Searching for the only place in Stillwater OK serving up outstanding made-to-order burgers, fabulous burnt ends, and delicious BBQ? That place is Cherokee Strip BBQ.
You don’t have to live in the state very long to know that Oklahoma BBQ is legit. In Stillwater alone there are several really good BBQ restaurants. When I first moved here I ate lunch at home every day. Then after a couple months I started eating out a couple times a week with co-workers. One place that often came up as a lunch option was Cherokee Strip BBQ.
Cherokee Strip BBQ is just minutes from campus, in the same strip mall as Golden Dragon Cafe, one of my favorite Chinese restaurants in town. The only down side to eating at a BBQ place is that you smell like it the entire day. But let’s be honest, there are worse things to smell like. Brett, the owner, said they do tons of catering on gameday during football season, and that’s no surprise. We used to do a work event surrounding National Signing Day for football, we used Cherokee Strip BBQ for cole slaw and baked beans, and were never disappointed.
I still can’t believe I haven’t done a review on this place. Brett gave me grief when I began the blog, because I didn’t do a review. But at the time, I was only doing brand new restaurants. And then after I added repeat restaurants to the blog, I didn’t go back to Cherokee Strip BBQ for a really long time. One of the rules of Repeats with a Twist was that I had to try something different on the menu. But there are a few exceptions, and this is one of them.
I honestly can’t even tell you the last time I ate here. National Burger Day was last month, and I really wanted something other than fast food. That’s when Cherokee Strip BBQ sprang to mind, and I knew this was the perfect opportunity to go back and do a review.
Cherokee Strip BBQ is a local place, really kind of a hole in the wall, with no frills. But that’s a big part of the charm. When you walk in, the line is immediately to your right. The menu is listed on a large chalkboard above the counter, and you order your protein first. Then you walk through the line and pick up your sides. Cold sides include cole slaw, pickles and several different types of salads; hot sides include baked beans, cobbler, and potatoes. The drink machine comes next, and then you pay for your meal and sit down. There is also a separate table with condiments.
Whenever we came to lunch here, I would be the rebel of the group and get a burger. I know that sounds weird to be eating a burger at a BBQ place, but if you’ve had the burger you would understand. They cook the burgers to order so my food would always be the last to come out. Up side for me, down side for the rest of the group. My friend Chase used to work there, and after a few visits he immediately knew I wanted a burger so he would put one on the grill as soon as we walked in. Great service, and it cut down significantly on the wait.
I hadn’t seen Brett in quite a while, and since I arrived before the lunch rush we had a few minutes to catch up. He still remembered my burger fetish, so he put one on the grill for me. He also gave me a sample of burnt ends, their Thursday special
Wow. I can’t properly explain how phenomenal and melt in your mouth these are. Smoky, tender, juicy, and incredibly flavorful. I know some people don’t like the ends because they’re burnt. But that’s the best part! I devoured them as I waited for my burger.
As I mentioned earlier, they cook burgers to order. I really don’t mind the wait, because you know it’s going to be screaming hot and fresh, and cooked just the way I want it.
This burger is so juicy and flavorful. I don’t know this for a fact, but I’m quite sure they use locally raised beef. You can taste the difference, and that difference is significant. This burger was slightly saltier than I remember, and I’m thinking maybe a little too much seasoning. But I didn’t let that stop me. I almost never get 1/2lb burgers because it’s always too much food. However, I make 2 exceptions: Cherokee Strip BBQ, and a place right off campus at U of Maryland that we went to a lot while I worked there.
I always get fries with a burger. I mean, that’s really the only way to go. And here, they cook them to order as well. Brett didn’t hear me say fries, so when my plate came to the table it was only the burger. However, he immediately put some in the fryer. That’s another thing I love about this place. When they cook your food to order, they bring it out to you. A few minutes later my fries arrived.
The fries were fantastic as well. Scorching hot, crisp on the outside, fluffy on the inside.
I need to remember to eat at Cherokee Strip BBQ more often. And now that I’ve experienced the burnt ends, that will definitely be my twist.