This post was written by Lance M. Burris – from Plainfield, Indiana.
On Route 66, just twenty minutes from Joplin, MO and located in the Northeast corner of Oklahoma there is hospitality and good food awaiting visitors and travelers.
Recently I took a trip to watch some good games of high school baseball teams who played with wooden bats in the Mickey Mantle Classic Tournament in Commerce, OK. Commerce is the childhood home of Mickey Mantle, the late, but great center-fielder of the New York Yankees. The games were played on Mickey Mantle Field which is behind the building where Mickey went to high school.
Traveling with my wife and a couple of friends of ours, we always seek out local eating establishments and we found two in the adjacent town of Miami (pronounced Miam-ah). Upon arrival in the early evening we were hungry for a good steak and had driven through Joplin, Mo earlier only to find the restaurant, “Billy Bob’s”, we were seeking had been destroyed by a tornado the year before. So we continued to Miami and found a place called “Stonehill Grill.” The place was small and packed with hungry people waiting. After about fifteen minutes, we were seated. I always like to have fun with the waitress and in “Stonehill” I found my match. What a sense of humor and how witty this young lady was. We all ordered steak with each one being designated to be cooked to order differently. I ordered medium-well. When the steaks were served each one was grilled to perfection and juicy. The cook told us he was glad that we had not used any enhancers like A-1 Steak Sauce. Why would I want to spoil the perfect steak?
Our second morsel adventure was also in Miami for lunch and a place caught our eye. Shaped like a Ku-Ku Clock, it is one of the last of its kind and has become an icon on Route 66. This is Waylin’s Ku-Ku Burger that for over three decades has been famous for its hamburgers and has fried okra that is breaded lightly and will enlighten you taste buds.
So the next time you take a Corvette ride on Route 66 or take Route 44 through Oklahoma, be sure to stop off in Miami to curb your hunger and then visit the childhood home of Mickey Mantle in Commerce. You will be glad you did. Oh, and while you are in Commerce be sure to look up the Mayor Michael Hart, he will be glad to give you a guided tour.