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Day Two: Memphis to Oklahoma City

I have this problem. I’m easily swayed by a restaurant that claims to be “The BEST” of something.


On a normal day, I don’t eat doughnuts. In fact, I rarely to never eat them. But this morning makes the fourth time I’ve had them this week. When on vacation, everyone has to make sacrifices. This is my burden to bear. You gotta do what you gotta do. And since Alton Brown recently named Gibson’s Donuts in Memphis the best doughnuts in the country, you can see that I had to try them. It’s practically the law.


Were they the best I’ve ever tried? Well, no. That honor still belongs to Schuler’s, my hometown bakery in Springfield, Ohio. But they were good and fresh and cheap.

Properly fortified, we exited Memphis, crossed the Mississippi, and were officially WEST. We were also in Arkansas.

After the pleasant surprise Memphis turned out to be, I had high hopes for Arkansas. Yes, I certainly had high hopes for Arkansas. <crickets>

Little Rock proved more promising. Famished from two hours of driving, we pulled into the Root Café for second breakfast.



The food is my favorite kind—made from scratch and locally sourced. And they had an outdoor play area for the kids.


At the end of Arkansas is Fort Smith, a historic Western town with an awesome play area for kids. The rides are only a dollar and include a carousel and Ferris wheel. There’s also a splash pad and park across the street. As always, we didn’t have nearly enough time to explore, but it made a nice break before we entered Oklahoma.


Eastern Oklahoma was a lot like Eastern Arkansas, a bit monotonous. The only thing around for miles is livestock. Seriously, we saw a cow trying to cross the interstate. So when you see the sign for the city limits of Oklahoma City, you feel pretty excited. But then, wait for it, the actual city doesn’t start for another thirty miles.

Oklahoma City is known for onion burgers, grilled meat in a pile of diced onions. (Think White Castle but edible and made of actual beef.) In our quest to eat regional food, we searched for the best onion burger and found a pretty good example at S & B’s burgers. (Again no pictures, but when your hungry baby is screaming blue bloody murder, the last thing you think of is whipping out a camera and snapping a photo.)

After food, we cruised through Bricktown, Oklahoma City’s answer to the San Antonio Riverwalk.


It’s a revamped section of old buildings now filled with art, shopping, parks, and restaurants.


It’s also another example of something we would love to have explored, if we had more time. You can walk, take a carriage ride or, if you have good balance, try your luck at a Segue tour.

As for us, we went to the hotel to swim and try to get a quality night’s sleep. As a side note, I’ve come to believe that the reason the pioneers only lived to their mid thirties was because they shared a room with their children. Just saying.


About vanessagraybartal

Author. Eater. Wife. Mother. Not necessarily in that order.

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