Great service, great food, great prices — Western Country Diner is one of the 918’s best. Say hello to the statue of John Wayne when you enter this casual, friendly spot, and then get down to ordering some true comfort food, served in generous portions. Their signature chicken tenders — four jumbo, hand-breaded tenders fried to perfection and served with cream gravy, honey Dijon or ranch for dipping — are crisp on the outside, juicy inside. Their enormous chicken-fried steak, fried chicken livers and fried chicken sandwich are also excellent choices. The open face Texas burger with chili, cheese, jalapeno and onions is not only worth the price, it’s a country-burger experience with a goodness that stands alone.
Northeastern Oklahoma has a ton of options when it comes to eating out, and the Tulsa area would be its epicenter. The traditional Tulsa diner community has held on through the years, many times with a twist. Western Country Diner has done just that by offering an unexpectedly authentic down-home feel, especially when you consider who runs the show.
Ammar Albik, the diner’s owner and a native of Aleppo, Syria, makes contact with every customer he can, most of whom he knows by name. "Hello, Jason," he says warmly as he walks toward the kitchen, stopping at a table along the way to chat with one of the diner’s regulars. "We're family," Albik says. "It's a great community, and people get to know each other's family. We even call sometimes if we don't see someone. 'How are you? Is everything OK?'"
The menu at Western Country Diner is extensive, from breakfast served all day to steak and seafood to sandwiches and hamburgers. The diner's dessert menu is simply amazing as well. Albik's staff serves everything on the menu and sometimes things that aren't. "Some of our customers will ask for things like the eggs Benedict, and we can do that. They say it's the best they've ever had."
Not a lot has changed through the years inside the restaurant other than some fresh paint here and there. A unique smoking section completely set apart with its own separate ventilation system serves the smoking crowd without other patrons ever knowing. A life-size John Wayne statue smiles a 'howdy partner' to the customers when they arrive and when they saddle up to leave.
"We were big fans of John Wayne back in Syria. He's like my bodyguard," the smiling owner says, as he thumbs over his shoulder at the 6-foot statue behind him. "We got around the television and watched cowboy movies every Friday night. I always looked forward to it."
On the weekends, the diner is full to capacity most of the time and yet the friendly staff will greet you with a smile and get you seated pretty quickly. The reason it's a full house is because people are coming for the generous portions.
Made-from-scratch pancakes and waffles delight the palate; the Nutella waffles with fresh strawberries is a favorite of repeat customers. The fresh, delicious eggs with thick-cut bacon will put you and those sitting around you in an aromatic trance, leaving you absolutely stuffed but wanting more.
The fresh-out-of-the-oven biscuits — made completely from flour, served with about anything you want — are so light you'll think you've died and gone to home-cookin' heaven. All the breakfast items on the menu are served to perfection at Western Country Diner, and their prices for such feasts are astonishingly affordable compared to other diners and brunch locations around town.
A lot of customers order breakfast for lunch because they can and because it's good. However, most regulars eating lunch at the diner either opt for the tender open-faced roast beef sandwich with brown gravy served with mashed potatoes, or they enjoy the seasoned-just-right grilled chicken breast sandwich. Others will order the Texas burger, and you know what they say — everything's bigger in Texas. You'll forgive the name of the burger because it's so darn juicy. Covered with chili, cheese, jalapenos and onions, it's worth the visit every time.
For dinner, the highlight of the menu for most patrons is chicken-fried steak. Albik and his staff bring it out completely covered in a thick white gravy, and it's so tasty that you'll have to write home to your momma about it. You'll have a hard time not savoring every bite. The boneless, hand-breaded chicken tender platter, served with honey mustard or their crazy-good white gravy, is something you'll wish you got when you see the server bring it out to your neighbor.
Every Friday night, Western Country Diner offers an all-you-can-eat catfish with some of the most addicting hush puppies in Tulsa. Eat to your heart's (and stomach's) content and go back for more. They promise you'll leave 100 percent satised because they know how to keep customers coming back every week.
The diner's menu contains an enormous selection of delectable desserts, including fresh pumpkin pies, homemade pecan, delicious, mouthwatering apple, rich, elegant chocolate, luxurious lemon pie, and a fantastically moist carrot cake. Also, Western Country Diner is said by some to have the best baklava in town. Albik's Syrian version of baklava is as good as it gets in Tulsa, and that's saying something when you consider Green Country's a surprisingly rich hotbed of Middle Eastern cuisine.
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