It’s not every day that a book nerd/foodie will stumble upon a place that speaks to both their passions. A place where you could get lost for hours perusing shelves and when you’re famished—used books weighing your arms down—you can then sit and get a bite to eat.
But, alas, I’ve found heaven on earth.
It’s a known fact that I don’t get out much. Perhaps it’s the pale skin and the hissing at strangers that gave that away. However, upon one of my ventures along downtown on Main Street in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, I passed an awning with two of my favorite words emblazoned on the front.
Books & Bistro.
Slam on the brakes and throw it into reverse was my initial thought. Unfortunately, I had other things to do that day but made a promise to come back. And boy, am I glad I did.
I asked my mother-in-law to join me for a visit to the too-good-to-be-true Books & Bistro since she’s one of the few people that will nerd out with me over books. I’d warned her that I wasn’t sure how the food would be but we’d check it out and if it seemed iffy, we had a back-up plan restaurant down the street we’d hit after.
Thankfully, the moment we opened the door, we were swept into a magical land of books, dazzled by the adorable Irish-themed décor, and enchanted by the aromas of something amazing cooking in the back.
We were in a book nerd/foodie dreamland.
It was easy to get swept away, and for the next hour, my mother-in-law and I scoured the shelves hunting for gems. Everything was neatly organized, clean, and easy to find. I found myself intrigued by the Celtic literature shelves and on my knees practically worshipping the classic literature section. The snazzy music they played simply added to my overall enjoyment as I worked each shelf, searching for the next best find.
Before long, our arms were full of reasonably priced used books and our bellies were empty. It was show time—to see if this place was really too good to be true. The friendly fellow at the counter that had complimented my purchases and threw in a deal for me when I checked out, brought us a couple of menus.
The choices all sounded good and it was difficult to decide but we both chose the “Sidewalk Special” for the day that consisted of a half bacon, turkey, guacamole sandwich on toasted sourdough bread complete with our choice of soup or salad. And with homemade guacamole and salsa.
How could we go wrong?
Oh, man, it was so right…so very, very right. Quite frankly, it beat out any sandwich/soup shop this side of the Mississippi.
Before long, we’d each devoured every single crumb on our plates and filled our little bellies. My mother-in-law pondered how many times a week we could visit without being deemed those stalker ladies and we decided at least once a week was the magical number we could sneak in unnoticed.
We hung around for another hour, enjoying the atmosphere and chatting about books, kids, food, and life. I was in booklover heaven and wasn’t in any hurry to leave.
Oh, did I mention they serve beer?
Eventually though, as patrons begin to fill the tables, we paid our tab, and with great reluctance finally left. Neither of us were eager to go but we couldn’t very well camp out for the rest of the day. Could we? The nice fellow did offer to keep samples of food coming our way and we could just stretch out between the bookshelves for the rest of the afternoon eating and reading.
Don’t think we didn’t consider it…
All in all, the trip was more than we could have ever imagined. I haven’t enjoyed myself that much over a meal or in a bookstore in a long time. It’ll be an experience I will be looking forward to doing all over again very soon. If you’re an Oklahoman or passing through, I suggest you visit this little gem.
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Now excuse me while I drool over my purchases…