1. The japchae from Koriya (4121 Fremont Ave., Suite 128, Springfield) is sweet-and-savory satisfaction, with slippery sweet potato cellophane noodles, beef bulgogi, a sprinkling of fresh veggies like kale and mushrooms and a kind-of-sweet, kind-of-spicy sauce.
2. We love a hot bowl of tom ka khai soup on a chilly day, and the version from Thai Express is a favorite. It has tender chicken and veggies in a creamy coconut broth rich with the flavors of ginger, galangal, kaffir lime and lemongrass.
3. The Market Skillet Hash from First Watch is a tasty vegetarian version of a rib-sticking morning pile-up with crispy potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, goat cheese and more veggies.
4. To get the most satisfaction out of the stellar Italian beef sandwich from Queen City Deli (1647 E. Sunshine St., Springfield), order it wet (i.e. dipped in au jus) and topped with spicy giardiniera. It’s incredible.
5. We lost it when we saw a barbecue take on one of our favorite classic dishes when it was available as a special at Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More (2833 W. Chestnut Expy., Springfield). The burnt end beef strogranoff was a creamy, meaty, carby take on comfort food.
6. For an uncommon take on cake and ice cream, we like the bacon-maple glazed cornbread dessert at Vantage Rooftop Lounge & Conservatory (260 E. McDaniel St., Springfield) with its side of vanilla ice cream.
7. For a non-breakfast treat at Gailey’s Breakfast Café (220 E. Walnut St., Springfield), the fried portobello mushrooms are delish with their asiago cheese topping and ranch for dipping.