For 20 years,
Urban Tulsa Weekly has worked hard to play a part in the lives of locals who want to stand apart.
We've reported and embedded, our writers, columnists and cartoonists have analyzed, explored and lampooned life and culture here in T-Town.
But without you, our faithful readers, UTW is merely headstrong will. We exist to amplify your voices, but if there's a common thread that ties our readers together it's this: you will not be ignored.
The Absolute Best of Tulsa embodies this attitude each year. We categorize the things that define our community -- people, businesses, bars, restaurants, artists and entertainers -- and give readers a forum to channel their thoughts.
There's no in-house editorial or advertising component here, just a wave after wave of paper ballots and digital votes to count. Thousands and thousands and thousands of them.
The ABoT Music Awards winners will be detailed in next week's issue, but you can get the scoop live on Saturday, July 16. We're giving out the awards live at a party/concert we've booked at the Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It'll be loud and all local, of course, so come rock the vote with us.
This year's winners run the gamut. The list is filled with some old standbys and a lot of surprises. We expect a little outrage, too.
Read on, Tulsa! Urban Tulsa Weekly is uncensored, unexpected and unadulterated, and, unlike all other awards the Absolute Best of Tulsa is all you and the absolute truth.
And now, for the Winners!
NEWS STORYOF THE YEAR
The Death of Osama bin Laden
But, more importantly, locally, we were concerned about the record-setting Blizzard of February 2011 and the fire that destroyed the original Admiral Twin drive-in theater. Glad that UTW had a hand in supporting the public response that helped inspire the owners to re-build. (see UTW's Cover, 14-20 October, 2010)
Tie: Tulsa River Parks and Mayfest
The 26-mile stretch along the bank of the Arkansas River is home to playgrounds, all-terrain trails and wildlife sculptures. Tulsa River Parks' outdoor fanatics can cast a line and fish for the day, kayak the steady stream (if the Corps of Engineers see fit to let enough water out off Keystone Dam) and hike through Turkey Mountain Urban Wilderness, or bike the winding asphalt trail. Showcasing a variety of arts including dance, music and visual, Mayfest is Tulsa's biggest outdoor spring festival entices thousands to brave the rain clouds and wander through the outdoor tents and gallery exhibits.
Other Favorites: Summers Fifth Night; Utica Square's free concerts
MOST FUN FOR OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT
Tulsa Drillers' Game
You wanted your ballpark downtown, Tulsa, and you got it last year, with record-setting attendance. Just halfway through the second season and the baseball experience is better than ever. Great seats are available. Great sightlines and a spectacular skyline view. Hot food, cold beverages, and general ballpark splendor can be yours to share with several thousand of your closest friends. Or you can visit a movie theatre and watch the latest abysmal super hero hack job. Think Baseball!
Other Favorites: River Parks; Tulsa Zoo
CASINO FOR GAMBLING
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa
Bring the bankroll and ante up at Hard Rock's Texas Hold'em table in the posh poker room on the mezzanine or drop a dollar in one of 1,700 electronic games on the playing floor. Let it ride on video poker or challenge the house in a game of Blackjack. Penny pinchers and high rollers have a place to play at Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Catoosa.
Other Favorites: River Spirit--Creek Nation Casino; Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino
CASINO FOR LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Tulsa
More than just a casino or restaurant chain, the Hard Rock brand brings a certain cache' and clout with it. Readers know that if you're looking for live music to go with your weekend (or even weeknight) of gambling, Hard Rock knows how to deliver. The Joint -- a 45,000 square foot, state of the art venue -- welcomes big names like Heart and Hank Williams Jr. Club heads can dance the night away at Friction with local DJs and live bands. Vegas nights with an Okie flair.
Other Favorites: River Spirit--Creek Nation Casino; Osage Million Dollar Elm Casino
Cinemark Century Theaters IMAX
The complex has a towering screen with booming surround sound displaying the monstrous metallic aliens of Transformers: Dark of the Moon -- even if our cinema writer hated every second -- is hard to ignore, especially when the earth is catching fire and fighting for survival in 3-D cinematic action. Goofy glasses and Hollywood blockbusters keep Tulsans flocking south for popcorn and cozy stadium seats.
Other Favorites: AMC Southroads 20; Circle Cinema
LaFortune Park Golf Course
A sprawling 18-hole Championship green just begs for golfers to pick up a club and start swinging. Shedding a little light on the matter, LaFortune offers an 18-hole par-3 course and a driving range with stadium style lighting for the night owls who just can't quit swinging.
Other Favorites: Forest Ridge Golf Club; Battle Creek Golf Club
Vintage on Yale
Living the good life at Vintage includes taking a cool, refreshing dip in one of the two swimming pools, spending an afternoon pumping iron in the state-of-the-art fitness center, or taking a load off at the spa. After a day of rest and relaxation, pop some popcorn and nestle into the complex's movie theatre. What a life!
Other Favorites: Westport on the River; Riverpark at Kensington
MOST WANTED ATTRACTION FOR TULSA
Bell's departed Tulsa a few years ago but it looks like our readers want it -- bigger and better -- back in the city limits. We crave the rush from the twists and turns of the roller coaster, the nausea educed by the tilt-a-whirl and of course the delicious funnel cakes and corn dogs. Bring on the airtime. Someone buy Zingo and bring it back to life!
Other Favorites: River Development; NFL Pro Team
PUBLIC FIGURE MOST LIKELY TO BE TARRED AND FEATHERED
Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr.
Given the animosity that has existed in city government for the past year and a half, there were a number of elected officials who probably feared getting the chicken treatment from UTW readers fed up with the constant squabbling at City Hall. But the guy who stands the best chance of finding himself coated in the sticky stuff and decked out like Big Bird is none other than Hizzoner, who gets the lion's share of the blame for the back-and-forth between the executive and legislative branches of municipal government.
Other Favorites: John Eagleton, Tulsa District 7 City Councilor; Biker Fox, Frank P. DeLarzelere III
REASON TO STAYIN TULSA
Take a good look around. Sure, the urban development is cool, the local food is delish, and all four seasons show up in full force in good ol' T-Town, but nothing beats the friendly smiles and generous spirit Tulsans convey. Buried under 4 feet of snow or sweating through 110-degree heat, Tulsa residents manage to endure and look happy doin' it.
Other Favorite Reasons: Cost of Living; Born & Raised
PLACE TO HIDE
Even with home ownership down, Tulsans around the city tap their heels together three times and repeat "There's no place like home" when they're ready for a little get-away from the monotony of everyday life. It's where you hang your hat, where they have to take you in--Home, sweet home is the shelter our readers to turn to when they don't want to be found.
Other Favorites: Cellar Dweller Lounge; River Parks
PLACE TO SEE A GHOST
Built in 1914, the Brady Theater is an architectural, artistic, acoustic staple in Tulsa. But some of the sounds go bump in the night, way after the roadies are finished packing it up. So we ask: where else can an unsettled spirit who can't pass over to the other side go? The Brady provides the perfect stage for a little chain rattling.
