If you’ve been keeping up, you know on Friday I drove to Eureka Springs. My friend Tom was along for the ride. Tom is a travel writer and one of his foodie rules is no chain restaurants. That rule suits me fine.
I had my own foodie rule. The restaurant had to be on the right side of the road. We were on a mission to get to Dairy Hollow by suppertime and precious minutes could be lost exiting, circling back and driving the opposite direction to try out a diner on the other side of the highway. Plus, there had to be p*l*e*n*t*y of options on our side of the road. Right?
But we did find Wheeler’s Restaurant in Kiowa, just between Atoka and Savanna. The place was decorated in full fledged cowboy and indian motif with John Wayne photos, knotty pine paneling, and wagon wheel light fixtures. Had we stumbled into a western movie set?
Even the bathroom was in costume with barbed wire around the ceiling where molding normally goes. Check out this sink made from a vintage splatter ware bowl. Very cool!
Our waitress was as friendly as a first cousin and the other diners were local, regular folks too. I could tell.
Tom eyed platters of burgers and fries being served to the two guys at the table beside us and had what they were having. He made a great choice. Behind the swinging saloon kitchen doors, someone was frying up burgers on a seasoned grill the way burgers were meant to be cooked. I was too busy eating my stew to take a picture of Tom’s food. Delicious.
Let me just end this post by showing you a picture of the amazing pies made fresh and served daily at Wheeler’s. Oh my the meringue was perfection. Blueberry. Lemon. Coconut Cream. Chocolate. But we resisted, had no pie, hit the road and stuck to our schedule.
The next time I travel through Oklahoma (without my dogs) I’ll stop at Wheeler’s Restaurant again. And really, I’d cross to the other side of the road to try that mighty fine looking pie.
Grace Grits and Gardening
Best John Wayne Movie Quotes