Dairy Queen: Grill and Chill franchise returns to Tulsa area
BY SCOTT CHERRY World Scene Writer
Thursday, January 24, 2013
3/28/13 at 7:47 AM
Who goes to a popular new restaurant at 7 o'clock on a Friday night?
Well, there was my wife and me, a 6-year-old grandson and approximately half the population of Broken Arrow and south Tulsa who showed up on a chilly Friday night at the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill restaurant.
Although the line to the order counter was long, it moved swiftly and the food arrived in short order. Because every table was occupied, we took our dinners home, which worked out fine.
We stayed pretty basic. We ordered a mushroom Swiss grillburger ($3.79), a chili cheese dog ($2.29), fries ($1.79), fried cheese curds ($3.39), a hot fudge sundae ($2.59) and a Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard ($3.69), in addition to a children's burger with fries and drink ($3.89) and chocolate Dilly Bar ($1.79) for the grandkid.
The quarter-pound mushroom Swiss burger had a good, fresh flavor, and the cheese curds had been lightly breaded and fried perfectly. The chili cheese dog and fries were average.
Of course, DQ really shines in the dessert department, and this night was no exception. The Dilly Bar and sundae were excellent, and because I had no clue what was in the Georgia Mud Fudge Blizzard (I just liked the name), I was pleasantly surprised to find brownie pieces, cocoa fudge and pecan pieces blended with vanilla soft-serve ice cream.
Speaking of soft-serve, I can see some chocolate dip cones in my future here.
Dairy Queen has a fairly lengthy menu with a variety of burgers, wraps, grilled sandwiches, hot dogs and dinner baskets that include chicken strips, popcorn shrimp and quesadillas.
It also has a passel of dessert items, including full ice cream cakes ($21 to $27) that can be purchased for any occasion. Boxes of Dilly Bars and Buster Bars also are available for take-home.
Dairy Queen restaurants used to be common in the Tulsa area but started to disappear in the mid-1980s, according to owners Sandy and Ed Davis, who also own a DQ in Clinton, Mo., and the DQ/Orange Julius stand in Woodland Hills Mall.
Those earlier restaurants usually went by Dairy Queen Brazier, a brand the corporation has been phasing out in favor of Grill & Chill since the 1990s.
Ed Davis said it was franchise territory issues that caused DQ to disappear from the Tulsa area and most of Oklahoma.
"A few were left because some of those individual franchise contracts are really old," Davis said. "Dairy Queen was one of the earliest restaurant franchisers in the country, and a lot of those deals were written on a napkin and sealed with a handshake."
Davis said since his DQ opened late last year, savory food items have accounted for 70 to 75 percent of the sales.
"I expect that to even out with the ice cream desserts when we get toward summer," he said.
Dairy Queen is located in Broken Arrow, but just barely. It sits next to Ted's Cafe Escondido, just east of 129th East Avenue on 71st Street.
DAIRY QUEEN GRILL & CHILL
3120 W. Kenosha St., Broken Arrow
Service: order at counter
(on a scale of 0 to 4 stars)
10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday,
10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday-Saturday,
drive-through open to 11 p.m. all
week; accepts all major credit cards.
Original Print Headline: Tasty return
Scott Cherry 918-581-8463
A half-pound grillburger with cheese is a popular item at the new Dairy Queen Grill & Chill. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
The new Dairy Queen Grill & Chill is located just east of 129th East Avenue on 71st Street. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World
A Candy Shop Blizzard cake was one of several flavors of full ice cream cakes offered recently at Dairy Queen Grill & Chill. MIKE SIMONS / Tulsa World