Exciting Pasta Dishes at Hey Mambo Downtown Tulsa

By on November 11, 2010

Walk into Hey Mambo, Tulsa’s newest Italian restaurant, through the unassuming entrance, past the bar whose wood-paneled wine racks rise to the top of what must surely be a 25 foot ceiling, and into the splashy ultramodern decor of the dining area, and you’ll see a big poster of busty young women harvesting rice. It’s taken from an early Italian neorealist film called “Bitter Rice”. Its director, Giuseppe de Santis, was a committed Socialist, and he probably would have frowned on the decor as too upscale, but other Italian directors of that period would have loved it. It’s the sort of place you might find in an early Fellini or Antonioni film, the kind that features rich and impossibly jaded young dilettantes cruising around town, posing in sleek modern settings, and living a rich Roman life.

If you’re a regular reader — and if you’re not, there’s truly something missing in your life — you’ll have seen Joe Price’s review of Hey Mambo’s wonderful pizza. And just a week or two ago the Tulsa World featured a review of the place’s appetizers and entrees. But there’s a gap here. What’s an Italian place without pasta? And indeed Hey Mambo has some exciting pasta dishes on the menu, all priced at $9 (except for one at $10), and all the reviewers had ignored them. So my friends and I went last night and ordered a pasta each. Let’s start with mine.

“Moroccan style calamari in a rich red wine sauce served over fettucini noodles” said the menu. It looked so lovely! And it would have tasted even lovelier except for one overpowering spice (nutmeg, I think), which took center stage like some obnoxious diva and drowned all the other flavors out. Leave out that spice and it would have been incredible. Lots of rich red sauce, and a generous helping of squid.

The next stop on our pasta tour was this:

Gnocchi alla Sugo , “fresh gnocchi with a caramelized wild mushroom sugo”. I’m not sure you can call the mushrooms wild, I’m not sure you can call that broth a sugo (it might have been long-simmered but I barely got to taste the broth because my friend ate it) but the mushrooms tasted fine, and the soft, pillowy gnocchi were just what you’d want gnocchi to be. Think it can’t be better? Check out this:

Bright, gleaming Spaghetti Carbonara. Now back when I was a kid and we spent summers in Naples, I was in love with pasta. I’d order it for dessert, having already had it as an appetizer, or I’d order it for a late-night snack in a dingy trattoria in a side street not far from the water. My favorite was Spaghetti Carbonara. And this creamy salty version was yummy indeed. Perhaps not authentic, as-served-on-the-streets-of-Naples authentic, but I really didn’t care. I wish I’d ordered it. But I managed to snag a nice portion. And still had room for dessert.

A nice slice ($4) of moist gooey raspberry chocolate cake. And so on out into the steamy Roman (or chilly Tulsan) night. Too bad Enrico Caruso didn’t stop here on the way to the Brady. Instead of singing and catching cold, he’d have stayed here and lived forever.

Hey Mambo Tulsa
114 N. Boston Av
508-7000
Menu: http://www.heymambo.com/
Lunch 11 AM to 2 PM Mon – Fri
Dinner 5 PM to 10 PM Mon -Sat (pizza served till 2 AM Fri -Sat)

Joe Price’s pizza review: http://tulsafood.com/tulsa-pizza-types-of-food-tulsa/hey-mambo-italiano-tulsa

Hey Mambo on Urbanspoon

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.

31 Comments

  1. Joey Mechelle

    November 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Your reviews are delightful, Brian.

  2. Heather

    November 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Cant wait to try this place – just need an excise to go downtown – Really wanna try the Carbonara – looks delightful –

    Brian – Ive been dying to ask you – since Ive read your profile and see that you spent several years in New Haven – Have you found a pizza in Oklahoma that tastes anything at all like pizza from back east (CT specifically) I was born and raised in Ct (displaced here to OK 13 years ago) and have yet to find an authentic GREEK pizza place – Now Uncle Vinnys is awesome – Love him and his place – but that is NY/Italian pizza – I am looking for a great GREEK style pizza

  3. Alecia

    November 11, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Great food and great service! I’ve been twice, first time I had the spaghetti con popletta and the second time the pescatora, both were wonderful! Highly recommend Hey Mambo

  4. Michael Butler

    November 11, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve heard a lot of great stuff about this place-I really can’t wait to check it out for myself-the picts look fab!

