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Talk About Tulsa => Restaurant Reviews => Topic started by: Conan71 on February 08, 2011, 01:56:26 pm



Title: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on February 08, 2011, 01:56:26 pm
Location(s) Being Reviewed: 1900 S. Riverside
Date/Time of Visit: Feb 8, 2011 12:45pm
Quality of Food (1-5): 4
Menu/Food Options (1-5): 4
Quality of Service (1-5): 5
Atmosphere (1-5): 5
Overall Rating (1-5): 4
Price ($-$$$$$): $ to $$
What makes this restaurant unique:

Unless you've been hiding under a rock or totally out of step with Tulsa development, you'd know this is one of the most anticipated openings of the last year.  Set on a coveted piece of real estate adjacent to the River Park trail and set on piers out over the river bank, it's THE place to see.  It's got a major cool factor.

Keep in mind they are still in their soft opening mode.  There is still site work being done and final touches on the building and surrounding site which means there's still torn up parking lots.  Parking is definitely still an issue, with part of the lot directly east of the restaurant still closed off to construction equipment.

I arrived at 12:45 and the place was packed.  The wait looked like 20 minutes so I took a seat at the bar and ordered.  I had the tried and true Blue Rose Special (hamburger with crumbled bleu cheese & bacon on a kaiser roll) and hand cut fries ($8.99).  As luck would have it, someone apparently had mis-ordered and I had my burger in 2 minutes which made the jaws drop on the people I was sitting next to  ;D

Great food just as I remembered it.  It's pub grub so it's not gourmet and it's not the best burger I've never had, but it never was that way.  Some of the same wait staff is back and I recognized several patrons from the old days.  The interior is a lot lighter than the old BRC and the layout is entirely different with new memorabilia and some of the old stuff.  The look and feel reminds me a lot of a ski lodge at a Colorado resort.  It especially looks like that with all the snow right now.

This is a place I will be spending a lot of time at in the future.  I think Tom Dittus has got another hit on his hands.  The only problem will be having the ability to serve everyone who will want to hang out here for the view and cool factor.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Townsend on February 08, 2011, 02:01:04 pm
The dual level Patio is a plus for seating in the nicer months.

Did you notice the decor from Bell's?


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on February 08, 2011, 02:03:50 pm
Not sure which part was their's.  I could have spent an hour looking at stuff on the walls.  I noticed a large golf ball like you'd use to write on your score card at a hole.  Was that from their putt putt course?


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Townsend on February 08, 2011, 02:16:50 pm
Not sure which part was their's.  I could have spent an hour looking at stuff on the walls.  I noticed a large golf ball like you'd use to write on your score card at a hole.  Was that from their putt putt course?

Yes.  There was another piece on the South end of the interior too.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Breadburner on February 08, 2011, 02:29:39 pm
Place looks great....


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: DTowner on February 08, 2011, 03:57:57 pm
Stopped by for lunch yesterday.  The food was good - I had the blackened chicken salad.  It wasn't spectacular, but it was what I expected and the menu had a wide selection of items.  The service was efficient.  The crowd was larger than I expected for a Monday this time of year.  The rock-n-roll memorabillia was interesting.  I will take more time to look around next time I'm there.

The inside is very nice and it will be awesome when the weather warms up and the river gets some water in it - especially when they open up those garage doors to the top deck.  Parking will be a big problem on nice days simply because so many people will be there - a good problem to have.  A great addition and example of what quality river development can be like in that area.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: SXSW on February 08, 2011, 06:36:22 pm
I look forward to going once the weather is warmer.  I can just see summer evenings being really busy with Blue Rose packed, people listening to live music at Elwood's, and joggers and bikers whizzing by.  I'm hoping it generates more of a buzz for the neighborhood and some of the older apartments are fixed up or torn down/rebuilt.  It's a cool area for sure.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on February 08, 2011, 07:32:28 pm
I look forward to going once the weather is warmer.  I can just see summer evenings being really busy with Blue Rose packed, people listening to live music at Elwood's, and joggers and bikers whizzing by.  I'm hoping it generates more of a buzz for the neighborhood and some of the older apartments are fixed up or torn down/rebuilt.  It's a cool area for sure.

