It's 3pm on a Tuesday -- well before a fine, upstanding citizen should have a cocktail. But nothing is going to make this day better except for frothy beers and the comforting sizzle of fried bar food. It's not just about the booze or the food, really; it's an atmosphere you crave -- an unpretentious, dark interior, a juke box, maybe a pool table and a few friends. Allow me to introduce you to The Warehouse Bar & Grill. Or rather, allow me to re-introduce you.
The Warehouse is front and center on Brookside row, has had many names, and chances are you've landed there at some point. It's located in the middle of Tulsa's version of Sunset Strip--where the trendy hang, drink and dine. But when they tire of the bright lights and atmospherics, I see more than a few pop in for a burger and libations.
Walk inside those doors, and you are transported far from the plastic denizens of Brookside, into the kind of bar that is no fuss, no muss. The Warehouse features a great beer selection, any liquor one could desire and a healthy array of shots and libations just waiting for thirsty guests. But the best part? They've got food...and it's good.
The Warehouse has a great menu with all the favorites that make beer taste better, like fried mushrooms ($6.95), hot wings priced in half-pound increments ($6.95, $9.95 for a pound!),JJ's Nachos Supreme ($8.95) with the works, and even lump crab cakes with roasted corn relish and red chili mayo ($11.95).
Always trying to add veggies to my diet, I opted for the oh-so-healthy fried green beans ($6.95). A giant basket of golden-brown green beans came out almost instantly to the table with a side of wasabi ranch. Each bean had a great crispy coating and the green bean inside had a great fresh flavor -- even a hint of a 'snap' that only perfectly cooked green beans can have. I was told they hand batter these magic beans in-house, and you can definitely tell.
If appetizers just aren't enough to satisfy those beer munchies, there is a slew of sandwiches and burgers, like the reuben ($8.95), a half-pound hamburger ($6.95) and a sandwich called 'the phoenix' ($9.95) with chicken breast topped with pepper jack cheese, avocado, chipotle mayo and pico de gallo on focaccia bread.
Focaccia bread? In a bar that has a Galaga/Ms. Pacman arcade game to play and a Wall of Shots? Pinch me, I'm dreaming!
The Warehouse also has some rib-sticking entrees, like fish and chips ($9.95), even a grilled chicken breast plate ($8.95). But this was Tuesday. And Tuesday is Steak Day.
For a mere $8.99, one can feast on a 7 oz. sirloin, a baked potato the size of Mr. Potato Head and a lovely green salad from 11am to 9pm. Going for the gusto, I ordered my steak medium-rare and out it came -- a nice, plump serving of steak, with great flavor and cooked perfectly. It's an anemic gal's dream, washed down with a Guinness.
The Warehouse also features $3 Burger Night on Wednesdays -- which happens to be Karaoke night as well -- and Friday you can get your fish and chips fix for only $7.99.
Letting the steaks duel it out on this night, the chicken fried steak ($9.95) was the next contender at the table. This massive piece of deep-fried heaven would not be out of place on a king's table, but it wasn't just the shear size that was impressive. It was the coating -- the tell-tale sign of a great CFS. A honey-colored coating of batter wrapped itself around a piece of tender beef with a peppery pool of cream gravy on top. Piled next to it were undeniably hand-cut fries that were meant to take a dip in that gravy. I've had my fair share of CFSs -- enough to necessitate an acronym -- and The Warehouse is definitely not messin' around when it comes to theirs.
The Warehouse does take on a different personality when the weekenders roll into Brookside for some thrill-seeking, and I was also told even their Wednesday karaoke night has become quite popular. They feature DJs on the weekends, too, and have a knowledgeable and almost clairvoyant bar staff. (Of course I would like a red, white and blue popsicle-flavored shot! How did you know?!)
And those burger and steak days are good all day -- 11am to 9pm. Now, I'm not advocating drinking at 11am, but a juicy burger sure does make you thirsty no matter what time of day it is. Let your conscience be your guide on that one.
With a no-frills approach to its food and its unapologetic 'dive bar' ambience, The Warehouse is the perfect spot to huddle around a basket of deep-fried deliciousness while wasting the day (or night) away with your pals. Give it a 'shot', and it just might become your new favorite spot.
I'll see you on Burger Night.
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