  5. Riggo

    November 14, 2010 at 5:39 pm

    Obviously way over-sauced pasta (the red sauce and the carbonara). This is the classic amateur mistake made by Americans when saucing pasta. Open a cookbook for God’s sake.

    http://www.seriouseats.com/2007/10/mario-batali-video-how-to-sauce-pasta.html

    http://www.delallo.com/articles/sauce-and-serve-pasta

    You can tell by looking at that Carbonara it’s not right. As it happens, I had it and it was your classic overkill. It’s not hard to find out that authentic Pasta Carbonara doesn’t even have cream in it. Of course, not everything has to be authentic, but it should at least be good.

    I appreciate the Tulsa Food Blog and your enthusiasm for local food, but if we don’t raise our standards, we’ll never have many great restaurants.

    • Brian Schwartz

      November 14, 2010 at 10:14 pm

      You’re right about the amount of sauce and you’re right about the Carbonara. That’s why I said it wasn’t authentic. Authentic Carbonara has no cream or peas, and after they mix the sauce with the pasta and turn off the heat, they throw a raw egg in and the egg is cooked by the heat of the noodles. But I still enjoyed the Carbonara here.

      • David James

        November 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm

        So, it is not Carbonara and you liked it! Are you not missing the whole point of criticism? “The practice of analyzing, classifying, interpreting, or evaluating literary or other artistic works.” We agree that food preparation is an art. So, the statement that you enjoyed it is not criticism. It is not helpful, neither to the reader and most importantly to Hey Mambo. To encourage haphazard preparation of a classic dish is a disservice to both.

        • Brian Schwartz

          November 21, 2010 at 10:45 am

          Just eat it and enjoy. To quote the Toni Morrison line I used in another review (Wanda J’s) in the exact opposite context, “This ain’t New York; choices are limited.”

        • Laura

          April 23, 2011 at 5:45 pm

          Relax buddy. I want to know if the food is good or not. Not if its “authentic”.

  6. David James

    November 21, 2010 at 5:16 pm

    Aw Ma, do I have to?

    Mr. Schwartz, Mr. Riggo is correct: “…if we don’t raise our standards, we’ll never have many great restaurants.”

  7. Pingback: Gas Oven Double - Conveyor Pizza Oven Demo

  8. Thomas

    December 7, 2010 at 2:02 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with Riggo and Mr. James. That’s the whole problem with a majority of Tulsa restaurants. The, “it’s good for Tulsa” mentality is such a joke and does such a disservice to the few really great restaurants here.

    I visited Hey Mambo a few weeks ago and was happy that I wasn’t paying. The service was average, the decor was from IKEA (that means cheap), and the food was average to below average. These bars and restaurants wonder why people don’t visit their establishments downtown. I know why. Because the food and service is terrible. And the prices are the same or more as the ones you can find down the street from your house in the suburbs.

    I read a lot of reviews of Tulsa restaurants and I am always amazed at how generous the reviewers are. Especially after I check out the restaurant and get a dose of reality. And maybe a lot of the reviewers have never been outside of Tulsa to enjoy a great meal and that’s fine. But we’ve got to come to some sort of standard to review these restaurants. I’ve been lucky enough to dine around the world and I can tell you that many Tulsa restaurants would flat out be out of business if they were somewhere else.

  9. Scott

    December 8, 2010 at 8:10 pm

    I’ll chime in my agreement about folks who know about good food being too willing to settle for food that does not measure up, in the name of it being “Good for Tulsa.” Giving places a break from criticism is not the way to support the restaurants here who DO offer something extraordinary (there are not many but there are a few here). I read Cherry’s reviews in the TW, but don’t trust them because he never gives anyone a bad review. Why not tell it like it is?

    As far as Hey Mambo, I probably won’t go. People bash Olive Garden and Zios for being cafeteria food, and an Americanized interpretation of Italian food. How is what Hey Mambo doing any different? It’s not (except I bet they don’t have the streamlined service a large chain has).