That ground lease is basically a license to print money.  If Tom will stick to the principles he founded the original Blue Rose on, the food quality remains good, service is a top priority, and he keeps a hand in the day-to-day operation it will be wildly successful.  

Tom screwed up in the past, he got too strung out on the Steamroller Blues concept and neglected what was his best asset.  Consequently, the BRC started getting shabby around the edges, service and food quality started to suffer, and a lot of his core crowd moved on to other places.  I'm not saying anything I haven't already told him several times.  I hope he realizes he's a big part in the formula for his success.  


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Breadburner on February 11, 2011, 08:57:20 am
That ground lease is basically a license to print money.  If Tom will stick to the principles he founded the original Blue Rose on, the food quality remains good, service is a top priority, and he keeps a hand in the day-to-day operation it will be wildly successful.  

Tom screwed up in the past, he got too strung out on the Steamroller Blues concept and neglected what was his best asset.  Consequently, the BRC started getting shabby around the edges, service and food quality started to suffer, and a lot of his core crowd moved on to other places.  I'm not saying anything I haven't already told him several times.  I hope he realizes he's a big part in the formula for his success.  

He knows he made a mistake....Won't happen again.....


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: charky on February 11, 2011, 10:45:46 am
Took my wife and kids Thursday evening and we were incredibly disappointed. The place looks amazing...but the food was flat out awful. Kids had mac and cheese...which was obviously store bought Kraft...along with some warm veggies. There were starving and ate it...but for $5...come on.

We both had burgers...the Blue Rose and the mushroom and Swiss. Both were burnt to a hockey puck...no flavor...cold fries and way overcooked onion rings.

My wife and Tom are friends from way back and he was gracious enough to comp the burgers. I'll definitely give the place the benefit of the doubt; I know that the first few weeks are tough and it takes awhile for the kitchen to find its groove.

I have great memories of the old Blue Rose...and we'll be back...we're just going to give it awhile.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: DwnTwnTul on February 11, 2011, 01:27:42 pm
Great location and cool building, but the food and service is horrible!  For me, it will serve as only a bar when the weather is nice. 


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: brunoflipper on February 11, 2011, 02:59:55 pm
Took my wife and kids Thursday evening and we were incredibly disappointed. The place looks amazing...but the food was flat out awful. Kids had mac and cheese...which was obviously store bought Kraft...along with some warm veggies. There were starving and ate it...but for $5...come on.

We both had burgers...the Blue Rose and the mushroom and Swiss. Both were burnt to a hockey puck...no flavor...cold fries and way overcooked onion rings.

My wife and Tom are friends from way back and he was gracious enough to comp the burgers. I'll definitely give the place the benefit of the doubt; I know that the first few weeks are tough and it takes awhile for the kitchen to find its groove.

I have great memories of the old Blue Rose...and we'll be back...we're just going to give it awhile.

went thursday as well... all burgers from "medium" to "medium well" were well done/charred, not good...

cheese fries and shrooms were good...
wings were great...
service was excellent despite it being packed...
i'll cut them some slack on the burgers... for now.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: SXSW on February 11, 2011, 05:52:21 pm
Where was the old Blue Rose on Brookside?  What is there now? 


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Breadburner on February 11, 2011, 05:58:10 pm
Where was the old Blue Rose on Brookside?  What is there now? 

35 th and Peoria.....Its now the Bru House.....


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: GG on April 19, 2011, 06:43:20 pm
The wife and I had lunch at the Blue Rose today.

We got there about 12:30 and the place was hopping.   

Service was good. 

I was disappointed right off the bat.   The sign out front said the soup of the day was lentil and ham.  But they were out. 

So I ordered the Chicken Salad with chips.   Jo got a hamburger with fries/onion rings mix.  We then split the sandwiches so she could try the Chicken Salad and I could try the burger.   

The Chicken Salad took us back right off due to it was yellow, they used a spicy mustard in the mix.   I liked it but Jo was not as impressed.   The burger was great, it was cooked perfectly and had a good flavor.   

The chips were home style and good.   The fries were very good, the onion rings not so good.  They tasted stale like they were left over from last night. 

Over all the food was very good.

The building itself is nice but when we first got there it was loud and the sound echoed off the windows, walls and ceiling.  With my mature hearing that makes it difficult for me to carry on a conversation.   By the time our meal arrived and we ate, the place was emptying out and quieted down so I could carry on a conversation. 

