Two meals on a table at Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma City

Holley’s BBQ: go for the pulled pork [closed]

by | January 25, 2011 | 18 Comments


Holley's BBQ

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4100 N. Portland Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73112

Exterior of Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma City

Photos courtesy of
Lacey Elaine Dillard

Please note: Holley’s BBQ is no longer in business.

Some people are really picky about barbeque, getting into the nuances of the bark and the smoke and all other details about the meats. For me, barbeque restaurants are just like any other restaurants — experiences made up of many different elements including food, pricing, value, atmosphere … etc.

It’s the way these elements combine that lead me to recommend a place. Maybe the food is pricey but the atmosphere and quality justify it. Maybe the food is just “pretty good” but it’s sold at a great value. Maybe the atmosphere is terrible but the food is great and very cheap — that’s the whole basis for our shady restaurant series.

In the case of Holley’s BBQ, I didn’t find anything amazing or outstanding, but I did find some good food in a comfortable atmosphere at a pretty good value. It may not be worth a drive across town, but if you’re in the area, Holley’s BBQ is worth a stop. And when you make that stop, I recommend you try the pulled pork.

The pulled pork at Holley’s is very moist and flavorful. It seems to be more heavily seasoned than some varieties with a deep, rich color and a little kick. Out of everything I’ve tried at Holley’s, I like the pulled pork the best. I’ve also sent some other people to Holley’s on the pulled-pork recommendation and they’ve all had good things to say.

The pulled pork is noteworthy on its own, but when you discover you can get a pulled pork sandwich (see a pic), a side and a drink for $6.29 every day at lunch, now you’ve got a great deal. Holley’s has other specials that change from day to day but this one is consistent at lunch time and well worth the visit.

For sides, the best I’ve found are the Hollywood’s BBQ Baked Beans. They’re an original recipe with great flavor and consistency. The other sides I tried were lackluster. The sweet potato fries and corn nuggets were just frozen varieties fried up out of a bag. Nothing original here. They have some other sides I haven’t tried yet that might be worth exploring, but when I only have one to choose, it’ll likely be the beans every time.

Holley’s has three sauce varieties. I like the original which had a bold rather than a sweet flavor. They also have a hot and a sweet sauce sauce. The hot is very hot. I tried mixing the hot and original together which came out pretty well. But, the original by itself is probably my favorite.

They also have a free pickle and onion bar. This is nice, but about the only thing I really found interesting on it were the bread and butter pickles. They were great, but everything else was pretty basic.

The atmosphere at Holley’s (see a pic) is just about right for a barbeque place, I think. It’s nothing much but it’s got a little character inside, which is saying a lot considering it’s located in a strip mall. Some die-hard barbeque fans who prefer the ramshackle feel of a place like Leo’s might find it a little “polished” for their tastes, but I can forgive that in exchange for the tasty value found in that pulled pork sandwich special. The service has also always been very friendly and the place is pretty hoppin’ around the lunch hour.

Holley’s may not be a “drop everything and go” type of restaurant, but if you’re in the area and looking for a good meal at a good value, especially at lunch, it’s worth your time to check them out. And while the pulled pork isn’t the only thing on the menu, I highly recommend you give it a try. And please, as always, let us know what you think about Holley’s BBQ in the comments below.

See more photos from Holley’s BBQ in our Facebook photo album.

Holley's BBQ on Urbanspoon

More Photos from Holley’s BBQ [closed]

Photos by Lacey Elaine Dillard

Pulled Pork Sandwich and Ribs at Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma CityPulled Pork Sandwich at Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma CityPulled Pork Sandwich at Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma CityRibs at Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma CityInterior of Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma CityInterior of Holley's BBQ in Oklahoma City

This article was posted by Tim Wall on Tuesday, January 25th, 2011. It is filed under:

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  • Debbie says:
    January 25th, 2011 at 10:00 am   

    My husband & I love the pulled pork at Holley’s! Being from the Southeast, we take our own honey mustard barbecue sauce with us & it reminds me of home. We gave the owner a jar so he could see if they could come up with one to add to the choices. The pulled pork plate is two meals – I eat half & take half home for the following day. Since it comes with two sides, I eat one there and take the other home. The best side isn’t even on the menu and isn’t always available. We tried their green beans one Saturday when they were letting customers sample them and loved them – they used some of their barbecue in it which gives them a slightly sweet taste. I ordered several pints as a catering order & took to my office Thanksgiving covered dish lunch – they were a hit! My husband also likes their ribs. When we get a BBQ craving, this is where we go.

