Guide to Appetizers

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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Dippable, dunkable and oh-so-tasty, these six dips are so packed full of flavor we can’t help but share.


For a new twist on an old favorite, try the black bean hummus at Scotch & Soda.

THE DIP

THE GOOD STUFF THE VEHICLE THE RESTAURANT

Buffalo
Chicken 

Dip

Shredded chicken, cream cheese and Frank’s RedHot sauce are combined for a slightly spicy dip that’s baked for two hours and served warm and gooey.

Tortilla 
chips

Big Whiskey’s American Bar & Grill 
311 Park Central E., Springfield, 417-862-2449; 1440 W. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-882-2249; 1550 E. Battlefield, Springfield, 417-883-5999; bigwhiskeys.com 

Baja 
Dip

Refried beans are blended with hearty black beans, onion, cheddar cheese, melted mozzarella cheese, sour cream and candied jalapeños and served with fire-roasted salsa. 

Tortilla 
chips

 Parlor 88 Lounge & Eatery
1111 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-882-8882; 3653 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-823-8882; 300 Park Central East, Springfield, 417-832-9514; parlor88.com

BBQ 
Bean Dip

Buckingham’s famous smoked pit beans are cooked in a smoker overnight before they’re mixed with shredded cheese, sour cream and diced jalapeños. 

Homemade 
potato chips 
or tortilla chips 

Buckinghams BBQ
2415 N. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-831-7427; 3624 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-887-4227; 606 W. Mt. Vernon St., Nixa, 417-724-2344, buckinghambbq.com 

Black Bean
Hummus

For a delicious twist on traditional chickpea hummus, Scotch & Soda blends in black beans for an extra punch of flavor. This scrumptious dip is made fresh every day. 

Fresh veggies 
and warm pita

Scotch & Soda
310 South Ave., Springfield, 417-719-4224, thescotchandsoda.com 

Spinach 
& Artichoke Dip

To make this dip extra-thick and dippable, MaMa’s Style Kitchen tosses in plenty of creamy deliciousness including sour cream, cream cheese, mozzarella cheese and provolone cheese. Next comes organic baby spinach, black pepper and chunks of artichoke. 

 Warm pita 
and garlic toast

MaMa’s Style Kitchen
206 N. First St., Ozark, 417-485-3330,
mamasstylekitchen.com

Baba
Ghanoush

Once an eggplant gets toasty on the grill, it’s mixed— skin and all—with lemon juice, tahini, sea salt and garlic to create a mouthwatering dip that owner Riad Matar says even beats his mother’s baba ghanoush.

Pita 
bread

3 Corner Bar & Grill
400 South Ave., Springfield,
417-720-1018

Get ready to have your mind blown. Some of your favorite simple foods have been reinvented.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Fries
Get them at Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, 527 S. Main St., Joplin, 417-206-3647
Simple Food: French fries
Facelift: You never know what you’ll find on the menu at Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs, which is why this funky twist to the French fry is no surprise. Whenever the chefs get a hankering for something salty and sweet, they spread a peanut butter and coconut milk blend and house-made jelly over shoestring fries. It’s not a regular menu item, so keep an eye out for when it’s on special.

Plantain Chips
Get them at City Mexican Cuisine, 3014 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-719-4188, citymexicancuisine.com 
Simple Food: Chips and salsa
Facelift: Homemade plantain chips come with two delectable dips: fresh mango salsa and house mojo sauce (olive oil infused with garlic salt and spices). This tasty remake has our taste buds in a frenzy. It’s hard to resist the semi-sweet flavor of thinly sliced plantains that have been fried to a golden brown.

 

Pizza Balls 
Get them at J.O.B Public House, 319 E. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-831-1158
Simple Food: A sloppy and floppy slice of pepperoni pizza
Facelift: Besides being known for an extensive collection of whiskey, J.O.B. Public House’s claim to fame comes in the form of a golf ball–sized tasty wonder. Fondly known as pizza balls, mozzarella, marinara and chunks of pepperoni are formed into tasty spheres, dunked in flour and Italian-seasoned breadcrumbs then fried. 

