1. We’ve fallen head over heels in love with the Tuscan Veggie Sandwich from Sugar Leaf Bakery (2800 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, 417-336-6618). With vinegar and oil for dipping, this sammie is served on homemade pepper and fig bread and topped with spinach, roasted red peppers, marinated artichoke hearts and mozzarella.
2. A new favorite spicy bite of ours is the green curry with shrimp at Bangkok City (Editor's Note: Bangkok City is no longer in business.)(1129 E. Walnut St., Springfield,417-799-1221). Order it extra-hot if you’re daring. The dish is filled with eggplant, green beans, plump shrimp and lots of super-spicy jalapeño peppers.
3. The avocado chicken sandwich from The Grotto (301 E. Battlefield, Springfield, 417-886-9600) is a super-filling meal we can’t resist. The fat chicken breast is topped with melty Swiss cheese, crispy bacon, thick slices of creamy avocado and a smear of spicy chipotle mayonnaise.
4. We cannot get enough of the green olive and almond tapenade at Aviary Café & Creperie (two Springfield locations, 417-866-6378, aviarycafe.com). This appetizer is a tasty mix of briny olives and earthy nuts, and it’s served with sourdough.
5. Don’t miss the hummus at Mohaska Farmhouse (Editor's Note: Mohaska Farmhouse is no longer in business.)(1821 S. Main St., Joplin, 417-206-3473). The hummus itself is great, but the star is the toasted bread that is served with it. It’s fresh and delicious, and you get a ton of it.
6. At Riad (400 South Ave., Springfield, 417-720-1018), they serve some mean falafel. Get it on a pita with veggies and hummus. Delish!
7. For comfort food at its best, we recommend indulging in the banana pudding at Enoch’s BBQ & Southern Classics (Editor's Note: Enoch's BBQ & Southern Classics is no longer in business.)(307 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-865-2888). It’s just like your grandma used to make it.