#157 - Charlie Mitchell's Modern Pub, Tulsa OK

Last week I was meeting a donor couple in Tulsa, and they recommended Charlie Mitchell's Modern Pub.  I checked online, and it received very up and down reviews. Most of them were very positive or very negative.  But since they recommended it, I wanted to give it a chance.

It's located on Yale, just a few miles away from both my previous and next appointments. So that worked out perfectly.  They've got a nice outdoor patio around half the restaurant. The roof of the building extends out to cover the patio, but if it's bad weather you can't sit out there because there's no protection.  

It's a pretty decent sized place.  There's a full bar and bar tables on the left as you walk in, and the main dining room is to the right.  It's a mix of booths and tables.  It was practically empty when I arrived at 11:15, but by the time we left it was packed.  The lunch menu isn't huge, which is perfect for me.  They have a good mix of appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, and entrees.  Actually, they have a ton of salads. You don't really see that very often, so it's a good thing.

Jim and Mary said they come here every few weeks to meet friends for drinks and a few appetizers. We weren't planning to get appetizers, but I wanted to try the onion rings. The first thing I always ask is if they're breaded or battered.  I'm definitely a breaded girl. Our server didn't know.  I find that happens a lot, and to me that's weird. They should be able to answer a simple question like that.  She did tell us that they're pre-made, and that they're the only items in the restaurant that are.  In the spirit of research, we decided to test them out
Lightly battered and flash-fried, served with chipotle ranch
I noticed after the fact that the menu says battered. But to me they tasted more breaded.  Either way, you can tell they're pre-made.  They were decent, but I have had much better in other places.  And if this is truly the only dish in the whole restaurant that's pre-made, they should either make their own or drop them altogether.  But overall, they did have good flavor.  And the dipping sauce was excellent.  

Jim said the burgers were really good, but the last thing I needed was a half-pound burger. We all went with the fish tacos.  They use seasonal fish, and right now that's cod. All sandwiches come with one side, and the fish tacos come with chips & salsa. For the fish tacos you can get grilled, blackened, or fried. Jim got grilled, and did fruit on the side. Mary and I both got them blackened.  She substituted corn tacos and did veggies as her side, and I stuck with the chips and salsa. 
Grilled, golden-fried or blackened seasonal fish on flour tortilla
Topped with mixed cabbage, pico de gallo, fresh avocado, and chipotle aioli
They were awesome. I was very impressed. Big pieces of fish, and probably a quarter avocado on each taco. Mary and I both noticed that the fish didn't look blackened, but it was still very flavorful.  The pico and aioli added a definite kick.  I took one bite and realized it was way too hard to eat because of how bulky it was.  So I just ate the insides. Mary powered through, and ate hers really fast so she wouldn't have to put them down once she picked them up. The chips were good, and I was surprised at how many you get. The salsa was okay.

I really like that items served on newspaper paper, which is a very unique touch.  I don't know if they're real newspapers or not, but it's still a cool idea.

Will I go back?  You know, I think I will.  Overall the food was good.  And I want to try a couple more things on the menu.  Maybe just go for drinks and appetizers like Jim & Mary do.  Or maybe Sunday brunch that I saw advertised on the menu. The fact that it gets so crowded at lunch has to override some of the negative reviews.  There's so many other options nearby that if it really wasn't good all the time, it wouldn't survive.