Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Donut Shop

June 15, 2011

When Aunt Shelly heard we were on a food crawl, she told us we HAD to go to THE Donut Shop in Sepulpa, OK, where she hales from. I started snapping pictures as soon as we pulled up to The Donut Shop and two men were out front one sitting on a motorcycle and the other clad in Harley Davidson gear and eating a donut. Brian, the first man mentioned, and his wife Jennifer own the shop.  I told him about our Route 66 food crawl and told him I’d be writing about his shop on my blog. It’s a small, no frills place with the friendliest service and the best donuts I’ve ever had. We ordered a maple pinecone which looked like a brain, a cinnamon rolls an apple fritter the size of a salad plate, a cream filled long john (Shelly’s favorite), cake sprinkle, a couple of raised, and a crumb donut. The maple pinecone was slightly doughy in the middle and a little crunchy on the outside with cinnamon lightly threaded throughout. The apple fritter had real apples in it, not canned pie filling, and they were a bit sour which contrasted nicely with the sweetness of the glaze. I loved the cinnamon roll. It was the polar opposite of a gooey Cinnabon-style cinnamon roll (which I also like). It was drier, but not too dry. The cinnamon and butter within the roll had formed cinnamon and butter chunks that crunched when you bit into them and they were lightly glazed, not frosted. Completely different, totally delicious!

Collin’s description of the donuts: an authentic mom and pop donut shop. Each donut was handcrafted with love. These donuts were not mass-produced, they were individually made. They tasted fresh, the cake donuts had the perfect crispiness on the outside. The apple fritter was just right amount of moist. I could tell just on looks alone that they were going to be good. A table of about 12 older men were sitting down together talking shop (agriculture) and eating donuts. I had that feeling that they were regulars. Our family  groaned in gluttonous ecstasy as we savored those heavenly donuts. . . mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

On our way out, Brian asked, “Y’all like cake donuts? These will be good down the road,” and put 6 cake donuts: blueberry, chocolate cake, and old fashioned. He also gave us a bag of 8 meat rolls with some mustard packets,  He told me to friend him on facebook and gave me his email address. I gave him my blog address and told him that he would be getting a great review. Aidan and Ian both wolfed one down as soon as we got in the car.

We drove through Sepulpa and lost our way a little and Collin asked a friendly cop for directions back to Route 66. The policeman said,  “Route 66 is cool as hell.” Then he followed us for several miles, our own police escort through Sepulpa, OK.

We had to swerve out of the way for a turtle that was crossing Route 66.

Why we are loving traveling on Route 66:

No tolls roads.
Beautiful scenery without billboards (except in towns).
We have the road to ourselves.
The people we meet along the way are very helpful and friendly.

For example, when we stopped in Stroud, OK we visited

Curious Gifts
105 West Main
Stroud, OK 74079
(918) 968-9255

The owner, Larry, gave us a each a free pen and asked us to sign his guestbook. The shop was a curious mix of objects for sale. Aidan and Emma bought A. Lean driver’s licenses. Emma bought a pair of Route 66 earrings. I bought a thimble and Collin bought postcards. There were a lot of antiques mixed with Happy Days signs, Route 66 paraphernalia, and ocean and fishing items. There was also a pair of skateboard kneepads. The owner said his wife, Maxine, was usually there, but she was taking “Momma” to the grocery store since Momma was 92.

Across the street from Curious Gifts was:

Rock Café
114 West Main Street
Stroud, OK 74079
(918) 968-3990

This Route 66 relic was built out of paving stones from the original highway and the café in the Disney/Pixar movie cars was modeled after. There was also a Granie’s gift shop, which looked a lot like the one in Cars as well.

We’ve been playing cows and churches, a game Leni and Danny Gibson told us about. The teams are split down the middle of the car. If you pass cows you gain as many points as there are cows, if you pass a church, you lose all your points and start over from 0 again. So far, Aidan and I are winning, but there sure are a lot of churches on Route 66! We are listening to the sound of cicadas and enjoying a warm breeze as we drive with the windows down and sunroof open on the mother road.

The next stop was:

Old Round Barn
P.O. Box 134
Arcadia, OK 73007
(405) 396-0824

The Round Barn was built in 1898 and is the only truly round barn in existence. It was constructed so precisely that in the loft, you can whisper and someone standing across the barn on the other side can hear you perfectly. The kids had a great time whispering, clapping, and singing to test out the acoustics. The gift in the bottom was a mix of handmade cards and signs, racecars made from coke cans, carved wooden figures, and unusual Route 66 memorabilia. 

We also visited:

660 West Highway 66
Arcadia, OK 73007
(405) 928-7677

Pops is a diner/soda shop that carries over 600 different flavors of soda and has a giant soda bottle complete with straw outside. We each picked out a soda: black berry cream, caramel cream, Bug Barf (kiwi pineapple), Toxic Waste (blue raspberry), and Moxie for April. Collin’s grandfather on his mother’s side used to drink Moxie. We all had a lot of fun trying to pick just one soda and some of the names and flavors were really quirky.

We missed seeing Catoosa the Whale and the giant ketchup bottle. We drove through Oklahoma City, the state capitol and then continued our long, hot drive towards Amarillo. Along the way we saw the Gold Dome and plenty of old timey restaurants. We saw a very strange Autopsy mobile that advertised private autopsies and franchise opportunities. We passed the Big Texan, a restaurant that offers a free 72 oz. steak, provided you can finish it. If not, it costs $55. We stayed at La Quinta in Amarillo and went for a swim right away in a nice cold pool that was so chlorinated that we all had red devil eyes after swimming in it.

We asked around for a good BBQ place and the hotel clerk and Walgreens cashier recommended:

Rudy’s Texas BBQ
3751 West Interstate 40
Amarillo, TX 79109
(806) 677-7452

A do-it-yourself place, with very good pulled pork and other meats. They gave us samples to help us decide what to get. Collin and I shared a pound of pulled pork and a three bean salad. Emma and Ian had ribs. Aidan had a brisket sandwich. Rudy’s BBQ Suase came in two flavors: original and sissy. The kids thought the sissy was too spicy. I like the original. The meat was really tender and juicy. Everyone really liked their dinner. Well, actually, Emma opted to share our pulled pork and let Ian have all the ribs. His face was so greasy that when he wiped it afterwards the grease went through and stuck the napkin to his face like a greasy paper beard. We had ice cream novelties from the freezer case which we ate outside.

Cadillac Ranch was our last stop for the night. Ten Cadillacs ranging from 1949-1961 are half-buried nose down in the ground six miles west of Amarillo. They are covered with graffiti. Stanley Marsh III, an Amarillo helium millionaire, commissioned the Ant Farm, a San Francisco-based art collective, to buy and plant the cars.  Collin and the kids had fun trying to find spray cans with enough paint in them to write on the cars. Collin almost succeeded in spelling out LEWISBU . . . There is a sign leading to the cars stating that vandalism is prohibited by Texas law, but it seemed silly since people had graffiti the entrance to the site as well as the cars themselves.