The scent of freshly baked biscuits, peppery gravy, and fried potatoes waft out of Republic Cafe’s kitchen 24 hours a day. Like the red, white, and blue of the French flag, the diner's housemade breakfasts pay homage to Americana, especially the country-fried skillet—a mound of hashbrowns topped with sautéed peppers and onions, cubes of country-fried steak, two eggs, and country gravy. Comfort-food classics populate the lunch menu as well, which stars BLTs, chicken-fried chicken, and open-faced beef sandwiches floating in a pool of savory, brown gravy.
Emack & Bolio’s reinvents classic soda fountain traditions by slinging a selection of gourmet ice cream and hearty hot dogs in a range of innovative forms. Staffers dig scoops into ice-cream tubs filled with flavors such as vanilla-bean speck, creamy chocolate, and mint chocolate chip to outfit cones, smoothies, brownie sandwiches, and dunce caps on undercover missions. Meanwhile, chefs toil at the grill to cook up 12 types of Nathan’s quarter-pound hot dogs and fashion a full menu of salads and sandwiches from old family recipes. Outside, a shaded patio beckons guests to cool off and enjoy the scenery of nearby Sequiota Park.:m]]
To mix their love of coffee and BMX biking, business owners Joe West and Jason Strother operate a coffee bar and cycling retail/service space. Schedule a basic tune-up for a fully geared bike of any type—not just BMX— to ensure all gears, sprockets, and chains are properly lubricated with the oil from the top of a jar of natural peanut butter.
Seven days a week, the soft hum of bees can be heard buzzing around Honey Heaven, a boutique lined with decorative tea sets, children's toys, and a multitude of honey products. The sound isn’t coming from outside. Rather, it echoes from right inside the shop, where a swarm of bees scurry inside a glass-paned observation hive. This secured structure gives guests a chance to admire the bees, working hard as they extract honey from their combs and knit their Queen a sweater. Knowledgeable guides are on hand to walk guests through informative bee tours and explain the shop's vast selection of nectars, beauty products, and gourmet foods, all infused with the local, raw honey.
The shop's adjoining restaurant, Bee-stro Cafe—which offers free WiFi—lets diners taste the fruits of the bees’ labor in the form of honey-infused entrees such as nitrate-free turkey breast and grilled antibiotic-free chicken. Honey can also be found in the shop’s sweet lemonade drink and signature cake. The rest of the menu is dedicated to homemade meals, from hearty meatball and crisp salads topped with mandarin oranges to both a soup and quiche of the day.
A giant waffle cone in the middle of Simply Yo announces either that dessert is imminent or there is a 15-foot-tall child on the loose. The shop's pasteurized, homogenized yogurt is certified kosher and brimming with real dairy containing live and active cultures, which are recognized by the Live Active Frozen Yogurt Association. They aid digestion while tempting palates in 16 rotating, self-serve flavors like Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel, White Chocolate Mousse, Dreamy Dark Chocolate, and Cookies N Cream?as well as eight twist combos?that guests can fashion into their own custom fro-yo desserts. At the toppings bar, guests can further customize their yogurt swirls with more than 40 treats, including Ghirardelli chocolate and caramel sauces.
Simply Yo puts out its spread of nonfat, gluten-free, no sugar added and nondairy yogurts in a lounge that is elevated past standard yogurt-shop environs. The interior boasts whimsical room dividers, plush couches, and of course, the giant waffle cone. The staff welcomes guests to check their email with the shop's complimentary WiFi or have a meeting in their private rooms.
Growing up, the only thing Michael Stone loved more than the country-style of life he saw on TV shows such as Hee Haw and Petticoat Junction, was spicy Cuban cuisine. Of course, it was easy to find an authentic Cuban sandwich in his home town of Tampa, Florida. In Missouri?not so much. So when he moved to Springfield, Michael decided to combine his two loves into one unique business: Country Girls Espresso. True to its name, the drive-up shop features hot and iced coffee drinks?including cafe Cubano shots and cafe con leche?alongside a range of flavored lattes. But in addition to the drinks, the staff also craft authentic Cuban sandwiches. Made just the way the are in Cuban-centric neighborhoods in Tampa and Miami, the sandwiches feature roast pork, ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles, served between slices of pressed cuban bread or stuffed inside a Panama hat. Of course, there are other sandwich options too, including the signature Country Girls Sandwich, which features turkey, cream cheese, and a choice of guava or raspberry.