Recs between Tulsa and St. Louis on I-44?
Actually, I'll be driving to STL from Dallas along US 75/69, which joins I-44 east of Tulsa. Don't mind driving within 5 or so mi of either hwy for a good rec (most interested in BBQ or country-style cooking, but open to any recs).
We ultimately decided to stop in Joplin... one, to see the condition of the town and two, to try Fred and Reds. Pardon the cliché, but the pictures on CNN really do no justice. Just unbelievable destruction.
Fred and Reds is still standing... a U-shaped counter from back in the day... serving greasy chili either plain or with spaghetti. Didn't find the food especially flavorful, but thought it was worth the stop just for the small-town diner experience.
Stopped at Baker's Fish House in Porter, OK on the return trip. Didn't think the catfish was anything special (I've definitely had better here in DFW), but the thinly fried onion rings were delicious.
Thanks for reporting back. I think Baker's was a good choice. Yes I've had better catfish but the onion rings and chicken were excellent. And for me it's a big thrill to eat at a place full of friendly local people, a place that's been around for more than half a century, and which is so far in the country that it's not in any town -- although websites such as Urbanspoon, which do not like to give a restaurant address as "somewhere way out in the country" usually (and probably incorrectly) list it as being in either Porter or Wagoner or Muskogee.
We drove that 2-3 x/year for 4 years to visit family in Plano. Get a limeade at a Braum's and keep driving. Part of our problem, I admit, was that we usually made one of the runs on a Sunday, which lowers the alternatives in small-town cafes, but we surely tried. And give a kind thought for those poor souls in Joplin as you go through.
1520 W Broadway Ave, Sulphur, OK 73086
There's a place called Baker's Fish House 30 miles south of Tulsa on a stretch of highway 69 that's nothing but cows and trees. You can't get more country than that. I know I'm not supposed to link to something that I wrote but I am just too lazy to write a new review here and no one else has ever written about this place.
The drive from Tulsa to St Louis doesn't offer many great dining opportunities. There is Lamberts (throwed rolls) if you take the turnoff for Branson for a few miles - but that place is really just for tourists and kids - although the variety of stuff is interesting. If you detour to Tulsa there is a Brothers Houligan (a local chain of two restaurants) that does an incredible chicken fried steak at 61st and Mingo. We also have our share of good BBQ places - for example Jake's Place does Pig WIngs and is both good and not scary in appearance - it's in Bixby (South of Tulsa and not too far off course for you). My wife says there used to be a shack fronting on I-44 in Lebanon that did "the best ham sandwiches she ahs ever had". Apart from that - (unless you want to explore Tulsa) - it's largely indifferent pizza, chinese, burger and sizzler type roadfood with little to recommend it along your route.
510 Main St, Plymouth, IA 50464
Joplin-Fred and Reds I'm pretty sure it is still standing but not sure if it is open. Tamale Deluxe is great. Hamburgers are good
St. Robert-The Hub is a German restaurant. I haven't tied it yet but it has been recommended on this board and others. This is on my list-next time we are that way.
Rolla-A Slice of Pie People seem to really like this. Lunch was pretty good. I had some sort of cream pie for dessert but I didn't care for it. The fruit pie might be better. I make pies and appreciate a thin flaky pie crust and the crust was a little thick for me. I'm sure out of necessity the crust is made in a mixer, at least it seemed that way to me.
Sybill's the high end place in town-We've had lunch a couple of times and enjoyed it
Diana's Diner-We've had some pretty good lunches here as well
St. Clair Lewis Cafe they raise their own hogs and buy local beef(or maybe the other way around) They have good breakfast and hamburgers but was not a fan of the steaks we had. They make/assemble their own pies.
ha good one!. this doesn't exactly answer your question I-44 is fast, but you'd be better off going through AR to I-55, much better non-Luby's type food that way. such as McClard's BBQ in Hot Springs - fave of Mr. Clinton and Little Rock has a lot more to offer than one might think, plus the place in Sikeston MO (home of throwed rolls) after that.
But on your planned route Springfield MO has a few places, I haven't been but got a few business cards from the manager at a family thing for Millie's Cafe and Coyote Grill there (nice people but NO idea what their food is like) Rolla has little of interest beyond a decent Japanese grill and a good pizza joint .