1. We can’t get enough of the Mexican brownie at Cantina Laredo (4109 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-881-7200; 1001 Branson Landing, Branson, 417-334-6062; cantinalaredo.com). It’s made with pecans and walnuts and served in a hot skillet with Mexican brandy butter and ice cream. You had us at “brandy butter.”
2. For a taste of lots of little Asian goodies, order the dim sum sampler platter at Leong’s Asian Diner (1540 W. Republic Rd., Springfield, 417-887-7500, leongsasiandiner.com). You get an egg roll, two crab Rangoon, hoisin barbecue charsiu pork, three potstickers and two Asian barbecue ribs.
3. If you aren’t in the mood for a taco, try the cilantro lime salad with chicken on your next trip to Springfield Gourmet Taco Company (3120 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-315-8745, gourmettacocompany.com). Mixed greens are topped with apple-corn pico, feta cheese, cucumber, tortilla strips and cilantro-lime vinaigrette.
4. We love getting the meatloaf at Black Oak Grill (601 Branson Landing Blvd., Branson, 417-239-0063, blackoakgrill.com). It’s topped with a tasty tomato sauce and served with veggies and garlic mashed potatoes.
5. One of our very favorite indulgent desserts is the luscious tiramisu available at Nonna’s Italian Café (306 South Ave., Springfield, 417-831-1222; 3512 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-890-8300; nonnascafe.com). It’s so packed with coffee flavor and so soft and creamy, we could eat it every day.
6. Summer is for barbecue, and Enoch’s BBQ & Southern Classics (307 S. National Ave., Springfield, 417-865-2888, enochsbbq.com) has some of the best around. Don’t miss the truly incredible ribs, coated in one of the tastiest rubs we’ve ever had.
7. A super-hearty lunch we love is the Italian beef combo sandwich from J. Parrino’s Queen City Deli (1647 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-887-1148, queencitydeli.com). A soft roll is topped with lots of slow-roasted Italian beef and a link of salsiccia.