Shartel Cafe: a nice neighborhood eatery for the family
Shartel Cafe is located at 5116 N. Shartel in Oklahoma City (map). Hours are 6:30am to 8pm Monday through Friday, 8am to 2pm on Saturday, and 10am to 2pm on Sunday. Contact them at 405.843.0900.
I knew pretty much right away I was going to like The Shartel Cafe as I approached the beautiful, dessert-laden counter to place my order. But with my New Year’s willpower still i tact, I bypassed those desserts, placed my order, filled my cup with tropical herbal iced tea and made it to the table. I was safe. I had no idea this place was a bakery, too. Why didn’t someone warn me?
My attention was soon drawn from the dessert display to the displays of fresh flowers sitting around the counter tops. My trusty sidekick, Mom, began her visual appraisal and critique of the dining area while we waited on lunch, and the flowers were the first things she praised. I agreed — fresh flowers add class and beauty to any place. In fact, I’ve been known to purchase a bouquet — to me, from me — on occasion, for my stuffy office.
Soon, the owner served us our entrees, and it was great to have a discussion with her between bites. Mom’s Greek Veggie Salad ($7.25) arrived first, all fresh, crunchy and appetizing. It consisted of fresh greens, roma tomatoes, Greek olives, red peppers, pepperoncini, cucumbers, red onions, artichokes and feta cheese, accompanied by a nice, thick, Greek dressing. The lady next to us said she eats this salad here every day. My Island Jerk chicken wrap ($7.25) arrived a few minutes later. It consisted of jerk-marinated chicken, pineapple cream cheese, onion and lettuce on a whole wheat honey wrap. Although it was good, I think I might have added a little something else for moistness and extra flavor, say like sliced tomatoes or a warm, pineapple compote.
Patrick and Deneen Nault opened Shartel Cafe three years ago and haven’t had time to look back (one can see Patrick serving as chef back in the kitchen). Deneen says the brisk business stems from surrounding areas such as the OU Medical School and area high schools during the week. Then, families from surrounding neighborhoods meet there on weekends. It’s gotten to be a rather homey place for many of their customers, including Betsy, who has created her own special of a hamburger steak with mushroom gravy and the veggie of the day. Although it’s not located anywhere on the menu, anyone is welcome to ask for it. The Naults are also happy to cater to any special dietary needs that they can. Some of their customers come for breakfast, get a to-go order for lunch to take to work, then call in dinner to pick up on the way home. This is exactly the type of place I wish would open somewhere in far Northwest Oklahoma City.
Deneen saw that Mom and I hadn’t ordered dessert and insisted that we try something. So, of course, I immediately agreed, happily waving goodbye to any non-dessert resolutions I had earlier possessed. In fact, I watched them fly right out the big windows that line the front of the store. I sent Mom to the counter and she returned with a slice of lemon creme cake ($2.95), a monster cinnamon roll ($1.95), and a white chocolate, cranberry walnut cookie ($1.50). All delicious.
Deneen went on to say that lots of people come just for the Shartel Mac and Cheese ($7.95), the Oh, My Reuben ($7.25) and any of the burgers, which all looked great. The Mac and Cheese is tossed with sweet peas and ham, and the Reuben is served on their homemade swirled rye bread. The breakfast menu is loaded with options — everything from oatmeal, yogurt and granola to pancakes, breakfast quesadillas and quiche. Pretty much anything is available for a wide variety of tastes.
They also serve several flavors of Java Dave’s coffee, hot and iced teas, smoothies and cappuccino. And they provide catering.
I found Shartel Cafe to be a great neighborhood restaurant. They have something for all tastes and something for just about any time of the day. Have you tried it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.