A brief 10 minutes from Tulsa on Highway 412, diners and local history buffs alike should find dining at Sand Springs Station and fruitful adventure. This restaurant has an attractive train theme with an original 12-feet tin ceiling, vaulted curves with gold metallic laminate, and an intimate "dining car" room.
The main dining room also has a full-service bar offering a variety of beer, wine and spirits, including fresh fruit mixed drinks.
An almost Eureka Springs vacation within view of Tulsa skyscrapers.
Of the location in which the restaurant resides, "It was the last building built by Charles Page," says Le Cordon Bleu chef Daniel Kachel, a native of the Tulsa area.
Kachel brings his credentials from the famed Western Culinary Institute of Portland, OR. He says it was a family project to renovate the place, with his mother attending to the interior design and he to the culinary aspects.
Kachel is only the second owner of this historic building--the other, philanthropist, Charles Page. Kachel mentions that the Sand Springs Museum gave him photographs taken in 1955 of the last ride aboard the trolley which took Sandites to Tulsa before the buses became the means of transportation.
One evening a friend and I headed west on 412, and just a mere 12 minutes from downtown, we were seated at Sand Springs Station. (Take Adams Road exit, continue straight to Broadway, then turn right.) Our server was quite friendly, attentive just enough to achieve a nice movement of service.
The menu, I found, changes in October, but for the meantime, my friend and I were to enjoy the last few days of the first menu of the restaurant, having only opened in July.
Chef Kachel, who has been in the restaurant business since he was 16, admits one of the main challenges is to find a menu people in the community want; to that end, after surveying his customers, "the menu will now reflect what the people want."
"I wanted to create a menu they can be proud of. It will be a much heavier menu, with seasonal items, and it will have more entrée items," he says.
Comfort food--so good during the fall and winter months--made the cut for the new dinner menu: Meatloaf ($12)(for lunch, a Meatloaf Sandwich $5); Chicken Fried Steak (for lunch, a Chicken Fried Steak Sandwich $5); Spaghetti and Tomatoes ($12; lunch, $5); Chicken Marsala ($10); fresh fish Thursday, Friday and Saturday; Shrimp Etoufee ($12); and an assortment of steaks from KC Strip 10 oz. ($12) to Cowboy Ribeye ($25) to Beef Tenderloin ($21). Autumn vegetables are sides with many entrees.
We began with Sautéed Scallops (which I see is still on the new autumn menu as Seared Scallops, $7). Five savory bite-sized pieces of this meaty seafood were presented nicely on a white dish. These scallops were served with fresh chives and balsamic vinegar, and topped with aged Parmesan cheese.
I chose a Beef Stroganoff for my entrée ($9.99), tender pieces of beef in a creamy stroganoff sauce over noodles. This was delightful with a much lighter sauce as far as stroganoffs go.
A common vegetable medley accompanied this.
My friend had the Lemongrass Pork Chops ($11.99) which did make the cut for the fall menu. These thinly sliced and butterflied chops were Thai seasoned with lemongrass, field mushrooms and scallions.
Yukon potatoes--cut and baked to a light crispness was the side chosen. My friend said the chops were "just good cooking like is made at home." He even commented on the savory mushroom caps which must have been tossed about lightly with the chop.
For dessert we shared the hot Apple Dumpling ($5.49)--very soft apples were in a light pie crust. Cinnamon was a dominant spice. It was very warming on the cool evening. The new dessert menu has expanded with 8 fabulous-sounding selections, all at 45.79.
Kachel says his restaurant is perfect for families--we could imagine that, especially the Sunday buffet, but also for lunch and evenings, and the atmosphere also lends itself to a delightful evening for couples.
With a menu designed to suit the suggestions of the community, Sand Springs Station is soon to have the distinction of a special destination restaurant for not only Sandites but the surrounding communities as well.
Sand Springs Station
28 E. Broadway, Sand Springs
Mon.-Thurs. 11am-2pm, 5-9pm
Fri.-Sat. 11am-2pm, 5-10pm
Sun. 9-11am; 5-9pm
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