Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Hillbilly Tour of Epicurean Delights

If there's one thing My Hillbilly knows about it's food. He's here today to  share some food insights with you. Is it good? Two words: deep-fried bacon.

Being a hillbilly and a fine food connoisseur (somewhat), I decided to give information that all you non-connoisseurs might appreciate, such as some of what I consider my favorite foods, restaurants, etc.  Now, I realize some may disagree with my choices, but remember, the reason you won’t agree is your non-connoisseurism!

Fried Chicken
Looking at different foods, best fried chicken ever was at McShane's, (no longer in business), in Conway, Missouri.  This chicken was served on their Sunday buffet (was not what they served during the week) and was phenomenal.  Just as good or better, was special cut bacon, breaded with the same stuff as their chicken and also deep fried.

My favorite hamburger from a restaurant, was at Wyota Inn in Lebanon, Mo.  The restaurant is no longer the same.  They had a hamburger called the Ox Burger.  It had 12 ounces of hamburger and goodness.  They had a smaller 8 ounces of burger with cheese called the Yellow jacket burger, (named after the LHS mascot.)

 They also had some good greasy onion rings.  A single order of onion rings was an entire, mounded platter.  And on top of that, the restaurant was known far and wide for their pies. Let’s see, an oxburger, fries, onion rings, finished off with a big thick piece of coconut cream pie ---Mmmm good!  Oh quit complaining, heart. Man up and take one for the team!

Best restaurant for pies was a place called Trotters.  They had a couple of locations in Springfield, MO.  They are no longer in business.  They were a great barbecue place.  I particularly liked their ham and beef barbecue sandwich and their buffet which had great cinnamon rolls.  But the star of the show as far as I was concerned was their German chocolate pie.  It was nigh on to perfect.  I have been looking for recipes to try to duplicate it. Wish me luck in accomplishing that!

Best pecan pie ---- my wife's!  Sorry!  She doesn’t just make them for everyone!  They are mine ---- all mine!   Ya –Ha-Ha!  Speaking of pecan pie, when I was in school in Springfield, MO, there was a place called the Coffee Shop in the basement of The YMCA, that made mock pecan pie.  It was wonderful!  When I was young and could eat gobs, I would buy two pieces!  They claimed that no one could get the recipe from the manager.  When I got ready to leave Springfield, I bribed him to get it.  I got it, but it was never quite the same????  I don’t know why unless he stiffed me!  It was still pretty good!

For steak, we go to Texas Roadhouse in this area.  However, my favorite is J. Bruners at Osage Beach, by Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.  They also specialize in deep fried lobster, which is very good and very rich!  They have great salad which is brought to you in a bowl with all the fixin's and dressings.  Though I love ranch dressing, they make their own creamy Italian dressing which is probably my all time favorite salad dressing!  Oh, and according to my daughter, and I probably also agree, they have the best onion rings anywhere.  Of course, there are a whole bunch of restaurants that are great at Lake of the Ozarks!

Lake of the Ozarks Dining 

Mexican food can stir up an argument!  There are the purists who claim old time Mexican food is the best!  I disagree and I have figured out why.  Original Mexican food is made with cheaper cuts of meat and the meats are not flavored as much.  It seems like the flavoring is mostly done with sauces.  In Modesto, I like Chevy’s for their chips and salsa, their steak quesadillas, and their fajitas, (all types).  Some will say that they are not original.  Okay, I agree – but there are a whole lot of Mexicans that seem to really like it too!  In Missouri, Mexican Villa in Springfield has a great burrito enchilada style.  They also have the best cheesy dip I have seen to go with chips.  

Probably my favorite place to eat Mexican was at Lake of the Ozarks at another place that closed.  They had great chips and salsa and when you had to wait for a table, they sometimes took fresh warm tortillas and filled them with strawberries and whipped cream to hold you over while you waited.  Give me a few of those and something to drink and someone else can have my table!  

They also had a great walnut brownie and ice cream on which they drizzled fudge or chocolate sauce.  They also drizzled the sauce on the plate to decorate it.  I was a little startled once, when I took a young woman there on one of those get to know one another to see if we wanted to actually go out on a real date type of occasions.  She wound up eating the brownie and ice cream and then licked the sauce from the plate --- while looking at me!  I was thinking, please do not let anyone else be seeing this and if so, please not let it be someone who knows me!   Check please!  Not exactly my type!  No, we didn’t ever go out again!

Best cheesecake I ever had was at one of the Mexican restaurants down by Lake of the Ozarks.  They deep fried the cheesecake in flour tortillas and topped it off with strawberries and whipped cream and there was some other topping you could get.  I forget what it was because I got hung up on the strawberry and whipped cream one.

Best Chinese ever, was actually Korean but said it was Chinese because most people think of Chinese food.  It was an all you could eat buffet in Lebanon, Mo.  It wasn’t in the best location but the food was ultra-fresh and ultra-good. They had all types of chicken and all types of beef recipes.  All of them were good and flavored to where each could choose to fit their limit of heated spiciness.  One of the best Chinese recipes ever is Cashew chicken as invented in Springfield, Missouri of all places!  They have nothing like it here in California. Best egg drop soup and cashew chicken I have eaten was at another hole in the wall place in Lebanon, Mo.  I forget the name.

I could go into others but can probably get a good enough argument going on just this list.

From the Hillbilly’s Corner  
The Hillbilly, fine food connoisseuer

So, why is it that none of The Hillbilly's favorite Missouri restaurants are no longer in business? Could it be because he moved to California?