    The only thing I can figure is the majority of Tulsan’s don’t know good food. A quick tour of Urban Spoon or Yelp indicate this. Example comments: McNellies having the “Best hamburger ever,” or In the Raw having the “Best sushi I have ever eaten.” Really? I like ITR occasionally, and it’s above average for sushi in Tulsa (there are a few that are better here). But if you’ve had sushi in other parts of the country, it’s pretty clear that ITR is comparatively only average. I suppose I thought Lanna Thai was excellent and great authentic stuff, until I went to Thailand and learned that real Thai food makes the stuff at Lanna out to be what it really is: Americanized knock-off Thai food that’s been neutered of the best flavors. I fear there are too many people in Tulsa who either have uneducated palates, simply don’t care that foods aren’t remotely authentic, who are afraid/unwilling to give a poor review…the thriving fast food and explosive growth of generic chains here seems to support that notion. People with educated palates would be better served being more openly critical of places who are not up to par with places we’ve dined in other parts of the country.

    • Brian Schwartz

      December 9, 2010 at 1:31 pm

      About the Yelp reviews… people use “best ever” loosely, nowadays it just means “I really liked it!!” And the “best sushi I have ever eaten” reviewer was just being honest, if you told him you’d had the $350 sushi at Masa in NYC (which I haven’t) and it was unbelievably better, he wouldn’t be surprised. I ate in Lanna a few months after it opened, I went to the owner and told him I had spent time in Thailand and eaten many times at NYC’s most authentic Thai place; he had a word with the cook and I had a truly excellent meal.

  10. Brian Schwartz

    December 9, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    When all is said and done, I liked Hey Mambo. I loved the carbonara, and I would have loved the Moroccan calamari if they had omitted the spice I didn’t like and added a bit more tomato punch. I respect them for trying to add their own spin to classic dishes though I recognize they are not “authentic”. If it were suddenly moved to a corresponding neighborhood in NYC, say Rivington and Orchard in the center of the Lower East Side trendy bars neighborhood — with the same spacious layout, same decor, same food and of course the same $9 prices — it would be packed with a line outside the door.

    I’ve never tried the pizza but what if I did and what if it wasn’t that great and what if I wrote “An Italian friend once took me to a pizzeria in a tiny village outside Naples that was known to the cognoscenti for having the best pizza in Italy and compared to that pizza Hey Mambo’s was garbage”? Whom would that help? If you were coach of a high school baseball team, would you yell at the kids each day, “I’ve seen movies of Joe DiMaggio playing in the 1940s and compared to Joe, you guys are losers!!!”?

  11. David James

    December 12, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Mr. Schwartz. You do not have to be Mr DiMaggio to make Carbonara!

    Here are my thoughts on Hey Mambo.

    Richard Wagners Der Rosenklavier belts out major decibels during some movements. Ten happy diners in Hey Mambo approached the decibels of a full orchestra due to the hard wall design of the restaurant. The difference was that one was sonorous and the other a cacophony. Hey Mambo, like so many Tulsa restaurants seem to equate cacophony with dining. We tried Hey Mambo after the Symphony and fortunately the revelers left shortly after our arrival so that our conversation moved from nose to nose shouting to actual conversation over the appetizers we had ordered by pointing.

    You certainly sense where I am headed, but let me begin by quoting Brillat-Savarin, who in The Psychology of Taste, defines the word thus: Taste, which enables us to distinguish all that has a flavor from that which is insipid. The crucial element in a restauranteurs profession is that simple element: What is served must have flavor otherwise it is insipid.

    Unfortunately, Hey Mambo has not mastered the techniques necessary to offer food with flavor.

    We were excited to read the menu. It has many interesting possibilities that one does not see on Tulsa Menus. The descriptions of the items heightened our anticipation of food with flavor. So, we started with the Medjoul dates filled with goat cheese, wrapped in prosciuto and served with honey. Simple but bursting with potential flavor. The technique killed the flavor. They seriously overcooked the dates. Overcooking turns a sweet, meaty date into tasteless mush and worse, it turned potentially flavorful prosciuto into a hard, tasteless noose around the innocent and ravaged date. The goat cheese was lost in the devastation.

    With our excitement somewhat diminished, the salad course arrived. One diner had Inslata Mista and I had Inslata Caprice. Giving credit where it is due, the Mista wedge was fresh, crisp and properly chilled. Unfortunately I have to cease crediting at that. The Giordano dressing (whatever that is) whose flavor was to be heightened with a soffritto (a mixture of seasonings and vegies) flopped. It was truly insipid. I am not suggesting that dressings need to be laced with an aged Stilton, or a Limburger to gain flavor but it does demand ingredients that impart flavor. The Caprice also failed. Although Mozzarella can be very flavorful, especially if it is made from whole milk (quite easy as a fact) this Ovoline (egg shaped) Mozzarella seemed to be the tasteless stuff sold at Reasors. The Roma Tomatoes, hard and flavorless, failed the taste test leaving only the tomato infused oil to carry the day. It also did not work. They must have been out of such oil as the dressing was a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, not even a good reduction.