Quesadillas al Cangrejo
Get it at Cantina Laredo 4109 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-881-7200, 1001 Branson Landing, Branson, 417-334-6062; cantinalaredo.com 
Simple Food: Cheese quesadilla 
Facelift: That boring quesadilla just got a lot more exciting. Buried in a flour tortilla, lump crab, mango ginger salsa and goat cheese unite to create an irresistible taste sensation. 

 

Ahi Tuna Nachos
Get them at The Rocks Lakeside Grill and Lounge, 12051 State Hwy. 13, Kimberling City, 417-739-4440, therocksgrill.com 
Simple Food: Nachos
Facelift: Instead of diving into a heaping pile of soggy nachos, this time around you’ll find a handful of perfectly portioned lavash chips topped with mixed greens, tomato avocado salsa and a lump of Ahi tuna encrusted with wasabi-infused sesame seeds and lemon aioli.

 

Cast Iron Fried Cornbread
Get it at Metropolitan Farmer, 2144 E. Republic Rd., 417-720-1665, metropolitanfarmer.com 
Since Metropolitan Farmer opened in November, this down-home treat has been one of its best sellers. To create this salty--sweet treat, Chef Wes Johnson prepares a traditional sweet corn bread each day. Once the corn bread is ready, it’s finished off with bacon drippings, bacon butter and Funks Grove maple syrup. 

Truffle-Scented Popcorn
Get it at Flo Eatery & Wine Bar, 2925 E. Battlefield, Springfield, 417-886-0356, eatoceanzen.com 
Simple Food: Freshly popped popcorn
Facelift: Popcorn is reinvented with the help of butter, truffle salt and truffle oil. Salty and savory and warm and delicious, elegant flavors unite with the movie time favorite to create a first-class starter. 

Behind so many great appetizers is an irresistible sauce. Here are some of our favorites. 

Avocado Sauce
Served with the asparagus tempura as a dipping sauce and drizzled over the Dragon Ball Roll, Eye of the Tiger Roll, lobster roll and Sex and the City Roll at Haruno Sushi Bar & Grill (3044 S. Fremont Ave., Springfield)

Seafood Sauce
Served with any entrée alongside a ginger sauce at Nakato Japanese Steakhouse & Sushi Bar (2615 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield) 

Dipping Sauce Trio
Available upon request at Tong’s Thai Restaurant, (3454 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield). The three hot sauces are made in-house and come in mild, hot and insanely hot... beware of the green sauce.  

Sweet Thai Chili Sauce
Only available by request, this sauce is best served with the calamari fries from Touch (1620 E. Republic Rd., Springfield). 

Peanut Sauce
Served with spring rolls at Bambu Vietnamese Cuisine (1338 E. Battlefield, Springfield)

Basil Lime Mayo
Ask for a small ramekin of this sauce for dunking your sweet potato fries at The Grotto (301 E. Battlefield, Springfield). 

Garlic Aioli
Served with the pommes frites at Aviary Café and Creperie (400 E. Walnut St., Springfield)

Hot Mustard
This spicy condiment is the perfect garnish to a crispy crab Rangoon at Leong’s Asian Diner (1540 W. Republic Rd., Springfield).

Horseradish Cream Sauce
Served with the Parmesan-crusted fried portabellos at Flame Steakhouse and Wine Bar (314 W. Walnut St., Springfield)

 

There’s nothing light about these meat-packed appetizers. Loosen your belt, and pull up a chair; it’s dinner time.


The tenderloin at Nicola’s is briefly seared before it’s sliced and served with crisp greens, capers, lemon juice and Parmesan.

