Ready for a culinary adventure that will lead you all the way around the globe? Prepare to feed your adventurous spirit.
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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[ German ]
12167 State Hwy. 43 North, Webb City, 417-642-5343, roswithasschnitzelbank.com
This German eatery owned by Roswitha Hartline is located in a show stable that doubles as a restaurant in Webb City. “But I promise, we don’t eat horse meat!,” Hartline says. Originally from Rhineland, Germany, Hartline creates authentic German dishes like wienerschnitzel, a breaded pork loin topped with lemon, jagerschnnitzel topped with a sautéed garlic, mushroom and white wine sauce and rahmenschnitzel topped with a sour cream and lemon dill sauce. Other goodies on the menu include German bratwurst and sauerbraten, which is a tender beef roast marinated in gourmet white vinegar and seasoned with bay leaves. Meals here may be accompanied by your choice of German sides, such as kartoffelsalat, a warm potato salad with bacon and a gourmet vinaigrette, or Bavarian sauerkraut, which Hartline says is sweet and sour without the bite. Make sure to arrive here hungry, and you’re sure to leave happy. “People just go on and on about the food I cook, and I swear, I sometimes get embarrassed!,” Hartline says. But before you visit, be sure to grab some cash—the restaurant doesn’t take credit cards.
That Lebanese Place
[ Lebanese ]
338 E. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-536-6677, thatlebaneseplace.com
Appetizers are the best way to start a meal, and That Lebanese Place gives Lebanese-food lovers many authentic and flavorful options. If you’re a fan of dipping and scooping, start things off with the pita and hummus or babaganoush. If you’re looking for super-authentic flavors that you can’t find just anywhere, try the grape leaves filled with rice and vegetables. Originally from Lebanon, Elie Ghanem owns the restaurant with his wife, Elizabeth, and he recommends trying That Lebanese Platter if you’re new to the cuisine. It’s loaded with your choice of two meat skewers (choices include beef, chicken or kafta, which is a ground beef mixture seasoned with parsley and onions), plus four pieces of falafel and four stuffed grape leaves.
[ Mediterranean ]
900 E. Battlefield, Springfield, 417-883-0083; 3200 Gretna Rd., Branson, 417-334-9182; vaskensdeli.com
Vasken and Staci Haroutounian are the husband-and-wife team who own both Vasken’s Deli locations, and Setrak, Alyse and Meg Haroutounian are the trio of children who help the restaurants operate. “It really is a family business,” says Setrak. A variety of Mediterranean dishes fill the restaurant’s menu, including a mouthwatering gyro that helped put the spot on the map. “We always suggest that they start with the lamb or beef gyro,” Setrak says. The shawerma hot sandwich features beef brisket or chicken seasoned with special shawerma seasonings and is another favorite.
[ Pan Asian ]
4117 S National Ave, Springfield, 417-889-9596, eatoceanzen.com
Along with their father, Bob Tan, brothers Johnson and John Tan have brought Springfield a handful of fine dining restaurants, including the ever-so-popular Ocean Zen. “We describe Ocean Zen’s food as Pacific Rim food,” Johnson says. You’ll find dishes with an Asian-European flare here, plus lots of Asian glazes on dishes, including a mouthwatering Mongolian glaze that’s used on the lamb chops, ribs and a 14-ounce rib-eye. And speaking of steaks, the restaurant has recently stepped up its game. “We’re really focused on bringing in top-notch prime steaks right now,” Johnson says. “We’ve got certified Angus tomahawks, some Kobe beef and others—really all the steaks you’d find in a nice steakhouse.”
Outback Steak and Oyster Bar
[ Australian ]
1914 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, 417-334-6306, outbackbranson.com
While researching to open his restaurant, Nixa native Steve Wood traveled to Australia three times. He came back fully equipped to open Branson’s Outback Steak and Oyster Bar, which is exactly what he did 26 years ago (just six months before the Outback Steakhouse chain restaurant first opened). “There are two large grills in the center of the restaurant, because in Australia, almost everything is cooked ‘on the barbie,’” Wood says. “When designing the menu, I wanted to be able to grill as many things as we could.” Classic steaks and seafood here are seasoned with the restaurant’s signature seasoning and grilled. The restaurant also has some Australian-themed sampler dishes, including The Aussie Plate (with pork, two sausages, tomato, onion and a fried egg) and The Melobourne Mixed Grill (with quail, lamb and another exotic meat). A fun and truly Australian starter is the alligator tail—give it a try!
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