Local Dining By BLAKE AUSTYN
A NEW OFFERING: Maryn’s Taphouse and Raw Bar opened in the Jenks RiverWalk Crossing in May. This is the second venture for Corey Crandall, a Booker T. Washington graduate, who opened George’s Pub in downtown Jenks in 2010.
BLAKE AUSTYN for GTR Newspapers
In May, Maryn’s Taphouse and Raw Bar opened in the Jenks RiverWalk Crossing.
The restaurant is a venture by Corey Crandall, a Booker T. Washington graduate with more than two decades of experience working in the restaurant industry. Crandall also owns George’s Pub, which he opened in downtown Jenks in 2010.
Maryn’s is the second new restaurant to join the RiverWalk in recent months. Andolini’s Pizzeria opened in April, and Burn Co. will soon join the restaurant and entertainment area.
My party arrived early on a Friday evening, hoping to beat the dinner rush.
We did not have trouble getting seats, but by the time we left around 8 p.m., there wasn’t a seat to be found in the place.
The restaurant’s menu features the traditional salad and burger choices as well as appetizers and high-end entrees, including filet, ribeye and salmon. The price point does not go higher than $30 for a dish, with the exception of some market-price items found in its raw bar.
To start, we chose the Tamale Balls. A Mexican friend of mine used to sell her homemade tamales, and I could never get enough of them. These carnitas tamale balls, on the other hand, while with a nice flavor, tasted more like a typical meatball. They came paired nicely, though, with a ranchero and queso sauce.
One unique element to Maryn’s menu is its raw bar, a restaurant offering that used to be almost nonexistent in greater Tulsa.
Beyond sushi and the occasional ahi tuna dish, I steer clear of raw, but, fortunately, there are also some not-so-raw choices in the selections, including Ceviche, Shrimp Cocktail and Crab Claw.
I chose the Ceviche, with shrimp, fish, onion, tomato and jalapeño. Very fresh and tasty.
We also tried the Maryn Talk Thai Ribs, covered in a shishito barbeque sauce, with a side of house made slaw.
Four ribs came in the appetizer, and unfortunately, they were a bit tough in spots. However, the overall flavor was pleasant and made us wish we had more.
For main entrees, my party chose both the Sliders and the Mile High Rack of Lamb, which our server said is a popular item.
Three sliders and fries make up the dish, with three different meat choices for the sliders: pork belly, short rib and chicken. We chose to try one of each.
The pork belly was the most tender and flavorful of the three. The short rib and chicken sliders both left us wanting for more meat.
The Mile High Rack of Lamb comes with a white bean puree, berry chutney and roasted carrots. The dish’s presentation was striking with the three cuts of meat balanced on top of one another.
However, the fattiness of our cuts took away from the dish. Since this is a popular item, I can only assume that our cuts were the exception to the rule.
Inside the restaurant, guests are treated with sweeping views of the Arkansas River, with large windows looking east. The large square bar is the centerpiece of the restaurant, but there is still plenty of room for a large amount of tables and booths.
The restaurant has an easy, comfortable feel to it, which kept my party sitting there longer than we expected.
As we left the restaurant, with the gently flowing river and the moderate temperature outside, it was no surprise to see groups of people walking along the RiverWalk sidewalks, eating ice cream, sitting around the outdoor fireplaces, which are burning once again after years of dormancy.
For those of us who watch the gradual, saddening decline of the RiverWalk over the past years, the returning signs of life are more than welcome.
Maryn’s is open Monday-Thursday 4-11 p.m., Friday 4 p.m.-midnight, Saturday 10 a.m.-midnight and Sunday 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
On the weekdays, while food service begins at 4 p.m., I have been told that drink service at the bar opens at 3 p.m. The restaurant also offers a weekend brunch menu.