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  1. #1

    Default Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    The truth is never embarrassed by honest inquiry.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    I haven't actually been, but driven by last weekend. Friday after Thanksgiving morning there were two significant lines to get in at 10:00 am or so. One for the restaurant/bakery, the other just to get into the shop. Both were roughly 200 feet long. It was pretty crazy to see especially in Pawhuska.

  3. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Yes, we went the second weekend. Got pictures made with Ree and her husband 'The Marlboro Man' as she calls him. It's a great place but was very crowded. Lines to get into the restaurant were a 3 hour wait, the line to get into the building was an hour wait. The Mecantile was worth the trip and a lot of fun. The food in the bakery on the top floor was not expensive at all and pretty darn good.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Pawhuska is an interesting small town with a small but intact downtown where this is located. It's fairly isolated and only accessible via state highways. If you're making the 2.5 hour trip from OKC I would take 44 then 64 north to 99 up through Cleveland and Hominy. It's a scenic route through the western edge of the Osage Hills really forested near Keystone Lake and then thins out to open rolling prairie closer to Pawhuska

    Also worth seeing in the area is thr Tallgrass Prairie Preserve north of town. Also in Osage County but closer to Bartlesville is Woolaroc (great for kids with the animals and museum).

  5. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    When we went, we went up I-35 to HWY 60 to Ponca City. We went a scenic route over the Kaw Lake dam then went on to Pawhuska. You will also see the entrance to the 'Drummand Ranch' going this route. It took us exactly 2:15 minutes travel time from OKC and no toll roads..

  6. #6

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Pawhuksa is kind of a neat little town. I find it interesting though that there's very little street view of Pawhuska on google maps.

  7. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    The 5 story building across the street from the Pioneer Woman Mercantile is being developed by the Drummand's as a bed and breakfast of some sorts.

  8. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Realizing no one has posted to this thread in a while, I thought I'd offer a little travelog and review of our experience from yesterday (7 August 2017).

    My wife had wanted to go to The Merc since the day it opened; but with waits going on three hours or more, we opted to hold off until the crowds thinned out.

    They haven't.

    So, with her summer dwindling and an unexpected open day available on the calendar, we set out on our own trip to experience The Merc...

    We tried to plan strategically; reviews on Trip Advisor and similar sites strongly suggested that if you arrive for lunch by 10AM, you can expect a wait of about an hour. So we planned a 2-1/2 hour trip up, leaving at 7:30. Unfortunately, somehow, we lost a half-hour, hitting I-35's northbound rush hour volume at exactly the wrong time. Also, our planned route was spoiled when we found that the PikePass lane on eastbound US412 at northbound US177 was set up such that it was physically impossible to use the access loop to US177. We were forced another ten minutes out of our way to use SH18 all the way to US 60, and on into Pawhuska. Trip time - right at three hours. Parking was a non-issue; despite the crowd, we had no trouble finding a parking spot on a Pawhuska municipal lot about a half-block south of the Merc, making for a trivially short walk back. The Merc is located on the northeast corner of US 60 and Kihekah avenue, with the parking lot just across US 60 and on the west side of Kihekah. One proviso: There are no traffic or pedestrian controls at the intersection, so be cautious crossing the street!!!

    We apparently met with a larger than expected Monday crowd, because one of the Merc staffers that visit with people waiting in line started commenting to us that "someone must have left a memo for everyone to show up today." I overheard a few people making similar comments, indicating the crowd was bigger than average for a Monday. So it's at least theoretically possible showing up at 10:00 wouldn't have helped so much. Our lesson about trip planning was thus - 10AM meant 10AM, and not 10:15m, and nt 10:30. From the time we landed in line at approximately 10:35AM to the time we were seated? A whopping 2:40.

    The waiting line, which starts at the Merc's west entrance, snakes back south approximately halfway to the corner and then back to the north, well beyond the Merc's space just past a Lorec Furniture store, and then snakes back down to the south toward the intersection, and then back east. They've tried valiantly to prepare for the heat: misting fans are set up where the line snakes near the entrance, water is handed out to waiting guests, and tents shield most of the "almost in" line.

    The restaurant space of The Merc, discounting the kitchen, occupies approximately half - maybe less - of the first floor, and includes a "grab and go" line for quick-service box lunches for those who don't want to wait for the full service restaurant. The retail space occupies the rest, which begins generally at the corner of the building and occupies the rest of the space to the east. Upstairs is the bakery with *lots* of open seating. The attention to finish detail and decor is a monument to Ree Drummond's tenacity - even the restrooms are nicely appointed and are well-kept. And the fact that the Drummond's themselves frequent the site to say hi to guests speaks well of their appreciation for those who make the trip - Ladd was there visiting with diners just before we were seated.

