REVIEW: Flame Broiler comes to midtown
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Dining at the new Flame Broiler doesn’t require making many decisions.
For a meat, one may choose among chicken, Angus ribeye beef or Angus ribs. The meats come with sauteed vegetables and brown or white rice.
That’s what you get if you order it in a bowl ($5.75 to $5.95). If you order the plate ($7.25 to $7.75), you also receive an Asian salad and seasonal fruit.
The final decision comes at the sauce station, where you may dispense “magic” sauce — a thick, dark, slightly sweet soy-based sauce — and a hot sauce.
That’s all there is to it.
We ordered two plates, The Works with white rice ($7.45) and Angus rib with brown rice ($7.75).
The Works included basted chunks of chicken and pieces of marinated ribeye steak mixed with broccoli, carrots, cabbage and green onions over white rice. The ribs were Korean style, bone-in and cut thin, and came with the same mix of veggies over chewy brown rice.
The chicken and ribs both surpassed the steak, in my mind. Despite the thin cut, Korean ribs most often are rather tough, but these were tender and flavorful. The chicken also was tender, but the steak was a little tough and sometimes gristly.
Both plates came with an orange and an Asian salad with cabbage and carrots covered with a tasty sesame dressing.
In addition to the bowls and plates, light eaters also may order a mini bowl for $4.50 to $4.65.
Beverages include a soft drink station, iced tea and bottled water.
David Lee and his wife, Victoria, are the franchisees for this Flame Broiler, which operates 116 restaurants, mostly in California.
The restaurant — the full name is The Flame Broiler The Rice Bowl King — was started in 1995 in Fullerton, Calif., by Young Lee, a graduate in economics from UCLA. As the story goes, Lee found himself on the road and often dining on fast food, and came up with the Flame Broiler idea as a more healthful fast-food option.
The food is made without dairy products, no trans-fat and no MSG. Nothing is fried.
Lee said he and his wife were looking for a restaurant business to start, and their pastor suggested they investigate Flame Broiler.
“We found it had been successful in other places, and we think it will be in Tulsa, too,” Lee said.
The dining room is painted in lively, bright shades of red, lime green, white and black. Lee said furniture is on order for the sidewalk patio.
The restaurant is located in space that formerly held a frozen yogurt shop, east of Yale Avenue on 41st Street, just north of a T.G.I. Friday’s.
The Lees’ children, Gloria, 9, and Matthew, 6, often are around the restaurant after school.
This is the first Flame Broiler in Oklahoma.
Find all of Scott Cherry's restaurant reviews in Thursday's Weekend magazine and online at tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks
5355 E. 41st St.
Service: Order at counter
11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday; accepts MasterCard, Visa.
The Works served at the Flame Broiler. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World