Dining Day Trips

These restaurants and eight others are the hidden gems of 417-land’s dining scene, and they’re located all over our corner of the state.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

(page 4 of 11)

The Bake Shop: Red Barn Cafe and Hen House Bakery

107 W. Mt. Vernon Blvd., Mt. Vernon, MO; 417-466-4650
Red Barn Cafe and Hen House Bakery in Mt. Vernon, MO

If you’ve been working in the kitchen for 42 years, you’re going to be an amazing cook. Shari Copenhaver, owner of Red Barn Café and Hen House Bakery, is living proof. Copenhaver started baking pies and cakes when she was 15 years old. She went on to bake and cook at several restaurants throughout the years, perfecting her skills along the way.

Copenhaver starts preparing the delicious pies, cakes and other homemade items she serves at the Red Barn from scratch every day at 4 a.m. The restaurant’s popular menu items include chicken-fried steak and eggs for breakfast, a Frisco melt and a French dip at lunchtime, and catfish, pork chops and steaks at dinnertime. “I think the main thing is that people can tell that everything we make is from scratch,” Copenhaver says. “That’s rare anymore.”

What I Ordered
The chicken-fried steak and three eggs with wheat toast, hash browns and biscuits and gravy ($8.95). The chicken-fried steak is tenderized at the restaurant, then trimmed and dipped in a tasty batter that has a great black pepper flavor. Unlike most chicken-fried steak, this was fork-tender. And the sausage gravy was a creamy indulgence. And about the desserts... It would be easy to write a book on how scrumptious they are. Even just looking at the case was a treat. I tried the pecan roll, which was as large as a dinner plate and had a warm, gooey center. The carrot cake is stacked four tiers high with a dreamy layer of homemade cream cheese icing separating each.

Photo by David Flemming

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