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Independence Graze

In a town known for its steaks, Steak Stuffers USA is patriotically serving creative and modern updates to an East Coast favorite that’s been luring cheesesteak-lovers through its doors for years.

Donna Leahey
Marc Rains
May 28, 2019

Philadelphia. The birthplace of America. The Liberty Bell. The signing of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Sylvester Stallone as Rocky running up the steps of the Museum of Art. If you visit Philadelphia, you’ll no doubt take in all the history, steep yourself in Americana, and along the way, enjoy another Philadelphia icon: a Philly cheesesteak.

Fortunately for Tulsa residents, you don’t have to travel halfway across the country for the latter two. You can indulge in a savory, creamy cheesesteak and enjoy all the Americana you could want at Steak Stuffers USA right here in Tulsa.

The interior of Steak Stuffers USA is like diving into the stars and stripes. Everywhere you look, from the red-and-white striped table cloths to the red ceiling with blue rafters and white fans, the decor celebrates America. Little statues of Uncle Sam frolic on a partition, and a nutcracker painted in red, white, and blue holds a flag on a staff. The red, white, and blue walls host old-fashioned metal signs with images of Betty Boop and saluting soldiers. Even co-owner Patty Parmeter’s dangly beaded earrings match the flag theme.

Meatball Stuffer (Photo: Marc Rains)
Meatball Stuffer (Photo: Marc Rains)

Parmeter and her husband, Larry, purchased Steak Stuffers USA from original owners, George, Bee, and Garth Van Wyck, about a year ago, but the restaurant has a 30-year tradition in Tulsa. The Van Wycks were Philadelphia natives who opened the first Steak Stuffers USA in their hometown, then moved to Tulsa and brought their restaurant with its traditional Philly cheesesteaks with them.

Steak Stuffers USA was a family affair under the Van Wycks, and that’s another tradition that has continued. Parmeter works alongside her husband, three daughters, three granddaughters, and one grandson to serve up deliciousness to hungry Tulsans.

Parmeter says little has changed since they purchased the location. “We wanted the tradition to continue,” she says. “We kept the patriotic theme, too.” It’s still the same, great quality, customized sandwiches and individualized customer service that the Van Wycks were famous for.

One change Parmeter is excited for is an online ordering system. You can text SSUSA to 33733 or go to steakstuffersusa.com to start your order. The website or phone app will take you through your order, customizing the meal to your preference and letting you pay online. “There’s no line, no waiting to pay, no waiting to order. You can come in and pick up your order fast,” she says. It’s a super convenient and quick way to get your Steak Stuffers USA fix.

Onion Rings (Photo: Marc Rains)
Onion Rings (Photo: Marc Rains)

If you’ve never had a Philly cheesesteak, you are in for a treat. A traditional cheesesteak, the apparent favorite at Steak Stuffers, is served on a hoagie roll, or as Parmeter calls it, a stuffer loaf. It’s filled with thinly sliced beef steak and topped with cheese, peppers, and onions. It’s savory, creamy, and flavorful. Steak Stuffers offers this traditional cheesesteak in their No. 1 combo special: a 6-inch steak stuffer, fries, and a drink for $9.40. “We sell that special all day long,” adds Parmeter.

You can get your steak stuffer with your choice of less traditional offerings as well. There’s a pizza steak stuffer with provolone and tomato sauce, or a barbecue steak stuffer.

Burgers are another popular choice at Steak Stuffers USA. “We sell so many burgers,” she says. They’re made with fresh ground beef and, of course, you can customize the burger. There’s the cheeseburger stuffer, the mushroom cheeseburger stuffer, and a pizza burger stuffer. For a delicious and potentially messy choice, consider the chili cheeseburger stuffer. It’s worth the extra napkins.

You might be surprised to find a veggie option at a place called Steak Stuffers, but Parmeter offers several health-conscious choices including a veggie stuffer. There are several “lite” versions of their stuffers as well as a delicious selection of fresh and tasty salads with steak or chicken toppings.

For a more Okie version of a stuffer, try the grilled bologna stuffer with barbecue sauce and cheese. It’s bologna like momma used to make it stuffed in a hoagie. Tulsa meets Philly on a bun.

Steak Stuffers is also open for breakfast, with menu offerings that provide the same fresh quality and delicious dedication as lunch and dinner, with breakfast options like steak and cheese burritos, biscuits and gravy, or a health-conscious power bowl.

When choosing sides, you can’t go wrong with the traditional fries. They’re cooked beautifully and served hot and fresh. At the same time, you have plenty of other choices, including some genuine surprises. There are favorites like onion rings or fresh chips, but there’s also zucchini strips with ranch, spicy corn fries, and sweet potato puffs. You can choose mac and cheese or mozzarella cheese sticks. Or go back to the fries and get them topped with cheese or chili and cheese.

What about dessert? Steak Stuffers brings sweet treats to you. There’s the smooth and creamy cheesecake, or some tangy pineapple rings that are sure to hit the spot. The fruit pie turnovers are a particular favorite. Fried crisp and golden, they’re available in apple, cherry, or lemon flavors and are crisp, sweet, tart and delightful. Funnel Fries are made just like those crispy funnel cakes at the fair; only they’re shaped like fries before being dusted with sweet powdered sugar.

Steak Stuffers USA
7846 E. 51st St. | Tulsa
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday: Closed