Restaurants in Springfield, MO A Lunch Community <![CDATA[ Great for Date Night!]]> Olive Garden for a quick dinner the other night but ended up at the new Houlihan's instead. (a) OG is never worth an hour-long wait. (b) Don't laugh, foodies! You go to corporate restaurants for meals every now and then too!

The old Houlihan's is located at the DoubleTree Inn on Glenstone. The new one is on Republic Road, just off the 60. It is LEED certified, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, if such certification matters to you. I don't really care if they have a geothermal mechanical system or solar power if the food is no good. (They do, however, and it is.)

Thankfully, the food is good. My parents split Meatloaf No. 9 off the dinner menu and LOVED it. (I have no idea why it's called "No. 9." There are no other meatloaf dishes on the menu.) Ditto for my sister and brother-in-law. Dad had a side salad with balsamic vinaigrette dressing, which came chopped rather than leafy. Mom had a bowl of of Chicken Tortilla Soup (with a good dip from the bottom). Sister had the White Bean & Artichoke Hummus, which was really tasty (according to my wife, who sampled it).

My wife and I ordered several items off the Small Bites menu. I had Lettuce Wraps with peanut sauce and LOVED them. My wife thought they needed something acidic in them to balance off all the sweet tastes. I liked them as is. My wife ordered Goat Cheese & Artichoke Poppers, which she LOVED. We also ordered the Thai Noodle Bowl with Tandoori Chicken skewers (an upcharge item). My wife thought the noodle bowl was okay, but the chicken was perfectly cooked. (Side question: Who mashes up Thai and Indian food in a single plate?)

My son and my nephew ordered Mac & Cheese off the kids menu. They don't have discriminating palates, but they wolfed the food down anyway. My son got carrots and applesauce with his plate. My nephew settled for extra M&C and applesauce only.

Upside: We liked the food, the service, and the ambiance.

Downside: $80+ for eight people who all split meals or ordered appetizers.

My family probably won't go there for quick-and-dirty family dining. But my wife and I are definitely going back on date night.]]> Mon, 20 Sep 2010 19:33:30 +0000
<![CDATA[ The Only Place I Go for Carne Asada]]> My wife and I moved to Springfield from southern California at the end of 2009. Accustomed to great Mexican food, we immediately began searching for a good Mexican restaurant in town. Our search was disappointing. The food was bland, too Americanized, or--worst of all--restaurants made use of Velveeta or other processed cheeses.

Yuck, yuck, yuck.

One day, however, my wife happened upon Tortilleria Perches, a family-owned restaurant on Sunshine near Kansas Expressway (behind Firestone Tires and Pizza Hut). The food was every bit as good as what we were used to in California.

We immediately began searching for good Mexican food but were utterly disappointed...until we discovered Tortilleria Perches, that is. Mama Perches is the cook. Her son Jesus manages the shop, and her daughter Maria runs the counter. Other family members serve as staff.

My favorite dish is the carne asada taco plate. I order pico de gallo and verde sauce (very hot) to go on top. The rice and refriend beans are very tasty. The chicken tacos are also good if the restaurant runs out of carne asada (which happens every now and then).

My wife gets the same dish, although she has also tried the camerones (shrimp) and loved it. She also orders a side of guacamole and chips, which my two-year-old son (and the rest of us) wolf down before the meal.

My mother-in-law says the enchiladas are great and especially digs the enchilada sauce.

The restaurant makes its own tortillas, which are always very fresh.

If you prefer corporate dining and professionally designed restaurant interiors, you will not like Tortilleria Perches. It's a hole in the wall. But when it comes to Mexican food, it's the best hole in the wall you'll eat in Springfield--comparable to anything you can get in California.]]> Tue, 14 Sep 2010 19:30:07 +0000
<![CDATA[ My Go-to Place for Lunch]]> Big Momma's is my go-to place for lunch. It is located at 217 E. Commercial Street in downtown Springfield and open from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday; 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. It is closed on Sunday.

I have never had a bad meal at Big Momma's. My favorite sandwiches are The Jacquelin (turkey), The Drury Lane (chicken salad), and the Barber Shop (roast beef). My dad is partial to The Hobo Alley (PB&J). My favorite salad is Momma's Elegant. The quiche and soup are also good, although I don't see them on the online menu. And I never leave Big Momma's without ordering one of the homemade brownies. They're HUGE and delicious.

I go to Big Momma's so often that the owner, cook, and I are on a first-name basis. They are Lyle and Joe, respectively, in case you were wondering.

Support Springfield's downtown proprietor's and eat at Big Momma's. You won't regret it.

P.S. The ambiance at Big Momma's is shabby coffee shop chic.]]> Tue, 14 Sep 2010 16:12:24 +0000