    And now for the obligatory food review.

    Can any destination restaurant really provide food of the quality that a nearly 3-hour wait might engender? Probably not, and in all honesty, The Merc falls in line. The food is not bad at all, but could I in all honesty tell someone it was truly worth a 3-hour drive and a 3-hour wait? Probably not. That's not to say the food isn't *good*, but if you go in expecting to be wowed because you drove three hours and then waited in line three more....hmmmm....I dunno. It's so subjective it's almost not fair to say. I'll share what we had and you can draw your own conclusions:

    * For me, there's a special treat in chicken fried steak - and given its necessarily calorie-monstrous count, it's an indulgence I only do once or twice a year. My gold-standard for chicken fry is Babe's Chicken in Arlington, TX, with the same from Lambert's in Missouri a close second, so The Merc had stiff competition going in. After consideration, I opted to take my once-a-year diet splurge and ordered the Chicken Fried Steak and "creamiest" Mashed Potatoes "ever" (17).

    The menu clearly offers that their chicken fry is made from a ribeye steak rather than a more traditional cube steak, which was a little surprising. I'm no meat expert, but I'm reasonably sure ribeyes tend to be a bit fattier than cube steaks, and that's not always the best choice for a chicken fry. Mine arrived nice and hot, but the nice, crunchy breading was sliding off the meat, and a couple of forkfuls had just a bit of that extra ribeye fat that, for me, wasn't the tastiest part of the meal. The potatoes, which are certainly made from the recipe Ree Drummond has made on her show more than once, surely reflect the richness of the added cream cheese, but I'm not sure that adding whole milk wouldn't have accomplished the same thing. They tasted very good, but they could have tolerated a few more minutes of mashing. The gravy was...good...Not spectacular. Just good.

    Overall, The Merc's chicken fry was good...not great, and not on that gold level with Babe's or Lambert's, and especially so consider its relatively hefty pricetag.

    My wife, on the other hand, had the "White Lasagna with Garlic Toast," (13) which amounts to a vegetable lasagna with a "creamy parmesan" sauce that looked like a halfway compromise between conventional lasagna sauce and alfredo sauce. She told me it was a bit dry, and the spoonful I sampled would lead me to agree. It was served in a cast-iron "skillet bowl," and in proportion was only about half the size of my chicken fry. The toast was a baguette roll sliced in half and toasted a bit more than I would like, but just the way *she* likes it (go figure). On balance, asked about her overall opinion, she liked it - said it wasn't bad, but if she returned in the near future, she'd want to try something else.

    The Merc's menu offered several appetizers, including a popular item called "Olive Bread." We were planning a second-tier splurge at the bakery later, so we opted to pass on the appetizers. Most, like spinach-artichoke dip or nachos, seemed fairly conventional.

    The one disappointment? It's a minor hiccup, to be sure, but the hot rolls that accompanied my chicken fry dinner were literally out-of-the-refrigerator cold. Not just "sat on the table too long and no longer hot from the oven" cool, but *refrigerator* cold to the touch. Obviously, rolls are prepared early in the day, stored, and brought out as each meal requires. The disappointment for me was seeing this terrific *looking* "hot" roll and ready to dive in the the provided pat of butter, only to grab a stone-cold wad of dough. I mentioned it to the waitress in a "well, its no big deal but it was still a little disappointing" mode, and thought maybe she'd give us one with our leftover boxes, but no such luck. But, as I said, minor quibble.

    Overall, with small 50/50 sweet teas, our lunch check was $27. The service was busy, but good, and the food was generally good. Portion sizes were enough to warrant take-home boxes.

    After eating, we browsed the Merc retail space, which was more of a wife thing than something I enjoyed. I found it to be much kitschier than I expected - lots of odds-and-ends retail novelties you could pick up most anywhere. Some glassware and dishsets were interesting, but overall that part of the Merc was lost on me. My wife picked up a kitchen towel, a tiny music box, and a decorative cellophane wrap dispenser box. And I know I got out of there cheaper than most guys

    The upstairs bakery, for us, was the genuine disappointment of the day. I looked forward to a piece of some wonderful-looking carrot cake featured on one photo, but none was to be found; not even the chocolate pie, in person, looked very compelling compared to the photos. The overall selection was just lacking - a handful of cookie varieties, but nothing particularly distinctive. And none of the cakes listed on the restaurant's dessert menu were available, which was inexplicable to me. We left with only an orange marmalade muffin, a snickerdoodle cookie, a s'more "rice cereal" treat, and a "knock you naked" brownie - which, sadly, didn't, for either my wife or myself (but that's a different story).