Other Favorites: Cain's Ballroom; The Mayo Hotel
Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. vs. the City Council
Who started it? How did it start? Who escalated it? When will it end? Will it ever end? Who knows? If you like your politics rough and tumble, Tulsa is the place for you, as Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. and the members of the City Council seemingly can't let a single week pass without finding themselves in another pissing match over who has the authority to do what to whom and when. It's a battle that's gone on for so long there seems little point in reviewing the specifics here. All that seems to matter is that the end is nowhere in sight.
Other Favorites: Eloté Luchador bouts; The Brook Alley
ABSOLUTE BEST THING TO HAPPEN THIS YEAR
The T-Town March Madness experience was like no other. Some of us thought we'd never live long enough to see the day. We got the 18,000-seat arena; we got the gig; we got choice games--what more could a sports fan ask?
Other Favorites: Downtown Improvements; Blue Rose Café Re-Opens upon River Parks; Road Construction
ABSOLUTE WORST THING TO HAPPEN THIS YEAR
The Oklahoma Blizzard of 2011
Oklahoma officials declared a state of emergency when snowpocalypse invaded in February, 2011. The city was virtually shut down, save for though plucky few who believe life must go on and adversity is opportunity. Some long-operating businesses shut their doors in fear. But our readers rejoiced to see their Event of the Week, your ever-lovin' UTW, distributed without a hitch during both those weeks of snow cover.
Other Worsts: Admiral Twin Fire; Road Construction
Born and bred in Texas, Cooley is a Tulsan now, serving as the front man for his band the Demon Hammers. This stage-loving bad boy has the street-wise to match his rough and tough persona, and the talent and drive to translate his hard-knock life of addiction and prison into melodic tunes. Survival of the fittest keeps Cooley rising to the top to continue his metal-head legacy.
Runners Up: Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr.; Steve Cluck
Exploiting the obvious for the hottest spots and go-to events in T-Town, Ball reports and often illustrates her findings on her Tasha Does Tulsa blog site, tashadoestulsa.com. Her helpful hints for moms keeps kids hunting for the best watering hole, moms meeting for summer support groups and would-be shut-ins exploring the sun-drenched city.
Other Favorites: Kristen Harding -- thepropertymanager.com; Michael Bates -- batesline.com
KOTV-TV News on 6
The TV station that paved the way for other news stations in the city (as the first established) continues to deliver compelling stories and imperative information to inquiring Tulsans. News on 6 gives a bird's eye view of traffic and weather conditions with their SKYCAM network, keeps the tech-savvy informed with direct phone texts, and regularly updates newson6.com with breaking local coverage.
Other Favorites: KOKI-TV Fox 23; KJRH-TV Channel 2
Chera Kimiko -- KOKI-TV Fox 23
She's the weekday anchor for the 5pm, 5:30pm and 9pm newscasts -- the latter of which has been nominated twice for a regional Emmy. Recipient of a number of journalism awards such as the Russell L. Cecil Medical Journalism Award and International Communicator Award of Excellence, Kimiko keeps Tulsa informed with an endearing smile and heartfelt concern. She is heavily involved in community philanthropy projects including the American Heart/Stroke Association, the American Lung Association and more. And, so importantly, she's cute.
Other Cuties: LeAnne Taylor -- KOTV News on 6 anchor; Julie Chin -- KJRH-TV Channel 2 meteorologist
Philbrook Museum of Art
Strolling through the extensive grounds, it's easy to find wonder and beauty in the travelling exhibits, lush gardens and breathtaking architecture. One of America's finest boutique art museums hosts Shakespeare on the Lawn and local theater productions such as Theatre Tulsa's The Pitmen Painters. Maybe it's Philbrook's efforts to go above and beyond that make it Tulsa's favorite museum in your eyes.
Other Favorites: Gilcrease Museum; Tulsa Air & Space Museum & Planetarium
COMMERCIAL ART GALLERY
Tulsa Artists' Coalition Gallery
Hidden within the red brick buildings in Tulsa's Brady Arts District, the TAC Gallery continues to push the limits of locally designed, high quality, contemporary art. Not afraid to ask artists to unveil their deepest secrets and display the work in Tulsa Taboo, and capitalistic enough to fund the non-profit organization with their annual 5X5 exhibit -- the feisty spirit behind TAC continues to raise the bar.
Other Favorites: Pearl Gallery; M.A. Doran Gallery
Out there in the buckle of the Bible Belt, who else could find a way to push the envelope here? Stirring and handling controversial shows with Nude:7 -- the 2011 version of the original erotic art show, Nude.
Other Favorites: Chris Mantle; Steve Cluck
A fresh-faced 20-something with a fancy camera and an eye for magic -- Okie-born and bred, Sharp can teeter between ultra-serious and youthfully playful. Exposing the raw beauty of the surrounding world, Sharp uses his photography to tell a story. Word has it the boy can even sling a few bottles and pour a good drink when the time is right. Multi-talented -- don't you think?
Other Favorites: Julie Greenwood; Mike Brinkley Photography
Over and over-achieving to rival some of the top-ranked ballet organizations in the world, the Tulsa Ballet practices, performs, choreographs and creates in a Brookside studio under the artistic direction of Marcello Angelini. Audiences rave and critics praise the fiercely competitive troupe from a creatively gifted, though moderately-sized metro.
Other Favorites: TwoLips Burlesk; Rags Al-Hassana Belly Dancers
The Nightingale Theater
"Simply a group of merry artists who happen to own a building and love theater" seems like an accurate description to us. It's also a description of Nightingale's patrons, who buy a piece of the building with every ticket. A daring lineup and against the grain productions keep the seats packed and allow offbeat performers a stage on which to dance. You didn't let the unassuming exterior fool you -- some of the best and most provocative theater in town is situated near an industrial park.
Other Favorite: American Theater Company
NON-PROFIT ARTS ORGANIZATION
Fifty-three years of hard work and renowned performances, and the Tulsa Ballet still makes a point to invest in the city it calls home. Partnering with such organization as Big Brothers Big Sisters, Family & Children's Services, and The Salvation Army, the dance organization pours heart and soul into the community -- gracing Tulsa with artistic beauty and heartfelt service.
Other Favorites: The Nightingale Theater; Tulsa PAC Trust
Cancer. The very word strikes fear into the hearts of healthy individuals but with a bit of bravery and a lot of perseverance, mankind keeps searching for a cure and a sassy attitude helps stimulate the cause. Cancer Sucks raised $90,000 in 2010 -- keep the funds rolling in at the Cancer Sucks Car & Bike Show later this month.
Other Favorites: WALTZ on the Wild Side -- Tulsa Zoo; Fight Night
PERFORMING ARTS ORGANIZATION
Well, no one can accuse Tulsa Ballet of not going the distance. Winner of three 2011 ABoT awards, this organization manages to attract worldwide talent and attention, invest in local needs and produce artistic works that are performed around the world. Hats off to the Tulsa Ballet.
