Friday, November 21, 2008

Lottery And Food

So what have I been doing since my last post? Not a whole hell of a lot. Ashley and I have a money pot that we got from her grandparents which has a troll-like face and the words "Mad Money" on it. It was almost full and Ashley had the idea of cashing it in for lottery tickets. Last Saturday we did just that. We walked over to the Food Pyramid at 51st and Harvard and bought $20 worth of scratchers and few Powerball/Hot Lotto/etc tickets. We sent close to an hour in the store repeatedly cashing in our winnings and buying more tickets. This was my first experience with OK lottery and I had a lot fun. When on vacation as a kid, my dad would buy scratchers and split them between the two of us. If any of my tickets were winners, I got the winnings. This was one of my favorite things about vacations. We also frequented Good Spirits liquor store a couple times during the night, where I spent way too much on speciality beers (which they have a great selection of by the way). The lotto drawing came and went and alas I'm not a millionaire. All in all a fun day, especially the great chicken Ashley made from our Natural Farms meat bag.

The next day I was at a TRASH tournament at TU, so Ashley and I decided to try out The Collective (well she had already eaten there, but I hadn't). We had the Camelot, the Center of the Universe, and a cup of The Rose Bowl, all of which were great. I really like the nontraditional nature of their sandwiches. They combine things you might not think of combining, but which compliment each other perfectly. I also had a pretty decent latte.

Ashley's mom has been in town the past few days, and yesterday we went to Mershon Catering for a tasting. Mershon is going to be catering our wedding reception and we wanted to get an idea of which foods we wanted. We tried eight different appetizers, all of which looked great, and some of which tasted great too. My favorites were the whiskey shrimp, crab cakes, empanadas, and smoked salmon. I just hope we will end up with enough food for everyone, since we aren't doing a full meal.

Then last night we went out to Al's Bistro, which advertises itself as Mediterranean. I had seen it on 71st a number of times and read a review in Urban Tulsa. When got there around 6:30 the place was pretty empty and that didn't change by the time we left. It also seems that they have changed their menu quite a bit from when the Urban Tulsa folks ate their. There were a lot of items with the qualifier Mediterranean on the menu, but not a whole lot of the traditional Mediterranean items that you might expect to find. I had lamb chops that were decent (the sauce was probably the best part of the dish). Ashley and her mom had Mediterranean chicken and chicken curry respectively. The food was okay, but I would have much rather gone to Market Deli (just west of Yale on 51st).

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Tulsa World Rant

Yesterday while on our outing mentioned in my previous post Ashley and I inadvertently ran into 51st (technically Skelly?) east Peoria heading south (and ultimately to Sheridan). Of course this is one way, so we had to head west to get past 66/44 and back east. Approaching Peoria we saw some emergency vehicles (police, ambulance, maybe fire). As we got closer we noticed a plumbing van blocking the leftmost lane, pointed in the wrong direction. There were a number of people standing around watching the events and as we passed we saw a man laying face down in front of the van with his hands cuffed behind his back. To say the least our interests were picqued, so we made plans to watch the evening news.

Later that evening I turned on KJRH (my local news of choice). Nothing. I then resigned myself to waiting for the Tulsa World in the morning. Morning came, but alas nothing there either.

For over a year now I've subscribed to the Tulsa World (first the Friday, Saturday, Sunday offering, but more recently the daily subscription). In general I find that the Tulsa World does it's job as far as keeping me up to date about the goings on of the world goes, but it definitely has its faults. For one this is the second time I've pasted by a curious event and found nothing in paper the next day. Why they don't a police report section I have no clue. Their local news on the whole could be a lot better. I can get my national and world news any number of places. If anything a local paper should pride itself in its local coverage.

As for the paper all in all, they recently announced that they would be combining sections and asking writers to shorten their articles. They also upped the daily price to 75 cents and Sunday price to $2. Compare that to prices of papers in my home state of Arkansas and it's ridiculous. Despite all the complaints, take a look at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and it's easy to see which is the better paper. Sure newspapers are declining across the country and as a 25-year-old why aren't I getting my news from blogs? Give me good local news and maybe I would. Until then I guess I'm stuck with the Tulsa World.