Next time, I will sit outside or order carry out. 


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 19, 2011, 10:38:25 pm
The wife and I had lunch at the Blue Rose today.

We got there about 12:30 and the place was hopping.   

Service was good. 

I was disappointed right off the bat.   The sign out front said the soup of the day was lentil and ham.  But they were out. 

So I ordered the Chicken Salad with chips.   Jo got a hamburger with fries/onion rings mix.  We then split the sandwiches so she could try the Chicken Salad and I could try the burger.   

The Chicken Salad took us back right off due to it was yellow, they used a spicy mustard in the mix.   I liked it but Jo was not as impressed.   The burger was great, it was cooked perfectly and had a good flavor.   

The chips were home style and good.   The fries were very good, the onion rings not so good.  They tasted stale like they were left over from last night. 

Over all the food was very good.

The building itself is nice but when we first got there it was loud and the sound echoed off the windows, walls and ceiling.  With my mature hearing that makes it difficult for me to carry on a conversation.   By the time our meal arrived and we ate, the place was emptying out and quieted down so I could carry on a conversation. 

Next time, I will sit outside or order carry out. 

My daughter is an interior design major and said acoustics is a terribly ignored part of interior design these days.  There are relatively inexpensive panels which can be installed which would absorb a lot of noise, yet owners and their designers don't insist on them for the comfort of customers.  Lots of concrete, metal, and glass are basically an amplifier and reverb chamber.  The noise level is one reason I will only go to In The Raw when one of the daughter's requests it.  I can't stand the noise and they seem to turn up the music the louder the crowd gets.

Maybe the noise gives the image of being a "happening" place and is a bigger draw.  Not so much for me, but I'm beginning to show my age.  I think open pipes on a Harley sounds like crap now, if that tells you anything  ;)


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: carltonplace on April 20, 2011, 08:07:28 am
They also did not give much thought to traffic flow. People heading out side are at odds with people at the bar, or with wait staff trying to get from the kitchen to the service well. People seated are constantly jostled by folks moving from place to place or waiting for a table up front.

If the bar was over by the kitchen a lot of the traffic problems would have been resolved.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: cjmcinty on April 20, 2011, 08:41:36 am
My fiance & I went on a gorgeous day about a week ago with the hopes of sitting outside & having dinner. We were disappointed to hear that only chips, salsa & drinks would be served on the patio. I worked in restaurants all through college & part-time before going back to graduate school, so I understand that serving such a large patio would be difficult, especially with the traffic flow issues already mentioned. (We had problems with this too--accidentally went out a door with a hand-written sign saying 'servers only' & immediately got the stink-eye from one of the servers trying to use the door. Designating a door for the servers is not issue--the problem was, this appeared to be the main door out to the patio, right next to the bar. A side door away from the main traffic flow would be much more appropriate, & much less frustrating for the servers) Anyway, back to the point; I would think serving food outside would be a priority when you've built a place like that. In my mind, they are losing potential customers. How many other places in Tulsa offer the opportunity to sit outside & eat with a view of the river? We didn't want to sit inside (it was crowded & noisy & way too nice of a day to stay in), so we left. Probably won't be back because the interior of the place did not appeal to me. I'm happier up the river @ Elwoods on a blanket in the grass :) 


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Townsend on April 20, 2011, 08:44:33 am
My fiance & I went on a gorgeous day about a week ago with the hopes of sitting outside & having dinner. We were disappointed to hear that only chips, salsa & drinks would be served on the patio. I worked in restaurants all through college & part-time before going back to graduate school, so I understand that serving such a large patio would be difficult, especially with the traffic flow issues already mentioned. (We had problems with this too--accidentally went out a door with a hand-written sign saying 'servers only' & immediately got the stink-eye from one of the servers trying to use the door. Designating a door for the servers is not issue--the problem was, this appeared to be the main door out to the patio, right next to the bar. A side door away from the main traffic flow would be much more appropriate, & much less frustrating for the servers) Anyway, back to the point; I would think serving food outside would be a priority when you've built a place like that. In my mind, they are losing potential customers. How many other places in Tulsa offer the opportunity to sit outside & eat with a view of the river? We didn't want to sit inside (it was crowded & noisy & way too nice of a day to stay in), so we left. Probably won't be back because the interior of the place did not appeal to me. I'm happier up the river @ Elwoods on a blanket in the grass :) 

The concerns are with food quality and speed.

