Tulsa’s Top Fall Dishes of 2015

By on November 10, 2015

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well” – Virginia Woolf
Comfort food is an often heard phrase used casually to identify foods that we reach for when we our world is chaotic. The term was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 1997 though some evidence of the term goes back as far as 1966. Interestingly, “comfort foods” have been studied by universities such as Cornell and State University in New York. One study have identified four distinct categories of comfort food: nostalgic foods, indulgence foods, convenience foods and physical comfort foods. So true “comfort food” goes beyond a great recipe and body fuel and extends to the primal needs of nurturance, solace and sharing with others.

With its full schedule of back to school, change of seasons and holiday parties (and holiday expectations), fall is a time when we reach for comfort food. And there’s never been a better selection of great recipes, outstanding presentation and glowing ambiances for sharing Tulsa’s Best Fall Comfort Foods. Here’s our list of not-to-be-missed selections:


SMOKE’s Salmon Chowder a creamy, savory blend of goodness with smoked salmon. Also good bets: Goat’s Cheese Gnocchi made with wild mushrooms, leeks, sweet potato, tomato, kale and smoked tomato cream. For a real delight, try the Chicken Fried Duck Confit, a Chef’s special favorite because it was created with input from guests via social media. Its featured ingredients include butternut squash and sage risotto, Brussels, cabbage and apple sauté, black pepper spiced honey. Innovative collaboration such as this keeps Smoke’s menu updated and relevant. (1542 E 15th Street; 918.949.4440. www.smoketulsa.com)


Don’t miss Juniper’s Lamb Cassoulet beautifully served with seasonal vegetables, its presentation making me cozy just looking at it! Juniper’s newly remodeled interior and focus on French cuisine makes this stop a must for any holiday dining. (324 E 3rd St., 918.794.1090. www.junipertulsa.com)

ikes chili

Next, get your chili-fix on at Ike’s Chili and their Tulsa-tradition 3-Way-Spaghetti and Chili. What better way to warm up and relax on a busy work day? (1503 E 11th St., 918.838.9410, www.ikeschilius.com)


A stop at Tallgrass Prairie for the magnificent Stuffed and Grilled Quail (I enjoyed the entrée for 1, but you can also share with a friend with a larger portion.) Prosciutto de Parma, wild garlic stuffing, mushroom, kale and goat cheese napoleon and a spicy pickled tomato in a sherry demi-glace. Any day could be made better by this delicious dish. (313 E 2nd St., 918.933.4499, www.tallgrasstulsa.com)


Lambrusco’s has the sandwich market cornered with their popular Meatloaf Sandwich which they claim is “better than your Mama’s”. (Don’t tell my mom, but I agree!) Cheddar Cheese, mayo, red onion and grilled to perfection on white bread makes this a sandwich that really satisfied. Their Big Cheese, a fusion of Cheddar, American, Swiss and Provolone melted to perfection between two slices of hearty wheat bread. Why not spice things up and add their famous jalapeno pimento cheese to the mix or add a tomato for that quintessential grilled cheese treat. Remember Lambrusco’s and their talented catering staff for your holiday luncheons! (1344 E 41St, 918.496.1246, www.lambruscoz.com)


For some Caribbean sass, find yourself at Sisserou’s where you can enjoy some of the most hospitable people in Tulsa to serve their signature Oxtail Stew or their Butternut Squash Soup. The soup features butternut squash, leeks and savory herbs, finished beautifully with fresh cream and chives. The Oxtail Stew, a mouthwatering concoction with winter vegetables stewed with oxtail comes from the owners’ mothers’ recipe, a sure sign of comfort food. (107 N Boulder Ave., 918.576.6800, www.sisserousrestauranttulsa.com)


Speaking of family recipes, any comfort food list is complete with a trip to Lassale’s for a Hot Sausage Po’boy which can soothe any day’s worries away.  Created with slow roasted local Black Angus sliced thin and topped with homemade gravy on fresh baked French bread served dressed. While there, top of your meal with a Pumpkin Praline made in house with hand crafted extract. Unbelievably good! (note – It is their Roast Beef Po’boy that is pictured above, and it’s delicious also!) (601 S Boston Ave., 918.582.6652, lassallesneworleansdeli.com).

lone wolf

Of course, Lone Wolf Banh Mi’s Curry Dish, available only during Fall/Winter is a spicy delicious way to find comfort in a lovely bowl of kicky goodness. The food truck that started it all continues to bring great tasting, healthy eating to Tulsa diners. (520 E 3rd St., 918.804.1345, www.lonewolftruck.com).

rub truck

Joel Bien (Rub Truck) and Josh Lynch (Dog House) have recently opened Tulsa’s first food truck park.  “The Park In The Pearl” is open 6 days a week, Tuesday through Sunday and on weekend brunches  The Rub offers this one of kind Smoked Salmon Benny. This dish is a super savory combination of perfectly seasoned and smoked fresh salmon and hot poached egg falling all over an English muffin.



Killkenny’s, the timeless Irish pub on Cherry Street, is one of the most warm and perfect environments to enjoy a hot dish and cold pint this fall and winter in Tulsa. Order the Cornyeal Boxty with a side of Guiness and enjoy corned beef, roasted carrots, potatoes and cabbage stuffed into a grilled potato pancake.

white lion

Find out why White Lion Pub is Tulsa’s most authentic English Pub serving up classic dishes exactly as you find them all over Britain. Betty, the owner, grew up in the UK and will likely be there to welcome you herself.  Fresh fried cod with hot fries and green pea puree make up this Fish & Chips dish that is considered by many to be the best in Tulsa.

dilly diner

The new  Dilly Diner’s menu was developed and implemented by Chef Trevor Tack and includes this delightful Charred Cauliflower. This is not a dish you would expect to find at your local diner and we love it.  Crispy beets, quinoa gremolata, chipotle aioli accompany the grilled cauliflower. This is a vegetarian dish in the Blue Dome that should not me missed.


In conclusion, I suspect that Virginia Woolf is exactly right: great food makes life better. And in Tulsa, there’s lots of good food – and good life – to share in Tulsa independent restaurant scene. The most challenging part will be discovering your fall favorite to share.


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?"