A surprising and useful fact about dining in Tulsa is that downtown has the highest concentration of restaurants, coffee shops and little eateries unknown to most of the suburban population in the metro are. Soranno's is one of these hidden gems that needs discovery, at least by downtowners.
There are good meals to be discovered!
Knowing the address, 15 E. 5th, on the northwest corner of 5th & Boston in the 1st Place Tower, is crucial. I was lucky enough to park close by, so the walk of a few blocks was enjoyable and exhilarating on this cool day.
Located in the lobby of the 1st Place Tower, upon entering this little corner cafè, the buzz of the lunch crowd, the inviting aroma of Italian food and coffee were all welcoming beginnings. Ordering meals at lunch has a rhythm to it: Sandwich Line #1 Orders are taken at the west side entrance; Pasta Line #2 Orders are taken at the south side entrance. I situated myself on the west side, for I was ordering a few things to go.
Soranno's is small, but plenty of small tables are available for a quick hour's lunch. If dining solo or conversation with companions wanes, there is always the TV in a corner at which to glance.
Italian Sandwiches, Traditional Sandwiches, Soranno's Personal Pizzas, Pastas, Sides, Soups, Appetizers and Salads are the offerings. I selected an assortment of items to go to share with others at the office. I wanted all to be Italian, so I began with selected "The Don" and "The Duke" Italian Sandwiches.
"The Don" has Capicola (thinly sliced Italian meat taken from the shoulder of a pig), Pepperoni, Salami and Mortadella (a smoked Italian sausage made of ground pork and beef, flavored with wine and spices) and then topped with Provolone cheese ($5.49). "The Duke" is Soranno's Homemade Meatballs with zesty marinara and Provolone cheese ($6.59).
I also ordered a Pepperoni Pizza ($5.49) and Spaghetti with Soranno's Meatballs ($6.49). And, I ordered a Grande Cappuccino ($4.15) for my ride back to the office. Another small, and possibly useful fact is that the etymology of "cappuccino"--the word comes from an Italian order of Catholic Capuchin monks, whose hooded robes resemble the drink's cap of foam in shape and color.
The frothed milk from the top of the steaming pitcher is spooned on top to "cap" the cappuccino and retain heat. Proportionally, a cappuccino has one third espresso, one-third steamed milk and one-third frothed milk.
All was packaged, and as I sipped my deliciously creamy and rich cappuccino, I headed back to work.
All foods were a hit. The sandwiches were built and placed on a conveyor belt to be toasted, crispy and hot. "The Don," on Soranno's Italian bread, was additionally topped with shredded lettuce, tomato, jalapeño peppers, onions and topped with an Italian dressing and sprinkled with dry seasonings. It was large, filling and extremely tasty with the blend of meats and veggies.
"The Duke" was a little more challenging to eat because of the inherent awkwardness of the meatballs' between the sub-style bread. The meatballs were topped with marinara sauce, cheese, then toasted, and lettuce and tomato--a dash of Italian dressing was added before packaging. The meatballs were tender, tasty, and moist and of obviously good quality meats.
The spaghetti was topped with a mildly sweet marinara sauce and also topped with meatballs. This dish, one of my co-workers said, was "very fresh and zingy." She said there was something there that made this "great"--a spice or flavor she could not identify. The pizza was, likewise, enjoyable and really good--a little spicy for one, yet fine for me.
What a fine little place this is, tucked away in the lobby of a downtown Tulsa skyscraper. It is worth a try not only for downtowners, but for all others who would enjoy a fine, quick Italian lunch or morning coffee drink.
Soranno's opens at 7am and offers muffins, croissants, Danish, brownies, and biscotti.
Soranno's Italian Caffè
15 E. 5th (1st Place Tower)
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