Rock Cafe

Review by: Michael Stern

This extremely well-worn cafe has been remodeled many times since it originally went up in 1939 as the last of Route 66 was being paved. Roy Rieves built it out of sandstone removed as the highway was constructed, and from 1959 to 1983 it was operated by Mamie Mayfield, who became a legendary hostess known to long-haul truckers and road trippers on the old Mother Road. The current proprietor is Dawn Welch, a prodigious cook who credits the goodness of her food to the vintage griddle in the kitchen, which she describes as having been “seasoned for eternity.”

Among Dawn’s menu innovations are a chicken fried steak she makes out of a pork cutlet rather than a slab of beef. It is juicy and tender, sheathed in a luxuriously brittle crust. Having been married to a man from Switzerland, she also broadened the menu with spaetzel (topped with melted jack and cheddar cheese) and apple streusel crepes. There are Mexican dishes, stir fries, po-boys, beignets, tall stacks of pancakes, and a short bowl of beans with cornbread on the side.

A cool destination halfway between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, Rock Cafe survived a devastating fire in 2008. It was reborn with a bigger dining room, but with the same cozy local-cafe spirit. On the a set of shelves are over half a dozen guest books signed by visitors. “We are from Oslo,” wrote a couple called Greta and Stein. “This is the only place between here and there,” another customer contributed. Someone else drew a map of Corsica with a star marking home.

Stroud, which bills itself as the heart of the heartland, is a sleepy small town once known for its rough-and-tumble taverns, but now more famous for its every-July brick and rolling pin throwing competition.

What To Eat

Chicken Fried Steak


Apple Streusel Pancakes

Hash Browns





Rock Cafe Recipes


What do you think of Rock Cafe?

2 Responses to “Rock Cafe”


July 20th, 2023

Was there twice, once for bft and then lunch. Great disappointment. Staff just stood around gossiping, sat me off in corner when place was very empty, meal was barely warm, no one asked how I was or how meal was. Kept reminding me to stop by the gift shop, wanted me to pay before I had finished meal, never asked how I liked it, they just kept standing around talking to each other. Rock cafe obviously is trying to skate by on fame from movie,CARS. They need a reminder that you earn your reputation one guest at a time. Worst restaurant on route 66 that I visited from AZ to OK.
DO NOT WASTE YOYE TIME OR MONEY HERE. Lots of other great places to visit in Shroud that u can really enjoy.


Stan Morgan

July 19th, 2009

Don’t waste your time or money. While this small cafe has been nicely remodeled following their fire, the staff seems to take for granted their customers, the food quality, and the value of their food.

Let’s start with service. We waited over 50 minutes for four sandwiches and a chicken fried steak order. Never were offered drink refills without asking and were only given any silverware if we requested it. They had six staff members working, most of whom stood at the counter and talked to each other.

Okay, now the food. The alligator burger was only $4.25, but was very small. The flavor of the meat was overpowered by the peppers in the mix. The Reuben was good enough and of decent size, but the buffalo burger was very small and not really special in any way.

That leaves value. All I can say here is, do not order any sides. An order of fried green tomatoes is $1.75 and includes two small end slices only. When asked if they missed part of the order the waitress smiled and said no.

Overall, a very disappointing experience. After nearly $45 spent, we had to stop and get food somewhere else. Never leave your customers hungry.


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