by Nanc Osborn
Now that lambing is wrapping up, Sue and I are able to get away from the farm for more than just critical errands or to go to work. A couple of Sundays ago, we stole away to the Rock Cafe in Stroud for a leisurely Sunday breakfast. Our friends Lisa and Linda from Living Kitchen Farm in Depew met us there, and we proceeded to pig out. Reviewing the Rock seems a little unfair since it is one of my favorite places, dive or otherwise, in this part of the state. However, I want y’all to know what a great place it is so you can visit yourself.
The Rock Cafe has been a Route 66 landmark since it opened in 1939. The current owner, Dawn Welch, got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002 after four years of hard paperwork. In 2008, it was badly burned in a fire, but reopened almost a year to the day later, completely restored. It’s been featured in television shows and in the movie Cars. Before the Turner Turnpike opened, it was a Greyhound bus stop. Today, it’s open seven days a week, serving up breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Without a doubt, breakfast is my favorite. The fare is not just standard Okie-diner-ham-and-eggs.
No trip to the Rock Cafe for breakfast would be complete without trying the beignets. They aren’t exactly standard New Orleans style–more like biscuits meet Bourbon Street–but they are scrumptious. We had an order with our coffee while we waited on the rest of our breakfast to arrive. As luck would have it, each of us ordered something different from the menu. Sue was in a mood for crepes, Linda got the pancakes, Lisa had french toast and an omelet (she has a hollow leg, I swear), and I had the burrito.
Our food arrived so quickly, there were still beignets left in the basket. All of it was hot and fresh. After looking at Lisa’s french toast, I wish I had tried it, but I really liked the burrito. It was grilled, making the tortilla wrap crispy and creating a contrast between the crispy outside and the warm, mushy ham-and-cheese center. Sue raved about her crepes, Linda’s pancake stack covered her plate, and by the time we were done, her plate was clean along with the rest of the ones at the table! All of us agreed it was one of the best meals we’d had for a Sunday breakfast in quite a while.
Now, very few places are perfect, and the Rock Cafe is no exception. Unless you ask for milk, you’ll get a giant sized (no kidding, it’s a foot tall) container of Coffeemate with a pump handle to use as cream in your coffee. Service can be a little slow, especially if they are busy. In thinking about how many boots to award, I refer back to my criteria:
- Sweet tea and Sonic-style ice? Check and check. (Be sure to ask for a to-go cup for your tea, and you can enjoy it as you head back home.)
- Service? A tad slow at times, but always friendly and accommodating.
- Food, made from scratch? Oh yeah, and I’ve never had a bad meal here.
As it turns out, this is a pretty easy score–I give the Rock Cafe 4 and a half boots. Need a little get away from either Oklahoma City or Tulsa? The Rock is halfway in between, just a couple of minutes off of the turnpike. Better yet, take Route 66 and see some of the other cool Oklahoma attractions along the way. Just be sure you work up a big appetite before you get there!
The Rock Café, 114 W. Main St. (Route 66) in Stroud, OK. (918) 968-3990.
Open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.
We appreciate Nancy Osborn of Cordero Farms writing our “Red Dirt Dives” posts. I like her style, and now…I want a beignet! ~ RDK