  • Bill says:
    January 31st, 2011 at 7:10 pm   

    In a word … yummy! Too bad the review stopped at only a high rating for the pulled pork. It is great, but the ribs are to die for!!! The burgers are a marked improvement on any fast food joint. Then there’s the chicken fried chicken. It’s so good, I could eat that off the counter. The brisket and beans are without question the best I have ever eaten. The corn nuggets are great, too. I was a little confused by the review (name me a restaurant that has anything but frozen and then fried corn nuggets?). They’re awesome. Holley’s did a catering job (350 people) for me, and it was fantastic! Lots of people said it was among the best barbecue they had eaten. They have better prices and much better food than Swadley’s. Billy Sims Barbecue, Leo’s, Rib Crib … you name it, none are as good as Holley’s. I’ll take the clean atmosphere at Holley’s any day. They actually care about providng a clean environment. You’re right about the customer service. Holley’s does a great job with that. And the stock car racing and sports photos will take several visits to see them all. Great tribute to the rich dirt track legacy in Oklahoma. You won’t find anything else like their stock car wall of fame. When we eat barbecue, we’re going back to Holley’s. It’s worth the drive across town in my opinion.

  • Ryan says:
    January 31st, 2011 at 7:20 pm   

    Trust me, drop everything and go. OKC is fortunate to have BBQ this good. It’s every bit as good as the top-name restaurants in Big D. Order the beans. Nobody does it better. Order the ribs. Loved the pickle bar. Great location. Expect a wait at lunchtime, but the wait is worth it. When I was waiting in line, somebody offered me a small pulled pork sandwich, which was great, because I was starving. I still ordered a full meal and had plenty to take home. At today’s meat prices, you would have to own this restaurant to get the food any cheaper. Everything was great. And the other reviews are right on about the cleanliness.

  • Cult of Nobody says:
    February 14th, 2011 at 7:47 pm   

    Finally made a trip to Holley’s today.

    First thing I have to say is that the prices are very reasonable for the amount of food you get. I had the two meat combo and got out for right around $12. I’ve paid more and received less at other places.

    I went here on a search for great pulled pork in the OKC area. Unfortunately while I found Holley’s pulled pork to be good. It wasn’t the great pulled pork I have been looking for.

    The spare ribs were big and meaty. They could have been cooked just a little longer and the smoke on them was just a little harsh. Overall they weren’t bad but they weren’t great either… Just kind of in between.

    The beans were pretty good. They add a lot of brisket to them and they are just slightly sweet. Ranks right up there with some of the best beans I have ever eaten in a restaurant.

    The mac & cheese was ok.

    Holley’s is a solid BBQ restaurant in my opinion. It wasn’t the best I have ever had but it is worth giving a try.

    BBQ is possibly the most suggestive food on the planet when it comes to what’s good and what’s not. I thought Holley’s was good but you may find it to be that BBQ mecca you were looking for.

  • Brian Grider says:
    February 15th, 2011 at 8:01 am   

    I love Holley’s been going there since they opened, the Pulled Pork is by far my favorite meat, and the portion is HUGE. Yes, some of the sides are not homemade, but most of them are. The homemade Chips are great, the beans are to die for, onion rings are incredible and the fried pickles are probably my favorite (think you might have to ask for them, can’t remember if they’re on the menu or not). The portions on everything are very large, if you get a dinner portion of a meat, it comes with 2 sides, easily enough food for 2 people unless you’re both just starving. Prices are great, and yes, the place is very clean, which I really like. Is Holleys worth the drive? Yes, I live in Yukon and if I want good Bar B Q, I’m headed that way!

  • Chris says:
    February 25th, 2011 at 10:49 am   

    I tried this place when it used to be Bubba’s BBQ, and it was terrible beyond belief. Tried it again a while back after they switched to being Holley’s, and it was a little bit better but not by a large enough margin that I would recommend it to anyone.

    Personally, I’d recommend Oklahoma Station BBQ (50th & Meridian) or Jack’s BBQ (39th & Meridian) over Holley’s, and neither of those is more than a few miles from Holley’s anyway.

