I had a really terrific breakfast the other day at the "5 and Diner" in St. Robert, Missouri, right off Interstate 44. The place is a classic-style diner; all shiny and bright, both outside and inside.
It has an extensive menu, but when I saw chicken fried steak I never considered anything else. The chicken fried steak was big. It was done perfectly -- deep fried, I'm sure -- and it was delicious, with excellent cream gravy. I ordered soft-scrambled eggs and country fries with it. There had to be three or more eggs in that order, and the diced, fried potatoes were way more than I could eat. My breakfast was big enough for an army, which I guess is apporpriate for a diner outside Fort Leonard Wood.
For dinner one night my grandson and his wife took me to a place in Waynesville, Missouri named Crazy Jack's. It's a sports bar, and we wanted to watch the Ohio State-Mississippi State women's NCAA game (unfortunately, the Buckeyes lost). http://www.myspace.com/crazyjackssportsbar
My grandson and his wife -- both in the Army -- started with an appetizer -- a combination plate that included fried green beans, chicken wings, fried mushrooms (she ate those as he, like I, is allergic to mushrooms), and fried cheese sticks. They pronounced it excellent.
They both ordered the prime rib sandwich (medium rare), which included cheese and a dipping sauce, and came on a corn-dusted sub bun. They enjoyed their sandwiches. I ordered the half-pound cheeseburger, medium rare, with grilled onions. It was delicious. All three orders came with tons of skin-on French fries that tasted as if they were fresh cut.
The only hitch was with the vinegar I wanted for my fries. I guess that in the Ozarks area of Missouri fries and vinegar are not exactly well known. Our waitress brought out a soup bowl filled with white vinegar, and asked what I was going to do with it. When I dipped a fry into it she was amazed.
Other than gasoline, the only thing I stopped for on the trip was some really, really good coffee that I got from a vending machine at an Illinois rest area on my way home.
<message edited by Michael Hoffman on Fri, 03/26/10 12:00 PM>