Correction: The original article incorrectly stated keto-friendly buns will be used with the Impossible burger when it is added to the menu.
Review by Scott Cherry Photos by John Clanton
After an afternoon of baseball and lacrosse in stifling heat — and they call these fall sports seasons — we headed for a place to cool off and grab a bite.
We found the perfect spot just down the street from a Broken Arrow sports complex. It was the newest location for Smitty’s Garage Burgers & Beer, set just off the BA Expressway at Lynn Lane.
Let’s be clear. I was not the one playing baseball or lacrosse; that was grandsons Ryson and Cash. I was, however, the one who looked as though he just left the field of play and was badly in need of a Moscow Mule or cold brew.
Though Smitty’s Garage has plenty of burgers and beer, it also has enough variety to provide attractive options for most diners. It’s modestly priced, for the most part. The Big G, a double-patty cheeseburger, is the most expensive item at $8.99. Sides, however, are extra, and a burger or taco with a side can run close to $10.
The boys were fine with their corndog ($4.99) and cheeseburger ($5.98). The entrees (also hot dog and grilled cheese) for the 12-and-under set come with a choice of Cheez-Its or fries, a drink and a Bomb Pop. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize until we left that the Bomb Pops never showed.
On the adult side, we tried two of the burgers, The Egg-O-Nater ($6.99) and the grilled jalapeno bacon cheeser ($6.99), and both proved to be good choices.
The Egg-O-Nater was filled with mayo, lettuce, tomato, bacon, fried egg and American cheese, a tasty combination. Even tastier was the jalapeno bacon cheeser that included lettuce, tomato, onion, grilled jalapenos, bacon, American cheese and garlic aioli. The jalapenos played well with the aioli and gave the burger a little zing.
All of the beef burgers (except for The Big G) are one-third pound and cooked well done. I couldn’t say they were very juicy, but they were passable for a thin ground beef patty cooked that long. Diners also may choose turkey, bison, grilled chicken or a garlic quinoa vegan patty.
Area partner Erin Kistler said the plant-based Impossible burgers are coming soon.
“People might want to know that we will be cooking those on a separate grill,” she said.
A taco salad ($7.99) was a nice summer selection that included chopped lettuce, cheddar cheese, tortilla strips, pico de gallo, avocado and choice of beef, turkey or grilled chicken and choice of dressing. We selected chicken and ranch, and the dish was large enough to take home a little for the next day’s lunch.
Among other items we tried were the guacamole and salsa with chips ($5.49). The guac had bits of tomato, onion and cilantro, and the salsa was just a tiny bit spicy.
Better were the garlic Parmesan truffle fries ($3.49) with garlic aioli dipping sauce. The fries were not particularly garlicky and had a nice, mellow flavor. Onion rings with a ranch dipping sauce were pedestrian.
Co-worker James D. Watts Jr. reviewed Smitty’s Garage when it first came to Tulsa, and he thought the banh mi tacos ($7.49) were the best item on his visit. In his words: “Crisp fillets of cod in a sturdy but light batter came topped with a garlic aioli (there it is again) and slaw dressed in sriracha, which with the diced raw jalapenos made for a well-balanced, crunchy, creamy, spicy bite.”
Smitty’s has full bar service, with libations attractively priced. The 17 beers are $2 to $8.50 but mostly about $5, and craft cocktails are about $6, give or take $1. Wines are box wines from Big House, Black Box and Bota but are only $4 a glass.
When entering the building, customers get in line, order, pay at a counter, get a sign with a number, then food is brought to the table by friendly servers. A separate sign signals bar service is needed.
The dining room has something of a man cave garage look with lots of televisions, beer signs, a pinball game, skis, road signs (Colorado in our area), “Batman” and “Star Wars” figures and a Beatles poster from “Help.” Hanging from the ceiling we noticed a bicycle, basketball goal and Goodyear blimp balloon.
“This layout with the central bar is our newer look,” Kistler said. “Of course, it’s a little different if we go into an existing building, but this is the look we have with the new buildings.”
Smitty’s Garage, which launched in Norman eight years ago as part of the Hal Smith Restaurant Group (Louie’s, Pub W, Charleston’s, Neighborhood JA.M., Mahogany, Red Rock Canyon), has other Tulsa-area locations at 7104 S. Sheridan Road, 9718 Riverside Parkway and 13303 E. 96th St. North, Owasso.
Kistler, who started out as a bartender with the Hal Smith group and worked her way up, said no plans are in the works for another Smitty’s Garage in this area for the moment.
“We always are looking for the right opportunities, so we’re not ruling out more locations,” she said.
The Smitty’s Garage in BA can be a little tough to spot from the main road, Lynn Lane (aka 177th East Avenue and Ninth Street), but it sits right next to a Sprouts store.