Whether you like dry rubs or sauces, barbecue is a main staple in Oklahoma cuisine. There are literally hundreds of places serving barbecue, from small mom & pop shops who sell inside grocery stores to your quintessential causal eatery that uses red-and-white checkered tablecloths and offers you a wet napkin with your meal. Iron Starr BBQ is neither of these. It’s better.
The first time GFB and I visited Iron Starr, we were trying to grab dinner with some friends on a weekend evening, and the wait was more than an hour for a table. We decided not to wait, but seeing as how the place was PACKED, I knew I needed to add it to my “must try” restaurants. We returned a few weeks later for lunch and were not disappointed.
This is not your typical barbecue restaurant. You won’t find checkered tablecloths, but rather crisp white linens and beautiful artistic lighting throughout the main dining area. The stained concrete floors are dark, as are the walls, but mirrors are strategically placed to give the restaurant a warm feel. During the day, the large glass wall allows light to spill in, but at night the ambiance is romantic and cozy. (I told you this wasn’t your daddy’s barbecue).
As I studied the menu, the choices were mouthwatering. The menu is a wonderful combination of your traditional barbecue fare - hickory smoked chicken, brown sugar cured beef brisket, St. Louis pork ribs – but also items that would appeal to some who may not have a love for barbecue – like grilled salmon or beef tenderloin.
I ordered the pulled pork sandwich and GFB choose the lite portion of the St. Louis Pork Ribs. In addition to spectacular main dishes, the sides.. OH THE SIDES. I focused in on mac & cheese because who doesn’t love mac & cheese?! (GFB doesn’t. But that’s another post in itself.) He choose the traditional baked beans.
Our food arrived and it was fantastic. My pulled pork sandwich was topped with a crunchy slaw that was the perfect accompaniment to the juicy pork. Now I’m a bit picky about my sauces, but Iron Starr BBQ sauce was perfect. GFB loved his ribs so much he forgot to let me snap a pic before he finished them all! Needless to say, we were very satisfied.
I’ve been back several times with GFB and with friends and the service is always spectacular. I’ve been able to try a several other dishes, including the corn pudding, chopped beef brisket and the beef tenderloin salad. ALL of the dishes have been wonderful. My only complaint? I never have enough room for the desserts (which look wonderful by the way!)
Appetizers will run you anywhere from $6 for Mama’s Deviled Eggs to the Meat & Cheese Sampler (brisket, ribs, and smoked sausage with sliced cheddar cheese, jalapeno chow-chow and cornbread) which runs $15. (If you go for the Sampler, better make sure you have a party of four or more – otherwise you might be too stuffed for an entree!). Lunch can be reasonable if you stick to the sandwiches & burgers menu – where all the items are under $8.95 and come with you choice of a side.
If you’re headed to Iron Starr for dinner, bring your appetite. Most of their House Smoked Meat Entrees can be ordered as a light portion for $11.95 rather than the normal price of $13.95, but regardless of which you choose- they come with two sides and cornbread. Iron Starr can even accommodate those on a gluten free diet.
Iron Starr offers exceptional barbecue in an upscale setting – and they do it well. I have visited a half dozen times or more and not once have I been disappointed with the service. Even during lunch, where they accommodate large parties of guests, our food has been served promptly and the service was stellar.
Iron Starr opens at 11am for lunch and is open til 9pm or later depending on the night. They even offer reservations via phone or through their website www.ironstarrbbq.com .
Have you been? If so – what’s your favorite dish??