Named after the three-time NFL Pro Bowler, Billy Sims Barbecue whips up tasty slow-smoked pork, beef brisket, ribs, and more while allowing carnivorous connoisseurs to sample transcendently tender meats. Like a rechargeable cigar, all of the menu’s meats are smoked fresh daily. The protein-starved and the indecisive can feast on combo plate dinners ($9.99–$12.99), pairing brisket, pulled pork, bologna, hot links, Polish sausages, chicken, smoked turkey, or ribs with sides such as beans, cole slaw, smoked corn on the cob, and more. Meat mavens can also indulge in the Heisman, a dish of pulled pork or chopped brisket piled high and topped off with a slice of bologna and a hot link ($7.49). Sports memorabilia adorns the walls of the family-friendly establishment, reflecting the achievements of its namesake football legend and his uncanny ability to break down defensive formations with politely offered samples of tangy sauces.
When Travis Dickey opened the first Dickey’s Barbecue Pit in 1941, the menu offered beef brisket, pit hams, barbecue beans, potato chips, drinks, and that’s all. By focusing on perfecting the flavors of a few dishes, Travis was able to increase quality, and, ultimately, customers. Patrons were so enamored of the food that the restaurant eventually expanded into a nationwide franchise, allowing Americans all over to wear badges made of barbecue sauce. Dickey’s has been passed on to Travis’s sons, but not much else has changed—the quality meats are still seasoned and smoked onsite, and except for the addition of spicy cheddar sausage in 2011, the menu has remained largely the same for the last 50 years.
Regional meats ensure that the most succulent Texas-style chopped beef brisket, old-recipe polish sausage, and fall-off-the-bone pork ribs make it to tabletops. Sides such as mac 'n' cheese and green beans with bacon continue to enhance feasts with an extra punch of homestyle tastiness. Each meal comes complete with complimentary ice cream, soft rolls, and dill pickles.
A decade of recipe honing has informed the success of Richard's Hawgwild BBQ. The kitchen team prepares barbecue version of chicken, beef brisket, and pulled pork either by the pound or on sandwiches. They also make comfort food such as nachos, beans, and cole slaw.
Freezing Missouri winter winds howl outside Tropical Liqueurs' fogged-up windows, but inside, the atmosphere is decidedly beach-like. Palm trees and nautical knickknacks decorate the lively interior, but the true stars of this tropically themed watering hole are the frozen-drink dispensers, which churn with colorful, fruity potations. Bartenders load large styrofoam cups with potent slushies made from creative combinations of juices, liqueurs, and fruit purées. They rotate drink selections regularly, spotlighting a toasted-almond concoction one week—packed with coffee liquor, amaretto, and vanilla ice cream—and a daiquiri with fresh strawberries the next. Icy potations in hand, visitors turn their attention to games of pool or flat-screen televisions, which broadcast local sports games or horror movies where local sports games come to a temporary halt when the mascot turns out to be an actual tiger. During warmer months, visitors loll in the sun out on the wooden patio and enjoy the beverages that Inside Columbia hailed as a "Columbia staple" when it dubbed Tropical Liqueurs the Best Place for a Girls' Night Out in 2012.
The Blue Bull is a new spot that serves up savory American fare and cocktails in a lively atmosphere. Lavish taste buds with signature burgers like the Blue Bull Burger, its fresh hand-pattied ground beef draped in blue cheese and topped off with crispy smoked bacon and onion tanglers ($8.99). Or take on the Kansas City strip steak, served with Texas Toast and a half-pound of fries ($7.99). Their martini list bursts with tasty concoctions like Bubblegum and Jungle Boogie for sipping at their comfy outdoor patio, or while various foreign and domestic beers act as thoughtful gifts to recently undammed mouths.
The team behind Taste of Main Street America perused every state in the nation to fill 280 pages with recipes and photographs from eateries located on the Main Street of their respective cities and towns. Readers' palates are whisked to Connecticut with the Willimantic Brewing Company's parmesan-encrusted tuna, and Oklahoma's easy lasagna bake provides relief on nights when the oven is exhausted from its day job as an accountant. Whipping up a dish of homemade lemon squares by the specifications of the Fifth & Main restaurant in Alabama can turn new neighbors into twice-a-day window knockers fiending for the tart treat, and the fresh flavors of Rhode Island's heirloom tomato salad with chilled cucumber soup rouses taste buds with a symphony of fresh flavors. The book is available for pickup at 12 locations throughout the southwest Missouri region, and it can also be shipped online.