Other Favorites: Tulsa Symphony; Tulsa Opera
Baker St. Pub & Grill
This cozy little Southside pub entices blokes to saunter through the door, order a brandy, and request their pipe and slippers. UTW readers must really love that they don't have to swim across the pond to nosh on a little fish and chips paired with a (properly poured) Guinness.
Other Favorites: Blue Rose Café; The Max Retropub; Fassler Hall
PJ at Buckaneer
What fool doesn't like a beautiful woman who pours strong drinks and is willing to listen to drunken ramblings? Our readers know how to pick 'em -- more than just a pretty face, PJ knows how to mix a mean concoction. And we hear there's a little sex appeal that accompanies the gin and tonics when she is behind the bar.
Other Favorites: Cody at Renegades; Roger at Club Rumors
James E. McNellie's Public House
James E. McNellie's Public House -- A one-stop-shop and subsequent brew heaven for beer connoisseurs. All fresh-faced 21-year-olds may want to start a little slower and work your way up to the overwhelming, 'round-the-world, micro-brew supporting, beer-slinging bar top of McNellie's. With 350 beers and counting, no local bar dared to even contest the downtown Irish pub.
Really? Does this surprise anyone at all? The Buck takes home this ABoT title year after year (after year, after...you get the hint). After paying $4 for a gallon of gas to get to the bar, $6 for a pack of cigarettes to smoke at the bar, it's a good thing a beer only costs $1.50 at the bar. We suspect the Buckaneer Bar is what keeps those TU students partying hard after all the loan money has gone to higher education.
Other Favorites: Mercury Lounge; Caz's Pub
El Guapo's Cantina
The Dirty Bunny and Horny Toad may be unsuspecting titles for cold salt-rimmed drinks but after throwing one or two back at El Guapo's, suddenly the meaning becomes very clear. UTW readers know how to pick 'em and drink 'em and lick 'em -- that's right. Challenge the table to a Little Neddy Goes to War contest -- the last one standing should sit down immediately.
Other Favorites: Eloté; Senor Tequila's
Blue Rose Café
Overlooking the sand bars of the azure Arkansas, offering live tunes and good food, the two-tiered Blue Rose patio was a shoo-in for best outdoor seating in town. Kick back on a cozy couch and enjoy the cool breeze with an icy brew in hand.
Other Favorites: El Guapo's Cantina; Market Pub
Crow Creek Tavern
The badass Harley riders and speed-demon rocket rebels cruise through Midtown to gather in the heart of Brookside. A drink menu that satisfies the rough and tough import beer lovers, the more gentile wine-drinking roadies, and the hungry choppers -- Crow Creek is the whole shebang. The outdoor deck with live jams sets the perfect scene for Tulsa's favorite biker bar.
Other Favorites: Cimarron; Blues City
The name says it all, no? We'll smoke to that. Stroll through a walk-in humidor, light up a first class stogie and order a glass of the finest scotch at one of Cigar Box's three Tulsa locations. There is a reason this little slice of tobacco heaven has won three years in a row -- pipe and cigar lovers can't get enough of the classy atmosphere and welcoming faces. Not to mention, one of the city's most extensive collection of cigar and tobacco goods.
Other Favorite: Smoke on Cherry St.
CLUB FOR ORIGINAL MUSIC
Where "magic is served by the pint." UTW readers must have drunk the potion because this flying horse takes home the ABoT one more time. The "stage" barely holds a full band and standing room only regularly fills before the opening song. People who are really interested in the Tulsa sound squeeze in to hear the latest breaking tunes or catch the return of an established band wanting to remember when. The past, present and future of Tulsa's music scene can be heard in the heart of downtown.
Other Favorites: Mercury Lounge; Shenanigan's
The home to DUI Night (Dancing Under the Influence of DJ Joey) and the "Hoe! You Think You Can Dance" competition, Club Majestic is officially the grooviest spot in town. A strong supporter of open-mindedness, drag queens, pulsating music and talent shows keep the beat pumpin' at Brady District's queen of the night.
Other Favorites: The Ivey Rooftop Wine Bar & Lounge; Pink; Electric Circus
Jammin' live music, a cozy dive-bar feel, a cool patio and friendly bartenders -- the fact that a beer and shot combo is always $5 feels a little like thievery. A long, hard workday is best topped off with Twofer Tuesday or Thumbs Up Thursday. Mercury just has a way of melting away those weekday blues.
Other Favorites: Buckaneer Bar; Club Rumors
Take the plunge. It doesn't look like much from the outside. Hell, it doesn't look like much from the inside either -- but we know that's why you love it. This little hole-in-the-wall Irish-styled pub is the heart and soul of Blue Dome. Live Irish tunes from Cairde na Gael keep the lively crowd swaying while they throw back a chilled Guinness or challenge other regulars to a game of shuffleboard. Just a good brew, good friends and good bartender.
Other Favorites: Buckaneer Bar; The Colony
The lonely hearts of Tulsa find a little liquid courage and available booty. Combine alcohol, live music, spinning DJs and hot bar staff -- the natural result is big boy meets getable girl for a love-struck evening. For those who already have that special someone, or who want the birthday suit to remain covered, the bands, pool tables, televisions and bartenders provide other modes of entertainment. Enjoy.
Other Favorites: Pink; Club Rumors
The club of majesty, just a stone's throw from Tulsa's first and erstwhile XXX film-showing theater, also known as Majestic, continues to make an impression on Tulsa's LGBT community and supportive friends. Catia Lee Love and Racheal Errikks give stunning performances, "dragging" the night away with talent shows and special guests. Lots of skin, a little mystery and too much hairspray make this the place to go for a prideful night.
Other Favorites: New Age Renegade; Club 209
Soco Sports Bar & Grill
Check. Check. Thump. Ahem. The mic is hot and those less-gifted, unruly, shower voices have found a listening (very drunk) audience. Wednesday nights in South Tulsa are filled with $2.50 beer pitchers, a beer pong tournament and the never ending melody of "American Pie" or "Jessie's Girl." UTW's karaoke fans may have even more to look forward to with Soco's newest back bar addition, 2020. The space should be just right for a set of speakers, Billboard's Hot 100 and all the upcoming musical sensations of T-Town.
Other Favorites: Elephant Run; Baker St. Pub & Grill; Market Pub
A sea of tables, rows of cues and stacks of colorful balls got Magoo's nominated. The extensive bar, full menu, stocked cigar bar and friendly staff is what makes Magoo's Tulsa's favorite place to shoot billiards year after year. Ready? Break.
Other Favorites: Sharky's
Leon's on Brookside
Spicy bar grub, cold brews, enthusiastic staff and an avid supporter of local athletics -- Leon's is a popular place for game-of-the-night watch parties. Gather around one of the 19 televisions; order a round of Jerry's Jalapenos; order a $2 domestic longneck and wear your orange or red or blue/gold proudly.
