There are lots of highways that criss-cross the Central U.S. One of our favorites is the old “Route 66”, which is also referred to as the “Mother Road”. This old school road has regained much of its popularity, as people from all over the world choose to travel on it. Running from Illinois to California, many will choose to break it up into pieces they can visit on multiple trips. With Oklahoma City as our destination, we got a chance to travel another section of this historic road. There were a couple of spots we couldn’t wait to check out just a few miles away in Arcadia, Oklahoma.
We want to thank the Visit Oklahoma City for their hospitality. Rest assured that all opinions are our own.
Arcadia Round Barn
Built in 1898, this unusually shaped structure is a bit of an architectural wonder. When William Odor began assembling it, many of his neighbors doubted that it would be possible. By the time he finished, they were suggesting that it be used for more than just a barn. He ended up bolstering up the upstairs flooring, which allowed the space to be used for dances and other get togethers. My first memories of the barn are passing it as a kid with my grandparents. My grandmother would always want to check out places as we traveled and my grandfather was nice enough to patiently wait for her to satisfy her curiosity.
We had just completed a long drive from Kansas City and were ready for a pit stop. Just a short drive down Route 66 and we pulled into Pops 66 in Arcadia. Our research had turned up this interesting hybrid fuel stop. It was easy to find, due to the huge modern art soda bottle out in front of the building. We parked and headed into the storefront to check it out.
The modern look continues inside their space with a bank of angled windows facing the parking lot. These are decorated with rows of glass shelves that have been filled with some of their 700 flavors of soda and sparkling waters. All of the colors were glowing from the sunlight, which made the display even more magical. I walked around to check out some of the brands on display. Many were familiar, but I did see some I had never heard of.
Prior to our trip, we had reviewed the menus of the restaurants we planned to visit. Our plan was to test out some good old-fashioned burgers at this Route 66 stop. When the time came to order, Crystal changed up and picked the Chicken Melt. The roasted chicken breast is topped with grilled onions, pickles, Provolone cheese, and a spicy mayo. It also comes with lettuce and tomato, but Crystal chose to leave those off. She LOVED this sandwich and even asked for more of the spicy mayo to dip her fried okra. Put this one down in the win column.
Going Off Grid
Since Crystal had set the precedent of change, it was my turn to switch things up. I was originally committed to keeping a burger on our order, but a chance to test out some Oklahoma barbecue couldn’t be passed up. The idea of putting a Pulled Pork Sandwich over a beef patty wouldn’t usually have happened for me. What changed my mind was when I realized I could get it served on toasted jalapeno cornbread. It ended up being a good decision, as the unique bread choice worked well with the slightly sweet and smoky meat filling. A side of onion rings completed my meal.
A Sweet Treat
Since we had chosen water to wash down our meals, we were ready to add a sweet touch to the end. Our server had already been so helpful, but now went above and beyond. When we discussed choosing shakes, she had some input in our final decisions. The menu has tons of options, since you can pick one of the soda flavors they stock. We decided to pick a couple of her own concoctions. On the left was mine, which was her own version of an Orange Dream Shake. Made with orange juice, it had lots of flavor. Crystal received a chocolate fudge version, which supplied her with plenty of her favorite sweet delight. Both of these treats were a great ending to our meal.
Heading On Down Route 66
With our hungers and curiosities satisfied, we were ready to complete the final leg of our drive. A quick pose in front of the giant soda bottle before hopping in the car. We were both a little disappointed that we wouldn’t be in the area after dark. Crystal had noticed some pictures online that shows the soda bottle lit up at night. We will have to try to time a future trip to pass by it in time to see this nocturnal display. For now, we were satisfied with the delicious lunch. We waited for a group of Route 66 bikers from Germany to head out and then we followed them down the Mother Road. What’s one of your favorite Route 66 memories?