    As we left, we took our "official" ticket to see the Lodge house where most of "The Pioneer Woman" episodes are shot. Tours are not offered every day, but they were on Monday, and were run until about 4pm. Getting there is interesting, requiring a 6-mile trek down a gravel road ending with a sharp turn down a twisty trail, but it was worth it; the view back to the east was a delightfully surprising vista of slightly-rolling Oklahoma hillside and horses, making for great pictures. The Lodge itself is just as it might seem on TV, but with a huge secondary prep kitchen presumably for the production of multiple versions of dishes prepared for broadcast production. As for the rest, it's really just a nice house with several bedrooms, and guests can take their picture behind the stove where Ree works her magic

    We left at approximately 4pm and made our way back to OKC having had a nice day trip to Pawhuska and a fun day with The Merc "experience." It's tremendous to see what its done for Pawhuska, and represents a fun day for a middle-aged couple who enjoy Ree Drummond's show. You'll invariably strike up a conversation from someone out of state, which reminds you just how widespread her popularity is - we visited with people from Washington, Alabama, Kansas, and Florida who had made The Merc a destination on their vacations. If you enjoy Ree Drummond's show, you owe it to yourself to make the day-trip investment and check it out. It was a really fun day with my Mrs.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    ^^^That.^^^ (with apologies to Sooner Dave, et. al.)

    OUR primary reason for visiting "The Merc" was almost exactly as we expected it to be. Except that we were ten minutes late by the clock and on the way to Dinner Theater in Dewey. We put the pedal to the metal, set the Cruise Control for 3mph over the posted limit and rolled up I-35 to the Ponca City exit right on time.

    Dewey, OK (about five minutes north of Bartlesville, on 75 home of the famous Price Tower, a couple of decent restaurants, a train museum and a fairly OK motel/hotel that hasn't changed its name)

    On the way, we wondered and marveled at the New Age Windmill Installations between I-35 and The Drummond Ranch Gate that we had seen before. I made a mental note to take a photo of The Old Pumping Units as compared to The Giant Windmills that now dotted the formerly pristine landscape.

    Then there is Pawhuska. When you tire of waiting in long lines for a possible mediocre meal at The Merc, take heart! Woolaroc is an easy drive a few miles to the sorta south and, in fact, Pawhuska presents many photo ops. It is a great place to be. Especially The Merc.

    (I took lots of photos . . . yet maybe, sometimes, a few well chosen words are worth a thousand pictures. or maybe not. =~)

    Again: Sincere Thanks to Sooner Dave.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Pawhuska, in particular The Mercantile (aka The Merc) ain't for the faint o' heart. Among the collection of stuff for sale is The Universal Standard for Measurement of Bigger and Smaller.
    Photo1856.jpg

  11. #11

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    And, if you want to Cowboy Up, there is this
    Photo1850.jpg

  12. #12

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Not to mention a bakery display that rivals the ones at Ingrid's (both locations) and La Baguette.
    019.JPG

  13. #13

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    I think it was Will Rogers who once quipped: "I never saw so much stuff that I didn't need." Without arguing, I'd have to say that I almost bought this for a license plate on my front bumper. That how good it was.
    Attachment 14064

    There is an old sayin' that goes somethin' like this: "Texas is a whole 'nother Country." To me, Pawhuska--not just The Merc--is like a taste of what Oklahoma used t' be. And that--in my opinion only--ain't a "bad thing."

  14. #14

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    btw: The Art Museum, now housed in the Old Firehouse, immediately adjacent to City Hall, on the way back from The Merc to The Free Parking Lot ain't too shabby neither. I would have asked if it was OK to take a couple of photographs of some of the sculptures that rivaled those at the Gilcrease and Philbrook yet that might have been misconstrued as "rude" or "rube" behavior. So I didn't.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    My wife and I went on our way up to Wichita 4 months back. Huge lines, but I do have to say it was worth it only because we got to meet Ree and have her sign the new book that my wife had to have. Ladd was also walking around and was just as friendly as you had hoped for. Seems like they do this on most weekends, which IMO is pretty cool of them.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Ree is a Bartlesville native, and stories about her disdain for small towns abound endlessly, which align with her move to Chicago. She is generally viewed as a bit of a two face and about as believable as a politician.