Other Favorites: Buffalo Wild Wings; Harvard Sports Bar; Sidelines
The place to bring family and friends to enjoy some conversation and sophistication. Vintage 1740 offers a wine list from around the world and an intimate setting to sip on a full-bodied red or try a different brand of white. What better way to unwind?
Other Favorites: il Bacio; Ivey Rooftop Wine Bar & Lounge; Ciao on Brookside
18TH AND BOSTON BAR
The neon glow radiating from the windows, the constant tunes pulsating from the stage, and the jukebox spouting hits in this old converted gas station seems to set the perfect backdrop for a night out in T-Town. Mercury exudes that neighborhood-bar-feel that screams, "Hey! I know you!" -- that's why this is such a good feeling bar.
Other Favorites: Vintage 1740; Pink Bar and Lounge; The Treehouse
BROKEN ARROW BAR
This Broken Arrow bar found and packaged that lucky pot o' gold and these blokes are serving it up with happy hour specials like $1.50 domestic longnecks and $1.25 domestic draws. With 20 beers on tap, karaoke, monthly specials and a constant stream of live music, the bar has gone over the rainbow leading Tulsa to a quickly developing sub-urban scene.
Other Favorites: Potbelly's Pub & Grill; Buffalo Wild Wings; Martini's Lounge
The Ivey Rooftop Wine Bar & Lounge
Brookside is a beautiful place and what better way to take in the scenery than from the rooftop of The Ivey. Girls Night Out on Thursday nights with DJ Rook keeps the ladies dancing, and with all those beautiful ladies (and nightly drink specials), the men can't stay away either.
Other Favorites: BruHouse; Crow Creek Tavern
CHERRY STREET BAR
Ladies night Tuesday and Thursday nights with free beer and wine coolers. keep the party rolling. Enjoy live music and killer DJs throughout the week. Happy hour keeps the crowds hopping all seven days, rain or shine. Slide into Cherry Street's current winner.
Other Favorites: White Owl; Full Moon Café; Kilkenny's Irish Pub & Eatery
James E. McNellie's Public House
We don't know if it's the $3 burgers, the fact that you can try a different beer every day or the week, or the split- level bars that keep enticing you to name McNellie's as the house favorite. We guess it's all of the above.
Other Favorites: Arnie's; Downtown Lounge
A historic bar with billiards, happy hour, karaoke, live music and an outside patio this is the perfect place to start or finish your night.
Other Favorites: The Colony; Harvard Sports Bar & Grill
EAST TULSA BAR
The name just screams "We're up to no good!" So what better place go for an after work delight. The neighborhood bar offers live music and a live mic for the brave to take the stage for karaoke. Enjoy a cozy stool and friendly bartenders while checkin' out the city's vast, under-discovered eastside.
Other Favorites: Club Rumors; Friendly Tavern
SOUTH TULSA BAR
Baker St. Pub & Grill
What is it with our readers and the love of all things British? Maybe the royal wedding is still dictating your daily schedule or maybe it's the killer fish'n'chips paired with a pint of Guinness that gets your gizzard going. That must be it.
Other Favorites: Fishbonz; Soco Sports Bar & Grill; Fat Daddy's
LIQUOR STORE FOR BEER
B & B Liquor Warehouse
A warehouse (read: large storage facility) in two different locations allows customers to come in and buy beer and liquor at discount wholesale prices. Need we say more?
Other Favorites: Midtown Liquor; Parkhill's/Fikes Liquor
LIQUOR STORE FOR WINE
Fikes/Parkhill Liquor & Wines
Like a treasure hunt for booze, Parkhill offers more than 4,000 wines. That means if you want to try something new or return to old faithful, Fikes is bound to come through for you. Next hurdle: change those pesky Oklahoma liquor laws so we can buy it chilled.
Other Favorites: B & B Liquor Warehouse; Ranch Acres Wine & Spirits
Smoke on Cherry Street
Chef Erik Reynolds started a fire with Smoke on Cherry Street, and his restaurant pretty much burned up the food categories in this year's ABoT Awards. The menu is delicious and dynamic, flexible to what's fresh and seasonable and what's in Reynolds' imagination. The crispy quail legs are superb and the lamb porterhouse chops are outstanding, but come expecting daily specials.
Other Favorites: Brady Tavern; Waterfront Grill; Chop House BBQ
Erik Reynolds, Smoke on Cherry Street
Reynolds, see above, says his culinary roots stem from his grandmother's New England kitchen and garden. Combining an entrepreneurial spirit with a 20-plus year career in kitchens across the country and tutelage under famed Sicilian chef Vincent Giglia, Reynolds opened Smoke on Cherry Street with farm-to-table philosophy and a penchant for creative ingredients.
Other Favorites: Greg Bossler, Yokozuna; Josh Vitt, Café 907
Perry's Food Store
Perry's is a shrine to Almighty Meat. The glass refrigerator case reflects the look of a true deli/butcher shop. The store expanded this year, adding a second location way out south, which means more extra lean ground beef -- a customer favorite that's flavored with steak and roast trimmings. They also stock the snouts, skins and feet of all kinds of tasty beasts, if you're into that kind of thing. We sure are.
Other Favorites: Siegi's Sausage Factory; Harvard Meats
Billy Sims Barbecue
The OU running back was legendary for his speed and slick cuts, but Billy lives life a little more slowly these days, with timely-cooked, prime cuts that are fall-off-the-bone tender. In the flesh at more than a half-dozen metro locations. Lightweights can opt for the Smoked Jayhawk (smoked chicken breast) or the Bevo Plate (chopped or sliced beef brisket), but you better bring a team if you order up the Full Back (the full rack of ribs).
Other Favorites: Elmer's; Rib Crib
Fat Guy's Burgers
These fat patty-makers have somehow managed to improve what's become an American classic. How do they do it? By doubling the meat and filling the void with butter and cheese. It's called a Fat & Juicy, and that's exactly how you'll feel when you waddle away.
Other Favorites: Ron's Hamburgers & Chili; Goldie's Patio Grill
CHICKEN FRIED STEAK
The Bros. Houligan
Covered doesn't cover it. The Bros. chicken fried steak is drowning in tasty, creamy gravy. The hand-breaded starts crispy, turns tender and ends up comforting and filling. It's also the size of a pony keg, so find someone else to drive you home from either of its two Tulsa locations.
Other Favorites: The Brook; Nelson's
Founded in Stillwater more than a half-century ago, Okies can no longer hide from Hideaway. They're everywhere -- five right here in the Tulsa metro. And there is good reason for the success of this local franchise their pies are almost as delightful as their service. With unique recipes created by staffers over the years, Hideaway tops with toppings and a cut above competing crusts. Skip the standards and try the Mob Boss or a Paradise Pie.
