On a trip to Tulsa, Oklahoma my boyfriend mentioned,”Hey, do you want to stop at The Pioneer Woman Mercantile?” I answered, “YES!” Then, I wondered if he could read my thoughts. How did he know I already researched it and wanted to visit?
The Pioneer Woman Mercantile, located in Pawhuska, Oklahoma is more than just a general store or simple, country retail store. It’s an experience! Complete with a restaurant and an upstairs bakery, “The Merc” attracts visitors from all over. Having done my homework, I knew there could be a line leading from the front door and down the sidewalk but to my surprise there were less than six people in line when we arrived! Maybe it was because it was a Friday at 11:15am. Maybe it was because it was raining. Maybe it was just my lucky day. Either way, I would recommend visiting even if you see a line when you pass by the building.
An employee greeted each person waiting in line with a big smile and a welcoming “How are you guys doin’?” Within minutes we were ushered inside by our hostess and led into The Deli to an oversized, distressed wood table adorned with gingham cloth napkins and menus.
Speaking of the menu, you’ll love the food options ranging from sandwiches stacked tall with flavorful meats and veggies to hearty, big plate dinner entrees. The food is wonderful, the waitstaff is incredibly friendly, and the overall dining experience was amazing. It’s obvious that Ree Drummond has put considerable effort into every detail of your experience from the menu options to the red gingham employee shirts. Reminder: Make sure to plan enough time during your visit to enjoy a meal from the restaurant – and bring your appetite!
What did we eat for lunch? We shared two sandwiches: Ladd’s Favorite Chicken Sandwich and the Fried Chicken Sandwich. Each were delicious in their own right, but we decided that Ladd, Ree’s husband, was on to something when he added bacon, cheddar, and honey mustard to a grilled chicken sandwich. YUM! View the menu here. We splurged and added a side of baked macaroni-and-cheese, which may have been more than enough food. I didn’t care. I finished off the cheesy pasta in no time. (No surprise there!)
After finishing our meal, we walked over to The Merc and I was immediately overwhelmed with delightful feeling that only comes from “retail therapy.” In fact, another female shopper heard me say, “I’m not responsible for the amount of shopping I may or may not do in this store,” and then we shared a giggle. Then, my boyfriend rolled his eyes and laughed (nervously?) as I located a shopping basket.
The retail store includes everything you can imagine from whimsical, classic toys to leather handbags to colorful kitchenware. You’ll be hard-pressed to leave The Merc without at least buying a t-shirt or decorative plate – I did!
Don’t forget to head upstairs to check out The Bakery. I recognized the space from an episode of The Pioneer Woman on the Food Network. Less crowded than the downstairs areas, you’ll appreciate taking the time to savor a homemade cookie or a few pieces of retro candy.
You can make a day of your visit to Pawhuska. Many people make it a weekend and stay at one of the town’s bed and breakfasts and then shopping downtown. Next time, We’ll be sure to make time to visit P-Town Pizza, another Drummond family restaurant.
Not wanting to give away too many details, I would just say this about our time at The Merc – we had so much fun! We’ll definitely return to The Merc (and any other businesses she decides to open) in the charming little town. I know you would enjoy the visit as well.
Have you traveled to Oklahoma? Are you a fan of The Pioneer Woman? Feel free to ask me travel questions in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you!