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Branson, MO

Branson, MO
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  • Branson, MO

    Post #1 - March 12th, 2007, 11:30 pm
    Post #1 - March 12th, 2007, 11:30 pm Post #1 - March 12th, 2007, 11:30 pm
    Hi,

    I have family visiting Branson, MO. At some point this week, they are going to look at me with a twinkle in their eye: "What do your friends recommend in Branson?"

    You, my friends, will make my family very happy if you have any suggestions. If I load them up with ideas now, then I won't have to do a harried OnStar call later on. :)

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #2 - March 13th, 2007, 7:46 am
    Post #2 - March 13th, 2007, 7:46 am Post #2 - March 13th, 2007, 7:46 am
    One of my favorite places in the Branson vacinity is the College of the Ozarks, a small cooperative college about half hour south of Branson.

    College of the Ozarks is very similar to Berea College where the college charges no tuition and runs a hotel, restaurant, and a number of student-run businesses.

    http://www.cofo.edu/visitorInfo.asp?page=10
    http://www.keetercenter.edu/dining.asp?page=4


    I really enjoy the restaurant which is a real gem. It is NOT a fancy place but it serves some of the best "down home" southern cooking I have had in a long time. The ham and beans are excellent. The college prepares its own hams, jellies and the like.

    There is also a hotel but we have never stayed there.

    Finally, do stop at the campus museum which features the greatest collection of Kewpir dolls.

    I think that you will enjoy the place.
  • Post #3 - March 14th, 2007, 7:29 am
    Post #3 - March 14th, 2007, 7:29 am Post #3 - March 14th, 2007, 7:29 am
    Hi,

    I'm not going, though my parents are heading in that direction.

    Thanks for the tip in the college. My Mom will enjoy the kewpie museum.

    Do you have any experience in Branson proper?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways,
  • Post #4 - March 14th, 2007, 7:59 am
    Post #4 - March 14th, 2007, 7:59 am Post #4 - March 14th, 2007, 7:59 am
    As for Branson proper, I do not have any great recommendations. We used to head there once a year as an excuse to get out of St. Louis.

    Branson is more geared towards people who like to go to several live shows. The food that we had has been OK but generally not all that great. The key is to hit some of the restaurants when they are not very busy.
  • Post #5 - March 30th, 2007, 8:48 pm
    Post #5 - March 30th, 2007, 8:48 pm Post #5 - March 30th, 2007, 8:48 pm
    I only have limited experience (Labor Day weekend last fall), and most of Branson is "all you can eat" buffets of limited quality, but we stumbled upon Danna's BBQ & Burgers (Hwy 13, 3/4 mile South of Hwy 76 Branson West, MO 65737) and I believe there's another location in "real" Branson.
    We were staying on Indian Point, near Silver Dollar City, and this was the most promising restaurant that wasn't a chain.
    GREAT pulled pork barbecue and ribs, burgers, onion rings, etc. There were 3 Highway Patrol cars parked there, so I figured if it was good enough for them, it was good enough for us. And it was even better!
    And if they're passing through Ozark on the way to Branson on Highway 65, there's always Lambert's, home of the throwed rolls. We missed eating there, as I got us lost trying to exit Branson on Labor Day afternoon, but my family raved about it. Family-style, hot rolls, sorghum molasses ladled on the table paper to dip your rolls in, etc.
  • Post #6 - March 30th, 2007, 9:17 pm
    Post #6 - March 30th, 2007, 9:17 pm Post #6 - March 30th, 2007, 9:17 pm
    My family and I ate at the Lambert's in Sikeston (near Cape Girardeau) and rather liked it. Pretty standard country cuisine, but a more personalized and idiosyncratic "chain" (of three restaurants). Sorghum molasses on each table and good throwed rolls (they toss them - sometimes - that's the deal).
  • Post #7 - April 4th, 2007, 5:08 pm
    Post #7 - April 4th, 2007, 5:08 pm Post #7 - April 4th, 2007, 5:08 pm
    Well, I was going to recommend the Blue Heron, but then I realized that it was in Lake Ozark, not Branson! Oh well, what's a few miles?

    Anyway, the Blue Heron is a great place, with a fine wine list.

    I don't think I've ever had a really good meal in Branson, come to think of it. : (

    Sorry C2. I'll ask a buddy, see what he says.

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #8 - March 26th, 2008, 7:36 am
    Post #8 - March 26th, 2008, 7:36 am Post #8 - March 26th, 2008, 7:36 am
    Cathy, any updates from your family as to thier Branson experience?

    I'm heading out there for a deposition on Monday and forced to be there for two days, so any new and improved recommendations...

    Branson, MO: “My dad says it’s like Vegas — if it were run by Ned Flanders.”
  • Post #9 - August 8th, 2013, 6:25 pm
    Post #9 - August 8th, 2013, 6:25 pm Post #9 - August 8th, 2013, 6:25 pm
    Any recent reports from Branson?
  • Post #10 - August 12th, 2013, 7:13 am
    Post #10 - August 12th, 2013, 7:13 am Post #10 - August 12th, 2013, 7:13 am
    One place that I would recommend is the student-run restaurant - the Keefer Center at the University of the Ozarks. The University of Ozarks is one of those small colleges that charge no tuition and require that the students work a number of hours at the university in lieu of tuition and fees. (Berea College in KY is another.)

