1. We know a restaurant is doing a great job when even a super-simple dish tastes incredible. The Parisian (Ron Style) from Derby Deli (2023 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-883-4066, brownderby.com) fits the bill, with decadent rosemary ham, more Presidents butter than you probably should eat in one sitting, nutty Gruyere cheese and a crunchy baguette.
2. One of our favorite antipasto plates is the one from The Pitch Pizza & Pub (2924 E. Sunshine St., Springfield, 417-368-0277, thepitchpizza.com). The homemade caramelized onion dip and pesto mix well with various cheeses and other goodies, but the star is the house-made sausage that is always the first thing to be gobbled up.
3. A bright side that always makes it into our order when we visit Tropical Smoothie Café (3645 E. Sunshine St., 3811 S. Campbell Ave.; Springfield, tropicalsmoothiecafe.com) is the kale and apple slaw. It’s crunchy, sweet perfection in a tiny bowl.
4. When we’re dying for Chinese but don’t want breaded and fried chicken, we get the jalapeño-basil chicken from 5 Spice China Grill (2058 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-799-0215, eatoceanzen.com). It’s spicy, bright and full of veggies to boot.
5. The cardamom shortbread latte from European Café (207 Park Central East, Springfield, 417-942-5055, 417europeancafe.com) is a not-too-sweet indulgence that comes with a bite-size shortbread bit on the side. So dreamy.
6. The Chop Chop Salad from Farmers Gastropub (2620 S. Glenstone Ave., Springfield, 417-864-6994, farmersgastropub.com) is a treat disguised as a salad. The crispy arugula, kale and cabbage mixture is loaded with locally made bleu cheese, pumpkin seeds, egg and a delightful buttermilk dressing.
7. Our favorite portable frozen treat is the dark chocolate covered mint custard bar from Andy’s Frozen Custard (various 417-land locations, eatandys.com). The chocolate hard shell is better than most, and the mint custard is oh-so-indulgent.
"7 Good Things" is chosen by the editors of 417 Magazine as a service to readers. We’ve tried everything on this list, and we like it. To send us your suggestions, email Staff Writer Evan Greenberg.