Lunch in 417-Land

116 Delicious midday meals to fill your belly and warm your soul

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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Eat like a Kid

Miss those finger-licking good meals you used to devour as a kid? We’ve rounded up a few lunch options from around 417-land that take your favorite kid meals to the next level.

Messy Fingers
Remember those oh-so-messy sloppy joes you used to eat as a kid? Half the fun was seeing how much of the crumbly, meaty filling you could actually keep sandwiched between the bun. And now you can relive those fun-filled meals with The Pepper Joe at That Lebanese Place (338 E. Commercial St., Springfield, 417-536-6677, This souped-up version of the classic sloppy joe adds an extra punch of flavor with ground beef seasoned in a Lebanese blend of spices and mixed with grilled onions, sweet bell pepper, garlic, tomato sauce, mustard, tomatoes, pickles and lemon juice. 

Oooey Gooey
The Usual at Leong’s Asian Diner (1540 W. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-887-7500, might be a no-big-deal dish for the kiddos, but diving fork-first into a big bowl of mac and cheese at a restaurant isn’t such an everyday experience for the rest of us grown-ups. So when we’re in the mood to relive our childhood, we take a big bite of Leong’s deliciously cheesy mac, which is the perfect blend of noodles, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, milk and butter. 

Hand-Held Meal
It doesn’t matter how old you get, sometimes nothing beats a plain old hot dog slathered in ketchup, mustard and a whole lot of relish. The only way to improve on that magical flavor combination? Add bacon! And that’s just what the creative culinary masterminds at Instant Karma Gourmet Hot Dogs (527 S. Main St., Joplin, 417-206-3647) did with The Angry Red Neck. One big, juicy black angus hot dog comes wrapped in crispy bacon and drowned in Bully Porter-braised chili, bleu cheese slaw and jalapeños. Bam! Now that’s a hot dog.

Soup’s Best Friend
Remember those days when your parents would make you grilled cheese sandwiches with Kraft Singles? Remember sitting at the table and slowly pulling the two halves of that buttery grilled sammie apart to reveal a web of golden cheese? Those were the days. The Derby Deli inside Brown Derby International Wine Center (2023 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-883-4066, has somehow managed to make the classic grilled cheese even better. The Ultimate Grilled Cheese is the adult version of that buttery wonder we all loved as kids. Thick, melty slices of gruyère cheese are layered on sourdough bread with caramelized onions and truffle oil. Warmed in a panini press until all that gooey deliciousness starts bursting from its crusty confines, this is the perfect complement to a tall glass of red wine. 


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