I recently drove to Kansas City to spend some time with my family. I already know that the drive from Austin to Kansas City is just short enough that it seems drivable in one day. It is actually just long enough to drive me batty being stuck in the car for that long so we always break the drive up into two days when we do it. This time, we stopped in Tulsa for the night as I like to get most of my driving done the first day.
Although I’m from the midwest, I’ve never been to Tulsa and didn’t really know what to expect. I imagined a smaller biggish town (yes, that totally made sense). I knew that I would be ready to sit down for dinner and drinks after driving across Texas and most of Oklahoma (read: I would need a reward).
I picked James E McNellie’s after spying their beer choices and reasonably priced food. We are totally beer people (maybe even beer snobs) and love checking out new brews when we travel.
The outside of McNellie’s is a brick building with large windows showing off the eating area and the bar. Inside, the exposed brick walls continue (love!) with dark, hardwood floors and butcher block tables. There’s an area with a pool table and bar shuffleboard games. I thought this place had an upbeat atmosphere with a British (maybe Irish?) pub feeling. The decor had quirky trinkets covering the walls. The vibe was really cool and everyone was having a good time.
Unfortunately, our server wasn’t great. He was prompt when we needed him but not a big communicator and definitely not very personable. So he did the job but wasn’t helpful with questions or suggestions.
They have over 350 beers on the menu so there is something for everyone. I started out with a Boulevard Tank 7 because I love Boulevard and needed a thinking beer to figure out what to order. I also ended up doing the Oklahoma flight to get a sampling of beers from the area. They weren’t all winners for me but I enjoyed trying them.
For the appetizer, we ordered the spinach artichoke dip. This was pretty good but I thought that the parmesan really overpowered the other flavors in the dish. For dinner, I ordered the cottage pie. It has Guinness marinated beef tips topped with mashed potatoes and cheese, and served with a side of veggies. The cottage pie was delish. My husband ordered the sausage dish and was happy with it also.
Overall, we enjoyed our meal and would certainly return if we ever find ourselves in Tulsa again.