    I have not been there is a few years. When I was, the ham and beans were phenomenal. I believe that it is a bit more upscale than it used to be.

    The kewpie museum is worth a stop.
  • Post #11 - August 12th, 2013, 8:18 am
    Post #11 - August 12th, 2013, 8:18 am Post #11 - August 12th, 2013, 8:18 am
    Branson MO: I've lived and/or worked in MO for 42 yrs and alls I can say is that Branson is the Platonic Ideal of honky-tonk. Word.

    Geo
    PS. And *of course* you can take the kids on the DUKW ride!!
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #12 - August 12th, 2013, 8:23 am
    Post #12 - August 12th, 2013, 8:23 am Post #12 - August 12th, 2013, 8:23 am
    I'm actually going to be in Branson for a conference so I'll only get to see it at night. I might try to hit the Keefer Center but their website says they close at 8 which might be too early for us.
  • Post #13 - August 15th, 2013, 6:00 am
    Post #13 - August 15th, 2013, 6:00 am Post #13 - August 15th, 2013, 6:00 am
    After a couple lousy meals around town, I made it a point to head to the Keeter Center for dinner last night. Thanks for the recommendation, it was excellent.

    (Sorry for the portrait photos. I was using my cell phone and didn't think to rotate it. Whoops!)

    Keeter Center at the College of the Ozarks

    Image

    The Keeter Center is both a restaurant and a hotel. The restaurant is called the Dobyn's Dining Room and all the servers and chefs are students at the College of the Ozarks. We had to wait about 30 minutes to be seated which was interesting because the dining room was half empty. I appreciated that they didn't overcrowd the dining room and overwhelm the staff. Also, it's worth noting that they seated a party at 7:45 PM even though the website says they close at 8 PM.

    Image

    We requested a seat on the patio which made for great views of the sun setting over the student-run farms that operate behind the Keeter Center complete with a cow grazing in the distance. The service was extremely efficient and friendly. The students take a lot of pride in this restaurant and it really shows.

    Image

    For appetizers we ordered the smoked tomato soup and the fried green tomatoes. The fried tomatoes were crisp with a greaseless cornmeal crust. They were served with a housemade jalapeno jam and pico de gallo. The tomato soup was sensational, probably the best I've tomato soup ever had. It packed a deep umami flavor so much so that we had to double check with the waitress that they didn't use any beef stock in it. They say it's famous on the menu and I believe them.

    They also brought out fresh baked whole wheat rolls and cranberry biscuits. The rolls and biscuits are made with wheat they mill themselves and they're served with butter (cow's milk) and apple butter that they make at the college. They are dedicated to making everything from scratch with local ingredients and the results speak for themselves. The college goes by the nickname "Hard Work U" so the ethic is something they're preaching to all the students.

    Image

    For an entree I had the chicken fried chicken that's topped with pepper gravy. The crust on the chicken is thick and crunchy which stands up to the juicy pounded chicken breast meat. Once again the crust was greaseless and the side of crunchy green beans were the first fresh vegetables I'd had in 3 days.

    For dessert we had a scoop of root beer float ice cream which is a mixture of root beer sorbet and vanilla ice cream. It actually really worked well particularly since the texture on the ice cream (made at a near by creamery of course) was so creamy and the flavors were so vibrant.

    Everything about the experience was wonderful. Thanks so much for the recommendation!
  • Post #14 - August 15th, 2013, 7:49 am
    Post #14 - August 15th, 2013, 7:49 am Post #14 - August 15th, 2013, 7:49 am
    turkob, your post makes me look forward to my first visit to the Ozarks, and glad that I live only 4 hours away!
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #15 - April 2nd, 2024, 12:39 pm
    Post #15 - April 2nd, 2024, 12:39 pm Post #15 - April 2nd, 2024, 12:39 pm
    Reviving this thread to post about an odd discovery in Branson: Grocery stores there carry "Boston Burger", a blend of 40% ground pork 60% ground beef, for making hamburgers. The package claimed 80% lean. We grilled some Boston burgers at our AirBnB and they were darn good. Liked it well enough to plan to mix this up at home from some of the lean ground pork from Butera or the Latino grocers and some pub burger. Another odd thing about the Branson area: Bakeries there make very nice sweet rolls and desserts but don't make bread or buns. Finally got some decent burger buns from Country Market - other grocers were all packaged stuff.

    And restaurants in the Branson haven't changed much since the previous posts. We mostly cooked in but did go to the buffet at Godfather's Pizza. Ms. R was nostalgic for the pizza of her youth. But the item that earns the buffet nearly 5 stars on Google is the broasted chicken. Excellent mild pressure fried chicken, giant tender juicy parts, although it didn't have the trademarked Broasted seasoning.

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