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Jan 25, 2001 10:50 AM

Springfield MO tips?

  • t

I'm going to be in Springfield MO in a few weeks (home of John Ashcroft!). Can anyone share some chow tips? Seems too far for the usual pilgrimages (KC for burnt ends at Arthur Bryants, or St. Louis for pig snoot). Hoping for something local. Thanks!

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  1. You know, I live in St. Louis, but I have family in Springfield and go there frequently. The big "local" dish is Cashew Chicken (Springfield style) which is nothing like the cashew chicken you're used to. This version is made up of bits of 'southern fried' chicken in a sort of chop suey gravy with cashews. You sometimes see it (in its componant parts) on buffet tables, so don't be puzzled by the vat of fried chicken scraps with a bowl of cashew halves next to it. Over rice it's actually really tasty, if salty. Not a vegetable in sight (hey, this IS the midwest...)
    I'll e-mail my cousin Kathy and see if she has any insights into good places to go.

    1. Okay, my cousin (Kathy) replied from Springfield. I haven't tried any of these places (we just go to Silk Road on Glenstone for the buffet...) but here are her recommendations.
      "Everyone raves about Millie's. Gilardi's is good, too, but when I went there it was for a symphony thing where we ate free buffet and I had no idea what I was eating. But it was all good. Mike's is my favorite steak house, a former gay bar with , um , interesting decor, but whatever they marinate the meat in, it's wonderful. That sounds like a setup for a dirty joke. I like Zio's, but it may be too pedestrian for real 'gourmets', good, buttery, cheesy Italian food. And the Cedars. Oh, yeah, the Cedars. The BEST chicken fried steak I have EVER had, and the best mashed potatoes, and corn, and bread, and ... everthing. And cost about $3.50. Looks like a dive, though."
      Personally, I would have to go for the chicken fried steak, but I was, after all, raised in a house where bacon grease was a condiment. Does anybody but me remember when canister sets actually came with a canister labeled 'grease.' Something like that would probably be kinda hard to come by, today.

      1. j
        Jill Hollifield

        Someone help me out here - isn't there a Lambert's near Springfield? Home of throwed rolls? If so, its an experience that shouldn't be missed - and neither should the fried chicken.


        2 Replies
        1. re: Jill Hollifield

          Yes, there is a Lambert's in Ozark, MO...not too far from Springfield. I've never been there, myself, there were always too many tour buses out front. We used to go to Ozark because it was a favorite place to 'cruise the strip' (such as it is...), back in my salad days.

          1. re: Jill Hollifield
            John Harrison

            Lambert's is a GREAT restaurant just south of Springfield on highway 65. Also, don't miss the cinnamon rolls (called "hubcaps") and the daily "pass-arounds" consisting of black-eyed peas, fried okra, fried potatoes, and macaronni with tomatoes. Ate there 3 times last week when we were in Branson. The BEST throw'd rolls available !!!!!

          2. There's a little Italian place downtown called "Nonna's." They have the best marinara sauce I've ever tasted and great bread. And I'm a pretty Nazi baker. They have sliced bread for appetizer with chopped garlic and olive oil.

            I also liked Cielito Lindo for good not-too-Americanized Mexican food.

            The Pizza House had great thin crispy pizza.

            Sorry, I lived there two years after I married, but moved away, so I hope this is all still around. I still get up there occasionally, so I would love to hear any suggestions.

            There is a Korean restaurant on West Sunshine street that was very good. I had no idea what I was ordering, as the menu had no translations, so I just pointed. It was fun.