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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.

                2. Try the Thai Fried Rice Vegetable or Chicken at Tasia. I also like Chipolte's and Carlos O'Kelly's shredded beef tacos. Maria's Mexican restaurant downtown has good fried tacos.

                  1. I recently took a new arrival from SanFran to Wayo Sushi on S.Glenstone. Excellent sushi with top notch ingredients but the steak teriyaki was beyond beautiful. Bento box with soup salad rice crab rangoon shrimp and veggie tempura fresh fruit plus steak teriyaki and a spicy crab roll was only 14.95!

                    Try The Grotto at Jefferson and Battlefield

                    Ocean Zen on Battlefield for upscale dining

                    Jims steak house on Glenstone does avery nice steak

                    1. oh and if you miss an honest to God taco wagon there is one at Kansas and 44. You will think you returned to SoCal.

                      try the pineapple whip stands when they open shortly.

                      also don't miss strawberry shortcakes and fresh strawberry shakes at Casper's now until Memorial day only!

                      1. How is the Springfield Brewing Company? I'm a brewpub fan, and will be in town Friday or Saturday night and was trying to choose where to eat - ReRico's sounds like a good bet, but I'm not sure I want to eat that much...I've eaten at Arris in Osage Beach, so don't particularly want to go there. Sushi sounds good, but what I got at Nakato last time I was in Springfield was not good at all (neither was their teppanyaki).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jhojati

                          I haven't been there but yesterday a friend recommended it highly and said, "We should go there. I'll take you."

                          So somebody likes it.

                        2. Springfield Brewing Co has pretty good food, not outstanding gormet but tasty comfort foods. Not sure if it is still open, but I used to love Bijans. Its kind of a french fusion place downtown. Kind of pricey but their Chilean Sea Bass dish served on a cedar plank my be the best dish Ive ever eaten. They also used to have a fried lobster that had a breading made from Andys Frozen Custard. I would also recommend Ocean Zen for seafood. All their main course dishes are good and their sushi is solid as well. I must say I am one of those that love Mexican Villa. Grew up eating it as a kid and its always my first stop when I come home.

                          Andys Frozen Custard
                          2119 N Glenstone Ave, Springfield, MO 65803

                          209 E Walnut St, Springfield, MO 65806

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: cackler21

                            Indeed, Bijan's was very good, but they closed a few weeks back. All reports were that they closed for good "due to the economy." Their website is still up, though, with no mention of the closing so perhaps they've decided to give it another go.

                            Still, before anyone gets in the car and heads over there, I'd recommend you telephone and double-check.

                            And speaking of Mexican restaurants, I've lately been quite happy with everything I've ordered at El Puente on East Republic Road. This place opened only a couple of years back and I was pretty worried about the liklihood of their success, as the food was really good and even somewhat authentic Mexican. I wasn't sure a town that supports Mexican Villa would appreciate El Puente long enough to keep them in business.

                            But they're still there and thriving. Even popular. And the Mexican food is among the best I've had in Springfield.

                            Also, if you're looking for authentic Mexican food, try Tortilleria Perches, and The Tamale King. Both of these places are small, primarily takout, counter service, but both are usually full of Mexican workers and it's easy to see why. Each restaurant does have a few tables you can eat at, although if you're looking for the full-service "Mexican restaurant experience," with nachos and margaritas, etc., neither of these fit that bill.

                            Both are on West Sunshine.

                            1. re: Jaymes

                              A friend at work told me about Tortilleria Perches because we are both from CA and I was complaining about not having any good Mexican Food. I understand they sell home made corn tortillas so I will definitely try it.

                              Tortilleria Perches
                              1601 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807

                          2. Being that your from S. Cal, not sure if you like salads or not, but if you do there is no better or fresh than TossAcross downtown. Incredible salads, and all I can say is fresh, crispy and the best ingredients. They are kind of by the downtown YMCA

                            1. I too am from So Cal and was disapointed in the Cashew Chicken as well. I have been here 18 mos and I'm still looking for that great place to eat. I miss my little Mexican Food dives with the Carne Asada burittos and greasy schreded beef tacos. More than one person told me to try the Purple Burrito and like every thing else it just wasn't quite like it should be. I'm begining to think that they contour the food to the tastes that people are use to around here and that means no spice or fire. I have found things to be very bland. Anyway that's just my take...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: mcreynj

                                Have you tried the Tamale King on West Sunshine? And Tortillaria Perches across the street?

                              2. I know this an older thread, but since it's been bumped... last Fall at a funeral I met a couple who are in-laws of in-laws twice removed etc. etc. who run Mille's Cafe and Coyotes Grill on South Jefferson and South Glenstone respectively and I was sorta wondering what the take on them is (or if they're even still around)

                                Mille's Cafe
                                313 South Jefferson, Springfield, MO 65806

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: hill food

                                  Ex-NorCal, some So-Cal and ample time in the San Joaquin Valley here.

                                  Departed California pert-near 20 years ago and atop the Ozark Plateau the past three years.

                                  Also several years as a long-haul trucker and have eaten at a horde of places.

                                  Sadly, generally, quite dissatisfied with "Ozark Offerings."

                                  Sure, haven't eaten at ALL local dining locales but, on the whole..... ugghhhhhh.

                                  Yet, was rather surprised when the Primrose Ave Golden Corral offered some of the tenderest, tastiest pot roast I have ever devoured!!!

                                  Local Chinese-type and "Mexican" style eateries... either chain or sole-proprietor; mainly ghastly.

                                  Did have an acceptable couple meals of above-average taste for the local quality at the place in Ozark next to the bridge traversing Findley Creek in the area close to downtown.

                                  I was shocked to note what I thought were consistently too-high prices for value received hereabouts.

                                  Heck, in California where overhead costs of all sorts are higher, often MUCH higher, I had lower-priced fare than locally!!!! And of higher quality/caliber.

                                  Also noticed consistently high grocery store prices, lack of selection and very sub-par fresh veggie quality.