REVIEW: Brunch at SMOKE on Cherry Street
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Owner Mitch Dees said the Sunday brunch numbers were moderate but nothing special the first nine months SMOKE on Cherry Street was open.
“We started it as just a reason to be open on Sunday, then it just blew up on us,” Dees said.
The blow-up came a little more than a year ago, and Dees said the crowds have been getting consistently larger since.
“The wait times on Sunday were getting so long that we decided to expand it to Saturdays, too,” Dees said. “The most surprising percentage of growth of the business has been the brunches.”
The brunches are served 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, and we recently rolled in a little after 2 on a Sunday afternoon.
I wish we had arrived earlier because the kitchen was out of my first choice, chicken-fried Kurobuta pork loin. Instead, I went for the biscuits and gravy with eggs and ranch potatoes ($8). We also had the wood-grilled petite tenderloin and eggs ($12).
The tall and thick biscuits were prepared cake-style and cut in squares from a pan. A little sausage gravy was ladled over the top of the two biscuits. The gravy was gone in a few bites, and I was left with a lot of biscuit and no butter or gravy to go with it.
My wife received a little bowl of gravy to go with her slice of biscuit that came with her steak. I robbed from it, but it still wasn’t enough to last through the biscuits, which had a pleasing, sweet edge to them.
If I had not been working, I probably would have asked our efficient server, Erin, to bring more gravy.
The steak was cooked medium-rare, as ordered, and was tender and flavorful. The chunky ranch potatoes were seasoned with black pepper and, I think, a little chili powder or something spicy.
Both of our plates came with two eggs. Both were ordered over-medium, and both could have stayed on the heat a touch longer because the whites were still soft and runny.
In addition to the entrees, I also ordered a side of house-cured bacon ($4). The four thick-cut pieces of bacon with just the right amount of fat running through them were delicious.
Other popular items on the menu are bread pudding French toast, corned beef hash and chicken-fried bacon (yes, chicken-fried bacon) and waffles.
Executive chef Erik Reynolds said the latter dish is his take on chicken and waffles.
He also pointed out the restaurant makes almost everything from scratch, including sausage for the gravy and corned beef.
Lunch selections, including such items as pulled pork sandwich, Black Angus burger, lamb sliders and Scottish salmon fish and chips, are available 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Some diners also like to take advantage of the mimosas ($2 glass, $4 carafe) and $4 bloody marys.
The bar area and dining room have sturdy looks with a lot of dark woods and brick. SMOKE also has a glass-walled cigar room where smokers may dine or just take a break.
The walls of the main dining area were decorated with watercolors of Tulsa scenes by Tommy Lee Ball.
Find more of Scott Cherry's restaurant reviews in Thursday's Weekend magazine or online at tulsaworld.com/cherrypicks.
SMOKE ON CHERRY STREET
1542 E. 15th St.
11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday (brunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday); accepts all major credit cards.
Beef medallions with wild mushroom risotto served at the SMOKE on Cherry Street in Tulsa. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World