Beef Carpaccio π
Nicola’s Ristorante, 3631 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-886-3700, nicolasristorante.com 
Want to sink your teeth into thinly sliced pieces of tenderloin? Before going under the knife, this tenderloin is seared ever-so-so-slightly to pull out the juicy flavor this dish is known for. Served with crisp greens and dusted with shavings of Parmesan, the light flavor of the carpaccio blends into the sharp tang of capers and lemon juice. 

 

Filet Baby Burgers
Flame Steakhouse and Wine Bar, 314 W. Walnut St., Springfield, 417-862-4444, flamesteakhouse.com
To make the two 3-ounce tenderloin burgers that come in each order of the Filet Baby Burgers app, the crew back in the Flame kitchen starts by grinding the meat in-house. Broiled to perfection, each burger is crowned with truffle aioli, caramelized onions and Boursin cheese and served on homemade yeast buns. In between mouthfuls of baby burger, dunk some of Flame’s praise-worthy smoked French fries into the two dipping sauces: garlic aioli and the house-smoked ketchup. 

 

Sashimi de Carne
The Argentina Steakhouse, 1410 E. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-886-8010, theargentinasteakhouse.com 
To enjoy a quick bite of The Argentina Steakhouse’s history, order the Sashimi de Carne. The owners came to the United States from Argentina, and this dish with its signature sesame sauce has been on the menu since the restaurant opened. To create the flavorful dish, beef tenderloin is seared rare and tossed in sesame sauce, ground sesame seeds, brown sugar and sesame oil. The result is a mouthful of salty and tangy deliciousness. 

 

Polpette al Vino Bianco e Crema
Gilardi’s, 820 E. Walnut Ave., Springfield, 417-862-6400, gilardis.com
Boasting five 2-ounce meatballs, this is one appetizer that could easily sub as a meal. To make the killer meatballs, chefs mix up Angus beef, ground pork and hand-fired roasted bell peppers and use Quaker oats soaked in cream for a binding agent. Juicy and flavorful by themselves, these meaty morsels are topped with a rosemary and white wine cream sauce and served with rosemary and goat cheese polenta. Now that’s what we call comfort food.  

 

Hot & Honey Wings
Hackett Hot Wings, 520 S. Main St., Joplin, 417-625-1333, hacketthotwings.com 
With two generations of wing-lovers working in the kitchen, you know these chicken wings are going to be good. Before being slathered in the tangy Hot & Honey sauce, each wing is rubbed down in a top-secret spice rub that is specially made for Hackett. Once the wings are ready for their close-up, they get dunked in soy oil and fried for 13 minutes until crispy. This is one delicious family tradition, and we’ll take seconds, please.

 

Fry Bread
Worman House at Big Cedar Lodge, 612 Devil’s Pool Rd., Ridgedale, 417-335-2777, bigcedar.com
Just writing about this app makes our stomachs growl. Homemade dough is fried to order and topped with slow-braised short ribs, chipotle mayo, roasted peppers and cilantro. Yum! To seal in as much flavor as possible, the ribs are rubbed with herbs and chili flakes before being seared then braised for three hours in beef stock, port and shredded veggies. The ribs come juicy and tender. 

 

Sunomono
Mijuri Sushi & Rhythm, 2710 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-889-9593
It’s the freshness of this fish-heavy appetizer that hooked us line and sinker. A nest of crispy rice noodles is topped with ribbons of thinly sliced cucumber and crowned with flavorful bites of raw tuna, salmon, yellowtail or masago. As you fish for a hearty forkful, be sure to scoop up some of the salty-sweet ponzu sauce. 

 

Esan chicken 
Tongs Thai Cuisine, 3454 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 417-889-5280 
Who doesn’t love finger foods? We adore messy delicious nibbles you can enjoy without cumbersome utensils as you go knuckle-deep. And when it comes to finger foods, these lettuce wraps might reign supreme. Crisp lettuce boats arrive tableside ready to be packed with stir-fried chicken, cilantro, green onion, ginger, soy sauce and oyster sauce. 

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