble forth from a magical inner void that is mysterious even to himself, and that no one else can enter.” And yet, the most important thing to me the writer is YOU. Without you to hear them, my words are worth less than silence.

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