Northeastern Oklahoma is becoming increasingly popular for Amish style restaurants. I saw several on the highway between the Oklahoma border and Locust Grove where my mom lives. There are actually two of the four major branches of Amish located in Oklahoma, with the largest branch, The Old Order Amish, in Mays County near Chouteau. Members of this group have lived in the area since 1910 and you’ll according to the Oklahoma Historical Society, there are thirty-nine households with the last name of “Yoder.” You might even see families driving their horse and buggy on the county roads if you explore the area.
Whenever I visit my family in Locust Grove, I always try to stop by the Dutch Pantry Restaurant & Bakery and the Amish Cheese House. This past trip I didn’t make the Amish Cheese House, but my sister and I did stop in for a late lunch at the Dunch Pantry.
The Dutch Pantry is a buffet featuring Amish style cooking. The buffet changes each day, but you’ll find a wide variety of cold salads (pasta salad, Amish corn salad, etc.) as well as food that just has “good home cookin'” plastered all over it. My favorite is the gravy hands down. You can just tell that it’s completely made from scratch. It’s absolutely delicious.
The buffet typically has fried chicken on it, but other options such as BBQ brisket, pulled pork, catfish, ham and other meats can be found as well. The baked beans are also excellent and as a friend of mine says, “I could eat my weight in their chicken and dumplings.” Of course, you can’t miss the dessert bar as well, which features cobblers, cakes and a variety of pies.
If you find yourself on Highway 412 or 69, get off in Chouteau and stop at the Dutch Pantry for lunch or dinner. It doesn’t look like anything special on the outside, but everything inside is excellent.
The Dutch Pantry is open Monday-Saturday from 8am to 8pm. The cost of the lunch buffet was about $10 per adult. You’ll also find pecan pie (don’t leave without one of these) and dried country noodles, jams, honey and other items you can take home as well.
If you have a chance, go across the street to the Amish Cheese House. You’ll find more bakery items here as well as fresh fudge (which is awesome), as well as a variety of other locally made items.