The demand was underestimated.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 20, 2011, 08:56:41 am
The concerns are with food quality and speed.

The demand was underestimated.

I don't see how they underestimated the demand by such a large margin.  BRC in it's initial incarnation was incredibly popular.  Move that vibe and food to a mid/downtown location on the river and you've got an instant hit.  You could serve smile on a sandal and still pack the place.

CJ- They are adding additional kitchen capacity which I believe will allow them to serve sandwiches outdoors if I've heard/read correctly.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: cjmcinty on April 20, 2011, 08:57:17 am
The concerns are with food quality and speed.

The demand was underestimated.

As I said, with restaurant experience, I understand this. I chose not to dine there because of this & would not have driven from South Tulsa to Blue Rose to sit outside had I known we weren't going to be served dinner. Thought I would try & save someone else the trouble since this is a review thread.

Also, I would hope they consider working out the kinks & figuring out how to get food out there. Maybe a limited menu (apps & simple entrees,  only--10 items maybe) or only serving dinner outside during certain hours & increasing staff during those peak times, then tapering off as the evening goes on...


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 20, 2011, 08:58:49 am
As I said, with restaurant experience, I understand this. I chose not to dine there because of this & would not have driven from South Tulsa to Blue Rose to sit outside had I known we weren't going to be served dinner. Thought I would try & save someone else the trouble since this is a review thread.

Also, I would hope they consider working out the kinks & figuring out how to get food out there. Maybe a limited menu (apps & simple entrees,  only--10 items maybe) or only serving dinner outside during certain hours & increasing staff during those peak times, then tapering off as the evening goes on...

See above.  That's in progress as we speak.  I believe Tom said food capacity would increase by 40%


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: cjmcinty on April 20, 2011, 09:01:00 am
I don't see how they underestimated the demand by such a large margin.  BRC in it's initial incarnation was incredibly popular.  Move that vibe and food to a mid/downtown location on the river and you've got an instant hit.  You could serve smile on a sandal and still pack the place.

CJ- They are adding additional kitchen capacity which I believe will allow them to serve sandwiches outdoors if I've heard/read correctly.

Glad to hear it! Sandwiches would be an easy way to do it. I'd be happy with a sandwich and a beer :)


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 20, 2011, 09:03:12 am
Glad to hear it! Sandwiches would be an easy way to do it. I'd be happy with a sandwich and a beer :)

He's most definitely aware of the issues and is anxious to solve them.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Townsend on April 20, 2011, 09:10:28 am
I don't see how they underestimated the demand by such a large margin.  

Was the design a stipulation to being approved at that location?  There must be a good reason why kitchen capacity was so low compared to seating.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 20, 2011, 09:34:49 am
Was the design a stipulation to being approved at that location?  There must be a good reason why kitchen capacity was so low compared to seating.

Tom acts a little surprised at the response to the restaurant.  Far as I know, he relied on previous experience and has worked with limited kitchen space (Eskimo Joe's, original Blue Rose, & Elwoods).  Perhaps if they had done a more detailed study they could have gauged response and capacity better working with a restaurant consultant.  To be honest, when I heard it was in the 3000 to 3500 sq. ft. range when it was first announced, it seemed a bit small to me.

He's got a neat deal there, I just hope everyone is patient and will make a return trip down the road after they've had time to iron it all out.  I've got a client in from out of town today and we will be going.  I took this guy last time he was here and he more or less demanded we go again.  ;)


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: godboko71 on April 20, 2011, 03:09:03 pm
In a way I guess I am glad I am stuck out of town. Can't wait to get up there and try it when they are serving food on the patio :)


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 20, 2011, 03:27:41 pm
Lunch was good today and I noticed on the patio tables near the roll-up doors they had condiments on the tables like they were going to serve food out there.  We got there at 11:30 and left about 12:15, it wasn't overly crowded today.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: tulsa_fan on April 21, 2011, 04:10:40 pm
You could always order your food to go and eat on the patio . . .


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Townsend on April 26, 2016, 01:21:11 pm
Blue Rose was mentioned over on the REI thread and it made me think of my last visit there a few weeks ago.

