REVIEW: Knotty Pine Barbeque
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Jim Rice said neither his wife, Regan, nor his banker were particularly supportive of his idea to revive Knotty Pine Barbeque in Broken Arrow.
“They didn’t think it was a good idea because there are something like five barbecue places within a mile or so of here,” Rice said. “But I knew it would work. We are located on the busiest street going in and out of Broken Arrow, we’re across the street from Rhema (Bible Church), and we are Knotty Pine.”
“We are Knotty Pine” probably was Rice’s best argument.
The Paul Woodard family founded the long-revered Knotty Pine in the early 1950s at 3301 W. Fifth St. That building was destroyed by fire in August 2010.
“I’ve known the Woodard family for 30 years,” Rice said. “David Woodard (grandson of the founder) was here to guide us through the recipes, and he was here when we opened.”
Rice, who has a franchise agreement to operate Knotty Pine, also has hired several former Knotty Pine employees, including longtime manager Priscilla Hutchinson.
“I went to work for ‘Big Paul’ in 1978, and I’ve just been waiting for another to open since the fire,” Hutchinson said. “I’ve been in the kitchen teaching them how to cook.”
My brother, Randy, a Knotty Pine patron for years, and a friend of ours, Ken, who grew up near the old restaurant, joined us to try out the new version and came to the conclusion Hutchinson has been a good teacher.
Ken remembered the potato salad being a little more chunky at the old place, but the flavor was the same and all else were solid recreations of the originals.
The thick, almost mushy baked beans arrived hot, temperature hot, and stayed that way throughout dinner, just like the original. The tasty and slightly sweet coleslaw was finely chopped, and meat dinners came with a bowl of warm barbecue sauce.
The menu said rib ends ($10.50) are offered when available. They were that night, and my plate arrived with a big mound of the shortest bones cut from the end of the slab. They were firm to the bone and meatier than expected.
An assorted plate ($10.75) included a rib, beef, pork, ham, sausage and bologna. All of the meats were flavorful, and the long, meaty, tender rib was the star.
A pulled pork dinner ($9.75) featured a pile of moist shredded pork and was wonderful dipped in the warm, slightly vinegary barbecue sauce.
In addition to the various meat dinners, Knotty Pine also has sandwiches, salads and baked potatoes. A menu for ages 10 and younger includes a beef, pork, ham or bologna sandwich with fries or potato chips, pickles and a drink for $4.99.
Catering and carryout are available.
Rice is a Harley-Davidson fan and has decorated the walls with Harley items. The room also has a Harley-Davidson jukebox signed with a personal note from Chuck Berry.
“He was the grand marshal in the toy run here about 1988,” Rice said. “We got to know each other pretty well, and he signed that jukebox.”
The jukebox, full of oldies music, is working and free for customers to use.
Knotty Pine is located on 71st Street (Kenosha Street) between 145th (Aspen Avenue) and 161st (Elm Place) east avenues.
Find more of Scott Cherry's restaurant reviews in Thursday's Weekend magazine or online at tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks.
KNOTTY PINE BARBEQUE
1425 W. Kenosha St., Broken Arrow
11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week; accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover.
The assorted plate at Knotty Pine. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World