Thursday, May 23, 2013

Cruisin' to Clanton's Cafe, Vinita, OK - updated 6/24/2013

Taking a motorcycle trip with Bill is always  fun, but add a great eatery to the journey, and the adventure factor doubles for me. After four windy hours of riding west, Bill and I were happy to see the Vinita, Oklahoma exit sign that announced our exit was half a mile from us.
As we rumbled into Vinita, I excitedly scanned the left hand buildings for a Clanton's sign.  Then I saw the object of my search, a one story building, rising from a veritable sea of vehicles. Now this wasn't a weekend. It was Thursday and the surrounding parking lot was jam packed.  We cruised around the building, seeking a space large enough to park our two bikes and the trailer I was towing.  We both spotted the bare strip of parking  lot  about the same time, so we parked in tandem and dismounted .
Now my husband is a city fellow and he didn't know about calf fries. I actually told him about Clanton's being famous for this item as we walked into the building, shame on me.  Brimming with excitement,  me not Bill, we had a brief wait for a table and used that time to soak in the atmosphere inside the building.
The Guy Fieri sign  was a reminder that he and the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives crew had featured Clanton's  Cafe on the Old Route 66 shows. Framed local news articles, poker playing dog pictures, and hunting trophies adorned the walls. Waitresses swiftly took orders, smiled, and returned bearing platters of homemade french fries smothered in gravy, steaks, and a veritable feast of home cookin'.
A smiling, friendly waitress seated us and I acted like a complete tourist. Yes, I told her I was a fan of Triple D and Guy. THEN I told her my goal of eating at as many featured spots as I could. See, I told you, totally a tourist.
Bill ordered chicken fried steak, I ordered an open face roast beef, and both were accompanied by the handcut fries. The waitress told me she could bring us a sample of calf fries, so I said YES. You can see them in the picture.
The food was wonderful.  Bill praised the chicken fried steak as the best he has ever eaten. The roast actually was chunks of roast beef in a gravy that was silky smooth delishishness. Sorry, it was so good that just thinking about it made me feel like I was talking with my mouthful. Seriously, it is that good. Plus, we both ate all we could eat for $16.60. 

Oh yeah, the calf fries. The sauce they were served with is to die for. I know, I know it's a cliche, but it's true! It was like seafood cocktail meets salsa. Yum. The fries were dipped in a crisp light batter and fried to perfection. My tastebuds were happy with the batter and sauce. The calf part is very mild so there is no reason to not try a calf fry. Unless, you just can't get over what part of the calf you would be eating.
Look up Clanton's Cafe on Google Maps or Facebook and plan a road trip to Vinita, Oklahoma soon!

Clanton's Cafe on Urbanspoon

We enjoyed Clanton's Cafe enough the first time, that we visited a second time on June 20, 2013. This time I ordered the chicken fried steak with white gravy and Bill ordered the open faced pork loin sandwich. We shared a slice of homemade coconut cream pie that was a perfect meld of flaky crust, fluffy meringue, and coconut filling. I don't like overly sweet pie, so I cautiously tasted a small bit of filling first. It was a perfect balance between too much sugar versus not enough sugar.
Chicken Fried Steak at Clanton's
added 6/24/2013 Photo by Sallee Bonham
Pork Loin Open Face Sandwich
added 6/24/2013 Photo by Sallee Bonham
Coconut Cream Pie
added 6/24/2013 Photo by Sallee Bonham