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Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Unexpected Dining Pleasures

Fajitas at Tequila's Northwood

I know we're already in a new year but I'm stuck in the old - reliving some of my favorite places.

My hubby and I eat out a lot, and while we usually visit places we enjoy, there are those times that we come upon something new that is such a great experience that it sticks in our memories long after.

Echo Bluff for which the
park is named
Four places from last year come instantly to mind. Let me preface the first by saying that we try Mexican restaurants almost everywhere we travel and enjoy most of them. Perhaps the most unexpected place we found was in a small town in northern Iowa. When I thought of Iowa, I didn't think of Mexican food, but Tequila's in Northwood changed that. This great little restaurant is owned by a young couple who understand that a combination of good food and friendly service can't be beat.

Blackberry Cobbler at Echo Bluff
We found the second restaurant in a not-so-ordinary place; the new Echo Bluff State Park in southern Missouri. We attended a pre-opening event and expected the beautiful surroundings. The park amazed us - from a top-class resort to a great dining experience. Mix that with a friendly staff and it makes for an outstanding adventure. Think canoeing, fishing or sightseeing followed by a fantastic dinner!

Doe's Eat Place
We had driven around Fort Smith, Arkansas, a number of times on our way south, but had never spent time there. But last summer changed that when we spent a week exploring and eating our way through the city. I should mention we tried several excellent places including Bricktown Brewery and R Landry's. I can still taste the homemade bread pudding at R Landry's!
Small filet mignon

We still talk about Doe's Eat Place. While I understand it is a regional chain, we had never heard of it. The steaks - as well as everything else we tried - were superb. The restaurant is located in an old brewery and we were seated in the cellar - talk about atmosphere. I admit we don't eat steaks often, but we loved the thick, juicy cuts. He had the porterhouse and I tried the filet mignon.

The 39th Street pizza
I recently wrote about Artego's in Kansas City, the place we found when looking for another. Located in Westport, next to Q39, the well-known barbecue restaurant, Artego's serves delicious pizza. We consider it a real Kansas City find.

Okay, I'll stop now and look forward to new experiences in 2017, but I certainly don't want to forget the treasures we found in 2016.