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Springfield, MO - Good Restaurants - NO Springfield Cashew

I recently moved to Springfield, MO from SoCal --- love all sorts of food and am looking for good CURRENT restaurants to try --- NOT interested in Springfield Cashew Chicken as I've tried it. All the threads here just deal with that.

Is there life in Springfield AFTER Cashew Chicken? Thanks.

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  1. That's got to be a culture shock...

    Try Nearly Famous Deli. It's good. Nice pastas, sandwiches and great quiche.

    I liked Arris' Pizza when I lived there. It's sort of a little regional chain. They had a greek pizza that was tasty and a nice little wine bar next door/connected, not sure if that's still the case there.

    1. I like.. Avanzare for Italian. 5 spice has good asian food. Bangkok City on Walnut has great Thai. Coltons and Logans have great steaks. Maria's downtown and Casa Mesa on north Glenstone have great Mexican. Buckinghams is my pick for b-b-q.

      1. Arris Pizza and Kremer's next door are still here, I don't know that it's a chain, I think it's only the one restaurant, on East Republic between National and Fremont. Tasia is just around the corner on S. Campbell, in a strip mall just south of James River Freeway. No cashew chicken on the menu, but skip the rolls with any kind of crab, they use Krab Delites. The rest of the food quality is very good and the service is very friendly. I agree with Avanzare for Italian, but it's a little pricey. Cheaper is Bambino's, I haven't been but have heard great things about them. Skip Maria's and try Tortilla's on W. Republic (down the street and across Campbell, near Kansas Expressway) for Mexican. The owners moved from Houston a couple years ago and are the only ones in town who can make Tex Mex. Maria's is ok, don't get me wrong, but Tortilla's is exceptional. I've only been to Costa Mesa once, right after they opened and wasn't too impressed, but maybe it's gotten better. Granddaddy's (near dowtown) is good for barbecue and I've heard that the little shacks at the PriceCutter's, called BoxCar, are good but I've never tried it. For a cheap but good steak try Galloway Station, for an expensive steak go to Flame (downtown). Touch (E. Republic Rd) is good also but some dishes have a Mediterranean flair that I don't care for, not that it's bad, I just don't care for that style of food.

        6 Replies
        1. re: christineusher

          Arris' Pizza is a chain. They have locations in Jeff City and at the Lake of the Ozarks for sure....maybe a couple other locations. But it's really good, imo.

          1. re: lrstl

            Oh, I like Arris, but I don't ever make it out of town and I didn't know they had other locations. However, if I get up that way, I will keep it mind. I like the bar next door too, very relaxing.

            1. re: christineusher

              I used to live there and when I go back to visit i have must stop places.
              1. Caspers' chili on walnut. Best chili in the world!
              2. Mexican villa a small chain with killer enchilada sauce.
              3. Pizza House on glenstone(maybe closed)
              4. Mcsalty's Pizza
              5. WFCodys 1 lb Burger

              1. re: mountdorahound

                1, Casper's - yes! yes! yes! - have you tried College Ave Cafe, on College just west of Kansas?
                2. Mex Villa - no! no! hell no!
                3. Pizza House - Not closed yet, but they probably will be soon, their strip mall was bought and they are getting evicted, no plans to move; good pizza, hole in the wall , Springfield tradition, lots of nostalgia
                4. eh, it's ok, sometimes good and sometimes not; the one on Sunshine is better than the one on Battlefield (IMO)
                5. Never been...comments?

                1. re: mountdorahound

                  I haven't lived there in quite a while but any time I go through town I pick up a McSalty's pizza. I don't know anyone that duplicates their crust. ( I lived around the corner from the original on Delmar.)

                  Your list brings back the best memories = Codys after softball and Caspers for lunch.

          2. 1)Pappy's Place. Old, hole in the wall. The atmosphere is not everyone's cup of tea, but the food is amazing. Most notably, the pulled pork sandwich and their home made potato chips.
            2)I know Casper's has been mentioned, but I had to have it on my list. They've been open since the 80's, have an amazing atmosphere, and their prices are super reasonable. Any chili dish you can imagine is offered. Chili burger, chili mac, chili frito pie, chili dog. Also, their cheesecake is the best I've had. Who'd have thought?
            3) Gailey's Breakfast Pub. Great specials, great options. You can go healthy with their stuffed oatmeal with bananas and honey, or go the other way with their stuffed french toast, or peanut butter pancakes. Tons of food, and super good coffee provided by the mudhouse.
            4) Speaking of the mudhouse. These people know their coffee, have even done coffee cupping classes. But unlike some other options in Springfield, their menus and options are easy for anyone to understand. My fav. is the peanut butter puddle with an extra shot. Great place go spend a couple hours.
            5) Mr. Yens. Their general chicken is amazing, and you get tons of food. Their egg rolls are also very good. Also, amazing building.
            6) Mijuri. Delicious sushi, drum show on Saturday and Sunday nights, great service.
            7) The Grotto. Delcious thin crust pizza, wheat available, and tons of topping choices. I get goat cheese, chicken, and tomatoes, with wheat crust. Outdoor seating available.

