Cupcake Wars | Harbell's is Reviewed | Twisted Taco Closes

Table Talk
The Scoop
Freddy's
   Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers

Attention fans of Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, we have some good news for you. You don't have to drive to Branson to get your fix because Freddy’s is opening a location in Springfield. Freddy’s website says the address is 615 El Camino, Springfield which is over by the new Sam's Club and Academy Sports and Outdoors off of south Campbell. It’s slated to open in September. Freddy’s faithful say it’s like Steak 'n Shake, but way better!

Five Guys Burgers and Fries announced a while ago that it’s opening a store on north Kansas Expressway, and now Five Guys says it will be opening another location in the Battlefield Mall. Five Guys website says both locations are coming soon! It will be the newest addition to the
lifestyle section of the mall on the east
side of the property that faces Glenstone Avenue.

A new Branson eatery, Doc’s Hickory Roadhouse (2750 Yellow Ribbon Road, Branson) has opened in the old Shorty Small’s location. Doc’s website is under construction but the menu is available for viewing. Highlights include, Doc’s shrimp mac and cheese, deed-fried or grilled cob corn, smoked turkey and Doc’s rib eye.

Local gal Sara Wells who runs the blog DessertedPlanet.com and Robyn Redmon who owns Red's Cupcakes will be teaming up to dominate Food Network's Cupcake Wars this Sunday, June 17 at 7 p.m. Make sure you tune in and cheer our home town ladies on!


Nonna's Italian Café and Chef Peter Tinson are doing another Italian wine dinner at Nonna's south on Wednesday, June 20. The reception starts at 5:30 p.m. with the dinner to follow. You can see the menu on Nonna's Facebook wall. You better reserve your spot now; the last one sold out. Call 417-890-8300 for reservations.

Aviary Cafe and Creperie is having another specialty dinner on June 24, titled A Basque Country Chef’s Diner. Seats are $75 per person, and the meal will feature lamb and fresh produce from the Rockin H Ranch in Norwood. Chef John Allen and Ric Ramos are creating a multi-course meal featuring dishes from the south of France and northern Spain. Call Aviary at 417-866-6378 to reserve your seat.

The Twisted Taco announced last Thursday on its Facebook page that it will be closing its doors. It’s a shame; we loved the jerk chicken tacos.

Boomers Campus Bar & Grill on the west side of Missouri State's campus is now Bair’s All-American Sports Grill. The décor will stay the same, but the menu will change a lot since Bair’s is known for its list of 31 burgers. This will make the third location for Bair’s. The others are in Republic and on South Campbell in Springfield.

Ocean Zen is taking a play out of 417 Magazine Restaurant Month's playbook. It is now serving a three-course dinner for two for only $40. The dinner package includes a shared appetizer sampler, two entr
ées and two desserts. This special is available Sunday through Thursday 4 p.m. to close.

Dancing Mule Coffee Company
is constantly posting images of delicious baked treats. The newest creation from Drew Haldiman, Dancing Mule's pastry chef is made-from-scratch oatmeal cream pies.

Looking for a cheap lunch besides Tasty Tuesday? Starting today, the Sam's Club on East Sunshine Street
is helping raise money for Children's Miracle Network. Sam's is serving brats, hot dogs, hamburgers and cheeseburgers. A combo is $4, and it includes a sandwich, chips, soft drink or bottled water and a cookie. Items can also be purchased individually.

Like coffee but want to keep cool? Then make sure you attend the first ever Brewdown Cooldown at Copper Canyon Coffee Roasters. It doesn’t matter if you are a light coffee drinker or hardcore fan. This event is for everyone in the family. There will be coffee classes, live music, food, a Brewer's Cup competition and, of course, coffee.

We also have a couple of tickets left for 417's June Cooking Class. Chef John Allen from Aviary Cafe and Creperie shows you how to prepare a gorgeous four-course meal. Call 417-883-7417 to reserve you seat. Dylan Whitaker

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Fried green tomatoes at Cosmopolitan Bistro

Ham steak from Route 66 Cafe

Mediterranean dip with ground beef from Touch

Hot and sour soup at Yen Ching


Spinach and cheese croissant from Elle's Patisserie

Cheese-stuffed roasted poblano pepper from Boca Mocha


Honey pecan chicken salad at The Gourmet Lunchbox

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Coconut Curry Shrimp
courtesy of The Food Coma Blog
Coconut Curry Shrimp Recipe
These quick andy easy coconut curry shrimp skewers are perfect for a light passed appetizer at any outdoor party this summer. You can even serve these with a side of sweet chili sauce for a little kick.Hope Noble
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Quick Dish
Harbell's Grill and Sports Bar
  BBQ burger at Harbell's Grill & Sports Bar

It was a quiet evening when my husband, Eli Estes, and I visited Harbell’s Grill & Sports Bar (315 Park Central West, Springfield) for the first time. There were a couple of people at the bar, plus a few more tables of diners. The atmosphere was pretty laid back at the time, but judging by the TVs playing baseball games and NHL playoff games, we could tell this would be an energetic spot to catch a game on a busier night.

For us on this visit, food was the draw. We wanted to taste what Harbell’s had to offer in the way of dinner, so we sat down and perused the menu. It’s full of the bar food you’d expect (apps, burgers, a few salads), but they all have a little flair that sets them apart.

We started with an eight-piece order of chicken wings because our server said they’re smoked in-house and are popular among diners. We asked for half Caribbean jerk and half mild. I tried the jerk first. The sauce was a tasty mixture of sweet plus spice, but it was a little bit too sweet for me. And it masked the taste of the meat. I didn’t even realize just how smoky that chicken was until I bit into one of the mild wings. I loved the mild sauce; it had a nice buffalo flavor without too much heat, and it really allowed that smoky chicken flavor to shine through. If you don’t like smoke, don’t order these. I happen to love smoke, so the mild wing totally hit the spot.

Eli decided to order the BBQ burger. That’s a black angus burger topped with pulled pork, sweet barbecue sauce, cole slaw and super-thin fried onions. The burger was so juicy. And even though it was topped with… well… an entire barbecued pork sandwich (pretty much), its meaty flavor didn’t get lost. It was a combo of meaty and crunchy, warm and cool.

I also went with a barbecue-y option: The smoky Philly sandwich. It was a different take on a cheesesteak. The tender, thinly sliced beef was piled high on a toasted sourdough roll and topped with a little bit of grilled bell peppers and onions and some pepper jack cheese. On top was a golden barbecue sauce—more vinegary than the sweet sauce on Eli’s sandwich. That’s just the way I like it. My sandwich came with a side of potato chips that are fried in-house at Harbell’s.

By the time we finished our entrées, we were stuffed. But we were also pretty intrigued by one of the dessert options: Funnel cake fries! These are fry-sized sticks of funnel cake batter, crispy on the outside, hollow-soft on the inside and a little less messy than traditional funnel cake. But just barely. The powdered sugar still landed on my shirt, and I sprinkled it across the table a few times. Funnel cake just isn’t a no-mess food. But that’s why it’s fun! These fry-shaped funnel cake bits were perfect for dipping, and we had the option of chocolate sauce or warm caramel. We couldn’t decide, but our server was nice enough to bring us both. I really preferred the caramel. That subtle sweetness and caramel flavor is the perfect complement to the fried batter. Our next visit might not be so gluttonous, but it was fun to try a variety of Harbell’s dishes this time around.
Katie Pollock Estes

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