Summer arrived in Missouri this year like a surprise visit from the in-laws – abrupt and intense. From savory barbecue to thirst-quenching cocktails, battle the heat and humidity by delving into some mouth-watering warm weather staples found around the Show-Me State.
Fact: high temperatures require refreshing beverages. Also fact: Brookside Barrio in Kansas City has eight house-made margaritas on their menu. Pair a Spicy Piña (habanero-pineapple infused tequila and triple sec) with a fresh-mex menu option like the cilantro red snapper plate with chimichurri and mango relish.
Columbia's first brewery since 1841, Flat Branch Pub and Brewing offers not only a diverse, made-from-scratch menu, but over 10 handcrafted beers to choose from. Take respite from the summer heat on the shaded patio, while munching on the World Famous Chokes 'n' Cheese and sipping a honey wheat or housemade root beer.
Experience a new twist on a classic summer favorite at Steve's Hot Dogs, with locations in The Hill and Tower Grove neighborhoods in St. Louis. Get messy with the Back Yard BBQ Dog topped with tangy baked beans, fresh potato salad, bacon and barbecue sauce. Sample The Storm Trooper Dog, smoked Salsiccia smothered in made-from-scratch Alfredo, bacon, French's Fried Onions and fresh grated Parmesan. Napkins at the ready.
Craving a big, juicy burger? Find 16 unusual yet appetizing options on the menu at Mary Jane Burgers and Brew in Perryville, where the hamburgers are made with locally grown beef and served on fresh-baked buns. Order the PB-Que Burger with peanut butter, bacon, caramelized onions and porter barbecue sauce or the John Boy, a double beef burger topped with pepper jack, bacon, fried onion petals and chipotle aioli. Choose from one of 23 brews on tap to wash it all down.
Ripe, red strawberries are the epitome of summer, and at Peggy Jean's Pies in Columbia, they make their debut in the White Chocolate Strawberry pie, named one of the "Best Pies in America" by Food Network. If strawberry is not your jam, choose from the wide variety of fruit, nut, cream, and savory pies made daily by the mother-daughter duo who own the bakery.
No summer is complete without the enticing aroma of perfectly grilled cuts of meat dripping with tangy barbecue sauce, accompanied by thirst-quenching beverages. Luckily, father and son Jeff and Josh Edwards have recently opened downtown Lee's Summit's first barbecue brewery, Smoke Brewing Company, a perfect marriage of the two. Order the Smoked Meat Platter with a side of Hush Piggies, a delectable, fried ball of bacon, scallions, jalapeno, and cheddar.
Beat Missouri's summer heat (and surprise family visits) with some of the hot eats the Show-Me State has to offer. Don't forget to tag your food pics #MissouriAdventure.
Written by Amanda Long.