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Holy Smoke

Not much is tastier than smoked meats. And taking its ‘cue from a secret rub and brazenly seasoned meats, Albert G’s is rolling out plenty of soul-satisfying options. Let’s dig in, shall we?

Donna Leahey
Marc Rains
April 29, 2017

A Tulsa tradition since 1992, Albert G’s is bringing the meat. Just don’t ask owner Chuck Gawey for his secret rub recipe, he won’t give it to you. Visit him at Albert G’s Bar & Q, though, and he’ll be glad to serve that rub to you, on generous plates of slow-smoked brisket, ribs, turkey, and more. Of course, all that sweet, savory, and spicy goodness will just make you want that recipe even more.

The original location on Harvard features a comfortable outdoor dining area and large glass windows to let in natural light. Before Albert G’s moved in, it was a gas station. They remodeled, added a deck, and bought their first smoker. It’s over 30 years old now and still slow smoking quality meats to perfection. “We’re planning a birthday bash this summer,” Gawey says. 

About three and a half years ago, Gawey opened the downtown location. The door handle is a modified meat cleaver. And that lets you know you’re in for something special. The white, steel, and red exterior opens into the spacious dark wood interior with red painted highlights and exposed roof beams. Lights dangle from the ceiling high overhead while the scent of wood smoke permeates the walls. 

Tulsa-Style Ribs (Photo: Marc Rains)
Tulsa-Style Ribs (Photo: Marc Rains)

Hidden behind the kitchen, the smoke room is a cozy area with stainless steel smokers dominating the space. Racks of ribs and turkey breast are generously rubbed with Gawey’s secret recipe before being tossed in the smoker to bathe in hickory and pecan smoke. 

“It’s a team effort. Every morning, we’re in here prepping,” Gawey says. “Spending extra time prepping the meats, hand-chopping the brisket. We make the sauce and rub, and then every night we’re in here rubbing the brisket and setting it to smoke overnight.”

That brisket is the most popular item on the menu. It’s certified Angus beef slow- smoked for over 12 hours. The beef is tender and juicy and full of smoked flavor. The pork ribs are another popular choice. The meat falls off the bone, and the rub gives them just the right kick. They’re so good, you will find room for just one more until they’re all gone.

The smoked chicken wings are a spicy favorite too. “They’re smoked on custom racks for one and a half hours, then fried to order.” The result is a crispy, juicy, tender wing with enough heat to make you reach for another sip of your drink before going back in for another bite.

Gawey’s favorite menu item is the smoked sweet potato. It comes drenched in butter, brown sugar, sour cream and topped with your choice of chopped brisket, pulled pork, or chunks of hickory bacon. He also wants everyone to try the tabouli.

“My mom worked at the Harvard location when we opened, and she said we should have tabouli,” he says. “We still make it the same way. It’s a lot of work, but we still serve it.”

Don’t miss the Route 66 Nachos off the appetizer menu. Crisp tortilla chips smothered in white queso, sour cream, tomatoes, scallions, and jalapenos with your choice of chopped brisket or pulled pork. Zesty salsa comes on the side.

The sandwich menu is filled with meaty options like brisket, pulled pork, turkey, bologna, polish sausage or hot links. You can also choose Albert G’s BLT piled with thick smoked bacon or the Fat Albert G’s, a meaty treat with bologna, brisket, turkey, pulled pork, and a hot link topped with coleslaw and a sweet sauce. It will satisfy even the hungriest appetite. All the sandwiches come with your choice from Albert G’s tasty menu of side items.

Sweet G's Potato (Photo: Marc Rains)
Sweet G's Potato (Photo: Marc Rains)

Dinners come with one, two, or three meat options and two sides. You get even more meat choices with dinner. In addition to brisket, pulled pork, turkey, bologna, polish sausage or hot links, you can also have Albert G’s amazing Tulsa style ribs and, Wednesday and Saturday nights, you have the option for their famous smoked chicken. 

It will be a challenge, but save some room for dessert. You won’t regret it. Among the sweet options are banana pudding, Key lime pie, sweet potato pie, and an apple tart topped with ice cream. All those options are great, but don’t pass up the chance to try the chocolate bourbon pecan pie. Even people who don’t like pecan pie will love this one. Sweet pecan pie filling, rich, smoky bourbon and chocolate chips baked right into it. The flavors blend together into a satisfying tasty treat that will keep you coming back for one more taste.

The downtown location boasts Tulsa’s largest selection of whiskey, Oklahoma craft beer, and cocktails. Be sure to try the barrel-aged cocktails. The best selling is the Sauza black barrel margarita. Albert G’s starts with Hornitos Black Barrel blended into a traditional margarita, then adds bitters and ages it for more than 12 weeks in a charred barrel. When you order it, they add sweet and sour, agave nectar, and a splash of grapefruit. You’ve never had a margarita like this. It’s a special treat that will taste great next to any of Albert G’s meals.

There’s daily happy hour, daily specials like the fried catfish, and plenty of televisions for sporting events.

If you’ve got an event that needs catering, consider Albert G’s. “Ten to 1,000,” says Gawey. “We cater every day. We’re flexible and will work with you. We’ve done whole pigs for special events.”

Albert G's Bar & Q
421 E. 1st St. | Tulsa
Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
2748 S. Harvard Ave. | Tulsa
Monday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
Sunday: Closed