Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thursday Thirteen: Thirteen Favorite Places To Eat

Like most people I like to eat out.  There's just something about settling into a comfortable booth or pulling a chair up to a table when someone else will do all the work that appeals.  Traditional family restaurants always have a little feel of  'home' to me my childhood two of my aunts at different times ran restaurants and I got a taste of that behind the scenes view.

So here are my favorite thirteen restaurants, current and past.

1. Green Forest Family Restaurant in Neosho, Missouri.  This is a traditional sit down restaurant with diner style food and lots of traditional dishes.  But among the cheeseburgers and omelets and daily special plates, they also offer a Grecian Platter that is outstanding that is one of my favorites.  They have the best coffee I've drank in a restaurant in a long time, strong enough to suit me.  I enjoy their breakfasts, the above Grecian Platter, the catfish and so much more.  If you're ever in Neosho and you'd like an old-fashioned Sunday dinner, come by Green Forest.  They offer up ample portions on Sundays of things like fried chicken, roast pork, roast turkey and more....all delicious.

2. Ron's Hamburgers and Chili.  This family owned string of restaurants started out down in Tulsa, Oklahoma and there are still several Ron's in Tulsa proper.  They've spread out to nearby Claremore and throughout parts of Oklahoma, even now into Arkansas.  The closest one to me is at Bentonville, AR corporate home of discount king Wal-Mart and it's worth the drive across the state line for their amazing burgers, tasty chili and more.

3. Babe's Drive-In.  This is a local Joplin MO thing.  Babe's is a 1950's style burger joint locally owned and operated.  They offer up Suzy-Q's, homemade onion rings, fries and much more.  In addition to their burgers which are supreme they offer up taco salad, catfish, and dozens of other things, all good.

4.  The Bucket Shop (the original) in my hometown of St. Joseph, MO.  The name came from the old school selling beer by the bucket when workingmen (including my great-grandfather) sent their kids down to have a pail or bucket filled with beer for a price.  That went out of fashion with readily available beer in the bottle and later can but in its heyday The Bucket Shop served up beef burgers from their own recipe that can't be rivaled.  Imagine a dry loose hamburger on a hot dog bun topped with a chili dressing....delicious.  Half of St. Joe claims to have the "original" recipe but I have yet to taste one that matches the real deal. It's long closed and a memory that still tempts the taste buds.

5. Murrell's Diner in Shreveport, LA along King's Highway.  Alas, it's no more than a memory these days, just a concrete slab and rumor says that toward the last, it got to be more of a dive than someplace good to eat but I loved Murrell's because the stars of the Louisiana Hayride including my personal fav Johnny Horton often dined here after the show back in the 1950's.   The last Murrell's location was not far from Johnny's home, convenient to grab a cup of coffee or quick meal on the way to go fishing, I'm sure.

6. Simon's On The Waterfront in Hermann, MO.  Hermann is a beautiful little town spread across the hills along the Missouri River in what's called the Missouri Rhineland.  It's wine country and those hills are covered with grapes.  Multiple wineries make their home in Hermann and Simon's offers up authentic German food in a beautiful setting.

7. Gladstone's 4 Fish located along the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California.  This trendy, upscale seafood restaurant is a classic and also pricey.  I love it, however, especially if you can dine outside on the deck overlooking the ocean.  Valet parking, the chance to see a lot of faces you recognize from "the industry" dining, and excellent food are all reasons to visit Gladstone's 4 Fish if you happen to be in Malibu.  A favorite during my California sojurn.

8. Judy's D & G, St. Joseph, Missouri.  It's now closed, the local memorabilia that covered the walls sold at auction but this was a favorite place since childhood.  This was an old establishment.  When you walked through the bar the fantastic woodwork and all made you feel that some cowboys might ride in off the range.  The food was wonderful - daily plate lunch specials, scrappy beef sandwiches, and so much more.  Five years ago, I enjoyed dining here with three generations - my parents down to my kids and I'm glad I did.

9. Loveless Cafe on highway 100 heading out of Nashville.  If you want to experience real down home country cooking including some of the best pan fried chicken I've ever put between my lips, this is the place.  It's non pretenious, always crowded and a delight.  Lots of Nashville's famous faces eat here too.

10. Lasoyne's Meat Pie Kitchen in beautiful Natchitoches, Lousiana....authentic meat pies that are wonderful along with Creole and Cajun favorites like red beans and rice, dirty rice, and more.  Good food, small establishment with a long history.

11. Pizza Royal  - this wasn't a chain and long out of business but I had my first pizza here.  Imagine traditional red and white checked tablecloths, candles on the tables, all that and delightful homemade, handtossed pizza.   That was back when - believe it or not - pizza wasn't a staple in the American diet!

12. Dyer's Hamburgers in Memphis, TN.  This place is a landmark even though they've moved at least once in their long, long history.  But never fear, they moved the grease as well! Their burgers are outstanding and delicious.  It's down on Beale Street so you can't miss this real taste of Memphis!  Try a Triple Triple! 

13. Harry's Cafe in Pittsburg, Kansas. This old school sit down cafe has history and good old-fashioned food to go along with it.   It's a nice place if you like old style cafe's in a downtown setting and things like a plate lunch special.

Now that I'm made myself hungry, here's the link to discover all the other Thursday offerings at

1 comment:

  1. How is it possible to list Harry's cafe and not Chicken Annie's in Pittsburg? LOL. Where do you live? I'm from that area and am familiar with a few of your choices.


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