Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Dining on Route 36 "America's Way of Genius"

We recently took a road trip across Missouri on US Route 36, “The Way of American Genius”. The name comes from the fact that cities and villages along this 195 mile route were the hometowns to Mark Twain, the "unsinkable Molly Brown, Bill Lear (inventor of the Lear Jet and 8-track tapes) Gen. Omar Bradley, Walt Disney, Gen. John J. Pershing, the inventor of sliced bread, the inventor of the dial telephone, the Pony Express, Jesse James and Aunt Jemima among others. Needless to say, it gave us the opportunity to eat our way across the State.

The Mark Twain Dinette is a true piece of Americana and we had a fantastic lunch there while visiting Hannibal, MO.

I convinced Sue to have her first Maid-Rite and I had the same. This crumbly ground beef sandwich is served with a fork with good reason. It is impossible to pick it up and eat it like a normal burger. My previous experience with Maid-Rites was while I lived in Iowa and I found them to be the perfect end to an evening on the town. While I don't usually put mustard on a burger, I think it is the only condiment needed for a Maid-Rite. 
Their home-made root beer was excellent as was their peach pie with ice cream. They also serve onion rings “by the foot.” They come to your table stacked on a stick and are delicious! 
The Mark Twain Dinette opened February 2nd, 1942. It's stood at the same location of Third and Hill and is still neighbors with the Mark Twain Boyhood Home. 
The Dinette is famous for it's revolving root beer mug which still stands today. They also have a full menu of sandwiches and plate lunches and their famous Mark Twain Fried Chicken and catfish meals. There is something for everyone at the Mark Twain dinnette including a checker board place mat folded into a mug with a set of checkers for your gaming pleasure. It beats the heck out of golf tees in a triangle.
The Mark Twain Dinette, 400 North Third St. Hannibal, MO 63401 (573) 221-5300
Monday — Friday 6am —9pm Saturday — Sunday 7am — 9pm

The Pear Tree, in the small town Bevier, MO was a destination for people from all over the world. Birthdays, anniversaries, club events, business dinners and parties for all occasions and for “no occasion – just because.” The Pear Tree came to an end in November of 2012 when it burned to the ground.

Albert James Abbadessa started his restaurant career at the Blue Herron at the Lake of the Ozarks and decided to open his own restaurant and now it is “AJ’s Eat and Drink... The Steakhouse”, now serving The Pear Tree’s traditional favorites along with those of AJ’s Eat and Drink. 
The new menu offers the delectable Pear Tree Salad, amazing battered fried lobster, along with mouth-watering black Angus beef steaks, prime rib accompanied by their famous homemade golden onion rings served with perfection. 
We split an order of the onion rings as an appetizer and they were so good we could have made a meal of them alone! I had a perfectly cooked KC Strip Steak with a baked potato and Sue had Penne Pasta with Lobster in a creamy cheese sauce. It was filled with the meat of at least a full lobster tail and was amazingly good.

The dinners come with a house salad of very fresh greens in a chilled bowl with your choice of House, French and Ranch dressing. The individual salad bowls were also chilled, a very nice touch!

The service was quick, polite and attentive and the food was excellent. This may well be one of the best restaurants in Northern Missouri. Unfortunately we didn't have room for dessert, but they looked great.

On the same menu you’ll find the very best of AJ’s, including The tower burger, tenderloin sandwiches and fries. All cooked and served the “The Pear Tree way”. 
AJ's is open Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday 11:00am to 9:00pm Friday, Saturday 11:00am to 9:30pm. AJ's is closed on Sundays and Mondays. The bar open late on Friday and Saturday.

The JC Wyatt House is a source of fine dining in a turn of the century mansion in an historic district of St. Joseph. While it is by reservation only, it is certainly worth the effort for lunch of dinner. We had a lunch of pan seared salmon and shrimp kabobs both served with a delicious Mediterranean salad. Chef Jeff then presented us with a number of small desserts that truly expressed his culinary skills. 
We have also had dinner here on a past visit to St. Joesph and it was an epicurean delight.
Trip Advisor rated the JC Wyatt House the best dining establishment in St. Joseph. It is located at 1309 Felix call 816-676-1004 or e-mail for reservations.
Resembling a true Mid-West Supper Club, the Fredrick Inn Steak House is another true piece of Americana.

Knotty pine walls and historic photos give it an old time ambiance and the dinner crowd seemed to include a lot of families. 
The Beef Backer Hall of Fame Award gives Fredrick Inn Steakhouse bragging rights to being the finest steakhouse in town, serving mouth-watering, slow-roasted prime rib au jus and hand-cut, aged filet mignon, Kansas City strips, ribeyes, and top sirloins for over 34 years. 

All-you-can-eat Soup and Salad bar comes with all the evening entrees, as well as all-you-can-eat homemade dinner and cinnamon rolls. Nightly specials may include smothered chicken, catch of the day, pork chop, stuffed shrimp, and steaks with a variety of toppings or sauces. The evening menu also boasts great fried chicken, chicken livers, liver and onions, and a variety of seafood offerings.

We started out with an order of fried pickles. Yum! Then I had a strip steak and baked potato and peach cobbler with ice cream Sue had the talapia and coconut cream pie. We both had the salad bar. With drinks the total was a very reasonable $48.00.

Early birds get a bargain with smaller portions, yet also including salad bar, at reduced prices (most entrees under $10.00) Monday through Thursday 4 to 5:30 pm. Lunch Monday through Friday has entrees for under $8.00. 
Fredrick Inn Steakhouse 1627 Frederick Ave. St. Joseph, MO 64501 Phone: 816-364-5151 

Monday - Thursday 11:00am – 9:00pm Friday 11:00am – 10:00pm Saturday 4:00pm -10:00pm
Closed Major Holidays and Sundays

A new unique and trendy pair of restaurants for St. Joseph are Ostrea & Komatsu at 724-26 Felix are two restaurants sharing the same kitchen. One, an oyster bar and the other a Japanese noodle restaurant. We had a variety of noodle dishes and hot, steamed buns. Everything was very tasty. Some people may find it a bit pricey, but definitely worth it for a somewhat different dining experience. Be sure to try some sake!