Sure, Fat Daddy's is a sports bar with pool tables, TVs and plenty of suds. But it's food that drives everything they do. And not just regular "bar food."
Every neighborhood needs a neighborhood bar. For the last nine years, Fat Daddy’s Pub and Grille has been one of the best in south Tulsa.
Nestled in the shops at the corner of 81st Street and Memorial Drive, Fat Daddy’s guides you in with a rainbow of neon signs in the floor-to-ceiling windows. The inside is dark and reminiscent of an old Irish pub. In fact, Tulsa natives may remember that the location was an Irish Pub (Paddy’s) for over 20 years.
Fat Daddy’s captured Paddy’s comfortable feel and built on it. Owner Sean Welborn prides himself on that welcoming atmosphere.
“It’s a neighborhood pub in its purest form. If you walk in the door more than once, you’ll see the same people,” he says. “We’re like a family. It’s an eclectic group.” Part of that family is the crew at Fat Daddy’s. He has a cook who has worked with him for nine years, and another for five.
The ceiling near the bar is adorned with old-fashioned stamped tin tiles and the hardwood floor holds lots of memories. The bar is festively decorated with purple Christmas lights. There’s a pair of pool tables, Filing the space with the soothingly familiar sound of pool balls clacking against each other. A shiny metal sugar skull advertising tequila looks out over the dining area. There’s even a jukebox, if you’re not already feeling nostalgic for your younger days.
Fat Daddy’s is open to all ages until 9 p.m., which means during the day or evening, you might see children, adults, grandparents, students, and more all enjoying a daily special or tasty appetizer.
“Food drives everything we do,” Welborn says. He has a long background in hotel and restaurant management, which structures the menu and service. “It’s not just pub food. Not with my background.”
The menu is as eclectic as the staff and patrons. You can find pasta, burritos, catfish, and steaks alongside the burgers and sandwiches you might expect. To go along with the great selection of food, Fat Daddy’s has a selection of draft and bottled beers both foreign and domestic, as well as a full bar.
March is a big month for Fat Daddy’s. March Madness will dominate the TVs, and crowds will be there every night for the games. Spring break brings young adults back in town, and, best and biggest of all, St. Patrick’s Day, because everyone’s a little bit Irish on St. Paddy’s day.
“We have traditional Irish stuff like Guinness Stew, corned beef and cabbage, and shepherd’s pie. We fly in Irish soda bread from a bakery in Boston, and we’ll be serving that until we run out of it. People love it. And Tulsa Pipes and Drums comes in in the evening to play.” So, if you’re looking for a place for some hearty traditional Irish food and music for your St. Paddy’s Day, Fat Daddy’s has the mood, the food, and the pipes.
Welborn has a tough time answering the question of what’s most popular.
“Everything sells,” he says. “Everything’s popular.” He concedes the Reuben is a popular choice along with the burgers. “We use certified Angus beef,” he says. “Not a lot of places in Tulsa do.” All the fried appetizers are tasty, but Welborn hopes you try the onion rings or the fried mushrooms. “If they try one of those, I know I’ve got them hooked.”
He’s not kidding about those onion rings. They are seriously tasty as an appetizer or side dish, with tender, seasoned, light hand-breading. The thin-sliced onion is nicely caramelized and full of flavor.
Fat Daddy’s has daily specials and daily soups. They’ve got their Taco Tuesday, Wednesday is Wing Madness, Thursday is two-for-one burger day, and Friday offers a steak special. They’ve brought back their popular pick two starters special, where you can choose two delicious starters for one price. Options include sweet potato fries, spicy fried pickles, spicy battered cauliflower, and corn nuggets.
The Reuben is served on crispy toasted marble rye, filled with a generous serving of 100 percent certified Angus corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing. Its rich, complex flavors are balanced perfectly. Try it with the french fries, which are lightly seasoned, and perfectly fried for a crisp exterior and a light interior.
If you like heat, Fat Daddy’s can set you up. But you better be serious about it before you order the sriracha burger, because it’s not playing around. They start with a thick Angus beef burger and top it with a layer of sautéed jalapenos, smoky ghost pepper cheese, and drizzle the whole thing with hot chili sauce. You’ll be surprised; often sriracha overpowers a meal, but with this burger, it complements the other flavors. The flavor of the jalapenos is enhanced by the sautéing and plays well with the creamy heat of the ghost pepper cheese.
If you’re trying to watch your calories, Fat Daddy’s has a lighter side section with all entrees under 500 calories. Try their flavorful Mandarin chicken stir-fry or refreshing Greek salad. All the lighter side options are a great choice for a lunch that won’t make you want to nap all afternoon.
For a hearty lunch, consider Fat Daddy’s spuds. You can get a traditional spud with butter, sour cream, bacon, scallions, and cheese, but why be traditional? Try a roast beef spud with caramelized onions, cheddar-Jack cheese, and a side of au jus. Or go south of the border for a spud loaded with chili, melted cheddar-jack, scallions, jalapenos, and sour cream. With six different spuds to choose from, you’ll find something to satisfy.
Fat Daddy’s Pub and Grille
8056 S. Memorial Dr. | Tulsa
Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-2 a.m.
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