A Summertime Guide to Eating in Missouri

June 11, 2018

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.

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.

Local produce highlights the farm-fresh menu at Farmer's Gastropub in Springfield. As the restaurant relies heavily on local purveyors, all of which are listed on the gastropub's website, menu items change based on seasonal availability. Slurp the savory ramen featuring Circle B Ranch smoked ham hocks, Willow Mountain mushrooms, Box Turtle Farm kale, a Blue Heron Farm soy duck egg, miso broth, green onions and sesame seeds.

No summer is complete without the enticing aroma of perfectly grilled slabs of meat dripping with tangy barbecue sauce. Originator of "burnt ends," renowned Arthur Bryant's in Kansas City has been serving up barbecue since 1946. Eat your fill of delectably smoked ribs, beef, ham, pork, chicken and sausage, highlighted by Arthur Bryant's famous original or rich and spicy sauce.

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.

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