    By now our hopes rested on the Lamb shank and the Carbonara. The Carbonara. First, the linguini was not al dente. It was not mushy but a couple of minutes longer in the pan and it would have arrived at that stage. Next, the pasta was drowning in the sauce. Even if you like a sauce, for it to flood the plate detracts from the ability to marry the pasta with the sauce as it is eaten. Last, and certainly least, the sauce. Strange leaps to my mind. I assumed the “salt pork” would be Panchetta or possibly Guanchiale but no, I truly believe they used salt pork, the kind your grandmother put in her green beans. Possibly the strange flavor came form the mambo pesto. Pesto can take many forms and I do not know what is the mambo pasto, but it did not work with this sauce. It converted what is supposed to be egg yolks lightly tossed in hot pasta so as not to scramble, moistened with cream or the cooking liquid then flavored with generous portions of Panchetta or Prosciuto and sprinkled with Parmesan, into a soupy yellow sauce in which you could not distinguish a flavor other than “strange.” Did the lamb shank live up to its succulent description? No! It also was insipid. It had been cooked in the pot so long with excessive moisture that you could not even discern that it was lamb. I suspect that a major contribution to its lack of flavor is that the chef failed to sear the shank sufficiently to enhance the flavor of the meat. That combined with excessive moisture and cooking, without much seasoning, robbed an otherwise fine piece of meat of its flavor.

    We did order wine. A Malbec from the Mendoza region in Argentina was pleasant and was certainly an acceptable Malbec. At $32 a bottle, it is about 4 times the price you can purchase it at our liquor stores. I cannot overly fault Hey Mambo for the offensive overcharging for a wine that the server only has to unscrew and pour. This is rampant in Tulsa. Generally I have found this overcharging is by a restaurant with mediocre food that is unable to make a profit and therefore resorts to the offensive practice of overcharging for a product that is easy to store and serve, is without wastage and does not deteriorate. There are restaurants that do not engage in this practice. Lucky’s and Wild Fork come to mind. They are are two quality restaurants that do understand the definition of taste and believe moderate wine prices enhance the pleasure of a meal.

    My companion says I am being harsh. It probably was a bad night she says. An artist cannot always turn out a masterpiece. I hope she is right. We will try again. I would be pleased to be proven wrong.

    • Brian Schwartz

      December 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      I think you should write restaurant reviews. I once wrote an essay on how to reconcile differences of tastes between two reviewers. I called it “The elusive qualia of taste — metaphysics and aesthetics in food comparisons”, and you can read it here:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/302738
      I’m not sure it applies here. Still, you can’t help but applaud the creativity (or audacity) of a chef who puts a sofrito in a salad, or salt pork in pesto in carbonara. In fact now I really want to try the Carbonara, see if it’s as bad as all that. (I won’t try the lamb shank though, which until now I wanted to.) By the way, in New York at least, top restaurants DO charge a 200% markup on wine, that’s how they make their profit. Thanks for taking the time to write this.

  12. Brian Schwartz

    December 30, 2010 at 11:13 am

    The Tulsa World just put Hey Mambo on their list of 10 Best
    New Restaurants. It came in at number 6.
    http://www.tulsaworld.com/scene/article.aspx?subjectID=370&articleID=20101230_455_WK12_CUTLIN393974

  13. Pingback: The Summit Restaurant of Downtown Tulsa Fine Dining Oklahoma | Tulsa Food

  14. Matthew

    January 1, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    I’m sorry but some of these comments are ridiculous. Should
    Oklahomans be the subject of ridicule because they state the best
    sushi they have ever had is at ITR? Should we just disqualify
    anyone that has not traveled to Japan from reviewing sushi? And
    what if someone DOES think that McNellie’s is the best burger they
    have had, who is to say otherwise? It is borderline insulting to
    sit back and say “gee, I only wish that Tulsans had as refined of a
    palate as I.” Look, the fact is that this is Tulsa, Oklahoma. I
    don’t feel that you can compare Italian food in Tulsa to something
    you’d get in Italy or even NYC. In the same vein, could you find a
    better chicken fried steak in NYC than you can find in Tulsa? What
    about fried catfish? What about our great local produce? Perhaps
    instead of wishing Tulsa were more like some other city you should
    appreciate and embrace the foods that make Tulsa and surrounding
    areas so very unique. Just because it may be old hat to you doesn’t
    mean it would be to someone that has never visited here.

