Table Talk

Table Talk: January 31–February 6

This week: MacCheesy’s Deluxe Mac & Cheese Springfield location is on the way, Groundhog Day celebrations, cakes and news bites.

by Katie Pollock Estes

Jan 31 2023 at 8 a.m.

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Photo by Brandon AlmsTime to read up on who won the 2023 Best of 417! Purchase Photo

Best of 417 2023

It’s here! It’s here! It’s finally here! The Best of 417 feature is out now, featuring incredible local restaurants, bars and dishes that were voted to the top by our readers. (That’s you!) As always, we threw in some editors’ picks to high five some of our recent faves as well. Trust me, between the Best of 417 feature and the tasty news bits here in Table Talk, your stomach’s going to be rumbling before you know it.

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The Big Cheese

Joplin-based MacCheesy’s Deluxe Mac & Cheese has been teasing a Springfield location since last summer, and we’ve been anxiously awaiting our chance to dig into their extra-ooey-gooey toppings-laden macaroni and cheese concoctions. Well, folks, today is the day! The Springfield MacCheesy’s outpost opens today at 1920 E. Independence St. There you can order little pans of mac in flavors like Buffalo Chicken (two cheeses, chicken, buffalo sauce, ranch dressing and breadcrumbs), Cajun Chicken (two cheeses, chicken, peppers, tomatoes, onions and Cajun seasoning), Burnt Ends (two cheeses, burnt ends, barbecue sauce and crispy onions) and bunches more. You can even build-your-own gooey invention from a list of cheeses and toppings. The menu also has garlic knots, tomato soup, a few types of grilled cheese, fresh salads, and some seriously over-the-top milkshakes piled high with sweets.

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Winter’s Last Hurrah?

Apparently, Groundhog Day is a food-adjacent holiday now? We had no idea! But there are a few flavor-filled Groundhog Day news bits to share this year.

First up, Mother’s Brewing Company is having their first Groundhog Day Festival on Thursday, February 2, and it lasts all day long. Starting at 7 a.m. the festivities include breakfast food from The Almighty Sando food truck, lunch from The Lunar Lunchbox and plenty of tasty locally brewed Mother’s Brewing Company beers. According to a press release from Mother’s, “Gates open at 7 a.m. to catch the sunrise and the emergence of the groundhog from his lair under Mother’s Backyard. This festival is a day filled with ridiculous antics celebrating that winter is now half over.” Mother’s has two special firkins of beer ready for celebratory sipping: one themed for six more weeks of winter and one themed for an early spring.

But they aren’t the only ones getting in on the Groundhog Day fun. This week, Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe has a special cocktail on the menu called Punxsutawney Pimm's (a refreshing mixture of Pimm's, lemon juice and ginger beer).

Dreamy Carrot Cakes

There’s another lesser-known holiday on Friday that’s worth celebrating if you’re a foodie with a sweet tooth. It’s National Carrot Cake Day! We recommend getting your carrot cake fix at Basilico on Commercial Street, where the slices are huge and the flavors are incredible. The Pitch has a pretty darn good carrot cake on their dessert menu as well. And Farmers Market of the Ozarks just shared an interesting (and yummy-looking) recipe for homemade carrot cake oatmeal cookies that you can make with your farmers market carrot haul. 

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Itty Bitty News Bites

• Wintry Whip: Due to weather and some supply issues, Pineapple Whip postponed their annual Whip Solstice event. Good news, though: The rescheduled dates are this week! From Wednesday, February 1 to Sunday, February 5, you can get your favorite fruity summer treat at the Campbell Avenue location.

• Scotch Eggs, Comin’ In Hot: Dublin’s Pass is opening its newest location this Friday, February 3. It’s in the space formerly occupied by Great American Taco Co. at 2915 E. Battlefield Road. That means southeast Springfield folks will have easy access to Scotch eggs and brisket reuben sammies super-soon.

• Grab a Chip for This Dip: Do you love, love, love the house salsa at Tortilleria Perches? Oh man, so do we. And now we can get it in jars to take home. The restaurant has started to jar that tasty, tomato-y liquid gold in both hot and mild varieties.

• New Menu Alert!: Sleepy Opossum Cafe has a menu refresh that starts today. They still have the hashbrown quiches and breakfast sammies we love. Some new things we’re dying to try include the Breakky Salad (greens and veggies with a fried egg and maple-Dijon vinaigrette), a polenta-based breakfast soup, the Pepe le Bleu crepe (with sausage, hashbrown casserole, gorgonzola, fried miso polenta, egg and miso aioli with a side of greens and a baby biscuit) and more. Good morning indeed, right?

• New Drinks Alert, Too!: Be sure to pop into Culture Counter starting tomorrow to try their new drinks menu. We don’t have a ton of details yet, but we heard there will be hot teas, cocoa and lattes—perfect for this frigid Ozarks week!

• Mega Milkshakes: Black Sheep Burgers & Shakes has a new milkshake on their menu that sounds like a delight. It’s called I Love You, and it’s made with homemade frozen custard and fresh bananas before being topped with a hefty slice of homemade tiramisu.

• Save Your Seat: The Ozark Mill Restaurant at Finley Farms now takes reservations, which is great news for those of us who are big-time planners and don’t like to chance it with our dinner arrangements.

• Mardi Gras Prep: Mardi Gras is in just a few weeks (Tuesday, February 21, to be exact), so now’s the time to place an order if you want a real New Orleans–style king cake straight from the source. Express Foods is bringing king cakes up from Jo Gambino’s Bakery in a handful of flavors, including cream cheese-filled and praline.

• Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes: Skully’s Ramen is making some changes too, that start this week. For the month of February, their indoor dining area will be closed for renovations, but you can still order goodies to-go. They shared in a recent post that they are moving toward a model more focused on carry-out dining, with orders being picked up through the side window. As for future plans a little farther out, they’ll also be attending more festivals this year.