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.
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The Smoky Stop: Fat Daddy's Family BBQ
16020 US Hwy. 160, Forsyth, MO; 417-546-4604
"Basically, I’d call this a hobby gone wild,” John Winkert says about his Forsyth restaurant, Fat Daddy’s Family BBQ. Originally from Peculiar, Missouri, Winkert moved to 417-land in 2000. After being injured at work, he bought a smoker and started smoking meats for parties and church events. He opened the restaurant with a partner in November 2006, and today he is the sole owner. A quick look around the restaurant illustrates Winkert’s passion for his community. Three window shelves are filled with pig figurines, all brought in by customers. “They show that this place is partly their place, too,” Winkert says. The spot is even open for breakfast, when it serves up bacon smoked at the restaurant and omelets that include brisket and homemade breakfast sausage.
What I Ordered
The BBQ For Two meal ($22.99). This meal is a steal. It includes fork-tender slices of brisket, half of a smoked chicken, ribs that literally fall off of the bone, homemade smoked sausage and a heaping pile of pulled pork. There wasn’t one thing that I tried that I am not still drooling about. For sides, I tried baked beans and fries. The beans are a favorite for vegetable-haters, filled with hunks of beef and a heavy smoky flavor.
Photo by Kevin O'Riley
The Oompah Spot: Papouli's
725 Missouri 248, Reeds Spring, MO; 417-272-8243
Bessie and Tom Haldoupis moved to the United States from Greece in 1969. After living in New York and then Springfield, the couple opened Papouli’s in 1986. Since then, the Reeds Spring restaurant has been a favorite to southwest Missouri residents, particularly those vacationing on Table Rock Lake. Bessie and Tom’s background inspired many Greek dishes on the Papouli’s menu, including spanakotiropita, moussaka, gyros and stuffed grape leaves. And of course, everything is served with warm pita bread that is brushed with olive oil and grilled. Papouli’s also serves many American favorites, including prime rib, pork chops and even Springfield-style cashew chicken.
What I Ordered
I tried the saganaki ($8.99). The dish has kaseri cheese that’s lightly buttered and grilled, then put on a hot plate, covered with brandy and set on fire table-side. I also ordered the souvlaki ($22.99), the most massive kebab I have ever seen! It’s made with huge chunks of filet mignon (8 ounces total), half a bell pepper, half an onion, half a tomato and a mushroom. The souvlaki also comes with rice, green beans and grilled pita. Yes, I needed a to-go box.
Photo by Kevin O'RileyEdit ModuleShow Tags