Table Talk: December 3–9

This week: The best cheap eats, Cesar's Old Mexico reopens, master chef workshops at Finley Farms, Rocco's comes to Bolivar and more foodie news.

By Claire Porter

Dec 03 2019 at 10 a.m.

Pork Belly Banh Mi and tater tots at Lucky Tiger Sandwich Co.
Photo By Brandon AlmsWe make so many sacrifices in life already. Don't forfeit great flavor in your pursuit of saving a few cents. The banh mi at Lucky Tiger Sandwich Co. are among our favorite cheap eats and bargain bites in town. Purchase Photo
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Super Steals

You know those ice breaker questions that ask for three words that describe you? Mine would probably be: hungry, cheap and procrastinator. So, I’m super excited to share with you our latest cover story, Meals for a Steal, because it checks all my personal boxes. It’s chock full of amazing flavors (hungry) for a mega bargain (cheap), all laid out for you so you can simply look at the list and run to lunch immediately (procrastinator). See how that works out? If even one of those words resonates with you, I encourage you to pick up a copy of the issue in print to see the curated list of all of my personal favorite bargain buys, but definitely bookmark our extensive online list of cheap eats for the next time you need a bangin’ meal for less than a Lincoln. 

Let Me Work It

The Workshop at Finley Farms is stacking up an impressive roster of classes this month, including a pie crust class with Eleanor Taylor of Prairie Pie, bread baking class with personal chef Anna Davis (both sold out 😢), cocktail class with Rogan Howitt of Golden Girl and leatherworking class with Phil Hedlund. Snag a spot while they last for a creative date night or a fun hands-on activity with friends. 

If you had your heart set on learning how to bake this month and can’t wait until the Workshop’s January courses roll out, try your hand at baking stollen, panettone, buche de noël and klejner at B+B Boulangerie’s December baking courses


The. Wait. Is. OVER! After closing for a long, taco-less week, Cesar’s Old Mexico is reopening in its new space tomorrow. Head to 2627 E. Sunshine St. (the former Phase 2 next to the Qudoba) for its re-opening at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, December 4. The brightly renovated space is almost twice the size of the former location, but the menu is still packed with all the same Mexican and Salvadorian tastes, including the unbelievably juicy Cesar’s pork—we love it in the Chile Verde—and the signature pupusas. See you there? 

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Pop Goes the Cocktails

Go from feeling ho-hum about your night out plans to feeling ho-ho-ho about them. It’s Christmas pop-up bar season, and we’ve found four watering holes going crazy with Kringle spirit this year. Break out the ugly Christmas sweater and the reindeer antlers and down a few glasses of jingle jangle Jäger; the celebrations are happening now and only last through the month. 

Moving and Shaking

For our size, Springfield has a surprising number of international markets. Joining the roster is Bombay Bazaar on South Glenstone Avenue (in the former Leslie’s Mexican Cafe). The market specializes in Indian items, including spices, beans, flours and snacks, and they hope to offer street food in the coming months. 

Pizza options in this town always have everyone up in arms. Thin crust, New York–style, white sauce… the options are endless, and each pizzeria has its own specialty. Soon, Bolivar will be able to join in the battle because Rocco’s Pizza is coming to town. Renovations are already underway at the site of the former D’s Nifty Cafe on Main Street. 

When she’s not busy crafting Thanksgiving recipes or hosting workshops at Finley Farms, Katie Baker is busy packing. Baker is moving her catering business, The Gracious Plate, to Chesterfield Village inside Classy Llama’s headquarters

Slammin’ Sunday 

For those of us who can’t wait for the holidays to start socializing, you can get busy at this week’s foodie events, or prepare for a seriously stacked Sunday: 

• Break out the James Bond tuxedo and head to the Black Tie Winter Gala at Alamo Drafthouse’s The Backlot benefiting Least of These and 100 Fold. Tomorrow’s event includes a three-course meal, champagne toast and more. 

• Become a master brewer at this week’s Mother’s Brewing Co. workshop (also held at Alamo Drafthouse). Thursday, learn to use smell to finesse your brewing prowess. 

• Double up on Sunday fun at Great Escape Beer Works. Start out with a mini Christmas photo session with BGStudios Photography, then sample cookie dough for a little sweet-sudsy combo. 

• Give handmade gifts without giving up any of your time by picking up local crafts from the Rountree Holiday Bazaar at Tie & Timber on Sunday. 

• Finally, close out the night at Opera at Harvest at Harvest Restaurant, featuring live music by Springfield Regional Opera and a fixed-course dinner by chef Craig von Foerster. 

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