Other Favorites: Joe Momma's Pizza; Savastano's Chicago Pizzeria
Bodean Seafood Restaurant
A Tulsa staple since 1968, Bodean Seafood Restaurant brings the fresh seas to land-locked local diners. The restaurant is said to have pioneered the use of daily air shipments to bring in the freshest catches, which includes blue nose bass, salmon, scallops and Alaskan halibut.
Other Favorites: White RiverFish Market; Bonefish Grill
In The Raw
Owners Greg and Tara Hughes honor Japanese tradition and push diners' expectations with a sushi menu that's both dependable and progressive. The chefs and sushi gurus are masters of the raw, from rolls and sashimi to the delicate nigiri. It's been a reader favorite and regular ABoT winner with three locations in the Tulsa metro.
Other Favorites: Fuji; Yokozuna
Mahogany Prime Steakhouse
The chefs at Mahogany put steak on the center stage. The show starts with specially aged corn-fed prime cuts -- its rib eyes, filets and strips are renowned -- that are cooked the correct way: under a searing broiler with pepper, salt and butter, a Zen-simple formula that must be perfectly timed and deftly executed. Who needs ethanol when corn can be such a natural resource.
Other Favorites: Jamil's; Texas Roadhouse
Be Le Vegetarian Restaurant
Healthy, tasty and meatless, Be Le Vegeterian took home the top prize for vegetarian eats. The restaurant uses seaweed, yams and soybeans as animal stand-ins in dishes like chow mein and moo goo gai pan.
Other Favorites: Big Al's Healthy Foods; The Ripe Tomato
Tie: Smoke on Cherry Street and Vintage 1740
Whether you're looking for a meal pairing or just a glass by itself, Smoke on Cherry Street has an appropriate, and often unexpected bottle. Vintage 1740 has an extensive wine list that's been carefully prepared, and the helpful staff are expert curators and excellent at suggesting pairings with the restaurant's cheeses and appetizers.
Other Favorites: Sonoma Bistro & Wine Bar; Polo Grill
Buffalo Wild Wings
It's a wing thing, baby! Buffalo Wild Wings brings it to you hot or not and is ground zero for game day grubbing. Tulsa's best wing machine has a whole spectrum of sauces and dry rubs to help you dial in your chicken fixation.
Other Favorites: Wingstop; Wings to Go; Right Wing
With donuts that are holelier than thou, with brightly lit cases of drool-worthy pastries and cakes, Merritt's is Tulsa's favorite place to pick up delightful, pretty, tasty treats. Several locations offer a convenient outlet for your sweet tooth. Custom birthday, celebratory and wedding cakes are their specialty.
Other Favorites: Ann's Bakery; Kupcakz
Coffee House on Cherry Street
The big, bright mural on the side of the Coffee House on Cherry Street heralds Tulsa's coziest little espresso joint. Cute, mismatched chairs and tables, handcrafted beverages and filling pastry and lunch options (plus free wi-fi) bring in faithful regulars and neighborhood newbies alike.
Other Favorites: Shades of Brown; Gypsy
With offbeat sandwiches like The Biz (featuring a fabulous medium-rare Ahi tuna steak with a ginger soy glaze, wasabi and avocado, favored by our beloved publisher) and stick-to-your-ribs classics like the Philly cheesesteak and corned beef, it's no wonder the hip noshery has become a Tulsa favorite. This casual eatery in the Blue Dome District also serves up breakfast, salads and soups in a fun, airy atmosphere.
Other Favorites: Lenny's Sub Shop; Panera Bread
Tie: Tally's Good Food Café and Blue Dome Diner
Tally's red awnings welcome diners from its spot along historic Route 66. The classic, '50s-style café serves hearty portions of down-home diner food and looks like it has been there since the Mother Road was built.
All the while the funky, fun Blue Dome Diner offers comfort foods with a gourmet flourish, featuring free wi-fi and live music to dance off those calories downtown.
Other Favorites: 5 & Diner
Being in The Dog House has never been so much fun -- classic wieners with all the fixin's -- soda and beer! All in this caninely crazy colored building. Truly an experience where the bite is better than the bark. And, have you visted the House's new, permanent location?
Other Favorites: Zippy Nom Noms; Flying J's
Not only does this house provide hundreds of delicious truffles of chocolate, caramel and more, it is working for a cause, benefiting U.S. troops. Get ready to be taken aback by the passion and excellence put in every candy made. Don't go in not expecting to buy something -- you won't leave empty handed.
Other Favorites: Merritt's Bakery
The Cheesecake Factory
From what we hear, it isn't just the cheesecake and desserts, the entrees are not too bad either.
Other Favorites: CherryBerry; Braum's
Brookside by Day
If you need a little grease, Brookside by Day's got the goods: eggs, omelets and bacon all fried righteously. But the original "BBD" brings a lot more to the table, including fresh fruit, French toast and big ol' breakfast burritos.
Other Favorites: Blue Dome Diner; Tally's
Brookside by Day
Having already locked down the coveted Absolute Best Breakfast title, brunch is a cinch for the cooks at BBD. UTW readers don't need anything fancy, they just want a late breakfast and an early lunch.
Other Favorites: Dilly Deli; Lucky's
Tasty, quick and no-fuss, The Brook makes most efficient the short time frame that is a workday lunch hour. Both Brook locations serve tasty burgers, sandwiches and quesadillas, plus a menu full of appetizers worth sharing or hoarding.
Other Favorites: Smoke on Cherry Street; Dog House
El Guapo's Cantina
Great food, atmosphere and, a commanding view is you are so fortunate to grab a seat along the rooftop, it's a handsome place for authentic Mexican cuisine. Favorites include tortas, real tacos -- the kind with cilantro and lime -- and refreshing ceviche.
Other Favorites: Compadres Mexican Grill; El Rio Verde
CHIPS AND SALSA
Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina
Maybe this is tongue-in-chip, but here is the skinny on the dip: Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina is once again voted Tulsa metro's best spot for this specialty. Its two locations are also tempting for testing the waters, but our readers don't recommend that.
Other Favorites: El Guapo's Cantina; Compadres Mexican Grill
Los Cabos Mexican Grill & Cantina
The best blend from north and south of the border, readers dished up Los Cabos to the top spot for Tex-Mex cuisine. Start with the sweet corn tamale cakes before feasting on mahi-mahi fish tacos or stacked fajita enchiladas.
Other Favorites: Compadres Mexican Grill; Chimi's Mexican Food
Siegi's Sausage Factory
Achtung, Baby. This is the real deal. The best of the wurst, and more. The sausage factory, is also a restaurant that serves up authentic Deutschland dishes like schnitzels, pretzels, brotchen and strudel, and of course brat, kase, knack and every other variety of hand-packed meats.
Other Favorites: Margaret's German Restaurant & Deli; Fassler Hall
Do the wok of life ... this place represents a whole sub-continent, teeming with exotic cuisine and economic engines rarin' to go. A temple of treasures you don't know what to do with but eat, including Tandoor Plate, Chicken Tikka or the Tikka Masala, but trust us and spring for the Molai or Meat Ball Kofta.
