Saturday, November 21, 2009

Osage Beach, Missouri

I cannot believe that we made our Missouri trip almost a month ago. On our way out of Kansas, we stopped at the Topeka, Kansas, Denny's. Denny's is a reliable chain with a 50's diner feel, and lots of good food 24/7. Fresh coffee as well.
I posted a bit about the Chestnut Roast, including a recipe for Butternut Squash Soup. We also bought chili from a vendor at the Chestnut Roast. I will post a recipe for that later. The fresh air was invigorating, and we learned a lot about raising trees of all kinds while we were there. We left the Columbia, Mo. area headed for Osage Beach, Mo. around 2:00 pm.
We had two purposes in visiting Osage Beach, a resort town on the Lake of the Ozarks. I had some old memories to revisit, and Bob and I were going to visit a church plant from our denomination in the town.
The Lake of the Ozarks is a wonderful recreational lake, with resorts settled around it, as well as an outlet mall, and more rustic accommodations such as camping areas. Of course there is golf, fishing, boating, casual and fine dining and other evening entertainment. We booked a motel room, at fall rates, and proceeded to look for food. We did not have to go far.
Our supper that evening was at The City Grill and Blue Room. There is a Sports Bar Lounge, but we ate in the dining area. The lighting is subdued, and conducive to good conversation. The waitstaff was beginning to light the lanterns on the individual tables and other diners filtered in. Some were regulars, you could tell, like the lady who came alone and brought her book. She was greeted as an acquaintance by the waitress. A large party came in and was seated all together, with no hint of the host being flustered. We received good attention and looked through a menu that went from salad and soup, pasta and steak, burgers and fries to other great sandwiches
Bob, my wonderful driving and dining companion ordered a South Philly Steak Sandwich and Cajun Fries. It consisted of sliced roast beef, not shaved, but thicher slices, topped with roasted peppers and onions and pepperjack cheese. This was served on a sourdough bun with Au Jus on the side. The Cajun Fries had a nice spicy kick as well. They are available as a side with any sandwich. My sandwich was called The Bistro. It was a one half pound burger that was topped with carmelized mushrooms and onions. The sandwich was garnished with Bleu Cheese Crumbles, Bacon and spread with horseradish sauce all on a foccacia bun. I chose to have a fruit cup of seasonal fresh fruit instead of fries.
Each of the sandwiches were less than nine dollars, and did I mention, they had the best coffee I have had in years? It was wonderful, and I would go back there even just for the coffee any time.
The City Grill
5384 West Hway 54
Osage Beach, Mo, 65065

The menu says every Thursday is German Night from 4:30-900 pm. We will plan our trip accordingly the next time we go to Missouri.
This was a two day trip, and we are finishing day one.

Friday, November 6, 2009

University of Missouri Chestnut Roast

The weekend of October 17 we had a great getaway. The University of Missouri division of Agroforestry hosts an event they call the Chestnut Roast. It focuses on reintroducing chestnuts to the United States, and also features other crops as well. There is usually a guest chef who prepares recipes using chestnuts and this year was no exception. Our favorite so far is the Butternut Squash and Chestnut soup.

Steam or roast chestnuts, peel one cup full.
Saute one small yellow onion in large sauce pan, using 2Tbsp. Olive oil.
Add one pound cubed butternut squash, and 1/2 tsp. fresh grated ginger or 1/8 tsp ground ginger. Brown squash only slightly.
Add 4 cups broth or stock, vegetable or chicken is best. Cook until squash is fully cooked. If starting with raw squash, about 20 minutes.
Add chestnuts.
Puree soup to desired consistency, either in batches in a conventional blender or using a submersible (stick) blender.
Return to pan or put in crock pot. If too thick thin with more broth.

Ladle soup into bowls and garnish with one T each chopped pecans, and blue cheese crumbles. Bacon bits are nice on top as well.

Makes six servings.

I will point out that this is a thick, rich, slightly sweet soup. It is gluten free, dairy free, and if made with vegetable broth it is vegetarian.

Order chestnuts online for the freshest ones. When we get them at the grocers they are not as fresh and more expensive.

Charlie is a favorite Kansas Chestnut grower.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Java John's

Sometimes you do not have to drive far to find something great to eat, or drink. In my hometown, McPherson, Kansas, we have several unique places to find food. Today we stopped for coffee at Java John's on Main Street. Java John's is an internet hot spot and a favorite place for local business people to take their breaks and visit with friends. There are comfortable couches, current magazines and coffee brewed from beans fresh roasted on a daily basis. If you do not care for coffee there are other beverages, both hot and cold. I had a spiced chai, and my companion, my husband had a french vanilla hot chocolate topped with whipped cream. We munched on milk chocolate coated espresso beans. Bob was skeptical of this tasty treat at first, but I quickly won him over.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Dinner Bell at Eagleville, Missouri

On a trip this year from Kansas to Minnesota, we stopped in at the Dinner Bell . It is less than ten miles from the Iowa State Line on I35, exit 106. Dine All Night.
I had a Belgian waffle that was shaped like an eight petalled flower. My husband had homemade hash. The restaurant was quiet and sleepy, it was before 6 a.m. A small truck stop cafe. The counter featured jars of jam for sale, and bars of homemade soap. Our bill came to $16.04, you can be sure we had plenty of coffee and eggs along with our waffles and hash. Sausage for me as well. This is one we would definitely visit again.

Drive and Dine

Before we were computer literate, before we knew that we could share in a blog, we thought it would be really neat to be able to share some of the restaurants we found as we drove around the country, visiting family and friends. We thought about publishing a book, but never found the time. Ten years later, I am finally starting to blog about the beautiful drives we have taken, and the wonderful places we have stopped to eat along the way. Sadly, some of the places we have been no longer exist, and the posts will just contain memories of those places.