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Travel: Top 5 food & wine destinations

Thursday, May 10, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 5:44 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Jaime Bass plays a game of billiards at Booches, 110 S. Ninth St., in Columbia. Booches is known for its burgers and billiard tables.

(B indicates breakfast; L indicates lunch; D indicates dinner.)

1. The Rails Catfish & Seafood Buffet

What the heck is Missouri food?

Jody S. Feldman, 51, lives in suburban St. Louis. She’s the author of “CitySmart Guidebook: St. Louis,” and a children’s book, “The Gollywhopper Games,” which will be published in 2008. “It’s nearly impossible to categorize food in Missouri because each area resides under different influences. St. Louis has more of an Eastern pace; Kansas City feels the tempo of the West; northern Missouri finds commonalities with its border states while the Bootheel takes on a Southern flavor. And in the middle, the heartland, you’ll find a great mix of rural sensibilities punctuated with some city stylings from Columbia and Jefferson City.”

Established in 1993 and located in Branson, the eatery has old railroad decor and is famous for catfish.

433 Animal Safari Road,

Branson, 417-336-3401. Hours are selective and seasonal, so please call ahead.

2. Arthur Bryant’s

Famous statewide for barbecue, Arthur Bryant is known as the “King of Ribs” and has attracted the likes of Harry Truman, Steven Spielberg and Jack Nicholson. There are two locations in Kansas City, Mo., and one in Kansas City, Kan. 1727 Brooklyn Ave., Kansas City, Mo., 816-231-1123; 1702 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kan., 913-788-7500; 3200 N. Ameristar Drive, Kansas City, Mo., 816-414-7474. L/D. Open every day.

3. Cookin’ From Scratch

They’re famous for their delicious fried chicken, and they also have a deli that makes pizzas and other eats.

90 Truman St., Newburg, 573-762-3111. B/L/D. Open every day, but no dinner on Sundays.

4. Adam Puchta Winery

The oldest family-owned winery in the state is located in Hermann; it is a great place to escape for a day and sample some wine., 1947 Frene Creek Road, Hermann, 573-486-5596. Open every day, but hours are seasonal.

5. Booches Billiard Hall

In the heart of Columbia, the restaurant is known for its small, juicy burgers. Don’t expect a check or plates; instead a sever will tell you what you owe, and there’s parchment paper for the burgers. With a small-town feel, dark décor, a massive wooden bar and billiards tables, be prepared to wait for good food.

110 S. Ninth St., Columbia, 573-874-9519.

L/D. Closed Sundays (they will “see you in church”).


5. Lambert’s Café

With two locations in Missouri – Sikeston and Ozark – this restaurant is known as the “only home of the throwed rolls.” It also serves traditional Missouri fare such as catfish and fried chicken.

L/D. Open every day.,

2305 East Malone, Sikeston, 573-471-4261; 1800 W. Route J, Ozark, 417-581-7655.

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