Late night food is a difficult proposition at the best of times. The only restaurants open late are typically unhealthy, and it can be difficult to find a place with good food, prompt delivery and reasonable prices. The Midnight Grill, the most perplexing restaurant I’ve ever encountered, has none of these desirable attributes.
I first encountered the Midnight Grill while searching for late-night food delivery. Its website is a unique blend of bland WordPress theme and late-90s homepage kitsch, featuring an eye-scorching cyan logo and scrolling title text. The website has no address, only a promise to deliver to a 20 mile circle around Tulsa.
After seeing this bizarre time capsule of a website, the Midnight Grill haunted me. Whenever friends suggested that we go out to eat, a small voice inside of me whispered of the Midnight Grill’s signature Landfill Combo, and the free Cheesy Bacon Fries with a purchase of $20 or more. The soft insistence followed me to classes, to the Caf, and into my dreams.
The time never seemed right for the Midnight Grill. Finally, though, I found myself watching the early Jackie Chan movie Drunken Master with some friends, and they surprisingly agreed to order some Midnight Grill.
I was almost expecting a wizened old man to answer the phone, his voice burdened by knowledge of things that are best forgotten, but instead the employee was a genial-sounding man who encouraged me to “Do the Dew” when I asked for a Mountain Dew.
We were promised delivery in 30 minutes to an hour, and our food arrived just a little over that. The delivery man, rather than having sunken eyes hinting at unspeakable horrors, had a ponytail.
The food was littered with little mysteries, like the fact that the mozzarella sticks came with ranch dressing, or that the chicken strips were just chicken breasts fried whole. Everything was covered in a thin patina of grease, and the styrofoam boxes that the food came in were wet. It was not raining.
The food wasn’t good. The fries were undercooked, the meat in the cheesesteak was unidentifiable, and everything was just barely warm. The chicken strips proved edible only after smothering them in barbecue sauce.
The Midnight Grill might just be another bad late night food restaurant. If that’s true, though, how are they still in business? The delivery man mentioned that they were understaffed in terms of drivers. Who orders this kind of food? Are there a legion of Tulsans who, like me, feel a strange compulsion to order greasy fried mushrooms?
If you, like me, are searching for the secrets of this bizarre restaurant, or just want some seriously mediocre greasy food and don’t mind waiting an hour, you can find the menu at www.midnightgrill.com. You can play it safe with chicken strips or jalapeno poppers, or order the signature Landfill Combo, consisting of two beef patties, cheese, and grilled onions, all between two grilled cheese sandwiches.