Thursday, October 18, 2012

More from the Ozarks...

I went to the Ozarks, last weekend from Friday-Monday and while there, I ate at a different restaurant for lunch and dinner each day, except for Friday where I ate on the road and Monday when we left before dinner.  But, with too many good places and too much to review and place into individually concise and simple articles, I have a bunch listed here.

Dog Days Bar & Grill is a nice place.  It has ports so people can pull their boats up and get served.  We took my kids there and the place is very kid friendly.  The food is simple bar food, in first appearance but I was told that the same owners of this bar, also own a Cajun style restaurant so there are some things on the menu here that sound like Cajun inspired.  I ordered their basic burger with a side of black beans and rice.  The burger was juicy and cooked as ordered.  The beans and rice were flavorful, albeit I had a few grains of uncooked rice.  I'd give this place a 3 out of 5.

Kay's is an all you can eat, home cooking restaurant.  It is very "traditional" in that not only does it have good food, but it also has a small selection of wares which you can purchase in the front of the restaurant.  The way that they do the all-you-can-eat way, is to make it so that all of the food is by order.  For instance, I wanted to start with some eggs and some biscuits and gravy.  Instead of going to a food line and plating this myself, I order it and a waitress comes out and delivers this to my person.  So, this seems to be a great idea because you can have all of the food you want, but the restaurant doesn't have to deal with food loss by having food sitting out on a hot line all day long.

The biscuits were light and fluffy and buttery.  The gravy was heavy and peppery.  The eggs were tasty and in this plate, I was happy.  I ate everything so I could move forwards to the next plate.  Off of the menu, besides the plate above you, I also tried the pancakes and bacon and sausage and grits and everything was delicious.  This would be like having an all you can eat meal at one of the last remaining IHOP's.  I would give Kay's a 4 out of 5.

El Jimador, is awesome.  In St. Louis, there is a fair amount of Authentic Mexican restaurants which have the innate ability to cause GI issues or just taste really bad.  Real Mexican food isn't smothered in cheese, canned salsa or bad salty chips.  Real Mexican food cannot be hidden or should not be hidden with your choice of a dozen Margaritas.  El Jimador looks like a stereotypical Mexican restaurant on the inside, with roofing tiles over the booths to make it look like you are outside.  Yeah, it looks lame, but when the food comes, it is awesome.  I ordered something that was called "Tacos al Pastor" (I think, I can't find it on the menu now when I look online.)  It was awesome:

These tacos were filled with super tender pork and grilled pineapple.  I know, it sounds a bit Hawaiian, but this was great.  That dip/salsa, was made from Chipotle chilies and was so flavorful and not spicy.  Everything tasted good.  I went here with 4 other adults and two kids and I tried every one's food.  I didn't have an issue with any of them.  My in-laws ordered the soup: Caldo de Pollo, which is an awesome soup with chicken and rice.  They were told, the first time they went there, that no one ever orders the soup, which is quite sad because the soup was so good.  The only disappointing thing at the restaurant, was the bathroom.  I have seen cleaner bathrooms, on a hillside, in Southern Lebanon, than I did at this restaurant.  Still though, I'd give the food a 4 out of 5.

The final place that I have here, is called JJ Twigs.  This restaurant is huge and you can see it from any angle off of US 54.  It has a large sign on it saying that it is a great place for Pizza, but I am sorry to say that if their pizza is the best in the Ozarks, then I think all of the other pizza places should be razed.  I'm sorry, but this place is bad.  This restaurant is set-up like a rectangle, with a bar sectioned off on the two shorter ends.  It is decorated like a log cabin on the inside and there is a large fire place in the central seating area.  There is a very large amount of stuffed animals all throughout including a jackalope and a wooly salmon.  What is sad here is what is listed on the menu is not the same as what you get.  I want to be clear on three things, which myself and my group ordered.  First of all, I ordered the 16 layer lasagna.  Now, while this sounds like a huge item to plated and shown off, what I had received was this:
Now, I hate to be a stickler, but after I removed those two slices of bread, I counted and there was only 12 layers, not 16.  This wouldn't be a big deal by anyone else, but for those who see that being told that they have a piece  of lasagna that has 16 layers, is a huge selling point, then finding out that it doesn't ruins the joy behind it.  What did it taste like?  Not very good.  It was pretty bland, like the sauce had two flavors: tomato sauce and oregano.

My son ordered the pizza, since this is a famous pizza place.  This is what was delivered to us:

If you notice the cardboard, then you are with me on this.  No restaurant, anywhere, serves pizza in-house, on cardboard: especially white cardboard in the same and measurements of the pizza.  Now, I can't say whether the pizza was frozen and store bought and then heated badly or if this was made in house, prepped and placed on this cardboard and then not cooked thoroughly.  The pizza had a soggy crust towards the center and the sauce was the same flavorless sauce that was on my lasagna.  I would guess that if people think the pizza is awesome, they are most likely drinking as well and are too drunk to realized how bad the pizza actually is.

The last thing I wish to point out is when a salad says that it has "field greens", that does not mean "iceburg lettuce."  I just want to throw that out there.  Whichever the case, this JJ Twigs should not be confused with the one in St. Louis:  .  I know that the pictures of the food look great at this website, but it could be the same restaurant but not the same food.  I'm sorry but if this restaurant is owned by the same people as the ones in St. Louis, which it is, I don't want to even waste my money at the St. Louis locations after a disaster like this one.  JJ Twigs, maybe gets a 1 out of 5.

So, besides the great BBQ spot, Fired UP!, this is what we did and what we thought.  If you don't believe me on any of these places, see for yourself.

1 comment:

  1. It looks lame, but when the food comes, it is awesome.
    Food La Verne