POSTED ON FEBRUARY 25, 2009:
Broken Arrow eatery a charming diversion from popular urban fare
Shake, Rattle, Roll. "The jazz artists who come through always say they have no regrets about doing what they're doing, that in every way it has been fulfilling. It's not the most lucrative career, but it's a fulfilling life," said Shane Ohlson, Jazz Lab manager.
It's not often I even think to venture to Broken Arrow for lunch; but Back Creek Deli gives me reason enough to return. The restaurant is situated beside other small businesses on Broken Arrow's Main Street, a quaint part of town.
Back Creek Deli opened March 2007, and business has been better than expected, according to its owners. Four ladies own and share in the operational responsibilities: Lisa McHenry, Oakie Pearson, Becky Roller and Tammy Mosier.
"My mom, Oakie, is in her 70s and helps quite a lot. Becky does all the baking -- the pies, cakes and brownies," said McHenry. "Tammy and I do the soups and salads." McHenry said that all of the women have food service experience, so this comes as second nature to them.
She said that their establishment is also part gift shop, with items classified as "primitive country." Candleberry Candle Company candles are sold, which McHenry tells me are specialized candles, available at limited locations; wall and home décor items can also be found. Walking in, I found that these items provided a welcoming, homey atmosphere.
A large sign directs diners to order at a counter halfway down the store/deli. McHenry said popular lunch items include the wraps, the lunch combo and the chicken salad (either on a wrap, sandwich or solo). The egg salad and tuna salad are also very popular. McHenry said that they offer specials each day, adding that everything is made fresh daily.
I spent a minute or two surveying my options from the wraps, which are $6.59 (chicken salad, tuna salad, chicken Caesar, Santa Fe chicken, turkey bacon ranch and crispy chicken). For $6.29 the combo entails your choice of a cup of soup (baked potato, French onion, or soup of the day), one-half sandwich and side salad. Sandwiches come with lettuce, tomato, onion and a choice of bread, cheese and a dressing. Chips and a slice of pickle come with the sandwich. Options include ham, turkey, roast beef, bologna, chicken salad, club, tuna salad, egg salad and BLT. Sides for $1.29 include cottage cheese, pasta salad and apple sauce. Salads include chef, Caesar, crispy chicken and a small side.
I ordered a roast beef sandwich on potato bread with spicy mustard, iceberg lettuce, tomato, red onion and a slice of cheddar cheese. The roast beef slices were thin, seemingly processed and not freshly cut. It was a good, hearty sandwich. The spicy mustard picked up the tempo of this otherwise standard sandwich.
I also tried a cup of tomato Florentine soup, which was very nice on this cool day. The broth was richly thick; other ingredients included tomato pieces, shell macaroni, white onions and herbs and spinach. This was a good soup, even for a quick dip with the sandwich. I also had the Creek Water specialty tea, a sweetened orange spiced tea "straight from the banks of Back Creek," which was pleasantly refreshing.
I gave into the temptation to take a Turkey Bacon Ranch wrap home for later. This was an excellent wrap even hours later. A large garlic and herb tortilla was filled with sandwich-sliced turkey, lots of bacon pieces, leaf lettuce, slices of tomato, cheddar cheese and plenty of ranch dressing. This was a fresh tasting, filling meal.
McHenry admitted that none of the owners are from or even live in Broken Arrow, but they saw the need for such a place. Her roots are in Kentucky and some of Back Creek Deli exhibits those influences. It was a comfortable dining experience. Music would be a nice touch to break the silence and drown out the annoying buzz from the ice cream freezer.
"We have done very well," McHenry said. "We have the support of the people in Broken Arrow." But she mentioned that they have people who come from as far as Tahlequah, Claremore, Bixby, Jenks, Muskogee and Grand Lake. "We get to know our customers, and we have a family atmosphere."
Back Creek Deli also caters and plays host to small private parties of up to 50 people. Nestled in the heart of downtown B.A., take HW 51 East from Tulsa to Lynn Lane, go south to 71st Street (Kenosha) and turn south on Main Street.
Back Creek Deli
116 S. Main St., Broken Arrow
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