Here's What Food You Can Expect To Find On The Pioneer Woman Mercantile Menu

These days, it's not enough to be a star on the Food Network or HGTV. Anybody can publish a few cookbooks and have their own signature line of cookware at a big-box store, but to be a true domestic diva (or divo, if you're a dude), you really need to have your name on several business ventures as well.

While the reigning champs at present may be Chip and Joanna Gaines, the superstar house flippers who run several restaurants, are planning a boutique hotel, and also now have their own TV network, Ree Drummond, the Pioneer Woman, is not one to be left in the dust by a pair of Texas upstarts. She may not yet have a network to call her own, but her retail complex in Pawhuska, Oklahoma includes a general store known as The Mercantile, a luxury hotel called The Boarding House, and eateries including a coffee shop/bakery, a pizzeria, and an ice cream shop. Oh, yes, and there's also a full-service restaurant also known as The Mercantile (or The Merc, for short), housed in a building that dates back to 1903. If you venture out to Pawhuska for the sole purpose of eating at the Pioneer Woman's restaurant, what might you expect to find on the menu?

Breakfast is a pretty big deal for the Pioneer Woman

The Pioneer Woman and her Marlboro Man husband are all about ranch life, and this means rising with the sun and fortifying yourself with a hearty meal to prepare you for the rigors of herding cattle — or perhaps just doing the tourist thing in Pawhuska. Either way, you need to fill up, and the breakfasts on offer at The Mercantile will certainly fill the bill. On the lighter side, you can enjoy a Farmer's Breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, fried potatoes, and a buttermilk biscuit with homemade jam. If you're feeling a bit peckish, though, you might prefer a Cattleman's Breakfast, where the breakfast meats are replaced by a 12-ounce ribeye instead. Other options include cheesy grits, huevos rancheros, and a breakfast sandwich purported to be Ree's Favorite: English muffins topped with prosciutto, fontina cheese, and eggs served sunny side-up.

If you just want a city slicker breakfast, though, you can stop by the deli for a cinnamon roll, a croissant, or a sticky bun and a hot drink to go. The beverage menu includes a few unique offerings you won't find anywhere else. These include not only a cayenne-spiked Spicy Cowgirl mocha, but a Cowboy Coffee infused with sarsaparilla.

Ranch-style lunches and dinners are heavy on comfort food

If you drop by The Mercantile at lunchtime in the mood for a sandwich, they'll be sure to oblige. Try the Drip Beef, which is an Oklahoma interpretation of the Chicago classic Italian beef served with horseradish aioli. You may also enjoy a JBLT (the "J" stands for jalapeno) or Ladd's Favorite Chicken Sandwich with cheddar cheese, bacon, and honey mustard. (And chicken, of course.) If you want something lighter, try the roast beet salad with artisanal goat cheese.

For dinner, you'll want to experience the Pioneer Woman's take on such All-American classics as chicken pot pie, shrimp and grits, and of course the cowboy classic, chicken fried steak. (Ree makes her with real ribeye!) If you want something a bit more unique, how about Dr Pepper-braised pork belly served over cheesy grits? You can even go all fancy by ordering duck leg confit, something the menu says is "one of Ree's very favorite foods," so you know it's got to be good.

As for the dessert menu, unfortunately, no desserts are listed, so we can't get our vicarious thrills imagining those "irresistible offerings." If The Mercantile's bakery menu is anything to go by, though, pecan and chocolate pies are likely to be on offer, along with fresh-baked brownies, lemon bars, molasses cookies, and a wide variety of other goodies worth saving room for.

Is eating at the The Mercantile worth the trip?

According to a Spoon University writer who drove 10 hours from Denver for the specific purpose of eating at the Pioneer Woman's restaurant, yes, it's absolutely worth 20 hours in the car, and she'd do it again any day. The writer said that she and her mom drove out the night before and stayed in a hotel about 30 minutes from Pawhuska, but when they arrived at The Mercantile around 11 a.m., the line was already ridiculously long and the expected wait time was an hour until they'd likely be seated. They decided to fuel up at The Mercantile's bakery, instead, where they noshed on cornmeal pineapple upside-down cake and a sticky bun the writer described as the best she'd ever had due to the fact that it was made with whiskey.

After a few hours of poking around Pawhuska, the mother and daughter duo returned to The Mercantile for dinner and filled up on spinach artichoke dip, mac and cheese, chicken-fried steak, and carrots cooked with whiskey (we're beginning to sense a theme here), and still somehow managed a slice of pecan pie. The next morning, on their way back to Denver, they couldn't resist one last trip to The Mercantile's Bakery for lavender and cardamom lattes and a few pastries they did not name but greatly enjoyed.