5 Best Bread Baskets

It's time to show love to the little gem that comes before you ever see your supper: The bread. Sometimes a plate of carbs, when prepared oh-so-perfectly, is enough to keep you coming back for more.

One of the most fun moments when you’re dining at a restaurant you’ve never been to is the bread surprise. You know what I’m talking about: It’s that teensy-weensy, hardly noticeable little surge of excitement that you feel when the server sets down a basket of bread. And that bread? Well, it’s wrapped in a napkin. And the server? Well, he keeps talking! And you just want him to take your drink order and leave already, so you can see what’s under that napkin. Are they rolls? Is it a loaf of bread? Biscuits? It could be anything, and you just want a bite. A warm, soft, butter-smothered bite. Not every restaurant excels in its bread offerings, but we rounded up the five spots in 417-land that serve up the yummiest pre-meal vittles.

1. Grant’s American Family Dining

1759 W. State Highway J, Ozark, 417-581-6770, grantsrestaurant.com
Why We Love It: You gotta love a place that offers you something new at each visit. The fresh-baked bread options at Grant’s change, and something different is offered just about every time we go there. A favorite: The thick loaves of dense, hearty bread whose dough is infused with tasty herbs. It’s butter’s best companion, and a perfect start to a meal.
Extra Perk: Order the spaghetti and meatballs, and use the bread to soak up all the super-delicious meat sauce (which, like the bread, is super-herby).

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Devil's Pool Restaurant

Big Cedar Lodge’s Devil’s Pool Restaurant features a casual dining experience that combines the best of southern home-style fare with the rustic elegance of a decade old log structure.

612 Devil's Pool Road
Ridgedale, MO 65739
(417) 335-2777

2. Devil’s Pool Restaurant

Big Cedar, 612 Devil’s Pool Rd., Ridgedale, 417-335-5141
Why We Love It: These hot rosemary-cheddar biscuits are so delicate and buttery that there’s hardly a need to add a spread. Just let the rosemary-scented steam rise up, and take that first kinda-salty bite. You’ll definitely need seconds. (These biscuits aren’t the only yummy, crumbling goodies at Devil’s Pool. The restaurant also serves up green chili corn bread muffins and pumpkin lavosh.)
Extra Perk: Ask for a seat near the windows, and watch boaters scoot in and out of Big Cedar’s marina on Table Rock Lake. Biscuits with a view. Not bad.

3. Flame Steakhouse

314 W. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-862-4444, flamesteakhouse.com
Why We Love It: The mixture of muffins and biscuits changes from visit to visit at Flame, but the flavor combinations are reliably fantastic. We especially love when they serve up fresh, warm pumpkin streusel mini-muffins with a crumbly-sweet topping. It was like getting a decadent little dessert before the meal even began. Mmm… indulgent.
Extra Perk: The spreads are tailored to match the breads. On pumpkin streusel mini-muffin day, we were served maple-pecan butter. It was the perfect complement.

4. Lambert’s Cafe

1800 W. State Highway J, Ozark, 417-581-7655, throwedrolls.com
Why We Love It: Grammar problems aside (Throwed rolls? Really?), we can’t help but appreciate the gusto with which Lambert’s employees toss bread at us. And it’s not just a wimpy little lob; they pitch those rolls clear across the dining room. Sometimes you just need to loosen up and appreciate a silly tradition. And the roll is… quite good. Super hot, super soft, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth bread.
Extra Perk: Well, this one’s more of a fun fact. The Lambert’s in Sikeston made the No. 19 spot on the Travel Channel’s Chow Down Countdown, a list of the 101 best places in America to gorge.

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Chateau Grille

With a stunning view of Table Rock Lake, the Wine Spectator award-winning Chateau Grille serves exceptional cuisine throughout the day – breakfast, lunch and dinner

415 North State Highway 265
Branson, MO 65616
(888) 333-5253

5. Chateau Grille

Chateau on the Lake, 415 N. State Highway 265, Branson, 888-333-5253
Why We Love It: So crusty, so rustic. We adore the loaf of artisanal bread that is brought out before your meal. It’s the kind of bread with a super-hard crust and a soft, yeasty center that’s anything but dense. Its Swiss-cheese-like pockets of air are the perfect little traps for butter.
Extra Perk: Spreads! The bread is the definition of rustic simplicity, and the flavored spreads are a contrast to that simplicity. On our visit, our bread was served with a barely-sweet Creole orange marmalade butter and an even sweeter honey butter.

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