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Dining near Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri

I'll be heading out to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri in August to watch my daughter graduate from Boot Camp. Are there any good places to eat around that area? I'd love to find some fabulous BBQ but will settle for fabulous anything! thanks!

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  1. My son graduates August 7th. I wanted to find someplace interesting to take him and his Fiancée for dinner one or two nights.

    1 Reply
    1. re: qajohn

      Thank you for all the suggestions. We decided to stay close to base and go to Sweetwater BBQ. It was recommended to my son by his sergeants and also seemed to get some pretty good reviews further down the thread.

      We had a party of 5 including my son's fiancée' as well as a battle buddy with my son. As we drove up to the restaurant, I could smell the smoke which was a good sign. We went in and ordered. We all had ribs of some sort and 1/2 chicken. The ribs were nice and meaty and come either dry or wet. I ordered my ribs dry, with aside of fries and went to town. The ribs were nice and tender. They had lots of meat in them, but they were a St. Louis cut which I am not a fan of. I was glad I ordered the ribs with the sauce on the side so I could dip. They really had great flavor. The chicken was moist and had great BBQ flavor as well.

      My son and his battle buddy each ordered a rib sandwich which consisted of four bones between two slices of bread. Since they were in their Class A's it was a disaster waiting to happen. They both came out unscathed, but I didn't get the concept of putting bone and all between two slices of bread.

      I'm not sure I'll ever be back in that area looking for a restaurant, but I would recommend Sweetwater BBQ for anyone going. The food was good and the prices were fair.

    2. Bumping this thread in the hopes there are some good recs for Fort Leonard Wood. I'm getting a bad feeling about the eats in the area. Any help would be appreciated.

      3 Replies
      1. re: qajohn

        Sorry, I think the best you will do is Popeyes or for more "upscale", Cracker Barrel in St. Roberts. I happen to like both of these chains.

        1. re: steveb

          We are heading down for family day/graduation on July 23 or 24.
          There is also Ruby Tuesdays and Aussie Jacks (like the Outback Steakhouse). Also, make sure you book your hotel room if you haven't do so yet.

          1. re: jrenea70

            Just so nobody gets confused, Aussie Jack's is NOTHING LIKE Outback. Well, bit are Australian themed, but any similarity ends there.

            Aussie Jack's food is disgusting, over-priced and not worth the visit.

            The only reason ANY of the restaurants in St. Roberts remain open is because of families visiting Soldiers graduating here.

            No locals eat at nay of these dives.....

      2. I graduated from there back in 89...I think the best dining I had was at a Burger King :)

        2 Replies
        1. re: JanPrimus


          My son spends months down there giving blood sweat and tears, and we can't even take him somewhere decent. I guess chains it is.

          1. re: qajohn

            Maybe a good idea would be a nice picnic. You can bring the proper ingredients and some wine/beer in a cooler. Even if he underage he deserves it!

            You will also be stunned by the speed in which he eats if he goes unchecked. Tell him to go ahead and relax and to eat slow. It took me a few months to re-adjust to civilian eating again. Now I am usually the last one eating.

            That or just go to that BK for something to hold you all over and get your way on to St. Louis for a proper meal (assuming thats where you flew into). He is gonna wanna get away quick!

        2. One of Missouri's most unique restaurants is the Caveman BBQ, in a cave that you reach by elevator. I would check to make sure it is open at the time you want to go there. It is 14 miles from Ft. Leonard Wood.

          In St. Robert, there is a Mediterranean Grill, and there is a sushi place.

          Up I-44 in Rolla is Alex's House Of Pizza - we think the pizza at Alex's is memorable.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Doug

            Caveman just changed ownership-don't know if that is good or bad.

            1. re: Doug

              Looks like Caveman BBQ got new owners and just reopened in May according to what I just read. Hopefully to the benefit the menu...they did not get very glowing review for the food. I am interested in watching to see if the changes are better received. I think this would be fun....although I never want to get that close to Fort LostInTheWoods again.

              1. re: Doug

                Where is Alex's? We pass through Rolla a couple of times a year, but I can't place it.

                1. re: occula

                  Oops, I got the name wrong: It is Alex's Pizza Palace. 122 W 8th St, Rolla, MO 65401


                2. re: Doug

                  It is now called "The Cave" restaurant and the food is just o.k. Nothing special, but it is kind of interesting eating in a cave 100 ft above the gasconade river. Other than that, save your money

                3. Also in Rolla, I like a small Japanese restaurant called Kyoto, which should show up in a google search - I ate there about a year ago and while it wasn't Best Ever!, it was quite good, especially for the area. (I don't mean to sound snobbish; I grew up in the area, and the fact is, decent restaurants are kind of scarce.) Maybe you can stumble on a local greasy spoon! good luck.