    That being said, what she has done for that community has been pretty remarkable. And I don't mean that in the sense of what George Kaiser is doing for Tulsa, but just the mere presence of The Merc has likely triggered the opening of probably a dozen other places in the immediate area, not to mention the dozens of B&B's that are opening up.

    Personally it is an experience that I am happy to have had only once. I will likely never again make a trip on my own to visit.

    Recently my wife stopped in Waco on the way further south. They spent nearly a day in the area around the Magnolia Market At The Silos (Chip & Joana Gaines place of HGTV fame). It is different in that it is primarily a market. But they have a park with several food trucks around. All I know is my wife was infinitely more impressed with it, than the Merc. And she is into that kind of stuff, much more so than I.

    Pawhuska is a neat town, It has a history of being a rather important little town. That time has come and gone, but there is evidence of it all over the place.

  17. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    For more on Pawhuska and Osage County (and maybe the Drummonds) - read 'Killers of the Flower Moon' - it will open your eyes like never before.

  18. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Ree is a Bartlesville native, and stories about her disdain for small towns abound endlessly, which align with her move to Chicago. She is generally viewed as a bit of a two face and about as believable as a politician.

    That being said, what she has done for that community has been pretty remarkable. And I don't mean that in the sense of what George Kaiser is doing for Tulsa, but just the mere presence of The Merc has likely triggered the opening of probably a dozen other places in the immediate area, not to mention the dozens of B&B's that are opening up.

    Personally it is an experience that I am happy to have had only once. I will likely never again make a trip on my own to visit.

    Recently my wife stopped in Waco on the way further south. They spent nearly a day in the area around the Magnolia Market At The Silos (Chip & Joana Gaines place of HGTV fame). It is different in that it is primarily a market. But they have a park with several food trucks around. All I know is my wife was infinitely more impressed with it, than the Merc. And she is into that kind of stuff, much more so than I.

    Pawhuska is a neat town, It has a history of being a rather important little town. That time has come and gone, but there is evidence of it all over the place.
    I thought she never moved to Chicago. After graduating from USC, she was going to move to Chicago to pursue a masters degree but met Ladd and moved to the ranch.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellaboo View Post
    I thought she never moved to Chicago. After graduating from USC, she was going to move to Chicago to pursue a masters degree but met Ladd and moved to the ranch.
    You're right. LA is where she left for originally. She's never at the forefront of my mind, so I'm sure I mix up the story often.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric View Post
    Ree is a Bartlesville native, and stories about her disdain for small towns abound endlessly, which align with her move to Chicago. She is generally viewed as a bit of a two face and about as believable as a politician.
    I see comments on the Food Network facebook all the time about how her smile seems disingenuous, and I can see what they are taking about. It's almost like her face is frozen in a perpetual smile. Is a little unnerving...
    The truth is never embarrassed by honest inquiry.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Spent a little time in Pawhuska. It was cool. I'm a huge non-native fan of Oklahoma history and places. Saw this lady on TV a bunch of times and just simply cannot stand to watch her hoked up bulls**t. From the first second it looks like made up crap. It's just so awful to see that hoax as a representation of Oklahoma, and I have spent years in rural areas she's trying to emulate. Bulls**t! Just my opinion, but factually turns my stomach.

  22. Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Quote Originally Posted by Paseofreak View Post
    Spent a little time in Pawhuska. It was cool. I'm a huge non-native fan of Oklahoma history and places. Saw this lady on TV a bunch of times and just simply cannot stand to watch her hoked up bulls**t. From the first second it looks like made up crap. It's just so awful to see that hoax as a representation of Oklahoma, and I have spent years in rural areas she's trying to emulate. Bulls**t! Just my opinion, but factually turns my stomach.
    Someone must like her and her bull****. Her net worth is over 8 million as a result from her show.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    This has really turned into a smear campaign. Do I think anyone that is famous for stuff like this 100% genuine all the time. Definitely not. But I don't know about you but sometimes I have bad days and people at work probably think I'm faking it those days. And they'd be right. Unfortunately for Ree, being in the spot light means you are held to a different standard. Just my last 2 cents, cause I'm done coming in here reading this garbage about a family who at the very least has helped promote a positive image for this state.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellaboo View Post
    For more on Pawhuska and Osage County (and maybe the Drummonds) - read 'Killers of the Flower Moon' - it will open your eyes like never before.
    How so?

  25. #25

    Default Re: Pawhuska - The Pioneer Woman Mercantile

    Quote Originally Posted by Bellaboo View Post
    Someone must like her and her bull****. Her net worth is over 8 million as a result from her show.
    That's like a rounding error on how much the Drummonds are worth.

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