Finding this elusive downtown deli is difficult if you don’t, A) Have it pulled up on Google maps or your navigation system, or B) Are with someone who already knows where it is. I liken the difficult time I had in locating it the first time to that of trying to find your local speakeasy back in the roaring 20’s. The exterior of the building is highly unassuming. A small white building with no noticeable signage to flag you as you pass by. There is a sign of course, but it is small an unlit and on the inside of the glass.
This, however, makes little difference in keeping the flocks of patrons away from their door each day during the lunch hour. Their reputation for delicious soups and sandwiches sends hoards of business men and women into the arms of the mom and pop shop every day.
The chalk board that hangs behind the owner/cashier rarely, if ever, changes. They have daily specials that include a fresh baked bread and homemade soup. These rotate daily, but each has their assigned day of the week and so they needn’t ever be written over. We ‘regulars’ have our preferred day of the week on which a scrumptious soup or certain type of bread might be available (Thursday’s for me, but… don’t tell anyone!!!). Any day is a good day to go though. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, the food beyond compare with any other place in at least a fifty mile radius, and the cost is reasonable considering the time that goes into preparing homemade menu options.
As already mentioned, my preferred day of the week to patron The Rolling Pin is Thursday’s. That is because they have the Southwestern soup and the Spinach-Feta bread. You can get a cup or a bowl (the bowl is served with a slice of the bread of your choice), but I always opt for the cup with a half ham and turkey sandwich on the daily bread. A bit of lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, pepper jack cheese and a drizzling of Italian dressing turns my sandwich into a thing a beauty. Yes, I just called my sandwich beautiful!
They also have hot sandwiches and quiches each day, of which a count of those remaining is displayed on a laptop on top of the fridge behind the “counter”. If you are in the mood for something in particular that is of limited supply (i.e. hot sandwich, quiche, soup) you need to be sure and get there early, before 12:30 pm, in order to be sure to get what you want. I have on occasion, arrived mid-lunch hour only to find that my beloved soup was already supped by everyone. It’s hard not to look around and glare at those spooning the goodness into their mouths as you search for your number two choice.
There are definitely some great dining options in Bartlesville, but not one that can hold a lunch hour candle to The Rolling Pin. It is surely on my list of favorites and I know that if you waited in line to try it, you would think so too.
NOTE: They are also a bakery, so be sure to head there in the morning for some scrumptious breakfast treats, or to grab a fresh from the oven loaf of the daily bread!
Cuisine: Bakery, Deli
Restaurant Features: Family Owned
Address/Phone Number: 408 S Johnstone Ave. Bartlesville, OK 74003 / 918-337-2219
Hours: I wish I knew! If you find it on their website, please let me know.