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Smokin’ Good Time

With unforgettable piles of ribs, smoked wings, brisket and sides that are far from afterthoughts, any questions about Green Country barbecue greatness can be answered by Albert G’s Chuck Gawey.

Article
Donna Leahey
Photos
Marc Rains
Posted
July 28, 2018

Albert G’s is smokin’ to please and has been since 1992. For 26 years, a converted service station on Harvard has been home to some of the best barbecue to be found in barbecue-savvy Green Country, led by Chuck Gawey, who says he’s both the owner and dishwasher.

Whatever title you may decide to use for him, Gawey pulls some seriously good meats out of his smoker every day. “The pork and the brisket smoke all night,” Gawey says. “Twelve hours.” In the morning, racks of sausage and hot links, wings, bologna, turkey, and ribs generously rubbed with Gawey’s own spice blend wait to slow cook while soaking up the flavor of hickory smoke. “I like the flavor of hickory,” he says. “I think it tastes better.”

Albert G’s Harvard location was recently remodeled. The building is striking with a bright red exterior with wood siding and a bold red, white, and black sign pointing you toward the good eats to be found inside. With the remodel, the exterior doesn’t look that much like a gas station, but if you know what to look for, you can still see it. Inside, it’s a lot more obvious. The enclosed patio is where the pumps used to be. The dining room used to be the garage, in fact, the tracks for the overhead door are still in place. The dining room is decorated with an antique fuel pump and plenty of old gas station signs that Gawey and family have collected over the years. The Gawey family is permanently part of the place now; look for “Mom” and “Cathy” scratched into the slab near the front door. “That’s my mom and my sister,” Gawey says.

For 26 years, a converted service station on Harvard has been home to some of the best barbecue to be found in barbecue-savvy Green Country. (Photo: Marc Rains)
For 26 years, a converted service station on Harvard has been home to some of the best barbecue to be found in barbecue-savvy Green Country. (Photo: Marc Rains)

The look of Albert G’s Harvard location has changed, but the food is still the same fantastically flavorful smoked meats and delicious sides. In fact, with the opening of the downtown Albert G’s, the Harvard location’s menu has expanded.

The ribs are always a favorite, for good reason. They’re fall-off-the-bone tender and seasoned to perfection with Gawey’s own spice rub. These pork ribs are moist, rich, and satisfying. Albert G’s calls them Tulsa Style. “Tulsa style ribs are my version of St. Louis style,” he says. “They’re a St. Louis trim, but with our rub and our seasoning.” If you’re curious, a St. Louis trim starts with a full rack and then trims away the spareribs, leaving a uniform shape and nothing but tender meat on the bone.

The pulled pork is another favorite. After bathing all night in hickory smoke and slow heat, the pork is great all by itself or in one of Albert G’s sandwiches. Albert G’s housemade sauces go great on it, but honestly, it’s plenty flavorful on its own.

On Wednesday and Saturday, Albert G’s offers a smoked chicken dinner special. It’s a half-chicken, perfectly smoked and flavored. With your choice of sides, it’s a perfect meal.

The look of Albert G’s Harvard location has changed, but the food is still the same fantastically flavorful smoked meats and delicious sides. (Photo: Marc Rains)
The look of Albert G’s Harvard location has changed, but the food is still the same fantastically flavorful smoked meats and delicious sides. (Photo: Marc Rains)

That 12-hour smoked brisket can be served sliced or chopped and the care Gawey puts into it shows. It’s 100 percent certified Angus, served lean. Whether you prefer tender slices or juicy chopped, the savory beef flavored with Albert G’s seasoning and hickory smoke is a treat. It’s great on its own or as part of a combo plate.

Speaking of combo plates, Albert G’s two- or three-meat combo plates are a great way to explore the menu. You can try bologna, ribs, and sliced brisket, or maybe you’d prefer pulled pork, hot links, and turkey. It’s your choice of meats, so feel free to try something new. Each combo is served with two sides and makes for a great meal.

You can get any meat that’s not on a bone as a sandwich with one side. Pulled pork, chopped brisket, or some of that fantastic smoked turkey all make a great sandwich. Hot links, polish sausage, or the cut-to-order bologna all pile up very nicely on a bun.

For an adventure in a sandwich, try the Fat Albert G’s sandwich. It’s an exploration of the animal kingdom, combining a generous portion of bologna, chopped brisket, smoked turkey, and a butterflied hotlink stacked on a bun with coleslaw on top.

Just because the side items are on the side doesn’t mean they’re an afterthought. Everything from the baked beans to the sweet potato waffle fries are made with that same care that goes into the meats. Pay special attention to the tabouli. It’s Gawey’s mom’s recipe and is a perfect side for all that hearty smoked meat. The flavor is bright and light and the balance of textures is just right.

For a lighter meal, or a starter with friends, try one of the appetizers or salads. The smoked chicken wings are a great way to start any meal, or try the Route 66 nachos with crisp textures and savory toppings. And after, be sure to check out the desserts. If you can find any room at all, consider the chocolate bourbon pecan pie. It’s a little bit of heaven on the end of your fork.   

Locator

Albert G’s

Bar-B-Q

421 E. 1st St. | Tulsa

918-728-3650

albertgs.com

Monday-Sunday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

Albert G’s Bar-B-Q

2748 S. Harvard Ave. | Tulsa

918-747-4799

albertgs.com

Sunday-Thursday: 11 a.m.-8 p.m.

Friday-Saturday: 11 a.m.-9 p.m.

March 2019 Cover