                  1. I just got back from my hubby's graduation last week. I'm traveling back there next week for the 4th of July to see him. Anyway, we really enjoyed eating at Sweetwater BBQ in Waynesville. It is not fancy. However, it is the best bbq we've ever had. We plan on eating there again next weekend. After 10 weeks of boot camp food my husband loved it. We also ate at Ruby Tuesdays and Cracker Barrel. Try leaving graduation and the reception before the crowds do because all the places get pretty busy with all of the families that are visiting.

                    Finally, get to the graduation early! My hubby's graduation was at 9 AM. I was at the theater at 6:30 AM and there were already about 75 people there lined up and waiting to get in!

                    Sweetwater Bar-B-Que
                    2 0 Near Fort, Leonard Wood Saint Robert, MO

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: armywife

                      Good advice, thank you very much. Our son just finished Basic training and has started AIT. He likes BBQ (as do I) so I think Sweetwater may be a great choice.

                      1. re: armywife

                        thanks for the info--especially the graduation timing! My son graduates at 9am Sept 3, we'll get in line early!

                      2. I grew up in the area and my parents just moved from there, so hopefully I can help...though, as was stated before, really good restaurants in the area are kind of scarce.

                        Several of the other recs are worthwhile - Alex's pizza in Rolla is a great greek pizza palace. Sweetwater BBQ is the best in the area. Kyoto isn't bad either (though I remember getting my car oil changed in its current building).

                        A few other decent places that aren't chains...

                        A Slice of Pie in Rolla is a must stop for dessert - amazing pies and desserts, along with quiche, soup, etc. It was featured in one of the Stern's books, I believe...

                        I remember going to a decent steak house between St. Robert and Dixon called The Point that has a great view of the Gasconade River valley - their website is http://www.pointsteakhouse.com/

                        About 45 minutes away in St. James is Sybill's - it's run by the former owners of Zeno's Steakhouse in Rolla. It's probably the most formal restaurant in the area, specializing in steaks and other entrees.

                        A couple of more places in St Robert/Waynesville - The Hub serves German and American food. It's been there for years, though I don't remember eating there...

                        Also, the Bulgogi House in St. Robert serves Korean food...the one time I've been there it was decent. From what I remember it's not too fancy, but had good food. I think it's right off the post.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Madtown Rob

                          I'll back the suggestion for Sybill's in St. James. I had a very nice meal there as part of a surprise-birthday, girls-night-out weekend (I have awesome friends), and while the food isn't terribly innovative or fancy, I had an excellent prime rib with a twice-baked potato and caeser salad kind of dinner. The place is pretty, and the staff was incredibly friendly and helpful. I think it would serve very nicely for the kind of thing you are looking for... a 'special-occasion' meal. I would let them know the occasion when you call for reservations...
                          I went to school in Rolla, and can vouch for the pizza at Alex Pizza Palace, but it is casual in the extreme; and probably not what you're looking for to 'treat' your girl. But if you want to give it a try, I remember the feta and tomato pizza being fantastic, particularly this time of year when the tomatoes are good.
                          I've eaten at The Point in Dixon, I will admit it was an awfully long time ago. I don't remember anything at all about the food, but the location is spectacular, and it would probably be your closest option.

                          1. re: tonifi

                            Born in Rolla, and my Dad retired to the area again. His favorite restaurant in Rolla is Zeno's steakhouse, mentioned above, even w/new ownership. YMMV, of course.


                            Slice of pie, already mentioned, is worth hunting for. 601 Kingshighway St Rolla, MO 65401

                            One of my favorite places in the region is the Whitestone Inn in Rich Fountain, MO, closer to Jeff City. Their bistro puts out some great food - if/when they're open.


                            More from that area:


                            1. re: texascarl

                              wow. This is a lot more response than I expected. Thanks much all. Definately not looking forward to being in the heat of Missouri in August for my daughter's graduation, but nice to know there might actually be some chow-worthy food near by. I just need to map all of these out and figure out where to go first!
                              And Armywife...thanks for the heads up on booking early for the hotel room. I still have not gotten my daughter's graduation packet in the mail, but did get an email from her commander giving me the current family day/graduation day dates. I'll be booking a room later tonight!