Last week, my brother and I met in Missouri to visit family and have our mother’s ashes interred alongside her parents’ graves. At least five generations of Mom’s people are buried there in her home town.
Despite our somber errand, the trip as a whole was actually fun. David and I had a sort of unspoken agreement to avoid eating in any major chain restaurants, not that there’s anything wrong with Denny’s or Chili’s. But we can eat at their restaurants any time.
So we searched out local places. . .
Nevada, Missouri: A small city where we lived for a couple of years as children. David remembers eating here at the White Grill and we were delighted to find it still in business. So we dropped in for coffee.
A waitress cheerfully interpreted signature menu items like “Mess” and “Whistle Burger.” When David told her we’d lived in Nevada more than fifty years ago and were surprised to find the Grill still open, she said, “Yeah, I don’t think it’s ever gonna go away.” We came back the next morning for breakfast, and bought souvenir coffee mugs.
Warsaw, Missouri: The Common Ground Cafe on Main Street turned out to be a charming pub-like retreat on three levels. They feature rustic furnishings and delicious sandwiches on fresh-baked bread.
Sedalia, Missouri: Knowing Sedalia had been a railroad and cattle-shipping hub, what could be more local than a barbecue place where you could eat in an actual 1920s railroad dining car?
Kehde’s Barbeque didn’t disappoint. We both got two-meat combo plates, which include bread and two sides, or “pieces of baggage.” The meat was so tender I barely had to chew it. And talk about nostalgia–they’d even placed antique luggage in the overhead racks.
There were other local gems, but I don’t have time to describe them all right now.
If you’re traveling, I’d suggest seeking out local eateries. With online reviews to help steer you clear of the truly terrible, it’s pretty low risk and lots more interesting than the same-old same-old.
Your turn: I enjoy eating and discovering new places. How about sharing your local favorites in the “Leave a Reply” box below?
Thanks for reading!