Tin ceilings hover above the weathered plaster and brick walls of Two Olives Café, whose rustic, old-world character is bolstered by exposed ventilation pipes that run the length of the room. The founder of the café, Tricia Henderson, designed the room to reflect the history of the area, mounting black-and-white photographs to offer guests a more explicit glimpse into the past.
In the kitchen, fresh chicken salad is laced with apples, grapes, and almonds, giving it a sweet, tart crunch that makes it the most popular sandwich on the menu and the expected winner of next year's prom court. Ham, salami, and olive salad stack the muffaletta sandwich, and housemade chipotle dressing adds a subtle smokiness to the otherwise classic caesar salad.
Attempts to sip a cupcake up a straw rarely succeed, but the staff of The Cupcake Lounge encourages customers to try with their Cherry Limeade cupcake. The confection is made of a lime-infused cake base topped with whipped cherry frosting and comes garnished with a lime slice and a tiny straw.
This drink-inspired treat is one of only 10 cupcake flavors the shop stocks daily. The rest of the menu is a rotation of funkier flavors, including a banana cupcake with a Hershey’s Kiss hidden inside and crowned with peanut-butter frosting. For further sweet treats, diners can nibble at an array of cookies or sip espresso creations infused with amaretto, hazelnut, and other flavors. The bakery also caters to sweet teeth with classes that teach students how to adorn a cake without just stacking another cake on top of it.
Though it’s now the oldest single-family owned barbecue restaurant in Oklahoma, the Shawnee Van’s Pig Stand wasn’t Van’s first barbecue shop. The family patriarch first began crafting his signature pork sandwiches and plates of ribs in 1928 and shared his recipes with family members as they opened up their own hubs throughout Oklahoma. More than 80 years later, Van’s descendants still grill up barbecue dinners and sandwiches with those signature recipes, that is, if they have taken the blood oath to keep them secret. Though they specialize in cuts of pig, the grill masters incorporate everything from brisket, turkey, chopped beef, and chicken into their dinners, pairing each meaty helping with two sides and a slice of texas toast. Sweet flavors, including sweet tea and pecan pie, cap off savory meals.
K.C. Lynn's is owned by Moore native Ken Spence, who fills cacao- and caffeine-fueled tummy tanks with handcrafted candies and fresh-roasted coffee drinks. Step up to the chocolate case to ogle hand-rolled truffles made with quality imported chocolate and available in flavors such as raspberry, turtle caramel, and peanut butter ($2). Or send a sweet tooth swooning by locking lips around white-chocolate pumpkin-pie bonbons ($1), hand-dipped chocolate strawberries ($1.50), or crunchy vanilla-macadamia-nut brittle ($1 per oz.). Those morally opposed to chewing can melt under the indulgent influence of a cup of hot cocoa ($2.75) or mellow over a smooth percolated potation such as a latte ($3.25) or white mocha ($3.50) prepared using small batches of freshly roasted coffee beans. Guests already overstimulated from debates about how the dinosaurs went extinct, or those who just don't like coffee, can opt to cool tempers with a refreshing iced tea ($1.50) or a fresh-fruit smoothie made with low-fat, probiotic-rich yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, and bananas ($3.75).
So established is Circle K that even brand-new vehicles recognize what its red-and-white logo stands for—fuel, snacks, and everything else a car might need to keep powering down the road with its driver. Circle K's story starts back in 1951, when Fred Hervey bought three Kay's Food Stores in El Paso, Texas. Under his guidance, these three little shops grew into the more than 3,000 convenience stores that crouch on our nation's street corners today.
After rolling up to a Circle K, drivers can pump their faithful roadsters full of high-octane fuel and send them skipping through a car wash to experience the cleansing touch of Blue Coral Beyond Green and Rain-X products. Then it's time to step inside the air-conditioned shop for a peek at the provisions. Rows of sodas hibernate behind glass doors, and snacks, candy, and their ATM guardians stand boldly out in the open. Some Circle Ks also offer the Take Away Café, which presents an appetizing lineup of healthy road fare including Ball Park hot dogs. Drivers can gear up for a long drive with Premium Coffees or enjoy a cold Polar Pop, whose specially formulated cup keeps drinks colder thanks to the family of tiny snowmen trapped in its foam walls.
Yogurt Bliss provides frozen treats that have been certified by the National Yogurt Association to contain live and active cultures. Sweet teeth choose from original tart or nontart flavors ($0.38/oz.) including graham-cracker pie and pumpkin spice, new autumnal taste sensations that join decadent brethren such as cinnamon roll or cookies 'n' cream and fruity cousins such as orange sorbet or strawberry. Extra-health-conscious patrons can opt for no-sugar-added varieties or ask that the shop’s floor temporarily become a treadmill. Tasty hailstorms rain down from the candy gods with a choice of more than 50 toppings. Swirls of dessert also strut their stuff in Yogurt Bliss's milk shakes and smoothies, which are created by handing buckets of yogurt to 1950s-era sock-hop participants.
Owner Ricardo Lopez infuses each of his restaurant’s dishes with the distinctive flavors of Mexico, peppering marinated slices of chicken with chipotle spices and grilling steak with onions and peppers in an iron skillet. Couples and families sit at tables strewn with complimentary chips, queso, and salsa as they carve into cheesy chilies rellenos or fashion house-made flour tortillas into origami sombreros. Open seven days a week, the restaurant hosts special celebrations inside a private dining area and delivers orders of at least 10 entrees.