Though the entrees at The Dixie Cafe make the biggest splash across its menu marquee, they're threatened with gastronomical upstaging by the southern-style eatery's 19 sides and scratch-made gravies. The chicken-fried steak, for example, is a tender, hand-breaded fillet that fully blossoms with flavor only after chefs smother it with cream gravy and cheddar cheese. And the Cajun grilled catfish's down-home taste isn't fully developed until it is paired up with bites of turnip greens, fried okra, or a homemade roll. The classic platter meals take advantage of this by pairing an entree with two sides, rolls, and jalapeño cornbread and can be ordered "light" for a portion that's smaller than the regular size and easier to toss in the air and catch in your mouth.
Linda and Steve Wood broke the ground on their first Australian-themed enterprise when they opened The Outback Steak and Oyster Bar in 1987. Over the years, the eatery garnered enough attention from Ozark visitors that it inspired the couple to open the Outback Outfitters clothing store in 1989. Nearly a decade later the Woods converted the store into the Outback Pub, adorning its walls with Australian articles and serving a menu of down home, exotic fare. Wild appetizers such as kookaburra-sauce-laden gator tail cause taste buds to don tiny safari caps before trekking through entrees of seasoned grouper or the tavern's specialty Shepparton chicken pot pie. Sips from more than 100 beers bring tides of malty and hoppy flavor, while live entertainment hosted every night gives the dinner crowd a soundtrack more pleasing than compliment-whispering earmuffs.
Brewing their own line of beans and building sandwiches and salads behind the bar, the staff of Jammin Java relieves coffee cravings as well as hunger pangs. The espresso machine whirs to life as baristas steam milk to create lattes, cappuccinos, and puffy foam clouds shaped like manatees. Stop by in the morning for pastries. In the afternoons and evenings, you can munch on sandwiches stuffed with roast beef, hickory turkey, and fresh, crispy veggies.
To replicate the thin-crust pies found in New York's Italian-American neighborhoods, Giovanni's chefs make everything from scratch and bake their five-borough recreations atop a toasted hearthstone. They load their slices with layers of fresh mozzarella and an eclectic mix of toppings. Tables, draped in classic red-and-white checkered cloths, buckle under the weight of the pies, including the Coney Island piled with freshwater clams, garlic, and spices.
In addition to baking circular eats, the cooks marinate Sicilian-style chicken in extra-virgin olive oil and herbs before fire-roasting it on the rotisserie. Forks excavate the lasagna's layers, burrowing through strata of imported pasta, mozzarella, ricotta, and housemade tomato sauce, to unearth hearty pieces of meat or veggies.
248 Take and Bake prepares full, hearty meals for patrons to cook up and serve at home. Wings and salads prime appetites for thin-crust buffalo chicken, Hawaiian, or build-your-own pizzas. 248 Take and Bake completes meals with bags of kettle corn, containers of cookie dough, and gallons of sweet tea.