Best Little Hole-in-the-wall in Tulsa


Once again, I have come out of hiding to give my opinion on one of Tulsa’s many fine eating establishments.  I’ll be posting more often once I pass the state insurance exam, so please, be patient.  Books, writing, and other things will be appearing soon.

Anyway…

Tonight I had the pleasure of having dinner over on Brookside.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Tulsa, or don’t live in Tulsa, or Oklahoma at all, Brookside is a short stretch of road on Peoria between 31st and 41st streets.  Brookside is home to many restaurants to make any foodie swoon; such as Wolfgang Puck’s Bistro, Pei Wei, and tonight’s feature, Hibiscus.

Hibiscus is a unique food experience.  Its theme comes from the Caribbean, centering around Jamaica and the big bold flavors popular on the island.  They’ve been around for five years; the same amount of time I’ve been back in Tulsa.  As many times as I have been through Brookside, I never saw it until mom spotted it Sunday when we were searching for the elusive Neighborhood Market further down the street.

This restaurant is small with a cozy, personable, feel with beautiful watercolors of people adorning the walls.  When I say small, I mean small but you don’t feel crowded at any point of time.  If you want, you can even dine outside.

By no means is this a fancy place.  Casual is how the staff dresses and they are very friendly and on top of things from entry to paying the check.  You can test your server on the menu and they will describe everything well enough it makes deciding on what to eat difficult.  But, they are more than happy to recommend dishes that will fit your tastes.

Tonight, mom and I enjoyed their Fisherman’s Platter.  This was a large filet of Talapia with shrimp and vegetables in a spicy scampi type sauce.  Not too spicy, mind you, but enough to come up and slap you in the face before fading away in a clean finish.  I’d say the spice is a good kick and doesn’t take away from the flavors of the fish, shrimp, and the beautiful vegetables.  The sides I chose were Callaloo, a spiced spinach dish, and fried plantains.

Both sides were spot on perfect!  The fried plantains were cooked just long enough to make them flavorful without making them into hard chips.  Like potato chips, I couldn’t stop at just one, even as full as what I was.  The Callaloo was a pleasant surprise with the sweetness of the spinach mixed with onions and red bell peppers, and a good kick of spice that melded well into a palate pleasing bite.

We did enjoy an appetizer which, well, we regretted having because we were so full from it, we couldn’t finish the main entrée.  But, I’ll definitely be going back again just to have those fries.  The fries were your normal thick cut shoestrings with cheese and the house BBQ sauce.  The BBQ sauce made the dish with its lightly floral sweetness pepped up with a blend of spices to wake you up.  Mom and I could not get enough of the sauce, it was that good.

There is one dish we saw on the menu that we intend on going back to try.  Curry Goat sounds dangerously good.  It’s real goat meat on the bone cooked in the sweet yellow curry rather than the green spicy curry.  You can ask for more heat if you want, but it sounds just so good the way they have it described on the menu..

Now, fair warning, the Hibiscus has a bar, so be careful bringing your kids, even though they do have a kid’s menu.  I’m not saying don’t bring them, but you’ll want to go in there earlier in the evening with them.

There is also live music on Thursdays which I’ll investigate after I’m working again.  This weekend, they have a band coming in doing cover songs, but they normally have jazz and blues.  I enjoy all kinds of music and jazz if played well is always well worth listening.

My overall assessment:

Food: Excellent

Cleanliness: Excellent (everyone was making sure the place was kept clean and tidy)

Our Server: Very good and funny.  I hope to have him on my next visit.

Location: Good.  If you’re not looking, you’ll miss it.

Altogether, I give Hibiscus a 4.5 star rating.  For a little newbie on the food scene, and writing I may add, this is good and I hope it’s enough to get others to go and savor the bold flavor of Hibiscus.

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