1. Sure, almost every barbecue place does burnt ends, but Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More (2833 W. Chestnut Expressway, 417-771-5018) has has won awards just for its burnt ends. Just the right amount of char to smoke ratio makes this magnificent.
2. A lot of things can make or break a salad, but it’s no secret that dressing is the most important part—in our opinion. The insalata mista from Bruno’s Italian Restaurant (416 South St., 417-866-0007) is a simple greens salad, but man, that house vinaigrette is delicious.
3. With a lightly caramelized top and a spicy suprise, the Poblano Cream Corn Brûlée from Gettin’ Basted (3242 S. Stewart Ave., 417-427-4181) is a creative take on a classic side.
4. Sometimes a salad just need a little extra oomph. The Thai Peanut Noodle Salad from Farmer’s Gastropub (2620 S. Glenstone Ave., 417-864-6994) gets that with just enough noodles to be fun, a bit of spice and lots of herbs.
5. The Hand-Breaded Chicken Strips from The Rock (4018 S. Lone Pine Ave., 417-986-0632) taste like real, bone-in fried chicken but these strips are boneless! What’s not to love?
6. Neighbors Mill Bakery & Café (1435 E. Independence, 417-720-4162) is getting into the bagel game with their soft, chewy, hand-rolled everything bagels.
7. We always love a good pizza, and for a sweet and savory combination pizza that doesn’t involve fruit, try the Thai Fighter Pizza from Golden Girl Rum Club (137 Park Central Square, 417-425-5162).