Peoria Markets

Yesterday Ashley and I visited a couple of specialty groceries we hadn't been to, Center 1 Market and Allen's Gourmet Grocery, both of which happen to be on Peoria. I found Center 1 a bit spare. Also, their prices seem to range from somewhat reasonable ($5/lb chicken breasts) to somewhat outrageous ($42/lb Italian deli meats). I thought everything looked to be of good quality (especially the produce) so maybe some of the prices aren't too far out of line, though Ashley reported seeing some moldy cheese and not the kind where mold is good. In the end we didn't buy anything this time around.

Allen's is fairly new and a bit like LaDonna's, so I'm not sure how long it will stay in business. They really don't have too much out of the ordinary, though the "salt bar" is a nice touch. We ended up getting a turkey brining bag (we are getting a local Turkey from Natural Farms), a couple bars of chocolate (one with bits of bacon), and a small container of smoked salt.

With Center 1, Allen's, Whole Foods, Petty's, LaDonna's, and even Super Target (I'm probably leaving out others), Tulsa has a pretty good selection of upscale/specialty food stores. One thing though I'm somewhat disappointed in is the bread selection in Tulsa. Farrell Family Organic Bread makes some great bread, but I've yet to find a good locally made pumpernickel (though the Farrell website says they make it). Any suggestions?

Also on our day out we stopped by the Natural Farms at 91st and Sheridan (I'd only been to the one on Utica) and Smalley Restaurant Equipment. Smalley is a great place. We haven't bought all that much from them over our many visits, but it's a fun place to browse.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Great Goat Quest

Last weekend I was on a quest!! A fan of lamb, I wanted to try goat meat. Searching online, Indie Tulsa lead me to believe that Perry's provided goat (goat tacos even). Believing I would easily find what I desired, I looked forward to my first visit to Perry's (where friends had bought beef tongue, oxtail, and tripe). Upon arriving last Sunday, the parking lot was packed and I had to park on a somewhat questionable residential street. Entering the store, I found the place packed with people waiting for assistance at the butcher's counter. Identifying a section of the freezer as the "odds and ends" area, I found no evidence of goat meat, though there was a note about the unfortunate absence of rabbit.

Upon leaving Perry's, Ashley and I went on a visit to Las Americas Super Mercado. After checking out the rest of the store, including some interesting produce, we found that they were fresh out of goat!!

Next stop, Petty's. I asked the butcher if he knew where to find goat in Tulsa, thinking that he might be more of an "old school butcher" than a butcher at a chain, and might know where to get non-traditional meat. No luck.

Next stop, Whole Foods. No luck (why I thought I might find goat here, I'm not sure), but upon leaving determined that an Indian market might be a better place to check. As I recalled there was an Indian market across from India Palace on Lewis. In fact, New Indian Bazaar did indeed have goat!! We also went to an African market in the same shopping center and bought some malta (made by Guinness).

After getting home I cooked up the goat (after deboning it; very disappointed by the the boniness) by searing it simply with salt and pepper. All in all the goat was quite gamy. I expected something like lamb, but this was lamb times ten. Not bad, but it was like eating Long John Silver's and then eating swordfish; quite a jump in taste. Verdict: while lamb may well be my favorite meat, goat goes a little too far. Next up: Rabbit.

(Malta was not nearly as bad as I thought it might be. It kind of reminded me of Yoohoo, though its not something I would want to drink very often.)

First Post!

Welcome to Tulsey Town Miscellany (sorry about the url, just tulseytown was taken). If you've read the About Me page, you know Tulsa food is one of my passions. In my first post I want to provide some of favorites when it comes to Tulsa eateries so that my readers can better understand who I am. (Note: There are a number of well received restaurants I have still yet to visit)

Best Thai: Tavin's Thai BBQ
Best Indian: India Palace
Best Mexican: Blazing Peppers (prior management)
Best Upscale: Polo Grill (best. grits. ever.)
Best Breakfast: Tally's
Best Italian: Zio's (need to visit more Italian restaurants)
Best Pizza: Umberto's
Best Sushi: Asahi (saved me from sushi hatred)
Best Hamburger: Brownie's
Best Seafood: Polo Grill (great Salmon Tamale, haven't been to Bodean)
Best Chinese: New Hong Kong
Best Greek: Market Deli
Best Downtown: Tabouli's
Best Overall: Polo Grill

As I say in my about me, don't discount this as another Tulsa food blog. Of course I love Tulsa food (if you live here how can you not?), but this blog is for all thing Tulsa and I hope that I'm able to maintain your interest.