REVIEW: Oklahoma Joe's opens downtown location
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
11/21/12 at 2:26 PM
Joe Davidson said it felt like “the perfect marriage” when he and Alice and Dr. Jim Rodgers talked about introducing Cain’s Ballroom to Oklahoma Joe’s Bar-B-Cue.
“We have wanted to do something downtown, and the Rodgers, who are friends of ours, have wanted a restaurant presence in Cain’s ever since they remodeled the building,” said Davidson, owner of Oklahoma Joe’s in Broken Arrow.
“When they remodeled they put in a lot of plumbing, anticipating a restaurant in there some day.”
Oklahoma Joe’s is located in Bob’s, the side stage of Cain’s Ballroom, where it can set up 35 two-top galvanized tables with folding chairs to go with a little wall-bench space.
It is open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday and for many of the live-music events at Cain’s Ballroom.
It serves the full Oklahoma Joe’s menu.
“We have to bring in the smoked meats, but we cook everything else in the kitchen here,” Davidson said. “We can cook up to 2,000 pounds of meat a day at the BA smokehouse, so it’s no problem having fresh meats here every day.”
We recently stopped in for a late lunch, and the food we had here was as good, if not better, than what we have had at the Broken Arrow restaurant.
Maybe that seemed the case because I never had the burnt end Z-Man sandwich ($9.99) before.
It was a beauty, filled with chunky burnt ends, smoked provolone and two onion rings on a toasted kaiser bun that had a light grill mark on the top. Burnt ends are salty-sweet pieces of beef that come off the brisket, and these were as tender as any I’ve had.
We also had the pig salad ($7.59), the pulled pork Hard Hat Special ($6.99) with a side of fried okra ($1) and a bowl of white chili ($3.19).
The pig salad included slices of pretty red tomatoes, mixed greens, shredded cheese and a mound of tender pulled pork with a sesame ginger dressing that played nicely off the smokiness of the meat.
The Hard Hat Special, in recognition of all of the construction going on in the Brady District, includes any sandwich with fries and a drink.
Again, the pulled pork was excellent.
The white chili with shredded chicken and Great Northern beans had just a touch of spiciness and promises to be a winter favorite. The okra, full pods fried to a golden brown, was outstanding.
It was Jeremy who suggested the burnt ends sandwich while I obviously was having difficulty choosing something from the menu. Other staffers, including Israel, Pam and Damiyon, were also cheerful and helpfulthroughout our stay.
Diners order at the counter under the neon Oklahoma Joe’s sign that sits on the wall amid many old and memorable concert posters.
No alcoholic beverages are offered during lunch, but we were told beer might be available in the future.
Davidson said concert ticket holders can enter the building for dinner at Oklahoma Joe’s an hour before the performance, “which can be a big deal for a popular concert.” He also said KVOO will offer preconcert meet-and-greet dinners with performers to those who win special radio contests.
“Before long we also will start gospel Sunday brunches with an all-you-can-eat buffet,” Davidson said. “We’ll announce when that will happen.”
Find more of Scott Cherry's reviews in Thursday's Weekend magazine or online at tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks.
OKLAHOMA JOE’S @ CAIN’S
423 N. Main St.
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday, plus many live-music shows; accepts all major credit cards.
The Z-Man Sandwich at Oklahoma Joes Bar-B-Que. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World File
Joe and Page Davidson, owners of Oklahoma Joe's Bar B Que in Bob's Second Stage of the Cain's Ballroom in downtown Tulsa. MICHAEL WYKE/Tulsa World