What a disgusting smile hole.  It was nasty.  The bathrooms, patio, main dining room...all gross.

It reminded me of the bathrooms in the old Blue Rose on Brookside.

And I know nasty...I worked for Full Moon in the '90's.

We had one beer and left...and I questioned the cleanliness of that bottle.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 26, 2016, 02:28:07 pm
Blue Rose was mentioned over on the REI thread and it made me think of my last visit there a few weeks ago.

What a disgusting smile hole.  It was nasty.  The bathrooms, patio, main dining room...all gross.

It reminded me of the bathrooms in the old Blue Rose on Brookside.

And I know nasty...I worked for Full Moon in the '90's.

We had one beer and left...and I questioned the cleanliness of that bottle.

Seems to have been going downhill over the last year.  Coincidentally, Tom left about a year ago.  No clue what heís doing now.  Breadburner, any idea?


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: cannon_fodder on April 26, 2016, 04:29:24 pm
I was there Sunday. Sat on the back patio. Used the restroom. I noticed nothing bad about the back patio, the bathroom needed some TLC but was no where near River's Edge level of nasty. Food was the same as it has always been - OK.

I admit to not being there enough to really judge. But I thought it was OK for what it is - a modern diner. Good vibe. Staff was friendly. Food was quick and reasonably priced.

Maybe I have my expectations set low and they were met?


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: davideinstein on April 26, 2016, 05:53:20 pm
Went a couple of weeks ago for happy hour and sat on the patio. Enjoyed it.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Townsend on April 27, 2016, 11:35:49 am
It was a Sunday...there must've been one hell of a Saturday night.

I looked for an eyeball on the floor.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Conan71 on April 27, 2016, 12:49:11 pm
I was there Sunday. Sat on the back patio. Used the restroom. I noticed nothing bad about the back patio, the bathroom needed some TLC but was no where near River's Edge level of nasty. Food was the same as it has always been - OK.

I admit to not being there enough to really judge. But I thought it was OK for what it is - a modern diner. Good vibe. Staff was friendly. Food was quick and reasonably priced.

Maybe I have my expectations set low and they were met?

Thereís little doubt the place is still quite popular and Iím pretty sure location has more to do with it than anything.  We tried to get a seat on the patio about 1pm on Sunday when we were out riding and were told it was a 45 minute wait.  We decided to pedal on to Crow Creek instead for a ďmeh festĒ there.  We had to find some place on a patio where we could keep an eye on the bikes.  Speaking of getting nasty around the edges, Crow Creek has gotten there.

The few times Iíve eaten at the Blue Rose in the last year have been at the bar during lunch so service is really never an issue though I do hear service complaints from others.  What I have noticed is prices have gone up with no improvement in quality and itís still very pedestrian bar food.  I had their prime rib sandwich (basically a Philly) for $15 a few months ago and was incredibly underwhelmed especially for the price I paid.

Along the lines of open-air establishments, for about the same price points, R-Bar seems to be head and shoulders above the crowd but they were packed as well on Sunday so we couldnít go there.

Admittedly, Iíve become somewhat of a food snob in recent years.  Common bar food just doesnít trip my trigger like it used to.  You can tell almost immediately if the people in the kitchen have a passion for what they do or if they are merely sucking a paycheck and slapping food on the plate.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Ibanez on April 27, 2016, 02:01:24 pm
My wife and I have been there twice. We won't be going back.


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Breadburner on April 28, 2016, 05:59:13 am
Seems to have been going downhill over the last year.  Coincidentally, Tom left about a year ago.  No clue what heís doing now.  Breadburner, any idea?

I do not....


Title: Re: Blue Rose Cafe
Post by: Susansooner on February 19, 2017, 04:00:14 pm
Went there today with the intention for a drink at the bar. I was surprised at how slow it was on a nice Sunday afternoon. No hostess to great us, no one behind the bar and waitstaff hard to be found. We wanted to sit outside but the river was pretty smelly today so had a seat at the bar inside. We quickly noticed the 2 guys sitting at the bar were so high on drugs one was literally drooling with his eyes closed. We left immediately.

I have to say it seems to be going downhill the past few times we've been there. It's a shame because it's always been one of my favorites.