    • Scott

      January 2, 2011 at 7:28 pm

      Matthew, you missed the point. No one was ridiculing
      anyone. No one was wishing Tulsa were like some other city. Is it
      wrong to want for restaurants here who could compete on the
      international level? Is it wrong to want for something better than
      what the chains serve to us? Don’t get me wrong, on occasion I
      visit Olive Garden, Ruby Tuesday, etc and I have enjoyed their
      food. However I’ve also experienced foods in other cities and
      countries, and I have learned to appreciate ethnic foods and foods
      prepared to exacting standards. I love authentic Mexican food. Yet
      I also appreciate someone who is able to take the traditional
      approach and modernize it. Rick Bayless’s restaurant Topo in
      Chicago is a great example of a place which took tradition and
      successfully built upon it without losing sight of the tradition. I
      have not been to Hey Mambo, but from reading Mr James’ excellent
      review it appears the chef there tried to be creative but lost
      touch with the basic foundations of Italian cooking. For example,
      as others have written, the sauce compliments the pasta. Now, if we
      don’t have higher expectations of our local restaurants, how can we
      expect to find anything here that can provide the finer dining
      experiences we can get in other cities? Tulsa is a good city, and i
      believe we should expect finer dining here. However if the breadth
      of many people’s dining experiences is limited to thinking that ITR
      has the best sushi available or that McNellies is the best burger
      out there, then Tulsa is less likely to get restaurants which
      provide truly noteworthy fine dining experiences.

      • Brian Schwartz

        January 3, 2011 at 1:04 pm

        Yes, if someone asked me, “Brian, my superbillionaire
        friend has given me a choice of either flying with him to New York
        and eating a meal in the finest restaurant personally prepared by
        his friend, the top chef, and driving with him to Hey Mambo and
        ordering the carbonara, which should I choose?”, guess which I’d
        choose. But I usually don’t get questions like that. Usually I get
        questions like, “I’m going to a play downtown and I’d like a meal
        nearby and I don’t want to spend more than $10, where to go?” Then
        I’d say, “Go to Hey Mambo and get the carbonara, you’ll be
        happy.”

  15. Thomas

    January 5, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    As stated above, I would not recommend Mr. Mambo to anyone. And I completely agree that Matthew is missing the point. Settling for mediocrity is not going to make Tulsa restaurants better. I want every Tulsa restaurant to succeed, but unfortunately as quality and service don’t meet standards and pricing is set to high, Tulsa restaurants will fail. You don’t have to travel around the world to have a good palate, but you also need to have some type of standard when it comes to trying new restaurants. And setting the bar at McDonald’s type quality and service, adds value to no one.

    I happen to think McNellie’s is a pretty darn good local restaurant. In fact, I’ve never had a bad meal there. Their beer prices are astronomical, but because most Tulsans have never been to that type of bar before and there’s really nothing else like it in Tulsa, they continue to pay those prices. And McNellie’s knows this and continues to charge $5 or $6 for a pint. If a McNellie’s wannabe came into town and started offering beer at reasonable prices, McNellie’s might need to change something.

    I think Joe Momma’s has great pizza but possibly some of the worst service in Tulsa. I gave them five tries and they failed miserably every time. I will not be back and I don’t recommend to anyone.

    So my question is, why is it so wrong to ask local restaurants to offer great quality food with great service at a fair price?

    • Brian Schwartz

      January 5, 2011 at 7:49 pm

      The McNellie’s beers are expensive because you are buying expensive beer. Those micro-breweries and Belgian imports are handcrafted. Try the incredibly good Coop IPA from Oklahoma City. It’s only $4 a pint. If you think McNellie’s is better than Hey Mambo, I’ll have to eat at McNellie’s. Obviously Brady Tavern is far better than Hey Mambo, but you won’t find a $9 pasta there.