  • Debbie says:
    March 12th, 2011 at 11:09 pm   

    You need to update information at top – I was very disappointed to find out today that they are no longer open for lunch on Saturdays! I was craving their pulled pork & planned to use 1 of the 4 deals I recently bought. Glad they are good for a year because it will be more difficult for me to get there when they are open. They are not near my home or office or on my way to anywhere I regularly go. I will have to try to go after work on Thursday some time & take stuff home for the weekend.

  • Tim says:
    March 25th, 2011 at 6:43 am   

    Debbie, thanks for the heads up. I just changed the info. Sorry to hear about them dropping Saturday hours. Maybe they’ll add them back some day if business continues to grow. I went in again this past week for lunch and things were really busy and the food was better than ever. Really, really like this place.

  • Debbie says:
    March 25th, 2011 at 10:38 am   


    I did go by last night after work – got there around 7:15. There were several people eating & a couple more came in while I was there. I used 1 of my deals plus some cash & got a pound of pulled pork, 1/2 pound of beef, a pint of baked beans & a pint of Cole slaw to go. Couldn’t remember which sauce my husband liked so they gave me all 3. My fridge is full. Looking forward to having some this weekend! I hope their business picks up so they can open again on Saturdays – I want to try the corn nuggets & I like the sweet potato fries but neither would be good to go & eat later. Please post if you hear the hours have changed. I do love the pulled pork!

  • jimmy hankins says:
    April 2nd, 2011 at 2:25 pm   

    The hidden secret of Holly’s BBQ is the smoked chicken. It’s only served on the Lunch Specials on Thursday. You have to get in line at 11am or they will run out before you get it. It’s just that awesome. I don’t like BBQ, my wife does. I default to chicken because it’s the least offensive to me. But Holly’s smoked chicken has to be experienced to believe. You can still smell the Hickory smoke on your fingers hours after you’ve eaten it. And you want to do so to relive the experience. I’m probably going to be shunned by the regulars for revealing this.

  • betty brooks says:
    June 4th, 2011 at 8:23 pm   

    Holley’s is the BEST- we can’t find anything that compares, we were driving through town on I40, saw the signs for “Bubba’s” (no longer there) and pleasantly found Holley’s bbq. we can’t wait to return for the pulled pork sandwich. the only prob. was the cashier wanted us to get the meal, it took 3 requests for her to grudgingly ring up just for the sandwich and drink only.

  • Josh says:
    June 6th, 2011 at 8:06 pm   

    I’ve only been there once and had the pulled pork sandwich. Best one in town! I too wish they were open on Saturdays so I’d be able to go more!

  • jj says:
    July 30th, 2011 at 12:26 am   

    I haven’t tried everything on the menu (yet), but the items I HAVE tasted are simply great! The Pulled Pork, beans, brisket, & chip fries (homemade I believe) are great, as well as their sauce. Lately, I’m hooked on the $5 (1/2 lb!) burger meal – BEST value in town, & tastes great, as well. It’s the kind of burger where a short nap afterwards is in order! Everyone’s ‘taste’ in BBQ food is different – Holley’s is in my top 3 list in OKC.

  • Truthfulheart says:
    January 5th, 2012 at 12:57 pm   

    I love Holly’s! I trickled in there one day just to check out the food, and i’ve been going ever since. Everything they offer is unbelievably good. The smoked chicken, the ribs, the pulled pork, the brisket. We’ve tried it all! The staff is really friendly and pleasant. The dad always greets my daugher and I whenever we stop in. Great place to eat!

  • Peter says:
    January 11th, 2012 at 10:10 am   

    Have they closed? All the memorabilia is off the walls, and there was some duct tape on the windows. I have tried to go a few times since Christmas and it has been empty and locked each time..

  • Tim says:
    January 11th, 2012 at 4:21 pm   

    Peter, thanks for reporting this. I just called the owners of Holley’s to confirm and you are correct. They have closed. Sad news to me as this was one of my favorites.

  • Chris says:
    January 26th, 2012 at 4:37 pm   

    I kinda found this out the hard way earlier today. Walked down the street from 36th/Portland and got all the way up to the building before I noticed that the windows were covered with cardboard and they had “Space for Lease” signs up. Oh well.

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