#205 - Burn Co BBQ, Tulsa OK

Our last home football game of the year was Thanksgiving weekend, our rivalry game against Oklahoma. I'm just glad we don't play on Thanksgiving day or Black Friday. I know there's a lot of teams that do, and it's their tradition, but I'm quite sure our fans would revolt. Playing that weekend means I don't have students around Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday morning to help me with game prep stuff. Thankfully I had quite a few come in and knock out a ton of work Monday and Tuesday. Since I knew I would be at work all day Friday, I decided to take the day off Wednesday to run a few errands. I went to Tulsa, and made plans to meet a friend for lunch. When my friend Dick was in town a few weeks ago, he sent me a picture of his lunch from Burn Co BBQ. We had talked about it the night before at dinner, and both he and Mike had raved about the food.  Yes, my friends and I are those people who discuss the next meal while we're still eating the current meal. 

So, there are three unique aspects to Burn Co. First, it's only open from 10:30-2:30. We arrived at 10:45 and there was already a line 40 deep outside the door. I've seen pictures where the line is a lot longer at the same time

Second, when they run out, they run out. In the online reviews everyone raved about the restaurant except for one guy who showed up at 1:30 and they were out of most of the smoked meats. Well, that's what happens when a restaurant is only open for 4 hours. It's kind of like a party...don't show up at the end and gripe because there's not much left.

Third, you have to listen to hear your name called. I do agree with one reviewer who said it's not a great system. A lot of names sound alike when they're being yelled in a crowded restaurant. We were listening, and I could barely hear mine being called. And the servers get an attitude when you don't hear your name. I'm guessing it's supposed to be a funny attitude, but it doesn't always come across like that. 

The restaurant is located near downtown Tulsa in an old building. It went through a couple of other restaurants before Burn Co took over. You wait in line, order at the counter, and they bring the food to you. As I mentioned before, the line can and does get very long. Our whole experience took about 90 minutes from start to finish, so this is not a restaurant you can visit on a lunch break from work unless you are there when the doors open. Thankfully the weather wasn't bad so we didn't mind waiting outside, especially because it was only about 25 minutes

The inside of the building is very rustic looking.  They have a small area to the right immediately as you walk in where they sell t shirts and a couple of sauces. There's a large bar that takes up almost the entire right wall. The line goes right by that bar, so you can have a drink or 2 while you wait. Very smart move. They also have a small meat counter where you can pick up raw product. There's a self-serve drink station in the far left corner, and the rest of the restaurant is seating. All the tables are family style picnic tables. They also do a very robust carryout business. We saw at least 20 people coming out with large trays as we waited. We sat at one table, but when I saw a space open up at another table that had more natural light, we moved. Yes, I am that person as well. I need light for pictures!

The menu is pretty simple: smoked meats, smoked sausage, grilled meats, sides and drinks. The smoked meats is what Burn Co is known for, so it's what runs out. They use a Hasty Bake to cook all of their meats, and everything is fresh. No freezers or microwaves in this place. I had never heard of a Hasty Bake, but I guess it's the real deal. They have 2 large TVs above the order counter, and that's where they display the menu items. And as you wait, you may see items taken off that menu. That means they are out. We arrived early enough that we could choose from everything, but while we were waiting for our food items started slowly coming off. And by the time we left, they only had one smoked meat left. 

They only do mac & cheese Thursday - Saturday. I was hoping they would have it on Wednesday since it was Thanksgiving weekend and they would be closed. I was wrong.

For each meat, you can get the "little girly man" or the "big boy" sizes. They also have the Frankenstein, the chef's choice of 3 meats. I asked what the choices were, and they won't tell you. I decided not to be that adventurous.  Shawn went adventurous

This day it was jalapeno cheddar sausage, bologna, and pulled pork. I took a bite of the sausage, and of course it had a huge chunk of jalapeno. But it was delicious. So tender and juicy. I've never been a big fan of bologna, but this one was outstanding. It was thick cut and perfectly smoked.

I went with all "girly man" portions, and got ribs, pulled pork and brisket

The ribs were fantastic. Fall off the bone tender, and the sauces on the table added a really nice kick. The brisket and pulled pork were wonderful as well. I didn't eat the bread, because it would just get in the way.

We also got a couple of sides

These were some of the best baked beans I've ever had. They use 2 different kinds of beans. We couldn't figure out what they were, but they just melted in your mouth. The sauce was deep and rich and full of flavor.

This grilled potato salad was delicious. I've never seen a potato salad with such huge chunks of other stuff, but they added great flavor, and the peppers and onions still had some crunch. And you can never go wrong with big pieces of bacon in anything.

Will I go back? Well of course. And I'm going on the weekend when they have the mac & cheese. I have to find out if it's good enough to only be served 3 days of the week.