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FOOD REVIEW: Slaughter's Hall Bar & Deli

Brandon King / Red Dirt Report
The "Carolina Porker" at Slaughter's Hall in Oklahoma City.
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- Downtown Oklahoma City at night is a sight not to be trifled with. Twinkling lights brought to the forefront of a brick face and hard-working people, it’s the place to be on a fair-weathered night.

As we traveled down Central Avenue in the historic Deep Deuce neighborhood, rows of apartment buildings lined side-by- side with one another. The only distinction between the intersection you passed and the intersection you’re by is the businesses which live on the corner.

At 221 N Central Ave, a brick building with a yellow neon light hangs off the side. One would miss it if you didn’t mind your step. Off to the south, the lights off the Harkins Theater can be seen. A glass front with neon signs advertising Pabst and Coors reads Slaughter’s Hall Bar and Deli.

Slaughter's Hall entrance. (Brandon King / Red Dirt Report)

We entered the restaurant to the sounds of light classic rock and two televisions competing in volume control. Each of them played a different sport but it didn’t matter. The smatterings of four tables, including us, wanted to speak to one another and not ogle a television for the night.

The tables were a sturdy wood with a black finish with cold, metal chairs to match.

By the time you walked in, the two bartenders on staff have greeted you with affectionate hellos.

“Come on in guys, take a seat where you’d like and we’ll take care of you,” said the bartender shining a wet glass.

Before we sat, I looked to the right of the room and saw a large painted quote. The letters were black and red yet it was plain to read. It was by this long quote by 20th century African-American author Ralph Ellison, a native of Oklahoma City, which we understood how the restaurant got its name.

Listen, they’re raising hell down at Slaughter’s Hall,” the Ellison quote read.

The "Slaughter's Hall" quote by OKC literary native Ralph Ellison. (Brandon King / Red Dirt Report)

You’d be hard pressed to find a place with enough self-awareness to plaster it to the wall. I had to respect it on a level unprecedented. My friend and I sat down and immediately ordered a beer and water.

At the front of the house was a full-stacked bar with most of the selection being domestic unless you wanted wine. This was no issue for me; personally, I’ve never favored the alcoholic grape juice.

Above the bar sat a blackboard with the phrase, “Slaughter’s Hall: It’s Always Rock O’Clock.”

Of course, I immediately eye-rolled at this phrase. It felt forced, unnecessary. I wouldn’t have had so much contempt of the phrase if it hadn’t had been for the excellent service and food. It felt detached.

Above us hung several football flags including OU, OSU, and Texas Tech. This was the only place of color aside from white and black in the entire establishment. What this place felt like was a place to have a quick lunch before the movies with your friends.

This is not to deter away from the food; this is where the money magic happens.

The server gave my friend and I enough time to figure out what we wanted as well as give us space to be friendly with one another. If there are two things I cannot stand in the serving industry it’s servers who linger and servers who leave. As an ex-server, I can understand both of these issues.

Our server was on point. Dressed in a black dress shirt and dark jeans, he seemed casual, yet professional.

My friend ordered a bowl of their Fire Mac ‘n’ Cheese. This is a bowl of mac ‘n’ cheese sriracha and jack cheddar cheese; fire roasted peppers, sausage and fried onions. This is the type of material to burn porcelain at the end of the night, just as a heads up.

I ordered a sandwich called The Carolina Porker. It’s a sandwich on a toasted baguette loaded from top to bottom with the most succulent meat you’ll have in Oklahoma City. Inside is pulled pork, house Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, fried onions and coleslaw all served with toastedkettle chips.

In a matter of 10 minutes, the plates were sat in front of us steaming.

Not another word was spoken between the two of us as we devoured this food like animals.

Gnawing, biting, we grunted with gratification with each bite.

By the time it was all over, we washed it down with our beers and sat reclined in our chairs.

The server returned a few times while we ate but gave us the check whenever we asked for it.

More importantly, he was friendly when he needed to be but casual all in his conversation. It was though he was your friend that just happened to be working rather than a server at all.

We paid and left into the night to go back to Yukon.

Before we left, I took a look at the streets on which this place was located. This was in order to find it again. I will return, this much I know.

Slaughter's Hall
221 N. Central Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Phone: (405) 606-6063

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About the Author

Brandon King

Brandon King is a journalism student at OCCC, working towards becoming a professional writer....

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About Red Dirt Report

Red Dirt Report was launched July 4, 2007 as an independent news website covering all manner of news, culture, entertainment and lifestyle stories that affect and interest Oklahoma readers and readers outside of our state. Our mission is to educate, promote civic engagement and discourse on public policy, government and politics. Our experienced journalists provided balanced in-depth coverage of news stories that affect Oklahomans. Our opinion/editorial stories come from a wide range of political view points. We carry out our mission by reporting, writing, and posting news and information. read more

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