Cooler temperatures have reluctantly debuted in Missouri, which means one thing. Okay, three things. Sweaters. Boots. Comfort food. Relish hearty, delectable dishes that keep you warm inside and out at these Show-Me State restaurants.
Odds are you were forced to eat Brussels sprouts at some point in your life. These miniature cabbage-like vegetables are actually insanely flavorsome when roasted...with bacon…lots of bacon. Or chicken-fried and served with buttermilk dressing, confit lemon and pickled onions - as they are at The Chocolate Pig in St. Louis. The same goes for beets, also an underrated (and sometimes unfairly detested) fall vegetable. Give the Copper Pig's beet fries with whipped goat cheese a chance - the combo is dynamite.
What began as a farmers market offering, Green Truck Bakery now has a brick-and-mortar location in Warrensburg producing west central Missouri's first natural, wood-fired artisan bread. Choose from mouth-watering flavors such as festive cranberry almond and golden raisin fennel. If you time it just right, you might be able to purchase a loaf still warm from the brick oven.
If you haven't tried axe-throwing, it is an invigorating and unforgettable experience. Add some comfort food, and you have Blade and Timber, located in the Power & Light District in downtown Kansas City. The spot offers 11 axe-throwing lanes along with darts and other games that can be enjoyed with a variety of regional beers, wines and cocktails. A full-service restaurant inside the space boasts a hearty food menu that includes a brioche-like waffle topped with hand-battered chicken tenders, chipotle honey sauce and southern slaw - an original version of chicken and waffles.
When you think of fall, pizza may not be the first food to come to mind, unless it is a slice that combines the highest quality ingredients with traditional Neapolitan wood-firing techniques. Il Lazzarone in St. Joseph is home to an Acunto Mario oven, handmade with soil from the base of Mount Vesuvius by a family of fourth generation artisans. This distinctive oven turns out some of the most authentic pizzas outside of Naples.
Remember Yoo-hoo, that peculiarly tasty chocolate soda of youthful days gone by? Visit Dogmaster Distillery in Columbia to enjoy this childhood favorite in a very adult way. The "Yoohooch" mixes housemade butterscotch candy-infused vodka with chocolate syrup, half-and-half and club soda. While the caloric intake may be high, so are the levels of warmth and enjoyment it provides.
To whomever had the ingenious idea to transform leftover, stale bread into the custardy deliciousness we refer to as bread pudding, I am forever indebted. Slip your fork into the chocolate chip bread pudding topped with chocolate ganache and vanilla anglaise at Soiree Steak & Oyster House in Kansas City. Other made-from-scratch options include peach cobbler a la mode and sweet potato cheesecake.
Wood-fire ovens, fall vegetables and chocolatey adult beverages: sounds pretty comforting to me. Stay warm the most appetizing way possible and dine at one of Missouri's many restaurants offering up comforting fall eats and drinks.
Written by Amanda Long