Monday, June 21, 2010

The Brook: This Is Summer

The Brook

You know how when fall and winter start to come around that you notice you crave things like chicken pot pie and bread pudding and generally heavy, food-for-the-soul-type stuff?

And how when spring arrives the first thing everyone wants is anything besides chicken pot pie and bread pudding? And how you feel like if you have to eat another piece of citrus you might just cry your eyes out? You need real fruit, by George!

Well, me, too. And when summer (and 90-plus percent humidity) is in the air, I get to craving one thing.

The Brook

And that's macaroni and cheese with some buffalo chicken tenders from Brook on Brookside, known by us locals as "The Brook."

The Brook

The Brook

I know it seems like an unlikely choice for summer. It's not a light meal, by any means, and it's not anything that's going to cool a person from the intense Oklahoma heat from the inside out.

But, to me, it's bright and festive like summer, with a little spiciness to boot. And it also happens to be the best macaroni and cheese and buffalo chicken I ever had, anywhere. Including my grandma's house.

Sorry, grandma. I love your homemade mac-and-cheese, but it's just not as creamy or as decadent or as addictive as the macaroni and cheese from The Brook. Beyond that, I can't explain my obsession. It just is.

The Brook

And so I accept it. With a knife and with a fork. And sometimes a bib.

Because it is.

The Brook

That it's all served in one of the most interesting, independently-owned restaurants in Tulsa just adds to the awesomeness. See, the Brook, in all of its doo-wop splendor, was a popular movie theatre back in its first life. Now, it's one of the most happening restaurants on Brookside, open for lunch and dinner and into the night for the crowd that knows how to get their bar hop on.

The Brook

Macaroni and cheese and buffalo chicken tenders in an old moviehouse on a historic and hip bar-and-restaurant strip to help kick off summer 2010? Remind me - how far would I have to drive before I found an experience that could compare to this? All the way around the globe and back to Brookside, right?

Yeah. That's what I thought.

The Brook
3401 S. Peoria Ave.
The Brook on Urbanspoon


Shane B. said...

That's my all time favorite combo there too!

brooke said...

I just stubled upon your blog! I HAVE to go there!

Brian S. said...

The Brook opened in 1945. I remember it many years later, there was a great bookstore there. I must try it!!

My favorite mac and cheese recipe, from the New York Times:

2 tablespoons butter
1 cup cottage cheese (not lowfat)
2 cups milk (not skim)
1 teaspoon dry mustard
Pinch cayenne
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound sharp or extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ pound elbow pasta, uncooked.

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and position an oven rack in upper third of oven. Use 1 tablespoon butter to butter a 9-inch round or square baking pan.

2. In a blender, purée cottage cheese, milk, mustard, cayenne, nutmeg and salt and pepper together. Reserve ¼ cup grated cheese for topping. In a large bowl, combine remaining grated cheese, milk mixture and uncooked pasta. Pour into prepared pan, cover tightly with foil and bake 30 minutes.

3. Uncover pan, stir gently, sprinkle with reserved cheese and dot with remaining tablespoon butter. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes more, until browned. Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.

Anonymous said...

My mom remembers when that was a movie theater. She saw Sound of Music there when it came out.

Holly said...

Oooh I love the fact that you included the Urban Spoon rating! I wouldn't say that Urban Spoon can make or break a place, but it's close.

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