Come on "Four States" Area: KS, MO, AR, OK corners.
I live in Southwest Missouri and sell clothing at Renaissance Faires. This spring we will be in Wichita, KS, Norman OK, Muskogee OK, and Joplin MO. I'm looking for a good meal that isn't generically chain.
We like ethnic, or whatever, so if anyone out there has any suggestions, I would appreciate it greatly. It would also be great to know I'm the only one out here in the middle of nowhere.
No, you're not the only one in this part of Flyover Country. I'm typing this from my part-time home in Joplin. Plenty of threads have covered Wichita. One or two have touched on Joplin.
Fred & Red's, a chili place, moved to its current spot in Joplin in the 1940s. Except for the prices, little has changed. Former residents make a pilgrimage to the place and reminisce about going there when they were kids (right before the cafe closes for August, it ships chili bricks all over the country). Fred & Red's is no-nonsense and working-class like the town itself. There are no tables, only a U-shaped counter. Smoking is allowed anywhere, though few people light up. The waitresses sass their regular customers. Kind of like "Cheers" with a cholesterol problem.
It doesn't have a website. Heck, it doesn't even have a phone. One Hound went there and was unimpressed. Your call.
Charlie's Chicken, a chain based in NE Oklahoma, serves up a tender and spicy rotisserie chicken on 32nd Street about a half-mile east of Range Line. You're on the edge of the south and are starting to get into okra country. That's my preferred side dish at Charlie's.
The Red Onion is a fine upscale option as is its sister restaurant, Bella Pepper's, at about 24th & Range Line.
Roadfood reviewed Clanton's Cafe in Vinita, Oklahoma (http://www.clantonscafe.com/) on Route 66. It's a 50-mile trip down I-44. The same distance south takes you to AQ Chicken in Springdale (http://www.aqchicken.com/), which, I believe, also recieved a Roadfood mention (and deserved it).
Ah, the renaissance fair at the duck pond in Norman, OK. Reminds of my college days. If you are there for the day and like pasta, eat at Victoria's Pasta Shop on Campus Corner. Check their board for the daily pesto special and the stuffing in the mushroom caps. I eat there when I am in Norman and it is very consistent. Lasagna rolls which are stuffed with shrimp and covered in an alfredo sauce are a fattening favorite.