middlemissourifood1 copyYou know those lost in the middle of no-where restaurants, that you never seem to have heard of, but are fantastic!  I am a true Missourian and we can just say that I have a “healthy appetite” and a taste for good old fashion “stick to the hips” cooking!  

Over this past summer, I had the luck of stopping off or getting lost and discovering some Fantastic places to eat in the Middle of Missouri! 

Homemade Gravy…at A Taste of Andy’s

I am not sure I was more blown away by the food (and yes it was delicious) or the Adorable Fern.  As I stood at the counter, looking over the menu Ms Fern came around the corner and suggested I have the Gravy and Biscuits because her gravy had not come from a can “It was Homemade”.  Well this chick cannot turn down homemade gravy especially when it is made by someone just as adorable as my grandma is.  


A Taste of Andy’s is located in Lebanon, Missouri.  The restaurant has a very modern feel to it with fantastic old fashion, middle of the nowhere cooking!   I settled for, no doubt Fern’s homemade gravy and biscuits, hash browns, 2 strips of bacon, and well of course my morning kick of 3 or a dozen cups of coffee, I must have my coffee.

Sweet treat Central Dairy Ice Cream in Jefferson City, MO

I am the mom that suggests sugar on long road trips, okay not really, but I do suggest many “pit stops” at unique places that catch your eye.  This summer on our long (4 hour drive) to Lake of the Ozarks Missouri, we stopped off in Jefferson City Missouri at Central Dairy Ice Cream Parlor. 

Central Dairy is one of those places you read about in a magazine, bookmark, cut pictures out of, and add to that list of “I Must Visit” places.  I would share with you a list of their ice cream flavors; unfortunately for me there is so many to choose from that I just say try them all.  Our recommendations, or my lovely sidekicks recommendations include Vanilla, Fudge Ripple, Rocky Road, and Chocolate Mint Chip…yes they are all good.   The parlor also serves low fat ice cream, sugar free ice cream, frozen yogurt, and sherbet.

The Central Dairy Ice Cream Parlor is located in Jefferson City Missouri and open 7 days a week, I will warn you, they only accept cash, so please be prepared when you arrive.  

Tommy’s Tater Patch serves more than Taters

I have a unique fondness for places that look like a hole in the wall and turn out to be mouth watering delicious.  I often tell people it is not about the looks it is about the taste, smell, and the price.  On an morning cruise from middle of nowhere stop one to middle of the nowhere stop number we stumbled upon Tommy’s Tater Patch.  I must say Tommy’s is a restaurant that doubles as bar much like a few of the places I suggested in 5 Unique Eats of Southeast Missouri, it has that very “barrish” atmosphere, however, I traipsed my kiddos in there and they loved it. 

I have ate both breakfast and lunch at Tommy’s and can tell you that there is not much you can wrong with except the portion size.  I highly suggest that you wear the looses pants you can find, because my breakfast burrito might have served my entire family, and my kiddos order of pancakes was enough for two.  I love places that you get your bang for the buck!  

On the day I decided I would stop and have lunch, well needless to say I packed in my to-go box enough food to feed my kids and myself for dinner.  Their fish sandwich and fries was great, but I hear their potatoes with barbeque meat on top of them are to die for, and they looked good also! 

Tommy’s Tater Patch is located in Rolla, Mo and open 7 days a week.  

Gooseberry Pie and BBQ at Ollie’s BBQ & Steakhouse in Lebanon, MO

middlemissourifood3Okay it is rare and let me emphasis rare occasion that you find Gooseberry Pie at a restaurant, let’s see I am well so many years old and I have only seen it one time.  Ollie’s BBQ & Steakhouse specializes in BBQ (go figure with name like that) well they do have fantastic BBQ that comes in every cut, sauce, and taste you can desire.  I will give their BBQ a lick smacking rating, however, I was absolutely blown over when they brought out three different kinds of pie, and one was a Gooseberry Pie.  To be quite honest I might have fallen in love that day, that is if it possible to fall in love with food. 

Alright, I know you all aren’t as in love with pie as me, so I will say Ollie’s truly does have amazing BBQ with a full menu, I highly suggest getting the Sampler Platter as you get your choice of 3 meets, 2 sides, but be sure you don’t skip out on some pie!  They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, and have a full kid’s menu.    

Ollie’s BBQ is located in Lebanon, MO and they are open every day, but Tuesday. 

Soda Pop, Ice Cream, and Great Food at The Soda Fountain in Steelville, MO

Maybe it is the “momma” in me or the small town girl thinking that kicks in, but I absolutely love family owned, family run, and family loved restaurants.  The Soda Fountain in Steelville, Mo is a modern day Ma & Pop restaurant with a modern, yet good old fashion feel to it.  I would almost classify this fantastic find
as an “artsy” restaurant if you can say that about food. 

middlemissourifood2The Soda Fountain is a full service restaurant with fantastic food, great specials, and locally made homemade Ice Cream from award winning Ruby’s Ice Cream in St James, Missouri.   Of course my kiddos had to have hot dogs, you can’t ever go anywhere without having hot dogs or grilled cheese, but I went out on a limb and chose the special of the day and was especially glad.  The food is prepared as you order, so there is a bit of a wait, but well worth for that fresh delicious taste. 

As for the wait, my adorable sidekicks entertained themselves with Fitz Orange Soda, the penny candy machine, and watching the popcorn pop in old fashion popcorn machine. 

The Soda Fountain is located in Steelville, Mo and is open Wednesday through Saturday.   

Becky is the Missouri Traveling Mom, her blog site is Adventures Among Us. She not only shares a unique passion for traveling with her family, but traveling in Missouri. For more of Becky’s adventures find her on facebook Adventures Among Us, or follow her on Twitter @BeckyAdventure.

***** Disclosure my visits to A Taste of Andy’s, Ollie’s BBQ, & Central Dairy was sponsored by Benders-Walkers Group, however, all opinions & photos are my own