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Waffly Nice

In the hands of Waffle That’s Roy Tillis, the knockout combination of perfectly-seasoned fried chicken atop warm, buttery waffles and housemade syrup is enough to satisfy any sweet and salty craving.

Donna Leahey
Sarah Eliza Roberts
March 28, 2020

There’s a stretch of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that was named for one of Oklahoma’s favorite sons, James “Quick” Tillis, a heavyweight fighter who went the distance — a full 12 rounds — against Mike Tyson in 1986, ultimately breaking Tyson’s 19 knockout streak. This was at a time when no one was making it past two rounds against Tyson. That same stretch of road is home to Waffle That, owned and run by Quick’s nephew, Roy Tillis.  

In addition to his surname, Roy also shares his uncle’s drive to win. He’s been operating the Waffle That food truck for two years, showing up to deliver sweet and savory treats around Guthrie Green, various big events, and local businesses for lunches. If you’ve been missing the Waffle That truck, it’ll be on the road again when the weather warms up. In the meantime, Tillis brought his waffle expertise to a brick and mortar location in November 2019.

Loaded Fries (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Loaded Fries (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

For many, waffles are a favorite meal. They are crispy, airy, and versatile enough to complement any breakfast. The combination is perfect alongside eggs and bacon, or even smothered in rich, creamy gravy. Waffles are a sweet way to start your day or end it. Do you prefer yours dripping with creamy butter and syrup? Or topped with fresh ice cream and fruit? Or maybe you like yours with hot and crispy fried chicken.

Whatever your favorite way to waffle, Tillis has you covered.

Don’t be fooled by Waffle That’s unassuming building. Inside, the red and black tables are distinct and give the place a vibrant, warm energy. “Red is exciting,” says Tillis. “It makes you feel better.” Note the pictures on the walls, one of a street sign showing the intersection of Quick Tillis Way and Frankford Place. The other, a photo of Quick Tillis himself in the ring with Mike Tyson. Quick is a big man, and he looks strong going up against Iron Mike.

Like his uncle, Tillis believes in putting in the work. “Doing it the hard way is the best way,” he says. “I’ve been cooking my whole life. Even before the food truck, I worked on the recipes for one and a half years. I also make my syrup.”

Chicken in a Cone (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)
Chicken in a Cone (Photo: Sarah Eliza Roberts)

Tillis is quiet and soft-spoken and lets his recipes speak for him. And boy, do they have things to say.

The chicken and waffles are Waffle That’s top seller. This signature dish is served with three enormous chicken tenders, fried to rich, dark, crispy perfection. The tenders are crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, with a wonderfully seasoned flavor. The waffle itself is golden and hearty, with a lovely browned exterior and just a hint of sweetness inside. Pour Tillis’s syrup over the whole thing for a sweet, savory, creamy flavor explosion.

The chicken in a waffle cone is another excellent option for getting your hands on that fantastic chicken. Waffle That’s amazing chicken is chopped, served in a waffle cone, and then drizzled with your choice of sweet or savory sauces.

Another unique take on waffles and chicken is the chicken and waffle bites. Waffle That chops up chicken tenders and dips them in waffle batter. They’re deep-fried to crispy perfection and sprinkled with powder sugar. These sweet and crispy bites give you the best of chicken and waffles in one easy, delightful bite.

The loaded fries are a different take on Tillis’s everything-is-a-waffle commitment. A tray is covered generously with waffle-cut fries and chicken, then topped with ranch dressing, Buffalo sauce, and Waffle That’s syrup. It’s a first-round KO.

If you want a heartier breakfast, the loaded breakfast waffle comes with scrambled eggs and your choice of bacon or sausage. If you want it heartier, get it covered in rich, creamy gravy. Talk about sticking to your ribs.

If you need more sweet to your waffle than can be provided by syrup, you should take a look at the dessert waffles. These desserts are as beautiful as they are delicious, topped with fruits stacked intricately atop a sweet and fluffy waffle, creamy vanilla ice cream, and sweet toppings. The cinnamon roll waffle is a tempting treat, as is the cookie butter waffle, drizzled with creamy sweet cookie butter.

If you’re looking for catering, Waffle That would love to help. They can come out in the food truck or do regular catering for your event. Give them a call if you want to treat your guests to something extra special for your next party or event.  

Waffle That
2115 M.L.K. Jr Blvd. | Tulsa
Monday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Tuesday: Closed
Wednesday-Thursday: 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
Friday-Saturday: 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

April 2020 Cover