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Meramec Caverns, Missouri

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Our family is planning to visit the Meramec Cavern area later this summer (July?). We will be staying at a Cabin in the state park. There will be six in our party, three adults and three children ages 9, 11, and 12. While we will prepare many of our own meals we are wondering if there are any "don't miss" eating places / experiences in this area of Missouri? We enjoy a wide variety of foods and any recommendation would be appreciated -- great burgers and fries; great road side stands; great trucker restaurant; great fish; great mexican; great home cooked places? We clean up pretty decently also - any higher end places to try? No chains please! Thanks.

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  1. We stayed at the state park in Sullivan last summer. We camped and ate in town once I think. We just grabbed fast food though. I'm not familiar enough with the area to know what's good there except for right off the highway fast food/chain places.

    Double check your reservation- the state park in Sullivan flooded last week and the campgrounds are closed. The cabins were higher up relatively speaking but I'm guessing this is the park you are visiting.

    1. Oops, I just checked yahoo maps and found out that it is 43 miles from Stanton MO to Valley Park MO - but I will give you my Valley Park recommendations. Since you will be here in summer, a visit to Fritz's will be highly appreciated: wonderful frozen custard served from a 1950's concrete and neon stand. Fritz's is tucked away on Old Meramec Station Road. For food, Valley Park has 10th Street Italian, in the strip mall at the intersection of Big Bend and Dougherty Ferry. Also at that intersection are jj twigs pizza, part of a small chain out of Chicago, and healthy food at Samurai Sam's, the eastern most outpost of a chain out of California.

      1. Over Thanksgiving weekend my visiting family and I made the trip from St. Louis to Meremac Caverns. We were driving west on 44 at lunch time and saw a billboard for Lewis Cafe in St. Clair, MO. We took a chance and we were glad we did. Everything we had from the salads and soups, sausage sandwich, breaded pork tenderloin and pies were all good. The menu had so many things it was hard to choose. Have fun!