Other Favorites: India Palace; Kolam Innovative Indian Cuisine
Kilkenny's Irish Pub & Eatery
What's in a name? Draws a crowd from locals and tourists alike. Shur'n it's the leprechauns that gave it a blessing or the luck'o'the Emerald Isle. Whether you're an Orangeman, a Druid or a bloody saint, faith'n'begorra to ya here. And may Cherry Street rise to meet ya before the devil knows you've had a pint.
Other Favorites: James E. McNellie's Public House
Dalesandro's Italian Cuisine
Locals crow about Dalesandro's paper-thin carpaccio, stuffed shells and its signature swordfish picatta, which is buttery, baked and flaky. But don't take our readers' word for it. What do they know?.
Other Favorites: Ti Amo's; Zio's Italian Kitchen
It's Greek To Me
UTW readers take their gyros seriously, and It's Greek to Me won eaters over for its delicious Mediterranean food. The salads and lamb and beef gyros are a big draw, but readers praised the restaurant's tzatziki, which they said was the best in town.
Other Favorites: Jim's Coney Island and Greek Food/Never on Sunday; Helen of Troy
P.F. Chang's China Bistro
With delicious food and drinks and a cozy Oriental vibe, this franchise is as big as Asia.
Other Favorites: Genghis Grill; Te Kei's
Pho real. Fresh cilantro, basil and bean sprouts combined with huge portions and low price has left UTW readers with full pockets and bellies.
Other Favorites: Keo; Mekong River Restaurant
With authentic ingredients and a great atmosphere, Lanna Thai draws quite a crowd eager for flavorful red, yellow and green curries and pad thai Tulsans can't stop raving about. Lanna Thai has vegeterian appetizers and entrees and has been UTW readers' top choice for years. Secret ingredient: ownership's creative leadership and a love for life and business and entertainment.
Other Favorites: Pei Wei; Bangkok Restaurant
RESTAURANT FOR LATE NIGHT EATS
The Brook Restaurant & Bar
Always a local favorite, The Brook is known for its burgers and the loaded cheese fries, which are especially great if you're loaded yourself. The restaurant scores big on game days and its eponymous location also includes a way, south city plat as well.
Other Favorites: Joe Momma's Pizza; Dog House
RESTAURANT WHERE KIDS EAT FREE
Offering an all-you-can-eat pizza, pasta and salad buffet at all of the Green Country locations. What better way to feed the growing clan? Mom and dad can eat grown-up pizza covered in olives, mushrooms, anchovies and peppers while the kids enjoy the cheesy plainness of their pizza pie.
Other Favorites: Caz's Chowhouse; Compadres Mexican Grill
Los Cabos Mexican Grill
Broken Arrow readers are used to life along the border. The Absolute Best Restaurant in Broken Arrow blends Tex and Mex into tasty mouthfuls.
Other Favorites: Hideaway Pizza; Compadres Mexican Grill; Shiloh's
Offering casual, comfortable lunches and late-night dining, The Brook is a big deal in Brookside and the southside, too. Sandwiches, burgers and drink specials.
Other Favorites: Cosmo; Brookside By Day
RESTAURANT, CHERRY STREET
Kilkenny's Irish Pub & Eatery
Irish stew, boxty and corned beef and cabbage and an impressive seafood selection, including oysters, mussels and crab cakes.
Other Favorites: Smoke on Cherry St.; Hideaway; Full Moon Café
James E. McNellie's Public House
Legend has it that McNellie's owner Elliot Nelson's semester abroad in Dublin was conducted entirely from pubs, which explains why he built his own here in the Blue Dome. The restaurant and tavern has plenty of pub grub, but showcases a menu filled with traditional Irish eats, including cottage pie and a daily lunch special of potato leek soup, bread and pint of Guinness, if you please.
Other Favorites: Eloté; El Guapo's Cantina
RESTAURANT, EAST TULSA
Chop House BBQ
BBQ at smokin' prices. The meat is tender and tasty and slow smoked in hickory. The restaurant serves up its 'cue with three different sauces and a slew of sides.
Other Favorites: La Mansion; Hideaway Pizza
Hideaway is best known for the pies, but this place has more than pizza, people. The overwhelming winner for Absolute Best Restaurant Overall, which has five Tulsa-area locations, super salads, great appetizers, an array of baked pastas and hearty, sloppy sandwiches. They campaign like they mean business. And they get it.
Other Favorites: Smoke on Cherry St.; Cheesecake Factory
Baker St. Pub & Grill
Hell, Brittania, rule the waves. Just look for the red, England-styled phone booth out front. Plenty of regular American fare, too, plus hard-to-find English favorites like shepherd's pie, scotch eggs and Guinness beef stew.
Other Favorites: Hideaway Pizza; The Brook
Ihloff Salon and Day Spa
Since 1980, Tulsans have trusted their manes to the Ihloff name. Soothing salons on South Memorial Drive and Utica Square (and even in Norman and Kansas City) transform drab hair into fab hair with the best in trendy or classic cuts and colors. Top-notch stylists with varying levels of experience offer price points for everyone.
Other Favorites: Blue Cameo; Ethan Monroe; b. jolie
Whether you're maintaining a buff bod or getting in shape for the first time, this popular gym has thought of just about everything. With large, state-of-the-art locations in Broken Arrow and South Tulsa, Gold's offers a wide variety of classes and equipment.
Other Favorites: All American Fitness; Just Ladies Fitness
Tulsa Surgical Arts
Worried about wrinkles? Tulsa Surgical Arts fights those stubborn lines and creases with the latest in non-surgical procedures, including Botox (as well as Juvederm and Radiesse plumping injections, and eyelash enhancer Latisse). A part of the Oklahoma Cosmetic Surgery Center, Tulsans can be assured of safety and professionalism while receiving age-defying treatments.
Other Favorites: Skin Medic; Emerge
Ihloff Salon and Day Spa
This year, Ihloff took home three of our Health & Body prizes, and for good reason. The salon is also a full-service, tranquil day spa focused on wellness and healthy living. In comforting, private rooms, the stressed-out can chill out while receiving Aveda-based facials, hand and foot treatments, waxing and other relaxing services.
Other Favorites: Ethan Monroe; b. jolie
Ihloff Salon and Day Spa
Through hot stones, reflexology, body wraps and polishes, Tulsa's favorite day spa realigns your chakras and eases tensions of your day. Yummy offerings like the Rosemary Mint Awakening Body Wrap and the Innercalm Outerbeauty Organic Cocoa Body Wrap make Ihloff the city's go-to relaxation spot.
Other Favorites: Ethan Monroe; b. jolie
At the Beach
Known for bronze skin and infectiously obnoxious TV commercials, At the Beach is the gold standard in getting golden. At the Beach has scores of metro locations and offers beds with five levels of tanning intensity, and if you want to stay away from rays, they will spray your pasty parts with a UV-free bronzing elixir.
