I Need Your Help

100_1898When you’re a cook people make all sorts of assumptions about your tastes.  I’ve had friends who were “intimidated” to have me to dinner – worried that their meal wouldn’t “measure up”.  I’ve had people tell me about a favorite restaurant or food in a nearly apologetic tone as they then qualified that it might not be “good enough” for my tastes.  I’ve had people refer to my “sophisticated palate” which almost always earns them a subtle roll of the eyes and even possibly a sigh.  The truth is that being able to cook doesn’t change what you love.  Just because I “could” make lobster with rich sauces or perfectly cooked filets every night doesn’t mean I do – or even want to.  I still love diner food.  I still think spaghetti and meatballs is one of the greatest meals ever and my family still gets tacos made from the Old El Paso kit at least twice a month – it’s their favorite and one of mine.

100_1890So all of this to say, “Get over yourselves People!  I need you.”  You see, in just over 2 weeks, I’ll be taking a trip.  My family and I will be piling in the car and heading to Branson, Missouri for 8 nights and 9 days of “Las Vegas for families”, or as we like to refer to it around here the, “Hey, I thought they were dead!” tour.  You see, it seems that my oldest son has found himself on a baseball team that has qualified for the USSSA World Series.  Branson is not where I would necessarily CHOOSE to spend 9 days of vacation but that is where we have to go so I’m determined to make the best of it.

Those of you who know me well know that I love roadfood and always have.  Thanks to Alton Brown’s Feasting on Asphalt and Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, roadfood has seen a resurgence in popularity.  But for me, it’s always been the highlight of any trip and a good reason to avoid flying at any cost. 100_1896

So I’m planning our Branson trip and I need your help.  Have you been?  Have you made the drive from North Texas?  What are the must-stops?  What are the must-eats?  I know about Fried Pies on Oklahoma and handmade pasta from the immigrant town of Krebs.  I’ve heard about Fried Potatoes at Silver Dollar City and the Grand Country Buffet near the strip.  What am I missing?  Our route to Branson will take us through Oklahoma into Fayetteville and then north.  Coming home will be a more scenic drive through Hot Springs and Texarkana.  And I’m certainly not unwilling to take one of our nine days and make a road trip to St. Louis or Kansas City.  I’ve heard they have some pretty good barbecue.  If you know of anything else there, or between Branson and there, I’d appreciate the heads up.  Nothing is too divey or dirty for me, if the food is good.  I’ll be blogging the entire trip – mostly about the food. 

So comment here if you know of some places.  I can’t wait to add them to my list!

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