Table Talk

Table Talk: August 24–30

Costco is open! Plus, tomato season is upon us.

By Katie Pollock Estes

Aug 24 2021 at 8 a.m.

Shutterstock photo of cherry tomatoes
Photo courtesy ShutterstockTomato season is upon us!

Costco is Finally Open!

Oh boy! Springfield’s been waiting for this. First it was a wish: “Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Costco?” Then it was speculation: “I heard we might be getting a Costco!” Then, for the longest time, it was anticipation as we watched the building go up: “When is it going to open?!” Well, last week Costco finally had its ribbon cutting and grand opening. You can read our blog about the warehouse store’s arrival in Springfield, or view some videos of the opening day rush on Instagram. Now, what’s on your shopping list?

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Killer Catfish

Did you know August is National Catfish Month? In landlocked Missouri, freshwater fish is the freshest stuff you can get. And even though rainbow trout might be the first fish that comes to mind when you think of Ozarks waterways, catfish might have an even more beloved following when it comes to that singular joy of biting into a crispy bite of cornmeal-crusted goodness. Here are a few places in 417-land where you find great catfish on the menu.

Big Easy Grill, where the fried catfish is on a menu filled with Cajun favorites, and you can even get it on a po’boy.
Hot Cluckers, where the catfish comes in fillets or on a fish sandwich.
FD’s Grillhouse, where you can order cornmeal-crusted and fried in a combo with fried shrimp.
Crosstown Barbecue, where you can get a fried catfish dinner, or crispy fried catfish strips as an app.
Dowd’s Catfish & BBQ in Lebanon, where you can order it breaded and fried, broiled with lemon pepper, blackened or served whole with the bone-in.
Devil’s Pool Restaurant at Big Cedar Lodge, where you can eat it with a house-made tartar sauce and grilled lemon.
• If you’d rather fry up your own catfish instead of dine out, Express Foods can hook you up. The business specializes in super-super fresh seafood plucked from the ocean, but they sell catfish by the pound too.

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One of my favorite things in the world is garden candy: those itsy bitsy little mini-tomatoes that are as sweet as candy when they are at their peak ripeness. This is the ideal time of year to indulge in all things tomato, and we’ve noticed a delightful trend among local bakers: beautiful tomato galettes.

First Prairie Pie was serving them in their storefront among other sweet and savory items like beef-and-mushroom pot pies and dessert pies filled with summer fruits (although they aren’t on this week’s cafe menu). Then a bit later, we saw that Dani’s Flour Pot Bakery had been serving them at C-Street Market. And just a few days ago, Blue Heron Farm & Bakery posted a picture of some absolutely mouthwatering tomato-pesto galettes filled with those itty bitty garden candy tomatoes that I love so much (which they were selling at Farmers Market of the Ozarks. All three bakers’ galettes looked absolutely dreamy for a tomato-lover like me. I’ll take one of each, please!

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The Buzz on C-Street

Do you hear the buzz of happy little honey bees? Oh wait, that’s just me, getting excited about fresh local honey. Soozeezbeez has opened a new brick-and-mortar shop on Commercial Street to sell their raw honey, infused honey, beeswax candles, soaps, home decor and other goodies. The ribbon cutting was last Friday, and that means the little shop is open for business and you can find Soozeezbeez products there instead of only online and at the farmers market. If you need some inspiration for how to use your new jar of honey at home, check out our recipes for Power Bites, a London Fog latte or an herbaceous cinnamon-rosemary Old Fashioned cocktail.

This Week’s Foodie To-Do

If you need something tasty to do this week, snag a seat at tomorrow’s Dinner at the Yurts: A Taste of History fundraiser event. James Beard Award semifinalist Chef Rob Connoley and Eating the Ozarks forager Rachael West are creating a seven-course meal full of new takes on historic Ozarks cuisine using food foraged from the region. The event takes place at Forest Garden Yurts—a spot full of its own interesting history. Tickets are $100 and proceeds support PBS’s A Taste of History. Register online.