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Mutti Knows Best
Comfort has no language barrier at this Lawton restaurant.
By Greg Elwell
Published May/June 2018
Like most of its international flavors, Lawton owes its German heritage to nearby Fort Sill. When American soldiers stationed in Germany returned to the states, it was often with a new bride. That’s part of Petra Edmonson’s story. Born in Wiesbaden, Germany, to a German mother and an American father, she ended up in Oklahoma as a teen after her father was stationed at Fort Sill. Today, Edmonson owns Mutti’s German Restaurant in Lawton.
Hidden off Lee Boulevard, Mutti’s occupies a flat white building that once housed Lawton’s German-American Club. Through the anteroom, the ceilings are strung with Oktoberfest flags, and German pop music bursts through the stereo. There also is a small bar decorated with plates, colorful nutcrackers, and old beer steins.
“Every once in a while, I place an ad telling people if they’re tired of dusting their steins, I’ll take them off their hands,” Edmonson says.
With German-born chef Doris Cannedy in the kitchen, Mutti’s has no trouble packing in crowds of hungry guests eager to tuck into a plate of schnitzel and tip back some German beer.
Those in search of a hearty meal may want to start with a bowl of goulash. The dark brown broth of the stew has the richness of gravy and the consistency of soup, tender pieces of beef lurking beneath the surface. But the most popular entrée on the menu is the jager schnitzel: pork loin pounded flat and dredged in a coating of buttery bread crumbs before it hits the fryer. The plated product is golden and crisp on the outside, juicy and tender on the inside. To finish it off, the chef pours a creamy brown hunter’s gravy with big slices of meaty mushrooms on top. Served on the side is wurstsalat, chopped lettuce soaking in a sweet and tart brine, with green beans and lightly pickled slices of cucumber as well as a choice of potatoes, corn, sauerkraut, or house-made spaetzle—slightly chewy German-style egg noodles that are perfect for soaking up extra gravy.
If there’s any room left—and that’s a big if—Mutti’s serves almond bread pudding, strudel, and a large selection of locally made cakes.
“They’re made by a little old German lady who’s very particular about her cakes,” Edmonson says.
The Black Forest cake includes three layers of chocolate sponge studded with macerated cherries and separated by airy whipped cream, but other cake flavors like mandarin orange, mocha, strawberry cream, hazelnut, and blueberry are equally enticing for those with an insatiable sweet tooth.
Edmondson didn’t grow up in the restaurant business. In fact, her main experience in the industry prior to buying the German eatery in 2010 was waiting tables more than three decades ago. She didn’t care for the work then, but her love of German food eventually won out. It’s a legacy she is passing on to her daughters, Summer Hill and Dani Revell, who both work in the restaurant with their Mutti—German for “mother”—five days a week.
Mutti’s German Restaurant, 1410 Southwest Sheridan Road in Lawton, (580) 353-3928.