My challenge to dine out in Tulsa every day of the week, lunch & dinner, for $99. (Part 2- Lunch)

By on August 25, 2015

Project 99: Part 2 (Lunch)

The good news? Upon acceptance of the challenge to dine with independent Tulsa restaurants on a mere $99.00 for both lunch AND dinner on each day of the week, I successfully found seven daily dinner values in T-Town that were flavorful, enjoyable and valuable. The less than good news? I had only $30.50 left to enjoy daily lunches. That’s an average daily cost of $4.35 for seven days of local lunch dining bliss. Further, my choices had to include Asian, BBQ, a great hamburger and a Mexican dish. Though my meal costs did not include drinks or tax, this was a daunting task, even for this savvy shopper. How did I do? Read on.

mr. taco

Monday found me at Mr. Taco, located at 130 N Lewis Ave. Perfect for fall days, this authentic Mexican restaurant has several dishes under $5.00 including the Gordita ($3), Chicken or Beef Taco ($2.), Beef Tamale ($2). Sides of frijoles or rice can be added for $3.00. For Monday’s back-to-work lunch, I chose the Chicken Taco for $2.00.  It was filing enough for time being, but I braced my budget stretching appetite to fire up again in the late afternoon.  So, this meant planning an early dinner.  But, I was off to a good start with $28.40 for the weeks’ remaining midday meals.

la roma
Tuesday lunch meant a stop at La Roma, 6027 S. Sheridan Rd., for one of their “Meat Pies” for $3.25. The most difficult part of this choice is choosing which pie: Meat, Spinach or Curry. I chose the Spinach Pie which left $25.15 for the remaining week of lunches.


Food-Truck Wednesday could not be skipped. While Guthrie’s splash pad hosted late summer fun, I enjoyed healthy and delicious Tabouli, ($5). Made from organic quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, parsley, green onion and lemon juice this was a refreshing choice and a great way to get outside during lunch. Euro Pranzo’s concept of a mobile kitchen that features freshly prepared European-inspired cuisine is deliciously satisfying. Now, with $20.15 left to invest in the rest of the week’s lunches, I went in search of BBQ for Thursday’s lunch challenge.

burn co
A trip to Burn Co., 1738 S Boston Avenue meant that I cut my morning workout short to get in line by 10:30. Still, upon my arrival, the que formed into the street. But only fifteen minutes and $6 later, I had the best brisket sandwich ever! With only $14.15 in my wallet for remaining lunches, it was time to get creative on how to finish this challenge.

When the going gets tough, the tough think things over with great hamburger. I made my way to one of my favorite haunts: Brownies Hamburger Stand, 2130 S Harvard, where burger-craving folks go to get their burger fix. There, a deluxe hamburger with ketchup, mustard, lettuce and tomato is only $2.80, (cheaper than a pound of ground beef mind you!).

So far, I’ve enjoyed great BBQ, authentic Mexican, and a delightful hamburger but still have two days of lunches to find and only $11.35 left to spend.

phat philly
Phat Philly Friday should be a city wide event. It just sounds right! With dimes jingling in my large, empty pocket book, I chose a kid’s size Steak and Cheese Philly with waffle fries, included, for only $5.79. Specular with green peppers and onions (be sure to ask for these to be added to the kid’s meal), the fries dusted with garlic salt made my end of work week lunch time divine. I asked them if they minded this being in the article since it’s on the kids menu and they said “You have no idea how many gals especially order it just like that everyday.  Yeah, it’s cool.”

shephard's pie
Weekends are made for trying new things and so, I took a ride over to Brookside Cook House, inside the newly opened Reasor’s. I had to at least try it out after hearing some props from my friends who live off of Brookside.  Here, Chef Bill Harris has created daily specials that feature interesting side dish options. For only $6, I enjoyed Shepherd’s Pie with seasoned vegetables. Check out their scheduled menu items by visiting

Sure, it put me over budget by .44, but the taste and convenience were well worth it. Still, that was 14 local quality meals, lunch and dinner, for under $100.  This concluded seven days of lunches that feature freshness, value and fun from some of Tulsa’s finest restaurateurs. Take the challenge yourself and visit these extraordinary members of our independent restaurant scene and enjoy great meals at great values. We hope this helps guide you at those times when you want quality while supporting local eateries on a budget!

The Novel Gardener

About The Novel Gardener

"The Novel Gardener", Maurie Traylor, lives, creates, writes, paints, gardens and cooks in Mid-Town Tulsa. Her work has appeared in Oklahoma Gardener, Edible Tulsa Magazine and The Tulsa Literary Review. When not writing or painting, Maurie works with clients in creating meaningful spaces for home and garden. Her inspiration for her creative life stems from her family, namely her grandmother, whose garden and kitchen fed migrant workers and a large family during The Great Depression. Following that example, Maurie begins each day with the question, "What can we create today?"