As a fifth-generation Tulsan and a wannabe cheeseburger aficionado, I have a confession to make.
Before today, I had never eaten a Claud's burger.
The photo above is the (entire) dining room at Claud's today at about 1 p.m., where customers dined on $2 burgers and crispy fries, all made fresh to-order, right before their blessed eyes.
I don't think the dining room at Claud's, which has seating for just 12, ever looks much different than it does above. I've never driven by and seen the place any way but packed.
Sure, I'd heard of Claud's. I'd heard Midtowners talk about their cravings for the burgers, and I'd heard lots of Brookside shoppers begging on their cell phones with friends staged at Claud's for a milkshake. Somehow, though I have lived in this city for more than 25 years and have driven by or heard about Claud's probably hundreds of times, I have arrived seriously late to this party.
Better late than never, as I always say.
To seal the deal, here's the ultimate proof that a Claud's burger lives up to the raves of the burger proficient in T-Town: take-out orders are written on the bag.
Don't ask why this validates a burger joint, because I don't know. It's just one of those constants of the universe. My lunch today, which I will probably dream about tonight, only added to the pile of proof for this theory.
After I was pulled kicking and screaming from the little green-and-white burger stand at 3834 S. Peoria, I ended up sniffing through the coffee selection at Mecca Coffee Company.
And proceeded to purchase several obscure cooking gadgets that I hadn't been able to find anywhere else in town. Behold:
My husband and baby boy stand guard at the gate of my happiness and the source of why I have to spend so much of my time running around the block huffing and puffing, burning calories like a madwoman.
Then we mosied over the Purple Glaze, a new favorite hangout of ours. Given the times, we thought our little man could use one of these:
Is it gender programming that we painted the piggy bank blue? Does the piggy bank look as if it got hold of one of those everlasting gobstoppers with the blueberry pie at the end? Or does the piggy bank just look really surprised and I'm overthinking all of this?
Answer: all of the above. Sorry.
We're not very good at cruising Brookside without stopping in at Lundeby's, even if it is past a certain someone's nap time.
After Christmas brought an onslaught of walker trucks - four (!) - and toys, books and puzzles, we hit the market for some type of storage solution so our little guy doesn't mistake our den for the game room at Incredible Pizza.
We didn't find anything like that at Lundeby's today, but don't think we made it out of there empty-handed.
Or straight-faced. Actually, straight-faced really hasn't been part of our state of being since our baby boy came along.
Want some fresh, earthy, texture-rich bread with that mush?
Great Harvest Bread Co., in Tulsa at the Farm Shopping Center on the southeast corner of the 51st and Sheridan intersection, would be a great place to start that search. We stopped by there today and ended up with two loaves of a bread called Dakota, which is chock-full of seeds and nuts. Also try the Cheddar Garlic, and don't forget to add the jalapenos. It's what any self-respecting Tulsan would do.
After a full and unusual winter day of mild weather and temperatures in the mid-seventies, we'll be back to hovering at freezing tomorrow. From what we saw in the outdoor patios lining Brookside and Utica Square, a lot of you got to get out, de-thaw, and enjoy the day as much as we did.