Other Favorites: Totally Tan; Bahama Sun
Just Another Hole
Perforating Tulsans for more than a decade -- even before it was totally legal, probably -- it was among the first local studios to be licensed for tattooing. The studio is clean and boasts an impressive selection of body jewelry, whether you're shopping for something surgical and spacey or a piece that's a tad more tribal.
Other Favorites: Brookside Body Piercing & Tattoo; Karma Tattoo and Body Piercing
Brookside Body Piercing & Tattoo
If you want proof, the portfolio is on permanent display throughout Tulsa. Established in 2005, the studio draws on the collective experience of several top-tier artists and owner/ink guru Jonathan Hood. The artists' original work is cutting edge and exacting, and the studio is welcoming, comfortable and clean.
Other Favorites: Just Another Hole; Pen & Ink
Protecting, progressing, politicking
Founder of the George Kaiser Family Foundation, Kaiser's organizations identify local lacunas in the social fabric. GKFF focuses on breaking the cycle of poverty in the Tulsa area through investments in early childhood education, community health, social services and civic enhancement. According to GKFF, giving at-risk infants and toddlers exposure early education programs is the most effective way to improve their opportunity for success in school and life.
Other Favorites: Henry Zarrow; Mike DePetrillo; Drum Day Tulsa
A fierce defender of neighborhood rights, District 4 City Councilor Maria Barnes is also an ardent supporter of the PLANiTULSA comprehensive plan update. Elected once again in late 2009 to the council seat she had held from 2006 to 2008, the Tulsa native has worked to secure pedestrian-friendly improvements for the Cherry Street retail and nightclub district, as well as help gain passage of a new form-based code for the Pearl District. Those efforts to improve midtown apparently have caught the attention of UTW readers, who dig her progressive agenda and no-nonsense style.
Other Favorites: G.T. Bynum; Bill Christiansen
MOST EFFECTIVE PUBLIC SERVANT
Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr.
While the first year and a half of his term as the city's chief executive haven't gone as smoothly as he would have hoped, the mayor has a long list of accomplishments he can point to as proof of his effectiveness. Bartlett inherited a nightmarish budget situation immediately and responded in a tough but decisive fashion, leading the city back on to solid financial ground. Since then, his administration has overseen a number of important initiatives, including the launching of a Management Review Office to implement many of the cost-saving recommendations included in a recent audit of city services by an independent firm, as well as the creation of a Sustainability Department to make Tulsa a more green-friendly place.
Other Favorites: Kathy Taylor; George Kaiser
MOST GENEROUS CORPORATION
Bank of Oklahoma
BOK Financial, a $24 billion regional organization, continues to stay tried and true to T-Town. The almighty dollar rules the roost (and checkbooks) in today's topsy-turvy economic slump but BOK Financial -- in true Oklahoma spirit -- gave more than $6 million in contributions to 600 nonprofits in 2010. It's nice to see a Tulsa-based corporation give so much back to the city.
Other Favorites: QuikTrip; Williams; George Kaiser Family Foundation
MOST GENUINE PUBLIC SERVANT
Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr.
He may be the most powerful man at City Hall, but Mayor Dewey Bartlett Jr. also has an approachable, everyman quality about him that appeals to UTW readers. Perhaps that comes from his days of driving a truck for an oilfield services company when he was working his way up in the family business. Then again, maybe he just comes by it naturally. Either way, the mayor gets credit here for avoiding the sense of entitlement that seems to characterize so many other politicians these days.
Other Favorites: Allen LaCroix (Tulsa Fire Chief); Kathy Taylor (Former Mayor); Karen Keith (Tulsa County Commissioner)
There soon will come a day when it'll be time to rename downtown's Blue Dome district Nelsonville in honor of his efforts that sparked the bustling area's rebirth with the opening of McNellie's Pub in 2004. Since that time, Nelson has gone on to create a string of successful establishments in the district that includes El Guapo, Yokozuna, the Dilly Deli, Fassler Hall and the Dust Bowl Lanes & Lounge. Everyone who had written the area off a decade ago could learn a thing or two from this Tulsa native and Notre Dame graduate, who has proven that creativity, hard work, big dreams and the willingness to take a risk can pay big dividends not just for yourself but for the whole community.
Other Favorites: Marilyn Ihloff; Blake Ewing
Green is much more than guacamole at Eloté, the restaurant, caterer and luchador arena. Owners Libby and Jeramy Auld are serious about fresh, local food and order all their organic meats from Bixby, Okla., and all other produce and ingredients from local farmers and suppliers.
Other Favorites: AEP/PSO; Ihloff enterprises
IMPROVEMENT TO TULSA THIS YEAR
A revitalization of the city's central business district that began in late 2008 with the opening of the BOK Center has continued unabated through one of the worst recessions in American history, proof that downtown Tulsa's time has come once again -- and that the activity that has taken place there is no fluke. With hundreds of residents streaming into the area to take advantage of new loft apartments and a massive multi-use project next to the arena now under construction, it's clear the best is yet to come.
Other Favorites: Highways and Roads; River Parks
Philbrook Museum of Art
Your burgeoning Picasso can learn from teaching artists at the Philbrook, with numerous arts classes and a summer camp for kids aged 5-12. A stable of super-talented teaching artists train little ones in creative workshops and classes about everything from 3-D art, collages, painting, and discovering the masters and Native American art.
Other Favorites: Water Works; Tulsa Girls Art School
Tie: Miss Shelly's School of Dance and Tulsa Ballet Center for Dance Education
These two dance heavy-hitters have been teaching Tulsa's toddlers to teenagers how to point their toes or jam to a beat for decades. Miss Shelly's has been hoofing it since 1982, and teaches a wide range of classes from Mommy and Me movement to baby ballet to more rigorous offerings for older kids.
Tulsa Ballet Center is affiliated with the Tulsa Ballet and requires an audition for acceptance into the school. The center trains its talented students, aged 8 to 18, in ballet based on the Russian Vaganova method. Ya vol!
Searching everywhere for those perfect tiny Uggs for your little diva? The 9,000 square-foot Kathleen's Kids store sells upscale baby gear, bling and gifts for Tulsa's tiny trendsetters. For 15 years, the largest baby clothing retailer in the region has specialized in custom hair bows to finish off every girl's look.
Brook Fine Arts
Do your kids sing in the shower or bang on pots in kitchen? The instructors here have an ear for talent development. And for the Broadway-bound, summer musical theater camps are offered, too.
Other Favorites: The Barthelmes Conservatory; Preslar Music
PLACE FOR FAMILY FUN
An average weekend can turn into a walk on the wild side with a trip to Tulsa Zoo. Almost 600,000 annual visitors embark on animal adventures at the zoo, nestled inside Mohawk Park. Cruise by the popular Africa exhibit to spy on giraffes, cheetahs and zebras (oh my!), or go for a more tactile experience in the Contact Yard, where kids can get up close and personal with farm animals. Other popular spots include the Asia, Tropical American Rainforest and Oceans and Islands exhibits.