  16. Matthew

    January 6, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Why is it that you don’t see 5 star internationally renowned restaurants in say, Fort Gibson? What about Muskogee? If it were somehow profitable for the top chefs in the world to come and open restaurants in the city of Tulsa, they would. So this is what I ask: compare Tulsa restaurants to Tulsa restaurants. Don’t compare restaurants in Tulsa to other, LARGER, cities. You’re comparing apples to oranges when you do that. I don’t recall EVER saying something was “good for Tulsa”, because when I go to a restaurant in Tulsa I am comparing it to other restaurants in Tulsa, not some restaurant I’ve been to in New Orleans or somewhere else. It’s simply not fair to compare Hey Mambo to something you’ve had in LA, NYC, hell in some instances even Dallas. Try not to be so unrealistic, and frankly try not to be so pompous. “The only thing I can figure is the majority of Tulsan’s don’t know good food.” Stereotype much? Condescend much? Believe it not, you can go to any city in any part of the country and the “majority” of the people there are NOT dining in five star restaurants (they can’t afford it). Many of them, particularly in the U.S., ARE dining at Chili’s and Applebee’s. It’s not just a Tulsa phenomenon. Does that mean that they also “don’t know good food?”

    That being said, I have not been to Hey Mambo, and after reading some of the comments here I probably won’t. Why, you ask? Because there are much better Italian restaurants here in TULSA, like Dalesandro’s (my favorite restaurant in Tulsa, period) and Ciao (the Chilean sea bass is possibly my favorite dish in Tulsa).

    • Eric

      January 7, 2011 at 10:19 am

      Well said! Have a wonderFULL Friday!

  17. Eric

    January 7, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Condescending and pompous – My exact thoughts. I’ve bitten my tongue until now. Maybe a few of you should open your own restaurants and show everyone else how it’s done! ?

  18. Thomas

    January 7, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Have you ever been to White Owl Pub on Cherry Street? White
    Owl Pub could exist anywhere in the United States. Great
    atmosphere, great food, and great prices. Again, I wonder, why is
    this too much to ask? The bottom line is, although many Oklahomans
    are well cultured, many are not and don’t understand or taste the
    difference between Chili’s and Leon’s(although you could possibly
    say they are similar). And frankly most Oklahomans don’t care.
    Eric, nice comment. Unfortunately my career is not in the
    restaurant industry. If it were my career, I would find it
    necessary to make sure I had a great restaurant period. Not just a
    restaurant that could hold its own in Tulsa. That’s such an excuse
    for a sub par product. Brian, I agree that McNellie’s offers a good
    range of specialty beers from micro breweries. But they also
    offer(and overcharge) for beers that you can find many places
    around Tulsa anymore. I’ve said before, when I pay more for a beer
    in Tulsa, OK than I do in London with the terrible exchange rate,
    we have a problem. The same holds true for Sydney, Australia or
    NYC. These are three of the most expensive cites in the world and
    at times, I have spent more for a like beer at McNellie’s than I
    have in those two cities. In fact, one time I tried a specialty
    bottled beer (12 ounces) at McNellie’s for $5. When I got about
    halfway through it, I realized that the bottle was 11 months past
    its freshness date. Nice. All of that being said, the food is great
    at McNellie’s. I usually just order water. I can choose to get a 20
    oz. Stella draft at Hideaway for $4 or pay $5.50 for a pint at
    McNellie’s. And by the way Matthew, Tulsa is actually bigger than
    New Orleans. It’s actually the 47th largest city in the US. Is it
    still too much to ask for just a simple good restaurant that can
    hold its own against other good restaurants?

  19. Brian Schwartz

    January 10, 2011 at 9:49 pm

    All these comments gave me a craving for the carbonara. I went back tonight. Perhaps not as good as I remembered, certainly not an authentic carbonara (but who cares?), and possibly too much melted cheese in the sauce, but nonetheless rich, creamy and satisfying. They’ve raised the price to $12. It’s worth it.

  20. Michelle

    January 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm

    One goes for the pizza, enough said.
    I WILL try the pasta, and until then, the pizza was fantastic (Deadhead).
    Restaurant reviews of Italian food do not have to be pretentious & all about what is “authentic”. Perhaps I like more sauce than the traditional carbonara? Perhaps I hate the authentic carbonara but love the new twist Hey Mambo brings? Anyhoo, give the pissing contest a rest & relax & go eat some Hey Mambo pizza. & for everyone’s sake, have a BOTTLE of wine! Please!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>