            Some other comments.
            About Mexican Villa. I have been. I do not understand the obsession. You either hate it or love it. I hate it. One word. Stale.
            McSalty's. Used to be awesome. Now, service is terrible, college students without supervision. They used bad language, didn't pay us any attention other than to take order, then bring pizza, and bring our bill when we finally got their attention. Our drinks were empty for the last half hour we were there. Plus the pizza wasn't anything like it used to be.
            Tortillas. Disgusting. Crusty refried beans, hard tortillas, slow service, and dirty location. Has been closed down.

            And lastly, if you want to drop some serious money, (at least to me):

            Rodizio Brazilian Grill- 21$ a person, you get an ap. bar, soup, biscuits, then they bring over twenty kinds of meat around on a spit and slice you off a large piece. It was amazing.
            Twilight Grill: About 25$ a person, but amazing fall apart in your mouth steak, flavorful mashed potatoes, and delicious cheese cake.

            Hope this helped and you love these places as much as we do!

            1 Reply
            1. re: shellmann

              You say, "About Mexican Villa. I have been. I do not understand the obsession. You either hate it or love it. I hate it. One word. Stale."

              Here's your answer to the mystery. The "lovers" and "haters" break down into two groups: people that grew up here and people that did not. The only people that like it are the ones that grew up here and do not know any better. As Mexican Villa's ads tell you: "It's the food you grew up on." But anyone that knows anything about Mexican food finds it bad almost to the point of being inedible.

              I do have a funny story, though.

              A while back, I was in a local Mexican market, reaching for some frozen banana leaves. A young Latina was reaching with me, and our hands inadvertently touched. We both laughed about it and I said, "I guess we're having the same thing for dinner tonight." She laughed, too, and said, "Maybe. What are you making?" I said, "Cochinita Pibil." She looked at me with a rather surprised look on her face. I am a 65-year-old white grandma, and here in southwestern Missouri, she obviously didn't expect me to be preparing a regional specialty from the Yucatan. "Cochinita Pibil? Where did you learn to make that?" I told her that I had spent quite a bit of time in the Yucatan and that's where I had learned to make the dish.

              The rest of the conversation went like this:

              "The Yucatan? I'm from the Yucatan! I'm only up here for a few weeks to visit my husband. He works here in Springfield."

              "He works here? Where?"

              "In a restaurant."

              "A restaurant? Which one?"

              "Um...well, a Mexican restaurant."

              "A Mexican restaurant? Which one? I've been looking for a good Mexican restaurant."

              "A Mexican restaurant here in Springfield."

              "A Mexican restaurant here in Springfield? Which one?"

              "Oh, it's kind of south."

              "South? I live south. Which one?"

              "Oh, it's on National."

              "National? What's the name of it?"

              "Oh all right it's Mexican Villa but it's not his fault he can't help it they make him use all their recipes and he's trying to find another job!"

            2. Had an absolutely terrific meal at Soo's Korean Restaurant over the weekend. The main problem I've found with Springfield 'ethnic' restaurants, including Mexican, is the dumbing-down of tastes. I don't know if everybody in small Midwestern towns prefers bland food, but it's clear that the restaurateurs think they do, and remove every smidgen of heat and flavor. Soo's doesn't. I've been there four times and each was a great winner. In particular, the bulgogi is wonderful and it comes with all the flavorful little side dishes.

              I really recommend this place.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Jaymes

                I forgot about Pappy's Yes Yes! Does anyone know if Stone's BBQ is still around? Caspers actually started in the 1950's when Charles Leadeher Sr.(check spel) Started a store on walnut street just a few blocks from where they are now. Then in the early 1970's they moved the store to south glenstone where the remained until Charles Jr's death in '84. Then one of Charles Jr's waitresses noticed a building on Walnut that looked alot like the place on glenstone that was torn down. So she rented it and got the blessing of Charles' son Jeff to reopen caspers in 1986. My parents would take me to the one on glenstone when I was a kid and I thought it was the coolest place. Charles was a nationally known artist and decorated his place like a 60's acid trip. His son Jeff is also a very good artist and his work is in the present store. I was living a block away when the present caspers opened. I was just out of highschool and caspers was the only place I could afford to go out and eat at. I remember getting beans and cornbread every friday for only $1! I used to hang out with Jeff! He and I used to Play music together at Lindburg's I am old enough to remember when they also served food.

                1. re: mountdorahound

                  actually Casper's just celebrated it's 100th birthday.

                  Stone's sadly is long gone. Crosstown is still there.

                  1. re: mountdorahound

                    Lederer - I knew him but not well. The place was filled with dough art.