Other Favorites: Oklahoma Aquarium; Safari's Interactive Animal Sanctuary
This Cherry Street fashion institution has lassoed the look of the modern woman. The luxury boutique focuses on contemporary styles and up-and-coming designers. The contemporary storefront sells a mix of classic silhouettes with new, edgy and upscale pieces.
Other Favorites: Chrome; All Access; Little Black Dress
Chrome Clothing Company
It's impossible to outshine Chrome, which is once again UTW readers' pick for dude duds. The store was founded in 2005 with an eye towards contemporary fashion, which includes big-name brands and work by edgy local designers.
Other Favorites: Drysdales Western Wear; Shoe Gypsy
Great goods and a meaningful mission, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa is the top pick for finding resale bargains. Donations keep the Tulsa area's half-dozen retail locations stocked with a fresh flow of clothes, housewares, toys, collectibles and sporting goods.
Other Favorites: Deja-Vu Designer Consignment; Value Thrift
Cheap Thrills Vintage
Cheap Thrills Vintage says it is on a mission to make our city "cooler one outfit at a time." With styles including rockabilly, swing, western, bohemian, disco, hippie, mod, punk and '80s, savvy retro shoppers are sure to find hip duds from every decade. Dig it.
Other Favorites: Mod50s Modern; JOZ Studio
Cash is king, but royalty is often times in short supply. When UTW readers need a quick buck or a great deal on tools, electronics, appliances and jewelry they turn to the half-dozen or EZ Pawns scattered throughout the Tulsa metro.
Other Favorites: Golden Pawn; Top Dollar
Dr. Zoellner & Associates
The best way to ruin a great pair of peepers is with bad frames. Dr. Zoellner & Associates is the site for sore eyes -- and four eyes -- and has been for the last 13 years.
Other Favorites: Empire Optical; Black Optical
Mathis Brothers Furniture
Also known as the Ottomans Empire, Mathis Brothers Furniture has rooms and rooms of, well, rooms. Friendly sales people are on hand to make sure you don't take up residence, but to guide you through the labyrinth of beds and bureaus and will help you score a comfy couch or test a new mattress.
Other Favorites: Snow's Furniture Mart; Rooms Today
MUSIC STORE FOR INSTRUMENTS
Firey Bros. Music and Pro Audio
If Firey Bros. were a band, its owners would be busy booking a legacy arena tour and working on a third "Best Of" album. Established in 1978, they must be doing something right in the competitive world of instruments in a music-lovin' town.
Other Favorites: Guitar Center; Saied Music Company
Name the fur, feather, fin or scale and PETCO has the gear for it at any one of its three metro locations, whether it's something for your gerbil to nibble on or your puppy to dribble on. If you need a concoction to make fleas flee or a tool to unstick ticks, this is the top choice among local animal outfitters. PETCO's groomers make mutts strut and on-site adoption events help find homes for lonely pets.
Other Favorites: PetSmart; Southern Agriculture Inc.
For more years than anyone can remember, Moody's has been the source for diamonds, emeralds, rubies and pearls -- set to bracelets, earrings, pendants and more. If you can't write poetry or you don't have Tom Cruise looks, say it with something shiny!
Other Favorites: Bruce G. Weber Jewelry; David Jewelry; Tulsa Body Jewelry
HEALTH FOOD STORE
Whole Foods Market
The bins and shelves of Tulsa's Whole Foods are stocked with healthy foods, but what's most impressive about this organic grocer is the sizeable list of items it won't carry. Bye, bye bleached and bromated flour. See ya, sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate, and take your cousin, ethyoxyquin, with you. The store has cooking classes and events and an unmatched selection of organic veggies, farm-raised meats and imported cheeses and is UTW readers' go-to for healthy grocery getting.
Other Favorites: Akin's Natural Foods
REAL ESTATE COMPANY
Keller Williams Realty
Home is where the heart is. It's also where your kids and most of your paycheck sleeps, so choosing the right realtor is serious stuff. Keller Williams is a big, dependable name with scores of local agents to help you search, sell and buy whatever manor or fixer-upper you're in the market for.
Other Favorites: Chinowith & Cohen; Coldwell Banker; McGraw
Talk about good vibes, Patricia's (formerly Priscilla's) has UTW readers buzzing. If you're bored in bed, maybe you just need a little prodding and poking -- or some stuffing, handcuffing, stretching, whipping, dripping, spanking, yanking, nipping, slipping, warming or squirming. Patricia's has several metro locations, so whether you're shopping for a gag gift or an actual gag, stop by and find something to slide in.
Other Favorites: Midtown Superstore; Night Trips
Same Day Auto Repair
To find a good mechanic, drive past the dealership and start asking around. Both auto insiders and everyday commuters alike echo the same name in the Tulsa metro: Same Day Auto Repair. It's a family owned business, but Same Day Auto Repair is big enough to have four locations scattered throughout Tulsa, Bixby and Sand Springs. The company is all things autos, from routine maintenance, accident repairs and A/C work to brake and tire service and complete transmission overhauls.
Other Favorites: Mike's Auto Haus; Trany Man; Bentley Auto; Lazar Honda
Bicycles of Tulsa
Readers have named Bicycles of Tulsa the top choice for local wheel-dealin'. The showroom shows off all the big brands -- Specialized, Schwinn, GT, Haro, Orbea, to name a few -- and a full range of helmets, safety gear, apparel and accessories. From mountain and street cycles to BMX bikes and tricycles, Bicycles of Tulsa has a set of wheels for every rider, plus a full-service shop, so keep your hands out of those spokes and let the pros gamble with the gears.
Other Favorites: Lee's; Tom's
Jackie Cooper Imports
From serious -- the Mercedes G-Class; to speedy -- Porsche 911, perhaps?; to the small smart Fortwo, Jackie Cooper Imports has cars covered. They have car covers, too. The dealership has a half-dozen locations throughout the Tulsa metro selling new and used cars and SUVs from the aforementioned makers, plus models from and service for Nissan, Infinity and Volvo.
Other Favorites: Riverside Nissan
It's one of the oldest Harley-Davidson dealers in the country and once again Myers-Duren is Tulsa's Absolute Best Motorcycle Shop. The 20,000 square-foot art deco shop brings has been bringing new and used chrome, rubber and American engineering to Brookside since 1998, but the dealership has been helping Tulsans live high on their hogs since 1914.
Other Favorites: Route 66 Harley; Green Country Cycle
With a fully array of Italian-made scooters, Vespa Oklahoma is a one-stop Mod shop. The showroom carries all varieties of the Piaggio line, including Aprilia and the venerable Vespa, but the owners have branched out beyond cc's and brought in a line of electric scooters made by Vectrix. Mechanics at Vespa Oklahoma are on call to help owners with repairs, maintenance and aftermarket accessories, or to tell you how good you look atop that mint green GTV 300.
Other Favorites: Green Country Cycle; Metric Cycles
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