Sunday, April 22, 2012

Eating My Way Through the Show Me State

Washington DC has a lot of great food. You can get falafel, pho, empanadas, injera (Ethiopian flatbread),way too many to list curries, and fusion everything  all within a couple of blocks of each other. But one thing that I miss, that I really haven’t found out here, is some good old fashion home cooking. Oh, I know, I know home cooking can be whatever you cook in your home. Thanks, I can read. But in American cuisine lingo, what it really is, is the mashed potatoes, the chicken fried steak, the BBQ,  the fried and covered in gravy everything, you know, the stuff that makes the world call us fat Americans. This is not a menu or lifestyle you, I or anyone should probably be eating every single day, but as celebration of friends or culture, it is perfectly ok. And let me tell you, everything I ate those first couple days was definitely celebratory.  So when I was making plans with my friends (before my dad got sick), most of my plans involved where/what I wanted to eat. And I know that a lot of this food may not seem at all that glamorous, but to me it really was a little bit of comfort and home.

First of all, do you know that Sonic has sweet potato tots now? OMG, they do. Why didn’t anyone tell me? This is newsworthy, as opposed to 98% of what is actually on the news.  And don’t even start to think that these are some hipster tots, like a lot of the sweet potato creations that are popping up on the food blogs. These are pop in your mouth in the back seat of car in the middle of nowhere while discussing Guns N’ Roses and wash down with a strawberry limeade, easy on the ice, tots. Post script: that means they’re good.
Lambert's Cafe in Ozark, Missouri, ‘cause sometimes, you just want a really good chicken fried steak, and bread rolls to be thrown at you. One of the servers really does go around and throw rolls at people. He asks first, and you have to be quick, they come flying fast.  I couldn’t get a good action shot of this happening because maybe somebody at the table wasn’t that good at carb catching, and maybe when the bread guy saw me with a camera he started throwing them from the other side of the room, and maybe I was busy eating at least three of the rolls.

I’m usually not a huge fan of okra, but the fried okra they bring around while you wait for your food; de-lic-ious.

 . . .and the food, so much food,  is served in a frying pan. I only ate maybe half, but that half made my stomach oh so happy. And hopefully the General’s dad was also happy when I conveniently left my leftovers in their fridge.

We break for cheese.

I can attest that this is truth , that cheese really is hotter than hell.
 The brownie sundae is more sentimental than fancy. The friends I was with down there in Southern Missouri were the friends that were with me during probably the hardest, darkest time in my life. And they stayed stubbornly with me , even when I tried to push them and everyone else away. Back then, there were many nights of eating ice cream and brownies together as we tried to sort out life. So eating brownies sundae together again was so fitting as we talked about our lives in their current states.

Trader Joe's. Sure, I have one right now the street in VA, but the closest one to the General is almost 3 hours away. When we were up in KC a side trip had to, just had, to be made. We may or may not have filled the basket with only hummus and chocolate and English cheddar with caramelized onions cheese.  Does anyone see a problem with this?

Oklahoma Joe's in Olathe KS.  We met up for dinner on Saturday with X and soon be Mr. X and had lots of time to chat because the line for this place was already out the door and starting to turn the corner.  I had a brisket sandwich and my oh my,  was it tasty. When trying a new Midwest BBQ place, I always, always order the brisket. If they can’t make a good brisket, nothing else on the menu matters and they should just close their doors.  Although my BBQ heart still belong 100% to Summit Hickory Pit, I can say that this this my new favorite place across the line in KS.
So the moral of the story is if you visit Missouri on an empty stomach, it won't be empty for very long. 


  1. And it was worth every calorie consumed. :) I really do love the cart of chocolate, hummus and cheese. No better way to go. :)

  2. Sadly seriously, I haven't had a real meal since I've back to DC. Maybe I need to take a trip to TJ.

  3. Looking back on this, I think I need to point out that we DO believe in plates on eating on in MO. It may not be that clear from this post.