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Food Worth the Drive
For the fifth year running, we've rounded up some of the best road trip-worthy dishes all over the state. And this year, it's all about the sugar rush.
Photography by Lori Duckworth
Published March/April 2017
Scout Fresh Foods & Café
Along with serving sandwiches, salads, and breakfast in a bright, modern setting, Scout Fresh Foods & Café in Ardmore keeps a well-stocked pastry case. This apple pecan cobbler is part of the regular rotation. Photo by LORI DUCKWORTH
Scout Fresh Foods & Café in Ardmore started the way so many wonderful things do: as an act of pure chutzpah. A few years ago, owner Audrey Edelen and manager Lindsey Stroud were working together in an office building in downtown Ardmore.
“We’d always talk about what we’d want to see in Ardmore in terms of a restaurant,” Stroud says. “When this space came available downstairs from our office, she said to me, ‘I’m in if you are.’”
The pair’s bravery paid off, as Scout—named for the main character in Edelen’s favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird—welcomes Ardmoreites with a clean, stylish space and sweetness in abundance. Desserts like chocolate sheet cake, coconut cream pie bars, no-bake cookies, and fruit cobblers with perfectly flaky crusts frequently sell out. Edelen, Stroud, and Savannah Donica do the baking, and everything here is made from the heart.
“We don’t have any formal training,” Stroud says. “We just cook the things we love.”—Nathan Gunter
When and Where: Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 333 West Main Street, (580) 319-4620 or scout120.com.
Olde Orchard Restaurant
Breakfast is served all day here, so you can get one of these Belgian waffles any time smothered in strawberry syrup and whipped topping. Illustration by JJ RITCHEY
It’s almost too much for the senses to bear: the golden squares overflowing with melted margarine and warm syrup, and the crunch giving way to a substantial cake. It’s good the waffles at Olde Orchard Restaurant are almost as big as the plates they’re served on, or this experience would be over far too quickly.
Breakfast is served all day at this Bethany staple, so customers can order one of these Belgian beauties any time covered with strawberry syrup and whipped topping. But there are other treats worth a taste. For twenty-two years, chef Barbara Barnett has topped the coconut cream and chocolate cream pies with soft whipped cream rather than meringue. Amy Franklin, whose family has owned the restaurant since it opened in 1974, bakes fruit cobblers, pies, and her grandmother’s recipe for bread pudding topped with vanilla sauce. Whether customers seek a sweet start or an exquisite end, Olde Orchard’s menu is the perfect guide.—Karlie Ybarra
When and Where: Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. 7339 Northwest Twenty-third Street, (405) 787-3332 or facebook.com/oldeorchardrestaurant.
Front Porch Bakery & Smokehouse
Pink lemonade pie appears on the dessert menu during warmer months at Front Porch Bakery & Smokehouse near Claremore, but it is available any time by special order. Photo by LORI DUCKWORTH
If not for her mother’s longing for a sun-sweetened raisin pie, Melissa Holt might not be baking 150 loaves of bread, 500 dozen cookies, 300 pies, and 1,000 cinnamon rolls every month. But after she got her mother a raisin pie at the Ol’ Dutchman’s Bakery on Route 66, she went all-in and bought the restaurant itself. So after thirty-year careers in other fields, she and her husband Matt began creating baked goods and smoked meats at the Front Porch Bakery & SmokeHouse north of Claremore.
“Everything we make here, we make from scratch,” says Melissa. “It’s an Amish-style bakery.”
Travelers often sit on the porch or at picnic tables under the trees to savor molasses crinkle cookies, Mississippi Mud cake, or pink lemonade pie.
“The strawberry cake is my mom’s recipe. It’s amazing, with fresh strawberries in the cake and the icing,” Melissa says.—Sheilah Bright
When and Where: Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. 18435 South State Highway 66, (918) 341-7505 or at their website.
Angela’s Bakery & Deli
The fresh sugar cookies, made in all shapes, sizes, and colors, are the most popular item, so Angela Sarabia—namesake and owner of Angela’s Bakery & Deli—makes sure she’s always got them in stock.
“Some people come in exclusively for the sugar cookies,” says Sarabia. “They buy them a dozen at a time.”
Sarabia, who attended culinary school in Arizona, loves to dote on her customers. That’s why she always has complimentary coffee at the ready to go with the wide variety of muffins, cheesecakes, parfaits, and more she makes from scratch each day.
But it all comes back to those cookies. The buttery dough is topped with homemade glaze for a soft and sweet kick in each bite.—Clara Linhoff
When and Where: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 623 North Broadway Avenue, (405) 759-3303 or facebook.com/angelasbakeryanddeli.
Editor’s Note: The version of this story that was published in our March/April issue included an incorrect address. The one that appears above is the correct one. We regret the error.
From left, Napoleons, roulade cakes, and chocolate strawberry layer cake are a few of the fresh-baked options available daily at Basil in Oklahoma City. Photo by LORI DUCKWORTH
Although Basil is a well-known Mediterranean staple serving gyros and kebabs along one of Oklahoma City’s main thoroughfares, co-owner Nina Bastani says about fifty percent of her business comes from desserts. Bastani is a native of Iran, where tea and treats are an afternoon tradition. She carries on the custom at Basil.
“Persian dessert and tea are like Romeo and Juliet,” says manager Tony Azar. “They’re good on their own, but they’re better together.”
Served with a small pitcher of honey flavored with saffron, lavender, and orange blossom, a menu of ten teas, like Persian saffron, Moroccan peppermint, and strawberry are perfect accompaniments to Bastani’s assortment of pastries. Every morning, she arrives at 5 a.m. to bake all of the restaurant’s confections. These include cloudlike, cream-filled Napoleons, baklava, and roulade celebration cakes in flavors ranging from pistachio and Kahlúa to mocha and coconut. Ironically, her secret to the perfect sweet is to ease up on the sugar, which allows delicate tastes and seasonings to hold their own.
“Our dessert is not about sugar—it’s about flavor,” she says.—Megan Rossman
When and Where: Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 211 Northwest Twenty-third Street, (405) 602-3030 or basilmediterraneanrestaurant.com.
Saint Amon Baking Company
Dessert truly is an art at Saint Amon Baking Company in Tulsa. Painstakingly prepared tarts and cakes accompany French staples like croissants, macarons, baguettes, and éclairs. Photo by LORI DUCKWORTH
After stepping into Saint Amon Baking Company, stop and smell the seasonal fruit croissants in flavors like honey lemon, decadent cronuts, or brioche waiting for the enthusiastic crowds that usually get here before noon.
Chefs Jean Baptiste Saint Amon and his wife Sarah—who met while working together in a casino bakery in Tulsa—create delicacies of southwestern France daily with a knack for broadening customers’ culinary horizons. This includes surprises like the Big Mac, a giant macaron filled with dark chocolate ganache and soft salted caramel.
“We bake every day, all day, so you aren’t getting bread that was baked the day before,” says Jean Baptiste, who trained as a pastry chef in his home country of France. Today, Saint Amon delights with French cakes like cream puff wedding cakes and small-bite versions of their custom cakes—all made from scratch and often from locally sourced ingredients.—Sheilah Bright
When and Where: Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 6333 East One Hundred Twentieth Court, (918) 364-2143 or saintamonbakingco.com.